Abramoff Scandal | Politics

Poarch Creeks sent $550K to Republican causes in Alabama






Headquarters of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Photo from Facebook

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians donated $550,000 to Republican interests in Alabama but the money was funneled through other groups in order to obscure the source of the funds, Politico reported.

The tribe donated $350,000 in 2010 and $200,000 in 2011 to the Republican State Leadership Committee, a national group. The money was redirected to GOP candidates in Alabama who might have been uncomfortable accepting "politically toxic" contributions, according to an internal memo obtained by Politico.

But it's not clear that the scheme was necessary. News reports in Alabama and The New York Times brought up the tribe's donations but there’s “no record that any of the contributions were returned for being ‘politically toxic,’” the internal memo stated.

Incidentally, some of the tribe's money was funneled through a group called Citizens for a Better Alabama, which was previously known as Citizens Against Legalized Lottery, or CALL. According to a report from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff used CALL to obscure donations from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, whose leaders wanted to protect their casino market from the growing Poarch Creek gaming empire.

This year, the Poarch Creek have donated $1 million to political action committees that are supporting Joe Hubbard, a Democrat who is running for state attorney general. His opponent, incumbent Luther Strange, has criticized the arrangement even though his party engaged in the same activity with the tribe's funds.

Get the Story:
Exclusive: Powerhouse GOP group snared in money scheme (Politico 8/4)
GOP group warned Alabama campaign donations could be 'political disaster,' leaked memo shows (AL.Com 8/4)

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