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Abramoff scandal not slowing Choctaws down

Getting caught up in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal hasn't slowed the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians down. In Washington, D.C., the tribe is as active as ever.

The Choctaws were the first tribal client of Abramoff's. After defending him at first, they fired him last year and have hired three of his former associates -- including one who refused to testify before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

According to Senate records, the tribe hired Kevin A. Ring [Bio], Neil G. Volz [Bio] and Edward P. Ayoob [Bio] at the [Registration]. Barnes & Thornburg. The tribe paid Barnes and Thornburg $200,000 in the first half of the year, The Hill newspaper reports [More Records].

The tribe's clout showed in the recent of Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill, the paper says. A rider allows the tribe to obtain funds for an Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian program not previously open to tribes in the 48 states. Some lawmakers called it pork, or an earmark, but the tribe's supporters didn't have a problem with the provision.

Get the Story:
Even without Abramoff, Choctaws still have clout (The Hill 11/22)

Relevant Links:
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians - http://www.choctaw.org

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