Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
So what happens if you hold a press conference and Arizona's "lamestream" political reporters ignore it because it is just Tribal government leaders talking about gaming? Luckily the Arizona Democratic Party and DCCC were there to catch the press conference, in this press release.
PATON’S PLEDGE: UNDERMINE TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY IN AZ-01
Arizona has 22 Indian tribes, distinct in their rights and sovereignty. Arizona’s First Congressional District is home to 12 of these tribes, and they require a representative who understands tribes as distinctive nations and who respects their health and well-being, environment and economy.
The First District requires someone who will fight to protect the permanent reauthorization of Indian Health Service funding that was included in the Affordable Care Act and someone who will fight to stop the relentless push for uranium mining at the Grand Canyon.
Yet in a stunning display of disconnect, Jonathan Paton has pledged to undermine tribal sovereignty by supporting “further restrictions” on Tribal Nations’ gaming operations. It is because of tribal sovereignty that gaming came about. In 1988, Congress enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act so states that already have wagering (lotteries, etc.) as part of their public policy could negotiate with tribes to regulate gaming on a government-to-government basis.
See Paton’s answer of “Support” on a recent Center for Arizona Policy candidate survey:
Regardless of one’s position on gaming, it has lifted many Native Americans out of poverty and has given Native American youths the opportunity to get an education. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act already regulates gaming on Indian lands and allows Indian tribes to use gaming revenues to provide public goods and services to its members.
“By taking a position against the sovereignty of Tribal Nations, Paton shows once again how out of touch he is with this district,” said Amber Moon of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Last month, his disconnect was on full display when he stood before the Navajo Nation Council and pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which contains the permanent reauthorization of Indian Health Service funding.”
Ronnie Lupe, chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, responded to Paton’s support of further restrictions on Indian gaming: “Revenue from gaming has helped Arizona tribal communities build schools and hospitals and infrastructure. We can’t afford to turn back this progress, and we need a representative who understands that.”
On his website, Paton says “Over-regulation is killing major industries in rural Arizona.” Yet he supports over-regulating a legal industry run by sovereign Tribal Nations.
“If Paton is really against unnecessary regulation, why does he support doing it to our tribes? It’s hard to believe he would stand up for us in Congress,” said state Sen. Jack Jackson Jr. of the Navajo Nation. “Furthermore, since the Navajo Nation is just now seeing the benefits from Indian gaming, over-regulation would undermine its gaming operation and would have a negative impact on the Navajo Nation."
These revenues not only benefit Indian tribes but surrounding rural communities in the First District, creating jobs for non-tribal members, providing vendors and other small businesses with contracts, and generating income & sales tax for state coffers.
“Paton never said a word to us about this troubling position,” said Kathy Kitcheyan, former chairwoman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. “It’s wrong to keep quiet about something so important to the tribes he claims he would represent.”