Opinion: Lobbyists divert tribal money to energy initiatives

"Much attention has been given to Abramoff’s alleged high fees since he charged his tribal clients $150,000 a month for his team at Greenberg Traurig to represent them even though other firms, like Akin Gump, billed tribes, like the Gila River Indian Community, in excess of $180,000 per month.

Consider, for example, that while Sen. John McCain’s hearings on Abramoff’s tribal lobbying were raging on, Akin Gump was paid $2,180,000 in lobbying fees. Among its current representatives is former Secretary of Interior Gale Norton’s counsel, Michael Rossetti, who testified against Deputy Secretary Steven Griles in those hearings.

It appears that key actors among Abramoff’s tribal clients, particularly those associated with the fictitious Indian power coalition within the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan which represent the interests of the industrialists and oil companies, had set their sights on investing the tribe’s money in Green energy initiatives."

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Special Interests Wanted Abramoff Money Invested Elsewhere (Susan Bradford 3/11)

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