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Pueblo governor says $1M fee to PR firm not worth it
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Count Sandia Pueblo in New Mexico as one of those disappointed with the services of a public relations firm linked to big-time lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who officially resigned from the Greenberg Traurig firm today.

Pueblo Gov. Stuwart Paisano said his tribe hired Michael Scanlon's public relations firm at the recommendation of Abramoff. But he said the $1 million fee to Capital Campaign Strategies wasn't worth it.

"I think the end result of what we got definitely, in my opinion, did not justify the fee that we paid," Paisano told The Albuquerque Tribune.

Abramoff and Scanlon have ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas). Senate aides said Sandia Pueblo didn't need their services to get a land-claim settlement through Congress.

Four tribes alone have spent $45 million on Abramoff and Scanlon. Paisano said he was "shocked" to read about these high fees, which have been questioned by new leadership of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan. Sandia Pueblo pays $300,000 a year to Greenberg Traurig.

The firm said Abramoff stepped down after he "disclosed to the firm for the first time personal transactions and related conduct which are unacceptable to the firm,' according to a statement provided to The Washington Post. The firm said it is conducting an internal investigation into Abramoff's dealings.

Meanwhile, a Congressional aide said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "is committed to going forward with the investigation" of the high lobbying and public relations fees that tribes have paid. According to The Washington Post, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is conducting an investigation.

Get the Story:
$1 MILLION FOR PR FIRM (The Albuquerque Tribune 3/2)
Indian Gaming Tribe Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Resigns (The Washington Post 3/3)

Relevant Links:
Greenberg Traurig - http://www.gtlaw.com

Related Stories:
McCain calls for investigation into tribal spending (2/27)
Four tribes spent $45M on lobbying and PR firms (2/23)
GOP lobbyist scores big with tribes (04/03)
Embattled tribe gets has new lobbyist (12/13)

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