EXPOSED: Sen. Richard Burr’s Crony Connections to Casino Magnate Widely Accused of Corruption
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has been working against the will of his own state, lobbying for the interests of a foreign Indian tribe and a casino magnate with a history of indictments, to essentially override the will of the people.
The Kings Mountain casino has been a hot button issue for years in North and South Carolina, with the Catawba tribe seeking to build the facility. The Catawba is located in South Carolina where their laws prevent Indian casinos that are permitted in other states. The tribe is attempting to cross state boundaries to get their casino built in North Carolina, where the gaming laws are more relaxed. This has angered the surrounding community.
“The casino industry thrives off of things against Christian values,” said pastor Alton Beal, who organizes the group, “Say NO to a Casino in Cleveland County.”
Beal’s group gathered 1,200 signatures last year from community leaders for a letter released in a local paper opposing the casino.
Sen. Burr has partnered with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to take the power away from the people of North Carolina. They proposed federal legislation last year that would allow the Catawba tribe to build the controversial casino while basically circumventing objections from the public. This has enraged other Indian tribes as well, who argue that Catawba is receiving special privileges due to working the system.
“We encourage the Catawba Indian Nation to go through the same proper process in their home state of South Carolina that we have worked through for decades as partners with our state of North Carolina,” said Richard Sneed, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI).
“As it stands, this bill would create a harmful precedent — the first time Congress has expressly authorized an Indian tribe to acquire land into trust simply for owning and operating an off-reservation casino,” Sneed added.
The Catawba tribe has made in-roads with RINO swamp senators such as Burr and Graham due in part to their close association with Wallace Cheves, a gaming kingpin who has been indicted for fraud, illegal gambling, and money laundering. The state of Alabama successfully sued Cheves for running illegal casinos, and he has been accused by South Carolina officials of violating gaming laws in that state. Cheves has paid at least $16,000 to Burr through his various political entities. Despite Burr’s best efforts, the legislation never made it out of committee on the Senate floor for a full vote.
Burr’s legislation was listed in a federal complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court against the Interior Department by the EBCI and several other plaintiffs. The complaint details Cheves’ maneuvering to reinterpret the law for his own ends, wheeling and dealing at every level to boost his investments. After buying off Burr, Cheves focused on influencing bureaucrats in the Interior Department to change their enforcement of the rules, which was ultimately successful.
“On March 12, 2020, Defendant [Assistant Secretary of the Interior Tara] Sweeney issued a decision directing the transfer of the Kings Mountain site into trust for the Catawba and determining that the Catawba could lawfully game at the Kings Mountain site under IGRA,” the complaint reads.
The EBCI hopes to have the federal decision overturned by the courts, which would prevent the new casino from being built in a community that does not want to see it opened. Even though his legislation failed, Burr penned a derisive op/ed slamming Cheves’ legal opponents for “bullying” other Indian tribes for wanting them to follow the law as it has been understood for decades.
“Whether it’s the Lumbees or one mother’s home, it seems that nothing is too big or too small for the Cherokee to oppose if it affects their bottom line. I hope North Carolina rejects such bullying tactics from any tribe and considers each case, including the Catawbas’ and the Lumbees’, on its merits. The stakes are too high,” Burr wrote.
Burr gained infamy earlier this year regarding allegations of insider trading, but that is far from his only indiscretion. This lawmaker truly embodies everything that is wrong about Washington D.C.