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Some Initial Charities Reporting on Abramoff Re-Donation

White-Buffalo-Calf-Woman-1024x768.0.jpgIf you’ve been wondering where the Jack Abramoff money is going as Republicans rush to divest themselves of their ill-gotten gains, the NYTimes has done some initial reporting.

This raises some tough questions for Native American groups who are now scrambling to determine whether they have been somehow tainted by the Abramoff mess. Let’s get something straight up front: Native American groups have the same right as anyone else in this country to donate money to political campaigns that they feel represent their interests. That goes for Democrats and Republicans alike.

Donations directly from specific tribal groups are not only proper, but it’s just like the National Chamber of Commerce or the UAW or any other specific, targeted group that is trying to advance the interests of its members. It is the illegal scamming of the money and then the bribing of officials that Abramoff and his cronies did that is illegal.

It would be a shame if the Native American groups who were taken advantage of by the KStreet project were then shut out of the process by skittish politicians who were too afraid to explain the difference to their constituents. And even more of a shame if these groups who have already had to deal with Abramoff not doing the work he promised for them then being shut out of the very process in which they were trying to get a voice in the first place.

(Painting found on a wonderful site called First People. Some gorgeous artwork and a good resource for Native American cultural information. Fun place for exploration if you are interested.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com