indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Update on Senate hearing on lobbying scandal
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing today on the Jack Abramoff/Michael Scanlon lobbying scandal. The hearing, the third so far, focused on the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, one of Abramoff's earliest tribal clients.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the chairman of the committee, read a lengthy statement and said the tribe is not accused of wrongdoing. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the vice chairman, also said the same thing and mentioned Republican activist and Georgia lieutenant governor candidate Ralph Reed three times.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) read a short statement. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) also attended and entered a statement into the record, which he did not read.

The hearing lasted about 2 hours and 45 minutes. There were three panels of witnesses.

The first panel was composed entirely of representatives of the Mississippi Band of Choctaws. They were: Charlie Benn, the tribe's director of administration; Donald Kilgore, the tribe's attorney general; and Nell Rogers, the tribe's planner. They were accompanied by C. Bryant Rogers, the tribe's longtime outside counsel.

The tribal witnesses said Abramoff built up their trust then abused it. They said they had no idea Abramoff and Scanlon were business partners. They admitted to giving millions in "pass-through" donations to other organizations for various efforts, which appeared to be directed at gaming efforts by other tribes, according to documents released by the committee.

The second panel was composed of former associates of Abramoff. Kevin Ring and Shawn Vasel both invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination repeatedly in response to questions from McCain.

The final panel was composed of former associates of Abramoff and Scanlon. They were: Amy Ridenour, a longtime friend of Abramoff who is the director of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative organization that received at least $25,000 in Choctaw funds; Gail Halperin, Abramoff's former tax preparer/advisor; and Brian Mann, David Grosh and Aaron Stetter, former associates of Scanlon.

All of the witnesses on the third panel testified except Mann, who invoked his Fifth Amendment right. Grosh and Stetter did not have any opening statements.

Ridenhour said Abramoff "lied" to her about his dealings with the Choctaws and has not spoken to him since late last year. Halperin said Abramoff recorded $15 million in income from Scanlon in one year alone but that she did not question it.

Grosh said he knew Scanlon from childhood and readily agreed to serve on a questionable "international" organization created by Scanlon because it sounded like a good deal. Stetter said he prepared "phone scripts" for Scanlon that were used to oppose gaming efforts by other tribes and gaming efforts in general.

For In The Hoop's off-color commentary on the hearing, click here.

You can download audio files of the hearing here in case you missed it or would like to listen to it on your computer, iPod or listening device.

All the files are in MP3 format, 56 Kbps (Mono), to keep file size at a minimum without sacrificing too much quality. The files were recorded directly off the Senate website feed at http://indian.senate.gov.

Intro - 28:06 - 11.2MB
Introductory Statements

Panel I - 24:51 - 9:95MB
Panel I Testimony

Q&A - 34:05 - 13.6MB
Panel I Questions and Answers

Panel II - 11:08 - 4.46MB
Panel II

Panel III - 13:20 - 5.34MB
Panel III Testimony

Q&A - 51:12 - 20.5MB
Panel III Questions and Answers

Witness List/Testimony:
Oversight Hearing Before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on the In Re Tribal Lobbying Matters, Et Al (June 22, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians - http://www.choctaw.org

Related Stories:
Mississippi Choctaws at center of lobbying hearing (6/22)
NIGA issues statement on tribal lobbying scandal (6/22)
Another hearing on Abramoff lobbying scandal (06/21)
Reed's story on Tiguas doesn't match Abramoff's (06/20)
Opinion sought on GOP group's use of tribal funds (06/16)
Other tribes attended White House meeting with Bush (06/08)
Two tribes paid $50K to attend White House meeting (06/07)
Miss Choctaws say gaming cash not used to lobby (05/31)
Gaming leads to new concerns about lobbyists (05/26)
Ralph Reed changes story on $1.15M tribal donation (05/20)
GOP group funneled tribal money to anti-gamblers (05/13)
McCain plans to finish hearings on lobbyist scandal (03/21)
FEC ruling separates tribes from their businesses (03/14)
Mississippi Choctaw lawyer referred Abramoff (11/22)
High-priced lobbyist scam linked to lawmakers (11/18)
Choctaw Tribe's lobbying documents kept secret (10/4)
Ex-tribal lobbyists slammed in Senate hearing (9/30)
Busy Indian Affairs Committee hits snag on big issues (06/17)
Indian Affairs Committee activity this week (6/15)
Choctaw chief Martin defends embattled GOP lobbyist (04/09)
McCain pushing Choctaw tribe to cooperate with probe (4/8)
GOP lobbyist scores big with tribes (04/03)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Lakota Country Times: New Oglala Sioux leader encourages youth (1/20)
Native Sun News Today: A new leader for Great Plains tribal group (1/20)
Native Sun News Today Editorial: It's a new era for Indian Country (1/20)
Mark Charles: Decoding Trump's bid to 'Make America Great Again' (1/19)
Lakota Country Times: Another year of big news in Lakota territory (1/19)
Native Sun News Today: DefundDAPL billboard goes up in New York (1/19)
Vi Waln: Let's kick our smoking and tobacco habit in Indian Country (1/19)
Terese Mailhot: Native women care what happens to all our sisters (1/19)
Leonard Peltier remains behind bars as Obama rejects clemency (1/19)
Department of the Army takes the lead on Dakota Access Pipeline (1/18)
Dakota Access executive confirms crude already placed in pipeline (1/18)
Bureau of Indian Affairs releases annual listing of recognized tribes (1/18)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud Sioux Tribe opens homeless shelter (1/18)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne focuses on foster care (1/18)
Brandon Ecoffey: Be safe and be prepared as winter hits the plains (1/18)
Disenrollment epidemic affects dozens of tribes across the nation (1/18)
New battle opens as Dakota Access disputes environmental review (1/17)
Judge declines to block publication of Dakota Access Pipeline notice (1/17)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responds quickly to Dakota Access threat (1/17)
President Obama names first members of Native youth commission (1/17)
Tim Giago: Discovering a love for food at an Indian boarding school (1/17)
Lakota Country Times: Historic decision for Indian Child Welfare Act (1/17)
Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge teams fight it out at the buzzer (1/17)
Delphine Red Shirt: Tournament is a testament to our Native youth (1/17)
Native Sun News Today Editorial: News for ranchers in the new year (1/17)
Gyasi Ross: Let's divest from DAPL and support Native owned banks (1/17)
Jeffrey Ostler/Nick Estes: Treaties and the Dakota Access Pipeline (1/17)
Mary Annette Pember: Bad River Band takes stand on oil pipeline (1/17)
Steve Russell: Resolutions for tribal leaders and even the Donald (1/17)
Craig Tribal Association celebrates 'historic' trust land acquisition (1/16)
Mark Trahant: Congress moves forward with repeal of Obamacare (1/16)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne banker beats the odds (1/16)
James Giago Davies: The real power to defeat the Wasicu pipeline (1/16)
Tiffany Midge: Hollywood needs to stop stereotyping Native people (1/16)
Peter d'Errico: New book connects Native America with Palestine (1/16)
Alaska tribe makes history with approval of trust land application (1/13)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.