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Trail of gambling cash leads to Republicans, even Bush

President Bush has accepted $470,000 from gambling interests even though he said he would not take money from them and spoke out against gaming as governor of Texas and during his 2000 campaign, The Boston Globe reports.

''Casino gambling is not OK. It has ruined the lives of too many adults, and it can do the same thing to our children," he once said in Texas, paper reports.

But since taking control of the White House, Bush hasn't said anything about gaming. According to a spokesperson, this is because gaming "'is primarily a state-level issue, and his record as governor reflects that."

Bush's acceptance of gambling money is also not a contradiction of his policy, the spokesperson said, because he ''does not accept contributions from gaming PACs. Individuals have the right to express their own opinions and their own views." Bush's inaugural committee in 2001 took $300,000 from gaming interests as well.

Republicans with close ties to Bush have taken millions from gambling interests. Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist are being scrutinized for money they accepted from gaming tribes that was used to fight other tribes. Reed ran Bush's campaign in the Southeast. Norquist arranged for tribes who donated to his GOP group to meet Bush at the White House.

Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a Bush fundraiser, also took millions from gaming tribes, but Bush "does not know him," the White House spokesperson said.

Get the Story:
Gambling, GOP politics intertwine (The Boston Gobe 6/3)

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