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January 17, 2006

How Preston Gates Ellis and Microsoft Fit In

Abramoff and DeLay had strong connections to the Seattle-based law firm, Preston Gates Ellis, co-founded by William Gates, Bill Gates' Dad, back in 1990.  I've often wondered what one of Seattle's most prestigious law firms had to do with the two most corrupt folks in Washington in decades.  I've also wondered why no one in the media was asking about it. 

The lack of coverage has ended. Rick Anderson at the Seattle Weekly has a great article laying out how both Preston Gates Ellis and Microsoft were entangled in the web of corrupt people.  Whether or not either organization was actually entangled in the web of corruption has yet to be determined.

It's going to be surprising if they are not.  Here's the short version of the allegations that Anderson has uncovered:

- Both Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, who worked with him until recently, have been lobbyists for Preston Gates Ellis
- The Alexander Strategy Group, a disgraced consulting firm that has closed its lobbying arm because of too-close connections to Abramoff and DeLay, was paid $315,000 to lobby for Microsoft over the past few years
- Two Microsoft lobbyists, Ed Buckham and Tony Rudy, had previous worked for Tom DeLay and assisted Jack Abramoff to rig an election in the North Marianas Islands for their Preston Gates Ellis clients
- Money from two of Abramoff's Preston Gates Ellis clients was laundered through the Mercer Island charity, Toward Tradition, run by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, before being kicked back to one of the above staffers
- In election year 2000, while Ralph Reed, former Christian Coalition leader, was helping coordinate George Bush's campaign, he was also on the payroll of Microsoft at $20,000 per month and was paid as a subcontractor by Preston Gates Ellis, brought on by Jack Abramoff
- The initial money for launching the antigambling drive that Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist have all been implicated in, came from Preston Gates Ellis
- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $100,000 to one of DeLay's fake charities 

It gets curiouser and curiouser.

Posted by Lynn Allen on January 17, 2006 at 11:26 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


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It would be interesting to know if these guys played any role in getting Microsoft to flip on HR151 last year - the bill that would protect gays from discrimination.

Posted by: Nindid | Jan 18, 2006 12:46:59 AM

Great update. The links between microsoft, ralph reed, gover norquist, preston gates and ellis, the dicovery institute, are gradually being revealed over time. Hiding behind the boyish smile of bill gates is a person on one hand philanthropic, but on the other, a person who backs actions that hurt the us middle class. And add MSNBC to the list, without the concurrence of their CEOs and board members, they wouldn't be able to spread so many lies, day after day.

Posted by: CoolAqua | Jan 18, 2006 1:22:18 PM

Evidently,our entire culture is corrupt.

Rigging elections in the Marianas, feeding the Christian Coalition.... That's revolting. Glad I just got a Mac. Glad these guys are getting skewered.

So Mr. Gonzalez, author of torture rationalizations, ends up being our defense against this kind of thing. Ironic indeed.

Posted by: Noemie Maxwell | Jan 18, 2006 6:02:42 PM

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