Saturday, November 08, 2003

Tribes Now Ready to Deal With Their New Governor

VIEJAS INDIAN RESERVATION, Calif., Nov. 6 - The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, which operates a lucrative casino on its reservation here east of San Diego, spent $2 million of its gambling earnings trying to keep Arnold Schwarzenegger out of the governor's office.

Mr. Schwarzenegger said in the campaign that the Viejas and other tribes that run casinos in California were not paying their fair share to the state and were abusing their new financial muscle. Tribal leaders said Mr. Schwarzenegger did not understand the tribes' unique status as sovereign nations or realize how much they paid to the state.

Both sides now appear ready to put the bitterness of the campaign behind them.