Oregon Governor Kate Brown ‘Hypocritical’ Over Tribal Gambling U-Turn, Say Critics

Posted on: October 29, 2018, 06:04h. 

Last updated on: October 29, 2018, 06:04h.

Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown has been accused of naked hypocrisy after hopping into bed with a Native American tribe that has to date boosted her political war chest to the tune of $115,000, The Washington Times alleges.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown
Oregon Governor Kate Brown has had a recent rethink on gambling but at least one tribe believes the State Lottery program involving scratch cards and sports betting amounts to favoritism. (Image: Michael Lloyd/AP)

There’s nothing illegal about the funds pouring into the governor’s campaign coffers from the Cow Creek Band of Umpua Tribe of Indians, but her about-turn on gambling since the tribe began throwing her some coin has been dramatic — and has left at least one other Oregon Tribe feeling distinctly short-changed.

Just two years ago, Brown tried to squelch a proposal by the Coquille tribe for a small electronic bingo parlor, to be tagged into a bowling alley at a truck stop off the Interstate 5 in Medford, Oregon.

She said it was “essential to hold the line” on the number of casinos in the area, according to the staunchly right-wing WT, owned by ‘Moonie’ leader Sun Myung Moon.

“I believe the state should, as a matter of policy, resist the building of additional casinos because state support for even a single, modest, additional casino is likely to lead to significant efforts to expand gaming across Oregon to the detriment of the public welfare,” said Brown in April 2016.

‘Just a Case Study’

Brown has changed her tune since, though, and now wants to explore gambling expansion, via the Oregon Lottery, to offer “scratch tickets, jackpot games and keno at a travel center operated by the Cow Creek Tribe,” according to lottery spokesman Matthew Shelby — with some kind of sports betting offering also possibly on the horizon.

Shelby says the Cow Creek travel center is ultimately a case study that will determine whether a tribal gaming partnership could be mutually beneficial, and if proven so it would be rolled out to other tribes in the future.

‘Favorite Tribe’

But chairperson of the Coquille Indian Tribal Council Brenda Meade said her tribe would have liked to have been part of that case study from the start.

Why weren’t all Oregon tribes included in this conversation, instead of just the one that makes big campaign contributions?” she asked WT.

“This is just another example of the governor’s hypocrisy on tribal gaming,” she added. “She preaches about opposing casino proliferation. Meanwhile, her administration is scheming to increase the money flowing to the lottery and her favorite tribe.”

The Coquille tribe is still waiting to hear if the Department of Interior will agree to put aside a plot of land of less than two acres into trust for its bowling alley slots parlor — a venture that has long been opposed by the Cow Creek tribe.