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McCain begins investigation into high tribal fees
Thursday, March 4, 2004

Through the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has begun an investigation into high lobbying and public relations fees paid by four tribes.

McCain is alarmed that the tribes spent at least $45 million on a lobbyist and PR firm with close ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). The Washington Post reported that the money went to Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, a friend of Abramoff's.

The Greenberg Traurig firm announced yesterday that Abramoff was stepping down. A statement cited "personal transactions and related conduct which are unacceptable to the firm."

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) has given the green light to McCain to go forward with the investigation. Campbell was quoted in Roll Call, a publication specializing in Congress, as saying he would hold hearings if McCain wanted them.

In an editorial, The New York Times welcomes the investigation. "This is such an eye-popping profit that Senator John McCain is planning hearings on what he calls 'disgraceful' suggestions of profiteering. Actually, the tribal contracts, reported by The Washington Post, exemplify the way the Capitol works," the paper says.

Get the Story:
Lobbyist Quits As Firm Probes Work With Tribes (The Washington Post 3/4)
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Lobbyist for Choctaws exits firm; dealings to be probed (The Jackson Clarion-Ledger 3/4)
Lobbyist’s tribal fees questioned (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 3/4)
Editorial: Tom DeLay and the Lobbying Game (The New York Times 3/4)
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Relevant Links:
Greenberg Traurig - http://www.gtlaw.com

Related Stories:
Pueblo governor says $1M fee to PR firm not worth it (3/3)
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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