Is Rabbi Daniel Lapin Going Down?

Looks like he should. The Seattle Times reports:

A Mercer Island-based religious foundation was one of five conservative nonprofits groups that appear to “have perpetrated a fraud” on taxpayers as they rallied to the aid of now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to a report released Thursday by the Democratic staff of the Senate Finance Committee.

Toward Tradition, which describes itself as dedicated to advancing “traditional Judeo-Christian values,” is headed by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Lapin is also a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host.

The report includes e-mails and other documents that offer new insights into the relationship between Lapin and Abramoff, once a high-profile Washington lobbyist and board member of Toward Tradition. Abramoff was convicted on felony corruption charges.

“E-mails show that Mr. Abramoff could turn to Rabbi Lapin for a friendly newspaper column that put a client in a positive light. Indeed, the e-mail communication indicates that Mr. Abramoff planned how best to use Rabbi Lapin as a source,” the report said.

Tax-exempt groups are barred from paid lobbying or public-relations work.…

The report, released Thursday, details a 1999 effort by Abramoff to have Lapin write a column on behalf of one of its clients, Channel One.

Lapin wrote a lengthy defense of the broadcast company, which was under fire for offering a controversial mix of newscasts and advertising to students in the classroom.

According to e-mail records, the draft was e-mailed to Abramoff, who then sent it to Jeff Ballabon of Channel One for review. In meetings with Channel One, Abramoff also suggested that Toward Tradition give awards to Channel One.

In response to the report, Lapin said that “I do not believe that Toward Tradition ever gave any award to Channel One,” and that the article on Channel One “never saw the light of day.”

The committee’s Republican chairman, Sen, Charles Grassley, could have blocked the report’s release, but did not do so. Here is what Sen. Grassley said:

Grassley said Thursday he would consider the report but said it should have looked at more nonprofit groups. “The problems are widespread and won’t be resolved just with Mr. Abramoff going to jail,” Grassley said.

True. Perhaps Rabbi Lapin should join his protégé behind bars.



Filed under Crime, Modern Orthodoxy

9 responses to “Is Rabbi Daniel Lapin Going Down?

  1. Paul Freedman

    Lapin may be a zona but he may not have been paid for his flackery–there may not be a legal issue if these were “freebies”–this is the same guy who gave Abramoff himself a false award so Jack could puff-up some kind of Who’s-Who directory.

  2. Schneur

    While I personally believe that rabbi Lapin’s political goals are basically honorable (even though over the years he has become a n apologist for practically everything th Fundamentalsit Right preaches about).
    However the good rabbi has a record of scandal . He was forced to leave his pulpit in Venice Beach because of a financial scandal.
    Hopefully he will clear his name and be able to continue his political work.

  3. sephardic-male

    this rabbi sold his soul to the anti-jewish christian right. recently he and the fundies were all blaming jewish for the fictional war on christmas, uses hitler’s mein kampf blaming jews for society’s problem, defend the passion of the christ an anti-smeitic movie based on the visions of an anti-semetic nun, and blindly supports mel gibson an anti-jewis, holocaust denier with ties to an australian far right hate group

  4. Paul Freedman

    Sephardic-male: are you certain that he was part of the “war on Christmas” shtick?

  5. Avraham

    ” He was forced to leave his pulpit in Venice Beach because of a financial scandal.”

    Shneur, do you know this for a fact??? As in you were a member in this shul and were privy to the goings on???

  6. RML

    I was a resident and member of the Venice Shul, and very familiar with what went on at PJC, and I am not by any means a proponent of Rabbi Lapin’s methods and views in almost every area, yet I can say with absolute certainty that Rabbi Lapin did NOT leave his pulpit “because of a financial scandal”.

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