Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Red Lake forum: DFL candidates pledge to honor treaties, create partnerships

The article below, which appeared in the Bemidji Pioneer Newspaper--- the largest circulation daily newspaper in northern Minnesota, raises a number of very interesting and important questions as well as providing important facts about the racist unemployment and racist poverty plaguing the Red Lake Nation Indian Reservation and other Indian Reservations in Minnesota--- and across the entire United States.
Important to note is none of the candidates were willing to broach the topic of "why" there is this great differential between the unemployment and poverty on Indian Reservations and urban areas with high concentrations of Native American Indians like Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Warroad, International Falls, Thief River Falls, Mankato, Hinckley.

Very importantly, perhaps not as intended, this article raises questions about the role of the state of Minnesota in Indian Gaming; and, also, the State' role in creating this horrendous unemployment which breeds so much poverty and all the misery associated with poverty--- from homelessness, hunger, disease and crime.

Most incredible, is that we see how completely ignorant these candidates are about what is the source of the EXTREME POVERTY on Indian Reservations; or perhaps they are being allowed to escape an explanation by not being asked by reporters because these candidates would be offended being asked this question knowing that they each have played a role in creating and allowing this shameful and disgraceful poverty to continue unabated when the solutions are at hand and resolving the problem so simple.
The issues of unemployment and poverty, in general, are very complex--- or at least the mainstream media, the politicians and the capitalist sooth-sayers and apologists would have us believe these are complex issues and the reason for the existence of unemployment and poverty exist side-by-side with such tremendous wealth having been created by the working class---- perhaps the discussion is just too controversial for them to under-take; but, the racist unemployment and the racist poverty resulting from institutionalized racism is actually very easy and simple to solve--- so simple to solve, in fact, that these politicians like the ones below--- and their colleagues in positions of decision-making and power can only be called racists because they have refused to solve the unemployment and poverty problems associated with institutionalized racism.
Look at the track records of the candidates below:

Susan Gaertner: as a prosecutor she is responsible for putting more Native American Indians behind bars simply because they can't afford the high prices charged by her colleagues in the legal profession. 

Tom Bakk admits that he saw the tremendous poverty of Native Americans living all around him; yet, what did he do as a leader of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Unions in Minnesota? He helped to exclude Native American Indians from membership in his own and other unions... and, then, if this wasn't bad enough, he helped orchestrate highly illegal "sweetheart contracts and deals" with the Indian Gaming Industry where members of his union and others could purchase jobs on casino construction projects which by-and-large have excluded Native American Indians from these good jobs with very good pay and extremely good benefits.

Mayor R.T. Rybak is a very special phenomenon when it comes to these candidates as he has fought tooth and nail against implementation of affirmative action in hiring in the City of Minneapolis.

And then we have John Marty, the slick and sophisticated middle class racist and bigot who likes to conduct survey after survey doing study after study to find out how extensive poverty is among Native American people. Senator Marty, like all the other candidates appearing at this forum are fully aware of the controversy now swirling around the Bemidji Regional Event Center... affectionately known in these parts as "the BREC." This is the high-priced boon-doggle forced upon tax-payers, who happen to have among their ranks--- surprise, surprise, Native American Indians who pay taxes but weren't employed in the planning and design, aren't being employed in the construction of the BREC and aren't being considered for the management, staffing or maintaining the BREC... because of the historic and continuing institutionalized racism in the City of Bemidji, Beltrami County and surrounding political subdivisions.

It is interesting to note, that in this article it mentions that only two women are vying for governor of Minnesota--- but, what is not mentioned, even though the event is held on an Indian Reservation, is that among the more than 20 candidates seeking to become Minnesota's next Governor--- there is not one single Native American Indian in the race nor any person of color.
Nor, does the article mention that there isn't one single Native American Indian sitting among Minnesota's more than 200 state legislators in either the House or Senate; nor does this article mention there isn't one single Native American among Minnesota's Congressional delegation in the U.S. House or U.S. Senate.
There is one Native American Indian sitting on the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners; retired Minnesota Highway Patrol Officer Quentin Fairbanks whose heart acts up every time he is asked to initiate action to enforce affirmative action but then he manages to recover in time to run for re-election.

There is only ONE solution to the institutionalized racism bred unemployment and poverty--- and this solution is the strict enforcement of affirmative action.
If anyone else knows of any other solution, other than affirmative action in hiring, to the unemployment and poverty bred by institutionalized racism, I would like to hear the suggestion and I am sure lots of people without jobs or income would like to hear the answer, too.
For years, the City of Bemidji has had the "distinction" of being "the most racist city in North America" and its elected and appointed public officials and businesses still hold this title even if they would rather tout that the community is the headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi River, a tourist mecca and home to that great American hero--- Paul Bunyan and his faithful companion Babe--- the big, blue ox.

Bemidji's Mayor and City Manager would just like Native Americans to pay their taxes and remain unseen; or, at least, unheard. Why upset the apple-cart with complaints about bigotry and racism as long as a few rich people have a good thing going for them?

I was prevented from attending this forum because of death threats made against me originating from this telephone number in Red Lake: 218-679-1850. Anyon have any idea where this is located?
So, if I am missing anything or accusing anyone of anything I should not be doing, I make no apologies because I can only go by what I have learned of this gubernatorial forum--- held at the Seven Clans Casino-Red Lake where casino workers are forced to work in a smoke-filled casino receiving poverty wages without the protections all other Minnesota workers enjoy under state and federal labor laws--- from this article in the Bemidji Pioneer Press.
What I find so astounding is that these candidates all say they can't do anything about these most Draconian and deplorable working conditions even though it was they who supported and initiated the "Compacts" creating the Indian Gaming Industry and this situation.

How does John Marty or any of these other candidates like Tom Bakk or Susan Gaertner or R.T. Rybak have the audacity and the unmitigated gall to suggest to the people of Minnesota they are concerned about POVERTY when they are sitting face-to-face with the very casino managements at this forum who are paying their employees poverty wages? Are these candidates so incredibly stupid that they can't figure out that anyone being paid a poverty wage is going to be living in poverty?

How much longer are these politicians going to use ":poverty" as a political football at election time trying to get one up on the other candidates as they each indulge in such racist hypocrisy?

Each of these candidates for governor, and all the rest running, have intentioally evaded this issue because they know and understand the only way out of this racist unemployment and racist poverty is to implement good strong affirmative action in hiring policies--- especialy when it comes to huge public works projects like the Bemidji Regional Event Center where implementing affirmative action in hiring would serve a dual purpose:

1. Provide Native American Indians with jobs they have been historically frozen out of because of this institutionalized racism which so permeates every aspect of life in and around the City of Bemidji; and,

2. Implementing affirmative action would serve to push wages in the casino industry up as would improved working cnditions in a smoke-free BREC where workers will be protected under state and federal labor laws while experiencing and participating in a union organizing drive would serve notice on these casino managements that they are going to have to reconsider their wages and benefits packages in competition with a unionized work-force because, no doubt, if affirmative action is implemented in hiring at the Bemidji Regional Event Center many casino workers will be the first in line to apply for the jobs--- leaving these casino managements forced to offer better wages and working conditions.... because, as has been pointed out, there will be a huge hospitality industry springing up around the BREC and all of these workers will be organizing for union contracts--- hundreds of workers; and, if affirmative action is implemented in this entire hospitality industry springing up around the BREC... here come more Native Amercan Indians quitting their jobs at the casinos in quest of real living wages, a healthier working environment and good benefits--- not to mention the protections offered by state and federal labor laws.
I find it very interesting that not one of the candidates sitting inside participating in this "candidates forum" so much as mentions institutionalized racism, racial discrimination or affirmative action or what the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is buying from them--- but, outside in the cold, in sub-zero temperatures, the article notes that there is a candidate for the Minnesota State Senate, Greg Paquin... with the article concluding:

"Meanwhile outside the casino, Senate District 4 DFL candidate Greg Paquin was holding an informational picket against the forum held on an Indian reservation, citing the heavy influence of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association in lobbying."
We must all ask the question:
What is it the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is purchasing from these candidates with their bribes to the tune of millions of dollars every year?
If the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is not purchasing from these politicians a pool of cheap labor; what then are they getting in return for their bribing these politicians who come to this forum at Red Lake's brand new Seven Clans Casino-Red Lake--- financed with a loan from Stanly Crooks--- with their hands out looking for casino money for their campaigns--- money that could just as well be going to pay heating bills and to buy food for hungry children on the Red Lake Indian Reservation --- but, instead, this casino money is going to purchase poverty by making sure the Indian Gaing Industry has a pool of cheap labor.
Figure it out, why else would all these politicians be talking to people in Red Lake... four hundred miles north of the Twin Cities, about why they don't want a state-owned casino competing with Stanley Crook and his Mystic Lake Casino?
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that people in Red Lake aren't worried about this state-owned casino in the Twin Cities... four-hundred miles south, competing with any of their three casinos. There simply is no competition to be concerned about--- is there?
Why, then, did all of these politicians running for governor, focus on saving Stanley Crooks and his Mystic Lake Casino/Resort empire employing over 5,000 casino workers at poverty wages in a smoke-filled casino without any rights under state or federal labor laws from competition from gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton's call for the state to get into gaming for the express purpose of "competing with Mystic Lake Casino?"
In fact, Mark Dayton made this proposal only days after I gave him the suggestion that he should come out strongly, not just for the state of Minnesota getting into the gaming business to fund education and healthcare; but, my suggestion was that he declare such a state casino venture would be in open competition with Stanley Crooks in order to force wages up and better working conditions, while helping us give our union organizing drives a boost across Minnesota since the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council would be representing those employed at a state-owned casino.
In fact, hundreds of Minnesotans heard former Senator Mark Dayton and myself discuss this and saw us shake hands as Mark Dayton agreed that he would become engaged in the struggle against racism and against poverty and for worker's rights... making a promise to use his campaign to help destroy institutionalized racism.
Dayton is the one and only candidate to make good on any promises by any politicians to date. 
Make no mistake, I know I am speaking for Mark Dayton: A state-owned casino would have affirmative action in hiring as its policies.
Under a Mark Dayton Administration, thousands of casino workers, many of them Native American Indians, including many wokers from Red Lake who now live in poverty in the Twin Cities... would have real living wage jobs and work in a smoke-free casino, in addition to being protected by state and federal labor laws, they would enjoy decent jobs and good livelihoods negotiated collectively and enforced through a good union contract--- none of this $8.00 an hour crap like the AFL-CIO and Change To Win unions enter into sweetheart contracts with the employers in the hospitality industry. WE are talking real living wage jobs... pay like union miners and union mill workers receive through their union contracts. Workers are entitled to real living wage contracts in return for paying union dues.

AFLACK and these other scam health insurance outfits wouldn't get through the doors of a state-owned casino.
And, the crooked and corrupt Alerus funds wouldn't be allowed to steal the pension monies of casino workers.

So, what "competition," besides real living wages and better working conditions in a smoke-free state-owned and operated casino would such a venture be for Red Lake Tribal officials operating three Seven Clans Casinos employing over one-thousand casino workers?
I guess we will have to wait to see what people from Red Lake now living in the Cities call home about when they have full equality free from racism employed in a state-owned and operated casino venture free from mobster domination where the money being plunked into the slot machines will fund public education and health care instead of line the pockets of some vicious and violent little mobster in Boca Raton, Florida who owns all the slot machines in Red Lake Gaming Enterprises' three casinos... including in the brand new casino these politicians pledged their loyalty to, to the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association rather than towards eradicating the last vestiges of institutionalized racism which breeds unemployment, poverty and despair.
How do these politicians like John Marty even have the nerve to talk about any financial rewards Native American Indians are receiving from these casinos when the only thing they own is a great big pile of debt?

All the profits leave with the owners of the slot machines and table games.
How much longer are these brazen lies about the casino industry going to be perpetuated by these racist, dirty, filthy, corrupt politicians like John Marty, Susan Gaertner, R.T. Rybak and the master of them all, Tom Bakk?
I have complete confidence in the Bemidji Pioneer Press' writer, Brad Swenson, that had any of these candidates mentioned the need to enforce affirmative action beginning with the BREC... he would have reported such.
Minnesotans were represented by one lone politician--- a Native American worker and union member representing us all, standing in the cold--- as reported by Brad Swenson:
Meanwhile outside the casino, Senate District 4 DFL candidate Greg Paquin was holding an informational picket against the forum held on an Indian reservation, citing the heavy influence of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association in lobbying.

If we really think about what is going on in our state; aren't we all locked out of the decision-making process by big-business with big money buying off politicians?
When is enough really going to be ENOUGH!
Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing, 
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
A few additional thoughts...

Please note: This should not be considered an endorsement of former United States Senator Mark Dayton for Minnesota Governor... though, it could be leading to that depending on how Mark Dayton responds to the request we made for his help in getting affirmative action in place as the hiring policy at the Bemidji Regional Event Center... I would note that Mark Dayton has been the first and only candidate to note that state agencies and departments are not enforcing affirmative action and he wants to see the affirmative action laws enforced... we simply don't think, as good as it is, that Mark Dayton has taken the initiative to help us focus on the problem of institutionalized racism in this way that it is yet enough to warrant endorsement... not yet.
Dayton needs to act to become involved more pro-actively in helping us see to it that the largest public works project in northern Minnesota since the Great Depression; that hiring is based upon full equality through full enforcement of affirmative action which will signal the death-knell of institutionalized racism in the City of Bemidji, Minnesota, Beltrami County and throughout northern Minnesota.

We are asking Minnesotans to join with us in doing what is morally right and just... become pro-active in helping us push forward into the public vision the need for strict enforcement of affirmative action laws and to develop and implement further measures where required--- in the long and short terms, this will stregnthen our democracy and push wages and living conditions for everyone up while restoring Minnesota to a place where we can all be proud again to be living in the most progressive and liberal state in the nation.

We call on all Minnesotans to participate in local party caucuses on February 2 and bring forward into discussions about candidates their stands, or lack of taking a stand or their racist opposition to, affirmative action.
Don't be dismayed with politics because of the betrayals of Barack Obama and the Democrats who campaigned on a theme of "hope" and "change." We will overcome this corruption in politics; to do so requires persistent efforts to create real change. The time has come to push aside the flim-flam men and con-artists like Barack Obama who seems to be an apprentice in training to become an insurance salesman for AFLACK who will follow around Wayne Newton and his quacking white duck; working people need to bring forward real solutions to problems that will make life better for us all.

Please consider introducing resolutions in support of affirmative action at your local precinct caucus... after all these years, the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party doesn't even have a position supporting affirmative action in public and private employment as part of its Action Agenda... which just goes to demonstrate my point, that none of these candidates who appeared at this Governor's Forum care one iota about ending racism, discimination and institutionalized racism in our state.
Let us be very clear as long as this discussion is taking place. While racist discrimination is part and parcel  of institutionalized racism--- the insidiuos institutionalized racism permeating every facet of life in northern Minnesota is what is maintaining the racist levels of unemployment and poverty--- we must break the back of this institutionalized racism if working people in Minnesota are going to stop this overall decline in living standards because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that when there are huge pools of cheap labor resulting from this institutionalized racism, this racism is just as powerful a weapon in the hands of all employers as those billy clubs used by the police brought in by Susan Gaertner that pounded on the heads of a bunch of kids daring to protest the reactionary, racist, warmongering, anti-labor policies of the Republican Party at the Republican National Convention... make no mistake, if Susan Gaertner is ever allowed to become governor of the State of Minnesota, she will not hesitate to call out the police to beat the heads of anyone who dares to speak out against racism, for social and economic justice... after all, as a prosecutor, she had no qualms about participating in a forum where I was prevented from attending because of death threats made against my life and she didn't seem to indicate in the least that law enforcement refused to respond even though the number has been given to them: 218-679-1850. Talk about your hypocrites--- can you imagine if such a call had been plced to Susan Gaertner what would have been the response by law enforcement personel?

Anyways, there were only 70 people in attendence at this forum in a brand new casino which tells us quite a bit about what the people of the Red Lake Nation think about these politicians... and over half the people in attendance were policians and their racist backers who are opposing implementation of affirmative action at the BREC... and, like we are saying; these are politicians coming looking for bribes as they turn their heads in indifference to the racist unemployment, racist poverty and racist despair... because this casino is on the "Reservation line," these politicians could spare themselves seeing the result of the 55% unemployment rate R.T. Rybak cited, but has refused to do anything about. And make no mistake, R.T. Rybak chose to ignore the racist hiring practices now being employed surrounding the Bemidji Regional Event Center just like he intentionally ignores the plight of casino workers.

R.T. Rybak had the perfect opportunity to use his stature as a candidate for governor when pointing out this most atrocious racist unemployment rate of 55% (official figures and we all know the official figures are low) to then proceed to look these public officials in the eye who had come begging for their bribes... and say to them--- the heads of the Beltrami County DFL whose silence on the racist hiring practices surrounding the BREC have been shameful, and politicians like Brita Sailer and Mary Olson whose responses to calls for enforcement of affirmative action on the BREC were to go play on the beach of Lake Bemidji and smile for cameras at the ground-breaking ceremonies as they applauded Native American dancers and drummers while they worked to undermine affirmative action with racist Bemidji City officials including the Mayor, the City Manager and even the Bemidji City Attorney Al Felix and each and every member of the Bemidji City Council and the racist City Planner, Rita Albrecht, who was responsible for all aspects of every single detail involving the Bemidji Regional Event Center... including figuring out how the City of Bemidji could get out of its legally mandated and required responsibility to enforce affirmative action.
Of course the regular foundation flowers like those in "SharedVisions" are hard at work doing surveys and studies but even with affirmative action shoved right under their noses they evade the issue so as not to offend the many fingers feeding them--- as if they are ducks in a pond quacking for crumbs from tourists.
In my opinion, the day is fast approaching when working people will be able to declare our indepedence from the racism, war and corruption foisted upon us by the Democratic and Republican parties... we really do need a new political party built upon the foundation and along the lines of our Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party; a Party that wsn't afraid to stand up and try to dismantle institutionalized racism and understood that as long as working people were treated like crap and paid poverty wages they would continue living in poverty.

It is simply amazing to what lengths these politicians will go to today in trying to evade this very basic and simple truth.

I cannot believe the audacity of Minnesota State Senator John Marty, a candidate for governor, talking about how he is all for living wages.. yet, so cowardly he doen not dare to look those casino managers sitting in front of him in their eyes and demand they pay their employees living wages... I guess this is what is meant by not biting the hand that feeds you... and this is what is thoroughly corrupt and rotten with politics in Minnesota today.

What the heck kind of "partnerships" are these racist and corrupt politicians thinking of creating beyond the damage they have already done in creating these "Compacts" in the name of "sovereignty" enabling a bunch of mobsters to go goose-stepping over democracy while expoiting and abusing over forty-thousand casino workers in Minnesota?
I shudder to think what kind of "partnerships" these politicians have in mind.

Did anyone notice that Susan Gaertner's nose seems to be getting longer?

Something to think about...


Published Sunday, January 31 2010

Red Lake forum: DFL candidates pledge to honor treaties, create partnerships

SOUTH OF RED LAKE — Four Democratic candidates for Minnesota governor said here Saturday they’d honor treaty obligations with American Indian nations and oppose a state-run casino. By: Brad Swenson, Bemidji Pioneer

SOUTH OF RED LAKE — Four Democratic candidates for Minnesota governor said here Saturday they’d honor treaty obligations with American Indian nations and oppose a state-run casino.

And they pledged to create partnerships with Indian tribes as well as communities across Minnesota, and not bash them as Gov. Tim Pawlenty did Friday about Bemidji.

Sponsored by the Red Lake Political Education Committee, invites to the forum went out to all Democrat and Republican gubernatorial candidates. But only DFLers came – Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, Sen. John Marty of Roseville and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

About 70 people attended the forum, which included a chili and fry bread lunch as well as candidate booths with literature. There was also social time for candidates to mingle.

Republican Pawlenty used his Friday radio show to make a point about cities bemoaning Local Government Aid cuts. He was critical of Bemidji raising its property taxes by nearly 20 percent purportedly to make up for LGA unallotments by Pawlenty.

He said Bemidji’s taxes will collect $2.4 million more while state aid fell only $189. Pawlenty called Bemidji “a government town in a lot of respects.” He blasted contract talks that lead to higher public sector wages and benefits while the private sector is “not doing so well.”

“I hear tell that he called Bemidji one of the most dysfunctional cities in this state, or words to that effect,” Gaertner said. “What kind of government bashing is that? And what good comes from that kind of disrespect that he shows to local elected officials?

“I will not be that way,” Gaertner said. “I make decisions that are right for my community, not my political career.”

Jobs are a big issue in every part of the state, said Marty, “and in Beltrami County and the northwest part of the state, it is a particularly serious problem. … One thing the governor should do in times of high unemployment is not make the problem worse.”

Pawlenty’s budget cuts have greatly affected the public service sector, he said. “Tim Pawlenty’s budget cuts have laid off school staff, bus drivers, teachers, food service people in the schools, ended up with cutting back in nursing homes. Because of cuts in child care we lose child care workers.”

He’d call for higher taxes on those able to afford it, and would rewrite state laws to mandate “living wages” for every job.

The challenge in rural Minnesota is not to attract big manufacturers but instead to develop local value-added industries, Bakk said. “Everything that sustains life comes from the ground. There is a huge opportunity in rural Minnesota, both in the ag region and in the forested region of the state for renewable energy.”

Using biomass energy can provide a constant power source, rather than occasional as wind or solar power.
Northern Minnesota wood products plants now shuttered, including Bemidji, used 1 million cords of wood a year, he said. “That wood is now available in a sustainable harvest. There is a significant opportunity for us to build a significant biomass industry here to provide energy not only to the communities but to export out.”
Bakk would create state incentives to spur biomass development, as it did with ethanol plants.

“We are in very tough times, and what we need is someone to walk into the governor’s office on Day 1 and have a proven record of creating jobs,” said Rybak, adding that he’s created thousands of jobs as mayor of the state’s largest city.

“First, we have to invest where there is the greatest unemployment right now,” he said. The construction industry suffers with unemployment in the 40 percentile, demanding immediate jobs attention. And the Red Lake Reservation has 55 percent unemployment.

“First, you invest in people,” Rybak said. “Everyone one of us now needs continuing, ongoing education, because the economy is changing. We need to restructure education to do all that training as we go along.”
Second, “we have to invest where there is the greatest possibility of growth,” Rybak said. “It’s always been in small business.”

All four said they would oppose efforts for a state-run casino which would compete with American Indian gaming.

“I don’t believe the state should be in the gaming business,” said Bakk, adding he also opposed the creation of the State Lottery.

Growing up between the Bois Forte and Nett Lake reservations, Bakk said he has seen the opportunities created by Indian gaming. The Nett Lake elementary school provides laptops to all children, paid for by the Fortune Bay Casino.

“I have seen how it changed Indian communities for the better, created a lot more opportunity that was not there when I was kid when I watched the poverty between those two communities,” he said.

Marty recognized the need for the new Red Lake Casino, but said that “the state reaches out and tries to work with the tribes to find new ways for economic development as well, because the unemployment and poverty is way too great.”

Marty said that “we have to make sure we do more than just this, but for now the gaming is (it), obviously as you see here with this beautiful new facility with beautiful things happening. I do not support a state casino.”
Rybak said he opposes any expansion of gambling more than it is currently. “Gaming with Indian tribal governments in this state is something that is about righting historical inequities, about leveling the playing field.”
But that does not end the state’s responsibility to work with tribal governments, he said. “The tribal governments and the state of Minnesota need to be a partnership, an ongoing partnership.”

As a prosecuting attorney, Gaertner said she opposes gambling because of the social ills and criminal activity that springs from it. “I am very opposed to a state role in gaming at all.”

The state should not “be taking money out of the pockets of the tribes” with a competing casino, she said.
All four DFLers also said they would honor treaty responsibilities with Minnesota’s tribes.

Bakk said he met with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe chairmen in Walker on Wednesday.

“We need to work more together on economic development on and off of tribal lands,” he said. “For me, it’s not telling you that I support; I’ve demonstrated that.”

There are “generations of inequities that we need to take care of,” Rybak said.

The state needs to recognize that the tribes are independent governments, Marty said. “I, as governor, would treat you as equals, treat you with respect and dignity.”

Meanwhile outside the casino, Senate District 4 DFL candidate Greg Paquin was holding an informational picket against the forum held on an Indian reservation, citing the heavy influence of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association in lobbying.