The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, June 28, 2004

Transcontinental Indian electoral skullduggery?

Paging Bob Novak (January 13)!

Whilst the Republicans have the K Street Project, privatisation and allied machinations (May 20) as their what the French call pompe à finances, the Democrats [1] have the gaming Indians [2].

We've come across the Mashantucket Pequots of Connecticut before [3]; they have used the pure chance of the location of their lands (close to Megalopolis megabucks) to cream a king's ransom from gaming.

Now, I read in the Hartford Courant [4] (June 27) allegations that the Mashantucket Pequots are interfering in the election in - South Dakota:
Organizers of an Indian voter registration campaign say the influential Mashantuckets are blocking their fund-raising efforts, a contention the Pequots deny.

In particular, one Midwest Indian
blasted the Pequots for assuming that the Rapid City-based "Four Directions Committee" was merely a front for the Democrats. Speaking at a meeting at Mohegan Sun, he said the Pequots told Sodak Gaming Inc., a supplier of slot machines based in Rapid City, not to make a $100,000 donation to the campaign. The Pequots are one of Sodak's best customers.

The piece says that the Mashantucket Pequots have been big donors to both parties; but doesn't explain why they should want to stymie voter registration that would benefit Democrats (notably, Tom Daschle, of course).

Clearly, the allegation [5] opens the possibility that Indian gaming is perverting US politics on an altogether bigger scale than I had imagined.

  1. But not only them - I've no evidence that the Indians are generally picky about party where wampum is at stake.

  2. Not all Indians benefit from the gaming bonanza; not all gaming tribes benefit equally from gaming. It's voodoo economics gone even madder. The fickle finger of fate decides which Indian stays on cheap wine and which are upgraded to Dom Pérignon.

  3. On September 13 and October 16 2003.

  4. You'll probably need to go here first.

  5. No idea whether it's true. One suspects that the Courant would have checked their story with more than usual assiduousness: there's the wampum, of course (are gaming Indians big advertisers?); and the racial angle - the Courant got into the anachronistic apology game over slave ads it ran.

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