Wednesday, January 9, 2008

No on 94, 95,96,97 Be Thankful for your right to Vote: A Message From AIRRO

John Gomez, Jr, of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization reminds us to:
Be Thankful of your right to vote

California voters need to ask a simple question before they cast their vote on Props 94, 95, 96, & 97- “Why did the Big 4 tribes try to deny my right to vote on these issue?”

The Big 4 tribes have spent millions of dollars to thwart the referendum process- a right guaranteed by the State Constitution. Signature blockers were hired to keep people from signing the petitions to put the deals on the ballots. Fortunately these antics failed and nearly 3 million signatures were gathered to qualify the referenda

When the signature blocking tactic failed, the Big 4 tribes filed several lawsuits to keep their deals off the ballot. To date, the Courts have sided with the voters of California and ruled against the Big 4 tribes.

It is hard to imagine that these tribes would spend so much time and money to deny California voters their Constitutional right to the referendum process. Was it not so long ago that the tribes used the same process to get propositions on the State ballot that would allow gaming on California Indian reservations? Why are they so reluctant to put their deals to a vote of the people?

Maybe the Big 4 tribes know that their “sweetheart deals” may not hold up to voter scrutiny. Or maybe they thought they could deny the California voters of their rights in the same manner as they have denied others.

Whatever the reason, California voters should be fortunate that we have this right because not all Californians share the same rights when it comes to dealing with Tribes such as the Pechanga Band of the Big 4.

Due process and equal protection of the law are hard to come by at Pechanga. Throw in blatant disregard for the Constitution and lack of protection of basic rights, and you will begin to understand why nearly 300 Pechanga members have been stripped of their citizenship- and many hundred more denied membership- since California voters approved tribal gaming and Pechanga became one of the wealthiest tribes in the State.

It should come as no surprise that a tribe that has denied its own members basic rights guaranteed by tribal laws and the Constitution would work so hard and spend so much money to deny other Californians their rights as well.

Pechanga is not the only California gaming tribe to blatantly deny individuals their basic rights- thousands of Californians have been the victims of human and civil rights violations at the hands of tribal governments. The rights violations have even extended to denying individuals the right to participate in the election process

So be thankful that you are not one of the thousands of Californians who have been victimized by tribal government. Be thankful that the courts have upheld your Constitutional rights. Lets send Pechanga, the Big 4, and the other offending tribes a message on February 5th.
Vote no on Props 94, 95,96, & 97.
OP: If only I was able to give you as clear a message. Please check out the links. And PLEASE, consider joining AIRRO. No to Pechanga's corruption, No to a bad deal for Californians. Pechanga tried to keep us from voting, now they are spending $35,000,000 trying to convince you that this is a good deal. If it's so good, why did they try to keep us from voting?
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