California tribe ups ante in compact fight

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians of California is reportedly threatening to defeat an upcoming referendum if state lawmakers don't ratify six new tribal gaming compacts.

The deals were approved by the Senate. But they face opposition in the Assembly, where Democrats have raised concerns about provisions affecting labor unions.

In hopes of overcoming opposition, the tribe launched an advertising blitz that urges voters to contact their Assembly members. The tribe is willing to spend up to $20 million on the campaign.

A tribal spokesperson said the effort is only about the compacts. But Democratic leaders in the Assembly say the tribe is threatening to defeat a term-limit referendum if the deals aren't approved.

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Lawmaker says tribes make threat (AP 4/27)