Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Indian Casino Money and Political Corruption

In the U.S.A., casinos run by Indian tribes often profit from a monopoly -- a monopoly granted and protected by government.

The Indian tribes have more than an ordinary interest in influencing politicians, so they try to protect their interest by giving part of their casino profits to politicians.

This situation invites corruption of our legislative process.

According to The Seattle Times, the tribes might not be able to give so generously in the future, if a bill introduced in Congress is enacted. They would instead be treated much like corporations:

Fallout from the Abramoff controversy has prompted a House bill that would bar tribes from making campaign donations directly from casino revenues, by far the largest source of money for many tribes.

The bill would make tribes follow the same political-donor rules as corporations, which are banned from giving their revenues directly to campaigns.

"With a group that has so much business before Congress that they even have their own congressional committee, they need to have the same rules as we do," said Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president of the National Association of Convenience Stores, which has clashed with tribes over tax policy on gasoline and cigarettes sold on tribal lands.

"They shouldn't have undue influence."

The Abramoff case may engender some needed reform.

As has been said for ages: "It is an yll wynde that blowth no man to good." -- John Heywood (c.1497-1580)


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