Tribal Gambling Compacts, Investigation Not Ratification

The road to ratification of tribal building expansion deals leading to Sacramento and of the largest expansion of gambling in American history is littered with private deals, silenced communities, co-opted police, media, local governments and elected officials who have been summarily bought-off.

An investigation is what is needed into the negotiation and ratification of tribal gambling compacts and the Office of the Attorney General should be calling for one. One problem. The AG’s office is playing politics like the rest of our elected officials. Turns out the Attorney General’s office is busy assisting the Governor with his privately brokered multi-billion dollar tribal gambling deals.

What the state plans on doing to enforce compacts with 5 powerful Indian gambling tribes that operate outside of U.S. Constitutional law is a mystery to us all. Straight answers – any answers – would be helpful to the citizens of California.

Although the Attorney General’s office is skeptical as to enforceability when they admitted compacts are difficult to enforce because of the “sovereign nation” status of tribes, the Assembly is still moving full speed ahead.

What is going on?

Apparently dollars in the campaign bank accounts of the Assembly is their sleep aid at night. How else could they move forward with the ratification of gambling compacts with peace of mind and create “partnerships” for the next 25 years between the State and casino tribes knowing they are not worth the paper they are written on!

“Enforceability is the question. It has got to be enforceable,” Assemblyman Alberto Torrico told the Sacramento Bee on June 14 and concluded this question is still “not clear yet.”

The Assembly, shockingly, seems hell-bent on ramming these compacts through with Schwarzenegger being the little devil on their shoulder whispering threats that California will lose millions every day the compacts are not ratified and the other little devil on their shoulder promising more campaign contributions floating into their bank accounts.

Hey, Governor, how about your seriously questionable compacts costing billions in liability for the state because the state didn’t do its homework? Who is going to pay for these hasty mistakes? Who is going to pay for the gross negligence on the part of our elected officials whose solution to budgetary shortfalls is signing every taxpaying citizen in California on to unenforceable gambling compacts with a “co-signer” that is outside U.S. Constitutional law and control?

The buzz out of Sacramento is the Assembly wants to solve the enforceability issues to quickly ratify unenforceable multi-billion dollar deals with “sovereign nations” by creating Memorandum of Understanding (MOU’s) to address countless short comings in the compacts.

This band-aid approach is nothing more than a dog-and-pony show to give the appearance the Assembly is actually addressing the very serious issue of enforceability. MOU’s are the Assembly’s attempt to placate their strongest opposition, the unions, who are legitimately concerned about the vulnerability to challenge the MOU’s validity.

Why would any business, let alone the State bind generations to multi-billion dollar deals by entering into a 25-year deal without a means to enforce the contract?

According to memos released by the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee in connection with super-lobbyist and convicted felon, Jack Abramoff, the amount plunked down to Abramoff and another infamous lobbyist Michael Scanlon by the Agua Caliente, just one of the tribes with a pending compact, was over $10 million dollars for services that included a “satisfactory outcome to gaming compact renegotiations, environmental matters and other policy and political goals in California.”

According to these same memos, the Agua Caliente was paying $150,000.00 a month to Abramoff and Scanlon to advance their gambling empire and asked that an additional $2 million be budgeted for “advocacy efforts should the compact renewal campaign become intensive.”

Well, maybe that might have something to do with the political orgy we are witnessing in Sacramento.

Haste makes waste and Californians will most certainly get canned in the end of this continuing scandal.

It is clear that without enforceability, the compacts will cost far more than they will ever generate in revenue.

Our elected officials have shown complete disregard for the health and safety of our state by ignoring impacted communities and the growing social cost of expansion of gambling in our state. They also continue to turn a blind-eye to their “partners” who are outside regulatory control and are increasingly violating the civil rights of their own tribal members by banishing them from the tribe because of the growing greed on the part of their leadership simply to keep a bigger cut of the gambling profits.

Our elected official’s duty is to protect ALL citizens.

The brazen way our elected officials and tribal leaders are operating is shocking and what the Assembly is considering truly flies in the face of reason and secured Equal Protection. Every taxpaying citizen continues to subsidize this burgeoning $9 Billion California industry due to no independent ability to ensure satisfactory auditing, oversight, regulation and enforcement.

An investigation to protect the people of California is what should be demanded. Ratification will only further jeopardize the stability of our economy.