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An Angry Star Is Born

Thomas and Brooke — who briefly went to work for Abramoff before the scandal erupted — have told the Montana press that they thought the trip was being paid for by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw, which would mesh with ethics rules allowing tribal nations to pay for trips. But the trip was actually funded by Sun Cruz Casinos, which Abramoff co-owned and is integral to a separate piece of the investigation.

Complicating matters, Burns helped champion at least one multimillion-dollar earmark for another tribal client at a time when Abramoff clients deposited more cash into his political action committees than any other lawmaker.

Here She Comes. There could be a lot of sore necks Thursday morning after the Washington Press Club Foundation’s annual Congressional dinner tonight. Congressional Quarterly — yes, CQ, not GQ — is bringing Miss America as its guest. Really. She should fit right in with all those Members, ambassadors and lobbyists.

Specifically, Miss America 2006, Jennifer Berry, will also be buzzing around the (mildly) star-studded after-party sponsored jointly by CQ and the Creative Coalition.

The woman who made it all happen — “Hardball” Executive Producer Tammy Haddad, who serves on the Miss America board of directors — joked that she was trying to figure out a way to make the Congressional dinner an “equally eye-popping, head-craning experience as the radio and TV dinner.”

At least Miss America should be able to keep things lively if this year’s speakers, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), don’t do the trick. Though we’re told there are some wild jokes in store.

Probably not as funny, though, as the dinner the White House Correspondents Association has in store this year. Late-night spoofster Stephen Colbert will be the headline entertainer at the April 29 affair.

Stephanie Woodrow and Paul Kane contributed to this report.

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