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Mashpee Wampanoag lobbying paid off in Washington
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tired of waiting for an answer on its federal recognition petition, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts hired lawyers and lobbyists to fight the case, an effort that appears to have paid off.

The tribe hired lawyers who took the Bureau of Indian Affairs to court to force the agency to make a decision on its petition. A federal judge agreed to impose a timeline but when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision in August 2003, the tribe hired lobbyists at Jack Abramoff's firm.

Within two months of bringing on Greenberg Traurig, the tribe saw results. In October 2003, at least seven lawmakers from both parties wrote letters to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, urging her to speed up review of the petition, The Cape Cod Times reported. The same lawmakers received campaign contributions from Abramoff, his associates, the tribe and the tribe's financial backer, the paper said.

Chairman Glenn Marshall has defended the use of lobbyists and says the tribe, unlike others who hired Abramoff, was not defrauded. The BIA is now set to make a preliminary determination on the tribe at the end of March.

Get the Story:
Tribal lobbying produced results (The Cape Cod Times 2/21)

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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