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Column: Sen. McCain breaks promise on Tohono O'odham casino

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Opinion
More on: 113th, arizona, igra, john mccain, land claims, off-reservation, s.2670, scia, senate, tohono oodham

Artist's rendering of the proposed West Valley Resort. Image from Tohono O'odham Nation

Monica Alonzo of The Phoenix New-Times wonders why Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) changed his position on the Tohono O'odham Nation off-reservation casino:
McCain has been an odd player during this west-side casino controversy.

McCain, during his days as a U.S. Congressman, co-sponsored the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act that was signed into law in 1986. That Act gave the Nation the legal right to purchase up to 9,880 acres of private lands in Pima, Pinal, or Maricopa counties to replace all of the reservation land that the federal government inadvertently -- but carelessly -- destroyed when it built the Painted Rock Dam near Gila Bend.

The Nation bought a Maricopa County parcel neighboring the City of Glendale.

We're hardly surprised that Franks, an ineffectual politician with the warped belief that incidents of rape resulting pregnancy are very low, has reintroduced his narrow anti-casino bill.

But it's hard to understand why McCain is turning against a promise he helped make to the Tohono O'odham Nation via the Gila Bend Land Act.

During a July 23 U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, McCain tried to say that Indian gaming wasn't around in 1986 when he and other worked to get that law into place. But a top ranking official in the Department of the Interior reminded McCain that gaming had already emerged as a hot button issue and had sparked lawsuits across the country.

Get the Story:
Monica Alonzo: Senator John McCain Embraces Congressman Trent Franks' Anti-West Valley Casino Bill (The Phoenix New-Times 7/31)

Also Today:
Majority of Glendale candidates says casino is foregone conclusion (The Glendale-Peoria 7/31)

Related Stories:
Tohono O'odham Nation blasts bill to bar off-reservation casino (7/30)

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