Burns wasn’t the only one: Baucus and Rehburg play, too
In Feb. 2004 I wrote
“In Montana, Senator Max Baucus has accepted at least $48,000 from tribal entities: Tribal governments, Tribal PACs, tribally hired lobbyists, and/or their employees. Senator Conrad Burns has begun to accept funds from some of the same sources, and his staff has stated that Senator Burns will not support any tribally related legislation unless all the tribal governments agree to it. Representative Denny Rehberg has also begun to receive campaign funds from tribal entities.”
Now this –
Tribes’ Donations Since 1999 Top $25M
January 30, 2006, By John Bresnahan, Roll Call Staff
American Indian tribes have donated nearly $26 million to the national parties and individual lawmakers since 1999, outpacing the defense industry ($21.9 million) and manufacturers ($18.9 million).
The data on tribal contributions was assembled by PoliticalMoneyLine.com, which tracked donations from more than 200 tribes.
Tribal donations have been recorded under a variety of names, making them difficult to track. For example, one tribe had 78 variations of its name under which donations were recorded. The tribes, which are recorded as individual donors unburdened by the aggregate limits faced by normal contributors, also are not required to report their donations to the Federal Election Commission as do political action committees.
As the scandal surrounding former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff has grown, so has the interest in the political activities of tribal leaders. Abramoff, who pleaded guilty on Jan. 3 to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials, admitted to defrauding tribes for which he lobbied, to the tune of millions of dollars.
Abramoff used political contributions from tribes to enhance his influence. He was able to steer hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from the tribes to certain Senators and House Members, a valuable asset for any lobbyist. Dozens of lawmakers from both parties have now disgorged these donations since Abramoff’s guilty plea.
The biggest recipient among lawmakers of tribal donations over the period that PoliticalMoneyLine.com analyzed was Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), with $510,400. Other leading recipients included: Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), $501,140; Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), $338,100; then-Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), $274,650; Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), $273,000; Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), $266,800; Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), $237,030; Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), $202,046; Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), $192,090; and Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), $169,550.
These totals include hard and soft money given to re-election campaigns and leadership PACs. ”
See John Bresnahan’s article for the the biggest tribal donors …
Read More in Dying in Indian Country ~
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