Alexei Koseff of the Sacramento Bee has the latest on Prop. 48's supporters and detractors. We should NOT HAVE off reservation gaming.
Buried by the barrage of ads on insurance rates and doctor drug-testing, another high-stakes ballot measure is quietly attracting millions in donations ahead of the November election.
Proposition 48, a referendum on two tribal gaming compacts brokered by Gov. Jerry Brown and approved by the Legislature, will ask voters whether or not they want to uphold the deals. Massive gambling revenue is on the line, as are questions about the growing phenomenon of “off-reservation” Indian casinos in California.
Proponents of Proposition 48 – including the North Fork Rancheria band of Mono Indians, the Wiyot tribe and their financial backers from Station Casinos in Las Vegas – argue that the proposal to build a 2,000-slot machine casino off Highway 99 in Madera would create an economic engine in a depressed region of the Central Valley and allow the North Fork tribe to reclaim part of its historic land. The campaign is hosting a media open house today at the North Fork Rancheria in the mountains near Yosemite, which is not where they plan to build the casino.
That’s part of the problem for opponents of the initiative, who make the case that the deal opens the door for more casinos outside established reservations, a limitation that voters approved in a 2000 proposition. But there’s also an aspect of financial rivalry: The main funders of the no campaign are other tribes whose own gaming operations would face more competition with construction of the North Fork casino, as well as their New York investors.
They have seriously outraised the yes campaign – $11.6 million so far this year, compared to only $418,000 by supporters of Proposition 48. Will voters follow the money?
Read SacBee story