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In The Hoop
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2002

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Indecision 2002
If you thought voters in South Dakota, Missouri and other battleground states were having a tough time making up their minds, you haven't met the folks over at the Department of Interior.

A week ago today, Gale Norton decided not to decide to approve the Seneca Nation gaming compact. Yet she waited until the following day, October 24, to announce the non-decision. (The official word also didn't come until close of business day, 5 p.m. DOI time, but that's another story.)

And here we are a several days later and the letter describing the non-decision has yet to materialize. We can assure you she's not waiting for a recount. She still finds time in her busy schedule to campaign for Republicans, though!

But not to worry, because her top legal aide, Solicitor Bill Myers, didn't finish what he told a federal judge four months ago he would do either. So if you're a certain reporter looking for a decision on the Miami Nation's claim to land in Kansas, well you're going to have to wait to steal that from us at a future date.

Stop the Presses
Hey everyone, people in Connecticut don't want any more Indian casinos! Can't you get it through your thick skulls?

In case you haven't, The New London Day has summarized it for you, hailing an anti-casino group as a "new" voice for those downtrodden souls who have been oppressed by two-lane traffic, REO Speedwagon concerts and Cedric the Entertainer. "The Connecticut Alliance Against Casino Expansion will add balance, money and muscle to the debate – and provide an important voice to the other side," today's editorial reads.

Indecision 2002, Part II
It seems some candidates for local office in the Nutmeg State have gotten the message about casinos. So much so that they are all spouting the same tired soundbites in response to questions posed by The Day, arbiter of all that is good in southeastern Connecticut.

To wit:
Democrat Jack Malone: "I believe the federal recognition process is flawed and I support attempts to investigate the process by which tribes have been granted federal recognition."

Democrat Melissa Olson: "I support congressional attempts to investigate the process by which tribes have been granted federal recognition

Republican Robert Congdon: "I oppose the building of new casinos in Connecticut."

Democrat Mary K. McGrattan: "I remain opposed to additional casinos in the state."

Democrat Jeremiah Donovan: "Casino development in Connecticut should be stopped through the repeal of the Las Vegas night statute that allows its existence."

Democrat Kevin Ryan: "On the state level, we could stop casino development by repealing the Las Vegas Night law or not reopening compacts to allow the use of slot machines."

Crazy Democrat Jeremiah Donovan does get credit for being the only one crazy enough to come up with his own ideas, albeit crazy. "[T]he tribes are not 'sovereign nations' as they are wont to proclaim, but simply creatures of congressional statute, and we have available all sorts of measures to persuade them to lessen their adverse impacts on our communities," he said. Is he crazy?

Maku Duta, where are you when we need you?

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