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Editorial: State must negotiate compact with Pojoaque Pueblo

Filed Under: Compacts | Opinion
More on: new mexico, pueblo

The Buffalo Thunder Resort in New Mexico. Photo from Facebook / Cornell & Company / Mike Wilson

New Mexico newspaper calls on Pojoaque Pueblo and Gov. Susana Martinez (R) to return to the negotiating table for a Class III gaming compact:
Federal authorities should reject Pojoaque’s current proposal out of hand so serious discussions can begin. No one — especially pueblo leaders — wants to see tribal members and neighbors cashing Social Security checks at the casino and losing their month’s earnings. However, we suspect the pueblo set forth such outlandish terms to keep business ventures solvent. Buffalo Thunder and Cities of Gold, with 1,500 employees, can’t operate without enough revenue.

Pojoaque is playing hardball to safeguard its economic interests, those of the people of the pueblo and of its employees. While we understand the pueblo’s position, it’s time for more realistic negotiations. The state, perhaps, wants more than its fair share of tribal income, especially in a recession when gambling revenues are flat. That negotiating position should soften, not in relation just to Pojoaque, but all tribes. (After all, if the governor doesn’t want to raise taxes on anyone, why single out Indian tribes to pay more? That goes against the conservative notion of letting people and businesses keep more of their earnings.)

By going to the federal authorities, Pojoaque simply is aiming to keep more of what it makes. That figure will not be 100 percent, but federal authorities likely could be more generous than Gov. Susana Martinez’s negotiators. At least that’s what the tribe is gambling on. All gaming tribes should have the same revenue-sharing provisions.

Get the Story:
Our View: Pojoaque’s compacts a nonstarter (The Santa Fe New Mexican 7/26)

Related Stories:
Pojoaque Pueblo defends provisions in proposed gaming deal (7/25)

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