Trent Franks, Arizona Congressman, Proposes Narrow Special-Interest Measure to Block Tohono O'odham Nation's Proposed West Valley Casino

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Congressman Trent Franks
Arizona Congressman Trent Franks introduced -- again -- legislation on Tuesday that, if signed into law, effectively would prevent the Tohono O'odham Nation from building a casino in the West Valley.

There are a few bits about H.R. 1410, this latest bill, that are worth pointing out.

See also: Trent Franks, Arizona Congressman, Expected to Propose Law -- Again -- to Block Tohono O'odham Nation's Plans for West Valley Casino

See also: Trent Franks Makes List of the 10 Weirdest Members of Congress

Franks proposed similar narrow legislation last year on behalf of state officials, the city of Glendale, the Gila River Indian Reservation, and other tribes that want to stamp out the TON casino and the competition it will bring to existing casinos in the Valley. The legislation failed.

The proposed law reveals just how haphazard the opposition has been against the TON's plans for a casino near 95th and Northern avenues. Opponents of the West Valley casino have lobbed so many bombs that they are now getting caught in their own crossfire, destroying their own arguments.

(Though the official text of the bill isn't yet posted online, congressional insiders tell New Times it is identical to the draft we posted earlier.)

First, it's interesting to see that Congressman Daniel T. Kildee, a Democrat from Michigan, is co-sponsoring Franks' bill.

Kildee was elected to his congressional seat after his uncle, former Congressman Dale Kildee, retired this year. Kildee's now-retired uncle works for Akin Gump, an international powerhouse of attorneys, consultants, and lobbyists.

Surprise, surprise: Akin Gump is the well-paid lobbyist for the Gila River Indian Community. GRIC paid the firm about $2.55 million in 2012 for lobbying expenses alone, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Kildee's office hasn't responded to New Times' request for comment.

Second, there is the matter of the curious boundary in Franks' bill.

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14 comments
Hector Joe Mora
Hector Joe Mora

Is it the Las Vegas people that are against it because they are not going to get some of the action? Something stinks .

Francisco Cortez
Francisco Cortez

What a moron! Does this fool know that a Casino in the West Valley would bring more people to that area to spend their money? If you have a lot of shops around you, you're not just going to stay in the casino.

utahredrock
utahredrock

This article seems to be a pro-casino attack on Trent Franks while dodging some of the fundamental issues. Arizona voters were made promises in Prop 202 (which they passed) and during that campaign, which clearly intended to prohibit new casinos. Is your goal to make the Phoenix-metro area a new Las Vegas, and dismiss the voter's will as expressed in prop 202? Arizona, and especially Phoenix, does not need new casinos. Two Democrats, including Ann Kirkpatrick, support this legislation thus far. You attacked the motives of one of them. I am not understanding the pro-casino stance here unless it's simply inspired by all things related to Congressman Franks. 

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

I think it's fantastic that Native Americans have learned from the very thing that almost led to their  destruction.

The white mans greed.

Robb Vaules
Robb Vaules

Not that I am a fan of Indian Casinos, but this is wrong.

sarum
sarum

Good points Monica.  I like the map illustration of shot self in foot.

marcy
marcy

If you need some special legislation to help line your pockets then Trent's your man.

Just toss some dough at his re-election campaign and he's all yours.

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

@southasian247  Franks could give a rats rear-end about paying jobs in his district. As far as he is concerned, if you need a job, work at walmart. He gets a lot of his campaign donations out of Sunday collection plates. Don't expect anything from this tard, except maybe a new war to keep the price of oil high. peace

southasian247
southasian247

Have been long time employee of the casino industry in the Phoenix Metro area, let me give you guys some thing you won't find in the news. All the Casino employees in the Phoenix metro area, are hoping and praying for this casino to be built. WHY? In case you did.nt notice, employees in the tipped positions are minimum wage employees ( $5.50 per hour), they work in bad conditions and don't even make a living wage. their superiors in the management also don't fare a whole lot better.

One would think that the tribes really take good care of their  employees. PlEEEEEESE. They have been hiking the employee medical insurance premiums, cutting their benefits, and the bonuses the employees used to get, gone with the wind. Some of you may be wondering, why are they so sore, when most of the companies don't offer bonuses any more. Well they don't offer it, because they are making less money, unlike the tribal casinos in the  Valley, whose profits are highest they ever have been.

Both Talking Stick Resort ($6oo millions) and Wild Horse Pass Casino ($450 millions) construction loans were paid off before they even opened their doors to the public. Does it sound like they are not making money. They are simply hoarding more money to future projects, but screwing their PRESENT EMPLOYEES of their future.

When the Casino in the Glendale opens, I bet you most of the employees would have been cannibalized from the other local casinos with higher ( much higher) wages, since the existing casinos would have been forced to increase their wages to stave off any poaching of their best and the brightest.

TRUST ME, all metro phoenix employees are praying hard for this casino, and Trent Franks is just playing for the guys who pay him some moolah.

If the  measure were to come for vote, please vote yes for the Glendale Casino over 10,000 local casino industry employees are dependent on you.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@utahredrock It's inspired by all things hypocritical where 2 tribes are fighting a 3rd tribe not on principal but because it may hurt the monumental take that the 2 established tribes are already hauling in.  Its inspired by all things corrupt in our political system where $2.2m spent on lobbying gets a casion special interest legislation that you and I can't get.  It's inspired by all things hypocritical in the city of Glendal where spending a bazilion dollars to subsidize a hocky team and shopping plaza is fine but a self-supporting, no-incentives casino complex is not.  It's less pro casino or anti casino and more a commentary on the players and the political process.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@marcy Unfortunately, I can't think of a single republican Arizona politician that Marcy's post DOESN'T  fit.

sarum
sarum

@southasian247 I wish you were right but given that this is Arizona it will just be more low wage jobs.  Logic does not apply.  Human capital no longer has any value & the Republicans will never regain traction until they make a huge dent in that equation. They'll bring in foreigners before they pay you decent wage.  Tell me I am wrong.  I wish I was.  The Gang of 8 will have you replaced by an eager foreigner in a hot minute.

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