Monday, August 31, 2009

Example of How Republicans Can't Govern

The Florida government is in a deficit. The Florida Seminoles gambling compact could bring in an estimated $100 million-a-year in tax revenue. Marco Rubio has taken an anti-tax stance. The Seminoles offered to pay taxes to have slot machines and baccaret. Rubio fought the deal to appease social conservatives. Republican legislators, in their grandstanding, fail to mention that the Seminoles will get new gambling rights through the Department of the Interior.

The deadline is approaching and Republicans aren't even pretending this is about social conservatism.

Lead House negotiator Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, warned that if Crist gives the Seminoles too sweet a deal, lawmakers may throw up their hands and bump the negotiations up to the U.S. Department of the Interior. Doing so would mean the tribe, which is considered an independent nation, would get expanded casino style gambling and the state would be left out in the cold.

At issue is "exclusivity," or how many more games the Seminoles can offer than their competition.

"It's my understanding is that has been their focus," Galvano said during a break in the negotiations.

The gambling industry has been supportive of Galvano. Republicans can not act independantly from lobbyists and contributors. The federal government will grant the Seminoles will get increased gambling rights. The state is in a bad economic downturn. Florida will lose tax dollars if no compact is reached. Galvano and other Republicans have had two years to reach an agreement with the Seminoles. Galvano and other Republican are more concerned about pleasing dog racetracks than dealing with Florida's deficit. Gov. Charlie Crist illegally went around the Florida legislature to an agreement with the Seminoles. The tribe has been a generous contributor to Crist's campaigns. The Seminole compact disaster illustrates how the current GOP refuses to place responsible governing over special interests.

Galvano's threat to the Seminoles is they will not take Seminole tax dollars and the Department of Interior will grant the Seminoles increased gambling priviledges. The Seminoles will still be allowed to run their new games. (They never stopped.) Does anyone believe this intimidates the Seminoles?

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