One Has To Wonder
In September 1997, Sam attached an amendment to an appropriations bill that stops the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma from building a bingo parlor on stilts over a Native American cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas.
This development plan bothered a lot of people, including spokespeople for some other tribes, Governor Graves, and this writer.
But interesting questions arise in the context of this states-rights senator coming down with both feet on this small tribe's attempt to leverage a little income from a real estate holding:
Well... food for thought.
- What happened to the principle of federal government getting out of the way of local government? Or doesn't tribal government count? And can't the Kansas City, Kansas, government handle this? Mayor Carol Marinovich announced that the city was already taking legal action against the plan, having been "opposed from day one" to any downtown casino.
- Could money -- and who stands to make it -- figure into Sam's eagerness to interrupt his busy schedule and champion this cause?
- What if previously unknown gravesites had been discovered only as bulldozers prepared the foundation for a new business? Would Sam have interfered with normal handling of what the state would consider an archaeological site?
Source: the Kansas City Star, "Foes aim to halt tribal bingo hall / Officials in Kansas decry Wyandotte plan for KCK cemetery," Rick Alm, 09/18/97
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