Colin McEnroe: Schaghticoke Tribal Nation loses in new casino fight

Schaghticoke Mountain on the Schaghticoke Reservation in Connecticut. Photo by Morrow Long via Flickr

Will the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation get anything out of a lawsuit aimed at stopping a new casino in Connecticut? Columnist Colin McEnroe doesn't think associating with "zombies" like former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who opposed the tribe's federal recognition, will work out in the end:
The Schaghticokes are a real Native American tribe, recognized by the state. In modern times, they have nursed two hopes: a) that the white man will learn to spell and pronounce their name; and b) that the federal government will recognize them. This would uplift their spirits and validate years of painful struggle. I think that's basically it. Oh yes, they would also be entitled to a casino.

In 2004, the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation won federal recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whereupon a group of well-connected people began kicking and punching this idea as if it were an unusually resilient zombie. Their names were Richard Blumenthal, Nancy Johnson, Chris Shays, Rob Simmons, Jodi Rell and, yes, Joe Lieberman. There were public hearings and closed-door meetings. There were threats; there was cajolery. After 18 months, the poor Schaghticokes were derecognized.

Last year, the BIA issued another ruling saying that, once a tribe has been denied recognition, it cannot re-petition. It turns out that "Schaghticoke," loosely translated, means "more permanently screwed than you can possibly imagine."

Among the people responsible for the pitiless extinguishing of the Schaghticokes' hopes and dreams was Joe Lieberman, so it totally makes sense that they hired him.

Get the Story:
Colin McEnroe: Lieberman Rises In Fog Of Casino Skulduggery (The Hartford Courant 3/12)

More Opinions:
David Collins: Joseph Lieberman and Eric Holder, pimping for Vegas (The New London Day 3/13)
Our View: Trouble brewing for tribes' joint casino venture (The Norwich Bulletin 3/12)

Also Today:
Tribes, MGM on opposite sides of debate over casino-study bill (The New London Day 3/11)
A Gambling Study? Hearing Lets Many Sides Give Their Views (The Hartford Courant 3/11)
Data Flies in Debate Over Third Casino Impact in Connecticut (WNPR 3/11)
Tribes, MGM clash over conflicting casino studies (The Manchester Journal Inquirer 3/12)

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