Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Craig is rolling! 

It was the province of the crown to sell monopolies a few hundred years ago. Thus began ventures like the Bank of England or the East India Company. In return the business ventures paid royalties to the crown.
You know it's a new day at the PioneerPress when the editorial page includes the phrase "pay the Danegeld". It's Craig Westover, skinning TPaw within an inch of his libertarian life."

"While I have stated a clear preference for keeping casino gaming within its
current contours," writes the governor with the subtlety of Brando's Don
Corleone, "I have also indicated a desire to obtain a fair financial contribution from tribal casino operators in exchange for some form of continued exclusivity of casino operations and perhaps other benefits."

Neither surprising nor coincidental is that among "other benefits" are means to enhance tribal gaming revenues (consequently government revenue). Astounding is the matter-of-fact manner in which the governor declares it an "other benefit" that agreement to his coercive offer eliminates the "annual battle at the Legislature and the tribes needing to spend significant resources and time trying to maintain the status quo."

In other words, the governor recognizes the need, under the status quo, for the tribes (read "all business owners") to genuflect at the altar of the Legislature and pay the Danegeld of "resources and time" for protection of a consistent business environment free of government meddling. He confirms that it is a better investment for the Native American casinos (read "all business owners") to wine and dine a legislator than put profit back into their communities (or businesses).

I know many people who like Pawlenty, including my colleagues in the NARN, but this atop the drug reimportation schemes has cooled any ardor I have for this governor. If gambling is something the government should regulate it should regulate it equally between reservation and other lands.