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Tribal governments have become the largest political contributors in California spending more than $125 million dollars since 1998 -- and millions more that cannot be easily traced by individual tribal members who are flush with cash from payouts of casino profits. The nature of tribal sovereignty affects not only gambling policy but numerous public policies affecting the quality of life of non-tribal members, businesses, and local government. Clearly, tribal gaming money has the potential to corrupt and interfere with the political processes of state and local governments. The tribes have previously claimed exemption based upon traditional tribal common law sovereign immunity from suit. California’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled in both matters that the Federal Constitution’s Guarantee of a republican form of government trumps the tribes’ sovereign immunity. (See-Court Rulings/State)
March 2010: 2008 Ballot Measure Overview
Interests Spend Lavishly To Influence Voters On Hot- Button Issues By Anne Bauer NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON MONEY IN STATE POLITICS March 09, 2010
Feb. 2008: Sweetheart Deals - Contributions of the Big 4
Agua Caliente, Morongo, Pechanga and Sycuan made significant campaign contributions in order to ratify and win on election day. This document lists contributions, lobbyists and more.
Feb. 2007: FPPC Memo-Pending Litigation
FPPC v Agua Caliente and Santa Rosa Indian Community, for failing to disclose over a million dollars on political contributions. Rulings are available on the navigation tab "Court Rulings" "State"
1997: Stacking the Deck
In 1997 Bill Lockyer, then a state senator, authored a piece of legislation that radically altered the regulation of gambling in California. His Senate Bill 8 repealed the Gaming Regulation Act, which had defined gambling law in California since 1984, and instead enacted the Gambling Control Act of 1998. This act created the Division of Gambling Control within the Department of Justice, and empowered it to act as the regulator of the state's $14 billion legal gambling industry. The passage of this bill restructured the way the California state government deals with the various facets of the gambling industry, and indicated that the legislature intended to take more of a role in the regulation of the industry.
Sept. 8, 1999: Call for a probe into tribal contributions to lawmakers