|The Providence Journal has attacked one of Rhode Island’s Members of Congress, Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrat, for what it calls shelving the fight, which Kennedy could undertake on behalf of the Narragansett Indian tribe to establish high-stakes gambling on their own lands. |
Kennedy, son of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee is assumed to have the clout to help the tribe. However, he is also known to have been the recipient of contributions to his re-election campaigns from the established gambling industry, including Harrah’s.
Also, the tribe’s own gambling enterprise would be first subjected to the approval of voters over the whole state, or of the town near the tribal land, West Warwick. The State General Assembly has initiated a study of the matter, but the tribe sees that effort so far resulting in the stalling of the statewide referendum which, if won, would give them the go-ahead to build their half-billion dollar casino.
Kennedy won’t help in this matter, which is so far a local and state matter. “I have too much on my plate to seek legislation that would permit the Narragansetts to build a gambling enterprise on their land in Charlestown,” Kennedy said.
Narragansett Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas understands from Kennedy's staff that the congressman is also not moved to go against the strong Republican majority in the House of Representatives, which is against many gambling interests.