Friday, April 13, 2012

Susan Bradford: Indian Country Today Lobbying Arm of Oneida Nation

Our friend Susan Brandford has a story up on her website about ICT. She's not too enthralled about how they flavor their articles. Of course, we've seen that with Pechanga Chairman Macarro's cousin's site Pechanga.net, which has spiked some bad news about tribal issues in the past.

In recent months, Indian Country Today has taken to reporting blatant untruths about Republican superlobbyist Jack Abramoff while serving a useful public relations service for his tormenter, lobbyist Tom Rodgersof Carlyle Consulting who coached witnesses to lie in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on behalf of tribal casino interests. The ensuing federal corruption probe may well have been more compromised than that which downed Sen. Ted Stevens’ career.

In addition to uncritically parroting Rodgers’ false narrative about Abramoff, which contradicts supporting evidence, witness testimony, and paperwork, the newspaper produced a glowing article about an empathy scholarship Rodgers launched in an apparent effort to rehabilitate this lobbyist’s image.

Recently, Rodgers attempted to ambush and embarrass Abramoff at a National Press Club event in Washington, DC. At that event, Rodgers was flanked by representatives of the Oneida Nation and Mark Razenberger, a reporter for the Morning Sun, which reiterated the falsehoods purported by Bernie Sprague, a Rodgers-coached witness who appeared in the hearings.

At that event, Rodgers read a long, meandering statement in which he accused Abramoff on being corrupt since he paid reporters to write about conservative policies they supported. Indian Country Today reported that the audience “gasped” in horror (I was at the event, and the audience neither gasped nor was horrified) at Abramoff’s disclosure that he woud have loved to have owned his own newspaper.

What Rodgers failed to disclose is that the newspaper running factually inaccurate, slanderous articles against Abramoff and glowing reviews of himself is owned by Oneida Nations Enterprises, a business arm of the Onedia Nation, a client Carlyle Consulting represents alongside Akin Gump, a firm affiliated with Sen. John McCain which pushed the false narrative against Abramoff.

Among the Akin Gump lobbyists representing the tribe are Michael Rossetti, an attorney for Secretary of Interior Gale Norton who testified against Deputy Secretary Stephen Griles in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

In 2011, Oneida Nation paid Akin Gump and Carlyle Consulting $300,000 and $150,000 in lobbying fees respectively.

Susan Bradford is the author of Lynched! The Shocking Story of How the Political Establishment Manufactured a Scandal to Have Republican Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff Removed from Power.

© 2012 Susan Bradford

Oneida Nation Lobbying Fees for 2011

Oneida Indian Nation’s connection to Indian Country Today:
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