As a Minnesota and Mille Lacs County resident, I am delighted that the Mille Lacs tribal government has expressed concern for us taxpayers. I will be happier still if that concern extends to the tribal government paying for state and county services it receives for Band members living on trust land in the county.
It will be wonderful if the tribal government agrees to reimburse the nearly one third of county revenues spent for Band related items, now that the casino monopoly is successful and the Band receives millions in profits annually. I'm sure the state and county would be pleased to accept money from the tribal government for services provided for Mille Lacs Band Members living on trust land.
Mille Lacs tribal government received millions in federal grants to pay for its sewage treatment plant. Since the plant will be largely used for tribal needs including the casino, hotel, and other businesses the tribal government can provide more of the cost. More federal largesse could then be used to offset expenses for low-income residents of Garrison Kathio West Mille Lacs Sanitary District. The Band could make an outright gift to the district as a goodwill gesture since state and federal loans may be in short supply due to the lagging economy.
The Band correctly states that Grand Casino provides jobs with benefits to many area non-Band employees. Privately owned casinos would also provide jobs and those casinos would enrich state and county coffers and the federal government. Tribal casinos have grown in Minnesota with bigger buildings, more machines, and higher bet limits. The tired excuse that Minnesotans don't want more gambling is out of their hands anyway. Perhaps it's time to open private casinos here and let Minnesota and the county, reap benefits the Band has received for years.
At least it's a relief to know that our worst fears about "political money" are true!
It would seem Enron was an equal opportunity donator to any and all Washington politicians. Included were Minnesota pols who "mostly didn't even realize" that Enron was donating to them!
Now we know why Congress doesn't want anything to do with campaign reform in any and all meaningful ways.
So if money is stolen and only given away in "little bits" it doesn't seem to matter to most politicians where it came from or who gave it, just feed the political kitty! Oh sure, some are going to give back every penny -- ha ha! Excuse me, while I hurl....
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