Did you know that the owners of a billion dollar-grossing casino needed federal stimulus money? According to ABC News, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) helped support the measure which will benefit the "politically well-connected Mohegan Indian tribe."
Mohegan Sun's 2009 revenue was over $1.3 billion Even though each tribe member gets a share of the profit, the tribe said the take was "'less than $30,000' per capita per year." ABC News explains, "The stimulus money is a loan from a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development program that is meant to help communities of less than 20,000 people that have been 'unable to obtain other credit at reasonable rates and terms and are unable to finance the proposed project from their own resources.'" The USDA said the loans will help "create an estimated 1,200 jobs for this shovel-ready project" of building a community center and that construction started before the downturn—thus it's just jumpstarting things.
The Mohegan tribe pointed out that six of Connecticut's seven House members supported the funds. Dodd's communications director said, "Senator Dodd supported this project in the same manner and for the same reasons he supports federal assistance for other Connecticut projects - creating and preserving local jobs. The only factor that mattered in Dodd's support of these loans was job creation and economic recovery in Connecticut." Lieberman's spokesperson said something similar. However, ABC News notes that a former Dodd aide is now "Chief of Staff for External and Governmental Affairs for the tribe."