The Sacramento Bee has an editorial that all Californians should look at.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger regularly asks that Californians "trust" him. OP: Uh, yeah, we've already apologized to Gray Davis for voting him out. Arnold deserves no trust.
Two years ago this month, the governor promised that if voters approved compacts authorizing significant expansion of four Indian-owned casinos in Southern California, the tribes would pay the state "hundreds of millions of dollars" annually. OP: Remember that one of the tribes, SYCUAN, hadn't even gotten the expansion approved by their tribe! We told you about that HERE
He made the promise in California's official voter pamphlet, and declared that the state would reap "billions in the years ahead to help pay for public safety, education, and other services."
Tribes that benefited from the deals spent $82 million on their campaign. Voters approved the deals, as they have done repeatedly when Indian gambling goes before them. OP: Not before Pechanga spend 50 million more than the other tribes. They didn't believe that votes like them anymore, because of the bad press they generated.
Two years later, as the state is mired in a budget crisis, the public ought to be able to find out how many "hundreds of millions" have been delivered to state coffers. The question is timely now that the Morongo Band of Mission Indians is seeking the right to operate Internet poker in exchange for payments to the state. OP: Our cousin recently wrote a post on the need for open audits. Raise your hands if you believe the tribes would operate with two sets of books!
Morongo is one of the four tribes whose compacts voters ratified in 2008. The deal authorizes Morongo to operate 7,500 lucrative slot machines, up from its past cap of 2,000.
So how much have the four tribes paid the state since the 2008 vote? The California Gambling Control Commission says the information is not public. OP: How much the tribe pays to the PEOPLE of CA, for the monopoly we GAVE them is NOT OUR BUSINESS? We MUST have that right, otherwise, we will have politicians taking money from tribes and not reporting it...
The Schwarzenegger-negotiated compacts exempt information that tribes provide to the state from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. As a result, the amounts that individual tribes pay to the state is secret.
That exemption is bad enough. But surely the public is entitled to know what the aggregate amount is that the four tribes have paid into the state coffers – especially given that the governor told voters in the official voter handbook that the deals would deliver "hundreds of millions" a year.
Schwarzenegger asks us to "trust" him. We rather follow the advice of another governor, Ronald Reagan:
Trust but verify.
And since we can't verify...... how can we trust Arnold? How about this: QUIT going to tribal casinos until we get a clear accounting of their fund payments to US.