Casino deals got a nudge
Governor says he urged U.S. review of Indian compacts.
By Judy Lin - email@example.comPublished 12:00 am PST Thursday, January 17, 2008
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday he personally called U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and asked him to give "some attention" to four Indian gambling compacts before the federal government reversed itself and finalized the agreements last month.
OP: Does 'give some attention" mean stick it in a drawer for 90 days and 'don't find it'?
The action has led to widespread speculation that one or more of the tribes might claim the deals to expand their casinos are valid, even if voters reject the compacts next month.
Arnold also tried to keep Californians from voting on the propositions. Let's see, he loved propositions last year, when the people of CA handed his head back to him, but this year, he doesn't think the people should vote??
Schwarzenegger, who wants voters to authorize 17,000 more slot machines at four Southern California casinos, told The Bee editorial board that he's unclear whether the federal action would override voters should they reject the agreements.
"I thought if the voters did not approve it, it's gone," he said. "But maybe you're asking me that … because there is a way out of it? That will be quite interesting. I don't know."
OP: A WAY OUT OF IT? Arnold, you mean a way around the law as Californians want it?
Four tribes – the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation – are seeking an expansion of slot machines at their casinos. They say the compacts could bring $9 billion to the state over two decades.
Actually, their first wave of commercials intimated that the $9 billion was one year. Deceptive enough that they had to change the commercial.
Though the Legislature and the governor approved the compacts, opponents placed the compacts on the Feb. 5 ballot in an effort to overturn them. OP: Uh, yeah, with 3,000,000 signatures of our citizens.
In early September, Secretary of State Debra Bowen sent the four approved compacts to the Interior Department for federal approval. But they mysteriously disappeared soon after arriving and did not resurface for 80 days.
That was well after the federally mandated 45-day window for acting on the compacts had closed, meaning department officials had no choice but to deem them approved, which they did in late November or early December.
On Dec. 3, an official for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is part of the Interior Department, said the bureau would delay publishing a notice of the compacts' approval in the Federal Register to avoid more confusion about their legal status. But the official was overruled by superiors, and the approval was published Dec. 19.
Schwarzenegger told the editorial board that he did not specifically ask Kempthorne to publish the agreements, but asked him to make sure that "everything go through procedures." OP: Oh, I believe you Arnold.
But Schwarzenegger's communications director Matt David said later that the governor did bring up the publication issue with Kempthorne in a Dec. 6 call on another subject.
"He said that part of the deal for the compacts is that in order for them to be finalized, they had to be published in the federal registry, and that we need to make that happen," David said.
He said the governor was simply trying to ensure that the compacts were completed as required, not seeking to give the tribes a post-election legal advantage. OP: "The check is in the mail, let's be friends, of course I'll respect you in the morning"
See the rest of the article: http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/641090.html