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McCain wants to know whether tribe behind donation

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has added a $500,000 Republican donation to his investigation of high lobbying and public relations fees paid by tribes.

The Republican Governors Association reported the donation as its largest in 2002. It came from Michael Scanlon, a public relations executive who, along with Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, received $45 million in fees from four tribes. McCain wants to know whether tribal gaming interests were behind the donation.

According to The Washington Post, the RGA received two $250,000 contributions from Scanlon's Capitol Campaign Strategies firm in October 2002. During that same month, the RGA gave money to the Alabama Republican Party and to Bob Riley, who opposes the expansion of gaming and won the election.

One of the Scanlon/Abramoff clients is the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, whose casino is near the Alabama border. In Alabama, The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is trying to start Class III gaming.

Get the Story:
Probe to Include GOP Donations (The Washington Post 5/18)
Casino consultant donated to PAC that helped Riley (The Birmingham News 5/5)
Editorial: Did Riley get support from Indian casino money? (The Birmingham News 5/7)

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