Opinion: North Fork Rancheria's gaming deal deserves yes vote

Artist's rendering of the proposed North Fork Rancheria casino. Image from North Fork Casino Environmental Impact Statement

Local official urges yes vote on Proposition 48 to allow the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians to open an off-reservation casino in California:
The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians has followed every local, state, and federal law and requirement put before it in its multi-decade process to restore its tribal status and lands that were lost in the 1950s. Opponents of the tribe and project are not happy with the laws, so now they want to change the rules and bend the laws with this terrible ballot measure — a clear abuse of the state initiative process for the benefit of a very narrow interest group.

Proposition 48 was crafted and paid for almost exclusively by two competing casinos (fearing competition), a Wall Street hedge fund, and Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up for California, who praised the North Fork Resort and Casino project, before she started working for the opposition.

"This is not reservation shopping. This is the state exercising its authority to locate gaming where it is wanted."

More recently, Ms. Schmit even agreed that the North Fork tribe was essentially "landless," stating: "The North Fork tribe had no reservation, no land for itself until the federal government allowed them to pick these 305 acres at Madera."

Just as Ms. Schmit undermines her own "reservation shopping" claims, there is no such thing as an "off-reservation casino."

Get the Story:
Gary Gilbert: Why Prop. 48 deserves a 'yes' vote (The Sierra Star 10/15)

Also Today:
Doug Porter: Proposition 48: Are Casinos Coming to Your Neighborhood? (OB Rag 10/15)

California Court of Appeal Decision:
Picayune Rancheria v. Brown (September 24, 2014)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet: North Fork Rancheria Decision | Section 20 Determination: North Fork Rancheria

Related Stories
Cheat Sheet: Off-reservation casino on ballot in Proposition 48 (10/15)
Rival tribe donates another $5.4M to block North Fork casino (10/9)

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