To the editor:
I find the Haskell "Action plan" editorial well-meant, but uninformed.
The writer acts as if gaming is a well-rounded success. Thanks to obstructionist state's rights, Republican legislatures and governors, it isn't. Tribes in Kansas with gaming interests are being used as negotiating pawns by both Republicans and Democrats in Kansas.
Tribes in Oklahoma with Class II gaming are being threatened with the Johnson Act by the Bush justice department. This act could cut into tribal earnings on Class II gaming, and allow all states to further attack tribal sovereignty. Tribes in California and Minnesota are dealing with compact blackmail on gaming agreements with the Republican governors of these states. Top all of this with the lobbying scandal of Tom Delay, Jack Scanlon and Sidney Abramov, who bilked almost $80 million in lobbying "fees?" from seven gaming tribes. Ah, the price of pretending to have a political voice with a Republican government in a "democracy?"
The irony is that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was initiated during the Reagan administration to help tribes with economic self-development. This act wasn't passed to help financially inept Republican state legislatures.
Who's attacked tribal gaming? The very Republicans who initiated the legalization of tribal gaming in the first place. Crime is supposed to be happening near tribal gaming facilities, as Republicans assert.
However, the real crime is the underfunding of treaty-supported tribal education for previous land cessions and the $27 billion mismanagement of tribal trust funds alleged in the Cobell v. Norton lawsuit.