Senator John McCain was on a roll. In a room reserved for high-stakes gamblers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, he tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table. When the marathon session ended around 2:30 a.m., the Arizona senator and his entourage emerged with thousands of dollars in winnings.This news is a bit old at this point, but it seems not to have penetrated, so it's worth noting. In his years in the Senate, McCain has played a major role in guiding the expansion of casino gambling on Native American reservations. In an extensive piece, the New York Times reveals that
in his current campaign, more than 40 fund-raisers and top advisers have lobbied or worked for an array of gambling interests — including tribal and Las Vegas casinos, lottery companies and online poker purveyors.And shows how McCain has taken sides in some recent disputes over new casino projects when long time lobbyist friends became involved on behalf of both pro- and anti- casino groups.
The article also illustrates how while taking down Jack Abramoff in 2005, McCain was able to get revenge against a number of political opponents from his 2000 Presidential campaign while many of his friends: lobbyists who previously competed with Abramoff for work, won lucrative contracts with the disgraced lobbyists' former clients, representing them in their struggle to bring Abramoff's misdeeds to McCain's attention.
- For McCain and Team, a Host of Ties to Gambling: A very interesting read that further undermines McCain's claim of independence from lobbyists and special interests.