CNIGA Demands Apology from Governor for Inflammatory Remark

Press Release
For Immediate Release


CNIGA Demands Apology from Governor for Inflammatory Remark

October 19, 2004

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association demands an apology from Governor Schwarzenegger for a statement made during a campaign rally in San Diego, CA. Various news outlets have reported that while campaigning against Props 68 & 70 the Governor said, “the Indians are ripping us off.”

For years California tribal casinos have been voluntarily donating gaming revenues to local communities. Tribes have willingly entered into agreements with local governments to provide millions of dollars for things such as road improvements, police and fire. In addition, tribes donate millions of dollars to charities throughout the State. Unlike corporations, tribal governments receive no tax incentives for making these contributions.

In 1999, sixty-one California tribes entered into tribal-state gaming compacts that, for the first time, guarantee revenue to local governments and non-gaming tribes. In addition these compacts have provided the only funding for the State Department of Mental Health to assist with the treatment and prevention of problem gambling. To date, tribes have paid over $200 million into the funds created in the compact.

California tribes are keenly aware of the injustice of being “ripped-off” and it is not something we would wish on any people, State, or Nation.

Tribal governments have resided in California for time immemorial. California is our home. We are interested in fostering a respectful, government-to-government, relationship with Governor Schwarzenegger and the State of California. An apology from the Governor for his statement would be a step in the right direction.

We understand why the Governor is actively campaigning against Prop 70, however we respectfully disagree with his position. While we don’t expect the Governor to end his campaign activities, we call on him to cease making inflammatory remarks that do nothing but deepen the lines of division between Indian people and his administration.

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