Following is the text of Republican consultant Monty Warner’s letter to the Whitefish Pilot:
I am a good friend of the now universally known lobbyist Jack Abramoff and worked with him on occasion in Washington.
I have seen some of the comments your Sen. Conrad Burns has offered about Mr. Abramoff and feel compelled to set the record straight so the people of Montana know the truth.
First, Mr. Abramoff always went out of his way to be accommodating and supportive of Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns gladly and readily welcomed Mr. Abramoff’s support in this regard, and it was clear he often encouraged it.
Mr. Burns’ staff — and perhaps Mr. Burns — were known to eat free sushi/meals often at Mr. Abramoff’s D.C. restaurant, Signatures, and the joke was if they didn’t, they would have starved to death.
Frankly, it was widely viewed in D.C. that Mr. Abramoff effectively exerted implicit control over Mr. Burns whenever he and his team needed to get something accomplished.
Mr. Burns has said publicly that he wished Jack Abramoff had never been born. I think that alone is enough to demonstrate the kind of man Conrad Burns appears to be.
I am a lifelong Republican, but that is one GOP seat I would be happy to lose.
New York, N.Y.