27 August 2006 at 10:48:18 AM
Saw that the Alabama-Coshatta Indians are trying to sue some of the principles connected with Abramoff but so far those mentioned in the subpoena have avoided being served. Thought it was worth bringing up AGAIN, that despite what John Cornyn said, it sure looks like he was working with Ralph Reed to close down the tribe's casino.
The AC tribe has an interesting article about why this all might have happened. As I recall, Bush actually, when governor, took away tribal status from the A-C tribe. Why?
Some trace the genesis of the hostility to bad blood with George W. Bush himself. The theory holds that the intense prosecutions are political paybacks for a contribution by the tribe to George W. Bush's opponent in the Texas race for governor of 1998.
Note: That was Gary Mauro
That particular Bush Texas administration initiated the campaign by Attorney General John Cornyn to outlaw the Indian casinos. As Bush moved on to the presidency and people in ascendancy behind him moved up the political ladder, the policy against Texas tribal casinos and their governments continued in stride. In the courts, Cornyn intensely pressed the case to shut them down, while at the Texas Senate, Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff, another Bush follower, reportedly killed the tribes' efforts to formalize their legal reality. It is unavoidable at this juncture to remember the worrisome Bush quote, on the presidential campaign trail (November 1999) that "state sovereignty reigns supreme" over Indian nations, "whether it be gambling or any other issue." Although several aids and allies came to the rescue, stating he didn't really mean what he said, Bush himself has never formally withdrawn the statement.
It's not as if Texas is some purist state that is against gambling. Heck, we tout the dang lottery to fund schools.
Why does the huge state of Texas, which runs a mammoth lottery and multiple gaming institutions grossing .7 billion annually, chose to put the boots to two fledgling tribal operations? In comparison to the state's gaming income, the shutdown Alabama-Coushatta casino, located on the tribe's 2,800-acre reservation, makes only some million per year. At last report, the Tigua casino was making only million a year. For a few short years, this was becoming an income with which to capitalize a people long assailed by and neglected by the state and the federal government. Consider that in 1955, at the height of the federal Termination era, the Alabama-Coushatta reservation was devolved to the State of Texas. All tribes involved were forced to relocate repeatedly throughout their history, yet never lost their cultural identity. For these tribes, it was a very hard-fought battle to achieve any kind of recognition at all, as Texas has contended that it does not have Indian tribes. The denial of the tribe's petition to keep the casino open pending appeal seems vindictive. It tends to destroy the operation, perhaps irrevocably, before the final verdict has been issued on the case.
Did Cornyn act as Bush's stooge for revenge payback? Or, as the emails from Ralph Reed indicated, because of a deal to benefit another state that wanted the lucrative gambling casino business?
But Texas officials said the casino was illegal because the Tiguas were recognized under a federal law that required state approval for gambling. The Tiguas countered that Texas had forfeited its right to oppose Indian gaming because the state already was in the gambling business. Texas was collecting hundreds of millions of dollars annually from a state lottery, with the money boosting education efforts that Bush would eventually highlight in his presidential bid.
The Tiguas even ran an ad that said: ''Dear Governor: Get your own house in order before you pick on Native Americans."
Fearing that Bush would try to shut the casino down, the Tiguas poured tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign of the Democrat running against Bush in 1998, Gary Mauro.
The move may have backfired. After being reelected, Bush redoubled his earlier efforts to shut down the Tigua casino. He arranged for a special appropriation to help cover the cost for the state's attorney general, John Cornyn, now a US senator, to take legal action against the tribe.
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