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Opinion
Editorial: Actions of tribal lobbyists 'loathsome'


"'IS LIFE GREAT or what!!!'

Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff dashed off that exuberant e-mail to his business partner, public relations consultant Michael Scanlon, on Feb. 19, 2002. The two men were angling to get hired by the Tigua Indian tribe, whose casino had just been shut down by the state of Texas, and Mr. Abramoff was responding to an e-mail about a report in the El Paso paper that 450 casino employees had lost their jobs.

Whether or not life was great for Messrs. Abramoff and Scanlon, it was certainly lucrative: Overall, they collected at least $50 million from Indian tribes that operate casinos and sought the pair's help to stay in business. Although the Tigua never got their $60 million-a-year casino reopened, they shelled out $4.2 million to Mr. Scanlon's firm -- as part of a lobbying plan called 'Operation Open Doors.' Another piece of the door-opening? The tribe, Mr. Abramoff advised, 'will have to make approximately $300,000 in federal political contributions.'"

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribal Trickery (The Washington Post 9/28)
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