Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
From the LA Times, 10/7/04:
Schwarzenegger Is a Sure Bet as He Steps Up Fight to Beat Gambling Measures
October 7, 2004
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back doing what he loves best about politics — campaigning, entertaining, promoting. Competing.
Basking in the cheers.
Wearing another black jacket — this one embossed with "No on 70." Schwarzenegger's movies all had personalized jackets, and these days so do his political causes. "I make a lot of money for the jacket people," he says.
The governor sees himself as fulfilling a running pledge: "If the special interests push me around, I will push back."
The special interests that now have Schwarzenegger riled are some very wealthy Indian gambling tribes.
The governor is incensed at these tribes — principally the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in San Bernardino — for trying, through Proposition 70, to expand gambling in California without dealing with him. Ditto for the card rooms and racetracks that have been attempting to piggyback onto the Indians' gambling fortunes with Proposition 68.
"We have to terminate Proposition 68 and Proposition 70 — a jackpot for special interests and a bust for California," Schwarzenegger told a carefully screened group of roughly 200 cheering supporters at a so-called "town hall" meeting in Irvine on Wednesday.
The California public was sympathetic in 1998 when it was asked to amend for past sins and allow Indians to prosper by building gambling casinos on their rural reservations.
Now some of the richest and most ambitious tribes seem to be squandering the voters' goodwill, based on polls.
"It is tremendous greed," Schwarzenegger told me. "They want to rip off the people…. Pull the wool over people's eyes."
A mid-September survey of likely voters by The Times Poll found only 33% supporting Prop. 68, with 46% opposed. The figures were even worse for Prop. 70: 28% to 48%.
Propositions 68 and 70 are very different and, in fact, pit one interest (racetracks and card rooms) against another (Indians). But, strategically, Schwarzenegger is lumping them together as one common opponent; a flaw in one is a flaw in both — even if the Prop. 68 camp did call it quits Wednesday.
"They would allow casinos to spread like wildfire everywhere in California, including our cities and towns," he contends.
Yes and no.
Prop. 68 would pave the way for 30,000 slot machines at five racetracks and 11 card rooms in urban areas, including Los Angeles.
Prop. 70 would allow unlimited Indian casino expansion on reservations throughout California. Existing limits would come off the number of slot machines and types of games.
Schwarzenegger meshes it all together. "They're changing the rules and starting urban casinos," he asserts. "We don't want to turn California into one big Vegas. That brings a lot of other problems. Social problems."
The worst thing about Prop. 70 is that it would be locked in for 99 years. Think back 99 years to 1905. Most people still were getting around by horse and buggy. Radio broadcasts hadn't even begun. Deals shouldn't be tied up for 99 years.
"If they had their druthers," says spokesman William Rukeyser for the Prop. 70 Indians, "they'd have a compact that says, 'As long as the sun shall rise and the grass shall grow …. ' "
California currently has 54 Indian casinos. The tribes negotiated compacts with former Gov. Gray Davis. Running for election last fall, Schwarzenegger claimed the Indians weren't "paying their fair share."
He has renegotiated a few pacts and added others — 10 in all — and garnered for the state $1 billion in one-time transportation money, plus perhaps $400 million a year in general funds.
All that — the pacts and the money — likely would be lost if Props. 68 or 70 passed.
Under Prop. 68, the urban gambling houses would pay a third of their winnings — more than $1 billion — to local governments. Prop. 70 would require the tribes to pay the state 8.8%, same as the corporation tax. Schwarzenegger is getting 15% from his deals.
If voters reject the ballot measures, the governor says, "we can sit down with all the Indian tribes, and the state can make billions of dollars. They prosper. We prosper. This is very important."
This is his No. 1 election priority. At stake are billions in state revenue, control over California gambling, local environmental and labor regulations written into state compacts, flexibility for this century — and the governor's political prestige.
So determined is Schwarzenegger that last weekend he scolded Republican legislators at a private GOP retreat for taking political money from Indians and endorsing Prop. 70.
He was still fired up about it when I talked to him Tuesday. The Indians, he said, "are paying off the politicians."
Indeed, since 1998, casino tribes have pumped $175 million into California elections — a much bigger political investment than any other special interest.
As for these GOP lawmakers, the Republican governor said: "Some legislators who take the money and then also endorse Proposition 70 are doing so knowing this will be a worse deal for California."
Asked how the legislators reacted to his lecture, Schwarzenegger replied: "They got the message. Trust me."
There's one thing Schwarzenegger loves doing even more than campaigning and competing. It's winning. And on the gambling props, he's a good bet to win.
From Indianz.com, 10/7/04:
Column: Schwarzenegger says tribes filled with 'greed'
Arnold's statement is the pot calling the kettle black. If some tribal governments are greedy, they learned from the best, the cruel, heartless white devils. When has a state ever shared its revenue with financially struggling tribal governments. States have zero jurisdiction over federally recognized tribes, period. The U.S. government, along with state governments are in arrears with tribal treaty obligations. Arnold should have stayed in Hollywood, he doesn't belong in politics, period. He is not Jack or Bobby. He is not even a Ronald Reagan.
Posted by: Ira Stricker at October 7, 2004 02:04 PM
Racism is racism, no matter the agenda. The 'Governator' is a very dangerous man, rumblings of a Constitutional Amendment to allow 'non-Native' born citizens to be President is/will be the manifestation of Arnold's greed for power. It bothers me that he is a bit too comfortable with the word 'terminate'....that brings very bad vibes of another Austrian-born leader/despot. Maybe that is just a Euro-centric thought....get rid of those who stand on the land and in your way.
Posted by: netsia at October 7, 2004 02:51 PM
From the LA Times:
Governor Isn't Playing Fair on Indian Casinos
October 16, 2004
Re "Schwarzenegger Is a Sure Bet as He Steps Up Fight to Beat Gambling Measures," Capitol Journal, Oct. 7: George Skelton states that the governor is "incensed" at my tribe for not "dealing with him." Our tribe and others have attempted several times to negotiate with the governor, which only proved fruitless. We proposed a gaming agreement resulting in an additional $1 billion to the state that was rejected by the governor's negotiators. We requested meetings with the governor directly and were told he was not available. It is the governor who has refused to take a meeting and negotiate, not the tribes..
The reason why the governor turned down this $1-billion deal — as his negotiator told us — is because it wasn't enough money to eliminate the debt. Thus the governor is attempting to extract 25% of our gaming revenue. I consider that greedy. This raises the question: Has the state ever paid tribes their "fair share"? And has the state ever "revenue-shared" with tribes? The answers are no, and to expect tribes to do so is greedy. It is also greedy to expect tribal governments to pay 25% of their revenue, when the state's corporations only pay 8.84%. Moreover, it is unlawful.
We have the right to run our governments and operate well-regulated gaming facilities; we have the right to support the needs of our citizens; and we have the right to protect our progress and not have it chipped away by those who cannot manage state budgets or comprehend federal law.
Chairman Deron Marquez
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Schwarzenegger again: Tribes have "ripped off the state"
Not content with slamming Indians as greedy, selfish bastards once, Arnold continued the demonization of California's tribes:
Governor fights initiatives in Clovis
He warns of gaming threat if two measures pass.
By John Ellis / The Fresno Bee
(Updated Wednesday, October 13, 2004, 9:57 AM)
Gov. Schwarzenegger returned to the central San Joaquin Valley on Tuesday afternoon, using his battle-tested town-hall format to push his opposition to two gambling-related initiatives on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Addressing an audience of about 200 people at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Clovis stacked in his favor, the governor painted a picture of fiscal and social doom if Propositions68 and 70 are approved by voters.
Choosing the invitation-only format over the raucous, movie-star-friendly campaign rally to get out his message, Schwarzenegger said approval would "pave the way for Las Vegas-style casinos all over California."
Fresno Mayor Alan Autry, Tulare County Supervisor Lali Moheno, Tulare County District Attorney Phil Cline and Fresno County schools Superintendent Pete Mehas backed the governor in comments to the audience. "We're not trying to kill gaming," Autry said, "but it has to be controlled."
Tuesday's event was the third for Schwarzenegger in opposition to the two initiatives. The other two were in Irvine and San Jose.
The audience of elected officials, business leaders, chamber of commerce representatives and their associates — mostly Republicans, save a few Democrats, including Moheno — was receptive to the message.
Prop. 68 would allow card clubs and horse tracks to begin operating slot machines if tribes don't agree to give the state 25% of their slot revenue.
Prop. 70 is backed by several tribes with large casinos. It would allow unlimited expansion of Indian gaming in exchange for returning about 8.8% of their casino revenues to the state — the same tax rate applied to corporations — as well as giving tribes a 99-year monopoly on casino gambling in the state.
A Field Poll released a few days ago shows voters oppose both initiatives. Prop. 68's supporters announced last week that they were giving up the fight to pass the initiative, but it still will appear on the ballot. The horse tracks and card rooms that were the main investors had poured in about $28 million before abandoning the effort.
Supporters of Prop. 70, however, were waiting outside the Clovis hall Tuesday for an immediate rebuttal to Schwarzenegger's comments. Kevin Terpstra, communications consultant for the 70 Yes Committee, said the governor's comments were "a lot of Hollywood fiction."
During the event, Schwarzenegger brought up concerns over a lack of environmental protections, labor safeguards and audit provisions if Prop. 70 is approved. These concerns will be included if he is free to renegotiate compacts with tribes that have them and to negotiate with those that don't.
Terpstra said the tribal compact negotiated by former Gov. Gray Davis in 1999 does include environmental protections, labor safeguards and audit provisions. He said Prop. 70 "enhances the current compact, it doesn't supersede it."
David Lent, a member of the Bishop Paiute tribe in Inyo County, said those comments from Schwarzenegger "just irritate us to no end."
Inside the hall, Schwarzenegger's message was clear: Both propositions are bad for California.
Schwarzenegger returned to the town-hall format that served him well in February when he campaigned for Proposition57, a $15 billion bond to refinance the state's budget deficit, and its companion measure, Proposition58, which requires the Legislature to adopt a balanced budget and prohibits borrowing to pay off debt. Both passed in the March primary election.
Many in Tuesday's crowd also attended the February event. And Schwarzenegger was right on message.
After he, Mehas, Autry, Moheno and Cline spoke about the initiatives, Schwarzenegger took questions from the audience on audits, environmental protections and revenues to the state. When Jeff Booey of Guardian Industries — a glass manufacturer and one of Fresno County's largest employers — went off subject to ask about investment credits, Schwarzenegger told him he was in Clovis to talk about the gaming initiatives, not business investment credits.
He did talk a bit about "creating a positive business environment in California," and turned that to the state's fiscal crisis and, eventually, back to how renegotiating the compacts with tribes will help the state's financial situation.
If Prop. 68 passed, the governor said, Las Vegas-style casinos would be "close to your home, close to your work and, worst of all, close to schools." The state, he said, would get no cut of the revenue.
Prop. 70, he said, should make it into the "special interest hall of fame." He added that if he can negotiate compacts, it will mean millions of dollars in ongoing revenue for education, health care and transportation.
"For years, [tribes with casinos] have taken advantage of the state," Schwarzenegger said. "They've ripped off the state."
Terpstra took issue with that, saying tribes are paying their fair share and would continue to do so if Prop. 70 were approved. Projections based on the 8.8% tax rate, he said, would mean $2 billion to the state's general fund over the first five years, then an average of $500 million a year after that.
Looking ahead to Nov. 2, Schwarzenegger referred to it as "Judgment Day," a reference to the subtitle of his "Terminator 2" movie. He then made a direct plea to help defeat the two initiatives: "I'm back again to say I need your help."
One note: It was writer John Ellis's interpretation that Schwarzenegger said, "For years, [tribes with casinos] have taken advantage of the state." Undoubtedly, what Schwarzenegger actually said was, "For years, they have taken advantage of the state."
This isn't a minor semantic point. In fact, it's the crux of the issue. The question is whether Schwarzenegger is castigating all Indians, all Indians with casinos, or only those few tribes who are earning huge "profits" from casinos. These are vastly different things, so what Schwarzenegger said makes a big difference.
Schwarzenegger yet again: "The Indians are ripping us off"
Making it clear he didn't misspeak, Schwarzenegger attacked "the Indians" (all Indians, not just gaming Indians) again:
Governor delights diners in Old Town
Schwarzenegger pushes gaming initiatives' defeat
By Chet Barfield
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
October 15, 2004
The popular actor-turned-governor caused a minor ruckus at the Old Town Mexican Cafe yesterday, glad-handing an overwhelmingly adoring lunchtime crowd and urging defeat of two gambling propositions on the Nov. 2 ballot.
"Vote no on Propositions 68 and 70!" he called out repeatedly, flanked by security guards and aides as he went table to table, high-fiving children, signing autographs and posing for photos.
"The Indians are ripping us off," he told one customer. "We want them to negotiate and pay their fair share."
Schwarzenegger's visit coincided with yesterday's debut of his television ad campaign against the two ballot measures, which he contends would lead to unchecked casino expansions.
Proposition 68 would allow slot machines at 16 card rooms and racetracks unless every gaming tribe in the state agrees to a 25 percent tax. Proposition 70 offers tribes unlimited slots in exchange for the equivalent of an 8.84 percent corporate tax.
Both measures are trailing badly in polls. The Proposition 68 campaign, which spent millions on TV ads, folded last week, although the measure will remain on the ballot.
Proposition 70 proponents, backed mainly by two Riverside County tribes, say their initiative would provide the state more money than the new gambling compacts the governor has signed with nine tribes, including three in San Diego County.
No one from either campaign was around to counter Schwarzenegger's blunt assertions to diners at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, a restaurant popular with tourists and locals.
He called the state's 107 federally recognized tribes, about half of which are operating casinos, "powerful special interests."
"They pay off the Congress," he told a couple from Clairemont. "They make billions, and they don't pay their fair share."
Natives fight back
Schwarzenegger's remarks about the Indians' greed and rip-offs must have reached a critical mass. This time people took note and responded:
Tribes bristle at Schwarzenegger's campaign rhetoric
By James P. Sweeney
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE
6:02 p.m. October 19, 2004
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has insulted American Indian tribes, including some of the few he has befriended, with his recent campaign rhetoric against a tribal-backed gambling measure on the November ballot.
Anthony Pico, chairman of San Diego County's Viejas band and one of the state's most influential tribal leaders, said he was "deeply hurt" by the governor's pointed jab at a recent San Diego event, where he said "the Indians are ripping us off."
The state's dominant tribal gaming lobby demanded an apology, noting that gambling tribes share their wealth with less fortunate tribes, the state, local governments and countless charities.
"California tribes are keenly aware of the injustice of being ripped off and it is not something that we would wish on any people, state or nation," the California Nations Indian Gaming Association said in a statement.
The organization, which represents more than 60 tribes, asked the governor to apologize and "cease making inflammatory remarks that do nothing but deepen the lines of division between Indian people and his administration."
But the governor's chief spokesman wasn't in an apologetic mood and said tribes were "overreacting" perhaps out of frustration with "where they are sitting in the polls." Recent surveys show Proposition 70 trailing badly.
"'The Indians ripping us off' refers to Proposition 70," Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman said. "Proposition 70 is a rip-off."
The tribes' criticism, Stutzman continued, "is a pathetic use of the race card and they should be ashamed of themselves."
Pico, who publicly embraced Schwarzenegger in June when Viejas signed a new gambling agreement with the state, said he was jarred by the governor's swipe after his tribe and four others agreed to increase payments to the state and finance a $1 billion bond.
"I am just deeply, deeply hurt," Pico said. "We made the governor look pretty damn good in my opinion, finding a way to come up with $1 billion up front ... like basically he came into the Indian camp and got what he needed for the state and walked out.
"Then, to turn around and say that we're ripping off the state ... it doesn't serve any purpose. We're almost at the end of the campaign. Those two ballot initiatives (Proposition 70 and rival Proposition 68) are going down the tube and we've got to stop this rhetoric."
Schwarzenegger has been one of the few California politicians to stand up to the increasingly powerful tribes. He successfully used them as a foil in last fall's recall campaign, portraying them as a monied special interest and demanding they pay their "fair share" to the state.
Since then, however, only seven tribes have agreed to renegotiate their gambling compacts to increase payments to the state. Among those tribes, Viejas apparently wasn't the only one rattled by Schwarzenegger's remark.
"We have been assured that it won't happen again," said Howard Dickstein, an attorney who represents three of tribes that renegotiated, including the Pala band of north San Diego County. "It was an unfortunate slip. But overall he has been pretty discerning about complementing and respecting tribes that have worked with the state."
Proposition 70 has been financed largely by the Agua Caliente tribe of Palm Springs. It would give tribes unlimited gaming for the next century if they agree to pay the state's corporate income tax rate – currently 8.84 percent.
Source: California Nations Indian Gaming Association
CNIGA Demands Apology From Governor for Inflammatory Remark
Tuesday October 19, 2:13 pm ET
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ — 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.
Local tribe levels racism charges against governor
Milanovich: Schwarzenegger crosses line with ‘the Indians are ripping us off'
By Debra Gruszecki
The Desert Sun
October 20th, 2004
PALM SPRINGS— The battle over Proposition 70, which has pitted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger against Agua Caliente Tribal Chairman Richard Milanovich, who helped craft the gaming initiative, has taken on racial overtones.
Milanovich said he took umbrage with remarks attributed to the governor in which Schwarzenegger was quoted as saying, "the Indians are ripping us off."
Milanovich characterized the remarks as racist and bigoted.
"Here's a guy from Austria who comes to America saying, ‘those Indians are stealing from us,' " Milanovich said in an interview with The Desert Sun. "It's no different than saying, ‘those darn Mexicans are stealing from us.' If that isn't a racist attitude, I don't know what is."
The tribal chairman said "expressions like that go to the core of your heart because you know what he is really thinking.
"He, of all people, who is he going to take on next?"
Schwarzenegger's remark was reported Oct. 15 by a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter who observed the popular actor-turned governor lace the alleged rip-off comment with Proposition 70 rhetoric, in which he also said, "we want them to negotiate and pay their fair share."
The comments prompted the California Nations Indian Gaming Association on Tuesday to demand an apology from the governor. The NAACP has also asked for an apology, according to Milanovich.
Vince Sollitto, a spokesman for the governor, said Schwarzenegger was referring only to Proposition 70 while campaigning in a crowded restaurant, and did not intend to make a disparaging remark.
"That's just not true," Sollitto said about the charges of racism. "It's nonsense, and it's shameful to play the race card that way."
Schwarzenegger believes Proposition 70 is a "bad deal for California," Sollitto said, because it serves as a mask for tribes who are trying to avoid paying their "fair share" on gaming profits to the state.
"California tribes are keenly aware of the injustice of being ‘ripped-off' " said Anthony Miranda, chairman of the Indian gaming association and a member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians of San Diego. "It is not something we would wish on any people, state or nation."
After noting that tribal governments have lived in the state for centuries, and that California tribal casinos have paid more than $200 million into funds created in the 1999 tribal-state gaming compacts, Miranda noted that California is "our home."
He said Indian people are interested in fostering a "respectful, government-to-government relationship" with Schwarzenegger and the state.
An apology from the governor would be a step in the right direction, Miranda said, as would a halt on "inflammatory remarks" that deepen any division between Indian people and the Schwarz-enegger administration.
Milanovich told The Desert Sun in an interview Monday that he and other tribal council members have made repeated requests to sit with the governor one-on-one to talk about Proposition 70.
Proposition 70 would allow the expansion of casino games in exchange for payments equivalent to the state corporate tax of 8.8 percent.
Earlier in the year, Schwarzenegger reached compact agreements with five tribes which in part guaranteed payment by the tribes of varying amounts up to 25 percent of their gaming take.
Under that deal, a $1 billion bond would be floated and handed over to the state for highway construction projects.
Meanwhile, the governor has urged voters to allow him to negotiate new compacts with other tribes in the state and to reject Proposition 70 because he believes it would mean a proliferation of gambling and cut into his ability to secure a "fair-share" of gaming revenue for the state.
Susan Jensen, spokeswoman for the tribal gaming association, disputed Sollitto's remark that the tribes were using the race card.
"It's (the governor's comments) leaving normal campaign rhetoric," she said. "We understand he's campaigning, but it's crossed over the line."
Governor's remark draws ire
Gaming-tribe group, NAACP call Schwarzenegger's 'ripping us off' campaign utterance insensitive.
By Kevin Yamamura — Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 2:15 am PDT Wednesday, October 20, 2004
A coalition of California gaming tribes and the NAACP state conference demanded Tuesday that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger apologize for telling diners at a San Diego restaurant that "the Indians are ripping us off" while campaigning last week against a tribe-backed gambling ballot initiative.
The groups called the remark insensitive and said it evoked stereotypes that once portrayed American Indians as enemies.
"Right away, you think of all the old stereotypes of Indians and white men," said Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP state conference. "It sounds like cowboys-and-Indians stuff."
But the Republican governor's chief spokesman, Rob Stutzman, responded that Schwarzenegger meant only that "Proposition 70 is a rip-off" and not the Indian people as a whole.
Stutzman also accused critics of politicizing the comment. Both organizations -- the NAACP and the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, or CNIGA -- have endorsed Proposition 70, which would allow for the expansion of gaming on tribal lands.
"That's a pathetic use of the race card and they should be ashamed of themselves," Stutzman said after a Sacramento press conference against Propositions 68 and 70, gaming initiatives the governor has targeted this election season.
Schwarzenegger made his "ripping us off" remark Thursday as he walked through the Old Town Mexican Restaurant in San Diego and talked to customers about why they should not vote for the two ballot initiatives.
Since Proposition 68 proponents suspended their effort earlier this month, most attention has turned to Proposition 70. That initiative would enable federally recognized tribes to obtain 99-year gaming compacts with the state without limits on the number of machines or types of games on Indian lands. In exchange, the tribes would give money back to the state at its corporate tax rate of 8.8 percent.
Schwarzenegger explained Tuesday that he is opposed to the initiative because it would help create "Las Vegas casinos all over California" and destroy agreements already negotiated with tribes.
During his 2003 recall campaign for governor, Schwarzenegger criticized tribes for not paying enough money to the state and said, "It's time for them to pay their fair share."
The governor has used a similar slogan in his No on 70 campaign. Signs at Tuesday's press conference stated, "Join Arnold: Get a better deal for California."
But when Schwarzenegger took that slogan a step further last week and said, "The Indians are ripping us off," the NAACP and CNIGA took offense.
Tuesday, CNIGA Chairman Anthony Miranda, a member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Temecula, demanded an apology from Schwarzenegger for last week's comment.
"We understand campaign rhetoric and the governor campaigning against 70," Miranda said. "If he wants to clarify his remark, I think we would be fine with that."
Ricardo Villanueva, 47, a Sacramento resident who has roots in an East Coast tribe, said he was offended after reading the governor's comment.
"I believe he needs to apologize to all Native Americans and all Indians," Villanueva said. "I think the United States ought to pay their fair share to the Indians. This was our land before it was anybody's land."
Stutzman reiterated Tuesday that the governor meant to isolate his comments to Proposition 70. He considered complaints by proponents of Proposition 70 as campaign rhetoric.
"They're a bit overreacting and they're disappointed with where they're sitting at in the polls," Stutzman said. "That's called a desperate grasping for straws."
Governor's Remark About Casino Measure Stirs Pot
Spokesman Says Governor Was Referring To Proposition, Not People
POSTED: 7:11 pm PDT October 21, 2004
UPDATED: 7:55 pm PDT October 21, 2004
LOS ANGELES — The governor is receiving calls for an apology after a comment about Indian gaming.
Groups representing gaming tribes and the state NAACP chapter claim Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's comment last week at a San Diego restaurant was insensitive. During the campaign stop, Schwarzenegger told diners, "The Indians are ripping us off."
"When you hear him make a statement that is so blanket and across the board, that Indians are ripping us off, I think we need an apology for that," said David Lent, of the Piyute Tribe. "It's almost racist. I don't see how he can make a statement that the Indians are ripping us off. And, in California, who's been ripped off over the years? It sure isn't Arnold Schwarzenegger."
Schwarzenegger has voiced firm opposition to Proposition 70, which would allow tribe-owned casinos to adopt Las Vegas-style gaming. The governor's spokesman said the comment was in exclusive reference to the proposition.
"The comment, 'Indians are ripping us off,' refers to Proposition 70," said Rob Stutzman. "Proposition 70 is a rip-off."
Schwarzenegger also opposes Proposition 68. The measure would amend California's constitution and statutes regarding Indian gaming compacts negotiated by Gov. Gray Davis and Schwarzenegger. Proponents suspended their campaign earlier this month.
"Casinos will be popping up left and right if these propositions win," Schwarzenegger said. "They will be in your neighborhood."
Stutzman said the state NAACP, which has endorsed Proposition 70, and the gaming tribes are attempting to politicize the governor's remark.
"We're really concerned about that — about how he can smear an entire people," said Bertha Gorman, of the NAACP.
The governor's opposition to the two ballot measures echoes comments made during this 2003 recall campaign. At the time, Schwarzenegger said it is time for tribes to "pay their fair share" to the state.
Copyright 2004 by NBC4.tv. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Governor says he stands by tribe remarks
Schwarzenegger alleges Indians ‘ripping us off'
By Debra Gruszecki
The Desert Sun
October 23, 2004
PALM SPRINGS — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he will not apologize for comments made last week against Proposition 70, which some Native Americans have dubbed racist and bigoted.
Last week, while stumping against the Nov. 2 ballot initiative that would open the door for unlimited slots, and introduce craps and roulette, Schwarzenegger told a customer in a San Diego cafe, "The Indians are ripping us off."
Friday he told reporters at a Los Angeles news conference, "Read my lips. The Indian gaming tribes with Proposition 70 are trying to rip off California.
"I will say it again and again and again because that's what they are doing. And the reason they are upset is because the truth hurts."
William Rukesyer, a "Yes 70" spokesman putting out the message that casinos opting for Proposition 70 would pay the equivalent of the corporate tax — now at 8.84 percent — on net profits, said the governor's stance continues to inflict pain on the people to whom it was directed and heighten racial tension.
"Racial language really has no place in California," he said.
"History taught us again and again what can happen when politicians start using inflammatory language and start scapegoating ethnic groups," Rukesyer said.
But the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, which introduced Proposition 70, would be willing to reopen talks with the governor if voters defeat the measure, tribal Chairman Richard Milanovich said Friday.
"We don't carry hard feelings. That just clouds the issues," he said, adding the tribe would only negotiate directly with the governor.
Demands for an apology have come from the NAACP and California Nations Indian Gaming Association.
On Thursday, Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas said, "the governor needs sensitivity training."
He may also need a mediator, according to Rukesyer, if Proposition 70 fails.
Schwarzenegger has been telling constituents he can get a better deal for California through the renegotiation of tribal compacts, Rukesyer said.
"But with his racially orientated remarks, what he's succeeded in doing is push them away."
Finally, after being challenged repeatedly, Schwarzenegger modified his remarks. As this article reported, he said at a Los Angeles news conference, "Read my lips. The Indian gaming tribes with Proposition 70 are trying to rip off California."
Unfortunately, that's not what he said the previous three times. He didn't limit himself to "gaming tribes advocating Proposition 70" or "gaming tribes," period. He attacked "the Indians" as if all Indians were equally guilty of the alleged greed and influence-peddling. That's racism and stereotyping and it's wrong, which is so many people called him on it.
Ventura body-slams buddy
In particular, the San Manuel Band hit Schwarzenegger with a commerical featuring fellow muscle-man Jesse Ventura:
Election 2004 >State
Tribe works The Body in gaming fight with Schwarzenegger
By James P. Sweeney
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE
5:04 p.m. October 27, 2004
SACRAMENTO – A California Indian tribe has muscled up with Jesse Ventura, enlisting the former Minnesota governor to deliver a counterpunch to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the ballot fight over tribal gaming.
Ventura, a friend of Schwarzenegger's and co-star in two of his movies, has the lead role in a new TV advertisement in which he accuses the governor of "trying to exploit" gaming tribes.
Ventura, known as Jesse The Body during his pro wrestling days, also lobs some inflammatory rhetoric back at Schwarzenegger in the commercial commissioned by the San Manuel band of San Bernardino County.
"Didn't the governor promise a balanced budget without raising taxes?" Ventura asks. "I guess it's OK to rip off Indians."
In recent appearances against Proposition 70, a ballot measure that would give California tribes unlimited gaming, Schwarzenegger enraged tribal leaders when he declared "the Indians are ripping us off."
Ten tribes have agreed to Schwarzenegger's terms for new gambling agreements that promise substantial new revenue to the state.
In a radio interview Wednesday, Schwarzenegger called Ventura his "pal" and laughed at his new role.
"A guy from Minneapolis is coming in here and getting involved in this," Schwarzenegger said. "But that's what you have friends for."
The San Manuel spot began airing Tuesday and will run through the Nov. 2 election and perhaps beyond, said San Manuel Chairman Deron Marquez.
The spot does not mention Proposition 70, although it makes clear references to provisions in the initiative that would require tribes to pay the state's corporate tax rate in exchange for unlimited gaming. San Manuel earlier contributed $10 million to the Proposition 70 effort.
Marquez said Ventura was paid to appear in the ad, although he could not say how much. He also declined to say how much the tribe had committed to air the spot.
"It is a campaign that is going to be ongoing. This is not a onetime hit," Marquez said. "Our goal is to educate the people of California."
Gene Raper, a strategist guiding the Proposition 70 campaign, said the ad took him by surprise.
"San Manuel went out and did it on their own and frankly didn't tell anybody," Raper said. "But I'm happy they did. We think it's a good ad."
Schwarzenegger's political operatives were not so impressed.
"The only Indians who are being ripped off are the ones who paid Jesse Ventura to embarrass himself by appearing in this ad," said Todd Harris, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger's campaign against Proposition 70 and a rival gambling initiative, Proposition 68.
The ad is not expected to affect the outcome of the campaign. Proposition 70 continues to trail badly in public and private polls.
Ventura appeared with Schwarzenegger in the films, "Predator" and "The Running Man." Schwarzenegger attended Ventura's inauguration and Ventura responded with an expensive bottle of wine as a gift when Schwarzenegger took office.
As governor of Minnesota, Ventura initially had a testy relationship with tribes. He incensed many when he pointedly questioned the application of tribal sovereignty.
What's really going on
This isn't just a political battle. It's more like psychological warfare. It's about who will gain ascendancy in California: rich, white Republicans like Schwarzenegger or up-and-coming minorities like the Indians?
Daniel Weintraub: Governor is making his point: Don't mess with him
By Daniel Weintraub — Bee Columnist
Published 2:15 am PDT
Sunday, October 24, 2004
In a sectioned off corner of a hotel ballroom in downtown Sacramento last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's political production crew pulled out all the stops.
On a precisely lit riser in front of a royal blue background, Schwarzenegger's staff arranged nearly 40 guests from every imaginable California interest group, whose affiliations were listed on professionally printed boards set at each side of the stage. A large red, white and blue sign hanging above them proclaimed what all these people had in common: their fealty to "Arnold" and a desire to join him in opposing two propositions on the November ballot that seek to expand gambling in California.
Standing behind a lectern in the middle of this impressive coalition was the governor, whose own remarks were bracketed by enthusiastic comments from labor, business, local government, law enforcement and environmental leaders.
"We have to vote against Propositions 68 and 70," Schwarzenegger said, "because they are bad policy, bad precedent and bad for California."
Schwarzenegger has taken positions on no fewer than 12 of the 16 measures on November's confusing ballot. But most of his attention has been focused on defeating the gambling initiatives. They were the theme of this combination press conference and made-for-television rally, and they have been the subject of "town hall" gatherings he has hosted across the state.
The cover of the governor's ballot guide -- mailed to 5 million voters over the past 10 days -- features the two propositions, and his opposition is touted in television commercials that will blanket the airwaves between now and Election Day.
Public and private polling suggest that both propositions are trailing badly and will likely be defeated. It is almost as if the governor is now trying to run up the score.
With so much at stake on Nov. 2, why is Schwarzenegger obsessed with this particular issue? The easy answer is that the measures would undermine the carefully negotiated compacts he has signed in recent months with nine Indian tribes who are not parties to the ballot fight. Proposition 68 would allow for casino-style gambling at card rooms and horse racetracks, while Proposition 70 would permit unlimited gambling on Indian lands with none of the protections for local communities, workers and customers that Schwarzenegger has included in the agreements he signed with the tribes.
But there is more to it than that. It's clear that Schwarzenegger sees the measures as a threat to his standing as the state's chief policy maker. He wants to send a message not only to the Indians, who have lately become the biggest-spending economic interest in California, but also to other moneyed interests who might be thinking of going over his head and directly to the voters: Don't dare try it.
"I think there is a visceral, kind of gut-level response from him, that 'these people are challenging me and they're going to get some sour medicine poured down their throats,'" says Garry South, who was a top adviser to former Gov. Gray Davis and is now allied with Schwarzenegger in opposition to Proposition 68. "There is definitely a test-of-manhood thing going on here that overlays all the specific policy and legal reasons he had for doing what he did."
Indians as a threat
Now we're getting somewhere: Indians as a threat to our manhood, our pride, our cultural identity. This is why we've always feared the "other." Other races, colors, and creeds threaten our self-image and self-worth.
Rather than redefine ourselves, which would require a paradigm shift of colossal proportions, we seek the easy way out. It's easier to fight than switch—easier to attack the "enemy" than attack our own cultural flaws. So we marginalize Indians as relics, demonize them as villains, or exterminate them as pests.
Indians as thieves -- the Schwarzenegger schtick
Posted: October 29, 2004
Arnold Schwarzenegger is in his favorite role as terminator when it comes to American Indians. His recent use of language in his attack on the California tribes, with which he is charged to negotiate in good faith, is tantamount to bigotry. A governor should not approach any of his constituencies with such vulgar disdain for public manners, with a use of careless (or perhaps intended) language that demeans a whole people and ethnicity.
For instance, a governor or any public figure, should refrain from calling a whole people thieves as in, "the Indians are ripping us off." Said Schwarzenegger on Oct.14: "The Indians are ripping us off. We want them to negotiate and pay their fair share." Rip-off in our dictionary is synonymous with "thieving" as in, "the Indians are stealing from us," to paraphrase the governor of California. Schwarzenegger's chosen words hyped up a non-Indian audience in San Diego, not far from where a couple of small, courageous tribes have challenged Californians to support a more equitable approach to the state "taxation" of tribal income from gaming enterprises.
This kind of inappropriate speech by a governor is just not acceptable in American public life, unless of course, you are attacking the smallest and most downtrodden culture of people in the state. Perhaps the mainstream media may not be alarmed by such negative racialist suggestions, we certainly are. Arnold, whose own ethnic and family origins must be examined for clues of character and value formation, should be much more careful. He is certainly the darling of the celebrity-mad crowd in national media life, but the blunt hostility behind the toothy smile of the terminator betrays a nasty anti-Indian streak that borders on the extreme.
The so-called "rip-off" Schwarzenegger rails against is Proposition 70, the initiative launched by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in San Bernardino, and which cleverly posits that Indian tribal enterprises, all things being equal, should share with the state of California approximately the same percentage of tax paid by other corporations (currently 8.84 percent). It would invoke this basis for tribal compacts with California and lock this arrangement in for the long term. What could be more fair than that? Well, that precisely is the problem.
Schwarzenegger is livid about this simple yet very intelligently-positioned proposition because it makes obvious the unfairness of his constant claim that Indians are "not paying their fair share." Or worse yet, as his mounting attacks are mouthing: "The Indians are ripping us off." Schwarzenegger is intent on taxing Indians higher than corporations doing business in the state while simultaneously portraying them to California voters as cheats and liars. In this respect, Schwarzenegger has adopted this most unsavory American tradition, one with which Indians are more than familiar. Blame the Indians for their inherent rights of existence while laying claim to everything they own, including their lands, their economies, even their lives.
California's history of genocide directed at its original peoples is truly disturbing. Perhaps the Austrian immigrant turned bodybuilder turned movie star turned politician might learn something from picking up a book or two on the subject. If he did he might learn that some 73 million plus acres of ancestral property has been stolen from California Indians. In 1769 the Native population of California was estimated at 300,000. Between the years 1848 and 1868 alone some 100,000 Indians died in a horrific genocidal purge at the hands of California settlers. Perhaps the "governator" could learn something from documented stories about white settlers at Round Valley who formed "hunting parties" that would routinely kill 50 to 60 Indians per trip. Such trips occurred up to three times per week and lasted for five years according to accounts by Dryden Laycock, one of the Round Valley settlers. (Suggestion: To learn more read "A Little Matter of Genocide", by Ward Churchill, which provides an excerpt from a study of the extermination of the Indians of northern California, and "Fair Share: An Historical Sketch of the Native Peoples of California", by Steven Newcomb in Native Americas, Winter 2003).
Of course none of this dissuaded the governor from bending language to suit his insult. He went on to call California's 104 federally recognized tribes, the original self-governing peoples and societies of the land, "powerful special interests." He adds: "They pay off the Congress. They make billions, and they don't pay their fair share." Defeating Proposition 70 is Schwarzenegger's number one priority this election. "It is tremendous greed," Schwarzenegger told columnist George Skelton. "They want to rip off the people ... Pull the wool over people's eyes."
Schwarzenegger misleads by arguing against the tribal proposition (70) in the same breath as against a non-Indian proposition (68) that would have expanded locales for gaming (30,000 slot machines at five racetracks; 11 card rooms in Los Angeles and other towns). Proposition 68 proponents have now stopped activity on their bid, but Schwarzenegger attacks the Indian prop with the same argument. "They would allow casinos to spread like wildfire everywhere in California, including our cities and towns," he assails. He wants to, he says, "terminate" Proposition 70 -- which he calls "a jackpot for special interests and a bust for California." The governor of California appears oblivious what a loaded term "termination" is for Indian country. Perhaps the terminator governor is aptly named for his fight of preference, beating up on Indian tribes just now recovering from 150 years of outright genocide and wanton theft of lands and resources. The "special interests" refers to Indians. We know what "termination" means.
Consider again the words: "The Indians are ripping us off." We would ask Schwarzenegger: Just who is the "us" in his assertion. Are not the 104 tribes of California, half of which are in active economic recovery via gaming and other enterprises, as much the constituency of a California governor as any other entity within his state? More brazenly: When you say "Indians," are you not damning all people of that race or ethnicity into your assertion that they are "rip-offs." Precisely about which Indians is the governor referring? This is at best careless use of language; at worst, an intended slur, meant to caricature an ethnic group. It would represent a simple insult, to be cleared with an apology, except, regrettably, it seems to represent a deep-seated position of hostility and an assumption of ownership over Indian assets that the governor should deeply re-examine.
If the tribes don't watch it, the anti-Indian movement will gain a powerful national spokesman in Arnold Schwarzenegger; conversely, if he does not reconsider his approach, Schwarzenegger will cultivate an anti-Indian image that will not enhance his reputation. The terminator governor, with his larger-than-life superstar status, is trying too hard to get away with borderline and outright prejudicial statements and is pressing a very antagonistic approach to tribal peoples. Words from public officials carry consequences that often impel the public toward belief and action. And we take the governor at his word. Although he grew up in a home in which his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, was a member of the Sturmabteilung, or SA, better known as Nazi storm troopers, we believe him when he says he does not share the hatred that spewed forth from that evil movement, a hatred that lay the ills of Germany, real or perceived, largely at the feet of the Jewish people. But are American Indians now the root or cause of California's financial ills? Hardly.
The tribal peoples of California, however, could just as well be of one of the governor's partnership constituencies. Instead of browbeating and insulting the Native nations of California, why not work more closely with the new Native powerhouses, by approaching them respectfully as: 1) local and regional job creation rotors; 2) economic development zones that stimulate capital flow. Why attempt to gouge the tribes for more than what is fair by forcing them to forfeit twice or more than is demanded of corporations in the state? The tribes, after all, must cover a range of governmental responsibilities including health, social and educational services for their members. Regular California businesses have no such obligations.
These days, however, if you insult a particular race or ethnic group, and the particular group complains, they stand accused of playing "the race card." Never mind how craven the insult, the focus becomes how the offended reacts and not the reality of the complaint. Proposition 70, in fact, is in an uphill battle, considering its virulent enemies, but its premise needs continued exploration and support. Just why Indian enterprises, particularly given their responsibility for many governmental services, should pay to the state double or more what other business corporations pay, is not at all clear. Different tribes and tribal coalitions will approach their compact negotiations differently. A variety of strategies will emerge. Outcomes will be diverse. But one thing is highly dangerous: Ethnic insult, based in bigotry. This is intolerable. Schwarzenegger, of all people, should know better.
The critics of Indian gaming—and why they're wrong
. . .
All material © copyright its original owners, except where noted.
Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.
Copyrighted material is posted under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act,
which allows copying for nonprofit educational uses including criticism and commentary.
Comments sent to the publisher become the property of Blue Corn Comics
and may be used in other postings without permission.