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Sharp Charges Fly in Casino Battle
(posted July 30, 2006)
The fur was flying in the first joint interview of Narragansett Indian Chief
Sachem Matthew Thomas and Save Our State advocate Richard Oster. Appearing
together on the WJAR-TV interview show "10 News Conference", the
two traded sharp charges over the desirability of a proposed gambling casino
in Rhode Island. Chief Thomas claimed it was "intellectual dishonest"
for casino opponents to criticize the proposal for being "no bid"
when other state gaming initiatives had been awarded without competitive
For his part, Oster called the proposal an "inferior deal" that
"stinks". Complaining about the low tax yield for the state, he
said "this is the worst deal I ever have seen in this state."
Continuing, he characterized the casino proposal as "an inside backroom
deal" that was arranged because it came from the hometown of House
Speaker William Murphy. "You can hear the laughter coming from the
boardrooms in Las Vegas," Oster argued and complained that Harrah's was
making "fools" of people in Rhode Island. After Chief Thomas made
the argument that the casino would provide constitutionally-guaranteed tax
relief for state residents, Oster retorted that "this tax thing is a lot