From 1994 to 2001 Jack Abramoff was a top lobbyist for the firm of Preston Gates & Ellis, and then for Greenberg Traurig until March 2004. After being investigated for major corruption charges, h

From 1994 to 2001 Jack Abramoff was a top lobbyist for the firm of Preston Gates & Ellis, and then for Greenberg Traurig until March 2004.  After being investigated for major corruption charges, he eventually pleaded guilty and served 6 years in federal prison.  He went from being one of the most influential people in Washington D.C. to a convicted felon who can no longer vote.

This assignment asks you to watch the documentary at the link below and then answer the questions.  The answers to the questions should be formulated into a formal college level essay.  It should be written in paragraph form (at least one paragraph for each question—many will need more than one paragraph), proof read and edited so that there are no grammar or punctuation issues.  Students who are not great at this should seek help from the Navarro College Tutoring Center or by utilizing Upswing by looking at the red menu on the left-hand side of the screen.  

You do not need to seek out sources for this unless you choose to.  If you do choose to use outside sources, they must be legitimate sources (not media outlets) and they absolutely must be cited in the paper and at the end of the paper in a works cited page. 

When answering the questions, if you do not understand them or do not know about the information referenced in the question…Google it.  If you need help understanding the concept and role of interest groups and lobbyists, please read up on it quickly in Chapter 10!!  You must understand this before you can write the paper!!

In It to Win It- The Jack Abramoff Story

1. What are the key points that this documentary raises?

2. What did Abramoff do that was unethical, even if legal? Why were these actions unethical?

3. The documentary focuses on Abramoff’s role as a lobbyist within a system that is, he argues, more corrupt than ever. To what degree do individuals have a responsibility to act ethically within a morally corrupt system?

4. The documentary raises the point that white-collar crime is generally considered far less problematic than hard crime. Do you agree? Why or why not? What are the long-term consequences of white-collar crimes for individuals, families, society?

5. Do you agree with the UT officials who decided to bring Abramoff to campus in order to speak to students and create this film? What ethical issues were involved in their decision-making process?

6. Compare Abramoff’s situation with the Lance Armstrong scandal. What similarities can you identify? What differences? What character traits do you think led each man to act illegally and unethically? Are their actions representative of ‘everything wrong’ (i.e. hunger for power, money, fame) with American society?

7. Do you think Abramoff’s success as a lobbyist supports the idea that politicians are corrupt or easily corruptible? Should we place blame on Abramoff and the politicians or the system in which they operate? If the system is fundamentally flawed, is it fair for individual lobbyists or politicians to pay the price?

8. In the film, Abramoff notes that he thought he was the ‘moral lobbyist’? Why does he think so and do you agree with him?

9. Abramoff still owes the government $44 million in restitution. Some argue that he is only speaking out against corruption to get past this debt and regain his prior fame and fortune. Others believe his claim that he is in a unique position to expose the corruption of the system. Do you believe Abramoff genuinely regrets his prior actions and is now working hard at improving how our government operates? Or do you think he is just ‘out for himself’? Does it matter whether he’s sincere if his actions lead to important reforms?

10. Do you think you could survive in today’s world if you promised yourself that you would always act honorably? Do you think such a life is possible?

Note: In order to do a good job on this assignment, you should easily have three to five pages (but it can be more). Be specific and elaborate on the answers to the above questions. Think! Writing Tip: Always assume that your audience knows nothing about the issue. A common mistake students make is leaving out critical information that they have learned, because they know that the instructor already knows the information. However, an instructor cannot give credit for knowledge that is absent from the essay. Your writing should be the evidence that you have the information, and have assimilated it into knowledge. 


Written in MLA Format

Written with Times New Roman 12 point font with NORMAL MARGINS!!!

Double Spaced

Minimum of three pages

You must submit the finished paper through Canvas when you hit the NEXT button below. I will NOT accept an email version or hard copy. Submit it as required.

Spell and grammar check your paper.  I strongly suggest having someone else ready your paper before submitting it to catch any last errors.

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