Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stockton Record Editorial Board Smokes Crack

In an editorial last week, the Stockton Record trumpeted Richard Pombo’s proposed legislation prohibiting Indian tribes from reservation shopping. In a stunning display of either colossal stupidity or blinding dishonesty, they presented Pombo’s position in the following manner:
Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, has introduced his own legislation on Indian gaming at the national level. His House bill would curb so-called reservation shopping by preventing Indian tribes from acquiring property separate from land they own.

Amending the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, it would stop the practice of distant tribes in remote locales buying up land in urban centers to build gambling facilities.

Tribal leaders aren't happy with Pombo's bill.

The legislation contradicts accusations that Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, is influenced by tribal gaming groups because of campaign contributions.
The editorial goes on to crow about how this supposed willingness to act against the interests of his contributors will play well politically for Pombo by — I don’t know, demonstrating some sort of integrity?

The only problem with that analysis is that apparently the editors of the Stockton Record don’t bother to read the news. If they had bestirred themselves to pay any sort of attention to the Abramoff scandal, they would realize that the Indian tribes paying the big bucks to Abramoff and the Congressional representatives that he associated with (Pombo) were the ones who already had casinos near urban areas. They have been lobbying Pombo to protect their monopolies and to shut out impoverished tribes that have been unable to open casinos because they lack appropriate land holdings.

In naming Richard Pombo one of the 13 most corrupt members of Congress last fall, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) offered this explanation:
As chairman of the House Resources Committee, Rep. Pombo is responsible for tribal related legislation. As a result, Indian tribes have invested increasingly in Rep. Pombo’s political campaigns. From the creation of Rich PAC, Rep. Pombo’s leadership political action committee, in June 2003 through the end of May 2004, the PAC received $76,500 from tribes and more from individual tribal members and representatives. So far this year, 15 tribes have contributed a total of $71,000 to Rich PAC. This accounts for three out of every four dollars raised by the PAC since January. In total, Rep. Pombo’s campaign and leadership committees have collected $221,000 from tribes since 1999.

The tribal contributions have often coincided with House Resource Committee hearings on Indian issues. For example, to prevent the Menominee tribe from buying land in Kenosha, Wisconsin for an off–reservation casino, the Potawatomi, which enjoyed a monopoly on off reservation casinos with its Milwaukee gambling hall, gave nearly $6,000 to Rep. Pombo’s campaign. A spokesperson for the Potawatomi explained that they supported Rep. Pombo’s proposal to make it more difficult for other tribes to open off-reservation casinos in the future.
Check out this list of Indian tribal donors for the 2006 campaign cycle. As a group, they’ve donated $87,400 to Richard Pombo to date. Try this simple exercise. Take the name of any one tribe at random and google it along with “casino.” In almost every case, you will find that the tribe making the donation already has a casino, and is contributing to bought-and-paid-for Pombo to protect their monopoly.

And all the Stockton Record can find to say is “The legislation contradicts accusations that Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, is influenced by tribal gaming groups because of campaign contributions.

I wonder, could they be charged with an EUI — editorializing under the influence?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice civil discourse....everyone who doesn't see things your way is "on crack." Sounds a little self-righteous.

5:08 AM, August 29, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

When I was a young boy, before WW2. We would sit on the tracks and watch the Ho Bo's. I could remember the Ho Bo's on the tracks would make Ho Bo coffee out of used orange peels and old coffee from garbage cans. This brings me to the part of the story, the Ho Bo's would roll up news papers and smoke them. I was thinking that might be a better way of disposing of the Stockton Record and the Tracy Press. Drop off some news papers down by the Ace Train Stations, do you think the riders might smoke the papers. Could that be what the Editorial Board are smoking?

Tom Benigno Mr. Inscrutable

7:34 AM, August 29, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Nice straw argument Anonymous. Nobody said that everyone who doesn't see things our way is "on crack." It's not about agreeing or disagreeing with us. It's about making assertions contradicted by (easily verifiable) fact. And if you don't understand the problem with an editorial making substantive political assertions that are manifestly unsupported (and if fact contradicted) by the facts, then you too might be on crack.

Speaking of which, though "on crack" is certainly hyperbole, it is nonetheless a relatively mild, if somewhat casual, epithet. Consequently, I think it falls perfectly well within the normal bounds of civil discourse.

11:43 AM, August 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, another element of civil discourse is... you know, discourse. So if you disagree with the opinion, you state the basis for that disagreement.

12:34 PM, August 29, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

So if you disagree with the opinion, you state the basis for that disagreement.

Ummm...let me just quote Babaloo:

The only problem with that analysis is that apparently the editors of the Stockton Record don’t bother to read the news. If they had bestirred themselves to pay any sort of attention to the Abramoff scandal, they would realize that the Indian tribes paying the big bucks to Abramoff and the Congressional representatives that he associated with (Pombo) were the ones who already had casinos near urban areas. They have been lobbying Pombo to protect their monopolies and to shut out impoverished tribes that have been unable to open casinos because they lack appropriate land holdings.

I know the post was kind of longish. But you really ought to read it in full before commenting on it.

12:44 PM, August 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

misunderstanding- i was responding to the first comment in this thread, not the original post.

12:45 PM, August 29, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

What is wrong with you people we need to unite to get, This Man Jerry Mc Nerney elected. The dialog I wrote was to put some humor into our writings. We are not at war with each other. I am a Republican who just lost the nomination to Richard the 1st Pombo I support Jerry. Why can't you do as Pete and I do join forces and beat the Globalyst Pombo. I'm finished as a Republican or any party. McCloskey don't matter anymore because he has the Elders that could get him elected to some post. Pombo is not good for America, I think Jerry can do for the 11th, he is our best bet. So please you guys humble yourselves and get togeather. Get your minds togeather and help Jerry win.

Tommy Bananas

3:31 PM, August 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drugs, especially crack, are too serious a national health problem to be made light of. The broken families, the wasted lives and the impacts on society are tragic.

5:22 PM, September 03, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

Anonymous: In your last comment how did we get to the subject of drugs being a serious issue. It is such a serious issue it needs to be discussed. In my campaign in 2000 for State Assembly I made the pitch that the verbage of drugs and Medicine should be defined. Drugs meaning illegal and medicine for the uses of illness or medicinal use by perscription. There was more to it, but it failed.

Tom Benigno

10:25 AM, September 06, 2006  

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