by Michael Lowrey
You can’t make this up:
So it seems that the Catawba Indian Nation wants to build a casino. These days, that is pretty much what Indian tribes do. And yes, it is all about the money. The Catawbas are a recognized tribe in South Carolina but not in North Carolina. They also own land in South Carolina but not North Carolina. The push though to get South Carolina to agree to let the Catawba operate a casino isn’t going so well, so the tribe recently began negotiations with the McCrory Administration about possibly having the Catawba build their casino just off Interstate 85 near Kings Mountain.
Which is to say that the Catawba are using the age-old strategy of flirting with someone else to get more attention from your significant other. It’s all rather obvious. Not sure exactly why state officials are playing along.
One thing is certain: GOP legislative leaders in the General Assembly are not amused. As Team McClatchy reports:
Sen. Tom Apodaca, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, sounded indignant after a Cleveland County economic development official recently told him about the negotiations for a casino. Apodaca said Senate leader Phil Berger and the majority Republican caucus would oppose such an effort.
“We don’t need an out-of-state tribe coming into North Carolina and opening a casino,” the Hendersonville lawmaker said Thursday. “I can tell you I haven’t heard of one person yet who was excited about the idea.”
House Speaker Pro Tem Skip Stam, an Apex Republican, echoed the sentiment. As a strong gambling opponent, Stam is worried the casino’s prominent location off a major interstate would generate “10 times as much gambling” as the destination resort operated by the Cherokees in a remote region of the state.
“I am very much opposed to it and will do everything I can to defeat it,” he said.