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Editorial: Who do you work for, Senator Burns?

"Sen. Conrad Burns is in the spotlight this week after the Washington Post reported the Montana Republican helped funnel to a wealthy Indian tribe in Michigan $3 million from a federal program intended to help rebuild rundown Indian schools.

Our first question was what's a member of Montana's three-person congressional delegation doing milking $3 million out of the government - that is, taxpayers - for people in Michigan, a state with two senators and 15 congressmen? Can't they do their own heavy lifting?

We're not naive. We know Congress works on a you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours basis. So Burns does his pals from Michigan a favor. Maybe he picks up a few chits he can call in sometime on our behalf.

But we're not naive enough to believe that Abramoff's contributions and his staff-swapping with Burns aren't a factor in this matter. Say what you will about the senator, he certainly knows who's writing $137,000 worth of checks for his political committee - and why. Clients don't pay lobbyists out of charity, and lobbyists don't contribute to politicians out of altruism."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Remember for whom you work, Sen. Burns (The Missoulian 3/4)

Relevant Links:
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe -
Saginaw Chippewa Voices -

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