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Abramoff Scandal
Rep. Doolittle thought Abramoff did a great job for tribes

Rep. John Doolittle (R-California) thought Jack Abramoff was a "very effective lobbyist" for tribes until he learned details of the confessed felon's scam, according to an interview with The Roseville Press-Tribune.

Doolittle said Michael Scanlon, a public relations consultant in cahoots with Abramoff, was charging tribes high fees without providing services. He acknowledges Abramoff took a cut but does not directly criticize his friend and does not question the lobbying he did for the tribes.

Doolittle also defended his decision to public remarks in the Congressional Record [PDF] that praised the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The tribe has gained success through gaming, which Doolittle considers a moral sin.

But Doolittle said the tribe's business savvy deserved recognition. "The history of Indians is a pretty sad history in the United States. Just a lot of social problems. Drug dependency, lack of a good education, lack of opportunities," he told the paper. "The Choctaws were like a shining star for the whole country in their operations they have."

Doolittle has not sponsored any significant legislation to benefit tribes but says he has been interested in tribes because he used to sit on the House Resources Committee. He currently sits on the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee, which handles Indian funding.

Get the Story:
Doolittle offers answers to media questions (The Roseville Press-Tribune 3/1)

Relevant Links:
Rep. John Doolittle -
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians -

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