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Disappearing Wampum


Gov. Terminator wrapped himself in an Indian blanket and declared victory, announcing a deal with some of the state’s tribes over gambling. But as both The Bee and the LATimes spell out, this fight is far from won. A few months ago, The Chron’s Mark Simon sketched out the politics on this issue a few months ago. His piece is still worth reading.

Indians – yes, that’s feather, not dot – are a sovereign nation. They really don’t need the Governor. They’re one of the few constituencies who don’t. But Schwarzenegger dearly needs the money they can give the state. California’s broke and he won’t raise taxes.
And remember, it’s not just Schwarzenegger and the Indians (as the LATimes points out). More critically, these negotiations are taking place with the usual California cast of interests to be satisfied, from the local governments to the Sierra Club to the state’s tax-averse land owners – and don’t forget the tribes who sat this round of negotiating out – so it’s not a good idea to call the ballot initiatives on gaming dead yet. Particularly since when the phone rang a few seconds ago, it was a pollster. Topic – I’m not making this up – “native gaming.”
As Kevin Drum points out, the deal is far less lucrative than meets the eye which goes a long way to explaining why Schwarzengger wasn’t taking any questions about whether he’d won or lost.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 5:28 PM | Permalink

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