The band's latest proposal is to install 2,500 slot machines in a 342,000- square-foot building -- which is five times the size of the current cardroom. The new proposal, with half as many slots as the one that created an uproar last year, is projected to generate more than $150 million a year in profits. The Lyttons have offered to give Caltrans $25 million for I-80 improvements as soon as the casino gets its approvals.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he has no choice but to negotiate a compact with the tribe because of the land's federally recognized ancestral status. But it's important to note that it has that status only because of a three-sentence amendment that was slipped into a 150-page bill that was being rushed through Congress at the end of session in 2000. Rep. George Miller, the Martinez Democrat who authored the amendment, has said he knew the Lyttons were planning a casino, but he had no idea it would be on the scale of something on the Las Vegas Strip.
He, and the world, now know differently.
Continue reading the editorial here.