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September 17, 2008

The Governor and the Tribal Money

Watching those nasty anti-Gregoire ads is getting annoying.  I find the ads that claim that there was some quid pro quo between Chris Gregoire and the Spokane tribe just plain stupid and mean-spirited.  A person doesn't have to go far to read about the truth.  But we're not talking about it enough or clarifying it sufficiently.  Tell your neighbors and friends.  The story the Republicans tell is an interesting story but there is not a bit of truth to it.

Here's a PI Editorial on the 8th of Sept. on the story that Rossi and the Republicans are trying to portray:

It's based on the renegotiation of a gambling compact in which the state gave up proposed cash payments from the Spokane Tribe and negotiated down the drastic expansion of new slots the tribe would have been allowed. Although Republicans now want to slam the governor, she was responding to grave concerns about the original compact from the late Republican prosecutor Norm Maleng and others. State Attorney General Rob McKenna has said the renegotiation was fully within the law.

Gambling revenues have greatly improved job opportunities for tribal members and their neighbors. Stronger tribal economies also have helped heal what were arguably the worst relations between tribes and any state, even before fishing controversies in the 1970s and beyond.

There's reason for honest questioning when money pours into, need we note, both parties. But we don't in any way like the feel of a campaign being waged so heavily on fears of a people we thought were less marginalized than in the state's past.

The governor and many other thoughtful politicians are thinking about what will be best for the people of the state of Washington and acting accordingly.  We don't want significantly more gambling, which the tribes would have traded for sharing the revenue with the state.  We want to maintain and enhance a respectful relationship with the Tribe.  In addition, we don't want the state to get dependent on gambling revenues and enable the gambling to get more revenue.  No, bad path to go down.   Much better to skip the revenue.

The Tacoma News Tribune Editorial Board, on September 14th, in a piece called "Putting the state on the take is no way to regulate gambling" continues the story:

Rossi’s campaign complains that Gregoire didn’t negotiate the best deal for taxpayers and says revenue sharing should remain an option. But can you imagine what kind of deal would be negotiated by a governor whose pet programs depended on the state’s cut of gambling winnings? Revenue sharing is a good idea only if you want government beholden to casinos and their pursuit of ever higher profits.

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No one can legitimately say that he or she opposes the expansion of gambling while on the other hand supporting an arrangement for government to get a cut of the misery.

So, thanks, governor Gregoire, for thinking about the people of the state of Washington and for our children and grandchildren.  And thanks to the Spokane Tribe for being partners in that better decision.  That's government at its best.   

I know, I can get corny but I really believe in Gregoire's thoughtful, negotiation skills.  And I believe in an administration that is thinking about how to make the lives of the people of this state better, how to plan for possible future disasters, how to avert them if possible. She does that.  They do that. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on September 17, 2008 at 08:51 PM in Candidate Races, Strategery | Permalink

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