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Ralph Reed played tribes against each other

Republican activist Ralph Reed helped disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff play tribes against each other, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Reed organized campaigns in Texas and Alabama that benefited Abramoff's wealthy gaming tribes. On the other side were tribes that were having legal problems with their gaming operations or wanted to expand.

In Texas, Reed accepted $4.2 million from Abramoff and his partner, Michael Scanlon. The money was used to support the closure of the Tigua Tribe's casino and another owned by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe. Reed said he didn't know the money came from the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, a gaming tribe.

In Alabama, Reed and Abramoff funneled a $1.15 million donation from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a gaming tribe, to two anti-gambling groups who used it to launch a successful campaign against a statewide lottery that would have helped the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who want to expand to Class III gaming.

Reed acknowledges the money came from a gaming tribe but says none of it came from the tribe's casino. But the anti-gambling groups say they wouldn't have taken the money if they had known the source.

The controversy has become an issue as Reed seeks the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Georgia.

Get the Story:
Gaming foes banked on Ralph Reed (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 6/5)

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