I called Congressman Taylor's office to get a statement on the Abramoff affair, and they told me that Taylor was going to be on the radio - RIGHT NOW!
So I tuned in online and liveblogged the event at Scrutiny Hooligans:
UPDATE - Taylor on 570 AM WWNC. Liveblogging - 5:15pm
Taylor goes over fundraising policy, says he never trades decision making for money.
Blames Democrats for taking Abramoff money.
Taylor claims that national Democrats want to take money away from North Carolina and put it in "California".
Taylor, allying himself strangely with Robert Byrd, claims that he supports the Saginaw tribe building schools (Don't Forget that the Saginaw are returning the money).
He says it was a Senate appropriation, pushed by Dems, that he simply passed through the Appropriations committee.
Taylor, again, tries to pass Abramoff scandal off on Democrats.
Interviewer goes through timeline: one month before Taylor wrote a letter on Saginaw's behalf, Abramoff threw a fundraiser -
Taylor denies the fundraiser ever happened.
Afer Taylor wrote the letter, he got an additional $3k from the Saginaw.
Taylor says there was never any contact with Abramoff, and there is no connection between Saginaw money and passing the Saginaw school legislation.
Interviewer asks Taylor if he understands why people are concerned.
Taylor talks about how much money the Democrats put in against him. Taylor wants to know - why don't you talk about contributions that come from outside the district (link here for Taylor's donor list)?
Interviewer asks Taylor about whether he'll be indicted and if he'll step down if an indictment comes down.
We're not a target of the investigation. "We're so far down the list". There will not be an indictment.
Taylor attacks Shuler's fundraising from the "Washington Democrats", who "took lots of money from Abramoff" I'd like to see us focus on dollars inside the district. Don't lobby me, come talk to me. (Again, go see Taylor's donor list) They want my Appropriations seat!
Interviewer asks if Taylor will return Abramoff money?
"We don't have it." "We spent" the money, "It's gone". "We don't have any money to return."
Taylor again claims 60-70% of his contributions are from inside the district, claims that "others" raise 10-20% from within the district. Taylor goes on to say that he's bringing home the bacon and that if he's defeated the money will not be there any more. "It's foolish to discuss" the idea that he made decisions based on "a few thousand dollars".