IAG JULY 2016 web - page 8

Cover Story
overall than Republicans. Certainly there is no love lost between the
tribes andMr Trump, who once secretly backed a smear campaign
in newspapers and radio aimed at turning public opinion against a
NewYork tribe seeking toopena casino in the southeast of the state.
Fearing that expansion inNewYorkwouldhurthisstrugglingcasinos
in Atlantic City, he approved ads that depicted the tribe as violent
criminals anddrugdealers.
Several years before this, in 1993, when tribal gamingwas just
beginning to find its legs, he appeared before a committee of the
House of Representatives to testify against expansion in terms
that might be described generously as inflammatory and were
construed by many at the time as blatantly racist. Conversely, a
decade later, he would invest heavily in a tribal casino near Palm
Springs, California, in exchange for what turned out to be a short-
livedmanagement contract.
“It’snotaparty issue,weworkwithDemocratsandRepublicans,”
says Victor Rocha, editor of an influential California-based Indian
news site called Pechanga.net. “In this case, it’s the individual, not
Perhaps thebiggest concern for theNativeAmericancommunity,
gaming and non-gaming, is the key appointments the president
controls over who will head the cabinet-level Interior Department,
side,”hesays. “Andgaming industry leadershistoricallyhavewanted
the libertarian side towin out. Libertarianism stands for fewer taxes
and regulations on business, which of course includes tourism. But
thatalso reliedonadegreeofconsistencywithin theRepublicanParty,
which does not exist right nowwith Donald Trump. Presumably, as
a businessman, he understands their concerns. But are they able to
trust him? The concern is not only whether he’s a Republican, but
whether he even knowshimself what he is.Wehaven’t exactly seen a
lot of policy statements.”
As for Native American gaming, a US$28 billion industry in
its own right, Democrats have historically been more supportive
longbeena significant
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,...48
Powered by FlippingBook