Campbell blames NIGC for McCain's gaming bill

Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) doesn't want Indian voters to hold Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) accountable for a controversial Indian gaming bill that tribes nationwide opposed.

Campbell insists McCain introduced S.2078 at the request of the National Indian Gaming Commission. "Phil Hogen’s folks wrote that bill," Campbell told Indian Country Today, referring to Hogen, the chairman of the NIGC.

Campbell also claims McCain "didn’t fight for it or push it much." "He introduced it. I think he did one hearing or something on it, one or two. But when he realized there was some opposition in Indian country, and the bill was badly written, he didn’t force it, he didn’t fight for it," Campbell said.

McCain served as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee from January 2005 through December 2006. Half of the hearings he called dealt with gaming, the Jack Abramoff scandal, federal recognition and land-into-trust -- all issues related to gaming

McCain pushed for a vote on S.2078 despite opposition among committee members. When Campbell and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) ran the committee, they did not advance legislation without a clear consensus.

McCain's bill was placed on the Senate calendar but it never received a vote.

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Campbell sheds light on McCain gaming bill from 2006 (Indian Country Today 9/26)