Former Governor Schwarzenegger supported the Los Coyotes Barstow project, as evidenced by the site-specific tribal-state gaming compact that he signed with the Tribe. Although the California Legislature declined to act on the compact after the Department announced it would no longer review and approve tribal-state gaming compacts relating to land not yet held in trust (this position was known as the Warm Springs doctrine, and it has since been rejected by the Obama Administration), the Governor did not withdraw support for the Tribe’s Barstow application. The Tribe now intends to seek to negotiate another Tribal-State compact with Governor Brown, submit it to the state legislature, and ultimately submit it to the Department for review and approval.
The Tribe is encouraged that the dynamics within the California Legislature are much more favorable today than when the Legislature declined to act on the Tribe’s compact before. Not only did the Warm Springs doctrine stand as an excuse for inaction then, but the Los Coyotes’ labor-friendly compact was caught in a fight between organized labor and successful gaming tribes seeking to expand their facilities. That issue is now in the past, and Los Coyotes believes that labor’s strong support for its compact, coupled with the fact that the Barstow project would retain California money and jobs otherwise flowing to Nevada, gives the Tribe an excellent case to make for passage of a compact. Due to the nature of the two-part process, the Tribe also believes that, compared to other tribes, it has much greater flexibility under the Ninth Circuit’s Rincon decision and Interior’s recent decisions on other compacts to negotiate revenue sharing arrangements that will be beneficial to both the State and the Tribe.