"Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), acknowledges he got Congress in fall 2003 to press government regulators to decide, after decades of delay, whether the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts deserved federal recognition."
Uh, last I checked, Massachusetts is not in North Dakota. It's not Sioux or other High Plains tribes.
What it is, though, is a New England tribe with gaming interests. In fact, the tribe was trying to get federal recognition to pursue a casino at the very time Dorgan got Abramoff money, as this Cape Cod Times story says.
And the AP story makes clear the tribe appreciated Dorgan's help:
But the Mashpee say the lobbying paid off because Dorgan's provision prompted Interior to speed its decision-making process. The tribe credits Dorgan and one of his colleagues, Sen. Conrad Burns (news, bio, voting record), R-Mont., another frequent recipient of Abramoff tribal donations, for the provision.
"Both Senator Burns and Senator Dorgan were helpful," Mashpee spokesman Scott Ferson said.
So, yes, let's be like Phoenix Woman over at Daily Kos and all give ourselves a pat on the back for proving the AP wrong.
Or, let's take a realistic approach and say that, while it certainly appears the Republicans were most tightly connected to Abramoff, it is quite possible one or more Democrats (Reid? -- about who I diaried over there two weeks ago as well as on this blog ) also have at least some degree of dirt on their skirts.