Native Americans Gain Political Influence

Native American tribes figured prominently in California's gubernatorial recall election. In Washington state in the last election, they contributed more funds than Boeing (search) aircraft company.

Native American influence was also considered pivotal in sending South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson (search ) back to Congress.

Now, some tribes are taking the next logical step and preparing to field their own candidates.

With massive casino profits and the political savvy that comes from lobbying for them, getting Native Americans into office has become the natural next step. Native American groups have started recruitment campaigns and training seminars for political candidates, looking at ways to increase their representation in state and local posts.

But some say the overwhelming influence of casino-owning tribes (search) has stifled debate on gaming matters. And concern has risen over the role of groups that are not bound by tax or campaign financing laws (search).

Click here to view the full report by Fox News' Dan Springer.