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Make Your Voice Heard California Statewide November 2, 2004 General Election
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  Title and Summary | Analysis | Text of Proposed Laws


Proposition 70

Tribal Gaming Compacts. Exclusive Gaming Rights. Contributions to State.
Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

ARGUMENT in Favor of
Proposition 70

California Indian Tribes have come forward with this initiative and volunteered to pay millions of dollars from their gaming revenues to help California taxpayers. We want to pay our fair share, which means we would pay the same as any other business pays in state taxes.

We would not pay any more or any less-just the same as everybody else. We think that is fair, even though the law exempts Indian tribes from paying taxes on income from gaming activities on Indian lands. We want to pay our fair share to help California out of the financial problems that our political leaders have created.

When California Indians were rounded up and forced onto land that nobody wanted, they were given the sovereignty to run their own affairs without interference. Now, after decades of hardship, many tribes have been able to achieve some success. Gaming revenues have finally allowed many tribes to provide education, housing, and health care for their members.

As history has sadly shown, however, there are some who now want to take the good fortune away from the successful Indians.

We are very thankful that the people of California voted time and again to respect Indian sovereignty and support Indians' rights to conduct gaming operations on tribal lands.

Now we are once again forced to go directly to the voters and bypass the politicians in Sacramento. After misspending the State surplus, they are trying to get California Indian tribes to make up the difference. They want to come onto our reservations and tell us how to run our businesses. They won't negotiate with Indian tribes one-by-one, but insist that we all accept a deal that was only negotiated by a few.

Our initiative is very simple and straightforward: We will pay millions of dollars to the State; in return, we want to be able to run our tribal businesses like any other businesses.

This Proposition will continue the ban on new tribal casinos that are NOT on Indian Reservations, unlike Proposition 68, which would result in casinos throughout California.

This Proposition will lead to new agreements allowing each tribe to decide for itself how many casinos and what types or how many games it wishes to operate on its tribal lands. Tribes would get to make these decisions, like other businesses, without government interference. Market forces would determine the best decisions.

Under the new agreements, tribes would prepare environmental impact reports and develop a good-faith plan to mitigate any significant adverse environmental impacts after consultation with the public and local governments.

And just like any other business that has the right to decide what kind of business to operate, Indian tribes would pay on their gaming revenues the equivalent of what other businesses pay as an income tax. This is basically a win-win for everyone.

That's why California's Indian tribes need your help once again to stand up for what's fair. Together, we will be living up to the promises made to California's Indians.

RICHARD M. MILANOVICH, Tribal Chairman Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

REBUTTAL to Argument in Favor of Proposition 70

More than 60 California Indian tribes operate casinos, but just one tribe is sponsoring Proposition 70. It says it wants to be treated like other businesses, but what other business can't be audited by the state to determine their taxable income? What other business is granted a 99-year casino gaming agreement?

Proposition 70 is full of loopholes:

  • No provision to ensure tribes pay their fair share
  • Keeps the state in the dark about the amount of money Indian casinos earn

Governor Schwarzenegger's negotiated agreements with several gaming tribes will add $1 billion to the state's bottom line this year alone and hundreds of millions more every year. Proposition 70 effectively destroys these agreements.

Don't be misled by this self-serving measure that's been drafted by one lone Indian gaming tribe. Governor Schwarzenegger, leaders in law enforcement, labor, the environmental community, and seniors all say VOTE NO on Proposition 70.

Additional reasons Californians should VOTE NO on Proposition 70:
  • Gives tribes a 99-year casino gaming agreement
  • Wouldn't require tribes to pay taxes other companies pay, such as property and income taxes
  • Allows tribes to own an unlimited number of casinos with no size limits
  • Paves the way for UNLIMITED casino gaming in major urban and suburban areas across California

Governor Schwarzenegger's agreements are a winner for tribes and taxpayers. These agreements keep California's promise to Indian tribes while ensuring they pay their fair share.


California District Attorneys Association

California UNITE HERE!

JOHN T. KEHOE, President
California Senior Action Network


Proposition 70

Message from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I am officially opposed to Propositions 68 & 70, and I strongly urge you to VOTE NO."

This measure is not what it seems, which is why Governor Schwarzenegger is asking you to VOTE NO. The wealthy Indian gaming tribes behind Proposition 70 want you to believe this measure will force tribes to "pay their fair share." The truth is that it gives these Indian gaming tribes a 99-year monopoly on gambling without ever having to pay their fair share in revenues to the state. If Prop. 70 passes, it will be almost impossible to change.

For years Indian gaming tribes have paid almost nothing to state or local governments. But now, GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER HAS NEGOTIATED NEW AGREEMENTS WITH MANY TRIBES THAT ARE A WINNER FOR TRIBES AND TAXPAYERS.

UNFORTUNATELY, PROPOSITION 70 EFFECTIVELY DESTROYS THESE NEW AGREEMENTS. Prop. 70 claims that tribes will pay a percentage of their net profits to the state, but it does not provide the state any auditing vehicle to determine those profits. Without a state audit, taxpayers will never know if they are getting a fair deal or a raw deal.

Unlike the new agreements Governor Schwarzenegger has negotiated, this measure will allow tribes to massively expand gambling by operating an unlimited number of casinos. PROPOSITION 70 ENCOURAGES TRIBES TO PUT CASINOS IN OUR STATE'S MAJOR CITIES, INCREASING CRIME AND TRAFFIC CONGESTION PROBLEMS.

Governor Schwarzenegger's agreements promote cooperation between tribes and local governments to deal with the impact on law enforcement, traffic congestion, and road construction while providing needed environmental protections. Proposition 70 will undo these agreements. PROPOSITION 70 PROVIDES NO MONEY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, OR TRANSPORTATION.

WORKING CALIFORNIANS OPPOSE PROPOSITION 70: "Responsible Indian tribes have already negotiated and signed agreements with Governor Schwarzenegger that are good for employees and casino customers plus provide a significant boost to the California economy. The compacts already in place will create more than 25,000 new jobs. Most important, the compacts provide stability and predictability for governments, tribes, and local communities."
Bob Balgenorth, President
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California


"Casinos can be a magnet for crime. Unfortunately, Proposition 70 provides no funds to local law enforcement agencies to help fight crime in the communities surrounding Indian casinos. Please vote NO on this measure."
Chief Jerry Adams, President
California Peace Officers' Association

PROPOSITION 70 IS A BAD DEAL FOR CALIFORNIA. Responsible Indian tribes have already negotiated and signed agreements with Governor Schwarzenegger that benefit both tribes and taxpayers. The tribes pay their fair share while agreeing to follow important environmental and public safety laws. Proposition 70 effectively eliminates these protections and gives tribes a 99-year casino gaming agreement that California will never be able to change without another constitutional amendment.


State of California

California Taxpayers' Association

California State Sheriffs' Association

REBUTTAL to Argument Against Proposition 70

The opponents of Proposition 70 have their facts wrong.

Proposition 70's agreements will require Indian tribes that engage in gaming operations to pay the State the SAME AMOUNT that every corporation pays in state income taxes. No more, no less-WHAT COULD BE FAIRER?

Under Proposition 70, THE STATE is not prohibited from agreeing to audits of the Tribes' records to ensure their fair share is paid.

And Proposition 70 will mean that tribal gaming can occur ONLY on Indian land and NOWHERE ELSE. It will NOT lead to increased gambling OFF Indian lands.

California Indians sponsored this "Indian Fair Share Initiative" because we knew we had to turn directly to the voters, who have more sense than the politicians.

We've seen the political games that continue to be played by special interest groups, who want Indians to lose their right to conduct gaming so they can take it over.

If Proposition 70 doesn't pass, California will lose billions of dollars in revenue from gaming tribes. Unless the existing compacts are changed, tribes would not be obligated to pay any more for the next 17 years.

Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed his own compacts, but they were so flawed that only about 4% of the state's tribes signed them. No other tribes will sign those agreements because they unfairly take away Indians' rights.

Only this initiative will keep Indian gaming on reservations and provide billions of dollars to California in a way that is FAIR TO BOTH INDIANS AND TAXPAYERS.


RICHARD M. MILANOVICH, Tribal Chairman Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

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