This has always been less about sovereignty than about the rush by the tribe and its deep-pocketed financial backers, just as elsewhere around the country, to cash in on the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, one of the worst pieces of legislation ever to come out of Congress.
As Michael Leighton, a Marshall classmate at Lawrence High School in 1968, told the Cape Cod Times: "When I first saw his photo as tribe chairman, I said, 'When the hell did he become Wampanoag? He always talked about being Portuguese.' "
The attraction is obvious for the tiny tribe, all 1,460 members. But for the rest of us, the question is this: Does Massachusetts, which already extracts $700 a year from every man, woman, and child in the Commonwealth through our very efficient lottery, double what any other state does, really need even more gambling? Should the Commonwealth be in the business of encouraging its citizens to gamble ever more to support basic services? How much is enough?
If the state's take on gambling were 5 percent, the same as the sales tax, or even 9.5 percent, the corporate rate that few companies actually pay, casino gambling would be a nonstarter at the State House. At what level are we willing to trade our values and go into business with the gambling industry?
Friday, August 31, 2007
Steve Bailey is worth quoting in full on the
Portuguese authentic 'native American' behind the con job of Casino Gambling in Massachusetts: