Tom Davis has ties to Abramoff's K Street Project though super-lobbyist Dan Mattoon

By: Andrea Chamblee
Published On: 9/4/2006 10:49:09 PM

In the "Abramoff 53," dengre summarized extensive research on Jack Abramoff connections but asked for help on the "Bench of Nine" that includes Tom Davis (R-11).  He is running for reelection against Democrat Andy Hurst.    If he wins reelection, Davis has ambitions for the Senate and then the White House.

Davis has ties to Abramoff that inspired Andy Hurst to give Davis his first real challenge in 12 years. There's lots of reasons to vote for Andy Hurst over Davis, not just that Davis's corruption has infected Government Reform and races all over the country. But those are good reasons.

Public Citizen and CapitalEye have found ties from Tom Davis and Abramoff, especially through super-lobbyist Dan Mattoon, but Davis has somehow escaped scrutiny and has never been held accountable.  Virginia can unseat Davis.  Contribute to and volunteer for Andy Hurst.  Davis has used the millions he has from fundraising to influence races in 40 States, including 42 Districts and 3 senate races, totaling 103 candidates. That doesn't count his NRCC fundraising,   His money is in so many states, get their help Kicking Him Out!

Similar story posted here:  here on Daily Kos.  Tom Davis+GGs PAC money infects almost every state, so please go over to DailyKos and recommend the diary for more to see.

This diary ties Tom Davis to Abramoff and other corrupt super-lobbyists in 3 ways:  through personal donations to Davis, his wife, and his PACs, through donations he solicited through the NRCC, and through donations and actions of Dan Mattoon of the NRCC and the firm of PodestaMattoon.  Also we can+GGt forget Davis+GGs unique position as head of the Government Reform Committee which tied the Committee+GGs hands to prevent investigation of the corruption.

As most of you know, Davis was elected to Congress in 1994 (on the Contract with America) and has risen to lead the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the US Government Reform Committee.

Background and Summary
During his tenure, Davis has obtained donations from Abramoff and "Team Abramoff."  Even though that's thousands of dollars, it's nothing compared to the amounts donated by the clients, on their lobbyists advice and insistence, including donations to Davis.  Even more striking than those thousands of dollars is the amount from all the sources that Davis obtained from Abramoff, other lobbyists, and their clients and client PACs for Davis and for the NRCC when Davis was its head from 1998 to 2002.  This fundraising earned Davis the fear and power he wields today over Republicans that don't vote the party line.

When reporting some of Abramoff's contributions, Davis actually stated that he could not include Abramoff's occupation because it was "unknown" to him and he had used his "best efforts" to find out.

Ironically, as a "reward" for raising so much money for the NRCC, Davis was handed the Chairmanship of the Government Reform Committee by the Republican Majority, over Chris Shays who wanted the job and had more seniority.  In his new position on the Reform Committee, Davis would have not only had the responsibility to know what Abramoff and DeLay were up to +GGǥ  Davis would be in a position to decline to exercise oversight to stop the illegal fundraising.

The Democrats have tried to get various hearings on the lobbying abuses and other oversight failures by Davis and his Government Reform Committee.  Since Davis controls the agenda of the Committee, they are powerless to even get the subject on the agenda.

Here are the dollar details:

I..  Personal Donations to Davis

Davis himself received $4,500 from Abramoff.

Donor ---------------  Total ----------------- Cycle

Abramoff, Jack A & Pamela  -------------------  $500  --- 2000

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians -- $1,000 --- 2002

Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana  -------------  $1,000 --- 2002

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe  ---------- $1,000  --- 2002

Tigua Indian Reservation  -----------------  $1,000  --- 2002

I suppose he probably gave the money back after he got caught, but knowing all he knew, why did he take it in the first place?

II..  NRCC Donations under Davis+GGs Leadership

More importantly, Davis was head of the NRCC from 1998 to 2002, when Abramoff was reaching his peak.  Davis was in a position to know who Abramoff was and how extensive Abramoff+GGs reach was across the Republican Party.

As the money-go-round went faster, Davis would participate enthusiastically, raising $312,000 from Abramoff's tribal clients for the NRCC during that time,

Donor ------------    Total ---- Cycle

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (2002)     $78,500

Scanlon, Michael P (2002)     $50,000

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (2002)     $35,000

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana (2002)     $35,000

Tigua Indian Reservation (2002)     $30,000

Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (2002)     $25,000

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (2002)     $25,000

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe (2002)     $11,000

Tigua Indian Reservation (2002)     $2,000

Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (2002)     $1,000

SunCruz Casinos (2000)     $10,000

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (2000)     $7,500

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe (2000)     $2,000

Davis left the NRCC, but not until after the stage was set for another $138,500, for a total of $450,500 to the NRCC from Abramoff, according to

Donor ------------  Total  ------  Cycle

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe (2004)     $50,000

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (2004)     $40,500

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (2004)     $33,000

Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (2004)    $10,000

Pueblo of Sandia (2004)     $5,000

This total doesn't count the additional thousands of dollars added to the NRCC coffers from "Team Abramoff" lobbyists and ARMPAC, Greenburg Traurig PAC, Preston Gates PAC, Bob Ney's American Liberty PAC, Denny Hastert's Keep Our Majority PAC, and the other PACS funded in part by Abramoff and his Team.

III..  Actions and Donations from Dan Mattoon

Tom Davis, Jack Abramoff, and NRCC deputy, lobbyist and major donor Dan Mattoon

According to Public Citizen's Bankroller's Report, only a few lobbyists donate any amounts that require reporting ($200 or more).  Nevertheless, Davis has a hand in hundreds of PACS and financial schemes, and he gets a big share of this one:

Lobbyists and the political action committees of their firms have contributed at least $103.1 million to members of Congress since 1998.  This figure is more than 90 percent higher than what is reported by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), which has been the most authoritative source to date, because this study's methodology cast a wider net to capture lobbyists' contributions.


The percentage of lobbyists making personal contributions is small. Just 27.1 percent (7,350) of the 27,121 people who registered as lobbyists since 1998 have contributed at least $200 to a single congressional candidate or PAC. Only contributions of $200 or more are reported by the FEC.


Lobbyists who have contributed at least $10,000 to members of Congress comprise only 6.1 percent of all lobbyists and only 22.3 percent of the lobbyists who have made at least one contribution of $200 or more. Nevertheless, they have accounted for more than fourth-fifths (83.4 percent) of all the money contributed to members of Congress by lobbyists since 1998.


The top 8 (now 7)

According to the Public Citizen report, the 36 "members of Congress who took in at least $500,000 from lobbyists and their PACs account for only 5.1 percent of the members of Congress who have received contributions of $200 or more from lobbyists since 1998. Yet, the money they took in - $26.5 million - accounts for more one-fourth of the total in contributions received by members of Congress in the time period studied."  

Only 18 received $500,000 or more: 12 Republicans including Tom Davis.

Members of the House Who Received at Least $500,000 from Lobbyists

House Member --    Current Leadership Position -- Individual Contributions -- PAC Contributions -- Total

1. Tom DeLay (R-TX) ----- $944,013 ----- $378,893 ----- $1,322,906

2. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), House Speaker -----$643,384 ----- $283,070 ----- $926,454

3. John Murtha (D -Pa.) ----- $715,550 ----- $153,550 ----- $869,100

4. Jerry Lewis (R -Calif.), Chair, Appropriations Comm --- $724,033 ---- $95,721 --- $819,754

5. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Minority Whip ----- $637,936 ----- $142,944 ----- $780,880

6. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader ----- $618,933 ----- $115,935 ----- $734,868

7. Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), Chair, Financial Services Comm ----- $546,088 -- $165,406 -- $711,494

8. Tom Davis (R-Va.), Chair, Government Reform Comm ----- $560,262 ----- $112,476 ----- $672,738

Davis's biggest lobbyist contributor is Dan Mattoon, a lobbyist who worked with DeLay and Abramoff on the K Street Project and a principal in the 18-year-old firm of PodestaMattoon, which describes itself as a "bipartisan government relations and public affairs" firm.

Mattoon's online biography says he has worked with Republican representatives for over 30 years. He is a close friend of House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert (R-Ill.)  At Hastert's request, Mattoon left BellSouth, where he had been vice president of congressional affairs for 15 years, to help [Davis] run the [NRCC] and help the GOP retain control of the House in 2000.  Mattoon's biography says, "for more than 30 years, he has provided political and strategic legislative counsel to House Republican members, and is a trusted advisor to many of the Washington political elite, including Speaker Hastert, House Majority Whip Blunt, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Pryce, and NRCC Chairman Reynolds." Each of the four is among the top 10 congressional recipients of campaign contributions from Mattoon. Mattoon also hired Joshua Hastert, the speaker's son, as a lobbyist. Mattoon's wife, Jane, once served as treasurer of Hastert's leadership Political Action Committee.

Mattoon was involved in a Republican effort to wring more money out of lobbyists for Republican candidates. He was one of a small group of lobbyists who met with then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) at a dinner hosted by now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff at Abramoff's Signatures restaurant in January 2004 to discuss the issue. "There has been a concern that not enough folks who are out there making money based on their relation to the Hill are giving enough of their own money to the Republican Party," a GOP aide said of the initiative to gin up more lobbyist contributions to Republican lawmakers.

While the deputy director of the [NRCC] in 1999, [the same time Davis was NRCC head], Mattoon seems to have been involved in a decision to transfer $500,000 from the NRCC to the U.S. Family Network, a 501(c)(4) group that operated in the same Capitol Hill townhouse as the political action committees of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Mattoon said the transfer was made because of the ties former DeLay Chief of Staff Ed Buckham had to the group, and with the expectation that the money would be used to aid Republicans in the 2000 elections. "The Family Network is a group that based on our view of Ed Buckham's strengths in the family community and his political strengths will have an equally important impact in the elections, favorably for Republicans," Mattoon said.

In 2004, the FEC fined the NRCC $280,000 for its transfer of the $500,000 and the subsequent use of the money to finance ads attacking vulnerable Democrats.

After DeLay announced plans to resign from Congress, Mattoon continued to praise him, calling him "one of the founding fathers of the Republican majority in the House," and saying that, "Tom has a strong legacy that he should be proud of."

PodestaMattoon's top-paying client since 1998 has been The Science Coalition, which represents 60 universities. The Coalition has paid $2.6 million for the firm's services since 2001. The Coalition periodically honors members of Congress, typically those serving on appropriations committees, such as Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) and former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, upon whom the Coalition bestowed its "Champion of Science" award in 2004. Cunningham has subsequently pleaded guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from contractors and is serving an eight-year prison sentence.

The University of California system, a member of the Coalition, received more than $3.7 million in earmarks in 2005. (Footnotes omitted)

Mattoon didn't stop there. When working for Davis at the NRCC, Mattoon donated to Davis's wife and one of Davis's PACs, as well as the State Republican Party.

Devolites Davis, Jeannemarie (2004)  $500

Republican Party of Virginia (1999) $200

Tom Davis Va Victory Fund (2001) $5,000

Here is a comparison of the lobbyist money Davis has raked in compared with other Virginia representatives.


Member of ----------  Rank in ---- Total Contributions

Congress  ---------- in House

--------------- (including Tom DeLay)    Received

Tom Davis (R)---------  8 ----- $672,769

Jim Moran (D)----------- 11 ----- $644,310

Eric Cantor (R)--------- 22 ----- $448,997

Frank Wolf (R) --------- 27 -----$362,947

Rick Boucher (D) ------- 49 -----$255,973

Bob Goodlatte (R) ------ 99 -----$143,900

Virgil H Goode Jr (R)-- 249 ---- $57,718

Randy Forbes (R) -------255 ----- $55,518

Jo Ann Davis (R)------- 257 -----$55,014

Bobby Scott (R) ------- 291 ----- $46,044

Thelma Drake (R) ------ 399 ----- $14,050

The Washington Post is starting to take notice of the seriousness of this race.    You can help unseat Davis by donating to and volunteering for Andy Hurst.  Hurst is not taking any PAC money.  Can you donate $11 for the 11th District? Or more - the new Campaign HQ address is 11198- how about $111.98?


Perhaps... (pitin - 9/4/2006 11:42:06 PM)
The Best Research Diary I have read?  Yup, I'd say so.

In case you missed it in all the documenting links, here is the CONTRIBUTION link for the Hurst campaign.

I think we all have $11 we can dig up to win back the 11th.  Let's also remember that the Hurst campaign is now doing the field work for the Webb campaign in the 11th (all voter ID's and Persuasion is going through the Hurst Canvasses and phone banks), it's even more essential to donate to Hurst.

WOO HOO (pitin - 9/5/2006 12:15:40 AM)
The DailyKos version of this diary just made the front page under the Diary Rescue by SusanG.

I rated you "excellent" for your speed (Andrea Chamblee - 9/5/2006 12:35:11 AM)
not "just" because I wrote it.

With Davis's money going to 100+ candidates in 40 states, I hope people all over the country see that and throw some contributions to Andy.

Wow, this is amazing! (Lowell - 9/5/2006 7:01:49 AM)
Do you do oppo research professionally or what?  If not, you should! :)  Thanks.

:-} (Andrea Chamblee - 9/5/2006 9:46:29 AM)
Thanks, Lowell.  Could you promote it?  Too many people think Davis is one of the "good ones," but he really is a Tom DeLay with only a little less money to throw around.

More on Davis and Matoon (Andrea Chamblee - 9/5/2006 11:10:29 AM)
As we know, DeLay's legal troubles are related to his use of "pass-through" organizations to raise money from groups who either don't want to be identified, can't donate any more because they are at a cap, or would violate laws such as Texas laws that prohibit certain out-of-state money for state campaigns.  Tom Davis and Dan Mattoon colluded to commit that offense as well.

A story about the complaint is here.  The FEC findings of guilt against the two conspirators is here:  PARTY MISUSE OF SOFT MONEY TO PAY FOR ISSUE ADS RESULTS IN $280,000 CIVIL PENALTY

The DCCC's complaint alleges that Davis and DeLay have essentially created three subsidiaries of the NRCC that are not required to obey campaign finance laws. By doing so, the complaint says, "the NRCC has created a web of organizations to do what it may not do on its own."

The outside organizations named in the complaint -- the US Family Network, the Republican Majority Issues Committee and Americans for Economic Growth -- are all associated with DeLay's and Davis' political operations. None of the groups are required to disclose their donors.

The NRCC gave $500,000 to USFamily Network on Oct. 20, the largest single donation the committee has made this year.

The complaint also said the groups "are established, financed, maintained and controlled by the very same individuals who run the NRCC."

This is amazing stuff..... (bladerunner - 9/5/2006 12:42:49 PM)
Andrea, you are the woman!!! The media should pick up on this cause this is an outrage. The people of the 11th District need to know the truth...this must get out. Thanks.

Please write to the Post and tell them to cover this! (Andrea Chamblee - 9/5/2006 1:42:10 PM)
The authors of the last story on Davis corruption are at (Robert O'Harrow) and (Scott Highams)

Excellent idea (Lowell - 9/5/2006 2:03:24 PM)
Those reporters did a great job on that story.

Abramoff on Abramoff (Andrea Chamblee - 9/7/2006 3:26:44 PM)
I just found this on DKos, a quote where Abramoff ridicules any politician - like Davis did above - who said they "didn't know Jack":

"Any important Republican who comes out and says they didn't know me is almost certainly lying," he says. Such lies are not just, well, lies, but dumb to boot, he adds, for, as his own humiliations suggest, old e-mails never die; they just sit on hard drives, waiting to be subpoenaed and then to be leaked to the press. "This is not an age when you can run away from facts," he declares. "I had to deal with my records, and others will have to deal with theirs."

Forbes, NPR