Skip to comments.Daniel Weintraub: How to decide on the Indian gambling measures
Posted on 01/29/2008 9:36:57 AM PST by SmithL
Even for voters in a state as accustomed to direct democracy as California, the four propositions involving Indian gambling on the Feb. 5 ballot have to be a bit bewildering. What are these measures doing on the ballot, what would they do if they pass and how should you vote?
In this column I'll provide a primer answering the first two questions. But to answer the third how you should vote you will have to apply your own values to those facts. In the end it depends on what you think of gambling and Indian casinos.
Propositions 94 through 97 are compacts signed by four Southern California tribes and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. They spell out the terms of the tribes' gambling operations and their relationships with the state and local governments. The Legislature ratified the agreements last year.
The compacts are on the ballot because opponents gathered enough signatures to force a referendum. A yes vote confirms what the governor and the Legislature did. A no vote overturns their action and leaves the status quo in place.
While the opponents are trying to appeal to voter concerns about the spread of gambling, their own motivations are more complicated.
The campaign against the measures has been funded by horse racing tracks and other gambling tribes trying to fight off competition from the Indian casinos, and by labor unions upset that the compacts don't make it easier for them to organize casino workers.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
Don’t go gamble at Indian casinos, their slot machines are even worse than Vegas.
Bah, here’s what you need to know about those propositions: It allows the tribes to put in more slot machines and in return they send more money to the State of California.
So I’m voting NO! Don’t increase revenues — reduce spending! Starve the beast!
bump for later
“The Pechanga agreement and all of the other proposed compacts would be largely voided if the state allowed nontribal gambling or certain card games at nearby clubs essentially securing the Indians’ monopoly on casino-style gambling in California.”
The Comments that follow the article are informative.
This is humorous to me when you consider tribal sovereignty. States do NOT have the right to abrogate federal treaties with Indian nations and demand proceeds from sovereign nations. That is breaking a federal treaty. I never would have backed ANY agreement with the state of California and my nation because it sets a precedent that allows the state to abridge that sovereignty.
Since its already happened, I would agree with you 100%.. simply allow non-tribal gambling and let the competition between both, set the pace and financial gain that follows. Simple.
The PRO campaign has received $83 MILLION dollars in contributions, all but $34K from the big four tribes. [ Pechanga ($32.4) Morongo ($30.5), Agua Caliente (14.7$), Sycuan ($5.0)]
The CON campaigns have received about $28 MILLION* [Unite Here International Union ($3.0), Racetracks and affiliates ($6.8), Pala Band of Mission Indians ($9.0), United Auburn Indians ($9.0)].
*There are two campaigns against these measures. In viewing the contributions, one campaign (pala/auburn) has then donated their funds to the other campaign (i.e. dollar contributions of the two campaigns are not additive).
Are you absolutely sure with regard to the Pala/Auburn comment? The only reason I ask is that if they are added, the figures come up to around $27 million.
In the first grouping, the numbers add up to a figure not too far from the total. It would seem the bottom figures should too. It would leave a lot of donations unaccounted for, if you are correct.
And you may very well be corred. Just asking.
Now. On that bottom set of numbers, it isn’t just gambling concerns that oppose the measures is it. Even at $9 million, that’s a rather hefty donation from a non-gambling concern. Evidently these tribes don’t think their interests are being represented, and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.
Yes... I’m sure.
There are two CON committees:
TRIBES FOR FAIR PLAY, NO ON 94, 95, 96, AND 97 (all contributions from Pala/Auburn, totalling $18 million)
CALIFORNIANS AGAINST UNFAIR DEALS; NO ON 94, 95, 96, 97, A COALITION OF TRIBES FOR FAIR PLAY, BAY MEADOWS AND HOLLYWOOD PARK RACETRACKS, LABOR, TAXPAYERS, EDUCATORS, PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS
The contributions on the latter (totalling $26 million) include $16 million from the TRIBES FOR FAIR PLAY, NO ON 94, 95, 96, AND 97. Hence, to get the total amount spent, I couldn’t add $26 million and $18 million or I would double-count the $16 million. So, I took the $26 million and added $2 million (the difference between the total $18 million and the $16 million contributions to the other campaign).
I also looked at the expenditures and it shows the $16 million going to the other campaign account. The remaining $2 million was spent on signature gathering and such.
As to Pala and Auburn, they aren’t non-gambling concerns. They are just not one of the elite-four tribes that got these special compact deals. They have gambling compacts with the state with less favorable terms.
You are still opposed? Is that correct? I believe it is, but I want to make sure.
Yep. I’m voting against mainly because:
1) Fiscally, it won’t do a thing to solve the deficit problem, as advertised.
2) If the citizens want to see gambling doubled, they should be given an honest initiative to make that decision. Prior to Arnold, there was a cap of 20,000 slot machines, statewide. These four tribes are looking for a 17,000 machine EXPANSION. These backroom deals stink. Las Vegas contributors who stand to benefit as operators of the casinos are very pleased, however.
3) Any revenue would get directed to the General Fund to give Arnie and Fabian more money to waste. At least today, that money goes into trust funds.
Thanks. I agree with your reasoning.
Isn’t this just CA gambling establishments vs. Vegas gambling establishments?
And doesn’t CA win if the CA Indian gambling establishments win?
If you are going to let casinos bail us out of debt, why settle for what the Indians give us? Go whole hog and let any city in California build casinos.
Most of the Indian casinos are run by the Las Vegas companies (Harrahs, Station Casinos, etc.). The tribes own them (front men), the LV folks operate them.
When LV lost the fight against legalizing gambling on CA reservations, they jumped on board. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!