Buford Rolin, the former chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Photo © David Gehman
The Alabama Republican Party solicited money from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians even as one of its top candidates has repeatedly criticized the tribe.
The tribe was a "platinum sponsor" of the party's 2013 summer dinner. But rather than put the tribe on the program, the party identified Buford Rolin, who was chairman at the time, as the sponsor, AL.Com reported.
The party also asked the tribe to donate money to a county Republican group. But Bill Armistead, the chairman of the party, is denying that he solicited contributions from the tribe as he faces an internal investigation into the matter. Oddly, he's also claiming Rolin never sent the money as promised.
"It is very troublesome to hear that Bill Armistead, would now attack the credibility of Chairman Rolin, a man of the upmost integrity, by claiming that he did not follow through on a commitment," Sharon Delmar, a spokesperson for the tribe, told AL.Com. "We would hope that is not the case."
The donations are controversial because many Republicans in the state are uncomfortable with the tribe's gaming empire. Attorney General Luther Strange, who is running for re-election, in fact has repeatedly accused the tribe of running an illegal operation.
But the tribe doesn't only donate to Republicans.
So far this year, the tribe has donated $1 million to political action committees that are supporting Strange's rival in the race, Democrat Joe Hubbard.
"He has gotten a check for $1 million from the Indian games casino. One million dollars," Strange told a group of Republican women on Tuesday, AL.Com reported. "Go back and check about who supports Indians gaming casinos. You'll find it's the Obama administration. ... These things are not by accident."
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Poarch Band sends another
$750K to attorney general candidate (05/09)
Poarch Band contributes
$250K to political action committees (3/7)