California Indian Gaming

Discussion in 'Politics' started by rowenwood, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. A new initiative that would tax the Indian Casino businesses more than they already do. I believe the initiative is callled Fair Share.

    "The power to tax is the power to destroy"

    Yeah, what a joke. The indians are supposed to be exempt of state laws. Now we want to breach their rights? If I don't understand this please let me know.

    If I'm right I say yeah, tax them their "fair share" after we give them back their land and pay for all the death and suffering we've caused.

    Fair Share is a joke! And whoever wrote is should be ashamed or tried.
  2. Everything is not as it seems...gambling is big money (with all that it brings), and often Indian casinos are not good neighbors as outlined in this article. California taxes their Indian casinos much less than other states. They taxes should be raised if it puts a burden on local law enforcement, etc.

    Indian Casino Has Rural Residents Up in Arms
    Gambling facility in bucolic valley west of Sacramento attracts a stream of
    patrons--and locals' complaints.
    By Rone Tempest
    Times Staff Writer

    March 29, 2004

    CAPAY, Calif. - Thaddeus Barsotti remembers when he could ride his bicycle
    along the two-lane highway next to his family farm here, meeting only an
    occasional slow-moving tractor.

    Nowadays, the bike is in the barn. Barsotti, 23, spends time coming to the
    aid of motorists who barrel through his fence in their race to the giant
    Cache Creek casino a few miles up the road.

    "We've had six people crash into our land," Barsotti said. "Three people
    have died just on this stretch in front of our place." One driver hurtled
    into Barsotti's strawberry roan quarter horse, which required extensive
    veterinary care.

    Before the proliferation of Indian casinos began changing the face of
    California, the beautiful, secluded Capay Valley was a quiet enclave for
    organic farmers like Barsotti and for nature lovers who came to watch the
    large tule elk herd and the bald eagle colonies.

    The Cache Creek Casino Resort has been expanding steadily since it opened in
    1985. But when a $200-million redo is completed this spring, the bucolic
    valley 40 miles west of Sacramento will be home to "the largest casino
    resort in Northern California," say promoters for the Rumsey Band of Wintun
    Indians, which owns the gambling operation.

    What started as a modest bingo parlor already attracts thousands of
    customers daily. The throngs clog narrow State Route 16 bisecting the
    valley, boost crime rates and turn the country night sky into a spectral
    glow of 24-hour commerce.

    According to Bruce Naliboss, an investigator for the Yolo County district
    attorney, the Cache Creek casino accounted for 97 drug arrests in the
    12-month period ending Feb. 10, more than twice the number than in the
    nearby university town of Davis, which has a population of more than 60,000.

    By adding a sprawling new casino hall, eight restaurants and a 200-room
    hotel complex, promoters hope to increase the number of gamblers from 1.8
    million to 2.8 million annually, surpassing the annual draw of many major
    league baseball teams.

    The first phase of the latest expansion, the 66,000-square-foot casino
    floor, is scheduled to open April 5.

    Residents fear things will only get worse with another million people
    trooping into the valley. Faced with the tribe's federally granted
    sovereignty, local government has been unable to slow the rapid pace of
    expansion or control its scale.

    The giant, Las Vegas-style gambling complex - with its five-story parking
    garage and luxury hotel - seems out of step with its pastoral setting. So
    does the ultramodern, 600-seat karaoke soundstage with 12 fog machines.

    "There is a heaviness in my heart about all this," said Dru Rivers, who,
    along with her husband, Paul Muller, owns Full Belly Farm a few miles from
    the casino site. "These people come into our gorgeous land not even noticing
    who we are and what we stand for, which is smallness and keeping our
    community alive through healthy simplicity."

    Like other unincorporated rural communities where casinos have sprouted
    after Californians voted four years ago to allow Nevada-style gambling on
    Indian lands, the Capay Valley finds itself confronted with what amounts to
    an instant city, incongruously inserted into the center of an agricultural

    Nor is the trend likely to subside unless a change in state policy allows
    casinos to open in urban areas, which is where most of the customers come

    Within a radius of 100 miles, 13 other Indian casinos vie for Bay Area and
    Sacramento customers. Statewide, more than 50 casinos offer slot machines
    and other forms of Las Vegas gambling. Almost all of the growth in this
    estimated $4- to $6-billion-revenue business has come since former Gov. Gray
    Davis, a major recipient of California Indian political contributions,
    signed the Tribal-State Gaming Compact in 1999.

    Trini Campbell, who heads the Capay Valley Coalition citizens group, said
    she fears that the situation will get worse if the casino acquires a liquor
    license for its restaurants and hotel. The casino has already been granted
    an interim retail permit. A hearing on the full liquor permit is scheduled
    for April 14.

    For others, the objections are more cultural and political.

    "For me," said Full Belly Farm co-owner Muller, "It is a fundamental
    question of where is California going? Do we really want to build our future
    on casinos?"

    Although they run a successful business selling fruits and vegetables to
    restaurants that include Berkeley's celebrated Chez Panisse, Muller, 50, and
    his wife, Rivers, 46, feel helpless against the economic clout of the Cache
    Creek gambling operation, which has become the county's largest private
    employer. By the end of May, the Cache Creek company is expected to employ
    2,200 people.

    "When we try to organize against the casino, it is like facing a
    juggernaut," Muller said in frustration. "What ultimately happens is that we
    are labeled as racists."

    Sacramento attorney Howard Dickstein, who represents the Rumsey Band and
    other California Indian casino tribes, said he was sympathetic to the valley
    farmers but that after years of "blinding poverty" it is the Indians' turn
    to set the agenda for the valley, even though there are only 45 surviving
    members of the tribe.

    "These people have been in this valley since time immemorial," Dickstein
    said. "They are the indigenous people of the valley. After hundreds of
    years, now it is again their time in the sun. But they are handling it

    Dickstein ticked off a series of compromises that the tribe has made in an
    attempt to placate angry local residents. The new, 200-room hotel, he said,
    was originally intended to be 400 rooms. Instead of diesel fuel to power the
    casino's massive generators, the tribe converted to natural gas. Solar power
    will be employed wherever possible.

    The Rumsey Band members, each of whom has already become a millionaire many
    times over from gambling proceeds, have done more than most casino tribes to
    share their sudden wealth with the local community, including making a
    voluntary 18-year, $100-million "mitigation" contribution to county and
    village governments.

    The tribe's motorcycle-riding leader, former welfare recipient Paula
    Lorenzo, a mother of three, is a rare voice for compromise in the tense
    negotiations with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over sharing more Indian money
    with the state. Lorenzo declined to be interviewed for this article.

    After giving reporters a tour of the expanded casino, which among other
    things boasts a 30-foot waterfall and 200-gallon live jellyfish tank,
    publicist Greg Fritz produced a three-page list of economic benefits he said
    the casino brings to the area.

    Over the past four years, Fritz said, the Rumsey Community Fund, tied to
    casino revenue, has pledged more than $4 million to local charities.

    About half of the estimated $50-million payroll after the expansion will go
    to non-Indian employees of the casino complex.

    None of that largess does much to placate some residents, such as former GOP
    Rep. Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey and his wife, Helen, who came to the Capay
    Valley in 1987 to live among the elk and eagles and manage their small farm.
    Both are incensed by the casino and the changes it has wrought on the

    Helen McCloskey, who raises dogs and bottles her own olive oil, has been
    known to chase reckless drivers to the door of the casino. After she watched
    one driver weave in and out of traffic on State Route 16, she followed him
    to the casino and wrote "drunk driver" on the side of his car in red

    Ex-Marine Pete McCloskey, who once ran for president against fellow
    Republican Richard Nixon, was a prominent leader in the anti -Vietnam War
    movement. A year ago, McCloskey drove his tractor in a motorized protest
    against the casino expansion.

    "The Highway Patrol told us we couldn't go on," Korean War hero McCloskey
    said proudly, "I just drove right through them and the rest followed."
    McCloskey, who lives in Rumsey, has concluded that the only way to save the
    Capay Valley is to legalize gambling statewide, so that the mostly urban
    gamblers can stay closer to home. "If gambling becomes legitimate all over
    the state, I don't think you will find people living in the city coming out
    to these previously unspoiled communities," he said.