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Viewpoint- Clarifying Choctaw stand

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August 2, 2010

It took a little longer than I thought…but after all the positive comments I did begin to get some negative comments on my viewpoint that the Choctaws in Jones county be allowed to decide for themselves whether to build a casino on their own land…rather than the politician in Jackson. Let me be clear that I was not speaking out one way or the other on the morality of gambling. That is really not an issue here since the state lawmakers made gambling legal years ago.

Also, the Choctaws have casinos on their Neshoba county reservation that have been there for a number of years. Frankly, both the state and the tribe have become far too addicted to gambling…but that ship has sailed. There are plenty of places to gamble already.

I was only referring to the Choctaws legal right-confirmed in an opinion by the Attorney General to make decisions of this sort for themselves. The politicians just want to protect the taxes they get from waterfront gaming. If the Choctaws do build the casino and it creates a need for money to be spent on additional infrastructure…the tribe should pay for it. They are getting the revenue without having to pay the standard taxes on their gaming receipts so it is only fair they pay for the expense incurred.

But the tribe does have some of the rights of a sovereign nation and that has to be respected. Something we have often not done in the past. I'm Jim Cameron and that's today's viewpoint.