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Politics
Bush strategist claims no knowledge of funds


A Republican strategist for President George W. Bush says he had no "direct knowledge" that two Washington lobbyists paying him were working for tribes with casinos.

Ralph Reed, former head of the anti-gaming Christian Coalition, admits taking more than $1 million from lobbyist Jack Abramoff and public relations executive Michael Scanlon. Reed used the money to help a group called the Committee Against Gambling Expansion.

The committee was really a front for the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana. The tribe was fighting the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, another Louisiana tribe that wants a casino.

Reed says he ended his relationship with Abramoff and Scanlon more than two years ago. He is now the Southeastern regional chairman for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold a hearing next month on the lobbying activities of Abramoff and Scanlon, who took at least $45 million from four tribes, including the Coushattas.

Get the Story:
Ralph Reed firm works with gambling lobby (AP 8/31)

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