On June 18, 2001, in Washington, D.C., Jack Abramoff, a powerful Washington lobbyist, met with Michael Scanlon, a former congressional communications director, to secretly discuss a partnership centered around a firm known as "Capitol Carnpaign Strategies" (CCS). Their strategy, later labeled as "Gimme Five," was designed to put in $5 million a year to CCS, revenue that was to be secured from several Indian nations that had grown wealthy through gaming operations. Later, the expression "Gimme Five" was understood as entailing major kickbacks to Abramoff from payments made by any of Scanlon's American Indian clients to Scanlon. By late 2004, six Native nations—the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw, the Saginaw Chippewa of Michigan, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of California, the Tigua Indians of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo of El Paso (Texas), and the Pueblo Sandia Tribe of New Mexico had become deeply ensnared in a complicated set of financial arrangements with Abramoff and Scanlon. The Native nations had paid the two men more than $66 million in an effort to gain political influence in Washington, D.C., that would benefit their own nations, sometimes to the outright detriment of other tribal nations.
Copyright © 2010 Oxford University Press. This chapter first appeared in Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity and Religion. Edited by Valenica Martinez-Ebers and Manochehr Dorraj.
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Wilkins, David E. "Measured Sovereignty: The Political Experiences of Indigenous Peoples as Nations and Individuals." In Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity and Religion, edited by Valenica Martinez-Ebers and Manochehr Dorraj, 102-120. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.