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  Casinos and Legislation Clarified – or Maybe Not
April 16, 2004

Earlier Today, in an E-Forum entitled “SECRET MOVES TOWARD GAMBLING AT POINT MOLATE,” I reported an apparent effort to secure special legislation related to a tribal casino at Point Molate. 

Although the letter on which the piece was based, was not clearly written, it apparently referred to two separate subjects. The first paragraph described efforts of the City’s lobbyist to hook the City up with an expert to advise the City on “siting and obtaining a tribal casino.” The entire paragraph follows:

“Early in the month of March, after telephone conversations with Steve Duran, I recommended an expert in Native American Affairs to advise the City of Richmond relative to siting and obtaining a tribal casino at point Malotte (sic). The point would be an excellent location for such a venture for a variety of reasons. As called upon, I will continue to assist in the casino venture.” 

The second paragraph began a discussion of the budget crisis and the need for special legislation, as follows: 

“Also, in March I worked with Mayor Irma Anderson and City Manager Jay Corey, with a view to helping reduce the impact of Richmond’s revenue shortfall and budget crisis. The Mayor and City Manager decided legislation was needed and after they discussed the matter with Assembly Member Loni Hancock, they forwarded the proposed legislation to me.” 

I have since found out from Sacramento Advocates that the legislation referred to is that which would allow the City to issue a Tax Revenue Anticipation Note (TRAN) to solve a short term cash flow problem. It apparently had no relationship with a casino at Point Molate. 

I have also talked with Jim Levine of Upstream Investments, the prospective developer of Point Molate, and he has assured me that any legislation or other activities by the City related to a casino at Point Molate are premature and unwarranted at this time. 

It appears however, that Richmond City Officials and the City’s lobbyist are still in the thick of casino planning for Point Molate, with or without the knowledge of the City Council and the prospective developer.