Pechanga Told To Stop All Plans for Illegal Slot Machines
Contact: Scott Macdonald(310) 996-2671
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDecember 5, 2007
LOS ANGELES – “Cease and desist” was the demand leveled today at the rich and powerful Pechanga tribe (violators of civil, human, voting rights: OP)which has made it clear to reporters that they are moving forward with plans to install illegal slot machines in their Temecula-area casino.
The demand came from the campaign against the Unfair Big 4 Gambling Deals, No on Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97, which opposes the deals because they represent one of the largest expansions of gambling in U.S. history and are unfair to California taxpayers, workers and other tribes.
Standing in the shadow of the Westwood Federal Building, campaign representatives praised the federal government for acknowledging its mistake in prematurely reviewing the deals before California voters get their say on February 5th.
“Unfortunately, the federal government’s respect for California’s referendum process is not shared by the Pechanga tribe in Temecula,” said Cheryl Schmit, executive director of Stand Up for California!, a gambling watchdog organization. “The chairman of the tribe has told numerous reporters that they have plans to move forward with adding what would be illegal slot machines to their casino.”
“The California Constitution gives us the referendum process as a check on legislative decisions that favor the rich and powerful like the Big 4 tribes,” continued Schmit. “Until we vote Feb. 5, there are no deals and any attempt by Pechanga or the others to add slot machines would be a gross violation of law, not to mention the democratic process.”
Schmit said the deals lack strict environmental protections and have a revenue formula that would let the Big 4 tribes manipulate funds to underpay the state.
John Gomez, Sr. vice-president of American Indian Rights and Resources Organization, said it concerned him deeply that the Pechanga tribe would trample on the rights of voters.
“It would be a monumental display of disrespect for Pechanga to expand their casinos before Californians have a chance to have their say as is guaranteed under the referendum process in the state Constitution,” said Gomez.
The leader of the Native American civil rights organization said one of the major problems with the Big 4 deals is that “just four of the state’s 108 tribes would control one-third of the state’s Indian gaming pie. On top of that, the Big 4’s dominant casinos could economically devastate other smaller tribes.”
More information on Props. 94-97 is available at http://www.nounfairdeals.com/
California Professional Firefighters, California Federation of Teachers and the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization are among those opposed to the Big 4 Gambling Deals.
OP: Also those disenrolled tribal members across the state.