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Politics
Politicians mum on reasons for taking Indian money


Arizona tribes have donated $4.6 million to national politicians in the past six years, The East Valley Tribune reports.

The spending is part of a nationwide increase in tribal giving. In the last 10 years, tribes have donated about $26.7 million to federal campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Yet The Tribune couldn't get any of the politicians from Arizona to talk on the record about the money they have taken from tribes. Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R) answered a few questions after being "cornered" at an event "but then said he had to leave and did not answer requests for an interview to discuss his tribal donations in detail," the paper reported.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R) refused to talk about it, the paper said. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) didn't return repeated calls.

The only politicians who would go on the record were ones who don't even accept money from tribes. �I don�t begrudge [tribes] for what they�re doing,� Rep. Jeff Flake (R) told the paper. "We create the laws and we create these loopholes, and I don�t begrudge anybody for using them."

Get the Story:
What Indian money buys (The East Valley Tribune 10/22)

Hans von Spakovsky Statement:
Tribal Political Contributions (February 8, 2006)

FEC Advisory:
Indian Tribes (February 2, 2006)

Federal Elections Commission Opinions:
Advisory Opinion 1999-32 (January 28, 2000) | Advisory Opinion 2000-05 (May 15, 2000) | Advisory Opinion 2005-01 (March 14, 2005)

More Advisory Opinion 2005-01 Documents:
Advisory Opinion Draft A and Draft B | Tribe's Request for Advisory Opinion

Relevant Links:
Federal Election Commission - http://www.fec.gov
PoliticalMoneyLine - http://www.politicalmoneyline.com
Center for Responsive Politics - http://www.opensecrets.org

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