Monday, October 29, 2007

Steven Haze for Assembly.

http://www.electhaze.com/home.html


Steve Haze is helping Native Americans who have had their civil rights violated. Please support his candidacy.

PECHANGA: Windfall Profits Narrows Members

Boycott Pechanga


Windfall profits from casinos narrows down members of 'Tribes'

By Karyn Chenoweth
Oct 27, 2007, 16:46 GMT

America's latest group of millionaires and billionaires are winnowing their tribal herds, in efforts to keep the money all in the family.


Case in point, Rhode Island's Narragansett Indians have ejected some "dubious" members.

CNN reports that Dennis Champlain and his extended family are among thousands of people removed from American Indian tribes in recent years, often amid tribal squabbles or when a casino comes to town.

In Rhode Island, the Narragansetts' removal of about 140 of roughly 2,400 members has become an issue in Saturday's election for the tribe's chief sachem, or leader.

CNN reports that Tribal officials say they have the right to decide who is a member and to prevent fraud by people angling for a share of gambling money. But many of those kicked out complain they have little recourse to fight what amounts to an attack on their identity.

"We're in the process of a redefinition of tribal identity at its core," said David Wilkins, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota and a member of North Carolina's Lumbee Tribe. "It's ramping up in a way that's really quite frightening to a lot of Native people."

Wilkins traces most purges to four factors: internal political squabbles, stricter racial requirements for membership, punishment for gang or drug-related crime and, most often, during debates over sharing casino profits.

A 1978 U.S. Supreme Court ruling said the federal government should not intervene in most tribal membership disputes, leaving appeals up to the tribes.

Tribal casinos generated $25 billion in revenue last year, according to the National Indian Gaming Commission. Tribes often split the profits by making payments to members.

Fewer members can mean a larger paycheck for those left.

The windfalls of cash lure people with dubious claims of ancestry. The Pechanga Band of California said it was deluged with membership claims after it opened its casino in 1995.

John Gomez Jr., 39, a Pechanga member since childhood, was kicked out in 2004. He said gambling profits were one factor: He lost free health care and a $15,000 monthly payment. But he said he and others had questioned leaders before a tribal election.

"I think a lot of it has to do with the money, but there's a lot of it that's also about the politics," said Gomez, who co-founded the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization, a group that lobbies against expelling tribe members.

The Pechanga council has said it cut members who should never have been let in. OP: The tribe also voted to STOP all disenrollments and the Council went forward with disenrollments.

It's not clear how many people have been removed from tribes in the last few years. There are 562 federally recognized tribes, and tribal governments are not required to report citizenship decisions. But the number is in the thousands.

Gomez's advocacy group counts at least 1,500 people ousted from 13 tribes in California.

In Michigan, the Saginaw Chippewa want to remove about a tenth of their 2,700 members due to rules that require them to be at least one-quarter Indian.

Critics said it's an attempt to cut casino payments.

The Cherokee Nation voted in March to deny citizenship to an estimated 2,800 descendants of tribal slaves.

In the Narragansett election, Paulla Dove Jennings, a historian, is running an underdog campaign against the incumbent, Matthew Thomas, saying it is unfair to take people's identities as Narragansetts away.

CNN reports that the tribe began a review of its roster about three years ago amid a failed push to build a casino -- but there is a dispute over why. Thomas said a tribal assembly, similar to a town meeting, voted to verify all tribal membership before adding several children to the roster.

But Leslie Champlain, a cousin of Dennis Champlain, said she attended the meeting and believes the tribe did not approve an audit. She suspects tribal leadership wanted to root out dissent after her sister, a tribal councilwoman, demanded a detailed audit showing how the tribe spent millions of dollars, some of it from the gambling company Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

Thomas called Champlain's claim "ridiculous" and said he is bound by the decisions of the tribal assembly and cannot be held responsible for someone else's ancestry.

Members were asked to prove they descend from ancestors listed on an 1880 census using birth, death and marriage certificates. CNN reports the Champlains had used other documents as recently as 1994. This time, it was not enough.

Dennis Champlain said he learned his family was kicked out by reading about it in a newspaper, according to CNN. Thomas said members can appeal to a tribal court, but the Champlains say no one ever told them how to appeal.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

AIRRO will present Pechanga's Dishonor at the 22nd Annual CA Indian Conference

The American Indian Rights and Resources Organization ("AIRRO") will be presenting this Saturday, October 27th, at the 22nd Annual California Indian Conference.

The conference is being held at the University of Califronia, Davis. Presenters from throughout California Indian Country will present papers and host panel discussions on topics ranging from sacred sites protection to native language issues.

AIRRO's presentation, The Struggle to Maintain Identity in an Era of Dishonor, will be given by Board Chair Carla Foreman-Maslin and Vice Chair John Gomez, Sr.

Over the course of the last 7 years, a growing number of California Indians have had their identity scrutinized and questioned as tribes reap the financial benefits from Indian gaming. As a result, nearly 3000 California Indians have been stripped of their tribal citizenship, and many more have been denied their right to identify themselves as “Indian”. This
discussion will focus on why this is happening, how it is affecting Indian Country, and why everyone should be concerned.

Those who find themselves without a tribe now face a battle to re-claim their Indian identity in an arena where the rights of the individual Indian are often trumped by the sovereign rights of the Tribe.

However, efforts on the State and Federal levels are gaining momentum in the battle to ensure that the individual Indian is afforded the same basic human and civil rights other United States citizens are guaranteed.

In addition, the media is beginning to take a harder look at the issue and publish stories, both on the local and national levels, which tell the tales of those who were once considered Indian or tribal but who now find themselves disenfranchised.

In the end, Congress and the Courts may play roles in further defining Indian identity and tribal sovereignty. How far they go will depend on the actions of the Tribes and individuals to address the issue.


About the Presenters:

Carla Foreman-Maslin is of the Achumawi band of Pit River Indians
through her Great Grandmother, Virginia Timmons, who was one of
the 17 original Indian distributees of the Redding Rancheria Tribe.

Mrs. Foreman-Maslin served on the Redding Rancheria Tribal Council
for a number of years and was employed as the Tribe's Health
Clinic Director. She also served as the Redding Rancheria’s Tribal
Representative to the California Rural Indian Health Board and
served on various tribal committees.

Mrs. Foreman-Maslin and her family were unjustly disenrolled from the
Redding Rancheria Tribe in January 2004, and they have fought for
basic rights for Indian individuals ever since.

John A. Gomez, Sr. is a direct descendant of Chief Pablo Apish,
headman of the Pechanga/Temecula Indians during the 1800’s. Mr.
Gomez retired in 2002 as a Facility Captain from the California
Department of Corrections after nearly 25 years of service.

Mr. Gomez has spent many years participating in Tribal activities and programs as a member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Temecula, California. Mr. Gomez currently works on Indian rights issues and has presented to local and national organizations regarding human and civil rights.

Along with Mrs. Foreman-Maslin, Mr. Gomez was elected to the
inaugural Board of Directors for the American Indian Rights and
Resources Organization and is serving his second term as Vice-Chair.

Pechanga's Paper TRAIL OF TEARS

http://eee.uci.edu/clients/tcthorne/Hist15/disenrollmentatpechanga2000.htm

Please read this article to familiarize yourselves as to what Pechanga has done to it's people....

Captains Quarters has post on Indian Casino "Malfuntion"

Ed Morrissey of Captains Quarters blogs has a story on a "malfuntioning" jackpot.

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/015403.php

The Pechanga Band also had a "similar malfunction" and refused to pay a jackpot

http://www.knbc.com/news/10277412/detail.html


FINALLY, word of what is going on at some tribal casinos is leaking out.

Will the story of how Pechanga has decimated their tribe get out?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Chairman Macarro leads Incredible Shrinking Tribe

How long before Mark will be the boss of nothing?

Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro

www.tribalcorruption.com



Anyone remember this guy from the 1990 prop. 1-A commercials? No one thought after approving tribal gaming, that Marc Macarro would kick out members of his own tribe as a result of the lucritive tribal gaming deals with the state that have turned tribal member against tribal members in over a dozen tribes accross the state.

Who thought we'd all end up here with the majority of California Indians seeing literally no effect of tribal gaming revenue 16 years after the establishment of the legislation, and no-one thought the California Indians would still be waiting for the re-distrubutions to non-gaming tribes that simply have not occoured, and as an issue, the accounting of which has not surfaced since Governor Shwarzenegger was campaigning after ousting Grey Davis and promised an accounting of the inter-tribal re-distribution fund within 90 days of his being elected. The intertribal re-distibution funds has been sitting is Sacramento waiting to be distributed to non-gaming tribes since 1991. Now it is surfacing in the news that these funds have been tallied and are being re-distibuted to counties for non-indian public services and infrastructure.

I'd "gander" that legilslators in Sacaramento NEVER had the intention that this money would EVER make it to any California Indian Families.

CNIGA Opposes Indian Civil Rights Reform

CNIGA Opposes Indian Civil Rights Reform

I was informed earlier today that CNIGA, the Indian Gaming Lobby in California, moved and passed to oppose/object to the California Native American Civil Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Legislative Initiative Resolution which was passed by the Native American Caucus of the California Democratic Party in July.

CNIGA members were urged to attend the up-coming Native American Caucus meeting on Friday, November 16 at 8:00 pm. CNIGA also sent out a memo to its member tribes that the Native American Caucus would be re-considering the California Native American Civil Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Legislative Initiative resolution at the November 16 meeting.

The CNIGA memo, dated October 1, 2007, not only lists the time and date of the Native American Caucus meeting and states the caucus is expected to reconsider the Resolution, it provides this information at a time when the members of the Native American Caucus have not even been noticed of the time. place, or agenda of the Caucus meeting. We should not be surprised with this though.

Members of the Executive Board of the Caucus are also members of CNIGA and have held key positions in CNIGA. In addition, CNIGA member tribes such as Pechanga, Redding, Jamul and others are leading the way in denying basic rights to their people.

Here is a link to the CNIGA memo: http://www.electhaze.com/documents/CNIGA%20Memorandum%20Regarding%20the%20CDP%20Native%20American%20Caucus%20meeting%20Nov%20%2016th%20at%208PM%20-%202007-10-01.pdf

The link above also takes you to Elect haze, the official website of Steve Haze for Congress. Steve is the author of the Resolution and is responsible for bringing it to the California Democratic Party and Native American Caucus.

Here is the Resolution as passed by the Native American Caucus: California Native American Justice and Equal Economic Opportunity Legislative Initiative

Whereas, the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) of 1968 guarantees in moral, ethical and legal spirit - if not in fact - equality, fairness and justice through due process to all Native Americans in the United States and the State of California;
And whereas, California State Proposition 5 and Proposition 1A as enacted by the voters of California provided for federally recognized tribes to legally engage in gaming with the premise of equal economic opportunity for all California Native Americans;
And whereas, many members of federally recognized Indian tribes within the State of California are being de-enrolled, have been terminated under the Termination Act of 1953, are experiencing illegal enrollment moratoriums, and/or are under the threat of such procedures with their human dignity and constitutional rights denied through the absence of equitable due process and lack of meaningful recourse;
Therefore, be it resolved that the California Democratic Party recognizes that the aforementioned inequities and injustices which are being carried out against Native Americans are contrary to the longstanding values, principles, and ideals of the Democratic Party;

And be it further resolved that the Democratic Party of California supports legislative initiatives at the State and Federal level to reform the provisions of the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) of 1968 to redress the human and civil right abuses of California Native Americans - and, reform California State Proposition 1A with the intent of providing equal economic opportunity for all California Native Americans.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pechanga Sues To Keep Californians From Voting

The Pechanga Band of Mission Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, two tribes that are the target of proposed ballot initiatives to limit casino gambling, filed lawsuits Wednesday to block the referenda

The lawsuits allege that the backers of the initiatives did not have signatures supporting the measures certified on time by the state.

Pechanga, Morongo and two other tribes signed new agreements with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger allowing them to increase the number of slot machines in their casinos.

Scott Macdonald, a spokesman for the No on the Unfair Gambling Deals campaign, which opposes the tribal deals and is funded by racetrack owners and competing tribes, said the campaign submitted about 700,000 signatures for each of the referenda by Monday, the last day of the state's 90-day deadline.

However, the tribes say in their lawsuits that proponents of the referenda missed the deadline because the signatures should have been turned in and certified by the secretary of state on Monday.

"We believe the (state) Constitution is crystal clear," said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the Coalition to Protect California's Budget and Economy, which supports the tribal deals. Those "pushing the referenda to cancel the state's Indian gaming agreements had 90 days to collect, submit and have the signatures they paid for verified and certified by the secretary of state. They did not, therefore the referenda are invalid."

Nicole Winger, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen, said her office operates under a 1998 court ruling that said signatures submitted to the state before the 90-day deadline can be counted. The time it takes the state to verify the signatures does not count against the 90-day clock, she said.

"The current and three prior secretaries of state have followed the same process since that ruling from the bench," Winger said.

The 1998 ruling was issued in a case involving the Agua Caliente Band of Mission Indians, which was seeking to qualify an initiative. The Agua Caliente band, which owns two casinos near Palm Springs, is one of the four tribes targeted by the referenda.

Macdonald called the lawsuits "frivolous."

"This misguided and ill-fated lawsuit is just another example of how desperate the big four tribes are to keep California voters from having their say on these unfair gambling deals," he said.

Salazar said the legal question over what must be completed in the 90-day signature period has not been settled.

"The question has never been fully examined," he said. "In the case (that opponents of the agreements) are referring to, the judge didn't even put the ruling in writing. We believe the language in the Constitution is clear, and that the court's ruling will be in our favor."

The four tribes have said that their agreements, also called compacts, would generate more than $9 billion over the next two decades for the state.

A nonpartisan analyst for the state Legislature said the tribes' estimates on how much the state is likely to get from the agreements appear to be unrealistic.

The compacts will allow the four tribes to add 17,000 slot machines to their casinos, a 30 percent increase in the number of slots currently operating statewide.

Macdonald and other opponents of the four compacts say the four tribes would create some of the largest casinos in the country to the detriment of racetracks, smaller American Indian casinos, local communities and workers.

Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro said the agreements would benefit everyone.

"As we have said before, we will do what it takes to protect these important agreements, which will provide billions for California, protect the environment, local communities, patrons and workers," Macarro said.

Pechanga Sues to Keep Californians from Voting

The Pechanga Band of Mission Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, two tribes that are the target of proposed ballot initiatives to limit casino gambling, filed lawsuits Wednesday to block the referenda

The lawsuits allege that the backers of the initiatives did not have signatures supporting the measures certified on time by the state.

Pechanga, Morongo and two other tribes signed new agreements with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger allowing them to increase the number of slot machines in their casinos.

Scott Macdonald, a spokesman for the No on the Unfair Gambling Deals campaign, which opposes the tribal deals and is funded by racetrack owners and competing tribes, said the campaign submitted about 700,000 signatures for each of the referenda by Monday, the last day of the state's 90-day deadline.

However, the tribes say in their lawsuits that proponents of the referenda missed the deadline because the signatures should have been turned in and certified by the secretary of state on Monday.

"We believe the (state) Constitution is crystal clear," said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the Coalition to Protect California's Budget and Economy, which supports the tribal deals. Those "pushing the referenda to cancel the state's Indian gaming agreements had 90 days to collect, submit and have the signatures they paid for verified and certified by the secretary of state. They did not, therefore the referenda are invalid."

Nicole Winger, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen, said her office operates under a 1998 court ruling that said signatures submitted to the state before the 90-day deadline can be counted. The time it takes the state to verify the signatures does not count against the 90-day clock, she said.

"The current and three prior secretaries of state have followed the same process since that ruling from the bench," Winger said.

The 1998 ruling was issued in a case involving the Agua Caliente Band of Mission Indians, which was seeking to qualify an initiative. The Agua Caliente band, which owns two casinos near Palm Springs, is one of the four tribes targeted by the referenda.

Macdonald called the lawsuits "frivolous."

"This misguided and ill-fated lawsuit is just another example of how desperate the big four tribes are to keep California voters from having their say on these unfair gambling deals," he said.

Salazar said the legal question over what must be completed in the 90-day signature period has not been settled.

"The question has never been fully examined," he said. "In the case (that opponents of the agreements) are referring to, the judge didn't even put the ruling in writing. We believe the language in the Constitution is clear, and that the court's ruling will be in our favor."

The four tribes have said that their agreements, also called compacts, would generate more than $9 billion over the next two decades for the state.

A nonpartisan analyst for the state Legislature said the tribes' estimates on how much the state is likely to get from the agreements appear to be unrealistic.

The compacts will allow the four tribes to add 17,000 slot machines to their casinos, a 30 percent increase in the number of slots currently operating statewide.

Macdonald and other opponents of the four compacts say the four tribes would create some of the largest casinos in the country to the detriment of racetracks, smaller American Indian casinos, local communities and workers.

Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro said the agreements would benefit everyone.

"As we have said before, we will do what it takes to protect these important agreements, which will provide billions for California, protect the environment, local communities, patrons and workers," Macarro said.