Completing the list of February ballot propositions are Propositions 94 through 97, four referenda on compacts with four Indian gaming tribes, allowing an expansion of their casino gambling. These compacts have already been approved by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor, but opponents collected enough signatures to force a vote on the deals. A "NO" vote would repeal the compacts.
It is a classic, economic battle between well-heeled interest groups; campaign expenditures by both sides total over $130 million so far.
The PRO side, headed by the four tribes who would benefit from the compacts, declares that the state would gain $9 billion in revenues, in the face of its $14.5 billion budget deficit. But the Legislative Analyst's Office puts the estimate closer to $3.5 billion. And whatever the tribes' contribution, it would be spread over two decades -- not nearly enough to erase the current deficit.
OP: THIS MEANS THE TRIBES ARE LYING. Thus, we should vote NO
Opponents include Las Vegas gaming interests, the hotel workers' union, a race track owner and other Indian gaming tribes. Please mention the THOUSANDS of Indians who have suffered from Pechanga and other tribes disenrolling their people
They call the compacts "sweetheart deals" between Sacramento politicians and tribes who've contributed millions of dollars to them; they want the deals renegotiated.
Voters will have to decide whether they want to don their green eyeshades and take on the task of contract negotiation.
As voters head to the polls on Tuesday, it's clear that not only does California matter this year, this election matters for California.