One Indian tribe wants to build a casino, another tribe already has
one in the area and doesn't want competition. You're a council
member in the city that can effectively block the casino from being built. Both tribes want your support, and are willing to back up
that support with campaign contributions. What do you do?
According to an
article in yesterday's Spokesman-Review
, this is a question
that Spokane's council members have faced. "About two years ago, the
council voted 4-3 to oppose the tribe’s proposed casino resort. The
council now has a new make-up," and the new council president wants
to reconsider the proposal.
While running for his position, the council president accepted
$1,600 in contributions from the tribe that wants to build a casino.
When accused of supporting the proposal due to the contributions,
the council president said that, in 2011, a lobbyist from the tribe
that already has a casino told him that he had found four or five
people willing to give him maximum campaign contributions (this is
an offer to "bundle" contributions, a common thing that lobbyists
do, so that their client can take credit not only for contributions,
but also for fundraising). When the council president told the
lobbyist he would continue to support the new casino, the lobbyist
told him, “You probably won’t hear from us.”