Friday, April 29, 2005

And the battle continues...

Just like a game of roullette, the casino debate in Rhode Island goes round and round and round again. After being rebuffed by the Supreme Court last year, Rep. Tim Williamson (D-West Warwick) and the Narragansett Indian Tribe have come up with a new deal that addresses the concerns the Supreme court cited. Last night, the House Judiciary committee passed this legislation (H-6396) to the shagrine of Governor Carcieri who had some not-so-nice words for Rep. Williamson. It's no secret that the Governor does not want a 'new' casino in Rhode Island. Here's the problem(s) I have with the Governor:

1. He's working a deal to sell Lincoln Park to BLB which, you guessed it, is not a state entity. It would seem that for the same reasons that the Supreme Court struck down last year's deal the Governor's proposed deal should come under fire. In fact, since he was the one who issued the challenge last year, doesn't it seem disingenuous that he is one of the primary supporters of the BLB deal? 2. As the Narragansett Indian Tribe looks for ways to become economically viable-the Governor calls their attempts a 'charade.' I don't think people who are trying to work a business deal that would be good for the state and themselves have any false intentions. On the contrary, they are trying to produce a situation that will be beneficial for all. But it's not up to them, which brings me to point number three... 3. Even if this or last year's bill would have passed, the question is going to go to the voters of Rhode Island. That's right, you, me, and Bob down the street will be able to decide if we think the casino is the right option for the State. Let me just say, that if this comes to a vote I plan to vote against (with current information) because I don't agree with the proponents of a casino saying it will help Rhode Island. Yet, I disagree with the Governor in allowing the decision to rest with the people it will most directly affect: the voters. 4. What alternatives has the Governor suggested to the Narragansett Indian Tribe? *crickets churping*

I'm with the Governor in believing the casino will cause more trouble than it's worth. But, I have faith enough in the people of Rhode Island to make an informed decision. No, I actually believe that it is the right of the people to weigh in on this issue once and for all. It is the essence of democracy and it's painful to watch a Governor whom I respect, time after time get tripped up because of how he deals with the Narragansett Indians. Hopefully the Supreme Court will rule the current year's casino bill manifestation constitutional and in the Rhode Island 'marketplace of ideas' the casino will either live or die by the voice of the voter.


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10/02/2005 10:46:00 PM  

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