Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ashley Hutchinson on YES on Prop. 48:

Guest Blogger Ashley Hutchinson writes in support of Prop. 48.

Prop 48 truly makes me sad. Sad that the large tribes have so much power over the casinos and seemingly care more about their profits than they do cultural preservation. 

I'm not saying allow a casino to be built on every corner, but it's time for the smaller and less politically powerful tribes to have a say. It's unfair that the powerhouse tribes purposely try to squash the efforts of tribes like the Gabrieleno and Juanenos to receive the federal recognition they deserve because they're scared of "competition". 

The two tribes are not looking to build casinos, but rather preserve their culture, their language, their missions, and their heritage as a people of California's first ancestors. 

I'm not a California Indian but I am the mother of one, and for her sake I would like for her to grow up in a California that respects and honors her culture, not one that stomps on it for casinos and political profit. 

Sadly more people are wrapped up on renaming the Redskins instead of paying attention to what's happening to these small and rapidly declining California mission bands. 

I know when Tom McClintock agrees I'm in the right company.


Ashley Hutchinson a former political operative and wife/mother to a Gabrieleno.

SACBEE Says MACARRO of Pechanga's AD is MOSTLY MISLEADING: That happens when his LIPS MOVE

Opponents of Proposition 48, a referendum on a state-tribal compact that would allow a Madera tribal casino, have taken to the airwaves with TV ads contending that the measure would set a precedent for off-reservation gambling. A yes vote on the measure upholds the compact; a no vote rejects it.

One of the ads features Mark Macarro, the chairman of the Temecula-area Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, one of California’s most politically influential tribes. The tribe has contributed more than $1 million to the No on 48 effort, which has raised $15.3 million this year compared to the $470,000 collected by the measure’s supporters. Table Mountain Rancheria in Friant, which operates a casino about 26 miles from the proposed casino site, has put up more than $10 million to defeat the referendum.

Following is a text of the ad and an analysis by Jim Miller of The Bee Capitol Bureau:

Mark Macarro: “More than a decade ago, we promised to limit casinos to existing tribal land. And you voted overwhelmingly to approve tribal gaming based on that promise....

CHUKCHANSI CORRUPTION: Fresno Bee PREDICTED PRCI DEMISE Due To Greed in April 2013

OP: The FRESNO BEE had an editorial last April on the greed at Chukchansi that has seen the demise of 70% of their tribe. AND THEY NAILED it!  

 According to Buddha, "There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed."

A torrent of greed is ripping apart the Chukchansi tribe, which owns a Las Vegas-style casino and resort below Yosemite National Park.

OP:THIS IS NOT NEW, THIS has been a decade in the making. 

 Three factions have claimed to be the rightful tribal council in little more than a year. There has been a riot that required law-enforcement intervention. There have been continuing disenrollments. And, in fact, the situation is so messy that bankers stepped in and froze a $12 million account.

Profits from Indian gaming are supposed to lift up tribal members, many of who are impoverished. The money flowing from table games, slots, hotels and concerts should go for education, health care and investments in other businesses.

But the focus among some Chukchansi has been on getting as rich as possible and as quickly as possible -- even if it means casting others aside. And profits meant to help tribe members are being diverted to lawyers for legal battles.

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs bears responsibility in these contentious events. Its hands-off policy allowed a feud to snowball into dysfunction. OP: AND VIOLENCE

Finally, last month, Troy Burdick, the Central California superintendent for the bureau, offered mediation. Tribal leaders should take up his offer because it is abundantly clear that they are incapable of working out things on their own.  OP: Burdick is ineffective and unwilling to make a hard decision: THE CASINO MUST BE SHUT DOWN.  Does the BIA WANT the destruction of Indians.

Most of the tourists and Valley residents who flock to the casino don't concern themselves with tribal matters. They just want to know that their chips will be cashed, the food will be good and there will be clean sheets on the beds.

But with the federal government and Gov. Jerry Brown approving the North Fork Mono Indians' proposed casino along Highway 99 in Madera County, the Chukchansi better soon get their house in order.
It's possible, perhaps even probable, that the specter of a rival casino is driving one or more of the Chukchansi factions. They see the handwriting on the wall, and want to split the spoils with as few as possible.
This is, more than anything else, a classic case of greed. Question is, can it be cured?

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/02/3240794/editorial-greed-could-bring-the.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy


Read MORE about the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians

What a YES Vote on Prop. 48 Means To California

Charles Banks-Altekruse is the public affairs director for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California and here is his recent editorial from the Bakersfield Californian.

Voting yes on Proposition 48 provides California voters the opportunity to affirm two tribal gaming compacts that:

* Uphold binding contractual agreements between willing parties (the state of California, Madera County and two tribes).

* Support historical justice and allow the North Fork Tribe to conduct gaming "on Indian lands in California in accordance with federal law," in alignment with what Proposition 1A promised California voters in 2000.

* Allow investment to deliver huge economic benefits -- thousands of jobs, business opportunities, billions of dollars in private investment, shared revenues and new tax revenues -- to some of the poorest regions of the state and nation (Central Valley and North Coast).

* Respect local control for a strongly supported local project.

* Promote tribal rights and self-reliance, allowing the tribe to use its lands without further outside interference.

* Protect our most pristine environmental areas by avoiding construction of gaming facilities in the Sierra foothills near Yosemite (North Fork) or along the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Preserve (Wiyot Tribe) and placing it where existing infrastructure will support development.

Prop. 48 is on the ballot as the latest attempt by two local tribal casinos and Wall Street hedge-fund operators to stop competition from the North Fork project. They are trying to spin Prop. 48 into a referendum about various Indian policy issues unrelated to these compacts -- and punish this tribe for abiding by the laws in place today.

For more than 50 years, the tribe has fought tirelessly, transparently and collaboratively to right historical wrongs and restore its tribal status and lands lost in the 1950s.

North Fork's unique "landless" status was reaffirmed recently by the leader of the "No" effort to overturn the compacts: "The North Fork tribe had no reservation, no land for itself until the federal government allowed them to pick these 305 acres at Madera" (Cheryl Schmit, San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 17).

In 2013, the federal government finally restored 305 acres within the tribe's ancestral territory in rural Madera County as official "Indian trust land." The tribe later obtained a state-tribal gaming compact, negotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown and ratified by a bipartisan majority of the state Legislature, for gaming on that land.

The Prop. 48 compacts are nearly identical to others recently ratified and put into effect without great delay or concern, except these are perhaps more generous to local communities and other less well-off, non-gaming tribes.

After decades, the North Fork Tribe had reclaimed a fraction of its former territory for the benefit of its people and local community.

Fear mongering by opponents about "reservation shopping," "off-reservation casinos," "open floodgates," and "broken promises" sounds ominous but is disingenuous. This project has been extensively reviewed and approved by two gubernatorial administrations, two federal administrations and numerous courts.

In 2006, the leader of the "No" side stated: "This [North Fork project] is not reservation shopping ... This is the state exercising its authority to locate gaming where it is wanted" (San Diego Union-Tribune, Feb. 4, 2006).

Gov. Brown called North Fork's approval process "thorough" and "lasting over seven years" when he supported the project. He said, "I expect there will be few requests from other tribes that will present the same kind of exceptional circumstances to support a similar expansion of tribal gaming land."

Prop. 48 is not about "reservations" -- it is about whether local, state and tribal governments will benefit from negotiated, contractual agreements that make up two compacts.

A "yes" vote on 48 preserves a "deal" and $600 million in revenue sharing to local, state and tribal governments from these compacts.

A "no" overturns this mutually agreed upon "deal" without cause or due process and jeopardizes these revenues -- without preventing a casino, altering a single tribal law, regulation, or policy, or providing a viable economic alternative.

The governor has called the "No" effort to overturn these compacts "unfortunate" and about "money and competition."

California voters should reject this cynical abuse of the state initiative process by voting yes on Prop. 48.

Should BIA CEASE RECOGNITION OF CHUKCHANSI TRIBE?

Is it past time for the BIA and the Department of Interior to END recognition of the Picayune Rancheria?  Is THIS the tribe that was recognized?   After all the harm they have done to Native People, shouldn't their be a judgement AGAINST them?   Suspend their constitution and set an example to all for what happens when you violate the rights of your people.

The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, of Coarsegold near Fresno have drastically reduced their membership. Last year, they removed 200 people including their few remaining language speakers.

 The BIA's director Dale Risling was quoted in 2007 saying there was nothing they could do "short of ceasing to recognize" the tribe because of the Martinez decision. Well, how many would recognize the tribe from what is was in 2005?

 I have put together a very rudimentary graphic that explains what the destruction of the Chukchansi populace looks like if you put them into buses to move them. Once a proud convoy of 30 buses would have been used (at 50 people per bus) to transport the tribe.   Now, after the tribe has thrown so many UNDER the bus, less than eight full buses would be needed.


Read more about Chukchansi

Picayune Rancheria
Chukchansi thuggery
Council in Chaos
Chukchansi disenrollment

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CHUKCHANSI AUDITS Reveal $49 MILLION FUND DEFICITS


Here's the statement Chairman McDonald just released on the audits and the $49.6 million "fund deficit" created on Reggie Lewis, Chance Alberta and Nancy Ayala's watch (From Chukchansi FB PAGE):
This audit and the so-called “fund deficit” shows why our Tribal Council sent our police chief and officers to regain control of the Tribal Gaming Commission. We knew the factions headed by Reggie Lewis, Chance Alberta and Nancy Ayala were illegally seizing records and that they failed to file audits for two years. Now we know why. With nearly $50 million deficient on their watch, Lewis, Alberta, Ayala, their fake council and their lawyers owe the Chukchansi people and our bondholders an explanation immediately.
Today, the members of the On-Rancheria Council – the only body elected by a vote of the people per the Tribe’s Constitution – call on the National Indian Gaming Commission to immediately launch a full investigation of this $49.6 million “fund deficit."

Our Tribe put its full faith and trust in Lewis, Alberta and Ayala, as well as casino general manger Giffen Tan and former tribal gaming commission head Diane Eckstein. These people had responsibility for our casino and its funds and they must be held accountable for their gross failures in management. This is not some nickel and dime problem. It’s a $50 million problem and our people demand and deserve justice.

Tribal Disenrollment: WHY is there an Ethical Dilemma in Protecting The Rights of the Abused vs. The Rights of the ABUSER?

Tribal gaming has helped many tribes in CA, come out of poverty. My tribe, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians(led by Mark Macarro )included . Many of the Pechanga people are uneducated and I remember they were so excited when per capita was such that they qualified for a Target credit card.  Unfortunately, the modest growth was not enough, greed soon follows.  
Instead of helping all their people, including those they placed in a membership moratorium hold, who rightfully belonged to the tribe, they looked at who they could get rid of to increase their per capita checks.   $5,000 a month wasn't enough, $10,000 per month not enough, $17,000 per month not enough, $22,000 per month STILL not enough...

But the facts are clear, while most tribes have not treated their people as abominably as the Pechanga, Redding Rancheria, Picayune Rancheria, Pala and others have treated their people. In fact it's more like Tribal Terrorism, using fear and threat to keep their voting membership in line.  Remember, too, the fewer voters, the easier it is to control

Here is an excellent article by Sheryl Lightfoot about how to support sovereignty issues, while not supporting the actions when they are morally repugnant:

In order to be sovereign nations, we must act like sovereign nations. But that does not mean that in order to support self-determination in principle, we need to agree with every decision of other sovereign nations. Nation-states in the international system do not always agree with the internal actions of other nation-states, yet they nearly always accept the principle of the equal sovereignty of all nation-states within the international system (with certain notable exceptions like the Iraq invasion or humanitarian interventions). When a nation-state, a group of nation-states, or private citizens of other nation-states disagree with the internal actions of another nation-state, there are a number of possible avenues of action.

First, sovereign nation-states can register a diplomatic complaint with the government of the offending nation-state. This is done all the time in the international system. The U.S. Department of State often drafts and delivers letters of protest to the diplomats and officials of other governments over areas of disagreement. Likewise, the executives of our indigenous nations have the right, if not the moral responsibility, to send letters and make phone calls of complaint directly to the executives of the Cherokee Nation, expressing their concern over the disenrollment decision. This can be done while supporting the inherent right of an indigenous nation to determine its own membership.

Another tactic which can be employed by other indigenous nations or the private citizens of other nations is the art of moral persuasion, or ''moral suasion,'' as it has also been termed. This involves a campaign of exposure and embarrassment. (
OP: This is what we've been pursuring for 8 years now) This tactic has most often been employed in international human rights campaigns, with the purpose being to expose the immoral government action in the media and open up international discussion in order to embarrass the target government into changing its policy to better conform to international norms. 

This was done in the early days of the campaign against apartheid in South Africa and has been used often by groups like Amnesty International to urge governments to stop human rights abuses. OP: Now, tribes like Pechanga practice APARTHEID on their reservations. They abuse their elders, disenfranchise voters and don't follow the will of their people

My view is this:

As mentioned on other sites, tribal sovereignty is something that should be nurtured and cherished. Many now believe that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from Temecula, CA will be responsible for the erosion of sovereignty, that tribes have fought for for centuries. The question was asked, "what could be done?".

Frankly, economic sanctions of another nation, plus public embarrassment or shaming may be the only course of action that is effective. 


For instance, in South Africa, it was their SOVEREIGN RIGHT as a free nation to impose apartheid on their country.

What recourse did civilized countries use to bring down this hateful policy? Economic sanctions and world ridicule of the policy. No trade, no travel, no money. Final result, end of apartheid and a welcome back to South Africa into the world community.
Similarly, citizens of the United States 
(OP: AND California especially) can impose their own economic sanctions on the Tribal Nations of Pechanga, Pala, San Pasqual et.al by boycotting their nation's enterprises.

Stop patronizing their casinos, hotel, restaurants and their powwows. Let them know that we do not agree with their system of denying civil rights to their people and until they follow their own tribal law, citizens of our country will NOT support their nation, but will patronize 
(OP: In other words, support tribal gaming elsewhere) their competitor nations.

Also, letting state and federal representatives know that we expect them not to support a nation that would treat its citizens this way, especially NOT to allow them increased monetary benefits by expanding their casino slot machines. 
OP: BIA? HELLO? ANYONE THERE? Kevin Washburn, your righteousness is calling, it misses you.

Readers, there are 250 members of the band that were disenrolled and 300 people who are caught in Pechanga's illegal moratorium (illegal in that SOVEREIGN nation, against the sovereign nation of Pechanga's own constitution)


Pechanga and its chairman, Mark Macarro deserves no benefit from violations of their laws and against citizens of the United States. He certainly doesn't earn and respect from the Native American community.  
Chukchansi has exterminated 60% of it's tribe, Redding 25% including the family of there FIRST CHAIRMAN.  Elders and children are abused by unconstitutional acts under the BIA's watchful eye, or rather, they turn a blind eye to the abuses.

There should be NO ethical dilemma in protecting  the rights of the abused

Redskins Controversy: What Ray Halbritter of The Oneida Tribe DID to his OWN FAMILY is WORSE than a Mean Nickname

The flames that Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation is fanning concerning the Washington Redskins issue is NOTHING compared what he has wrought on his OWN family.

Watch this video and at the 7 minute mark,Hillary Clinton was called out on her failure to do what she promised would happen.  This was on Chris Matthew's SOFTBALL show.  He of course didn't follow up.

While I am of the opinion that the Redskins nickname IS offensive, my readers in a poll certainly did NOT.  That being said, the team nickname is NOT something our government should be hanging their hats on.  In fact, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says the Redskins flap isn't on the radar for most Native People

It's the corruption, the abuse, the violations of civil and human rights that groups like the National Congress of American Indians is trying to avoid.  As we reported yesteday, The NCAI is avoiding the issue while giving time to the mascot "problem"

WATCH this video and SHARE on Facebook and Twitter to all your friends. And PLEASE, check out: Oneidas for Democracy for more on Halbritter and the damage done


UPDATED: STAY CLOSED! Decision in CHUKCHANSI Matter By 2:30 Today; Judge

Looks like there were some FIREWORKS in court today, as Tex McDonald was warned by Judge today on his outbursts.

KSEE reporter Raquel Cervantes tweeted:

McDonald faction attorney says again he doesn't think judge has jurisdiction. Judge scolds him and says that's his last warning

Prior to that Raquel tweeted:
Judge says doesn't see that any Chukchansi faction has changed positions. Calls it "explosive keg" situation.

Stay TUNED!
UPDATE:
BREAKING: Federal judge grants preliminary injunction to keep Chukchansi casino closed. And...
BOOM: If ever there were irrefutable proof of the need for the injunction to continue, it would be the opposition documents received from the McDonald faction,” the judge wrote in his nine-page order issued at noon. “The McDonald faction argues that its incursion was a lawful effort to evict ‘trespassers’ from the casino, namely members of the Lewis-Ayala faction and the ‘mercenary’ private security service.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/10/29/4204917/judge-to-rule-on-state-request.html?sp=/99/406/#storylink=cpy

Los Angeles' TONGVA Indians Live on Via Language


Time Magazine "discovers" the Tongva who have been fighting for recognition for decades.  Please share...

 As Los Angeles fourth graders know (because their curriculum includes the study of California Indians), the original language of Los Angeles is Tongva. This American Indian language (also called Gabrielino) used to be spoken in villages all over the L.A. Basin.

These villages have given their names to places all over Los Angeles, including Tujunga (from Tongva Tuhuunga “place of the old woman”) and Cahuenga (from Kawee’nga “place of the fox”). But despite these ever-present reminders, the language has not been spoken for over 50 years.

I first encountered Tongva shortly after I began teaching at UCLA 40 years ago, when my mentor, the late Professor William Bright, introduced me to the field notes of J. P. Harrington, an ethnographer and linguist who worked with Tongva speakers during the early 20th century.

It’s hard to find information on Tongva. There are no audio recordings of people speaking the language, just a few scratchy wax cylinder recordings of Tongva songs. There are additional word lists from scholars, explorers, and others dating from 1838 to 1903, but Harrington’s notes are the best source of information on the language. These records are often inconsistent and maddeningly incomplete, however—it takes a lot of analysis to synthesize them into a clear picture of the language.

Over the years I compiled a Tongva dictionary of over a thousand words and felt I knew quite a bit about the language’s grammar. Based on Harrington’s work, I developed a consistent orthography or writing system, using ordinary letters, without special characters not found on a standard keyboard (you can type Tongva on your phone!) Of course, English speakers can’t understand this system without learning its rules—just as non-Spanish speakers have to learn that the ll in Pollo Loco is pronounced like y. The English pronunciation of a word like Tujunga uses a “hard g,” as in finger, for example, but the Tongva ng represents the sound at the end of bang or in the middle of singer, without a separate g sound.

My confidence in this purely academic approach to Tongva was shaken in 2004. I was asked to serve as a linguistic mentor to several Tongva people who wanted to learn about their language at the Breath of Life Workshop, a biennial event in Berkeley where members of California Indian tribes whose languages are no longer spoken can learn how to access technical materials on those languages. Armed with my dictionary, grammar notes, and typeable spelling system, I felt well prepared to contribute. When I met with my group of three ethnic Tongva learners, however, I realized that people who want to learn their ancestral language don’t want or need the same things as academic linguists.

The first thing they want, they often say, is to be able to pray in their language. To be most useful to these participants, a dictionary should go from English to the target language, so they can find the words they want to say. (Linguists, on the other hand, are more likely to arrange such a list from the target language to English, to aid in finding words similar to words in related languages.) I got almost no sleep that first night at the workshop, because I was manually creating an English-Tongva index to my Tongva-English vocabulary to share with the group the next day.

Ever since then, I have met each month in San Pedro with an ever-changing group of learners whose core members include two of the Breath of Life participants from 2004. Most of the people who come to these classes are Tongva descendants, but a few are interested community members.

In addition to lessons on word structure and sentence creation, we sing songs, play games, learn useful phrases for conversation, and discuss words to be added to the dictionary. Songs are particularly helpful to learning. We now have Tongva versions of Christmas carols, traditional folksongs, kids’ songs—everything from the theme song from Maleficent to a version of “This Land is Your Land” that includes lines like Topaa’ve Tuhuung’aro “from Topanga to Tujunga.”

Our Gabrieleno-Tongva Language Committee has put together a phrasebook (including everything from Chongaa’aa kukuume’a! “Wash the dishes!” to ‘Wiishmenokre “I love you”) and a little book about animals. We’ve had to figure out a lot of things using creativity, common sense, and comparison with other local languages. Now we have a Coyote story (a moral tale like those in Aesop’s Fables), the Christmas story, and a version of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s blue whale story.

Would the Tongva speakers of a hundred years ago understand these? I’m sure they would. Would they laugh at the mistakes we make? Probably—but I hope they would also be forgiving.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Madera County Sheriff Completes FELONY Complaints on 11 people in Chukchansi Closures

Criminal complaints have been completed by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office regarding the Oct. 9 armed infiltration of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, which prompted the facility’s closure the following day.
The criminal complaints were completed Monday after many interviews and a review of casino surveillance footage, said Sheriff John Anderson. On Tuesday morning, District Attorney Michael Keitz said he was told the reports would be delivered to his office before the end of the day.
Anderson said the complaints are against 11 people, and he recommends six or seven felony charges each. Anderson declined to share more information, stating the complaints are being reviewed by the district attorney.
On Oct. 9, security forces from two feuding tribal factions squared off after a faction led by Tex McDonald entered the casino in search of documents to complete late audits.
The next day, public safety concerns prompted the closure of the 1,800-slot, 40-table casino and hotel under a mandate from the National Indian Gaming Commission, the state attorney general and a federal judge. The next hearing about the closure will be held in federal court on Wednesday in Fresno.




Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/10/28/4203190_madera-county-sheriff-recommends.html?sp=/99/217/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

Picayune Rancheria Submitted OVERDUE Audits.. Way Overdue...

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians has submitted overdue audits to theNational Indian Gaming Commission, The Fresno Bee reports.
The missing financial and compliance reports were one of the reasons why the NIGC issued a series of violation notices to the tribe. The submission could help lead to the reopening of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, which closed on October 7 due to infighting among rival factions.
The state, however, doesn't think the facility should reopen. The leadership dispute doesn't seem to be ending any time soon, the Attorney General’s office said in a brief filed in federal court.
“All evidence points to the tensions and confrontations continuing, not abating," the brief said, the Bee reported.
Rival factions of the tribe did meet last Friday under court-supervised mediation. They haven't commented publicly and are due back in court tomorrow for another hearing before Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, the Bee reported.

Galonda on Tribal Disenrollment: Using the JACK ABRAMOFF PLAYBOOK To LIE CHEAT and Steal

Gabe Galonda, Attorney from Indian Country Law Firm Galonda Broadman, has been fighting for justice for Native Americans that have been ignored by the Native American Rights Fund, the ACLA, The Bureau of Indian Affairs and The Senate Indian Committee.   Here he lays out how tribes are following the playbook of the notorious Casino Jack Abramoff.   I've added links to stories where appropriate, that will help you understand the issues.

We do a recall, election and take over. Let's discuss." – Jack Abramoff, February 14, 2002
Casino Jack

In professional sports “the playbook is a sacred hardbound diary of trust. It's an accumulation of decades' worth of knowledge, tweaked and perfected, sectioned off by scribbles and colored tabs.”

Looming large in Indian Country right now, there’s another kind of playbook; a dark one. The plays were originally designed by Jack Abramoff during his infamous stint at Ysleta Del Sur, Coushatta and Saginaw Chippewa. For the last two decades, Casino Jack’s playbook has been enhanced with the knowledge of other lawyers, lobbyists and executives, especially those in the Indian gaming industry. Even Native lawyers are now picking up and deploying the playbook.

The plays are shrewdly designed to divide and conquer Tribal Councils and communities from within, while federal trustees stand on the sidelines. The first few plays are as scripted as an NFL team’s opening drive.

Play 1—Create a Tribal Leadership Dispute. Whether through “recall, election and takeover,” or some form of Tribal Chairman fiat or General Council coup d’état and resulting insurrection, the Abramoffs of the world—the bad guys—know that if Tribal governmental factions can be created, it will paralyze all interested parties, including all levels of federal government, tribal and state law enforcement, and financial institutions. In turn, those pivotal players will not immediately know who to treat as the “rightful Tribal Council” for purposes of government-to-government relations, law and order, or financial security.
See: Chukchansi Tribal Leadership Dispute

The bad guys will begin their takeover by setting their sights on weak persons or institutions in the Tribe, and then exploiting those weaknesses to drive a deep wedge into the heart of the community. They will tap, even bribe, a weak Chairman, or a group of dissident members, or notoriously unethical Tribal officers or employees. P.L. 280 jurisdictions are particularly vulnerable to such organized crime given perennial inter-agency law enforcement indecision and inaction.

In the face of a takeover, the United States must “recognize the last undisputed officials” as tribal officials—meaning the officials in office immediately before the leadership dispute was manufactured—for government-to-government purposes, until the dispute can be settled pursuant to tribal law and procedure. Alturas Indian Rancheria v. Acting Pacific Regional Director, 54 IBIA 1, 8 (2011). But the bad guys know that the Bureau of Indian Affairs will be slow to make that declaration.

The bad guys also know that if the BIA does ever declare the Tribe’s last undisputed officials as rightful leadership, they can immediately appeal any decision that goes against them and stay its effect for up to three years, given the current backlog at the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. 25 C.F.R. 2.6(b). While the appeal lumbers along, and the bad guys declare that the decision has no effect pending that appeal, they mount a concerted war of attrition against anybody who stands in their way.

Play 2—Seize the Palace. Concurrent with the eruption of the Tribal leadership dispute, the bad guys immediately exert control over the Tribe’s casino and other cash-generating enterprises—by violent force if necessary.

The bad guys know that in a war of attrition, a war chest is required—and there is no deeper war chest than replenishing Indian casino coffers. They seize the gaming money to pay themselves and to recruit an army of others. Recall the following emails from Abramoff to his colleagues: "I want all their MONEY!!!" “We're charging these guys up the wazoo . . . Make sure you bill your hours like a demon.” This is precisely the state of mind of the bad guy-lawyers, who are sure to extract an enormous retainer up front so that they get paid no matter what ultimately happens to the Tribe.


Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
Tribal terrorism
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment
Nooksack Disenrollment

The bad guys then deny gaming per capita payments to their opponents to prevent them from accumulating any war chest of their own, while increasing those payments to other Tribal members to attract them as allies. Per capita monies are especially leveraged to buy votes in Tribal Council elections, or recall or initiative drives. All of this is done in disregard of any Tribal revenue allocation plan and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.  OP: Total theft of per capita is nearing $800 MILLION...and tribes will say, it's NOT about the money.

Because what the bad guys really know is that the National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman will largely sit on the sidelines until the inert BIA decision-making process finally runs its course, and that in the meantime the NIGC will not take any meaningful steps to shut down an illegal gaming operation or otherwise stem illegality. Recall that in Bay Mills the states argued that the “Commission only rarely invokes its authority to enforce the law against Indian tribes.” The states appear to be right. As we also saw in Bay Mills, the entire U.S. Department of Justice—from local U.S. Attorneys and FBI Special Agents, to everyone at Main Justice—sits idle too, despite its clear statutory criminal and civil authority to intervene. Indian country could use Phil Hogen and Tom Perrelli right about now.

All the while, the bad guys run roughshod over the Tribe’s entire gaming operation. This increasingly includes heavily armed “security” personnel surrounding the casino, paid with gaming monies and tasked to by any means necessary, prevent legitimate Tribal officials from resuming control over the casino.

Play 3—Cause a Tribal Membership Dispute. The bad guys know that if they style the Tribal leadership dispute as a membership dispute, nobody will touch it. They know that under banner of Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49 (1978), federal, state and local officials will simply say: “Sorry, the matter is internal to the Tribe. Tribes are sovereign and self-governing.”

The bad guys know that they can claim to disenroll any Tribal Councilperson or member who is not aligned with them, without suffering any legal recourse. They know that the federal and state courts will almost surely not get involved. They also know that they can denounce an Indian court as illegitimate and flout any Ex parte Young efforts to prospectively enjoin their “Ethnic Cleansing” efforts.

Tribal disenrollment is already at an “epidemic” level according to Professor David Wilkins; applying the Abramoff Playbook only accelerates the self-genocide.  SEE: Tribal Membership Dispute

Play 4—Rush to the Media. The bad guys hurry to create headlines that further cause folks in positions of power to stay out of it. The news stories they generate—through paid-for press releases via PRNewswire—will speak of “tribal disenrollments” and “tribal factions.” They will allege some form of wrongdoing by their opponents, to the point of slander or libel. They understand that federal and state officials, cops and judges, as well as local community members and business leaders, will read the resulting headlines. In turn, those readers will fall back on preconceived ideas about what is happening within the Tribe, leading them to either pick the bad guys’ side or stay out of it completely.

Play 5—Make Political Rounds. The bad guys rush to visit officials at all levels of government, starting at nearby towns and counties, and extending to state and national capitols. Aided by the first four scripted plays, the bad guys spin their talking points into the minds of anybody who innocently gives them a meeting, and further cause folks to either pick their side or “stay neutral.” They especially lobby BIA superintendents and career staff to delay the agency’s recognition of the last undisputed Tribal officials, knowing that all other government officials will await that determination before they might be inclined to do anything.

Play 6—Exploit National Tribal Silence. The bad guys know that Tribal leadership and disenrollment disputes are taboo in forums like the National Congress of American Indians and National Indian Gaming Association. They leverage this silence to further advance their cause. Even worse, the bad guy-lawyers write large checks on behalf of their firms or other affiliates, even other inter-tribal trade associations, to sponsor large inter-tribal meetings. National Indian groups unknowingly accept that dirty money and promote those sponsorships, which allows the bad guys to infiltrate the groups’ most inner circles, where they spread their message to ensure continued inaction. With their most powerful potential critics—other Tribes’ leaders—hushed, it becomes even easier for the bad guys to persuade federal officials to either do nothing or tread slowly.

This is really happening, and these are only the first six scripted plays. Today’s Abramoffs are already tweaking and perfecting new plays, without any shame or repercussion. Nobody formidable is standing in their way.

Unless there is a dramatic change of mind and heart within Indian country and its extended federal family, it is only a question of time before the bad guys hit another Indian community. And absent a change in the status quo, the good guys may soon be left with no other choice but to preemptively call plays from the Abramoff Playbook in self-defense of what is right—and what is truly Tribal.







Monday, October 27, 2014

Fresno BEE: Kamala Harris' Office WIll ask Feds to KEEP CHUKCHANSI CLOSED Due to Endangered Public

The Attorney General Kamala Harris' office will ask a Fresno federal judge on Wednesday to keep Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino closed until state officials are convinced that the tribe can run the casino without endangering patrons and employees.
Attorney General Kamala Harris

“All evidence points to the tensions and confrontations continuing, not abating,” said a 14-page brief filed by deputy state attorney general William Torngren. The state’s brief asks U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to issue a preliminary injunction that would essentially extend the current closure until the tribe can ensure that weapons are kept away from the Coarsegold casino, and patrons, employees and tribal members are safe.

On Oct. 10, the National Indian Gaming Commission and state Attorney General closed the casino after an armed clash by the security forces of the Tex McDonald and Reggie Lewis factions the night before. The scuffle forced 500 patrons and employees from the 1,800-slot, 40-table casino and hotel.

The McDonald group’s entry was prompted by a federal gaming commission order filed two days earlier that threatened to close the casino on Oct. 27 because the tribe failed to submit audits for 2012 and 2013. The commission also threatened the tribe with fines that could exceed $16 million and would climb by up to $100,000 each day the tribe fails to comply. After the closure, the commission filed an additional violation against the tribe, that could add another$25,000 a day in fines.