In case anyone in DC hasn’t noticed – and it appears many, MANY haven’t:
I wrote this piece – on October 21, 2014.
About my online gambling activities – which I halted in the late 1990s.
And about South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s efforts to ban online gambling – nearly two decades after I had been placing digital bets.
Why would Graham attempt to engage in this anti-reality inanity?
This is from just this past January 22, 2020:
“(T)here is increased pressure from some of the Republicans’ main backers such as casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. This billionaire supporter is in a crusade against internet gambling claiming that he will spend ‘whatever it takes’ to support the ban against online gambling.
“This was then also backed up by Lindsey Graham…(who has re-)introduced the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) to the senate. This bill outlines the expansion of the 1961 bill to include phone and wire wagering to also include internet gambling in all its forms.”
Get that? Adelson has made billions on brick-and-mortar gambling houses. Bully for him.
But now Adelson is trying to use his billions – to have DC denizens like Graham (SC) impose Adelson’s cronyism on the country. Over and over and over again.
And in the process, trying to block the Sun from rising in the East – at sunset.
How on Earth is DC going to ban each and every one of us – from doing what I was doing twenty-plus years ago?
Not only is this massive inanity an assault on reality – it is an assault on the Constitution and federalism.
“You can not have fifty different states imposing fifty different sets of Internet regulations.
“So the federal government sets Internet policy – and then negotiates with the rest of the world how our networks interact with theirs.
“However: What the states do with the Internet once they get it – is again a federalism situation.
“To wit: Online gambling. Each state should decide for itself how much – if any – online gambling it will allow….”
And now Graham has joined with North Carolina Republican Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr – to give us a Tar Heel State-specific example of their anti-Constitution gambling cronyism.
Sponsor: SC Senator Lindsey Graham
Co-Sponsors: NC Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr
What does S:790 do?
It gives the Catawba Indian Tribe of SOUTH Carolina – the right to build a casino in NORTH Carolina. Behold the relevant text:
SECTION 1. GAMING FACILITY AUTHORIZED
“(a) Gaming Facility Authorized.—The Catawba Indian Nation (formerly the Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina) is authorized to own and operate a gaming facility on the land described in section 2 of this Act, in Cleveland County, North Carolina.
“(b) Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.—The facility described in subsection (a) shall operate in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), except that section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2719) shall not apply to the land described in section 2.”
Get that Tribe name change? Dropping any mention of South Carolina – so as to better strip mine North Carolina.
This is basically a massive land grab by the federal government. Over the objection of a federalism-protected state. At the behest of…why look – yet another DC crony.
Federal campaign finance records show that Wallace Cheves – developer for the proposed Catawba Indian Nation casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina – donated nearly $50,000 between 2015 and 2018 to the campaigns of the three U.S. senators sponsoring S.790.
Between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2016, Cheves donated $15,500 to committees supporting now-Senator Tillis’ candidacy and $5,400 to support Graham’s presidential bid.
And of course: Adelson’s cronyism never sleeps. And gets really, REALLY huge.
Because obviously, Adelson benefits from any erosion of gambling federalism – like the North Carolina evisceration in question.
Tillis has received $8,000 from Adelson. In 2019, Adelson maxed out on individual campaign contributions to Tillis with $2,800 per election ($5,400 total).
From 2013 to 2019, Adelson donated a total of $10,800 to Senator Graham, maxing out donations in 2019.
But all of this is relatively small spuds. How bout these subterranean apples:
Adelson donated an astonishing $42.5 million to the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a PAC dedicated to expanding the Republican Senate majority.
Incredibly, these Senate Republicans decided to revive RAWA – the day after it became public that Adelson gave $20 million to the SLF.
And just how pathetic is this DC cronyism?
Revel in the emblematic nausea of this titanic Tillis flip-flop.
In 2013, Tillis wasn’t yet a US Senator – he was speaker of the North Carolina House.
In other words: Tillis hadn’t yet tasted DCs sweet, sweet cronyism coin.
And in that pre-DC capacity, Tillis signed a letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior – expressing total and complete opposition to precisely the type of anti-Constitutional anti-federalism…he is now shoving down his state’s throat.
Said letter read – almost in its entirety:
“As members of the North Carolina House of Representatives, we write to express our serious opposition to any attempt by a federally recognized tribe from outside the State of North Carolina to have lands taken into trust by the Department of the Interior and have those lands deemed eligible for…Indian gambling.
“Gambling is a matter the federal government leaves within the purview of the states. Within the state of North Carolina, we have carefully balanced the interests of our State citizens and the rights of tribes.
“We respectfully request that we be notified of any applications for land to be taken into trust by any federally recognized tribe not based in North Carolina so we can participate in that process and make our views clear.”
What a blatant and incredibly obnoxious Tillis 180.
Of course, Tillis was right the first time. Before he had dived quite so deeply into DCs ocean of crony money.
No one else in this enormous nightmare mess – has been right ever.