While Mass legislators led by top casino interest campaign contribution beneficiaries Therese Murray and Deval Patrick continue to push lobbyist written legislation giving special preference to Indian gaming with a unique carve out design to benefit only the Mashpee band of the Wampanoag tribe, other tribes apparently aren’t happy. Murray went so far as to block an amendment which simply said the state would be authorized to negotiate with ANY federally recognized tribe in order to protect the Mashpee from potential legitimate competition. Talk about lobbyist power - Bill Delahunt is earning his keep so all those contributions from his federal congressional PAC to state lawmakers is paying off.
The Cape Cod times reports that other Native American tribes, including Pocasset Pokanoket tribe, issued a press release Monday afternoon saying it had sent a 500-page document to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs objecting to the Mashpee tribe’s application to put land into federal trust and saying the tribe has “absolutely no social or political ties to any part of Massachusetts except on Cape Cod.”“There should be no advantage for any tribe,” Lesley Rich, an attorney for the Pocasset tribe, said in a phone interview. “The Pocassets are trying to protect their rights.”
George Spring Buffalo, the Pocasset leader, called it “an absolute injustice” for the Legislature to exclude state-recognized tribes from the process.This is just the latest blow to the scheme to turn over all gaming for Southeastern Massachusetts tax-free to the Mashpee band and their Malaysian backers at Genting Group. While current federal law makes such a move illegal, Therese Murray and the Governor are so in the pockets of Cedric Cromwell and the Mashpee band's lobbyists partnered with slot machine interests which will benefit from sales tax-free and fee-exempt sales to Indian tribes that they are insisting on pushing this through. Even if Murray and Patrick are successful, and somehow the U.S. Congress passes a new law making their deal legal, the Mashpee will still have to get federal permissions which can be blocked by any number of reasons - including opposition by other tribes.
All this means the only jobs Southeastern Massachusetts will see from this deal will be lobbyists and lawyers. The campaign contribution gravy train will continue for Therese Murray and her allies in the Senate. Hope there is enough cash to overcome the damage to their constituents from this fiasco.