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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What did we promise the tribes?

The folks opposing the Wood Village casino ballot measures haven't taken their ads off the television, and that's probably a good idea. The pushers of the casino say they're giving up, but you don't want to be a victim of a rope-a-dope strategy.

One of the ads features Governor Retread, standing on the downtown Portland waterfront and looking positively geriatric. His spiel is one of the more honest pitches that have been heard during the current debate: The private casino would suck business away from the Indian casinos around the state.

The Gov touts the money that the tribes have spent on good deeds over the decades since their gambling palaces have opened, but then he says something that to us is quite curious. Something like "They've kept their promise to us, now let's keep our promise to them."

What did the people of Oregon "promise" to the Indian tribes? That they'd never have any competition? We must have missed that meeting.

And if we did make such a commitment, we have surely broken it with the morphing of the state "lottery" into a full-fledged poker and slot machine operation. About all that's missing from the casinos on every corner are the human dealers, the paper cards, and the dice.

Anyway, we'd like to hear exactly what we promised the tribes, just for future reference.

Comments (18)

Probably not "promises," but more like expectations: Go ahead and make the multi-million investments and you won't have to worry about the lottery and private casinos getting in the way.

I think the main reason Kitz didn't like the casinos is that a new private casino would put lottery revenues at risk and send the state's lottery bonds into default--a default that would have to be covered by the general fund (i.e., money for schools).

What do you mean, "WE"?

""They've kept their promise to us, now let's keep our promise to them."

This is just political rhetoric, designed to trigger the guilt for the ill-treatment of Native Americans from the time Columbus landed until and past the time the last reservation was built. And like Garage Wine, I think Kitzhaber's sole concern is for the lottery revenues, even though he initially opposed those, some long less-cynical time ago, I suppose.

If he really feels some true responsibility of redress to Native American populations, perhaps he can retire from politics and minister medicine on a reservation. I have a brother-in-law (graduated top of his medical school class) who did just that h with his entire working life. One of the smartest doctors I've ever known, too. See and treat everything out there.

I think Garage Wine just nailed it.

Threads drift.

I find it repulsive taht the Governor is trotting out the "...we promised....we have to keep our promises..." mantra in light of the promises he made, under oath, at hois most recent swearing in, to faithfully carry out the laws of Oregon and to defend Oregon's constitution.

Seems to me that if the Governor is so dedicated to keeping promises, he might want to start doing that personally and individually.

Oregon's voters years ago adopted capital punishment. Enshrined it in both the Oregon Constitution and statutes.

Its certainly debateable whether that is good public policy or bad public policy, but like it or not capital punishment is part of Oregon law.

Kitz knew when he ran this time that capital punishment was part of Oregon law, and that he would be expected to carry it out in appropriate cases presented to him by the courts.

Yet Kitz has unilaterally announced that he will not carry out Oregon law. He at best broke the sworn promises he made when sworn in.

I'd have no problem with Kitz working to put another referendum before voters, or working to have the Legislature vote. to abolish capitol punishment. I'd probably support such an effort, if there were serious safeguards for murders in prisons of either guards or fellow inmates.

But this unilateral change by the executive acting aloneis really bad. Kitz attempted something similar with drivers licenses for illegal aliens. It seems that democratic [process and votes are great so long as Kitz's position wins, but are to be ignored when Kitz's position doesn;t prevail.

That kind of view of executive power is seriously dangerous.

And its not confined to just the incumbent Oregon Governor.

"What did the people of Oregon "promise" to the Indian tribes?"

Favors in return for all the generous campaign donations. That and a lunch with Neil G.

Wow. It's not political rhetoric at all. Good grief. He was referring to the tribal-state compact. " Section 3A of the Act includes specific instructions for the process of developing a tribal-state compact. Indian tribes are expected to request a compact with states if they should desire to have Class III gaming. (States have no jurisdiction over Class I and II gambling.) Following such a request, states are required to enter negotiations and deal with the tribes in "good faith". The original text of the act implied that if states tried to "stone-wall" tribal gambling, the tribes could look to the federal courts for support"

"As long as the grass grows, the wind blows, and the sky is blue, and the bonds churn...."

Tribal-State Compacts are declared necessary for any Class III gaming on reservations under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA). A federal law. State run lottery and video poker does not violate Oregon's Tribal-State compact.

"One of the ads features Governor Retread, standing on the downtown Portland waterfront and looking positively geriatric."

I've been reading your blog (and enjoying it) for some time, but this comment really shows that you're quite an a**hole. What does Kitzhaber's age have to do with his position on the casino measure? No doubt you're probably more geriatric than he is, but Christ why the ad hominem attacks?

He looks old. I look old. That's life. At least I didn't call him an a**hole. Nor am I calling you one. Because in your case, I don't need to.

State run lottery and video poker does not violate Oregon's Tribal-State compact.

But a state constitutional amendment allowing private casinos (or a state run live gaming parlor) would?

Mo, it wouldn't.

Each tribe signed their own compact with the state. The Coquill tribe agreement is 149 pages long. I could not find any section prohibiting the state from allowing private casinos in that agreement. I don't know if it's a part of any of the agreements with the other eight tribes.

Under the law, the Governor has the power to refuse to acquiesce to a death penalty. It may not be what Oregon voters have indicated they want, but it is certainly NOT "not carrying out Oregon law". Oregon law gives the Governor the option of not signing a death penalty order. Another one of those pesky 'checks & balances' I guess.

"Wow. It's not political rhetoric at all."

I wouldn't be so sure. The notion that Whiteman broke all his promises, year after year, decade after decade, to American Indians, has a historical resonance. I have heard people cite this specifically.

If Kitzhaber were speaking strictly of a contractual legal requirement I think he would have said that.

Well the compact does state this Amendments.
1. This Compact may be amended if one of the following conditions occur:
Page 46- State of Oregon/Coquille Tribe Gaming Compact - Final (10-1 9-2000) AGS05466
a. The State becomes a party to another Tribal-State Compact that authorizes a tribe
other than the Coquille Tribe of Indians to engage in any Class 111 gaming
activity or scope of gaming activity not permitted under the terms of this
b. One year elapses after the date this amended and restated Compact is approved by
the Secretary of the Interior.
c. The State amends State statute or Constitution to expand the type of Class 111
gaming permitted in the State for any purpose by any person, organization, or entity" So I think the copact could and likely would be amended if a private casino were allowed. I would imagine part of that amendment would mean less payments from the tribe to the state.

"What does Kitzhaber's age have to do with his position on the casino measure?"

Nothing, unless you care about it.

I honestly thought the Retread comment was more troubling. We seem to be recycling all of Neil's disciples into local govt and for all the forward thinking types here (supposedly) we just keep running the same ideas which are centered around maintaining the status quo - That and making sure we never make any changes in our ever efficient public employee deals.

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