Jack Abramoff is a former lobbyist, businessman, writer, and movie producer. He was one of the most powerful lobbyists in U.S. history and personally consulted with some of the highest profi le politicians and public figures in the country. It was said that if you wanted a political favor, Jack Abramoff could get it for you, perhaps even with the White House. Then he was outed. Abramoff was convicted of bribing public officials, tax evasion, extortion, and fraud and sentenced to five years for his crimes. His fall was complete, utter, and total. His marriage ended, his rich friends left him, and politicians by the hundreds scrambled to mitigate their relationship to Mr. Abramoff; however, many public officials went down with him. )
In prison, Abramoff had the opportunity to correct the flaws within his own character. Prison is a place where more than three million U.S. citizens are making amends for risky behaviors, addictions, crime, and myriad BeOUTEDtudes. Even in prisons, however, many men and women still cannot correct the character gap and return to a place of peace and ethical values. Denial covers the uncomfortable truth.
Jack Abramoff, however, took his “outing” and closed the loop. Today he attempts to work from a higher set of values. After his release, he worked in a local pizza shop for $7.50 an hour while living in a halfway house. He comments that he found genuine friendships for the fi rst time in his life. Abramoff worked diligently on reforming his own values while attempting to expose the ugliness of Washington lobbyist efforts in his book, Capital Punishment, the Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist (Nov. 2011). To this day, Abramoff works diligently to expose corruption and clean up lobbyist efforts. For Abramoff, being outed was the best thing that could have happened to him. He freely admits it. His higher self knew that, and at some level he probably agreed to the shameful outing and to serve time for his offenses. He has found peace from his outing and is living without the deep character gap felt by so many who live secret lives or who succumb to addictive and risky behaviors.
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