Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jack Abramoff: Doing The Right Thing?


Jack Abramoff, the convicted felon, is out of prison and, as the media tells the story, he's working in a pizza joint. Well, kind of. He won't really be rolling out the dough, slopping on the tomato sauce or driving around town in one of those cars with the sign on top that says "Hot Pizza." Remember the Spike Lee character from his brilliant film "Do The Right Thing?" Mookie? The pizza delivery guy who carried boxes of hot pizza up and down the stairs of hot New York City apartments? Not what Jack will be doing.

Instead, Jack Abramoff will be "advising" the business owner, coming up with new ideas. Who wants to bet Abramoff will invite the native american tribes from the region in for "pizza" night, then have Ralph Reed get together a group of Christian Fanatics to picket the joint, then Abramoff will offer his services to negotiate a settlement. For a fee. Yeah -- ideas he's got. The problem is, he's a criminal.

(From the AP): Abramoff's hiring doesn't change kosher pizzeria
By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press Writer Ben Nuckols, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jun 23, 7:14 pm ET

BALTIMORE – A lively mix of regulars and families with small children ate lunch at a kosher pizzeria in northwest Baltimore on Wednesday, and several said they have no problem with the restaurant's new employee: disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Tov Pizza's owner hired Abramoff because he thought his business savvy could jazz up the shop's marketing. Abramoff could not be spotted behind the counter, and owner Ron Rosenbluth said he would not be working in the kitchen.

"He's in the back. He's working," said Rosenbluth, who declined to make Abramoff available for an interview. He said it was his understanding that Abramoff could not speak to the media while he remains under the supervision of the Bureau of Prisons, which lasts until Dec. 4.

Abramoff was released from a minimum-security prison camp in western Maryland on June 8 after serving about 3 1/2 years for fraud, corruption and conspiracy. He spent three days in a halfway house in Baltimore before he was placed in home confinement, in part because he has a job, said Edmond Ross, a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons.

Rosenbluth ... said he would look to the former lobbyist ... to provide some new ideas for his 26-year-old restaurant. ...

"There are certain things that I know that I'm short on. I'm not very good at keeping up on our website," Rosenbluth said. "It's always good to have a fresh eye on the place."

[Tov Pizza's] customer base comes from the conservative and Orthodox Jewish communities in northwest Baltimore and nearby Pikesville. Most of the men inside wore yarmulkes, and several women wore headscarves, long sleeves and long skirts on a sweltering, 95-degree day.


Abramoff, who is Jewish, always claimed to be very religious, so I guess the theory is that other Jewish religious people might be more likely to trust him. I've got two words for these people: Bernie Madoff.

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