Pechanga Band spends big for compact campaign

The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians of California has spent more than $90,000 to lobby California lawmakers to approve new gaming compacts.

The tribe spent about $19,000 on concert tickets, basketball tickets, hotel rooms and meals for lawmakers, staff and consultants, The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. Some of the attention went to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a Democrat who opposes the compacts, and Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, a key Democrat who is now backing the compacts.

The tribe also $25,000 to the California Democratic Party. But some party leaders are working with disenrolled Pechangas to put Indian civil rights issues on the party agenda.

Former members of the tribe and Steve Haze, vice chairman of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee, have been generating opposition to the compacts. Haze said the tribe shouldn't be allowed to expand its gaming operation if it doesn't respect the civil rights of its members.

Get the Story:
Indian-gaming rivals spending millions on campaigns (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 5/11)
Ex-tribal members join gaming debate (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 5/11)
Tribes go on offensive with gambling pacts (The Stockton Record 5/10)