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Don't Cram for February 5th!

Let's take Propositions 94 , 95 , 96 , and 97 . Each deals with a separate Indian tribe, three in Riverside County and one in San Diego County. That's the only essential difference. Otherwise, they all would permit 3000 additional slot machines for each tribe. Those tribes then would pay a percentage of that revenue to the state, amounting to millions of dollars. More than $55 million has been raised in support of those propositions, mostly from the tribes whose casinos would grow to accommodate thousands of additional slot machines. The "No" side has raised about $19 million from smaller Indian tribes not benefitting from the expansion, from race tracks viewing the increased slots as increased competition for the gambling dollar, and from labor concerned that the propositions "fail to ensure the most basic rights for casino workers including affordable health insurance ."

Although the League of Women Voters stated in its January 2008 newsletter that "the League has not studied the issues concerning Indian gaming compacts and therefore has taken no position on these measures," the thoughtful voter can develop an opinion by spending 30 minutes reading the sample ballot at the very least and casting a wide net with Google or Yahoo search engines.

Certainly, Proposition 92 (a major change for community college funding and governance) and Proposition 93 (changing term limits for state legislators) are worth 30 minutes each in research. Proposition 91 (a Constitutional Amendment to restrict gas tax revenues to transportation projects) may take less time since no argument was submitted against it and the official proponents are encouraging a "no" vote on the proposition. To find out more about this mystifying turn of events, you'll need to do your own research.

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So, add it all up, and we're talking about two hours out of your next several days. If you start tonight and only spend about 20 minutes a day, you'll face Election Day with a clear head and some well deserved self-satisfaction.

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