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Senecas Becoming Big-spending Casinos Players on the Political Scene
To gauge the growing power of the Seneca
Nation of Indians, look at the schedule of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, a
Republican rising star in the House, for 2001 and 2002.
Reynolds, a key player in the House GOP fund-raising machinery,
devoted about 15 hours – and perhaps more to the deal in Albany that
brought the Senecas their three casinos, private law firm records show.
Reynolds lives in Clarence. His district does not include the tribe’s
reservations or casino sites.
But he had a long-standing friendly relationship with the Senecas,
who now have something politicians want: money. And after the Senecas
opened their first casino in 2002, the pols got what they wanted.
The Seneca Nation, never a big political donor before, gave $89,500
to Washington politicians and political committees in 2003 and 2004.
More than a third of it went to committees tied to Reynolds.
That’s just one sign that the Seneca Nation is spending the kind of
money that equals power in Washington and Albany – and using that power
to get its way. For example, the tribe:
Won federal approval for its casinos with the aid of a federal
lawyer who later went to work for Akin Gump, the tribe’s lobbying firm.
Spent $1.4 million in 2002 for the services of Akin Gump, which
drew up the deal for the Seneca casinos and suggested language that may
allow the tribe to build a casino in Cheektowaga.
entire article at:
The Buffalo News
2004 Online Casino News Archive