They are at it again! In the present case, the proponents and opponents of the so-called “Indian Gaming Initiative” are filling our airwaves, asking us voters to decide on a controversial and complex proposal when as yet we have scarcely a clue as to what the initiative says and includes. We are challenged to try to decipher over five pages of legalese in very small print!
This is only one of the 11 initiatives on the November ballot, all probably complex and difficult to understand. Cartoonist Fiore in a recent drawing put the issue in perspective. In his cartoon a mother says to her young son, “And if you study very hard, do all your homework, go to college, go to grad school, get a doctorate you might be able to understand all the ballot initiatives.”
It may take a “rocket scientist” to vote intelligently on the proposals, but it is easy to recognize that the initiative process is not working out as it was intended. The initiative process was established as a reform measure that would give control of the government back to the people, but the process has been taken over by special interests and has become a worst example of money politics. Odds are that the side that spends the most will win. For the Indian Gaming Initiative, each side will spend over 20 million dollars — mostly on 30-second radio and TV sound bites to convince us that the other side is bad, and which will give us no solid information on which to base our decision.
This is an issue that should be decided by our Legislature. We have no way of knowing the actual changes that this proposal would make. I sympathize with the Indians, but we need a law that will be simple and that will just let them keep their slot machines. It should not take five-plus pages to say that.