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Burns, Dorgan backed $3M grant for Abramoff client

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Montana) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) used their position on the Senate Interior Appropriations subcommittee to steer a $3 million set aside to a client of Jack Abramoff's even though the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe did not qualify for the money, The Washington Post reports.

Burns was chairman of the subcommittee when he wrote a letter backing the $3 million for the tribe as part of a school demonstration project. Dorgan, as the ranking Democrat, signed on to the letter and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) also spoke in favor of the set aside.

Interior Department officials protested because the wealthy gaming tribe was not qualified under a program meant for poorer tribes with dilapidated schools. But Burns later ensured the tribe received the money, The Post said.

The tribe is one of six that paid an estimated $82 million to Abramoff and his former associate Michael Scanlon in hopes of currying favor with Washington politicians.

Get the Story:
Tribal Grant Is Being Questioned (The Washington Post 3/1)

Relevant Links:
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe -
Saginaw Chippewa Voices -

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