Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pechanga: A Lousy Casino Deal & bad for civil rights

John Gomez, SR is from the Manuela Miranda family, the first family Pechanga has disenrolled en masse in the history of the tribe. He, along with son John Gomez Jr. are leaders in AIRRO and have spearheaded the drive to restore civil rights to Native Americans. Additionally, they have worked very hard to keep the violations of civil rights perpetrated by Pechanga and other tribes (Redding, Enterprise, Picayune, see: )

A lousy casino deal
The expansion of tribal gaming has seen an increase in the number of human and civil rights violations
By John Gomez, Sr.

After spending millions in campaign contributions, four of the state's wealthiest and most powerful tribes — Pechanga, Morongo, Agua Caliente, and Sycuan — have cut themselves sweetheart deals for one of the largest expansions of casino gambling in United States history.
As a California Indian and vice-chairman of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization, an organization working to protect the civil rights of Native Americans, I am deeply concerned that the deals on the February ballot — Propositions 94, 95, 96, and 97 — benefit four tribes at the expense of other tribes, the workers at these tribes' casinos, and California taxpayers.
The big four tribes bring in huge profits from their existing casinos and spend heavily to influence state laws. Yet they are eager to deny California voters their right to decide this issue and have fought to keep these deals off the ballot and prevent the voters from having their say. Could it be that the big four tribes know their sweetheart deals may not hold up to voter scrutiny?
Here are a few reasons to vote no on Props. 94, 95, 96, and 97.

Labor unions oppose the measures because the deals would shower four wealthy tribes with billions in profits but fail to ensure the most basic rights for casino workers, including affordable health insurance. A study conducted by David Farris, a University of California at Riverside professor of economics, found that Agua Caliente's health coverage is so expensive that 56 percent of the dependent children of casino workers are forced into taxpayer-funded health care programs.
In addition, the expansion of tribal gaming in California has seen an increase in the number of human and civil rights violations, especially within tribes that have gaming operations. These abuses have resulted in thousands of disenfranchised Indians being cut off from or denied health care benefits, elder benefits, education assistance, and other social services provided by their tribal governments.
Other tribes also oppose the deals. Just four of California's 108 tribes would get control over one-third of the state's Indian gaming pie. The deals would create dominant casinos that could economically devastate smaller tribes and local businesses. Moreover, the big four deals fail to adhere to the purpose and intent of previous gaming initiatives, which led California voters to believe there would be modest casino expansion and that Indian gaming would benefit all California Indians and taxpayers.
The big four deals would give these tribes an additional 17,000 slot machines. That's more than all of the slots at a dozen big Las Vegas casinos. As a result, California would become home to some of the largest casinos in the world.
While the big four would make billions of dollars from these new deals, promises to taxpayers would fall short. The claims about the amount of money the state would get under these deals are wildly exaggerated, and the state's independent, nonpartisan legislative analyst called the tribes' figures unrealistic. READ MORE *

John Gomez Sr.

Wonderful article.

UPDate: Pechanga Member 1130 links also


Anonymous said...

Mr. Gomez speaks powerfully. I can't understand why the news is not picking up on this story.

I think everyone should look closely at the gaming propositions. I think they need to be looked at again. Let's vote no now, and if they come back with a better proposal, we can take a look at it again.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gomez leaves out an important part of his personal story -that he was disenrolled from the Pechanga tribe more than 3 years ago. I believe that this fact is the true reason that he is urging a NO vote on Props 94-95-96&97. He doesn't give a hoot about the workers and he actually should know the facts, particularly about Pechanga, when it comes to workers and their benefits. Pechanga offers a better benefit plan than most off-reservation businesses. The unions have always been allowed to try to organize the workers in the original compact and the new compact. Pala and United Auburn have both signed compacts with the governor that allow them an UNLIMITED number of slot machines. Seems like this fact is also left out of the story.

Mr. Gomez and his family, as well as his organization -AIRRO, have one agenda and that is to find some way back into the tribe. In the meantime his group busys themselves with Indian bashing.

Interesting that they would even want membership in such a corrupt group of people!!!!

OPechanga said...

Interesting that Lady Luck knows how corrupt the Pechanga Council has become.

AIRRO has members from many tribes and is not a Pechanga only organization.

Mr Gomez is one of 130 adults and many children of one Pechanga descendenct.

There are 400-500 others that belong IN the tribe, that the Council has allowed in a moratorium, unconstitutionally.

Thanks for commenting.

OPechanga said...

Also, Lady Luck, please present proof of what Pechanga offers, vs. off reservation businesses of equal size.

Do those rights include the right to sue the tribe?

Anonymous said...

Lady Luck tries to solve the issue by attacking the author.

Why reward the tribes when they treat their people so? If they have thieves in the organization and do little to punish them, such as Larry Miranda. Is he still getting a per capita check? Has he been disenrolled and banished? How can thievery be rewarded and tribal members who have over 100 years of history with the tribe be punished?

Anonymous said...

to: Lady Luck

Perhaps Mr Gomez and his family were kicked out BECAUSE they cared about corruption and what was going on in the tribe. Perhaps he still cares about his tribe, and wants back in so that he can help clean up the festering illness that has infected our tribe from with in.

How can you say that he dosn't care about the workers?