Wealthy U.S. Band Buying Political Support

Thursday, November 16, 2006 at 10:22



An official with Mississippi’s Choctaw band says political lobbying is a main reason behind his band’s success.


Charlie Benn told delegates at an economic development conference in Prince Albert earlier this week that his band spends $1 million in payments every year to well-connected lawyers and former aides of American senators.


He says they do it for strategic reasons. To begin with, Benn says they want to head off any political or regulatory disasters ahead of time. As well, he says they need to let those in power know what they want to see happen.


Benn says the Choctaw also make sure they follow the rules of their own constitution when faced with difficult choices, and it’s paid off as the band has become the richest in the U.S.


Benn adds his band is not without problems, but business ventures have been the reason for its success.