Attorney General Jerry Brown casts himself as a no-nonsense prosecutor. But when it comes to asserting state oversight of casinos owned by Indian tribes, he's been less than aggressive.
Tribes that own the state's most lucrative casinos are betting early that Brown will be the next governor. Based on his actions as attorney general, those casino owners will have a friend in the most important corner office in California.
In 2008, for example, Brown sided with the tribes and against the state Gambling Control Commission, which wanted to impose new requirements on the tribe's casino operations, similar to how Nevada casinos are regulated.
Since then, he has collected $692,000 from tribes into various campaign and charitable accounts. Brown says there is no connection. But his view is that the state has a limited role overseeing tribe-owned casinos – and that ought to give voters some pause, regardless of their views on gambling.
AND.... we TOLD YOU SO: Tribes don't need to disclose their take. Federal and state governments have ceded almost all oversight to the casinos' owners.
WHY do we think that Brown may not have the people of California's best interests in mind:
To this end, he gathered 30 tribal leaders and their consultants together early in December at the Somerset, a chic eatery in Oakland's boutique-y Rockridge section.
They dined on entrees of salmon, roasted chicken and flatiron steak, and an apple crisp that was to die for. Brown raised $205,000 in November and December from the tribes.
Since Brown's election as attorney general in 2006, tribes that own casinos have donated $715,000 to Brown's coffers for attorney general and governor, and to charities that operate charter schools he established in Oakland.
The timing of that money is particularly interesting. Brown collected almost all of it – $692,000, or 96 percent – after September 2008 when he sided with tribes and against the state Gambling Control Commission
Let's not make another mistake and vote for Jerry Brown.
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