Ala. group says donations not from casinos

July 2, 2005 at 8:15 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 2 (UPI) -- The Christian Coalition of Alabama has decided that money contributed to an anti-casino drive by an Indian tribe did not come from gambling revenues.

The money, more than $2 million, was donated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaws through Ralph Reed, a founder of the Christian Coalition and a conservative lobbyist who is running for lieutenant governor of Georgia.

While the Choctaws clearly wanted to avoid competition for their casino in Mississippi, the Alabama group said their donation was not from their casino revenues.

"A U.S. Senate committee hearing and an inquiry by our outside counsel both confirm that none of the contributions to our organization came from gambling revenues," the group said in a letter to Reed, thanking him for his efforts to oppose legal gambling.

The money was funneled to the coalition through conservative activist Grover Norquist's organization Americans for Tax Reform. The Christian Coalition of Alabama said that was irrelevant, since the group has no policy against accepting contributions from groups that have gambling revenue, as long as the money comes from other sources.

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