The Casino Craps Out
by Bruce Jackson
The Buffalo gambling case and the judge’s decision
The small casino currently operated in downtown Buffalo by the Seneca Nation of Indians is an unlawful operation. The Senecas own the land and it benefits from and carries the special conditions regulating land that, in federal law, is “Indian country.” But it is not the narrowly defined and strictly regulated kind of Indian country on which gambling can take place. The Senecas can build whatever they like there—hotels, theaters, shops, hospitals, schools, anything at all. They can even build a gambling joint. But they cannot legally permit anyone to gamble in it.
So ruled US District Court Judge William M. Skretny, in a 122-page decision (127 pages with the front matter) rendered Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Buffalo. The decision is detailed, scholarly, at points elegantly written. Judge Skretny outlines the history and character of the treaties and laws governing Indian lands in general and Indian lands in Western New York in particular. He takes on the issues raised by the plaintiffs and argued by the defendants one by one and endorses or rejects each one.
The plaintiffs are a mixed group of organizations and individuals: Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County, Network of Religious Communities, Preservation Coalition of Erie County, The Campaign for Buffalo—History, Architecture and Culture, Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, Erie County legislator Maria Whyte, Pastor Keith H. Scott Sr., and others. Erie County was one of the plaintiffs but pulled out when Chris Collins succeeded Joel Giambra as county executive early this year.
The case has been organized and directed by a group calling itself Citizens for Better Buffalo, the president of which is Buffalo attorney Diane Bennett. (I was vice president of the group from its organization in 2005 through July 2007). The lawsuit has been funded primarily by the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation. The plaintiffs were initially represented by a team headed by Buffalo attorney Joseph Finnerty, who was replaced by Albany lawyer Cornelius D. Murray.
The defendants are Philip N. Hogen, in his official capacity as chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, the National Indian Gaming Commission, the United States Department of the Interior, and Dirk Kempthorne, in his official capacity as the Secretary of the Interior. They were and continue to be represented by the US Department of Justice.
Judge Skretny’s ruling is a response to the plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint, filed on July 12, 2007, which amended the complaint that was originally filed on January 3, 2006. Based on the original Complaint, the judge remanded the questions to the National Indian Gambling Commission, telling it to subject the Seneca Nation’s gambling request to a serious measure of scrutiny in terms of the law. The NIGC made a few linguistic changes in its authorization to set up a casino in Buffalo, but apparently ignored all the judge’s requirements about making it in terms of the law.
So this time the judge held that the NIGC ruling was “vacated” because:
The NIGC approved the SNl’s gaming ordinance based on its conclusion that the Buffalo casino site was acquired as part of the settlement of a land claim. The NIGC deferred to the Secretary’s opinion in this regard. The NIGC and the Secretary failed to: consider the text of the SNSA, review related statutes and case law, interpret the meaning of the statutory language at issue, or offer reasoned explanations for their conclusions. For these reasons, the NIGC Chairman’s conclusion, which relies on the Secretary’s opinion, is arbitrary and capricious. Moreover, the Buffalo casino site was not acquired as part of the settlement of a land claim. Because the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act did not apply to the SNl’s land leases, there was no claim for the SNSA to settle. The NIGC’s determination to the contrary is not in accordance with the law. The Court vacates the NIGC’s approval of the Class III Gaming Ordinance for the Buffalo casino site as arbitrary and capricious, and contrary to law.
Terms of art, points of law
“Arbitrary and capricious” are what lawyers call a “term of art,” and is the term used when an agency (or lower court) makes a determination without reasonable grounds or adequate consideration of the circumstances, and that decision cannot withstand scrutiny by the reviewing court. Judge Skretny’s decision, in fact, reads as much like a brief for a higher court hearing an appeal as a ruling on a local case. After his detailed historical and legal analysis he takes on the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ arguments one by one, setting each in a broader legal context and examining them in this specific context.
He rejects, for example, the plaintiffs’ argument that the Seneca purchase isn’t Indian territory at all, that it is land owned by the Senecas, but not in a way that qualifies as Indian country. It is indeed Indian country, he says, and then details why. He rejects the defendants’ argument that the plaintiffs have no standing in federal court to sue on this issue. He also rejects the defendants’ claim that the court has not right to adjudicate this issue because it had to do with land title and the court cannot interfere with land in which the government has a title interest under the “Quiet Title Act.” No title is involved in this case, writes Judge Skretny; the case is entirely about whether the Seneca ownership of the land meets the requirements of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA).
What kind of land is that nine acres?
Most importantly he rules on whether or not the Seneca property in downtown Buffalo qualifies for an exclusion from IGRA’s prohibition against gambling on lands acquired after October 17, 1988. The exclusion depended on by the Seneca Nation of Indians, the US Department of the Interior, the National Indian Gaming Commission, the Secretary of the Interior, and New York Governor George Pataki was one that permitted gambling on land acquired after that cutoff date if the land had been acquired a part of a land settlement.
The defendants insisted that since a small portion of the money used to purchase the Buffalo property came out of funds from the Seneca Nation Settlement Act of 1990 (SNSA), the entire purchase was therefore the product of a land settlement and therefore land on which gambling could take place. The plaintiffs argued that SNSA wasn’t a land settlement; it was a lease adjustment act: The Senecas had been underpaid for years for lands they leased to non-Indians in Salamanca and the act redressed that wrong by giving them $35 million in compensation. The Senecas owned the Salamanca land before SNSA and they owned it after SNSA. No land changed hands as a result of the SNSA.
That position was argued most forcefully and publicly by former Congressman John LaFalce, who was co-sponsor of the bill. He argued it in planning meetings of Citizens for Better Buffalo (often over the opposition of then lead counsel Joseph Finnerty who was, for a time, anxious to base the case on his notion of what he called “environmental justice,” an idea no one in the group picked up and which eventually faded away). LaFalce reiterated his position most recently in an article posted June 16 on the Buffalo Report Web site (buffaloreport.com) and reprinted two weeks later in abbreviated form in the Buffalo News “Another Voice” column (both versions are available online).
LaFalce’s essay was argued in the News’ letters column by Barry E. Snyder Sr., chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corporation. The casino, argued Snyder, is a great economic engine for the community, and the Buffalo land was acquired “through the settlement of a land claim.” The name of the act empowering gambling in Buffalo, wrote Snyder, is “Seneca Nation Land Claims Settlement.”
NIGC chair Hogen had said the same thing in his determination. He tried to read SNSA as a settlement act because the title in the United States Code is “Seneca Nation (New York) Land Claims Settlement.” Hogen should, Judge Skretny wrote, have looked at the act itself because that title was provided by a printing clerk or editor; it is not the title of the act itself, which is “To provide for the renegotation of certain leases of the Seneca Nation, and for other purposes.” Congress, the judge points out, “gave the Act the short title ‘Seneca Nation Settlement Act of 1990. Congress did not include the term ‘claim,’ much less ‘land claim,’ in the SNSA’s long or short titles.”
So that title relied on by Snyder in his letter to the Buffalo News and by the National Indian Gaming Commission in its determination that the nine Buffalo acres were gambling eligible was a clerical error, nothing more. It had nothing to do with the legislation co-authored by John LaFalce and passed by Congress. The Buffalo land was Indian country but not gambling territory, which was why the judge said the Seneca Buffalo casino was outside the law.
Byron Brown’s response
A few hours after Judge Skretny published his decision on July 8, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown issued this response:
The proposed Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino remains the largest private development project in this history of the city.
The ongoing $333 million project has already created over 100 construction jobs and it is expected that more than 1,000 people will be employed upon the project’s completion, including approximately 50% city residents earning an estimated average salary $35,000 per year.
The City of Buffalo is not a party of the federal lawsuit. According to initial legal analysis, the judicial review process will continue and the city remains committed to receiving 100% of the estimated $5-7 million a year in revenue as the host municipality to the casino.
This needs a gloss:
• It’s a really big construction project (he says nothing about other construction that won’t happen because of the money the casino will suck out of the community, nor of business that won’t relocate here because there would be a casino in the heart of town).
• It will create a lot of construction jobs (he never says or does anything that might in any way displease the trades unions, however harmful a particular project might be to the city in the long run).
• It will provide lots of jobs (he says nothing about the greater number of jobs that will be lost elsewhere in the city).
• The City has nothing to do with the lawsuit (don’t blame us for this debacle, the dream that may be dissolving in the light of day).
• And finally, a sentence that is at once irrelevant, a non sequitur and pouty: a legal analysis (by whom?) says the legal activity regarding the casino will continue (someone will probably appeal?) and (the conjunction doesn’t connect anything; it indicates a move to a totally different subject) his administration still wants that $5-7 million a year as its cut of the slot drop (no matter that that $5-7 million comes to City Hall at the cost of more than 10 times as much money taken out of the local economy), every single penny of it (County Hall better not get the idea that we’re going to share this because we’re not. It’s ours, all ours).
Since he took office Byron Brown has remained perfectly consistent about the casino project. His lines could have been taken from the Seneca gambling operation’s public mantra (and frequent Buffalo News “Another Voice” columns) about the casino’s unalloyed benefits to the city. It makes sense for the Seneca gambling bosses to make the same claims again and again and for them never to refer to the harm all studies have shown downtown casinos have done to local economies, especially casinos, like this one, that would pay no local or state taxes and be subject to no state employee benefit or environmental laws. The gambling bosses are in it to make money for themselves and the Seneca Nation; they have no responsibility to look out for us. (See for example, the glowing July 3 Buffalo News “Another Voice” essay by SNI President Maurice A. John Sr., “Seneca economy helps New York, no incentives needed.” It’s about all the money SNI is spending in Buffalo with nary a word about the fact that the money being spent is money that was first being taken out of Buffalo.)
The mayor of Buffalo should be looking out for us; that’s his job. And that’s what’s so strange about Byron Brown’s unwavering and uncritical position on the casino.
He is like a businessman who looks only at the plus side of the ledger and goes out to the stockholders and gives smiling, glowing reports. When stockholders ask what about the other side of the ledger he seems not to hear the question, or not to think it matters as long as the positive side is really, really positive. He is a walking, talking, speechifying, statement-issuing illustration of why the citizenry needs the courts.
The Seneca response
The SNI response to the lawsuit was more measured and rational than Byron Brown’s. President Maurice A. John Sr. had scheduled a press conference Tuesday afternoon but cancelled it after the decision was made public. Apparently he had expected the judge to rule in favor of SNI. He later issued a statement claiming the judge had validated SNI’s ownership of the land and the fact that the land was Indian country, but:
We were disappointed, however, that the Court concluded that the National Indian Gaming Commission did not properly approve our gaming ordinance.
The Court’s decision is lengthy and requires much closer analysis. We will be reviewing the decision carefully, as we want to be sure that the Court was aware of and considered all of the applicable federal law. We will be speaking further with the United States as we study our options and examine the decision in greater detail…
The Seneca Nation has faced many challenges in our 1000-year struggle of survival. This is but another. I am confident that we will be successful in achieving the destiny of the Seneca people.
At this point, the Seneca Nation of Indians can’t do anything but issue statements and lobby government officials. It wasn’t a party to the lawsuit so it can’t appeal the judge’s decision. They’ve retained famed Harvard Constitutional lawyer Lawrence Tribe, but it’s not yet clear what they intend to do with him. Will he advise them on how the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan or the Supreme Court might deal with Judge Skretny’s careful text? Will they ask him to initiate an entirely new lawsuit of their own, one designed to derail the current process?
The Justice Department, acting on behalf of the Department of the Interior and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Commission, is almost certain to appeal Judge Skretny’s ruling. Buffalo isn’t the only place where the Secretary of the Interior and IGRA rubber-stamped a request for a gambling ordinance. Indian gambling is very big money and very big money translates into very big campaign contributions. Jack Abramoff is gone but he’s got scores of clones still in business on K Street who learned from his mistakes. The Bush administration has been consistent in its agency response to big money and big business. (Note, for example, the recent secret attempt by the former timber lobbyist Bush put in charge of the US Forest Service to convert hundreds of thousands of public mountain forest land to residential subdivisions.)
How successful will an appeal be? Judge Skretny’s decision is very well researched and carefully grounded in a great deal of history and law, so sustaining it on appeal seems like a no-brainer. But if you read the majority opinions in Bush v. Gore (the 2000 Florida vote count case) and District of Columbia et al v. Heller (the 2008 Second Amendment handgun case), you know that, with this court, the fact that something might be a no-brainer is a non-starter.
But it usually takes a long time for a case to get to the Supreme Court. What about the short term? Will the Seneca gambling operation continue as it is now—lots of slots in the blue shed on Michigan Street and then a huge dazzling array of them in the gambling palace presently under construction?
The day Skretny’s decision came down, a spokesman for SNI said it was their intention to keep on running the gambling operation in downtown Buffalo and to keep on with their big hotel and casino construction project. They would, he said, take time to study the opinion in detail before coming to a final decision.
There is a distant possibility that they might fold their Buffalo hand and be content to reap profits from their Niagara Falls and Allegany operations. But hardly anyone expects them to do that. Why should they? Washington has been and continues to be friendly to gambling operations. Obama has said nothing likely to offend gambling interests so there’s no reason to expect him, if he is elected, to jump in and order his Justice Department to stand down on this one and his Department of the Interior to back off. On issues connected with big money, McCain is Bush Redux, so he’s not likely to get his hands dirty with this one either.
What power, exactly, does a federal district court judge have over an agency in the executive branch? Judge Skretny has declared NIGC’s Buffalo gambling ordinance “vacated,” but can he force NIGC to force the Seneca Nation of Indians to close shop? There is no question a federal judge can order a city to integrate its schools or fire department, but can he do that to a federal agency? What if the federal agency says, “You’re wrong, we don’t want to do what you want us to do, and we’re going to find another judge who will rule our way?”
Judge Skretny has delivered a learned, carefully reasoned opinion in which he determines that the gambling operation in Buffalo was improperly authorized and is therefore operating outside the law. It may be a while before anyone knows the practical consequences of that opinion.
Bruce Jackson is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Samuel L. Capen Professor of American Culture at UB. His most recent books are The Story Is True: The Art and Meaning of Telling Stories and Cummins Wide: Photographs from the Arkansas Penitentiary. He edits the political Web site BuffaloReport.com.
09 Jul 2008, 21:37
Is someone preparing to knock byron brown out of the box (democrat/republican)---I thought Masiello was bad-and he was horrible-politics use to be the arena of old men/women who already made their fortunes and would try to pay society back (and protect their fortunes-but generally-believe it or not helped all of us(private property)). Come on folks-step up to the plate-------
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
10 Jul 2008, 06:22
I would like to aim my remarks as that obstructionist named Joel Rose.
Mr. Rose: Since when did you appoint yourself the people's spokesman? You don't represent my views.
Did you, or your cohorts, have an alternative job-creation plan for Buffalo before the Senecas got right to work? Do you have a plan today? If not, you lost this argument by default. The Senecas won the moment they tore down the abandoned grain mill and started building.
Your lawsuits are a waste of the courts' time and resources that could be applied to more urgent cases. Please concede this and back off.
Senecas: Forget the anti0-casino lawsuits/rulings. It's your property. Do as you like. Proceed as planned, to completion.
10 Jul 2008, 10:16
Thanks Mr. Jackson (not Fisher) for clarifying the casino issue. Thanks to CBB who perservered to stand up to a small group of political despots who disregarded our laws on gambling.
Why should only a small politically connected group have the right to operate a casino in New York State? Mr. Frank Parlato is going to place slots in Niagara Falls to challenge that. He pays taxes; SNI doesn't.
This could all have been avoided if elected officials who wanted gambling had the courage to take the issue to a referendum. Then the people could vote whether or not they want gambling to be legal in New York State.
10 Jul 2008, 11:01
I've already written a lot about this and people know my position on the Casino. The thing that gets me about this whole issue is that a small group of people bankrolled by a nonprofit foundation are pushing their political agenda on the community. When will the IRS step in and investigate the Wendt Foundation for using its tax exempt funds to do political campaigning. This is probably illegal, and Wendt should have its tax exempt status revoked and pay back taxes for the use of funds for political purposes.
I am sure the founders of the Wendt Foundation would role over in their graves to know that a charity has been transformed into a Washington Lobby by a few currupt trustees who also bilk the foundation out of close to $400,000 a year in personal compensation. It is all a matter of public record, look up Wendt's IRS 990 form yourself. This is how a small group of wealthy elites hold over 1000 jobs in ballance that will pay Buffalo residents an average of $35k per year. I guess Wendt's philosophy is to keep people poor and dependent so they can be the white knight to the community.
10 Jul 2008, 11:08
Point 1. Name-calling. On this issue, yes, I am an obstructionist. If you see a purse-snatcher in the street, would you try to stop him? Or would you be concerned that doing so would label you an obstructionist? To me, that's just a silly argument. A casino in Buffalo is a dumb idea, for reasons that have been explained ad nauseum here and elsewhere. I'm trying to stop a dumb idea. You'll get no apologies for that.
Point 2. People's spokesman. I never claimed to be any such thing. I'm expressing my views. I have a First Amendment right to do so, as do we all. I am also exercising my right to seek redress against illegal acts by my government by bringing an action in Federal Court. So what is your point here? It seems to be: "I don't agree with you, so shut up." If that's the case, my answer is No.
Point 3. Job creation. No, I don't have a job creation plan. But I do feel that the very first thing we should do is to refrain from DESTROYING jobs, which is what the casino would do. Economists, at least those who are not in the employ of the gambling industry (and even some who are), are virtually unanimous on this point: a casino, outside of a city like Las Vegas where the entire economy is based on casinos, will destroy two to three jobs for every job it creates. So here's my modest idea: Let's not make things any worse. Now, there are a lot of positive developments going on in Buffalo, generated by people who are much more creative than I am, so we don't need to act like we're desperate. But even if we were, a casino would only make things worse.
Point 4. Wasting the court's time. Since the Judge's decision upheld our main contention, wouldn't you have to conclude that it was the OTHER side that wasted the court's time? But I would never take that position, because I think that everyone, even a cynical Federal bureaucrat, is entitled to his day in court. Don't you?
Point 5. Defying the court. The Seneca Nation is not subject to state or local law, but it is subject to Federal law. Are you really saying you'd like to see the Senecas defy a Federal judge? I grew up in Tennessee, and I remember very well when President Eisenhower had to send tanks to keep the peace in our county seat, the little town of Clinton, because of people who (like you, apparently) felt that legal behavior was optional.
It saddens me that you have no better vision for your community than fleecing our neighbors, stifling dissent, and defiance of the legal system. But you're entitled to your opinion.
And so am I.
10 Jul 2008, 11:34
Joel, can you provide the names of the economists and their work that supports your claim that a casino will destroy jobs.
10 Jul 2008, 12:52
And I'd still like someone to tell me exactly where all the money that will be "sucked out of the local economy" is going to go.
John Q Blogger
10 Jul 2008, 13:30
Thanks to the U.S. constitution we live in a country where any one person or a million people can challenge corporate gambling in a U.S. court. That's the beauty of our system of government. Some people just love to bash others for using their rights as American citizens to stand up and disagree. If it wasn't for a small group of people since the founding of the United States of America who stood up and protested or filed law suits in our courts this country would be like Saudi Arabia and people would be getting beheaded in the public square for disagreeing or breaking some arbitrary law from a monarch.
The point that should be addressed after reading this well written and revealing Bruce Jackson article is why are we being blind to the many issues pertaining to the harm that casino gambling has done and will do to the people of Buffalo? What sort of citizen or elected official turns a blind eye to the harm of casino gambling has done here? Why thousands of dollars have been stolen as of recently from local churches to fuel the coffers of corporae government. There is no talk of reparations to refund the money stolen to aid the poor and needy. No all we hear again and again is the same slanted and one sided non critical opinions that are disengenuous to the truth of the matter.
Casino gambling is the Trojan horse that was rushed into the confines of the City of Buffalo. Like Greeks that slowly emerge from a thing of wonder and promise the looting of this community and displacement of it's greater wealth is taking place in our community. We have lots of hysterical and hasty opinions that only see the Trojan horse and not the Greeks taking down our people, our tax paying business, our government, our constitution, and the right to say wait a minute this thing is wrong. It wasn't by accident that we have labor unions or civil rights laws in the USA. It was through people standing against other harmful Trojan horses. Once slavery was considered in the U.S. a way to create jobs and increse wealth but the harm that it did to the human condition became too much for good men and women to stomach any longer.
How many more people would be alive today if good people had come forward and stood up and opposition to governments and corporations that brush off the opinions and harmful outcomes to it's citizens? Why some of you talk like you have the right to run over sound opinions with literal tanks. You want us to all be blind and just go along with thousands of dollars being looted from churches. What is wrong with you? You are being un-American. You talk like tyrants that impose viewpoints without considering the dire consequences. Yes let't not be blind when people are being harmed to benefit a corporation or a government. The way to Nazi death camps and Osama think is to go along and not challenge and not to voice opposition to things that are wrong. The casino is a wrongful and harmful corporate entity like a Trojan horse.
There are times in this country when people need to use the power of their citizenship to be as brave and noble. They are no different than those who rushed into the 911 Twinn Towers or those who have served their country in warfare or those who marched in Selma, Alabama for civil rights or those who were locked up because of opposition to monarcy, slavery, violation of human and civil rights, for a better America. This is what true heroes and Americans do. They challenge things when they are wrongful. They don't walk by people who are on the ground. They are not arbitrary or capricious towards a government established for all our people. It is far easier to do nothing. It is far easier to look the other way when wrongs are massive perpetrated. It is far easier to be a follower of bad leadership and to pretend that things are wrong when they are wrong as a three wooden nickel.
To concentrate only on the plus side of the casino eqquation and not challenge the dire negatives is the group think that got us into Iraq for weapons of mass destruction and into Vietnam for the domino theory. The casino is an all glitz and glamour facade while the internal workings are rotten to the core like those who call themselves elected representatives of the people, but instead are elected official of the gambling interests. Don't tell me to shut up and help you pull this casino Trojan horse. Thank God for the intelligent people in Bufffalo who can see a project that is a lemon. Thank those who stood up throughout this nations history and spit in the face of injustice and degradation of human beings.
The court of the United States has spoken. Will the gambling corporation be placed above the law or will it have to obey our countries laws? We as Buffalonians and Americans are heading down a path far more destructive than the loss of jobs when we abandon the U.S. constitution and value the corporate decision over that of a Federal judge.
Wake up this is America.
10 Jul 2008, 15:58
Rose and Blogger must be smoking dope. Thanks for asking Rose to put up or shut up Mike.
But, let's not let the Wendt Foundation off the hook. What is their political campaign doing for Buffalo and is it legal for a 501c3 to use its tax exempt funds for political purposes?
I looked up Wendt's tax return. Robert Kresse, Thomas Lunt and Janet Day are each paid over $150,000 per year to work 2 hours a week as trustees for the foundation. What a rip off!!!! What a crime!!!!!
Rose should spend his time cleaning up the Wendt Foundation, but then again, they are paying his legal fees, so he won't bit the hand that feeds him no matter how dirty it is.
10 Jul 2008, 17:55
Mike asked for the names of the economists and their work that supports my claim that a casino will destroy jobs.
God question, Mike, and I'm happy to oblige.
Earl Grinols, Distinguished Professor of Economics at Baylor University,
"Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits"
Robert Goodman,Professor of Environmental Design, Hampshire College (also an economist), "The Luck Business"
John Kindt, Professor of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (also an economist and an attorney), numerous articles in law journals, linked from http://ncalg.org The citations are in various places on that site, so just enter "Kindt" in their search engine.
Bill Thompson, professor of Public Adminstration, University of Nevada at Las Vegas (also an economist, I believe). By way of disclosure, Bill & I knew each other in graduate school, but we have not kept in touch. He has done work both for governments and for the gambling industry, but has a reputation as a straight-shooter. I don't know what he's written, but call him at 702-895-4828; he'll tell you what he thinks.
I mentioned Grinols first because his book has become the Bible in this area. He's written some other stuff on the topic as well -- check out amazon.
Goodman's book is very good, but somewhat dated, and he's not active in this area of research currently.
Kindt is adamant on the subject of job loss.
Grinols and Kindt both testified before the National Gambling Impact Study Commission created by Congress to consider the costs and benefits of legalized gambling.
If you want more, let me know. The ncalg site has a lot of good references.
In response to WNYMind:
I did not consider Mike's request to be a suggestion to put up or shut up, but rather a polite and reasonable request for information. I have no idea what he was thinking, but the words he used were respectful. Otherwise I wouldn't have taken the trouble to respond at length.
As for the Wendt foundation, you should be aware that the prohibition against political activity on the part of tax-exempt organizations is just that -- a prohibition against involvement in electoral politics. It does not translate into a prohibition against involvement in controversy, nor does it preclude the funding of issue-related litigation. You could, if you wished, form your own pro-casino organization and seek tax-exempt status for it.
It's all part of our First Amendment freedoms. I'm using mine, and I support your rigght to use yours.
But you really ought to do your homework before you go around suggesting that the Wendt Foundation Trustees are guilty of anything. These are dedicated, hard-working, community-minded folks who have helped our community in countless ways.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
10 Jul 2008, 21:13
Dear Mr. Rose:
Here are my replies to your missive...
a: "I am an obstructionist."
So, you dare to prevent an entity that is looking to create jobs and benefits in the area from doing just that, hmm? Think of this: People on welfare, then they get jobs at the casino/hotel. They can thus take better care of themselves and their households, as opposed to continually getting handouts from we the people. Which is better, sir?
b: "If you see a purse-snatcher in the street, would you try to stop him? Or would you be concerned that doing so would label you an obstructionist? To me, that's just a silly argument."
I know; you're silly for making this apples-vs-oranges comparison.
c: "I'm trying to stop a dumb idea."
Why don't you let the people of the community make that decision, rather than you and your super-rich benefactors making that choice for us? The dumber idea is to put yourself and your ideals ahead of the rest of us.
a: "I'm expressing my views. I have a First Amendment right to do so, as do we all."
I don't begrudge that. However, you come off as so darn high-and-mighty that you feel the need to protect us from our own actions... from our own desires... from making our own choices, regardless how distasteful they seem to you.
b: "So what is your point here?"
Follow along with me to Part 3.
a: "No, I don't have a job creation plan."
BZZZZZZZTTTT! You then lose this argument. You have nothing to offer but hot air; the Senecas are building and creating something that could provide jobs to people. They won from the moment they started tearing the old grain mill down and started building the casino/hotel complex. It's a win by default in their case.
b: "So here's my modest idea: Let's not make things any worse."
How about a more positive, move-on-offense, idea: Let's build and create things that could offer more people gainful employment and benefits? Your position, Mr. Rose, takes a defensive tone, and that's not going to hold up well for you after a while.
a: "Since the Judge's decision upheld our main contention, wouldn't you have to conclude that it was the OTHER side that wasted the court's time?"
No, it's still your side wasting the courts' time with such a silly lawsuit. If you don't like the Seneca casino, you don't have to partake of their offerings. However, you DON'T get the right to impose that worldview on the rest of us.
b: "But I would never take that position, because I think that everyone, even a cynical Federal bureaucrat, is entitled to his day in court. Don't you?"
I'm of the belief that some claims should be tossed out at the courthouse gate. The lawsuits against tobacco companies. Against fast-food purveyors. Against homeowners by criminal intruders who get injured in the act of criminal activity. Your lawsuits against the Senecas and their casino.
"The Seneca Nation is not subject to state or local law, but it is subject to Federal law. Are you really saying you'd like to see the Senecas defy a Federal judge?"
It's THEIR land. They're a SOVEREIGN nation. Therefore, let them do with their land as they like, even if it means building a casino. Don't like what they have to offer? You don't have to participate; that's your own individual right. Let others decide for themselves on this. There you go.
"It saddens me that you have no better vision for your community than fleecing our neighbors, stifling dissent, and defiance of the legal system. But you're entitled to your opinion."
As if you have any room to talk, Mr. Rose. You're seeking to fleece our neighbors by denying jobs for some of them, and by denying others the opportunity to have a more convenient place to enjoy themselves(gambling or otherwise). You seek to stifle, although not dissent, the ability of others around you to decide if they want to have a more convenient place of gambling/other like entertainment. And, you seek to use the legal system to put the petty whims of you and your elitist cohorts above the freedoms of the rest of us regular folks. You have a right to your opinion. However, this is not Stalinist/Leninist Russia, nor Fidelist Cuba, nor Mugabean Zimbabwe, nor Chavez' Venezuela, nor any other such oppressive nation. This is the USA. That means freedom for EVERYONE, not just you. Become one with that.
"And so am I."
I know I am.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
10 Jul 2008, 21:19
Fellow bloggers, here's a question for you:
a: a serf looking for a tyrant to lord over him,
b: a megalomaniac seeking to lord over the rest of us everyday schlepps?
What do you say, friends...?
John Q Blogger
10 Jul 2008, 21:59
Lloyd you talk only casino spin. Apples and oranges are not the fruit that is being picked from the people of Buffalo.
What kind of idiot settles for a deal which is basically what Manhattan Island was bought for? The vast majority of wealth that is being made by your beloved fleecing machine is being shipped far out of Buffalo.
You have reverted to the persuasive slur tactics on Mr. Rose to beat down those who have a right to object to a wrongful project in the City
of Buffalo. The Artvoice article spells it out perfectly that only the positives are being shouted up while the far more negatives are being dismissed. The casino is a deceit upon this community. This is not Atlantic City or Las Vagas we are living in. It's primarily a university and medical town. You are clutching at promises of false development that robs the community.
My defiant answer to you Lloyd is NUTS.
10 Jul 2008, 23:49
The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation lists its purpose and activities as: emphasis on education, the arts, and social services; support also for churches and religious organizations, health associations, public interest organizations, and youth agencies.
The Wendt Foundation requires all grant applicants to submit the following: 1) statement of problem project will address 2) copy of IRS Determination Letter 3) listing of board of directors, trustees, officers and other key people and their affiliations 4) detailed description of project and amount of funding requested Applying organizations should include the last 3 years' audited financial statements with above information.
If your anti-casino group is legitimate you should be able to post items 1-4 that you submitted with your application to the Wendt Foundation. If the trustee’s were doing their job, they can produce this information as well. Otherwise, Lunt, Kresse and Day aren’t even earning the $150,000 each takes from the Foundation for their 2 hours of work a week.
Rose, you need to produce the documentation or return the money your group took from the Foundation in violation of its published grant application rules. Also, if you cannot document that the rules were followed, Lunt, Kresse, and Day should resign and return the $150,000 each takes from the Foundation.
Tell your friends to put up or step down. Crime doesn’t pay and you are about to be exposed.
11 Jul 2008, 00:25
WNYMind wrote a lot of accusations without bothering to check his facts:
I'll explain a little of the history of this lawsuit.
(1) CACGEC retained Buffalo attorney Richard Lippes to initiate a lawsuit. We were the plaintiff and the client. Additional plaintiffs subsequently signed on.
(2) Some other people, including the trustees of the Wendt Foundation, got interested in this cause and decided to direct some money toward it.
(3) Wendt did not direct any money whatsoever to CACGEC. Rather, a second group was formed -- Citizens for a Better Buffalo -- to administer these funds. CBB hired its own attorneys and agreed, after some negotiation, to take over payments to our attorney, who then became CBB's attorney. Until this arrangement was worked out, CACGEC continued to pay its attorney.
(4) From that point on, CBB's team of attorneys collectively determined legal strategy, with very little input from CACGEC. CACGEC remains a plaintiff, but CBB is the client.
(5) Whatever the application process between CBB and Wendt may have been, CACGEC was not a party to it, and I have no knowledge of it.
However, I would assume that whatever rules govern the Wendt Foundation, they are determined by the Trustees. I would further assume that they could be changed, or waived, or adhered to, as the Trustees choose. I do not know this for a fact, but it stands to reason, does it not? The constant requirement would be that the Foundation adhere to all the laws governing non-profits. As these Trustees are pillars of the community, the kinds of people I would never ordinarily meet, I would be amazed if they ever did anything that failed to comply with all applicable laws.
But go investigate. Knock yourself out. Just get your facts straight about who has and who has not received funding.
"Crime doesn't pay ..." you say. Are you accusing me, or someone else, of committing a crime? If so, please have the courage and integrity to use your actual name.
11 Jul 2008, 00:41
Thanks for the third party explaination of how Wendt flyes by the seat of its pants to pursure pet projects of the three trustees with no accountability to anyone.
Pillars of the community, what a joke.
Margaret L. Wendt would roll over in her grave to see how her philanthropic gift was being used by a few self appointed moral crusaders and their bogus CBB group (which also was composed of Bruce Jackson the author of this piece). It is just a star chamber with an agenda bilking the poor out of the Wendt gift that was supposed to go to them.
It's called a rip off no matter how you try to frame it, and you should be ashamed of yourself for lowering your integrity to get a few legal fees and waste so much court time on your efforts to kill jobs in Buffalo.
My name if WNYmind, but I also go by "V".
11 Jul 2008, 01:07
For someone who apparently does not know the people involved, you seem to have reached a lot of judgmental conclusions. You even seem to know what deceased people think.
If you actually read what I've written, you'd understand that the last thing I'd want to do is kill jobs. Casinos -- like the one you want -- are the PROVEN job killers.
You didn't have the courage to asnswer my question about whether you are accusing someone of committing a crime, and you still don't have the courage to use your real name. As far as I'm concerned, you're pathetic.
I'm not going to respond to any more of your drivel.
11 Jul 2008, 01:25
In his comment above dated, Lloyd A Marshall has said, "Senecas: Forget the anti0-casino lawsuits/rulings. It's your property. Do as you like. Proceed as planned, to completion."
Perhaps Mr Marshall should try putting up a 40 foot windmill on his property, that is if he owns one, and see what his neighbors have to say about. Or he could make some money by starting a chemical plant or an industrial gin-distillery.
No doubt there will be lots of laws and regulations about how Mr Marshall may use his land. Mr Marshall being a law-abiding citizen tells all his neighbors to get lost.
That's cool. Why don't we all do that. That would make good ol' U S of A a really, really civilized country to live in.
11 Jul 2008, 01:51
In his note above dated today, the dim-witted WNYmind says, "When will the IRS step in and investigate the Wendt Foundation for using its tax exempt funds to do political campaigning."
Perhaps the smartest thing to do if one wanted an answer to this question would be to write to the IRS. Maybe if WNYmind does that he might be able to illuminate the issue by sharing the response with us?
Then he goes on to say, "This is probably illegal, and Wendt should have its tax exempt status revoked and pay back taxes for the use of funds for political purposes."
Probably illegal? Perhaps it might be a good idea to find out whether the Wendt Foundation HAS acted illegally before spouting off with "should have status revoked" and "pay back taxes" blah, blah, blah, etc.
Then WNYmind goes on to suggest that the trustees of the Wendt Foundation are "currupt" (sic) and bilking the foundation. I've known one of the trustees of the Foundation, Bob Kresse, personally for about three years and I believe he is one of the most upstanding and supportive members of this community. Perhaps if WNYmind has any facts to support his offensive remarks he could share them with the community so that we won't all think he or she is a bit bonkers?
I'm not aware of WNYmind's position on the casino and I dare say that after reading this note I am not in the least bit interested in learning what it is. If, however, WNYmind's view was that casinos in poor inner cities are sound civic policy and sustainable economic developments then that would be very, very wrong for a number of obvious reasons.
Maybe WNYmind is Mr Chris Collins or Mr Byron Brown? That would be very amusing wouldn't it?
11 Jul 2008, 02:04
In his note above dated 10 July, Lloyd A Marshall, Jr, has written:
Fellow bloggers, here's a question for you:
a: a serf looking for a tyrant to lord over him,or
b: a megalomaniac seeking to lord over the rest of us everyday schlepps?
What do you say, friends...?
What a nasty piece of work Floyd seems to be. I'm quite certain that I would never want to have any rude friends like him. Just because Joel Rose stands up for his beliefs and for his community (and for the law!) Floyd gives us two choices to describe Joel Rose. Nice way to go in the City of Good Neighbors, Floyd.
I can just see the corporate investor types reading Artvoice to learn whether Buffalo might be a good place to invest in (it is) and reading Floyd's brilliant commentary. What a great advertisement for our community.
I dare say Floyd thinks that inner city casinos are sound civic policy and sustainable economic development. That would be very wrong as anybody would know who bothers to read study after study on the subject.
11 Jul 2008, 02:21
WNYmind above notes, "The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation lists its purpose and activities as: emphasis on education, the arts, and social services; support also for churches and religious organizations, health associations, public interest organizations, and youth agencies."
Perhaps WNYmind should consider that the lawsuit against the Seneca Casino is ENTIRELY CONSISTENT with the purpose of the Wendt Foundation. Casinos are excellent operations for laundering money and relieving dim suckers of their hard-earned cash. Putting a casino in a poor section of a poor city is a sure-fire way to increase strife, misery, embezzlement and, of course, crime. When the Senecas take the money but they don't pay for the resulting problems, the local service agencies have to pick up the slack. Those agencies have been supported by the Wendt Foundation for donkeys years.
It is also true that the arts in Buffalo will surely suffer if the casino money machine ka-ching ka-ching is allowed to secure big names without paying any taxes.
So bravo to Kresse, Lundt and Day for pursuing the mission of the Wendt.
Somebody, please tell me that the IRS-expert, illuminated WNYmind is not Mayor Byron Brown or Chris Collins. I'd love to shake WNYmind by the hand and look in their eyes when they tell me that casinos are the best chance that Buffalo has for sustainable economic development.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
11 Jul 2008, 06:35
John Q... Quit smoking the crack.
As for your accusing me of using "slur tactics," did I besmirch Mr. Rose's character even once in that missive? Please give examples.
Bottom line: Everyone has a right to choose how they will enjoy themselves, and how they will use their own money. Those who don't like the casino... just don't take part in it. End of story.
11 Jul 2008, 09:34
Regarding Bruce Jackson's article in Artvoice, I find it very self serving to further inhance his position on the casino issue. Anyone who finds it as the "informative, well written bible on the issue" had better put down their coffee cup. What I find amazing about the groups that are against the casino is that they have no suggestions on how is this poor city going to ever be able to pull itself out of this self created pathetic state it is in. Let's face it, most if not all of Buffalo's future is controlled by a few power mongers from the business and political areana who will do anything to stop development of any kind that may impact their money tree. Meanwhile, those that do wish to gamble (I do not) are heading to Fort Erie slots, Niagara Falls, Canada, resort town look and feel (at the blessing and support of the Ontario government)and all the other casinos in the area. Should the Buffalo project succeed when all the fighting is over, isn't a little better than nothing?
I am tired of hearing about the poor and what about them. Well, they can start by getting a job. Will they make $20 or more an hour, no! Will they make minimum at perhaps Micky D's or a retail store, maybe. Yes there are people who have fallen on hard times by the decrease in industrial type well paying jobs in our area, but there are equal or more people who complain and talk as if they are entitled to a well spaying job. Sorry, but you have to earn it. This gets to the point of the bashing of Byron Browns statement about the jobs that the casino would create in Buffalo at an average salary of $35,000. Where else do the groups against the casino propose to offer this kind of opportunity?
11 Jul 2008, 10:51
What has come out in these blogs and Buffalo News reporting is that the CBB is a front organization for three people, Robert Kresee, Thomas Lunt, and Janet Day. Kresse, Lunt and Day are the trustees of the Wendt Foundation. In essence they are the Wendt Foundation. This Foundation represents a $160 million investment account they draw from for their personal pet projects. Nothing more. There are no identifiable rules for the Foundation and the three with the keys to the Wendt account spend the money for their own political folley and to buy friends in the city.
THE CBB has not members, by-laws, or substance. It is just the front Kresse, Lunt, and Day hide behind as they mess with the local economy and undermine the people of Buffalo. They have used the Wendt money to hire a not-so-slick lawyer to do their muscle work. This thug and Bruce Jackson spew propaganda to the public about the CBB, which is merely Kresse, Lunt and Day’s fake organization they hide behind.
So, in the end, three irresponsible people have stirred up a lot of trouble. Thanks to Kresse, Lunt and Day, the Wendt Foundation has been discredited as a financial toy to harass people trying to fix Buffalo. It is a classic example of people blackmailing a community. Kresse, Lunt and Day are corrupting a charitable organization for their own political ends. Is this a Crime, maybe? Is it unethical, absolutely. If they have any integrity they will end the campaign to run the Seneca out of Buffalo. If they have a little more integrity, they will step down as trustees of Wendt and replace the trustee system with a governing board that represents the interests of the poor in Buffalo and has diverse representation (income, race, etc….). That board could adopt some rules for spending the Foundation’s money that comport with addressing real social welfare needs in the community.
If Kresse, Lunt and Day stay on the course they have set, they will not only lose the fight with the Seneca, they will lost the Wendt Foundation for the community. Look at the math. Wendt has $160 million in its bank account. The Seneca can outspend them in PR and legal action 10 to 1. I’d suggest that the Seneca start a media blitz and focus on how these three individuals have bankrolled all of this activity and pulled one of the most obscene hoaxes in the history of Buffalo. Maybe throw $6 or $7 million in a media campaign to expose Kresse, Lunt and Day’s operation. Then the Seneca can throw another $6 or $7 million into a court battle. Bye Bye Wendt Foundation, or more appropriately, flick.
11 Jul 2008, 11:08
Another thought for the Seneca's that I heard on the radio the other day is that if they do lose out on the ability to have a casino on the 9 acres that at least has been ruled Indian land, they could construct one huge gas station and smoke shop with maybe a brothel thrown in for good measure. Now what would the nay sayers have to say?
John Q Blogger
11 Jul 2008, 12:42
Lloyd get a life.
You are unreasonable and mince words.
Read this article in Artvoice please. Or read in todays Buffalo News about how in Beijing the opposition to shoddy projects over there are being arrested by the police.
Yes the casino is a harmful project. This is what many citizens of Buffalo who are not part of the business and political power establishment have been saying for years. Opponents of casino gambling were right about the crimes that this project would spawn. How many churches were looted of the money intended for the poor and the needy? The amounts were in the hundreds of thousands. These crimes to fuel casino gambling were not shop lifting crimes. Churches and people have been significantly harmed and no sort of restitution of the stolen funds were given back to the robbed churches by the City of Buffalo, the State of New York, Erie County, or the Seneca Gambling Corporation. Don't tell me how wonderful it is to develope this city by harming people. You don't get it. Casino gambling development is just like how Tobacco Corporations used to pass around the lie that cigarette smoking was healthy for ones health. Then the Tobacco Corporations went in front of Congress and said they didn't think smoking was harmful to peoples health, but they had read the scientific studies that proved that smoking causes cancer. Eventually the government took the Tobacco Companies to court and today cigarette packs don't tell the consumer that cigarettes are good for ones health. We know they cause cancer. We know that casino gambling in just as harmful to our community. It is a cancer on WNY.
Casino Gambling causes:
Family Break Ups (The Corporatation Culture loves gambling and indebtedness)
Thefts from Employers
Thefts from Religious Institutions
Thefts from Family
Thefts from Neighbors
Thefts from Government
Loss of Buffalo restaurant and entertainment business.
(The non Seneca businesses that pay State taxes
are at an unfair disadvantage. Go down to the southern tier and ask owners of gas stations off the reservation what tax free gas stations did to their businesses. The Bijou Cafe and the Adams Mark Hotel are shilling for the casino gambling corporation. The fact of the matter is that in Niagara Falls, N.Y. the casino gambling has not spurred development outside the casino. The gamblers stay in the casino and spend alltheir money in the casino. The non native businesses cannot compete and are going under. The same thing is going to repeat itself if this casino nonsense goes forward in Buffalo.)
Substituting community values of saving and study with foolish risk taking
Therefore these above listed casino gambling problems are not some frivilous and odd ball complaints of someone that feels powerless or someone that is powerful and wants to trample on the backs of others rights. The casino gambling problems are what compelled people like Joel Rose and the Wendt Foundation to go to the U.S. courts to get justice. They sought justice not just for their rightful citizen opinions but for the greater good of this community that has been denied and smoked and mirrored by a gambling corporations p.r. campaign. The process bringing this casino into Buffalo has been most convoluted. The law was subverted. We need to ask ourselves at this juncture why gambling is illegal in New York State? Why did those who built this state feel that casino gambling shouldn't be allowed in New York State? I wouldn't be far off the target by saying that every casino gambling problem that I listed above is the reason that casino gambling wasn't something that the majority of people wanted in our state. Why do we sneak around our laws and why do we settle for people basically looting our local economy for nickels and dimes on the dollar? This makes absolutely no sense.
Joel Rose and the people opposed to casino gambling in WNY and New York State first are entitled as citizens of this country to work in the American Legislative and Judicial process to address wrongs that they perceive.
Second there is absolutele justification to call the questions to valid wrongs caused to communities from casino gambling. These wrongs are basically being imposed on us by a foreign country.
Third the argument of look at the jobs and wealth created by casino gambling without looking at the harms casino gambling causes is in itself faulty and lacking integrity.
Fourth: A lot of people around the world get tired of hearing about the poor, the starving, the destitute, the homeless, the sick but greater people step up and try to do something to be more caring and understanding and helpful to those in chronic conditions. To make it worse on the poor and to impoverish people in WNY for governments and corportations is wrongful and against the teachings of the greatest minds. Other ways exist to create jobs that are not toxic to the social fabric and the environment of this community. To work and study and make things is a better way to foster, just wide spread development in ones community instead of doing harm to a community and than turning a blind side to that harm. Now I understand how so many people were wronged by the WWII Nazi's. They thought it was better to create jobs and move their economy ahead while not looking at the harm being done behind barbed wire camps just outside of towm. It is better to face truth than to bury it and hide it. That is what the cheering section for casino gambling in Buffalo is doing. You are conviently looking away from a wrongful thing and telling lies to themselves. It is so easy to do this and go to the bank and pretend that others are not being harmed. It is easy to walk by a man on the street in distress. It is easy to hate and forget others. It is easy to do the bidding of a harmful corporation when they provide you with a job or hand you checks for political campaigns or give your family member or political allie a job. There are plenty of people to go around who think nothing of polluting the air and water or defrauding the poor and the elderly. They got theirs and that's all the justification they need for selfishness and wrong doing. They have benefitted by it. Yet in world that finds it easy to trample over the rights and humanity of others will in the end find themselves or their families paying the price for selfishness. That is what is at the center of this matter. Gambling is an activity based on promoting greed and turning off humanity towards others. Casino gambling won't solve the problems in America and WNY. Casino gambling will foster only more problems. It is deviding this community like nothing we have ever seen before. Casino gambling is a placebo to solving economic woes. It is like telling people that have cancer to drink snake oil. That is what Masillo, Pataki, Collins, Schumer, and Brown are pitching. They are pitching false hope that diminishes many lives and that in itself is worth standing up and fighting. To fight casino gambling in Buffalo is to fight slavery and segregation. It is a fight against an unfair system. The odds are stacked in favor of the few who own the house. This is not how we build a better Buffalo. This is a Trojan horse with a wooden mane. Tell us that there isn't a trap door under that horse and you can tell us that there are no significant problems associated with casino gambling.
The definition of the word slur from Webster's dictionary:
An insulting or disparaging remark or innuendo.
Let's not get into the semantics of words but instead pay more attention to the issue at hand. The discourse of the discussion of the legality of casinos has been placed in the hands of a Federal judge. The judge found that U.S. and New York State laws were broken thoughtlessly and without due process. Bruce Jackson article points out the core problem. The truth to the harm in casino gambling is being avoided. The casino gambling stone walling is bold faced.
Those who are in favor of casino gambling are reduced to avoiding the harm it causes and stoop to emotional invective to persuade by shouting. Clear thinking is justified and required. We did not get that from elected officals in WNY New York. We got the mob of Lloyd Jr's and the political machine group think on an issue that deserves fair discussion and understanding and judgement.
11 Jul 2008, 15:11
Well I had described WNYmind, whoever or what that is, as dim-witted but in the last update from that source there is is this, "these three individuals have bankrolled all of this activity and pulled one of the most obscene hoaxes in the history of Buffalo."
The three individuals that WNYmind refers to are the trustees of the Wendt Foundation.
The only word to describe this rant is delusional. DelusionalMind may be a better handle for this writer.
Why then bother to respond to this drivel? Well, it doesn't hurt to remember that Jackson's article above is about the ruling by Judge Skretny that the Seneca Casino is illegal under federal law and that WNYmind does a splendidly political turn by veering the entire debate to a subject of absolutely no consequence to this subject.
Again, please will somebody assure us all that WNYmind is not a deluded politician from Western New York? Thank you so much.
11 Jul 2008, 17:47
Just a quick thought on JQ Blogger. All of the things he says casino gambling will cause:
Family Break Ups (The Corporatation Culture loves gambling and indebtedness)
Thefts from Employers
Thefts from Religious Institutions
Thefts from Family
Thefts from Neighbors
Thefts from Government
are actually caused by POVERTY. Buffalo has a lot of poverty, so 1000 $35,000 a year jobs will help relieve those problems.
To L. Clay I would just like to remind him that the court case was bogus to begin with and will be overturned. It is also not enforceable. The BIA will rule that the process for licensing was correct. And, the city and state can issue a license too. So the three trustees of the Wendt Foundation and their flunkies will just waste a lot of tax exempt money to undermine the poor in Buffalo. Par for the course.
Notice how silent Mr. Rose has been. He is cowering under his rock because he has been exposed by WNYMind :)
John Q Blogger
11 Jul 2008, 22:14
Therefore WNY Mind let's make it worse for the poor and get them addicted further into gambling and encouage them to spend and go into debt for false promises.
These are the negatives of a poverty caused by casino gambling.
Don't try to gloss over that more people lose money than win money when they gamble in a casino. Don't bury the truth of how thousands of dollars was stolen as of recent from local churches to gamble at casinos. Don't try to look the other way while Buffalo tax paying business goes under to benefit the non tax paying casinos. Again new business has not been created when casino gambling was brought to Atlantic City and Niagara Falls. So where in your crystal ball did you get the idea that Buffalo a non tourist destination was going to create other business around the casino after destroying bars and restaurants downtown? The casino created jobs will not offset the loss of taxes and loss of jobs at tax paying businesses in downtown Buffalo. You are robbing Peter to pay Paul. You are robbing churches to fuel government and corporate spending. You are exporting most of the money being spent in the Buffalo casino out of towm. The negatives must be revealed and not down graded because this is a vast deceit on the community.
You bait Mr. Rose in a bully fashion because he used his rights as a citizen to fight casino gambling. What has been exposed is a pathetic WNY Mind. You talk of a fellow American as though he was a enemy of the people. In my opinion your tone shows a lack of understanding of the American system that fosters freedom of dissent as well as freedom to agree. If you were a true American you would show more respect for others who are brave enough to voice their opinions and beliefs in a civilized and adult manner. You do not hold a patent on the what others want to think.
You are angry because a man led a group opposed to casino gambling based on his moral principles and beliefs. You are a petty tyrant whem you act the role of an arbitrary and capricous, internet bully. This invalidates you from being taken seriously but it makes good entertainment. All in all you aren't impressing anybody with your cyber swagger. We thank you for your opinion as you pontificate every reason in the world why we should ignore the harm casino gambling brings to a community. The judge thought different.
11 Jul 2008, 22:42
Three points JQ Blogger
1. There is already gambling in WNY. Go to OTB, NF (US and Canadian side), your local church, the Fairgrounds, etc... etc.... The people who gamble in WNY will just spend their time and money in Buffalo instead of other places where fewer gambling revenues come back to Buffalo. The casino won't turn everyone in Buffalo into gamblers, just capture more of the current gambling revenue in the city and county.
2. Let's see Kresse, Lunt, and Day come out and speak to the issue they raised in public instead of hide behind a lawyer. Let them take the bully pulpet and get the legislature to put it on the ballot as a referendum. Let the 85% of the people who support the casino in WNY vote on it. Rose is just a hired gun for the Wendt Three who bilk the poor to fight the casino and the will of the people in WNY. That's why they slink in the shaddows and sue in court in the name of CBB (their fake organization with no popular support) instead of letting the people decide with a vote or simply with their gambling dollars.
3. Let's use this as a vehicle for reforming how the Wendt Foundation operates. How about some accountability to the public, how about some representation of the community in their decision-making, how about a board to replace the trustees. It is a shame that the second largest foundation in Buffalo is being run into the ground by three misguided, detached, self appointed, dilusional Don Quixotes. While they fight their windmills, the city dies from neglect.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
11 Jul 2008, 23:19
John Q... Let's get one thing straight. It all comes down to people exercising free choice, whether or not they wish to go to a casino and gamble. Nobody is putting a knife to people's throats, or a gun to their heads, forcing them to gamble.
If you, or Joel Rose, or other elitist snobs, don't like what the Seneca casino has to offer, then you have the perfect right to not participate. That's the beauty of America: You can choose yes or no; you don't get to force yourself on others.
As for your "get a life" suggestion... that applies more so to you, Joel Rose, and the other elitist snobs trying to force their tinhorn dictatorial whims upon the rest of us. Got it, John Q? Get a life. You reading out there, Little Joel? Get a life. You in the Wendt Foundation getting a hold of this missive? Get a life. Live your own life; you don't get to live ours.
Luis... I don't see any Floyd here. You might want to get your eyes checked.
As for your "Joel Rose stands up for... his community," you can rest assured that not all in Joel's community share his warped vision.
Also, on "(Lloyd) gives us two choices to describe Joel Rose," I say they are fair and accurate observations of how Rose and his elitist cohorts operate.
And for fellow blogger, WNYMind:
"Notice how silent Mr. Rose has been. He is cowering under his rock because he has been exposed by WNYMind."
That makes two of us who own Mr. Rose's sorry butt.
12 Jul 2008, 12:46
I finally understand why Citizens for a Better Buffalo suddenly decided to go after the Seneca Casino. The ugly head of white racism has poped up again in Buffalo. Gambling is not new to the Buffalo area. There is the Lotto, OTB, the slot machine parlor in Hamburg, the casino's in Niagara Falls, the race track in Batavia and Fort Erie,and all the bingo parlors, football pools, and fantasy leagues run through catholic organizations. But when a minority group (in this case Native Americans) gets into the casino business, then the white establishment in Buffalo is up in arms.
The CBB movement is really just good old fashioned racism. Now we learn from WNYMind that the Wendt Foundation is the source of most of the funding for this anti-Native American casino movement. I looked up what the Wendt foundation is and does, and it is hard to believe that a foundation of its size has NO minority trustees. Just three white people sitting in a room making all the decisions. The Wendt foundation seems to be a little tight when it comes to funding minority led organizations too. They give a lot of money to art museums in the deleware district, city honors (I think the principal is the son of one of the trustees) and a lot of other tee toddler groups. They also give crumbs to select white do gooder organizations that claim to help people in poverty. Probably just more nepotism for friends and family of the trustees.
But when a business owned and run by Native Americans comes to Buffalo and promises to give jobs to all the residents of the city, including black people, then the Wendt foundation calls foul. They don't really care about gambling or they'd go after Lotto, OTB and the Catholic Church. No, they just want to use their money to attack minorities. This is institutional racism at its worst.
Let's call it what it is, WHITE RACISM. This is worst than the guy who burned the cross on the interracial couples lawn. The trustees of the Wendt Foundation are guilty of a hate crime. They are "typical white people" to quite a famous politician and soon to be presidents of the USA.
John Q Blogger
12 Jul 2008, 15:19
Here you go again mud slinging and making inaccurate statements about CBB. They are against all forms of gambling. There is nothing racist or classist about them. You will next call CBB storm troopers or maybe the KKK. Your despiration to twist and slur paints you very sadly and pathetically. This is a shabbyness from those who would stoop so low and turn their backs on thousands being looted from WNY churches. It's all about expediency for the crazed mob and loss of moral character.
Spewing out the same old casino gambling slogans for casino gambling does not rectify the problems that over and over again the negative facts you white wash over and try to ignore.
Crawl on your bellies and whiggle all you want but the Seneca Gambling Corporation no longer has the right to use land in Buffalo for casino gambling. Casino gambling in Buffalo has been vacated by a Federal judge. The decision was fair and based on law. The decisions that led to the constructing of this casino were based on arbitrary and capricious and faulty decisions by agencies in the U.S. Government. The Seneca Gambling Corporation thought that money that was stolen from the poor and the needy could buy a judicial decision favorable to their ongoing operation. They rolled the dice and got snake eyes and lots of whiners who don't like the laws of our country being fairly interpreted by men and women who are better versed in the law than the blog mob. The gist of what was written in Bruce Jackson's article was about why the lawsuit was initiated. There was lack of critical thinking and only greed on the part of the majority of Buffalo elected officials. There were opposition protests and valid arguments that should have stopped wiser men from bringing this Trojan horse into our city. It is the harmful impact on Buffalo caused by casino gambling that is the topic that mob bloggers want to evade and muddle. Sling away. We will keep resisting you self centered disinformation. The negatives reasons that casino gambling are opposed in Buffalo will be talked about or adjudicated through the judicial system.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
12 Jul 2008, 19:14
Hey, John Q. A man's home/property is his castle.
"The Seneca Gambling Corporation no longer has the right to use land in Buffalo for casino gambling."
So says someone on the outside looking in. It's their land. They bought it. Tghey were here 1st. What else can you say. Leave them alone.
Do you have an alternative job-creating plan? Let's hear it/see it. If not, shut up.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
12 Jul 2008, 20:43
One more response to John Q.:
"Spewing out the same old casino gambling slogans for casino gambling does not rectify the problems that over and over again the negative facts you white wash over and try to ignore."
And spewing the same anti-casino slogans doesn't negate the fact that this whole matter comes down to two central things: personal choice, and job-creation.
Don't like casinos and their wares? Just don't go. People can make their OWN choices, and we DO NOT need you/your ilk deciding what's best for us.
A full-fledged casino/hotel will give jobs to people who would otherwise be getting handouts from us taxpayers. Do you have another job-creation plan? If yes, tell us. If not, crawl back under your rock and stay there.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
12 Jul 2008, 20:49
And one more for Don John Q:
"Clear thinking is justified and required."
I believe I've been doing just that, and so have others like WNYMind and Dave D. I'm not so sure about you, Joel Rose, and the other snobs.
12 Jul 2008, 21:34
I just returned from a ten day RV camping trip through Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe and the Pacific coast. We had a 6 a.m. return flight out of Reno, so we spent our last day in the Peppermill Tuscany Tower, the largest casino hotel in Reno, Nevada. The casino was largely empty, except for a few people who sat at slot machines like zombies, just pushing buttons and staring at the whirly lights. The locals we talked to had nothing but bad things to say about the casinos, and every local who grew up in Reno said they never gamble in any casinos because they know better. One guy said he worked for a company who made slot machines and said they were literally designed to appeal to a five-year-old mind, lots of gaudy bright lights, whirring, whizzing and bells ringing. They are also all programmed to make certain you lose, a lot. Moreover, since the national economic downturn casinos are failing everywhere and many large casinos operators are filing for bankruptcy and/or are having difficulty getting loans. Casino revenues in Nevada have tumbled downward for five of the past six months and Moody's warned Las Vegas strip casino operators that they are on the verge of negative credit ratings. Worse, because Nevada's budget is so dependent on gambling, the state is now faced with dangerous budget shortfalls. Several casino construction projects have stalled because of lack of funding or credit to finance casino construction projects.
By contrast, the tourism industry interested in natural and historic attractions was just jumping. Yosemite National Park, and Tahoe were thriving, the entire Pacific coast from Santa Cruz to the William Randolph Hearst Castle in San Simeon was bustling, in spite of forest fires along Big Sur.
The bottom line is that colleges, universities, medical and technology industries, waterfront expansion and historical tourism and healthy park systems are all real development that create wealth and solid job growth. Gambling is for suckers and governments too lazy to do the right thing for their constituents and instead pick their pockets through an invisible tax by promoting gambling.
For those commenting on this article, if you want to advance a meaningful discussion I would caution that arguing with Lloyd Marshal is a waste of time, and Mr. White, for whatever reason, brings up racism in every topic of discussion.
John Q Blogger
12 Jul 2008, 22:01
The Congressional legislation that former John LaFalce passed specifically said that casino gambling would only be allowed on Native Amercian reservations and adoining areas next to the reservations that were established before the Congressional Law was passed. So in other words the law applied only to the standing reservations before the law was passed by our government. The Buffalo Native American terrotory was purchased at a date and time not allowed by U.S. Federal legislation and law to establish casino gambling.
To make it simpler. All native American reservations and their territory next to them is allowed to have casino gambling as long as it was before the Congressional bill had been passed and signed by the President. All new established native American territories such as the one in downtown Buffalo are in violation of a settlement law passed by our Congress and our government. None of the U.S. Congressman who passed the Native American settlement claim bill ever intended that it be so convoluted and misinterpreted delibretly to contradict U.S. law and the New York State Constitution. The Bush Administration regularly has subverted the laws of this country and it started in Iraq all the way to native American casinos being established far, far, away from their reservation territory. The Seneca Gambling Corporation in downtown Buffalo is surrounded by U.S. and New York State terrotory. Native casino gambling corporations do not legally have the law on their side in this matter. They just recently bought this land and Buffalo is not in Salamanca.
Clear thinking would be concerned about protecting U.S. established laws and concerned thinking would be concerned about the ripping off HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS DONATED TO WNY CHURCHES TO AID THE POOR AND NEEDY. This is the rotton fruit and slimy baggage you turn your back on.
Fight poverty by advocating luck as a way to get ahead. Go to the casino and all our troubles will melt away. The jobs that are created are coming from the misery you are promoting and the jobs that will be lost in the American entertainment businesses in Buffalo. You are promoting robbing churches and gambling over savings, hard work, and industry. I suppose using Lloyd logic we should allow people to do whatever they want to do in our community. Legalize heroin or crack. What's wrong with that? I bet heroin is doing less damage to Buffalo than your casino gambling. Are you a snob against legalizing heroin use? Lloyd you are a closet snob against lawful crack useage. Two wrongs do not make a right. Casino gambling and heroin and crack use all steal hundreds of thousands from WNY churches and people. Think of the jobs that would be created if we addicted more people to crack and heroin like you are doing with casino gambling.
12 Jul 2008, 22:14
Thanks Jamie for the great post, and for the alternative voice in general. I just don't get it with casino supporters. Its a proven negative for a community. Our assets are varied and impressive, and with ongoing development along with the new energy in NF NY (finally) will prove to be huge winners in the long run. A tax-free Indian operation in the heart of downtown Buffalo will be have disastrous effects on our community for years. Just as the Seneca casino is having its negative effects on the surrounding buinesses there. They both should be shut down.
12 Jul 2008, 23:34
JQ Blogger, I enjoy your posts, but you are not correct. The 1842 Treaty with the Seneca is instrumental in this decision. It began the process of addressing what is documented as one of the biggest injustices against Native Americans in US history. In essence, all of the land in the Buffalo Creek reservation was illegally taken from the Seneca (i.e. most of what is the City of Buffalo today). The Seneca had a legal claim to that land, but were only given the right to buy it back and incorporate it into their territory in 1990. The money from the 1990 settlement with the Seneca was used to purchase the casino site, and the Seneca were granted an exception to the gaming rules and the gaming license under that rationale. In essence, the Judge ignored the 1842 treaty in his decision and if his decision stands, the US government will be in violation of the 1842 treaty and ALL of the original Buffalo Creek reservation property will revert back to the Seneca. So, all of the City of Buffalo will suddenly be part of the Seneca territory very soon if this ill informed decision stands. The Seneca are now in a win-win situation.
Study the decision and study all of the applicable federal law related to the Buffalo Creek reservation and you will see that this is far from lost for the Seneca.
This issue is not linked to the Bush administration's abuse of the constitution. As you know, I am no fan of the Iraq war etc...., but the original decision to give the Seneca their gaming license was in fact the right decision. It was made in the context of ALL the treaties with the Seneca. But, if the US wants to give the Seneca back all their land, that works fine. Then they put casinos all over town. They can start by building one next to the Wendt Foundation offices on Main Street and they can put another next to Rose's house.
Also, what's all this about money given to local churches to help the poor. First, this is a drip in the bucket. I hope you don't think some chump changed given to churches can replace a living wage job or comprehensive public assistance for the poor. Second, M. White is correct on one point, the Churches run the biggest gambling operations in WNY. They stand to lose bingo, sports betting, and a number of other raffle revenue. All of which are classified by NY State law as gambling. So, have the trustees at Wendt go after the Catholic Church. Let's see what the Wendt trustees and their lawyer are really made of. Let them sue the Pope. I can supply his address in Rome if needed. The Pope is behind the biggest gambling organization in town, go sue the Pope.
13 Jul 2008, 05:52
I think I'm beginning to understand the mentality of WNYMind (with a capital M.)
This discussion is not about the legality of gambling in Buffalo at all. This is all about payback for past injustices (racist and otherwise) done to the Senecas. That's why Joel Rose and WNYMind couldn't get along. Joel Rose is concerned exercising his rights as an American citizen and WNYMind is concerned about payback for something that was started in 1842.
That's why you say that the CBB lawsuit is bogus and that Skretny's decision is irrelevant and that the Feds probably won't follow up the decision anyway. (Your probably correct about this last point because they're mostly a bunch of greedy, lazy twits down there in DC.)
I had thought that the handle WNYMind meant "I'm one who minds (or cares) about Western New York" but on closer inspection I see that the handle has a capital "M" and so it may be a convenient code for "WNY Mohican indian" or "WNY MoBettaMoney" indian or something like that.
It would be fascinating to know what WNYMind stands for, would it not? I do hope we get to find out!
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Have you, WNYMind, read Bruce Fisher's history on the Senecas printed at Buffalo Report? I would very much like to know whether you think it is a proper history or not.
You can find it if you google this text... "bruce fisher seneca"
As I said I would be very interested to get your point of view on Mr Fisher's summary. He writes as if he has done some homework and he knows what he's talking about.
I'd also like to meet you one day so I can shake your hand. I'd like you to know that I don't live under rocks. Doing that is simply not sustainable. (I don't think Joel Rose does either. I see him about all the time and he uses his real name like a real person when he blogs on Artvoice and he invites everybody to his meeting all the time.) He may have a "sorry butt" (I don't really know what that means but I think it quite unlikely that either you or Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr. own it, either jointly or severally.)
I've put my phone number below if you would like to get in touch.
Lots of fun blogging, don't you think? Especially if you use it to learn something new or meet interesting people. I'd like to encourage my kids to do so that they can learn how to express themselves and so that they can learn to understand issues that are important to them.
See you soon I hope.
+1 (716) 841 2616
13 Jul 2008, 06:07
My thanks go to Jamie Moses for the fabulous service done to the community by Artvoice and also for the very useful reminder, above after his visit to Reno NV, of how unsustainable casinos are as an economic development tool.
Great for laundering money (especially so close to a border!) but hopeless for economic development. There are many reasons why this is so...
1) casinos are all the same, the glitz makes your eyes sore after 5 minutes (or is it the 2nd-hand smoke)
2) the market is saturated, there are casinos everywhere (esp: Reno NV, Gary IN, Detroit MI and Atlantic City, NJ all know to be tourist hotspots noted for their especially culturally interesting and illiminating casinos)
3) casinos alongside gambling in general offer one product: false hope. (At least bingo is sociable, limited and you can see where the money is going. I do think that it would be Buffalo would be better place for its citizens, and visitors actually, if the Catholic Church could get off bingo by selling vegetables.)
You'd have to be a complete twit or a self-serving politician like (Mssrs Bush, Pataki, Collins, Brown or John) to think that casinos are good value for the community.
13 Jul 2008, 06:20
Dear Mr. Lloyd A Marshall, Jr.,
I'm writing to apologise for getting your name wrong the other day.
It's not that my eyes need to be checked, it's that I have a very bad short term memory. When I can find my glasses, my eyes work perfectly well.
I think I may be one of the snobs that you referred to in your post above about clear thinking. I have been a bit of a snob when I was younger and I have to say I very much regret that.
In any event, I wanted you to know that I have no interest in taking away your personal choices. If you want to go to the casino so much why don't you go to Niagara Falls or to Salamanca? Or Reno NV or Gary IN or Atlantic City NJ or Ocean City MD, etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum?
If you do, please would you let us know how the economic development front is working out down there and whether you think it is sustainable?
Many thanks from your online-scribble-partner,
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
13 Jul 2008, 15:32
Jamie Moses says:
"For those commenting on this article, if you want to advance a meaningful discussion I would caution that arguing with Lloyd Marshal is a waste of time."
Right, Jamie, 'cause you'll get owned, just like Joel Rose.
13 Jul 2008, 15:52
The treaty of 1842 is actually the law and principle governing the entire dispute with the Seneca. It is an interesting history lesson about how the US government first ripped off the indians and then committed to a process for righting the wrongs done to them. It is also widely cited as one of the biggest land grabs by the US government historically, followed by an admission that it was wrong and should be fixed.
Before the 1830's all of Buffalo was the Buffalo Creek reservation, then the government illegally gave a land speculator a license to sell the land for profit. The Seneca disputed this action and won in court. It took almost 150 years, but they finally got the right to buy the land back (land taken from them illegally) and reincorporate it as Buffalo Creek reservation land. At that time, they also got a settlement from the US government. The settlement money was used to buy the casino land, that's why it's called the Buffalo Creek casino. So, the license was issues under the terms of the 1842 treaty and the 1990 settlement. Pure and simple.
The judge recently ignored that treaty, and ruled incorrectly. It will be overturned or the original 1842 issue becomes a hot issue of contention again. If the right to buy back the land of the Buffalo Creek reservation is no longer there (a right was established for over 150 years) then then the Seneca claim to all the land is in play again.
So, it is a matter of treaty and law in this country.
I have seen Fisher's silly blurb on the other blog. It is purely junk. If he understood basics about US law and treaty agreements with Native Americans he wouldn't write such silly things. It makes him seem intolerant. Rose is also telling half truths. If he really respected the law he would acknowledge the treaty issues and go away with his tail between his legs. The irony of the whole thing is that he has opened to door to have his personal residences designated as being on indian land and subject to Seneca laws too. Poetic justice if you ask me.
To make a long story short, no I am not a Seneca, the Mayor, Brian Davis, or any of the others I have been accused of being. I am just one of the thousands out there who respect my neighbors and all the laws of the US (not just the few selected to press my agenda). Who I am doesn't really matter, what I represent does, which is fairness, honesty, and democratic process and dialogue.
My challenge is still out there to the Wendt trustees. Stop hiding behind lawyers and put this issue in the hands of the people. Use your unjustified power to get a referendum on the ballot in WNY to let the people vote on the casino. Let them vote it up or down. Then there will be no dispute of the outcome. Let the majority rule.
The Wendt trustees will not do this any more than they will reform how their 'foundation' is governed. They like to have power over people (really rob people of their rightful power). Instead, they play games with the law and bilk the poor out of the foundation's spoils from playing the stock market. All at taxpayer expense, all using money that is tax exempt. That is the sikness that is really behind this snowjob the trustees are behind.
14 Jul 2008, 11:59
Is the Wendt Foundation bankrupt? It appears so. According to the Buffalo News Wendt has poured most of the $2 million used to wage war against the Seneca casino into the pot. That means Wendt has cashed in $2 million of the foundation's stock for a lobbying effort against the casino.
This has been done during the same time that Wendt's portfoli has been losing value on Wall Street. If the Wendt trustees were watching Wall Street instead of obsessing over a casino, they might not have allowed their investment portfolio to crumble.
Are the Wendt trustees out of control? Should they continue to sell the foundation's stock low to spend endlessly on their anti-casino lobbying efforts in the courts? Are the trustees (Robert Kresse, Tomas Lunt, and Janet Day) mismanaging the foundations funds? Is Wendt the next institution to go under in this economy? Is Wendt's gamble worth the risk to the poor in Buffalo?
We know the answers to all those questions. This is the adelphia scandle all over again.
Every dollar Wendt spends on the casino is hundreds of dollars taken away from the poor and the organizations the Wendt foundation was set up to support. Wendt is dipping into its portfolio to wage war on the Seneca, and that means the funds are no longer there to generate returns on investment that end up back in the community doing good.
IT IS TIME FOR ROBERT KRESSE, THOMAS LUNT AND JANET DAY TO BE REMOVED AS TRUSTEES OF WENDT. THEY SHOULD BE SUED IN CIVIL COURT FOR MISMANAGEMENT OF THE WENDT FOUNDATION'S PORTFOLIO AND REQUIRED TO REEMBURSE EVERY PENNY SPENT ON THE LOBBYING EFFORT AGAINST THE SENECA.
If this pattern of abuse is allowed to continue, there will be no Wendt foundation left, and you can thank the trustees for creating this mess.
14 Jul 2008, 12:28
YES!!!!! NOW THE WENDT TRUSTEES HAVE TO ANSWER TO THE PEOPLE. THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING. TIME FOR KRESSE, LUNT AND DAY TO GET KICKED OFF THEIR HIGH HORSE!!!!
SEE THE LINKS:
MR ROSE, THAT'S THE LAST $2 MILLION YOU GET TO LOBBY. SAY GOODBYE TO THE GRAVYTRAIN!!!!!
14 Jul 2008, 14:12
I read through most, though not all, of the comments. I am sickened to see so many people (WNYmind, Lloyd) attempt to push their "freedoms" on everyone else with no regard to the big picture. I actually agree with the statement that every individual has the choice to go to the casino and gamble or not. But the facts are this: Casinos do not benefit a community. The research is there.
I'm also disgusted in the use of terms "social welfare", "the poor", etc. Three words: Get. A. Job. And don't throw this 1000 $35k jobs at me. At what cost? Don't tell me you can't drive anywhere around town and not see a single help wanted sign. But let's take that $3.5 million in yearly pay. What are the chances that the casino nets $3.5M or more? Where is that profit coming from? Right from our own citizens. Sure, some of it's already going to the other gambling avenues. Is it realistic to shut down OTB, or the Lotto, etc.? Accepting past mistakes as the status quo is not the answer to our current issues.
I applaud Mr. Rose and the others here who have the sensibility to use reason, logic, and common sense to openly discuss the major issue at hand and oppose something that is against the law.
14 Jul 2008, 16:23
Edit: $35M. The point remains the same. Casinos don't open to lose money. They'll easily make more than that. Where do those profits come from? The community is pumping their disposable income (yes, at their free will) into a tax-exempt entity that has no accountabilty for the "social welfare" you speak of. The same social welfare that will be short changed, but you praise for helping the poor and disadvantaged. So you want the best of both worlds. The "freedom" for us all to choose to spend our dollars at a casino, but no responsibility on the part of said casino to help with the social ills that casinos create. I hate welfare, SSI, and any other handout more than anyone. But if you have all the answers, explain to me what your plan is to deal with the increase is the studied and documented social problems that come along with a casino. I'll be damned if you think I'm going to foot the bill for some b.s. government program to help the "needy". It's bad enough in this state and they'll sure as hell be driving more of us educated residents out of the area if they think we'll pick up the tab while the Seneca's get rich. But I suppose you can't take the time to actually research the state of Indian affairs. Take a look at what Indian gaming has done for the Seminoles and south Florida. Is that what you want?
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
14 Jul 2008, 17:17
"I applaud Mr. Rose and the others here who have the sensibility to use reason, logic, and common sense to openly discuss the major issue at hand and oppose something that is against the law."
And yet... it's SOVEREIGN land that the Indians are building on. It was their land before; they have bought it back. It's their property, and therefore it's THEIR call as to whether they will build a casino on their own land or not. Not yours; not Joel Rose's; not Judge Skreteny's; not the Wendt Foundation's.
Tell me: Do you like it that the Canadians built the Fallsview and Niagara casinos just at the water's edge so we here in the NY side can see it? Canada is a sovereign nation; remember that. Same for the Senecas and the land they're building on... SOVEREIGN.
"The community is pumping their disposable income (yes, at their free will) into a tax-exempt entity that has no accountabilty for the "social welfare" you speak of, etc."
And that's where it comes down to... FREE WILL. Those who willingly gamble themselves into oblivion have nobody to blame but themselves, and should not be able to look to "we the people" for their help. Did anyone put a gun to their heads, or a knife to their throats, demanding that they gamble themselves silly? You know the answer to that one.
Personally, I've been to the Casino Niagara, and to Foxwoods in Connecticut. No more than $30 each time. When that was done, so was I.
If people can't take responsibility for their own behaviors, they should just suffer in silence.
That's the beauty of it: Free choice. The marketplace. This is what drives business and commerce, and what should drive the building of the casino/hotel in Downtown Buffalo. Not the nosy, do-gooder, elitist megalomaniacs and their "we know what's best for you" machinations.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
14 Jul 2008, 17:37
You know Joel Rose's website; you know the rest.
15 Jul 2008, 05:31
Thank You Lloyd..... S O V E R E I G N.
15 Jul 2008, 05:32
Dear Rocco and everyone like him: I'm sorry that someone is holding a gun to everyone's head and making them gamble.
15 Jul 2008, 08:56
As I stated, I agree with the "free will to gamble" viewpoint. But the reality is we are not just going to eliminate the social servies that exist and that are required to support the laundry list of problems that will arise. These problems have been studies and documented.
Sovereign nation is all well and good but there are treaties in place between nations. I am no legal scholar but if those treaties, agreed to by both nations, state there are laws regarding Indian gaming, what you are suggesting is for the Senecas, as a sovereign nation who signed a treaty, to break those laws and have complete disregard to the terms of a treaty.
I thought of this example last night in response to the claim that the money is already being gambled at other casinos, so why not keep it in Buffalo. Say there's one Tim Horton's. It's in Niagara Falls. You have the free will to go there and drink coffee. Tim Hortons says, "Hey, we could make more money if we open a shop in Buffalo." So now there are two Tim Horton's. They now have twice the operating expenses. Don't you think they expect to make twice the profits? Where do you think those new profits are going to come from? Maybe we can start giving land back the Senecas (hell, why not just give them all of WNY, the old Buffalo Creek reservation, correct?), and they can build a casino on every corner.
Just remember: As George Carlin said, "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."
15 Jul 2008, 09:07
Typo. Studied and documented. And as I also said, I hate the social "safety net" more than anyone. But I don't have a plan for eliminating it. So you feel free to watch the need for and cost of those services to increase. Someone around here is going to pay for them. It won't be me, I can guarantee you that. I'll just be another highly educated young person who came back home after college only to move away.
Also, as the article states, the SNSA defines what "sovereign" land may be used for gaming. I may be mistaken but I thought the Senecas had other land where they could legally operating gaming, as approved by the NIGC. If you have issues with the laws and treaties between America and Indians, go to court and get it changed.
15 Jul 2008, 10:47
How do all the anti-casino kooks explain NF Canada anyway. They have two casinos there, they have a vibrant business community around the casinos, they are not plauged with poverty and crime, and everyone in southern Ontario (nor WNY) is not a chronic gambler. The anti-casino group dares us to go to NF and see what the casinos have created. I've been there, on both sides of the border, and don't see the plauge they predict. Even on the US side, things are looking up, and some new development is taking place for the first time in decades.
The only real differene between Canada and the US is that there are very few private foundations like the Wendt Foundation in Canada. Canada does not have a bunch of tax exempt lobbying groups in their country that use their money to block development, disenfranchise communities, and keep people poor. They also have a public input process that guides development there, and the people supported the casino development in Canada because they knew it was beneficial to the community, and it has turned out to pay dividends (unlike the Wendt Foundation after its portfollio was raided by the trustees for political purposes).
The fact that NF Canada exists and is a shining success story, completely destroys the anti-casino groups (i.e. the three Wendt Trustees) argument. And, yes, the NF success story is so great that there are also casinos in nearby Winsor Canada, just across the border from Detroit, where they have three Casinos.
So, Kresse, Lunt and Day lose on that point as well.
15 Jul 2008, 11:06
My only question regarding NF, Canada would be who the majority of casino patrons are. To me, NF, Canada has been much more of a tourist destination than NF, USA. The attractions, nightlife, etc. were there long before the casino. I'm not saying the casino has hurt the area, I'm just not sure how to quantify how much it has helped. When I was 19 and there were no casinos there, Clifton Hill was still pretty popular. I haven't been to either NF, Canada or NF, USA in some time, so I may be wrong as to the exact situation of development and such in each.
I just think you're opinion is too strongly based on what the Wendt Foundation has, or hasn't done. I for one had never even heard of the Wendt Foundation before reading these comments. I feel you're so focused on other people's opinions that you're failing to discuss things with reason, logic, and common sense.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
15 Jul 2008, 20:50
Rocco says to WNYMind: "I feel you're so focused on other people's opinions that you're failing to discuss things with reason, logic, and common sense."
I believe that we have been using common sense in stating the case that whether a casino is built or not, or whether people choose to partake of their wares or not, is based on the marketplace... on free will... on supply vs. demand.
The likes of Joel Rose, however, don't use common sense; they just want to push their pointy-headed ideas upon the rest of us without regard for others' rights.
16 Jul 2008, 06:38
In his note above, WNYMind says, "How do all the anti-casino kooks explain NF Canada anyway."
Oh dear, delusional WNYMInd really does not know all that much about this sorry gaming business after all.
1) Casinos in NF are owned by the Government of the Canadians, not the indians. The profits of the casinos (not a percentage, all of them) are invested into the community instead of being syphoned off elsewhere. (Bit like the arrangements regarding Bingo in Buffalo, WNYMind.)
2) The customers of NF casinos are TOURISTS. That means the gambling there is an EXPORT business. So the tourists come, drop their money and leave again. Whatever problems they may develop from being broke they take back with them to somewhere else. (In fact they can't bring them back to NF because they can't afford to get there.)
So you see WNYMind, NF works because the government is acting in the best interest of its people. Something that governments in the US at many levels are failing to do these days.
It's delusional to think that the Buffalo Creek Casino may be part of an export strategy. Why would tourists visit Buffalo for the casino when there are already casinos everywhere else? The "me too" tourist export strategy just lack imagination in a very big way.
It's delusional to think that the Senecas are building the Casinos for the benefit of the community in Buffalo. A billion dollar business is going to spend $35mm on jobs in Buffalo. This kook is not impressed. Obviously the profits of the Seneca casinos are not visible in NF and they certainly are not visible in Salamanca so the money goes elsewhere, Albany, Florida and the private estates of the Seneca elites.
Politicians love casinos because they hate to use the word taxes and they hate managing budgets downwards. In fact casinos are taxes on the addicted offering very little product aside from shiny lights and false hopes.
I marvel at the amount of time WNYMind and Lloyd Marshall spend on these delusions. Another one is the investigation of the Wendt Foundation. Here is WNYMind, whose real identity is of no importance to him, arguing for the investigation of a foundation under a tax code promulgated by government whose property laws he does not agree with.
Delusional but brilliant, really, have you been sent here explicitly to entertain us?
16 Jul 2008, 06:43
Lloyd A Marshall, Jr. above loves to go around "owning" people... people get owned apparently if they don't respond word for word to his drivel. Joel Rose has been owned and Jamie Moses might be.
What is this concept of ownership, exactly? Does it mean that you can do exactly as you please with the people you own? Can you explain this to us, Lloyd?
16 Jul 2008, 10:13
Mr. Rose's right to object to a casino is equal to your right to support one. However, from your statements and WNYmind's, I do not feel that you are able to grasp the full pros and cons of this issue. You have simplified it into a "marketplace" decision, "supply vs. demand", and "free will". All concepts are all well and good, but again you have solely focused on the pros of those ideas and fail to recognize or acknowlege the cons when applied to the unique issue that is Indian gaming in this country. You continue to ignore what is fact. Read Donn Esmonde's editorial in today's Buffalo News. Perhaps then you can continue your case as to why a downtown Buffalo casino is a good idea and how it can benefit our community. I'll say it again: the research has been done. I emplore you to prove it and me wrong. I will then gladly get on the casino bandwagon.
Note: My $35M "job creation" statement, as compared to the millions more the Senecas will make, was part of his article. This is common sense. I've barely followed this debacle and in 2 minutes anyone with half a brain could figure it out and see through the fluff.
16 Jul 2008, 10:36
I have an idea: Let's open up a crack house. Even though it's illegal, Lloyd and WNYmind don't really have any regard for the actual law. We'll let the marketplace, supply and demand, and free will decide what happens. We'll completely ignore any possible cons associated with crack addiction. Because, hey, no one's holding a gun to my head to smoke crack, right? But you won't mind when some crack head breaks into your house, rapes your wife, and steals the jewelry. Because you're all about a person's "freedoms". Seeing that we're ignoring the laws and everything you'll be in full support of the idea.
16 Jul 2008, 10:41
Tourists, is that what you call people from WNY who drive 15 minutes to NF Canada. Get real. The NF USA Casino already does two things. It captures some of that money that was subsidizing growth in NF Canada and redistributes it in NY State and WNY in the form of jobs and redistribution to the city and state. It also attracts tourists from outside the region because with four casinos in the region (2 on each side of the border) we now have an agglomoration.
Now the Seneca want to build the fifth casino in the region and put it in Buffalo. This would actually make the city more of a tourist draw. And, it brings 1000 $35K jobs to the city (1/2 guaranteed to city residents) as well as $8 million to he city a year. It is actually the best deal a city ever got from a casino in US history (look it up, the revenue sharing and job package is a model for how to do it).
Of course, I have no quams with the government legalizing casinos everywhere in WNY. Let's put it on the ballot and let the people decide.
You can now go chase your tail. I haven't seen the Wendt Foundation's paid baboon, Joel Rose, dare to post lately. I guess he is off somewhere harassing the Seneca. From the posts on the Buffalo News and elsewhere, he seems to be the most hated man in Buffalo now. But, for $2 million in legal fees he probably is laughing his way to the bank, or the casino buffet.
Thanks again to Kresse, Lunt, and Day for mismanaging the Wendt portfolio. I am sure some poor people in WNY are suffering and hungry due to their selfish lobbying efforts. I know they must feel good about themselves.
16 Jul 2008, 12:19
If you're poor, suffering, and hungry, get a job.
You're still missing the point WNYMind. Where do you think the millions that the Senecas expect to make annually off a Buffalo casino will come from? Do you really think they want to steal their own business from NF and Allegheny, while incurring increased operating costs ($35M for those 1000 jobs, remember)? No. They know full well where that new money will come from. Local residents who don't already go to the other casinos. Sure, Buffalo might draw some tourists. But the majority of the people who will be giving their money to the Senecas will be locals. Do the research. It's been studied and documented. I keep saying it, you keep choosing to ignore it. I'd love to see more people come visit Buffalo. But not to spend their weekend in a casino that pays no taxes. Sure, in 10 years they might be able to go across the street and buy a lure or two at Bass Pro. Otherwise they're staying at the casino hotel, eating there, gambling there, and probably even shopping there. (They could go to Main Place Mall. No, really.) And along with the local residents throwing money away (yes, by free will), come the social problems. Social problems that aren't my job to fix, but I'll be paying for through your beloved social services for the poor and suffering. Is city hall going to use that $8M to fix the problems? Maybe we can pay some more police officers $100k+ and give them all cars. It's the Wendt Foundation's job to provide for the needy anyway, right? Why should our local government be burdened with providing for gambling addicts and broken homes. It will happen.
16 Jul 2008, 13:27
No answer from Lloyd or WNYMind. Does that mean I own them now? Do I get a title to them? Do I need insurance or proof of purchase? Is there a warranty?
16 Jul 2008, 14:22
I am a Seneca. I obviously want a casino. My job depends on the casino revenue. If I have no job, there I go on welfare to raise my kiddies. I don't want to be on welfare. I want to work. Don't take my job away. Don't take my children's financial security away. Thousands of people's jobs are at stake and thousands more who depend on those other thousands are at stake. JUST LEAVE US ALONE! That's all we ever wanted. NY was built around us.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
17 Jul 2008, 06:35
Rocco says: "I do not feel that you are able to grasp the full pros and cons of this issue."
I say the same on Joel Rose.
Let the casino be built; it's sovereign land. Let the marketplace decide. QED.
17 Jul 2008, 10:16
This is ridiculous. Since when does a Seneca's job depend on casino revenue? You're telling me there are no other jobs than a casino job? And if casino revenue isn't taxable, why do you get welfare? I am leaving you alone. Alone to abide by the law. The law that your Seneca Nation agreed to in the SNSA. I ask you: please do not break the law. Go ahead and build whatever you want. Just don't break the law and operate gaming. The marketplace does not get to decide what is legal and what isn't. There is a marketplace for numerous illegal goods and activities. Do you turn a blind eye to these as well Lloyd? Should we just ignore all our laws (many of which I disagree with) and let the "marketplace" govern our every whim?
17 Jul 2008, 10:54
You take exception to the money the Wendt Foundation has spent in funding opposition to the casino. Has it not occurred to you that having a casino could, and very well likely, cost the community (including the Wendt Foundation, which you've made clear is there to help the poor, suffering, and hungry) untold millions more supporting the problems associated with gambling addiction? And again not to mention the negative effect an Indian casino would likely have on surrounding, tax-paying businesses? What about those business owners who might be forced out of business and their employees who lose their jobs? Pros and cons. I'm not saying everything about Indian gaming is inherently evil. But too many people commenting here have a one track mind and their own agenda and refuse to intelligently discuss the issue. No wonder nothing gets done in this town. On the whole we're too dumb for progress.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
17 Jul 2008, 17:39
"But too many people commenting here have a one track mind and their own agenda and refuse to intelligently discuss the issue."
Joel Rose and the Wendt Foundation trustees surely fit the above description.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
17 Jul 2008, 17:45
Rocco posts... "I have an idea: Let's open up a crack house. Even though it's illegal, Lloyd and WNYmind don't really have any regard for the actual law. We'll let the marketplace, supply and demand, and free will decide what happens."
Bob Grant said something similar in his LET'S BE HEARD book over a decade ago. Make drugs legal, and FREE. Lace some with an instant-death chemical. That way, those who continue to do dope eventually will get the eternal high. The end result is less druggies hurting/killing/maiming other people/running their cars into ours, and more space available in jails/hospitals/public housing for the more and truly deserving.
The way we have been handling things in the personal vice area is disgraceful. Look at prohibition. Nuf said. Let's be realistic and decide to let people deternmine for themselves how they live and let's see what happens.
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
17 Jul 2008, 17:53
JQB says two contradictory things:
"We as Buffalonians and Americans are heading down a path far more destructive than the loss of jobs when we abandon the U.S. constitution and value the corporate decision over that of a Federal judge."
"Wake up this is America."
"This is America." Correct, America... the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE. FREEDOM to live and operate according to our own self-interests.
As for "valuing corporate decisions over federal judges," I'll take the side of private developers who know how to create enterprises that give jobs and benefits to others, and that give people something to enjoy... before I give any regard to any second-guessing outsider governmental entity that only can gum up the works.
And this is what the whole casino argument comes down to... WHO is more qualified to decide what's in our own best interests? Would it be those who live everyday life and operate their lives and their affairs according to their own enlightened interests? Or would that rather be the nattering nabobs of nosiness who have nothing better to do than to stick their noses into our business and tell us what's best for us? Start here.
18 Jul 2008, 10:02
Your personal politics Mr. Marshall have no bearing on what our current laws are. If you are that insistent upon living your life according to your own rules, by all means do so. If and when you get caught for breaking a law, I don't want to hear how you're just exercising your freedom to persue your own self-interests. There are many, many laws I don't agree with. There are many that don't make sense. There are many that benefit certain people and groups. But as a citizen of this country, or a Native American in accordance to the treaties, agreements, and settlements reached with the United States, I expect any upstanding member of the community to adhere to those laws. Laws are not set in stone. There is a process for change. I suggest you take advantage of your freedom to voice your dissatisfaction with our current laws and attempt to effect change. Until then, please base your argument here on our current laws.
In response to your other comment about lacing free drugs with an instant-death chemical: That's genocide. That selective murder based on someone's decision to persue their own self-interests. Obviously you aren't big on drug users. Would you find it acceptable to selectively murder people who gamble? How about people who run red lights?
Lloyd A. Marshall, Jr.
18 Jul 2008, 18:34
Let's break down Rocco's latest fallacy:
"In response to your other comment about lacing free drugs with an instant-death chemical: That's genocide. That selective murder based on someone's decision to persue their own self-interests. Obviously you aren't big on drug users."
Those who continuously and recklessly pump themselves full of these hard narcotics, if left unchecked, could run their cars into our cars... rob/mug people... hurt others around them on the job or elsewhere because their mental/physical faculties are fouled up. Lacing part of their drugs with an instant-death chemical serves the public interest in that the instances of these druggies being able to harm or kill others around them declines. This then frees up hospital space, prison space, and housing space... for the more-and-truly-deserving.
"Would you find it acceptable to selectively murder people who gamble? How about people who run red lights?"
Apples-vs-oranges, Rocco. They don't correlate.
26 Nov 2008, 13:06
Apples vs. oranges? So it's not possible for a gambling addict to rob or mug someone for more money to gamble with? Or someone who ran a red light to run their car into someone else's? No Lloyd, it's apples vs. apples.
Things cannot be based on what could happen. What about the drug users who don't hurt anyone else? Are they any less deserving of life than you, because, in your opinion, they have a greater chance of hurting someone else? You obviously have a grudge again drug users. And no, I don't use drugs.
Interesting though that you call my opinion and arguement a fallacy. Your idea of lacing free drugs with an instant death chemical is disturbing, to say the least. I highly recommend you seek professional mental help.
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Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v7n28: Typecon (7/10/08) > The Casino Craps Out
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