Thursday, May 2, 2013

California Legislators Says SCREW YOU CA VOTERS. We will do What we WANT. Approve North Fork Rancheria OFF RESERVATION Casino.

Madera County's North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians is a step closer to getting a casino after the Assembly narrowly ratified a gambling compact on Thursday morning.

The floor vote came months after Gov. Jerry Brown affirmed the federal government's determination that the North Fork tribe could build a casino on a 305-acre parcel of land near Madera, miles from their ancestral home in the Sierra foothills near Yosemite.  OP:  Wonder how much Jerry Brown got from North Fork?

The unconventional process has spurred intense lobbying, with opponents saying the compact contradicts the principle of Indians building on existing tribal lands. The compacts also are opposed by competing tribal casinos.

"It's a compact that completely changes the public policy for gaming in the state of California," said David Quintana, a lobbyist who represents tribes including the Chukchansi, whose Picayune Rancheria has opposed the North Fork casino. "How do you tell the next poor tribe with a compelling story in a remote location 'no'?"   OP:  QUINTANA you work for pigs....shut up.

But Assembly Member Isadore Hall, D-Compton, who carried Assembly Bill 277, cast the measure as a sorely needed economic boost for the Central Valley. He said the North Fork Indians deserve "the same right granted to every other sovereign tribe" in California.

"This compact would put Californians back to work," Hall said in a speech on the Assembly floor, adding that "tribal gaming has replaced welfare with work. Tribal gaming has replaced despair with hope and dependency with self-reliance."

To get to this point, the North Fork tribe has gone through a nearly decade-long approval process that included getting the blessings of the federal government, California, and Madera County. It survived a lawsuit challenging the federal government taking into trust the land on which the casino would be built.

Assembly Member Frank Bigelow, R-O'Neals, whose district enfolds the tribe and the proposed casino site, said the bill would reinvigorate what has become "a shell of a community" beset by economic malaise.

"The tribe has successfully navigated the difficult federal process and has more than the necessary local support to achieve the goal of putting the people back to work and including their community," Bigelow said.

A leader of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, which operates the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, criticized the Assembly's action.

"It's very unfortunate that the Assembly, acting on inaccurate information, decided to give momentum to an off-reservation casino that flies in the face of what California's voters have approved," said Nancy Ayala, chairwoman of one faction of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.  OP:  So Nancy gives a shit about the California voters?  What about her OWN PEOPLE?   We say, SHUT your PIE HOLE, Nancy.

"This illegal casino will disturb the balance of tribal gaming in our region, risking jobs and the Chukchansi tribe's prosperity by playing favorites and choosing to give the Mono tribe's massive casino an advantage over every other tribe.  OP:  YOU LOST any right to cry about prosperity, when you eliminated that opportunity for 75% of your tribe.

"Just as bad, the Assembly is setting a dangerous precedent. If a casino 40 miles off the Mono reservation is allowed to move forward, how long till we see more applications for more off-reservation casinos? Not long at all."

Paralleling the North Fork tribe's quest for a casino is a similar push by the Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria near Oroville. As with the North Fork tribe, the governor has backed the federal government's decision to set aside casino land distinct from the Enterprise Rancheria> tribe's existing land, and has signed off on putting 40 acres of land in Yuba County in trust. The Legislature has not officially introduced a bill to affirm that compact.  OP:  PLEASE DON'T REWARD Enterprise for it's human rights violations

The legislation approved Thursday also advances a compact between California and the Wiyot Tribe. In March, the Wiyot Tribe surrendered the right to build on its environmentally sensitive land in exchange for a chunk of the proceeds from the North Fork tribe's gambling profits; if the North Fork tribe doesn't get the necessary approval, the Wiyot Tribe can nix the compact.

"This tribe has survived disease, slavery and expulsion from their land," Assembly Member Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, said of the Wiyot Tribe, adding that the tribe has managed to endure persecution and survive but "badly" needs the revenue from the compact to fund social programs.

The bill's fate was uncertain throughout the morning. It initially appeared to garner 38 votes, three short of a majority, before ultimately attaining the 41 needed to pass. A dozen lawmakers opposed it, with the rest of the 80-member house not voting. The bill now heads to the Senate.

"We already knew that it was going to be close," Hall told The Sacramento Bee after the vote. "Some members were in contemplation. They wanted to be the last person to vote with the bill."

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