Babbitt's Department of Ulterior

Watching the Cash
Astroturf Opposition
Raise Your Right Hand
The Decision
Excerpts from C-SPAN

When wealthy casino tribes sought to derail a would-be competitor, campaign donations were the currency of the day

Like many Arizonans, I want to believe both Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and his former colleague Paul Eckstein.

Each man has an almost folkloric reputation for integrity.

Yet the Senate hearings that have spawned a Department of Justice probe into Babbitt’s 1995 denial of an Indian casino permit in the Midwest--spurred in significant measure by Eckstein’s testimony suggesting that Interior’s rejection of the casino amounts to an illegal, political quid pro quo--have left us to wonder:

Which of our native sons is telling the truth?

While too much time has passed for any gun to still be smoking in Babbitt’s decision to quash the casino, it is also true that we convicted Timothy McVeigh with less circumstantial evidence.

And incriminating facts, like shards of pottery, continue to be unearthed in the disputed, now notorious, decision to deny establishment of an Indian casino in the bucolic burg of Hudson, Wisconsin.

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As originally published in Phoenix New Times