When the Bureau of Indian Affairs ruled last year that the federal government could not hold land in trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, a preliminary step toward allowing that tribe to establish a casino, Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren raged at President Trump:
Presidential wannabe, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is “wailing” at the sky again about “injustice!” after the Department of the Interior (“DOI”) ruled on Friday [September 7, 2018] that the federal government could not take land in trust on behalf of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, a preliminary move toward the tribe getting its own casino.
The DOI was merely following a 2009 Supreme Court decision limiting such land-in-trust moves to tribes that were recognized by the federal government in 1934, which does not include the Wampanoag. But Sen. Warren needs to flip out at someone, so it might as well be the Trump administration.
The real problem for Warren is that getting the Wampanoag a casino is a major component of her campaign to mitigate her “fake Indian” problem as she prepares to run for the Presidency in 2020.
Warren has championed the Wampanoag casino cause for a couple of years now, despite being a longtime casino opponent. As we have reported, Warren wanted this Indian casino to be a feather in her presidential headdress, so to speak. And that puts President Trump directly in the way along her warpath to the Oval Office.
So why is Trump-friendly lobbyist Brian Ballard working hard behind the scenes to pass Sen. Warren’s Indian casino bill?
Brian Ballard has taken Washington by storm since Donald Trump became President. According to POLITICO:
Ballard is a veteran Florida lobbyist who’s been in Washington for barely a year — the blink of an eye in an industry in which many of the top practitioners have spent decades inside the Beltway. But Ballard is closer to the president than perhaps any other lobbyist in town. He’s parlayed that relationship into a booming business helping clients get their way with the Trump administration — and his clients and even some of his rivals say his firm has a better grasp of what’s going on in the West Wing than almost anyone else on K Street. Ballard was one of the top fundraisers in the country for Trump’s campaign and continues to raise millions for his reelection campaign.
On May 1st of last year, Ballard Partners filed a lobbying report that shows it took on Genting Malaysia Berhad as a client, with Mr. Ballard himself as the main lobbyist. Genting is the troubled Malaysian company financing the Wampanoag casino dreams, to the tune of $400-plus million.
Ballard also appears to be planning for life after Trump. According to POLITICO, he has brought former-Democrat Congressman Robert Wexler and other Democrats into his firm. If President Trump needed any reminding: the swamp looks after its own.
Our sources tell us President Trump remains steadfastly opposed to Warren’s casino bill.