Lincoln Under Fire for Abramoff Contribution

JANUARY 5, 2006 - Posted at 7:57 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Senator Blanche Lincoln is under criticism for allegedly receiving a $2,000 contribution from a firm connected to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  But Lincoln's campaign director, Steve Patterson, says Abramoff left the lobbying firm in question several months before the contribution.

A campaign finance Web site shows the contribution from the Greenberg and Trauig firm was made to Lincoln in June 2004.  Patterson says Abramoff left the firm in March of that year.  Greenberg and Trauig has issued a statement condemning Abramoff.

Lincoln spokesman Drew Goesl says Lincoln does not know Abramoff.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Republican Party is considering the return of a $10,000 contribution from Abramoff.

Abramoff has pleaded guilty in Washington to three federal felonies.  More than 40 elected federal officials nationally have given up Abramoff donations.  Another dozen gave up their contributions after the lobbyist fell under investigation.

Arkansas' Republican Party accepted a $10,000 donation from Abramoff in 2001.  Arkansas Republican executive director Clint Reed says the party is looking at whether to give up the money.

Reed says the party will look at how national Republicans are responding.

The state Democratic Party says the Arkansas GOP should forego the donation, noting that President Bush and other Republican leaders are returning money from Abramoff.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)