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A Prominent Alabama Republican Twice Solicited Funds from Poarch Creek Indian Tribe

Posted on the 02 November 2012 by Rogershuler @RogerShuler

A Prominent Alabama Republican Twice Solicited Funds from Poarch Creek Indian Tribe

Wind Creek Casino in Atmore

A top Alabama Republican twice asked for money from the Poarch Creek Band of Indians (PCI), a tribe that legally operates gaming casinos in the state, according to a report at the Alabama Political Reporter Web site.
State Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston), who was finance chairman for the Alabama Republican Party, visited Poarch Creek headquarters in Atmore to make the requests. Robert McGhee, who serves on the Poarch Creek Tribal Council, makes it clear to reporter Bill Britt that Marsh initiated the transaction. McGhee said Marsh asked for $100,000 on the first visit and $250,000 on the next.
Recent reports show that the Poarch Creeks gave $350,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) in June 2010. Records show that the RSLC gave $850,000 to the Alabama Republican Party for the 2010 election cycle. At least $100,000 of the Poarch Creek gaming funds went from Rob Riley, son of former Governor Bob Riley, to Citizens for a Better Alabama, a group run by Birmingham anti-gambling activist A. Eric Johnston.
Rob Riley and Johnston--along with House Speaker Mike Hubbard, who was chairman of the Alabama GOP at the time--have denied knowing any of the funds came from gambling sources. But Britt's reporting shows that Del Marsh, one of Hubbard's chief lieutenants, asked the Poarch Creeks for money--and that means Riley, Johnston, and Hubbard almost certainly are lying.
From Alabama Political Reporter:
In fact the money given to the Republicans by the PCI was solicited from the PCI in 2010 by the head of finance for the Alabama Republican Party. 
According to Robert McGhee, who serves on the Tribal Council and Governmental Relations for the PCI, Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston) who was then head of finance for ALGOP under then Chairman Mike Hubbard, came to the PCI headquarters in Atmore, Alabama, and requested the contribution. When McGhee was asked if the request for the money came from Del Marsh, he said “Yes,” when asked again McGhee said, “it wasn’t at our request, it was at his [Marsh’s] request.” 
According to McGhee, Marsh made such request on two occasions, asking for $100K on one visit and $250K on the next, “We gave the money in the spirit of bi-partisan support for Alabama government,” said McGhee.

Those close to the Bob Riley administration long have insisted that the former governor's crusade against certain gaming facilities in Alabama was based on moral concerns. But Britt's reporting adds to the growing mound of evidence that indicates Bob Riley and his acolytes were not acting out of any moral objection to gambling; they were soliciting funds from one gambling source, Indian tribes, to fight gaming at non-Indian facilities.
In other words, the Riley crusade was all about money and not at all about morals. We will let Bill Britt have the last word:
The GOP has publicly stood firm against gambling in Alabama and yet they have asked for money from the Poarch Creek Band of Indians. 
Mike Hubbard has said he did not know of any money from the PCI going to fund campaigns in Alabama during the 2010. This seems harder to believe since Hubbard's second-in-command, Marsh, personally asked and receive PCI funds according to the tribe. 
There seems to be a lot more going on during the 2010 takeover by the GOP than just wanting to clean up Montgomery from gaming money.

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