Government Relations & Legislative Experience

We provide legislative consulting, political analysis, and direct lobbying, both on the state and federal level, often through our partner firm, Legi\X Company. Legi\X was created in 1997 to provide political support to tribes, since so much of what affects Indian Country is dictated by national events, and most major decisions about gaming and tribal sovereignty are made in Washington, D.C. or, to some degree, in the state legislatures. Legi\X produces timely Updates on legislative, political, and legal developments of interest to Indian Country and provides these Updates to our clients and staff on Capitol Hill.

We believe tribes cannot really afford not to have a voice on such critical issues as gaming, tribal taxation, tribal-federal jurisdictional issues, appropriations, and the like. A tribe’s options are directly affected by what happens in political circles, and legal expertise is less valuable without a practical knowledge about and understanding of the impact of the political process.
Just a few examples of our successes in Washington, D.C. on tribal issues include:

  • assisting a Pueblo regain part of its ancestral lands through a legislated negotiation;
  • assisting a tribal college obtain state, federal, and private funding for building its new advanced technology center;
  • monitoring legislation to allow a Pueblo to invest its trust funds with a private investment firm, rather than BIA;
  • lobbying in the New Mexico State Legislature to defeat anti–Indian racetrack expansion legislation;
  • assisting in securing additional funding for Indian housing;
  • lobbying in the New Mexico State Legislature to defeat anti-Indian cigarette and gasoline tax legislation;
  • negotiating for gaming tribes on compact issues on both the national and local level, resulting in new compacts with the state;
  • lobbying for amendments to improve and reauthorize NAHASDA;
  • successfully arguing against the BIA position requiring officers to recuse themselves solely on the basis of tribal membership (BIA will now require recusals only in cases where personal financial interests exists); and
  • helping to defeat the Pombo bill in 2006, which bill sought to restrict the acquisition of lands for tribal gaming.