Great news for THOUSANDS of California's Native Americans who have suffered under regime's like that of Mark Macarro and Andrew Masiel and the Masiel/Basquez Crime Family of Pechanga.
From Val Zavala's blog on KCET
This weekend I headed out to Temecula to begin shooting a most interesting story. It's about how some wealthy Indian tribes are kicking out certain members claiming they do not have proper ancestry. But long-standing members who have been kicked out say the "disenrollments" are due to political differences. Also at play -- money. Disenrollments mean fewer tribe members, and fewer members mean more money from gambling revenues for the remaining members. More than $30,000 a month.
The Pechanga Tribal Council is led by a familiar face, Mark Macarro. He's the telegenic Native American who appears in political commercials for Indian gaming propositions. The leader of the "disenrolled" is John Gomez. (See photo of John and family.) He says under Macarro's leadership hundreds of long-standing Pechanga members have been kicked out.
Tribal membership has gone from about 1200 to about 800. Monthly payments from gambling revenues have gone from about $25,000/ month to more than $30K per adult tribe member. No work required.
Much credit to USC News21 journalism student, Brian Frank, who first pitched the story and has done all the research. Thanks, Brian!
Brian and Val, THANK you for bringing this story forward, in this time of financial crisis for many in CA's Indian Country.