Lumbee Tribe kills controversial contract with lobbying firm
The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina ended its relationship with a lobbying firm that was hired to push for federal recognition.

The contract with Lewin International drew intense opposition. Critics said it would have derailed the federal recognition bill in Congress and subjected the tribe to huge penalties for not pursuing a casino.

"We appreciate all that the folks at Lewin International have done to help, but unfortunately the contract itself has become a distraction from our mutual efforts to achieve full federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe," Chairman Purnell Swett said in a statement. "We all know that perception is reality up there in Washington. Anything that could take away from our recognition work -- whether real or imagined -- has to be dealt with."

The House passed a bill to recognize the tribe in June 2009. The bill bars the tribe from engaging in gaming under any state or federal law.

The Senate has yet to take action on the bill.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Lumbee Tribe and Lewin International to End Contract (Lumbee Tribe 6/4)
Lumbees scrap contract with tribal consultant (The Fayetteville Observer 6/5)
Lumbee Tribal Council makes cancellation of lobbying pact official (The Fayetteville Observer 6/6)

Lumbee Recognition Bills:
S.1735 | H.R.31 | H.R.839

Related Stories:
Lumbee lobbying contract was negotiated by last chairman (6/4)
Lumbee Tribe won't give up controversial lobbying contract (5/21)
Editorial: Lumbee Tribe should reconsider lobbying contract (5/20)
Lumbee lobbying contract calls for no gambling restrictions (5/18)
Lumbee leaders host meeting to explain lobbying contract (5/11)
Opinion: Lumbee Tribe lobbying contract makes no sense (5/10)
Lumbee Tribe holds meeting to discuss lobbying contract (5/7)
Lumbee group urges chairman to kill recognition contract (4/27)
Editorial: Lumbee leaders gambling with recognition bid (4/19)
Lumbee council fails in vote to rescind lobbying contract (4/16)
Lumbee leaders threatened with recall over lobbying deal (4/13)
Lumbee group plans to discuss contract for recognition bid (4/8)
Editorial: Hope fading fast for Lumbee Tribe's recognition (03/22)
Lumbee Tribe ends relationship with longtime attorney (3/19)
New Lumbee chairman promises to push for recognition (1/15)
Lumbee Tribe chairman aims to boost credibility (11/18)
Lumbee Tribe moves closer to federal recognition (10/23)