Trent Franks, Arizona Congressman, Proposes Narrow Special-Interest Measure to Block Tohono O'odham Nation's Proposed West Valley Casino
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.
Congressman Trent Franks
There are a few bits about H.R. 1410, this latest bill, that are worth pointing out.
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.
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.