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Column: Abramoff friend linked to Washington team owner

Filed Under: Abramoff Scandal | Opinion | Sports
More on: alabama, dc, football, mascots, poarch creeks, racism, redskins
     
   
Washington Post columnist wonders why Jennifer Farley, a former Bush administration official who worked on tribal issues at the White House, ended up arranging a meeting between the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington professional football team:
The latest can’t-make-this-stuff-up development was reported last week, in part, by USA Today, which noted that Snyder visited the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Atmore, Ala., last Tuesday. According to the tribe’s treasurer, Robert McGhee, the meeting was arranged by lobbyist Jennifer Farley and the topic of the team name never came up. “I thought the whole meeting was odd,” McGhee told USA Today.

And getting odder.

Lobbyist Farley was, a decade ago, working in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, where she served as a liaison to Indian tribes and accepted gifts from Abramoff’s team before the superlobbyist’s fall in a corruption scandal.

A congressional report found that Farley accepted tickets to two Baltimore Orioles games and a Yanni concert from Abramoff’s operation and requested more, using the code word “fruit” for tickets when e-mailing with Abramoff associate Kevin Ring, who was later convicted in the scandal. “Do you have any kind of fruit tonight?” she asked Ring on Dec. 12, 2002.

Farley, who was not prosecuted, didn’t respond to my requests for comment. She refused to testify to House investigators about the Abramoff matter without a grant of immunity. After the White House, she started a lobbying firm and has registered to represent the Miccosukee and the Pascua Yaqui tribes.

Get the Story:
Dana Milbank: Redskins owner Dan Snyder is no moral leader (The Washington Post 11/12)

Another Opinion:
DeWayne Wickham: Redskins' Snyder no misguided good guy (USA Today 11/12)

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Column: Doubting Indian heritage claims of famed football coach (11/7)
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