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Abramoff Scandal
Bush backs Sen. Burns at Washington fundraiser


President Bush campaigned for embattled Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Montana) at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser where guests paid up to $10,000 to attend.

Bush said he was "proud to stand by" a man who has been accused of doing Jack Abramoff's bidding. As chairman of the Senate Interior Appropriations subcommittee, which handles all Indian funding, Burns directed millions to one of Abramoff's wealthy clients, bypassing tribes who needed money to fix their ailing schools.

"They tell us to all stand in line and take our turn," Betty Cooper, a council member for the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, told National Public Radio. "[Burns] didn't look to us when it was our turn. We were next on the list to get our facility when he put this money to this Michigan tribe."

Burns denies any wrongdoing and has accused Abramoff of "ripping off" tribes. But his support among some Republicans in Montana has weakened, with a state senator jumping into the primary race.

Montana has seven federally recognized tribes and one tribe, the Little Shell Chippewa, awaiting recognition.

Get the Story:
Bush says he's proud to stand by Burns (AP 3/28)
Sen. Burns Scrutinized for Earmark Tied to Abramoff (National Public Radio 3/27)
GOP sticks with Burns as high-profile lawmaker enters race (AP 3/27)
Rehberg says voters will 'see through' attacks on Burns (AP 3/28)
Bush gives Burns a boost at fundraiser (The Great Falls Tribune 3/28)

Vanity Fair:
Washington's Invisible Man (April 2006)

Relevant Links:
Conrad Burns for Senate - http://www.conradburns.com
Sen. Conrad Burns - http://burns.senate.gov
Montana Republican Party - http://www.mtgop.org
Montana Democratic Party - http://www.montanademocrats.org

Related Stories:
Sen. Burns faces Republican primary challenge (3/22)
DOJ examined financial records of Sen. Burns, staffers (3/14)
Abramoff boasts of favors received from Sen. Burns (3/9)
Abramoff not slowing down Burns, DeLay or Ney (3/3)
Abramoff scandal a campaign issue for Sen. Burns (3/1)
Montana Democrats air new Burns-Abramoff ad (01/31)
Sen. Burns ad says Abramoff 'ripped off' tribes (1/25)
Chippewa Cree leaders want to take Abramoff cash (1/25)
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Sen. Burns having a hard time shaking Abramoff (1/23)
Sen. Burns won't hold birthday bash at lobbying firm (1/20)
Editorial: Burns should take lead on lobbying reform (1/20)
Jodi Rave: Burns to celebrate birthday with lobbyists (1/19)
Sen. Burns to recycle Abramoff donations again (1/19)
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Former Burns staffer confirms investigation by DOJ (1/18)
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Ex-Abramoff associate pleads guilty in Montana (12/21)
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Ex-Abramoff associate charged in Montana for poaching (08/19)
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