the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

January 8, 2006

Abramoff-Allied Group Drops Him and Others From Its Board


Toward Tradition is a conservative Jewish group founded by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and Jack Abramoff used to serve on its board of directors. The group is allied with conservative Christian groups, and as Josh Marshall pointed out yesterday, Lapin co-chaired the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, whose advisory board included James Dobson, Charles Colson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Michael Medved, and Jack Abramoff. (There’s more about Toward Tradition in this comment on TPMCafe.)

Marshall’s mention of Toward Tradition prompted me to check out its site, and particularly its board of directors. The board currently has a chairman, vice-chairman, and 20 members — with no mention of Jack Abramoff. But checking the Internet Archive, I find that the same page in July 2003 and March 2005 (the most recent archived copy) contained a longer list:

Samuel H. Silver, GA

Larry Smith, CA

Jack Abramoff, MD
Jim Aitkins, WA
Dr. Brian Beckman, WA
Lenore Broughton, VT
Ray Dally, WA
Stanley Ellberger, NJ
Allen Gorin, ID
Peter Huizenga, IL
Cary H. Humphries, MN
Lewis J. Kaufman, GA
Michael Medved, WA
Dr. Maria Ohm, WA
Carl Pearlston, CA
Jim Polack, WA
Gary Polland, TX
Dr. Ed Pritzker, IL
Dr. Martin Rabin, WA
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, CT
Dr. Daniel Schneeweiss, WA
Abe Shamash, CA
Carrie Simms, FL
Leo Strauss, NJ
John Uhlmann, KS
Kenneth VonKohorn, CT
Don Wallis, WA
Fred Weiss, WA

There was no change in the board between those dates, but between March 2005 and today 6 names have been dropped. Since no new names have been added, it doesn’t seem like normal rotation of members. It’s understandable that Toward Tradition would want to distance itself from Abramoff nowadays, but I’m curious about the other five. For each, the departure could be perfectly innocent, or it could be that the person no longer wanted to be linked to an Abramoff-tainted organization, or it could be that Toward Tradition wanted to sever ties with that person just as they did with Abramoff. I don’t know, but I’m putting this out there to preserve the association in case someone wants to look into it or has more information.

These are the 6 names dropped from the board:

Will we be seeing more of any of these names as the Abramoff scandal continues to unfold?

Update: I forgot to mention that Abramoff and Lapin produced one of the funniest e-mail exchanges in the sorry saga, when Abramoff asked for a fake award to help him get into the Cosmos Club.

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