Remember Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist convicted for mail fraud and conspiracy who was sentenced to several years in jail? Well, Abramoff wrote a book. Several of the early Amazon reviews struck me as a somewhat artificial in tone, so I did a little digging into the reviews at http://www.amazon.com/Capitol-Punishment-Washington-Corruption-Notorious/product-reviews/1936488442/
One reviewer is "Edward Buckham." Looks like he might be a former lobbyist and a former top aide to Tom DeLay. Buckham's company employed Tom DeLay's wife and had to shut down because the firm "was fatally damaged by publicity about the ongoing federal investigation into the affairs of Abramoff," according to the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/09/AR2006010901996.html
. Buckham doesn't disclose any connection to Abramoff either in his Amazon review of Abramoff's book or in his 1-star review of a different book critical of Abramoff.
Another reviewer is listed as "Donald W Keyser" of Fairfax Station, Virginia. It looks like that's the same Donald Keyser who "pleaded guilty to unauthorized possession of secret documents, and to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding his sexual relationship with a Taiwanese intelligence officer" in 2005, according to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Keyser
Another reviewer lists their name as "walfredo freitas." There's a "Free Jack Abramoff" page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2241389666&v=wall
where a "Walfredo De Freitas" praises Abramoff, and the admin for the "Free Jack Abramoff" page is listed as "Walfredo." Walfredo also appears to be a lobbyist, according to http://www.followthemoney.org/database/search.phtml?searchbox=walfredo&CurrentType=Lobbyists
Another reviewer is Vicki Siegel of Bethesda, Maryland. That might be Vicki Siegel Herson, a former lobbyist and one-time legislative aide to Arlen Specter. Specter faced questions that he directed roughly $50 million dollars in earmarks to clients represented by Vicki Siegel's husband, Michael Herson (also a lobbyist) according to the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/17/politics/17specter.html?pagewanted=print
It appears that Siegel resumed lobbying in 2011, this time for her husband's firm.
These people are of course welcome to their opinion of Abramoff's book, but if any of them knew Abramoff or had connections to him, I wish they had disclosed those relationships in their Amazon reviews. There's also several other 5-star reviews from Amazon profiles like "politico" and "DC Dubious" where the reviewer's identity is not revealed.
Does anyone like +Dan Gillmor
or +Jeff Jarvis
or +Jay Rosen
know someone who could do a proper job of contacting the people involved for comment or asking Amazon to check for shenanigans with Abramoff's Amazon reviews?