Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

- Subsribe at
January 14th, 2011

Federal approval for casino might be at hand

It has been nearly two months since former Governor David Paterson signed a land settlement claim agreement with the Stockbridge Munsee Tribe opening the path for casino gaming.

Because this is a land settlement claim between a state, and not the typical “Land into Trust” process that was stopped by former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar might have to do very little for the Stockbridge Munsee Tribe to win authorization.

It remains unclear to many “people in the know” if there is even a need for actual approval of the casino or if federal recognition of the land settlement agreement between the tribe and New York State is all that is necessary.

Some even speculate if there is no federal objection to the pact signed by Paterson and supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo within a certain waiting period, the land settlement which includes a casino in Sullivan County could automatically be approved.

By permitting the land settlement and reserving comment on the casino, the Department of Interior would in essence be keeping the Kempthorne decision of halting the “Land into Trust” process intact, pleasing powerful Senators Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and John McCain, while delivering for Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand economic development in the Hudson Valley.

The Stockbridge Munsee’s are already a federally recognized tribe, therefore they could take the Bridgeville property into trust using the established Land Settlement Act. This would be a justifiable means for Sullivan County to win approval of the project.

However, the question remains if the Stockbridge Munsee Tribe and their developers will make such a bold move and construct a gaming facility without such written consent for a casino. No matter what happens, lawsuits can be expected.

The Stockbridge Munsee’s in a gallant move responded last week with a fully detailed fact sheet denouncing the criticism, opposition and mistruths stemming from those fighting their land claim, agreement, and proposed casino for Sullivan County.

They boldly pointed out their roots to the Hudson Valley, legitimate land claim and settlement, and the millions Sullivan County and New York State will receive from the project in addition to all the jobs and economic stimulation that will come along with it.

Of particular interest was their response to criticism that their Bridgeville site was not environmentally sound. They outlined in a flawless manner that the site was indeed sound and included measures that exceeded standards and guidelines.

The Stockbridge Munsee Tribe has done everything right. They have dotted every “I” and crossed every “T.” Not only have they proven their aboriginal ties to the Hudson Valley region, but they have partnered with one of the most prestigious, credible, and well funded casino developers. The site they selected is not only environmentally sound, but is a perfect location for a tourist destination.

There is no need for the Stockbridge Munsee’s to be on the defensive, all they need to do at this point is to begin construction – then let’s see them stop it.

Comments are closed.