November 6, 2007

Patrick Kennedy, National Casino Advocate

Carroll Andrew Morse

Gambling lobbyists appear to have found a reliable go-to guy in the U.S. Congress -- Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy. The Port Huron Times Herald has the details (h/t RISC)…

A bill that would pave the way for a casino in Port Huron picked up a third sponsor last week when a Rhode Island congressman endorsed it.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a Democrat, has signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 2176, which calls for federal approval of a 2002 land swap between the state of Michigan and the Bay Mills Indian Community of the Upper Peninsula.

The bill was introduced May 3 by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, and co-sponsored by Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township. It was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, where it has languished for six months.

"In approving this settlement, Congress can do right by the Bay Mills tribe and recognize what the people of Michigan already know: That the settlement is both fair and in the best interests of all parties involved," Kennedy said in a statement issued Friday.

The tribe gave up its long-standing claim to 110 acres of property at Charlotte Beach, a community on the St. Marys River, in exchange for a reservation on the 15-acre Thomas Edison Inn property in Port Huron.

The agreement has been bitterly opposed by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who contends it could take business from the three casinos in his city. It also is opposed by most of Michigan's other Indian tribes, particularly the Saginaw Chippewas.

How long do you think it will be before Congressman Kennedy is helping to push a casino on Rhode Island over local objections?

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From a November 2004 article by Kathrine Gregg in the Projo:

"But Kennedy, with the many advantages of incumbency -- including a congressional office staff that regularly churned out press releases trumpeting his activities in Washington -- had the edge.

Raising four times as much money from out-of-state donors as he did from people in Rhode Island, Kennedy harvested more than $2.1 million during this election cycle. More than $100,000 came from tribal and other gambling interests. Kennedy picked up money or endorsements -- and in some cases both -- from the political arms of a long list of unions, including the Teamsters, Rhode Island AFL-CIO, the Fraternal Order of Police, Laborers International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers, and the National Education Association."

"Open Secrets" has more if you feel like crossing the names of Casino Execs with his donor lists.

Posted by: Follow the Money at November 6, 2007 3:36 PM

In a climate where the left daily slurs fellow leftist Cianci for exposing the corruption in the Ciccilne administration with "convicted felon" cries can we point out that while unconvicted cocaine and heroin using dim bulb Patrick is an "admitted felon".

Posted by: Mike at November 6, 2007 8:24 PM


Any suggestions on how to compile a list of names that are tied to casino interests?

Posted by: Andrew at November 7, 2007 9:47 AM


Donors have to break down by business. It is somewhat painstaking but let's take this 1996 page at Open Secrets for starters:

Half way down, under "Misc. Businesses" sub heading "casinos" are our friends at Bally's. There was a fundraiser that the owner of Bally's did for him and that would then become a Hsu like situation with "bundling" of donations.

Let's all remember that Kennedy was number three or four on the Abramoff list and the number one Democrat...

Posted by: Follow the Money at November 7, 2007 4:02 PM
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