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Council President Stuckart backs Spokane Tribe's casino project

UPDATED, with comments from Ben Stuckart.

Though much has been said about the proposed Spokane Tribe's casino and development project in Airway Heights, most of it has been heated opposition.

We caught notice of a strong vote of support by Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, who published an op-ed piece in support of the development in yesterday's Seattle Times.

One of his key points is the value of the project for the community and the tribe:

This $400 million investment in private dollars will result in much-needed new employment for the Spokane region -- 3,000 permanent and 2,000 construction jobs, according to an independent environmental and economic analysis conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It will help temper a serious unemployment rate the tribe and overall region are both dealing with.

We asked Stuckart why he offered this piece to the Times. His answer was that he wanted to counter an earlier Times op-ed piece written by former Gov. Mike Lowry. That piece argued that the Spokanes' proposal would set a risky precedent of allowing tribes to establish casinos off their reservation land.

Stuckart said he'll consider offering a Spokane commentary for The Spokesman-Review on the topic.

The question worth asking: Why did Stuckart take this piece to the paper in Seattle? Did he offer it to the SR first? Stay tuned.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.





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