Barbour’s threats to Choctaws a real farce

In Barbour’s letter last week to Choctaw Miko Beasley Denson, the governor made every possible threat to the Choctaws – lawsuits, regulatory hurdles from environmental challenges, public health concerns, potential damages to state and county roads and bridges – to stop the project. Barbour even lamented the dangers the development posed to “tortoises, fowl snakes, and plants” in the Pine Belt region. Please . . .

All that flora and fauna aside, it’s clear why Barbour and other state officials want to stop the Choctaw’s project – to protect the profit margins of the state-regulated casinos from competition.

The punch line?
But all the supposed worry that the proposed Choctaw “slot parlor” is causing Gov. Barbour over the poor little tortoises, fowl, snakes and plants isn’t the truly funny part of the state’s efforts to nix the Jones County casino. Here’s the punch line from Barbour’s letter to Denson: “Clearly, what the tribe has proposed in Jones County does not benefit or protect the citizens of the tribe and the state; rather, it appears this project will be at the expense of state and local governments.”

When the Choctaws were broke, the state ignored and neglected them. Since the tribe began to create jobs and wealth, state government has been licking its chops to try to tax them with little success.

Sid Salter
Clarion Ledger
6/27/10