Thursday, November 29, 2007

Choctaws ought to have a clear view that they will face opposition if they continue to pursue a casino in Jackson County

Given the Ocean Springs Board's opposition, the referendum and Monday's vote by the supervisors, the Choctaws ought to have a clear view that they will face opposition if they continue to pursue a casino in Jackson County.

However, after the election Choctaw leader Miko Beasley Denson said the tribe would continue the process to obtain approval for a casino. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the governor must approve a casino.

The referendum outcome and votes by local elected officials send a signal to the governor's office that countering the wishes of Jackson County may have adverse political consequences. The Bureau of Indian Affairs ought to see a public record of opposition to the casino.

The Choctaws have spotted an economic opportunity in Jackson County. Perhaps there is something other than a casino that can achieve the tribe's financial goals without compromising the will of the Jackson County voters.

The casino proposal is behind us, but Jackson County would be wise to keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to take a stand against the Choctaw Casino

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to take a stand against a casino proposed for the county by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

More than 60 percent of voters in the general election earlier this month came out against the casino. The referendum was taken to gauge voter opinion on the issue, but is not legally binding.

So supervisors Monday took a stand that reflects the vote.


At least someone heard us when we said NO. Jackson County residents should take note that Tim Broussard voted for the casino over the objections of the voters he is suppose to represent ( remember this at election time folks). Robert Norvel was absent.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It is now up to the Board of Supervisors to lend its official stamp to the casino vote

The opinion of voters does count and can be reinforced by supervisors passing a resolution in support of the Nov. 6 vote at their next meeting, Nov. 26. The resolution would be the beginning of local officials expressing their opinion on the Choctaw casino to the governor and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The voters have made this easy for the supervisors. Prior to the vote, it was not clear whether Jackson County citizens approved or disapproved of a casino.


There are those who may discount the vote by arguing that a few thousand ballots supporting the casino would have changed the results. There was equal chance to cast ballots Nov. 6, however, and the casino lost. The balloting speaks clearly to the supervisors about the county's opinion.

It is now up to the Board of Supervisors to lend its official stamp to the casino vote.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Denson is a man who cannot be trusted

Letters to the Editor ~ The Sun Herald

New chief gets off to a very bad start

The decision by Chief Beasley Denson to ignore the 60 to 40 percent defeat suffered by the Choctaw casino issue would make it abundantly clear that he is a man who cannot be trusted. All the voters who believed his "pie in the sky" promises should question whether they have been deceived by a "wolf in chief's clothing."

I would not feel comfortable in any future dealing with this man. Unlike Chief Martin, who is a man whose integrity has never been questioned, the new chief has gotten off to a very bad start.

LONNIE O'NEAL Ocean Springs


Denson had no problem breaking the Choctaws' word once, why should we trust him about anything?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jackson County Board of Supervisors plan to support voters NO

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors may take action as early as today to pass a resolution opposing a Choctaw casino proposed in the county.

In a nonbinding referendum Nov. 6, slightly more than 60 percent of county voters cast ballots against the casino.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Secret meetings between the Mississippi Band of Choctaws and Jackson County supervisors

Present and incoming supervisors ought to take Leach's complaint to heart and work for open government. Public officials often argue that economic development should involve a degree of confidentiality. Maybe that's true, but when a business project is asking for the public's help, the public deserves to be informed. The Choctaw casino was such a project and the public should have known the details early in the process. This isn't about security issues, but it is about letting people know about what is happening in their county.

Leach may be making a late call, but it is the right call. As supervisors deal with development they should keep in mind that they do so on behalf of the public and they should keep those who elect them informed through open government.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The vote ought to stand as a clear message to the political leaders and the Mississippi Choctaws that Jackson County does not want this casino.

While voters are reminded that their votes count, a different message is being sent to them after the non-binding referendum on the Choctaw casino in Jackson County. Sixty percent of Jackson County voters casting ballots rejected the casino. Even though the referendum is non-binding, the vote ought to stand as a clear message to the political leaders and the Mississippi Choctaws that Jackson County does not want this casino.

It is time for everyone concerned to let this issue rest in Jackson County. There are some who contend if the county was given a question on fully taxed gambling, the outcome may have been different. However, the 60 percent majority suggests there is a strong opinion against allowing casinos into Jackson County.

The opinion of 18,865 Jackson County voters on the gambling question should be respected.


I couldn't have said it better myself. Respect our vote and stop trying to ram a casino down our throat Chief Denson.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Today's Soundoff

• The referendum for the Choctaw treaty was 60-40 in Jackson County that did not want it. The media is very careful to tell us it's non-binding. If I were a politician in office now, though, I'd consider it very binding if I wanted to have a job next election.

Denson and 'supporters' lost no time dismissing majority of county's voters

Sun Herald ~ Letters to the Editor. ANNE C. BURKE brings up some troubling points.

Denson and 'supporters' lost no time dismissing majority of county's voters

Chief Denson's decision to press ahead with a casino should not surprise those of us who have voted against that decision. He has publicly stated that the opinions of the people who have to absorb his tribe's intrusion are meaningless to him.

He states there is a "coalition of business leaders and individuals in support of the Tribal resort casino"? Is he capable of enough honesty to furnish their names? I'd like to ask these "supporters" what they find persuasive about a casino in Jackson County. Obviously they believe they have something to gain by forcing a casino on a majority of residents who don't want it.

Having closely watched the politics of Mississippi, Ocean Springs and Jackson County for many years, I think it's just a matter of time before we hear: "Even though the people voted against it, we feel that in the interest of economic development... .

Or, "Even though the people voted against it, we think in the long run... .

Or, "Even though the people voted against it, we were elected to make these decisions for the people."

Or, "Even though the people voted against it, Chief Denson assures us... .

My personal observation is that the word of most elected officials has a shelf life roughly equivalent to the time it takes the voter to get out of earshot.

ANNE C. BURKE
Ocean Springs

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Choctaws prove they are liars

Former Chief Philip Martin said he would abide by the referendum and the Choctaw Tribal Council passed a resolution in agreement.

The residents of Jackson County voted NO to the casino, but Denson proving that we can't trust the Choctaws to keep their word plans to ram the casino down our throats.

Choctaw Chief Beasley Denson said, "I am disappointed that a majority of the voters missed this opportunity to embrace a real partnership with our tribe." Although the voters rejected the project, "We built a coalition of business leaders and individuals in support of the Tribal resort casino," Denson said, and the Tribe will continue the permitting process.

After this does anyone believe the Choctaws would have kept their word about the impact fees (donations) they would have made to the County?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Choctaws should play by the same rules as others on the Coast

The Choctaws, in an effort started by former Chief Phillip Martin, want to expand their gaming operations beyond their present two tax-free tribal casinos in Neshoba County. In particular, they want a slice of the increasingly lucrative market on the Coast, but they don't want to play by the same rules as the non-Indian casinos already located there.

They are seeking to have some land they've acquired in Jackson County designated as reservation land, even though historically it was no such thing.