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ever, with the next $300,000 transfer. Or so Abramoff thought. He followed with an e-mail to Reed complaining that “grover kept another $25K!” Norquist, Reed, and Abramoff trace their political history back to the national College Republicans, where each of them served as director \(as did Amy Republicans intern for Abramoff, who provided him a couch to sleep on in his D.C. apartment. They are still associates, still collegial, still Republican. And it was Reed who brought the three together on Abramoff’s Indian lobbying project. In November 1999 Reed wrote to Abramoff: “Hey, now that I’m done with the electoral politics, I need to start humping in corporate accounts! I’m counting on you to help me with some contacts. Have you talked to Grover since the Newt development. [sic] I’m afraid he took a hit on the consulting side with that since much of it was Newt maintenance. . Norquist is a secular Republican with no religious reservations about gambling money. He was a useful middleman for Reed, who couldn’t take money directly from gambling interests and was eager to use ATR as a conduit. In e-mails Reed and Abramoff repeatedly discuss using ATR to move money. Approximately $850,000 out of the $1.5 million ATR received from Abramoff’s clients was forwarded to the Alabama Christian Coalition and then to Reed’s Century Strategies consulting firm. Another $300,000 went to another antigambling group in Alabama. Like Reed, the Alabama Christian Coalition never accepts money from gambling interests. E-mails between Reed and Abramoff establish that Reed knew he was being paid with Choctaw money. He did not, however, inform the Christian Coalition of the source of the $850,000 he re-routed through ATR. After the Globe reported the source of the money, Reed admitted he was paid by the Choctaws. But he insists he was paid only from non-gambling enterprises owned by the tribe. The Christian Coalition hired a Terre Haute, Indiana, law firm to conduct an independent investigation and was assured that none of the money it received from the Choctaws, via Abramoff, Reed, and ATR was derived from gambling at the Choctaws’ Mississippi casino. For the record, the Choctaws own the largest casino resort in the South. Americans for Tax Reform continued to work the Indian revenue stream, asking through Abramoff for $25,000 sponsorships to bring tribal leaders to the White House. In September of 2002, for example, Abramoff e-mailed the Saginaw Chippewa political director to ask for money for two seats at the ATR White House event. “grover is really pressing me for the names of the tribes,” Abramoff said. Grover continued pressing until 2004. There is no indication that the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will conduct a public hearing involving Norquist or Reed. There is still time. The Coushattas will tell their story at a final meeting expected in October, said a tribal leader. If properly told it will include another account of Abramoff and Scanlon using Indian money to bankroll the Republican Party. The hearing could provide a final opportunity to ask about the $150,000 the tribe contributed to CREA. There are other Coushatta contributions worthy of the committee’s attention. Tom DeLay’s ARMPAC received $45,000, though Abramoff requested the tribe divert $25,000 of it to Sixty Plus, an industry-funded advocacy group established to counter the work of the American Association of Retired directed $10,000 originally contributed to DeLay’s Texas PAC, TRMPAC, to America 21, a Tennessee Christian PAC supporting “Godly Candidates” and home-schooling, opposing abortion and the “Social Security Ponzi scheme.” America 21 is directed by former Idaho Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, who always seems to make the list, got $25,000. This accounting is very partial and based on documents obtained by the Observer. The committee has subpoena power. While the Abramoff-Scanlon-ReedNorquist story is big, the committee’s time limited, and Chairman McCain’s resolve questionable, it might still be worthwhile to explore one of the more perverse aspects of this sad account of lobbyists plundering Indian tribes. In 2003, when Abramoff and Scanlon had tapped out their Indian sources and were desperate for more money, they conceived of “The Tigua Elder Legacy Program.” As previously reported in the Observer, Abramoff planned to purchase term life insurance on Tigua elders and collect the death benefits as they died. It was an imaginative idea by which the deaths of tribal elders would pay for lobbying services for those left behind. It was also more than the Tigua Tribal Council could stomach. In the summer before his Indian lobbying enterprise collapsed, Abramoff found another niche market to which the evangelical Reed could connect him: dying African-American Christians. If Reed could, as he promised Abramoff in an e-mail, deliver 85,000 Christian voters,” Abramoff must have assumed he could deliver enough dying black Christians to create a new revenue stream. In July 2003, Abramoff emailed Reed regarding “Black Churches Insurance program.” “Per our previous discussion. Let me know how we can move forward to chat with folks who can set this up with African American elders. It can be huge.” Reed replied that it looked interesting and urged that they meet in D.C. as a next step. A futures market that commodifies the waning lives of elder Black Christians. Who says this isn’t a great country? Lou Dubose is a former Observer editor who began following Jack Abramoff, Mike Scanlon, and Tom DeLay two years ago while writing with Jan Reid the Public Affairs book The Hammer: Tom DeLay, God, Money and the Rise of the Republican Congress. This story was funded in part with a grant from the Fund for Constitutional Government, a publicly supported, charitable, nonprofit corporation established in 1974 to expose and correct corruption in the federal government. AUGUST 26, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19