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  • On "our" side.....finally!

    Posted on Fri, Sep. 26, 2003

    Schwarzenegger adds chapter to Indian wars
    By L.A. Chung
    San Jose Mercury News Staff Columnist

    The morning buzz in coffee shops and radio shows was, predictably, much about the debate -- and much about Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Did he talk about the issues well? Should he have been that nasty? Did he treat Huffington, the only woman, with disrespect and disregard?

    I wouldn't worry about Huffington, who showed she could give as well as she could take. And women voters can judge for themselves.

    But Schwarzenegger in recent weeks has found another target he thinks he can dismiss with relative impunity: American Indians. They can't vote in large numbers, after all.

    The election really got hot when the Viejas band of Kumeyaay Indians near San Diego jumped in with a breathtaking $1.2 million for Cruz Bustamante, a fair chunk of the total $6.6 million spent on the election from tribes. And there was the understandable furor over Bustamante trying to get around contribution limits by putting that money in his old lieutenant governor campaign account. (He couldn't, a court finally ruled.)

    Bustamante was fair game for relying almost entirely on money from one group. But Schwarzenegger has attacked him by turning California's natives into a new political bogeyman, a special interest whose casinos ``make billions'' yet ``pay no taxes and pay virtually nothing to the state.'' (Not exactly.)

    Politicians pander to the tribes, Schwarzenegger says, but he won't: ``I don't play that game.''

    In the eye of the beholder

    How can Schwarzenegger demonize Indians who own casinos as ``special interests,'' while taking $8.5 million in contributions from businesses (like Central Valley growers) that he says aren't special interests?

    I suspect it's not just the money. It's Indians with money that seem to bother us.

    There aren't many times in modern history when Indians have had the scales tipped at all in their favor. Given history, don't they know they're supposed to be grateful?

    First, the Spanish missionaries came to California, enslaved them and converted them to Catholicism. Then the U.S. government negotiated treaties that were never ratified. In 1851 Gov. Peter H. Burnett described California's official policy: ``The war of extermination will continue until the Indian race is extinct.'' Bounties, you name it. Modern history is a series of actions eroding tribal authority. Until the tribes forced the door open on casinos.

    Now part of the governor's job is to negotiate gaming compacts with tribes. I suspect it's a lot harder to come to terms when one party senses the other is dismissive of him.

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T

    Interestingly, one of the words that both the Viejas band and Bustamante use is ``respect.''

    Bustamante, in defending the contributions, said it was a mark of the years of respect he'd shown the Viejas band, when many were still living in broken-down cars and trailers.

    Bobby Barrett, the Viejas president, said ``our respect is proportionate to the respect he has shown California Indians. . . . He has sat down with our elders, learned our stories and our values.''

    I went out to the Viejas reservation, 45 minutes inland from San Diego, in August, weeks before the tribe jumped into the recall election.

    ``We don't have any illusions that the respect is based on money and power,'' Anthony Pico, the Viejas band's longtime chairman, told me. They scrapped their way from being dirt-poor to having a $72 million payroll and guaranteeing college tuition for their children.

    Pico recounted a moment as he was driving back to the reservation from a talk-show appearance as casinos were becoming affluent.

    He had a broad smile on his face. He was remembering, with pride, that the talk show host knew the name of their tribe, Kumeyaay, and pronounced it correctly (KOO-me-i).

    When they were poor no one cared what their name was.

    California needs more revenue. Can Schwarzenegger say Kumeyaay?


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Contact L.A. Chung at [email protected] or (408) 920-5280.
    "Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those doing it."

    ~ Ah nech me hewet ~ :49:

  • #2
    dam that shwart zaniger

    Originally posted by Runnerz
    Posted on Fri, Sep. 26, 2003


    But Schwarzenegger in recent weeks has found another target he thinks he can dismiss with relative impunity: American Indians. They can't vote in large numbers, after all.

    WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

    How can Schwarzenegger demonize Indians who own casinos as ``special interests,'' while taking $8.5 million in contributions from businesses (like Central Valley growers) that he says aren't special interests?
    WHATS UP WITH THAT?


    I suspect it's not just the money. It's Indians with money that seem to bother us.
    WHY?




    There aren't many times in modern history when Indians have had the scales tipped at all in their favor. Given history, don't they know they're supposed to be grateful?
    WAIT WHO IS SUPOSED TO BE GRATEFUL?


    California needs more revenue. Can Schwarzenegger say Kumeyaay?

    I DOUT IT.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Contact L.A. Chung at [email protected] or (408) 920-5280.

    are any of you Californias going to vote in this thing?
    Last edited by theepowwowchic49; 09-26-2003, 03:17 PM.
    Friends dont let friends take home ugly Men. :huddle:

    :indian1: THE DARKER THE FLESH THEN THE DEEPER THE ROOTS :indian1:

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