Gov. Schwarzenegger backs disputed compacts

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is taking a more public stance on four gaming compacts that are being put to a statewide vote.

Schwarzenegger recently filed arguments against the four ballot measures. Voters are being asked to approve or reject compacts for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

Schwarzenegger also filed a brief in a lawsuit filed by the Agua Caliente Band. The tribe says state law doesn't allow gaming compacts to be put to a referendum.

The governor, however, hasn't decided whether to raise money for the pro-compact campaign, make public appearances or appear in ads. He has done so on other Indian gaming measures and on other ballot issues.

A group called Coalition to Protect California's Budget and Economy supports the compacts. No on the Unfair Gambling Deals is leading the opposition.

The vote is set for February 2008.

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Governor starting to back compacts (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 11/27)