From The Washington Post:One exchange of e-mails cited in the report suggests that former Abramoff lobbying team member Tony C. Rudy succeeded in getting Mehlman to press reluctant Justice Department appointees to release millions of dollars in congressionally earmarked funds for a new jail for the Mississippi Choctaw tribe, an Abramoff client. Rudy wrote Abramoff in November 2001 e-mails that Mehlman said he would "take care of" the funding holdup at Justice after learning from Rudy that the tribe made large donations to the GOP.
So in exchange for political contributions, Mehlman made sure the Choctaw got their $16 million contract. I believe that's called a quid pro quo.
It's by no means the only example of Mehlman's favors.
In 2001, he made sure a State Department official wasn't re-nominated for his post -- the official, Allen Stayman was a long-time foe of Abramoff's.
And according to a report from the Justice Department's Inspector General, Mehlman ordered one of his suboordinates at the White House to keep Abramoff updated on issues related to Guam; Abramoff was keen to see the U.S. Attorney there replaced.
I think this is especially significant because we're talking about the RNC Chair rather than some random congresscritter. It makes it harder to dismiss the Abramoff scandal as a few bad apples when there is, essentially, an operational relationship between Abramoff and someone who represents the Republican party as a whole.
On the other hand, no-one outside the blogosphere has any idea who Ken Mehlman is. Best to refer to him as "the chairman of the Republican National Committee," just to be on the safe side.
(hat tip to Atrios)