SHOE STORY Marcos The last few years have not been kind to Imelda Marcos. As if her failing health, legal troubles, and battles with the Philippine government weren't trouble enough, the kleptocratic dictator's shoe-collecting widow has had to put up with constant phone calls from Jack Abramoff.
The disgraced super-lobbyist's relationship with the former first lady of the Philippines is one of the revelations in Heist, a new book by National Journal correspondent Peter H. Stone. The book follows the larger-than-life career of Abramoff from his days as a B-movie producer, through his work on behalf of South Africa's apartheid government and his rise to being the go-to lobbyist for Tom DeLay and the Republican leadership, right up to his indictment on corruption charges last year.
According to Stone, Abramoff used to call Marcos for help in landing Philippine business clients, and she once helped him arrange a meeting with then-Philippine president Joseph Estrada, a former movie star who was impeached and charged with corruption in 2001. "There's no question that he was cultivating Mrs. Marcos because he thought he could get something out of it," one of Abramoff's associates told Stone.