Well-connected lobbyist
March 13th, 2006

The details of the automobile Jack Abramoff fitted out during his heyday as a top Washington lobbyist are reported today in the New York Times. Apparently, the best of today’s digital applications served as both perks and tools of the trade. The lobbyist’s 2002 BMW 745Li sedan was customized with more than $48,000 of connective interior work on the automobile:

Mr. Abramoff spent $19,995 for a “custom-built, 15.2-inch-wide screen and manual flip-down video monitor,” an invoice says.

“Monitor includes built-in cordless headphone transmitters” it says, adding, “Monitor is capable of displaying DVD, Game and Computer graphics/video signals.”

For $7,390, he added a hands-free cellphone system, with a special antenna amplifier to boost the signal, and a docking station for his laptop built into the back of the right front seat. The system was configured to use the overhead screen and could take commands from a wireless keyboard.

Mr. Abramoff also paid $6,495 for seat-back tables. “These handmade tables are duplicate versions of vintage Rolls-Royce designs,” the invoice says. “Perfect for children or mobile office applications.”

While DVD players are now common in cars, Mr. Abramoff’s was set into a custom-made console trimmed in wood veneer and leather. The price for player and console, installed, was $4,495.

To evade police speed traps, the car was equipped with a radar detector designed to perform over hills, around corners and across distances of several miles. The unit was “mounted and etched into rearview mirror” and was augmented by a pair of “laser diffusers” in front and back to avoid detection further.

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