I have always opposed this project, ever since I started paying attention and heard the thugs surrounding it lie, exaggerate, and just ooze dishonesty.
Now, on top of that, we have the Obama Administration telling the Supreme Court to drop dead.
Carcieri v. Salazar, No. 07-526 (2009), was a recent case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held held that the term "now under Federal jurisdiction" referred only to tribes that were federally recognized when the Indian Reorganization Act became law and the Federal government could not take land into trust for tribes that were recognized after 1934.There was no exception for the Cowlitz, who were not federally recognized in 1934 and, in fact, became federally recognized in 2000.
Leaving aside the horrific damage this project will cause Clark County residents in infrastructure issues related to tremendous increases in traffic and the subsequent costs (in the hundreds of millions) necessary to address these issues; the sub-minimum wage jobs (The megacasino will not have to pay Washington State Minimum Wage of $8.67 or so; they'll only have to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25) the social costs and the like, the idea that as Interior put it:
...is utter nonsense.
The Cowlitz Tribe’s application to place land into trust was filed under the Indian Reorganization Act, which required the Department to examine whether it could be approved under the Carcieri Supreme Court decision. The Interior Solicitor’s office conducted a thorough review of the application and determined that it satisfied the requirements of the Indian Reorganization Act and the Carcieri decision.
Calling a pancake a football doesn't make it a football.
This casino cannot be built on land that has not been taken into trust.
If a casino can be built on land that is NOT taken into trust, then anyone, tribal or no, can build a casino on any land adequately zoned for such a project. Since the tribes own the democrats in this state and the democrats control this state's government, there is zero likelihood of such a scenario.
Several efforts, documented here and here, were made to eviscerate the Supreme Court decision by implementing the so-called Carcieri Fix as a part of the CR, or continuing resolution. They were stripped out by Sen. Feinstein, who has made her opposition to the Carcieri Fix well known. Others in opposition include Senators Boxer, Kyl, Reid and McCain.
So, we're faced with the obvious question: in the face of a Supreme Court decision clearly making this decision illegal... why did Interior do it?
Is it mere coincidence that Obama met with 60 tribes at the White House on the 15th of December, the Carcieri Fix (Which was added by Oklamahoma Republican Congressman Tom Cole, BTW... wonder who bought him?) was stripped out of the Continuing Resolution by Feinstein and BAM, they wave a magic wand and all of a sudden Interior makes a decision as if Carcieri never happened?
And in the face of the wide-spread opposition to this project, where local municipalities, civic organizations and governments have expressed their opposition to this project, why even have a "process" to begin with?
If the overwhelming evidence that this would be harmful to the local people (Since the vast majority of the Cowlitz Tribe is Seattle-centric) is to be ignored by these morons in DC... why even bother to have a process in the first place?
Let's just allow any tribal member who wants to to set up a casino wherever they feel like it, environment, public opposition and damage to the surrounding area be damned?
This violation of the Supreme Court decision, which remains in effect even now, shows that something is going on here that hasn't yet been made public. This isn't rocket science, and while local gambling addicts are positively giddy in their rejoicing that they won't have to ride a bus for 90 minutes to get their fix, they fail to understand that they will have to sit in their cars for at least that long... because there's a solid likelihood that traffic on I-5 and surrounding roads will become an absolute nightmare... not to mention that the local economy of LaCenter will now become destroyed in the ways that Mayor Jim Irish and his fellow travelers always wanted.
Even now, the lawyers are likely gearing up to trash this effort; several US Senators are about to become unhinged at this obvious abuse of law, and those paying attention are left to wonder: is this just the first episode of Obama ignoring the Supreme Court, like he's ignored the people he would govern?
Now, about a $25 per head county toll for each car going into the casino. Looks like a good deal to me. Surely those people won't mind helping to pay for the government costs of this project?