Lobbyists spar over unrecognized tribe

Two prominent Washington lobbying firms are representing rival factions of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians.

On one side is David Belardes and a Texas firm called Hard Count. Their lobbyist is Barbour Griffith & Rogers, a Republican-heavy firm with ties to the Bush administration and a firm that recently represented anti-recognition foes in Connecticut.

On the other side is Anthony Rivera, whose lobbyist is Paul Moorehead of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Moorehead was the Republican chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Belardes and Rivera both claim to control the Juaneno Band. Whoever is in charge could land a lucrative casino near Los Angeles.

But both sides are still waiting on the Bureau of Indian Affairs for an answer. The agency is supposedly in the final stages of reviewing the rival Juaneno petitions.

Get the Story:
American Indian group gets cheap lobbying (The Politico 9/19)

Indian Country Today Series:
Part 1 | Part 2

$rl Barbour Griffith & Rogers - http://www.bgrdc.com
Drinker Biddle & Reath - http://www.drinkerbiddle.com
Juaneno Band of Mission Indians, Site 1 - http://www.juaneno.com
Juaneno Band of Mission Indians, Site 2 - http://www.juanenoindians.com