Passamaquoddy Tribe spent $700K on racino bid

The Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine spent $700,000 to persuade state voters to support a racino in Washington County.

The effort failed when voters rejected the proposed facility at the polls on Tuesday. "Well, the cowboys beat the Indians again," is how one tribal member summed it up to Gov. Rick Doyle of the tribe's Pleasant Point Reservation.

Doyle expressed equally pessimistic views after the vote. "It feels to me that we continue to be oppressed by the dominant culture," he told The Central Maine Morning Sentinel. The tribe's proposal for a full-blown casino was defeated at the polls in 2003 even as voters approved a non-Indian operated racino.

Clayton Cleaves, the executive director of the reservation's housing authority, believes racism played a role in the outcome. "I know in the voting equation, there are people who hate Native Americans," Cleaves said.

A group called Casinos No! campaigned heavily against the racino.

Get the Story:
Tribe questions casino's 'no-go' (The Central Maine Morning Sentinel 11/8)
Tribe to use bill defeat as learning tool (The Bangor Daily News 11/8)

Opinion and Commentary:
Editorial: A firm investment in the future (The Central Maine Morning Sentinel 11/8)
Jim Brunelle: Racino proposal defeat this year's election surprise (The Kennebec Journal 11/8)