September 24, 2003

DOESN'T SOVEREIGNTY HAVE CONSEQUENCES AS WELL AS BENEFITS?

Indian Givers--II: Tribes that run California casinos aim to run the whole state. (John Fund, September 24, 2003, Wall Street Journal)

The Indians are seeking all these additional advantages at a time when they are already sitting pretty. The Los Angeles Times calls them "California's principal growth industry." Because they enjoy tribal sovereignty and pay no property, sales or corporate taxes, the state's 54 Indian casinos rake in over $5 billion a year, a sum bigger than the take in Atlantic City and more than half that of neighboring Nevada. Indian slot machines can legally offer a payout of only 70 cents on the dollar, compared with 90 cents at Las Vegas casinos. They can allow gamblers under 21, and they also make a pretty penny selling tax-free cigarettes.

To protect all that loot, the tribes have become the biggest political givers in the state by spending $125 million on California politics since 1998. Untold millions that can't be traced have been contributed by individual tribal members who are flush with cash from payouts of casino profits. Indian tribes are also exempt from the contribution and issue-advocacy bans in the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law.


Shouldn't part of their tribal sovereignty be that their attempt to donate to political races can be treated the same as other foreign contributions, thus limited or even banned?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 24, 2003 7:41 PM
Comments

Full points for that conclusion--as obvious as it seems in retrospect, it would have gone right by me.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at September 24, 2003 9:07 PM

If they want real sovereignty disenfranchise them.
Otherwise their not realy sovereign.

Posted by: J.H. at September 25, 2003 9:03 AM

Whoa, would I like to see the screaming if that were proposed.

But in our state of mind, a lot would agree.

Posted by: sandy P. at September 25, 2003 12:29 PM
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