PALM SPRINGS -- Voters who pulled the lever on two gaming initiatives Tuesday doled out two oranges -- and a lemon -- for two heavily-financed campaigns to expand gambling in California.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pitch against Proposition 68 and 70 mustered a commanding vote plurality. Both propositions were voted down.
"I think the vote today is a mandate for the governor’s ability to negotiate fair share agreements with California tribes,’’ Todd Harris, a campaign strategist for the governor’s campaign said, as he hovered over vote tallies released from the secretary of state. "I think it also sends the message loud and clear that Californians think it’s a colossally bad idea to let casinos write California gaming laws."
Tribal leaders took the defeat like a poised player holding an ace high.
They’ve known the odds might not be in their favor for weeks now, but rolled the dice to curry voters’ support with high-profile TV ads, featuring big names like Stefanie Powers and Jesse "The Body" Ventura to try to give Schwarzenegger’s assault on Proposition 70 a knock-out punch.