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Tribes Use Political Tactics

One of California€™s most prominent Indian tribes is using a political campaign-style tactic to marshal public support as it enters negotiations with the state over tribal gambling regulations. Patrons of casinos run by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians got mailers this week with postcards for them to send to Governor Davis urging “a fair and favorable compact with the Agua Caliente.”

It reads in part: “A fairly negotiated compact could mean hundreds of additional jobs for our community – jobs that would otherwise go to people in other states.”

Tribal experts say it is apparently the first effort of its kind in connection with the upcoming renegotiations of the tribal-state agreements that govern gambling on Indian lands. Those negotiations are set to open next month.