FBI follows tribe’s money trail

 The Mashpee gave tens of thousands to lobbyist Jack Abramoff and California Rep. Pombo.

The Mashpee Wampanoags, famed for greeting the Pilgrims at Plymouth, will be named a nationally recognized tribe — a designation they sought for 30 years so that they could benefit from federal aid programs.

Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist embroiled in a Washington corruption scandal, and his firm championed the Indians’ cause and pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in tribal money.

And Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy), chairman of the influential House Resources Committee, landed a lucrative source of political donations: the small group of Native Americans whose ancestral lands are about as far from his Northern California district as one can get in the United States. 

I’m guessing the Abramoff investigations, which will go supernova when he starts testifying against former colleagues and friends early in January, will show an interlocking web of corruption and payoffs that go way beyond Indian tribes.