A key aide to presidential political strategist Karl Rove resigned Friday in the wake of a congressional report that listed hundreds of contacts between disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the White House.
Susan Ralston, special assistant to President Bush, submitted a resignation letter to him less than five weeks before congressional elections in which corruption and scandal are emerging as key issues for voters.
[..]Critics have pointed to Ralston as evidence that Rove - and thus Bush - are possibly closer to Abramoff than the White House has acknowledged. Ralston was Abramoff's administrative assistant at his lobbying firm and, after Bush took office, assumed the same post with Rove.
The House Government Reform Committee last week issued a report saying that based on documents supplied by Abramoff's former lobbying firm, he had 485 lobbying contacts with White House officials over three years, including 10 with Rove. [..]
The report also said that Abramoff and his team offered White House officials tickets to 19 sporting events and concerts, and that Ralston was the most frequent recipient. Read on...