Seminole Tribe Allegedly Paying Off Signature Gatherers to Sabotage Ballot Initiatives
Posted on: December 1, 2021, 11:33h.
Final updated on: December 1, 2021, 11:33h.
The Seminole tribe of Florida is acquiring off petition gathering firms in a bid to sabotage voter-led challenges to its state gaming monopolies, POLITICO has discovered.
One such organization, Dunton Consulting, employed by Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS), told the politics-focused website it had lost 32 signature gatherers to the Seminoles in the preceding two days alone. That’s far more than half its group.
Dunton CEO, Rasheida Smith, said her workers have been being supplied cash up front to down tools, followed by an further payment 3 days later, up to $7,000 in total. They’re also being awarded $250 bonuses for every Dunton employee they can recruit to switch sides and work for the tribe.
The Seminoles hold a monopoly on casino gaming in Florida at their seven Tough Rock-branded casinos. They want it to keep that way.
The tribe also, at least nominally, holds a monopoly on sports betting, per a compact negotiated and signed with Gov. Ron DeSantis. Last week, a federal tossed out the agreement, even though the Tribe is attractive the choice.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas based LVS has extended harbored an ambition to open a casino in Florida. It has teamed up with Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians on a ballot initiative referred to as “Florida Voters in Charge.”
This initiative is hoping to ask voters at a 2020 ballot regardless of whether they want to modify the state constitution to permit pari-mutuel card rooms in North Florida to turn out to be full-fledged casinos. That is supplied they are 130 miles away from the Seminole reservation.
This could allow LVS or the Poarch Creeks to buy a cardroom in or about the Jacksonville region that could then be transformed into a casino resort.
Meanwhile, DraftKings and FanDuel have an initiative of their personal, “Florida Education Champions.” For obvious reasons, they want voters to back a much more open and inclusive betting industry for Florida.
But the company in charge of that signature gathering campaign, Advanced Micro Targeting, said its canvassers have been being “harassed.”
Zachery Herrington, the company’s state director, told POLITICO he is concerned the tribe is hiring unprofessional or even “dangerous” staffers.
They will harass us for a spot. They will do one thing like piss a person off at a DMV, or a courthouse, or a parking lot, then everybody gets kicked out,” Herrington stated. “It’s created to burn that turf for everybody.”
A spokesperson for the tribe stated they do not condone or tolerate such tactics by their canvassers and would fire staff who engaged in aggressive behavior.