Matt Towery

This is not a piece about public opinion.

 It is a very serious report to readers about one of the biggest headlines in the news.

 Instead of my usual analysis of the public mood, let me share some likely new information about the investigation of lobbyist-turned-witness Jack Abramoff, and about the growing scandal over the lobbying of Congress and others on behalf of various casino gambling establishments and Indian tribes.

 Readers of this column may know that InsiderAdvantage, the organization of which I am the head, owns several respected political and governmental on-line news services, including the Southern Political Report, based out of Washington, D.C. I have come across this information through these news channels.

 This new information does little to damage the politicians already hit by the scandal. But it may ultimately explain the power and reach of the players who created the entire situation that some elected officials and others may have come to be involved in.

 Our publications have come to learn that federal officials are aware of, and interested in, the source of the funds that helped build and operate the Tigua Tribe's Speaking Rock Casino in Texas.

 This is the casino that Abramoff and others helped to shut down by allegedly using their considerable political muscle, only to quickly approach the same defeated Indian tribe with a plan called "Operation Open Doors." This plan was allegedly the front to a scheme designed to take millions of dollars in exchange for opening doors to congressional and other political support that could allow the closed casino to reopen.

 The plan failed, leaving the Tigua Indians with no casino. All of this is old news.

 What’s "new news" is an emerging connection of the dots by interested parties. They are starting to ask critical questions about what other powerful entities might have played a role in the rise and fall of the seemingly defrauded Tigua tribe.

 For example, there is reportedly new interest in the activities and communications involving Abramoff and others after their victorious "shuttering" of the Tiguas' casino in Texas and their meetings with Tigua representatives.

 E-mail evidence suggests that both Abramoff and a colleague made trips to Las Vegas during the time they were dealing with the Texas tribe. In fact, one e-mail from Abramoff indicates that he was to visit "Nevada" before traveling to meet with tribal leaders.

 Officials are reportedly focusing on this. After all, there are powerful, deep-pocketed gaming interests in Las Vegas, of course.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery