Talk with interior secretary throws vote of the people in doubt--and raises a stink
It turns out that Schwarzenegger had spoken with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and asked him to publish the compacts. At an editorial board meeting with The Bee on Wednesday, when he was asked directly if he had asked Kempthorne to publish them, the governor hedged, merely saying he asked Kempthorne to give "some attention" to the matter to make sure that "everything go through procedures." Later, a spokesman for the governor said that Schwarzenegger had asked the secretary to publish the compacts. The governor spoke with Kempthorne on Dec. 6. The compacts were published in the Federal Register on Dec. 19.
Why should California voters care about all this? If voters reject those four gambling deals on the ballot, Interior's decision to approve and publish them in the Federal Register creates a legal quandary. Does federal action supersede the California vote?