Senator John McCain Embraces Congressman Trent Franks' Anti-West Valley Casino Bill

Categories: Wild, Wild West

Senator John McCain at a oversight hearing hosted by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Arizona's political heavyweights have spent years in federal court challenging the legality of Tohono O'odham Nation's proposed West Valley Resort, a casino near 91st and Northern avenues.

Since the law hasn't been on opponents' side, they've desperately been trying to change it.

Congressman Trent Franks, who is now joined by Senator John McCain, is attempting for at least the third year in a row to manipulate the terms of the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act with a narrow bill that would effectively block the Nation's casino.

See also:
-Franks Proposes Narrow Special-Interest Measure to Block TON Proposed Casino
-Glendale Mayor Fails to Convey City's True Stance on Gaming at Senate Hearing

Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. says that "despite the opposition's latest efforts, we are confident that Congress, like so many others, will recognize the incredible benefits the West Valley Resort will provide to the region and all of Arizona."

Last year, Franks measure made it out of the House, but didn't go anywhere in the Senate. It's unclear how the bill will fare this year with McCain backing the companion bill.

McCain has been an odd player during this west-side casino controversy.

McCain, during his days as a U.S. Congressman, co-sponsored the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act that was signed into law in 1986. That Act gave the Nation the legal right to purchase up to 9,880 acres of private lands in Pima, Pinal, or Maricopa counties to replace all of the reservation land that the federal government inadvertently -- but carelessly -- destroyed when it built the Painted Rock Dam near Gila Bend.

The Nation bought a Maricopa County parcel neighboring the City of Glendale.

We're hardly surprised that Franks, an ineffectual politician with the warped belief that incidents of rape resulting pregnancy are very low, has reintroduced his narrow anti-casino bill.

But it's hard to understand why McCain is turning against a promise he helped make to the Tohono O'odham Nation via the Gila Bend Land Act.

During a July 23 U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, McCain tried to say that Indian gaming wasn't around in 1986 when he and other worked to get that law into place. But a top ranking official in the Department of the Interior reminded McCain that gaming had already emerged as a hot button issue and had sparked lawsuits across the country.

Despite his support for the anti-casino legislation, McCain told his fellow senators that the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act -- which he also worked on during his early days as a federal lawmaker -- "allows for a Vegas-style gaming facility to be built on trust lands if they were acquired by an Indian tribe under a Congressionally approved land claim settlement" and that in Glendale's case, that land claim settlement is the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act.

"I share the objections of many Arizonans when I see a casino being air dropped into the metro Phoenix area," he told the oversight senate committee. "However, I understand that U.S. Federal District Court has decided in favor of the Tohono O'odham Nation to acquire the land consistent with the technical wording in the Arizona gaming compact, and that the Glendale City Council recently voted in support for the casino."

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MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

We voters need to clean house, both at the state capitol and the United States capitol.

Ever since republicans took the house of representatives in 2010, it's been a repeat of World War I, with republicans bogged down in their trenches and democrats along with the president bogged down in their trenches, and the bills being passed by one chamber serving as the fallen soldiers in no man's land.

The idiot voters get what they pay for.


McCain for years has attempted to screw Native Americans out of monies owed them by mining interests in Native lands. This is another in the long lists of racists acts by McCain. 

Time for you to retire old man! 


Here's goes Old John McCain again letting his racist views get the better of him once again. With McCain it's strictly a race issue, McCain has a history of being against and voting against all minority issue. Why would McCain object to something that the people want, that would create thousands of jobs? Reason being he's against Native Americans and and all minorities. Old grumpy McCain even voted against the MLK Holiday years back. He's strictly for big business, McCain and Frank deserve each other. They're poster boys for term limits and we need to replace both of these two outdated out of touch career politicians. 

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Oh, Johnny, you know it's over and you can tell that freak on the other side of the capitol he should go back to pushing D.C. bedroom-issue laws. Maybe a law banning the importation or sale of rubbers in the district? Or perhaps a law banning gay bars within 2,000 feet of a federal facility? How about a law raising the age of consent to 40? 

To whomever it is who's running against Franks: Here (the West Valley casino issue) is something you can clobber over the head with. Every day.


@eric.nelson745  THEY BOTH NEED TO BE REPLACED!  McCain and Frank are career politicians that are outdated and out of touch. With McCain's warmongering views maybe he wants a war with the Native Americans again. McCain is completely a bitter, grumpy dangerous warmongering madman.That's no longer mental competent to hold office 

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Edit: "...can clobber him over the head..."

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