Pawlenty Gambles on Stadiums

Do two wrongs make a right?

Pawlenty, Lipman, and their like-minded colleagues would do well to stop bandying petulant, empty threats, which are hypocritical and smack of racism. Why isn't Pawlenty threatening the private owners of Canterbury Downs--which, unlike the tribes, received state help to expand their gambling operations--to renegotiate for additional payments to the government? Why has Pawlenty been bragging about his JOBZ program, which proposes giving tax breaks to wealthy corporations like Polaris and Andersen Windows to do what the tribes already do and create jobs in rural Minnesota?

Jun-Pierre Shiozawa

The bottom line is that the tribes aren't going to renegotiate the existing compacts because it's not in their interest to do so. McCarthy did leave open the possibility of additional compacts being negotiated, "if it could generate revenue that would help provide health care or some other benefit to both tribal and non-tribal people." Or the state could begin its own gambling operations, setting a tempting precedent for any local or regional municipality to follow suit in order to generate government money in this tight-fisted political climate. If and when that Pandora's box is opened to help line the pockets of billionaire owners like Red McCombs and Carl Pohlad, just remember that in nearly 15 years of operation, none of the state's 18 Indian casinos have suffered a major scandal. Meanwhile, have you read the recent auditor's report on cronyism and mismanagement at the Minnesota Lottery?

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