Native Tribe’s Political Donations Missing!
When Jack Abramoff, widely recognized as one of the top lobbyists on Capitol Hill and his secret partner, public relations operative Michael Scanlon offered their services to the Tigua Indians, an El Paso, Texas tribe, the tribe agreed to pay $4.2 million for PACs, primarily designated to GOP officeholders. But, the tribe was unaware the pair had been instrumental in behind-the–scenes efforts to shut down their Speaking Rock Casino which closed in 2002.
The Casino, which had been in operation for 10 years, had been closed by a federal count ruling that gambling, except for the lottery, was illegal in Texas. So, it is ironic that part of the money deal from the Tigua tribe instructed Abramoff and Scanlon to muster support for legislation that would allow the tribe to reopen their casino.
There are other tribes involved in payments for lobbying and public relations to Abramoff and Scanlon:
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Palm Springs - $7.2
million – Casinos at Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, California.
Pueblo Sandia Tribe of New Mexico, Albuquerque - $2.8 million – Sandia Casino.
Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, Kinder - $26.4 million –
Grand Casino Coushatta.
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Philadelphia – $15.9 million – Pearl River Resort, hotels and casinos.
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, Mt. Pleasnat - $10 million – Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.
The Tigua tribe’s list of political contributions was not made public but a copy obtained by The Republic names 79 political committees and specifies the amounts that were sent. The Republic’s scrutiny of thousands of pages of records found no accounting for at least 26 donations ranging from #1,000 to $25,000. Some 49 other contributions listed by the Tiguas were documented as received. The facts for the remaining four are could not be documented.
The missing contributions are now part of an investigation spearheaded by John McCain,(R)AZ, Senate Indian Affairs Committee on what became of the $82 million paid by six North American Indian tribes in lobbying and public relations fees over the past several years.
Some 22 office holders (Senate and House) are listed as receiving contributions from the Tigua Tribe that were never received including - Trent Lott, Republican Senator Majority Leader of Mississippi; House Majority Whip, Roy Blount from Missouri; Senator Jon Kyl and Rep. John Shadegg from Arizona.
According to Senator McCain, Abramoff and Scanlon ‘connived’ to collect huge fees from six Indian tribes with casino interests. His predecessor on the Committee, Republican Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Colorado, a Native American, labeled the activities of the alleged scammers “a story of greed run amok".
This story should send out a warning signal to tribes with casinos – BEWARE, the “con men” are after your money.
NATIVE UNITY - A place for Native American Peoples to solidify their tribes to make a positive impact on the cultural, social, economic and political fabric of American society and a place for non-Natives to better understand the ways of the American Indian.
For news and information on Native American and First Nations actors, go to Annie's site at www.NativeCelebs.com and follow the threads.
Healing Pathways for Native Americans with Breast Cancer.
Prevention Treatment and Recovery on March 25th and 26th at the Radisson City Center - Tucson, 181 W. Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85701.
For more info. or to attend, contact Russ Johnson, Native Solutions - (520)887-4343 for an application form.