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Federal Recognition
Mashpees call for tribe to cut ties to lobbyists


Some members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts are calling on their leaders to cut ties to two lobbyists who worked with Jack Abramoff.

The tribe hired Abramoff and the Greenberg Traurig firm in 2003 to lobby on federal recognition matters. Two firm associates, Kevin A. Ring and Michael D. Smith, worked for the tribe.

Ring has since joined another firm, Barnes & Thornburg, that continues to represent the tribe. He refused to testify at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing. Smith's new firm, Cornerstone Government Affairs, doesn't work for the tribe, according to Senate records but is representing the Meskwaki Tribe of Iowa.

''It does bother me . . . that our tribal leadership chose not to distance themselves from lobbyists who are in question," Paula Peters, a Mashpee tribal member, told The Boston Globe.

Tribal members met to discuss the lobbyist issue. They say the tribe shouldn't be spending money to make their case, which will be reviewed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in spring 2006.

The tribe paid Greenberg Traurig $50,000 in 2003 but that money came from a gaming developer, The Globe reported. The developer also donated donated $50,000 to Americans for Tax Reform at Abramoff's urging, the paper said.

Get the Story:
Mashpee tribe got Abramoff boost (The Boston Globe 12/21)

Relevant Documents:
Summary of Acknowledgment Cases | R. Lee Fleming Declaration

Only on Indianz.Com:
Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe - http://mashpeewampanoagtribe.com

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