The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, October 23, 2004

Schwarzenegger's verbal bull's-eye on Indian gaming racket

Indian gaming is the 21st century version of Crédit Mobilier - except that, whereas the Union Pacific eventually had to finish building [1], the cash [2] generated from Indian tables and slots just keeps on coming.

I've written several times on the subject - and always with the inevitability that an activity that stuffed so much cash into politician's brown envelopes would not be extirpated in a mere matter of decades - bolstered as it is by the lunacy of continued recognition of so-called tribal sovereignty [3].

No one much will speak out against the Indian gaming racket: the gaming tribes [4] are careful to spread the wampum around, so shutting the mouths of pols of both parties; and all matters Indian are treated in the media with a deal of pussyfooting.

Enter the Governator: on October 14, campaigning in San Diego at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, he was vociferous against two initiatives, Propositions 68 and 70, that would undermine deals his administration has struck with certain tribes [5].
"Vote no on Propositions 68 and 70!" he called out repeatedly, flanked by security guards and aides as he went table to table, high-fiving children, signing autographs and posing for photos.

"The Indians are ripping us off," he told one customer. "We want them to negotiate and pay their fair share."

The tribes subsequently went on the warpath - or, at least, did a fair amount of bellyaching. But Arnie is standing firm - thus yesterday:
"Read my lips: The Indian gaming tribes behind Proposition 70 are trying to rip off California. I will say it again and again and again," a defiant Schwarzenegger said in Los Angeles. "That's why they are upset. Because the truth hurts."

Polling suggests that both initiatives will fail. A great excuse not to get into the detail quite yet!

  1. It was, with all the rake-offs, built so shoddily, I believe, that it had to be rebuilt not long after opening.

  2. Cash, glorious cash! As fungible as hell - and no nasty paper trail for evil-minded prosecutors to follow.

  3. The South lost the Civil War and found its slaves confiscated; the Indians lost their wars - but were allowed to retain their particular legal anomaly. Stupid white men indeed!

  4. Who are often individual millionaires - compared with derelicts who tend to populate non-gaming tribes' reservations. There is little or no sharing the wealth with tribes whose lands are stuck in the middle of nowhere.

  5. Some tribes refuse to deal with Schwarzenegger; and then there are the gringo casino operators. It's a whole big thing.

    I see I mentioned the upcoming initiatives on April 25 - with no evident relish to get into the detail!

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