Oklahoma Tribes Lobbying More
As reported by the Tulsa World: "State Indians' spending on issues representation has soared since the start of this decade. "Oklahoma's American Indian tribes are scoring political points with a significant increase in spending on federal lobbying. "According to the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records disclosure statistics, 13 of Oklahoma's 38 tribes reported that they paid lobbyists a total of about $1.17 million in 2005. "That's up from five tribes that paid less than $90,000 in 2000 -- at least a 13-fold increase in Indian lobbying in five years. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates the total spending on American Indian lobbying nationwide at $2.2 billion. ".The biggest tribes aren't spending the most money, however. For 2005, the 16,000-member Osage Nation reported spending $380,000 on lobbying while the 38,000-member Chickasaw Nation reported spending $250,000. ".With Indian gaming revenues at a total of $22 billion a year, the tribes' investment in the mechanisms of politics is skyrocketing. "The changing political focus of the tribes comes in part from gaming revenues, but it also has roots in changes made in federal law about 30 years ago, one chief said."
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