Campaign 2010

Jun 23, 2004

Quid Pro Pombo

Big smelly mess:

Five months after becoming chairman of the House Resources Committee last year, Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, created a political action committee that’s raised money from Indian tribes, gaming ventures, agricultural interests and other groups with issues under his committee’s jurisdiction, federal reports show.



At least eight tribes and tribal lobbyists gave the maximum of $5,000 each, including Jack Abramoff, who resigned in March from Miami’s Greenberg Traurig law firm after news reports of enormous fees he collected from tribes. The Barona Band of Mission Indians, a San Diego tribe, gave Pombo $10,000 by donating $5,000 before the California primary in March and $5,000 in the general election.



The House Resources Committee is the one House committee with oversight over tribal issues. It doesn’t directly oversee casino gambling but has jurisdiction over the Indian tribes that are increasingly competing for the gambling market.

Abramoff, you say?


The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs acted Wednesday to intensify its probe of what happened to more than $45 million paid over three years to lobbying and public relations firms by four casino-owning Indian tribes.



The tribes were clients of public relations expert Michael Scanlon, former communications director for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), and Jack Abramoff, a prominent Republican fund-raiser and lobbyist who resigned from the Greenberg Traurig law and lobbying firm after news of the dealings with the tribes emerged.

Can you imagine what would be happening if Republicans weren’t in charge of all of these investigations?

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