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Governor calls tribe's offer 'a kind of blackmail'

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal (R) accused the Northern Arapaho Tribe of "a kind of blackmail" for seeking support for a bill that would generate revenues for the tribe.

The tribe made its offer in a letter on Tuesday. The tribe said it would help finance the state's tribal liaison position if Freudenthal backs a bill returning state taxes generated from oil and gas development on the reservation to the tribe.

Freudenthal said he would not link the two issues. "The problem I have with it is ... I view it as a kind of blackmail to say, 'We will only support a tribal liaison if you agree in advance to a particular outcome on a particular issue,'" he said at a press conference, according to The Casper Star-Tribune.

To back up its request, the tribe released a study showing that it has lost out on nearly $81 million in state services since 1979 due to the state's taxation system.

Get the Story:
Governor terms tribe's offer 'blackmail' (The Casper Star-Tribune 10/21)

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Study shows tribe not receiving benefits from state (10/20)