Casino Stalker | Opinion
Opinion: Spokane Tribe's off-reservation casino deserves a shot

"It is sad that arguably the largest privately funded economic development project to come to Spokane in decades has been turned into a political football by those who appear to have huge conflicts of interest. With 5,000 jobs and $300 million in economic activity a year hanging in the balance, I think it is time to speak up.

As a Spokane County commissioner, I had many businesses, groups and individuals approach me with ideas, schemes, dreams and propositions that were all presented as great economic development opportunities for our county. No matter what the project, those who came before the commission sought support in exchange for perceived benefit; some sought financial support, others a zone or land use change, or an easement or road closure. Still others wanted us to “invest” millions to buy a race track that they were sure would solve all our financial woes.

In contrast, when the Spokane Tribe brought their Spokane Tribe Economic Development Project (STEP) to the county commissioners, they didn’t ask for taxpayer money for economic development: Their plan would pump more than $400 million in private money into the economy, generating $300 million within Spokane County alone."

Get the Story:
Bonnie Mager: Allow tribe’s STEP project a fair chance (The Spokesman Review 9/30)

Related Stories:
Opinion: County's hands tied on off-reservation casino plan (09/17)