Abramoff associate was indicted on federal corruption charges 4 years ago this week
BILLINGS, Mont.- Four years ago this week, prosecutors indicted a friend of Lobbyist Dennis Rehberg’s—and a partner of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff—on federal corruption charges, landing rural Carter County, Mont., in the middle of national controversy.
At Rehberg’s recommendation, Carter County coughed up a staggering $100,000 in taxpayer money to hire Ring. Ring was to lobby for federal funding to pave Highway 323 between the small southeastern Montana communities of Ekalaka and Alzada.
On March 31, 2003—the same day Carter County hired Ring—Rehberg cashed a $1,000 campaign check from Ring and a $1,000 check from Abramoff’s lobbying firm.
A few months later, during an illegal fundraiser, Ring convinced a powerful Congressman named Ernest Istook, R-Okla., to earmark $4 million for Carter County’s highway project in Congress’ Highway Bill.
Following his 2008 indictment, Ring in 2011 was convicted of exchanging gifts for Congressional favors.
“The bottom line is that lobbyist Dennis Rehberg sold-out Montana for campaign kickbacks from one of Jack Abramoff’s crooked associates,” said Montanans for Tester spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff. “Nothing gets in the way of Dennis Rehberg and a lobbyist deal, even when it hurts Montanans and wastes taxpayer dollars.”
Read all about Rehberg’s entanglements with corrupt lobbyists HERE.
DC Lobbyist Leo Giacometto, Rehberg’s go-to-guy for special interest funded getaways, is a native of Alzada.
Rehberg earmarked millions for the paving of Highway 323, but voted against the measure that provided funding to complete the unfinished project. That didn’t stop Rehberg from showing up at the ribbon cutting of the newly paved highway: