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Still lobbying?

“Please do not share this e-mail or forward it to anyone. I have sent it [to] a limited number of friends and hope you will honor this request. Thanks.”

So reads a Sunday-night missive received (that much we can confirm) by an acquaintance of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff (requesting anonymity, we can tell you the recipient is a high-profile politico in Washington who, given the lobbying atmosphere these days, smartly washed his hands of the correspondence and forwarded it to Inside the Beltway).

“My dear friends,” it reads, “I am saddened and embarrassed to have to write to you under these circumstances and hope that you will forgive my not calling, as unfortunately the matter is urgent, and (as you will see) I must reach out to as many friends as possible very quickly …

“As you may have seen in the recent press accounts, the judge on my case in Florida has denied the motion of the government and my attorneys to have my sentencing delayed until after I have completed my cooperation with the government. Since that period may take a few years, the judge did not want to leave the matter hanging and set March 29, 2006, as the date of sentencing.

“While the judge is unlikely to incarcerate me while I am still cooperating, the sentence he imposes will have a direct bearing on a possible more sympathetic re-sentencing when my cooperation has ended,” it explains. “My attorneys have advised me to seek help from friends in the form of letters to the judge on my behalf …

“The reason letters from friends are so important is that Judge Paul C. Huck in Florida has not been privy to much of my background and life. He probably only knows of me through the harsh media caricature which has plagued me for the past two years. It may only be through letters of friends that any compassion and balance can be achieved.”

The once-powerful lobbyist, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and wire fraud in a wide-ranging corruption probe, asks that any letters of compassion include “suggestions for alternatives to or reduction of amount of incarceration and any reference to any redeeming character trait or actions of mine.”

He then provides the judge’s court address in Miami.

Straw pol

“I’m nothing,” said John, “if not cunning,”

Before an upset that was stunning,

“But, now that I see

No one’s voting for me,

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