On May 13, 2013 the Rose Law Group Reporter posted the following article. I do not usually re-post entire articles but in this case many of you may not see it. This opinion piece was written by those, in addition to Glendale residents, most affected by the Tohono O’odham proposed casino, the Tribal leaders. Read their words. They relied upon the words of their brother and sister TO Tribal leaders.
(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents leadership of the Arizona House and Senate in lawsuit against the Glendale casino.)
[OP-ED] Tribal leaders say Tohono O’odham’s has ‘ill ambition’ for casino
Posted By Phil Riske / May 13, 2013
By Diane Enos, Gregory Mendoza, Sherry Counts, Arlen P. Quetawki, Sherry Cordova and Clinton M. Pattea | The Arizona Republic
New federal legislation introduced by Arizona congressional Reps. Trent Franks, Ed Pastor and Ann Kirkpatrick that would keep compacts intact deserves a fair look.
The complexity of the issue has been captured by The Arizona Republic in its editorials and in recent news articles that have delved into the history of the voter-approved Proposition 202 to shed light on how a proposed casino in Glendale has much broader implications.
Arizonans who in 2002 voted “yes” on Proposition 202 did so based on the 17 Arizona tribes’ promise that Indian casinos would be kept out of neighborhoods and, as penned by then-Gov. Jane Dee Hull, “Voting ‘yes’ on Proposition 202 ensures that no new casinos will be built in the Phoenix metropolitan area and only one in the Tucson area for at least 23 years.”
These commitments were accepted and promoted by 17 Arizona tribes, including the Tohono O’odham Nation, and Arizona. We worked for nearly two years to negotiate a tribal-state plan for limited Indian gaming that was accepted by community leaders, business leaders and elected officials, who in turn publicly advocated for what ultimately became Prop. 202.
At the time, none of the participating 17 tribes expressed disagreement with the framework, which is why a proposed casino in Glendale is a plain violation of the commitments made to Arizona voters in 2002.
As leaders of Arizona tribes, we expect honest transactions from federal, state and local officials and set the same expectations of ourselves and of fellow tribes. It is for these reasons that we support this new, bipartisan legislation.
The Keep the Promise Act will protect the integrity of our work during the gaming-compact negotiations.
It will safeguard the trust of elected officials, business leaders, our own communities and the Arizona voters when they said “yes” to Prop. 202.
Without it, an explosion of new neighborhood casinos — in Glendale and beyond — could be on the horizon because if the promises made through Prop. 202 are broken, the door is opened for other off-reservation casinos.
To that end, it is no secret that the Tohono O’odham Nation now says it never pledged to restrict the number of casinos in the Phoenix area or to keep them out of neighborhoods. It asserts the right to develop multiple casinos on county islands near Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale or anywhere else in the Valley.
Such ill ambition is detrimental to Prop. 202, destroys the good work of 16 tribes and cultivates an atmosphere of distrust.
This is why there is an urgent need for the Keep the Promise Act. It will protect the collective vision of “limited and balanced gaming” in Arizona that was carefully engineered by tribal and state leaders, and approved by voters.
Actively support House Resolution 1410, the Keep the Promise Act, and urge your legislators to do the same.
Diane Enos is president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Gregory Mendoza is governor of the Gila River Indian Community. Sherry Counts is chairwoman of the Hualapai Tribe. Arlen P. Quetawki is governor of the Pueblo of Zuni. Sherry Cordova is chairwoman of the Cocopah Indian Tribe. Clinton M. Pattea is president of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.