Sunday, January 29, 2006

Most Americans want Bush to reveal lobbyist ties: poll

Most Americans want Bush to reveal lobbyist ties: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three in four Americans want President George W. Bush to disclose his aides' links with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a demand the White House has rejected so far, according to a poll published on Saturday.

The Washington Post said the demand was supported by clear majorities of both Republicans and Democrats in the Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted between January 23 and January 26.

Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud charges this month and agreed to help U.S. prosecutors in a corruption probe that has sparked calls for reform of the Washington practice of lobbying lawmakers with donations and favors to influence legislation.

At a White House news conference on Thursday, Bush said he did not know Abramoff and would not release photographs in which the two appeared together.

He said the release of the photographs would be used for "pure political purposes" by Democrats.

The Washington Post said 76 percent of those surveyed said Bush should release lists of all meetings between his aides and Abramoff. Eighteen percent disagreed.

"Two in three Republicans joined with eight in 10 Democrats and political independents in favoring disclosure," the paper said.

It said 1,002 people were interviewed and the poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.