House Bill 2534 and Senate Bill 1136: PAChyderm Coalition opposes unlimited casino gambling

by Don Goldwater

The PAChyderm Coalition has been a consistent opponent of unlimited casino gambling in our state and a consistent advocate for private property rights.  We want to make it abundantly clear that we have not and will not waver from those fundamental positions, regardless of outside influences within or without the Party.  In this case, a red herring has been inserted into the argument trying to bridge a gulf too wide by connecting these two issues as if one conflicts with the other.

House Bill 2534 and Senate Bill 1136 are clearly structured to support the above positions.  The argument that passage of these bills will somehow reduce private property rights is simply false.  These Bills consist of five simple sentences written in unambiguous, layman language.  Let’s go to the core of the issue by looking at the specific language:

A.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this article:

1.  A city or town located in a county with a population of more than three hundred fifty thousand persons may annex any territory within an area that is surrounded by the city or town or that is bordered by the city or town on at least three sides if the landowner has submitted a request to the federal government to take ownership of the territory or hold the territory in trust.

2.  The annexation of territory pursuant to this section is valid if approved by a majority vote of the governing body of the city or town.  The annexation becomes immediately operative if it is approved by at least two-thirds of the governing body of the city or town.

B.  For the purposes of this section, “submitted a request to the federal government” means the landowner has made an application to the federal government as required by a specific federal statute or regulation.

Unfortunately, the position taken by Rep. Farnsworth goes against states rights and Arizona’s right to self determination and supports federal supremacy (Department of Interior) that have chosen to subvert the will of Arizonans who approved Prop. 202 in 2002 and to subvert the Gila River Land Replacement Act signed President Ronald Reagan.

The property rights this bill addresses are special rights that are not available to any other property owner in our state.  None of us can convert private land into a sovereign nation and then build a casino in violation of the IGRA and the Gila River Replacement Act.  The foundation of these acts go specifically to preventing the placement of Las Vegas style Casino gambling within a city.  Of utmost importance is the fact that twenty three tribes signed the Indian Gaming Compact and only one tribe has used surreptitious means to violate the rules they gave their oath to support.

If the Tohono O’Odham Tribe is successful in their action to violate the Compact, you can be sure that Las Vegas style gaming casinos will appear down the street from a school near you, thanks to future actions by one of the other 22 tribes that up-to-now have honored the Compact, but will feel justified in following the above unlawful actions.

The PAChyderm Coalition strongly urges you to contact your state senator and state representatives and respectfully advocate for their support for this important legislation.  If you do not know the direct line for your legislator, you can call the Capitol Switchboard, 602-926-5999, and ask for them by name.  The e-mail address uses the following format:  the initial of their first name followed by their last name followed by


  1. I think Eddie Farnsworth has bigger balls than the Pachyderms because he sticks to his principles regardless of who wins in the issue. Just because something is convenient doesnt make it right.

  2. Hey pachyderms, can you say “Emminent Domain”? You might as well have sanctioned mesa taking that garage away and justified it because other land owners in the area would be losing value because that piece of property was just a garage.
    We arent supposed to see that the Glendale muckety mucks are buddies with the right people at the capitol and they dont want a casino because it causes them political problems. Go Eddie! Property Rights Freedom Fighters Unite!

  3. Sometimes you write like a nut, sometimes you do.

    This has NOTHING to do with eminent domain (after you learn how to spell it, you can look it up). This is about a sovereign nation taking private property under false pretenses in violation of a Compact that they, the state of Arizona, the Federal Government and twenty-two other tribes agreed to that gave them a benefit and now they want to unilaterally break it using subterfuge that would be criminal in almost any other situation.

    The percentage of land that is private property in Arizona is very small due to federal, state, reservation, etc. lands and you support this renegade tribe stealing some more in violation of agreed-to law. Brilliant.

  4. I always thought that my property included my money, and if I wanted to risk it, do nothing with it, rent it out, or give it away I was within my rights.

    Don’s own words, in just the first sentence of this piece, are contradictory.

  5. This is not about your rights to give away your money, it is the fact that the tribe does not have the right to purchase property under an assumed name in violation of a Compact that they, along with 22 other tribes, signed of their own free will. The Compact gave them the benefit of casino gambling in a state where non-indians specifically do not have the same right. This is not even about whether others should have that right and has nothing at all to do with your rights to contribute your money to an entity where the profits go to another nation.

    I do not see Don’s words as contradictory. It seems he opposes unlimited Las Vegas style casino gambling in Arizona because of how it would change the lifestyle in Arizona. He also believes that private property rights should be protected from government takings. This case is where a government entity has taken private property and that tax base under false pretenses. As a result other private property owners will have to pay higher taxes – maybe you could volunteer to make up the difference.

  6. Ben, sure they do have that right. If the City doesn’t like it, or thinks they have a legal case, then they should sue. Oh, yeah, they did that already. They can’t change the rules of the game and the Legislature should not enable City authority to annex any land from any owner without permission.

  7. I guess I am also having trouble understanding that I don’t have the right to sell my property to a tribe.

    I am a little troubled that Don is so adamant about gambling issues…and claims his membership is that way as well. The GOP just doesn’t have that same position, so in a way the GOP is more in favor of liberty than Don is. It is confusing. I think the people controlling the legislature were elected as GOP, not Pachy’s, so Don has some real work to do.

    I don’t think I should have to have federal permission to sell my land, under any circumstances.

    The contradiction in Don’s position has nothing to do with the tribes, but with gambling itself. That’s where I’d like to express my rights to have a slot machines in my place of business, church, or home. But Don doesn’t want me to have that right, and worse, he thinks some people do have it and he want’s to keep it that way? So unfair.

  8. The tribe signed a Compact that precluded their right to buy land for the purposes of building a casino in urban areas. This is not about the rights of the private property owner, but of the contract the tribe signed. What is it about the provisions of the Compact signed by the state, 23 tribes, and the federal government that you do not understand. Do you think that people should unilaterally walk away from signed contracts while keeping the product/benefit they received? You can’t fail to keep your obligations in a contract while keeping the benefit the other party provided. This is ALL about the tribe breaking their part of the Compact while keeping the rights conveyed in the Compact. Not right for the state, the city, or the other 22 tribes who have kept their part of the Compact.

    The state law does not currently allow casino gambling EXCEPT for the tribes within the rules of the Compact. If you want to have slot machines in your business, get the votes to change the current law, but this bill has NOTHING to do with that idea.

    You can muddy the water all you want with charges of private property rights, but this bill does not address anything about that issue.

  9. PS: You have the right to sell your property to a tribe. It will lower the tax base so everyone else will have to pay more, however, you do have that right. The tribe does not have the right to place a casino on property in urban areas according to the Compact. I presume you do believe in contract law, but that may not be correct.

  10. Yes, I am getting to the Equal Protection issue regarding both the property and my right to operate a business within the law, and not be barred from that business based on my race. Compact aside, the notion that one race is permitted to do something the rest of us aren’t is just creepy and wrong. What gets me is that the compacts have nothing really to do with the land, but with the people. So discriminatory. If you want to argue it’s really about the land, then why is land owned by one race treated differently than land owned by another? Look, Don is speaking for what is apparently a group or coalition of groups and there’s likely a real conflict there, intellectually speaking, that I am trying to address.

  11. Matt Byers says

    Let’s focus on the bill itself. I understand we all have opinions on why it was written. I’m unaware if the bill mentions any specific tribe, Glendale, or casinos. I haven’t read the bill, only the exerpt above. I don’t want to assume what this bill is about, I want to read specifically what it says. Then, we can speculate on the repercussions.

  12. Matt Byers says

    Excerpt. I didn’t spell check.

  13. Matt, Read the article. The Bill is included in its entirety.

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