Friday, October 29, 2010

Redesign of Original Pechanga's Blog; Help us GROW; Spread the Word

We've done a bit of redesigning of Original Pechanga's Blog.  It's a work in progress and we'll continue to tweak it as we go along.    We've been able to broaden our reach, and find some positive signs that we are reaching the right people.

The House of Representatives, the Senate and the Department of Interior have all looked here for information on what is going on at the Pechanga Reservation, as well as other tribes in CA.   They've been interested in Soboba and Picayune Rancheria, as well as a few others.

YOU, dear readers, can continue to help us grow.   This new template, allows you to share our blog on TWITTER, FACEBOOK and GoogleBUZZ.   By sharing our blog, you help us grow and reach more people.  The more people are informed of the violations of civil rights by corrupt tribal councils, the more they will view tribal entities with the disgust they deserve.   PLEASE, help us grow, share our blog on Facebook and Twitter.    You can make a difference



Learn more about:  Pechanga Resort & Casino; Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Mark Macarro, Tribal Disenrollment

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ITG Publishing Launches It's Website with Native American Inspired Stories

I've said before that one of the best parts about having your own blog is that you can help your family out.   Our family members have launched a new website, where you can purchase stories with Native American Inspiration.  Please take a look and it's just in time for Christmas.   There is also a CD available that helps learn Luiseno words via music.

Glad to help out the family, and I hope that you will pass the site on to your friends.  Since Pechanga has stolen well over a Million Dollars from each Hunter and Manuela Miranda member, family members are becoming more entreprenurial.

Rincon Tribe Barricades Private Property - Keeps Owners INSIDE

The Rincon Tribe is working to control privately owned land.  The landowner does not recognize tribal authority over his property. But it's a sign of things to come.   The Pechanga Tribe of Temecula is also working to steal/control water that was designated to allottees of the Temecula Band of Indians, who were granted land on the reservation that was set aside for ALL Temecula Indians.   A Splinter Group has taken control of the tribe and is trying to use their leverage with Congress to steal water rights.

The Rincon Band of Mission Indians placed three concrete barricades this week at the entrance to a neighboring property ---- the latest salvo in a 4-year-old battle to get the owner to comply with the Valley Center tribe's environmental regulations.

The 5-acre property, located directly across the road from the tribe's casino and resort, has housed a vehicle storage facility, trucking business and numerous recreational vehicles. Rincon officials have said the property was a health and environmental hazard and has ordered it to be cleaned up.
But the land that once was part of the reservation is now privately held by Marvin Donius, who says the property is not subject to the tribe's jurisdiction or laws.

The barriers blocked Steven Rogers-Dial and his wife inside the property. The couple rent a home on the property from Donius. Rogers said he was prepared to stay on the property as long as possible in solidarity with Donius.


"I'm not going to walk out just yet," Rogers said. "I've got enough food to hold me a month, if I need to."



Read more HERE

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cherokee Principal Chief CHAD SMITH Called out By Council

Wow, a smackdown in the Cherokee Nation.   Chad Smith, current principal chief of the Cherokee, apparently does not want to help clothe Cherokee children, want to cut down of firefighters, putting the safety of the Cherokee people at risk

Any wonder why he is in our HALL OF SHAME?   Time to vote CHAD SMITH out and  John Cornsilk IN

A story about the 2011 budget on the Cherokee Nation website prompted us to do a series on the budget. Chief Smith states that when we voted against the budget, we were voting to shut down the entire Cherokee Nation. We being Tina Glory-Jordan, Bill John Baker, Jodie Fishinghawk, Joe Crittenden, Curtis Snell and Chuck Hoskin, Jr. He went on to say we were voting against scholarships and school clothing vouchers. That since we voted no, we wanted to put 3,000 people out of work, closing down clinics and pre-schools and well, you get the picture, absurd as it is. He said a lot more and we will address that in the coming weeks. We voted no to make our displeasure at the chief’s budget known. Why were we against it? Because he should have looked first at other ways to cut the budget, rather than cutting programs that provide direct services to the people.

By his own reasoning, since he cut their budget, he is against the school clothing voucher program. He must be for not helping families’ cloth kids, since he cut $100,000 from its budget. He failed to tell you, that when four of the six councilmembers he mentioned, took their seat on the tribal council, the voucher was $75. When we sat in on our first budget hearing, Jodie Fishinghawk made a motion to raise the amount and Curtis Snell or Janelle Fullbright or both seconded the motion. The voucher went from $75, passed $100 and on to $125. However, what we gave, he took away this year. Shame on you Chief Smith, for being against clothing for children. Why are you against clothing kids, when you have some of your own?

We received the budget with an $185,000 reduction to our rural fire stations. Hey, all you volunteer firemen; he cut your budget by 61%, which means he is against your volunteer work. Jodie found some money in a budget that goes underspent and Tina Glory-Jordan suggested putting $150,000 back in the rural fire station budget.  Hmmm, he is against you firefighters and we are for you? Yes, that is good, solid reasoning



PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Jerry Brown Take is Close to $1 MILLION from Tribes in CA

The Sacramento Bee has an editorial on the Governor's race.   Jerry Brown has taken almost $1 million from tribes.  We wrote before that he didn't side with the State on issues that affected his benefactors.

Under Schwarzenegger, tribes including owners of the Cache Creek and Thunder Valley casinos gained the right to unlimited expansion in exchange for making payments to the state.  Yet the payments are not public.  Remember how they promised expanded gaming would balance our budget?   How's that working out for us?

Whether the next governor can ensure those payments remains to be seen. The Obama administration, through its Interior Department, recently rejected a Schwarzenegger administration deal with one tribe, saying payments sought by the state were too high.

The next governor will have to decide how to proceed on that issue.

Another issue awaiting the next governor is whether to legalize Internet gambling within California's boundaries. When The Bee asked Whitman about her views on Internet gambling, she said she had not studied it. When Brown was asked, he said he doubted Internet gambling could be stopped. Given that reality, he said there ought to be a way for the state to collect some money from it.

Other questions remain unanswered. Do Brown and Whitman believe tribes should pay into the state's general fund in exchange for the monopoly right to operate Las Vegas-style casinos?  Brown's aides decline to answer, noting the attorney general's deputies are litigating that very issue.   And yet, Jerry commented on the recent scandal in BELL, an issue his department was litigating.   Why keep mum on something that affects ALL Californians.

When Whitman was asked about it, she did not have an answer.

Tribes are investing in Brown by contributing almost $1 million to his campaign. Unlike Schwarzenegger, Whitman accepts tribes' donations, more than $200,000. Tribes would not be donating money unless they believed they would be treated well by the next administration.



Read more:

Monday, October 25, 2010

San Manuel Band Gives $100,000 to San Bernardino Valley College Program

The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians gave $100,000 to a San Bernardino Valley College program that helps high school seniors in San Bernardino attend their first year of college for free.
College and tribe officials announced the donation today at the school.

The money will go toward Valley-Bound Commitment, a program that targets graduating high school seniors from the area who may not be able to attend college due to financial reasons.



Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_16428901#ixzz13PJoKJth

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Demonstration Against Racism by Freedmen of the FIVE Civilized Tribes Oct. 29th

DESCENDANTS OF FREEDMEN OF THE 5 TRIBES AND THEIR SUPPORTERS TO DEMONSTRATE AGAINST RACISM FRIDAY OCTOBER 29 2010  OUTSIDE MUSKOGEE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS BUILDING

Descendants of Freedmen of the 5 “Civilized” Tribes (Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Seminole, and Chickasaw) and their supporters will demonstrate outside the Muskogee Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) building on Friday October 29, 2010 beginning at three PM. The building address is 3100 W Peak Boulevard, Muskogee Oklahoma.

The focus of the demonstration is to highlight the BIA refusal to protect the 1866 treaty rights of black “freedmen” to vote in tribal elections. The BIA has a legal responsibility to protect the rights of individual tribal members and descendants of tribal members protected by treaties between their tribe and the US government.

Ancestors of today’s freedmen were enslaved by tribal law of the 5 tribes solely due to their race prior to the Civil War but were granted citizenship in the tribes in 1866 by treaty agreements between the US government and the tribes. The freedmen after the Civil War were registered as tribal members by the US government Dawes Commission approximately 110 years ago when tribal lands owned in common by all tribal members were divided into individual allotments. In prior years - Freedmen not only voted but held tribal political offices.
Over the past several years BIA officials – who prior to the casino era protected political and economic rights of the black freedmen - now refuse to enforce treaty rights of the freedmen people.

Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendants of Freedmen Association states: “Denial of voting rights is clearly a badge of slavery. Badges of slavery are prohibited by the 13th amendment to the US Constitution as well as the 1866 treaties. In July 2008, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals held in the case Vann Vs Kempthorne (now Vann Vs Salazar) that the former slaveholder tribes have treated away their right to discriminate against the freedmen. Tribal elections continue to occur with freedmen whose ancestors were listed on the Dawes rolls not being allowed to exercise their rights to vote. The BIA should not allow this racism to continue.”
Persons of all races, creeds, colors, and tribal affiliations who oppose racism and support treaty rights are encouraged bring their signs and to demonstrate with the freedmen.

Two Year Anniversary of Pechanga's Beating of Customer at Casino

It's been two years since Richard Swan was brutaly roughed up and slammed to the ground by Pechanga Resort and Casino security guards. The recovery was long, but glad to report that Richard is doing much better now. Wife Jonne reports they are visiting other casinos, but won't talk about what happened.

We just like to remind people to be wary of the rights they don't have when stepping on tribal land. We keep this story linked on the sidebar so that people can see what happened.



UPDATE III: Looks like Pechanga will pay for part of Richard Swan's medical coverage. Pechanga has fired ONE of the security guards involved. Pechanga is saying that the Swans escalated a "minor incident" which is total b.s. And the Riverside District Attorney is still "reviewing the case" of battery against the FIRED Pechanga security guard. I think the guard should come forward to Mary Parks of KNBC and tell the story of Pechanga's actions and how they treat their customers. It may help sway the DA from pressing charges or at least plea bargaining them out.

UPDATE II: MARY PARKS of KNBC has done a story on the Swans! Please leave a comment there.

UPDATE: GREAT NEWS! The Swan Family contacted me and let me know that they will be interviewed by the news tomorrow. That will be the first, hopefully of many. WHERE is the Press Enterprise?

An elderly Palm Desert man, with a pacemaker, who was patronizing the Pechanga Casino was beaten by Pechanga security and his wife terrorized. This is NOT the first incident of this type at Pechanga, according to what the RCSD told the Swan's. The Riverside Sheriff's Department has take a report on the incident.

Seniors should rethink visiting Pechanga. You have LESS rights at a tribal casino and the sheriff's may not be able to protect you. One of our family was attacked by a former tribal council member and he ran like a 'punk-assed bitch' to the Government Center so the Sheriff's couldn't touch him.

Is Pechanga safe? The stories of thug like behavior and the recent car-jacking by a Pechanga crime family member AT THE CASINO should point to a NO response.

Here is the description of the incident and a picture:
On October 20th, 2008, I nearly lost my life. While in the Pechanga Casino Resort in Temecula, my wife and I had a disagreement with Security personnel over forty-four dollars left in a machine by a patron, who was harassing her. My wife was scared, so I got upset.

Security told my wife she could stay but I had to leave. We told them we'd both leave and started walking toward the hotel to get our luggage.
Suddenly without warning I was jumped from behind by two security men and violently thrown to the ground. I kept telling them to stop, that I was a 70 year old man with a pacemaker and took a blood thinning prescription Coumadin. But they didn't care.


They slammed my head into the marble floor and dragged me to their security room. I feared for my life knowing that the Coumadin I am taking could cause severe bleeding. If I bled internally or developed a clot in my head I'd be dead. By the grace of God I survived.

I had trouble breathing so the casino medical team gave me oxygen. Seeing my condition they rushed me in an ambulance to the nearest hospital. I have low blood pressure but it stood at 183 over 100. The Sheriff came to the hospital and took our report.
My wife spoke to Capt. Carmichael at Pechanga and he told her that normal procedure was to escort someone who is told to leave out the nearest entrance or ask if they were hotel guests and then escort them to their room to get their luggage.
None of this was communicated to us.We intend to file Assault and Battery charges. According to the police and local attorneys, this kind of brutality goes on all the time in certain reservation land casinos.
Isn't anybody going to do something about it? One day, those Security men, who have their own rules, will kill someone.

Teetilawuncha's Blog has a story about YOUR RIGHTS in Indian Country.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pechanga Says City is LYING About Pechanga Tribe Refusing Service of Lawsuit

Pechanga disputes false accusations about service of City’s lawsuit

Pechanga Indian Reservation, CA, Oct. 19, 2010 - The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians today announced arrangements were made last week for service of the City of Temecula's lawsuit against the Tribe.

Tribal officials also responded to false claims that the Tribe deliberately avoided being served in the city's legal action. The suit alleges that the Tribe breached its compact with the State by not making a June 30th payment to the city under the provisions of an agreement with the city that the city admits was expressly conditioned on the existence of a similar agreement with the County of Riverside. No agreement between the Tribe and the county has yet been reached.

City officials accused the Tribe last week of stymieing the city’s process server. The allegation underscored the city’s fundamental failure to realize and respect that it is dealing with a federally recognized Indian tribe and not a business or a developer operating within the city’s borders.

Pechanga is a federally recognized Indian tribe with historic rights and responsibilities that should be respected,” said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. “Since the City borders tribal land, one would hope that city officials would realize that serving notice to a federally recognized Tribe is not the same as serving any other address in the city. Last week’s accusation was just the latest example of the city’s fundamental ignorance for Pechanga as a government.”  OP: Maybe Macarro, well known for terminating 25% of his tribe is right.  Pechanga should be respected for terminating Native Americans, trying to steal their water rights, denying access to allottees, banishment.

The Tribe first heard of the failed attempt when a reporter contacted it last Wednesday, after which time the Tribe’s legal counsel immediately called the City Attorney to arrange for service.    OP:  Do you believe Pechanga, they wouldn't lie would they?

“The decision to not pick up the telephone and make appropriate arrangements, along with the appearance of a political ploy, strongly implies that the city council has chosen to abandon the government-to-government relationship that the Tribe and the City has worked for years to develop,” Macarro said. “They chose to disregard the proper process. We learned of this perceived difficulty from a reporter, which confirms the view that this baseless suit is a political stunt.”
“Much like the timing of the lawsuit, the timing of this accusation is very peculiar,” concluded Macarro.    OP:  Or the process server could have told the guard that he was going to the government center on official business, and he could have been escorted inside.

OP:  Sounds suspiciously like a recent phone poll that could have been arranged by the tribe to make the city queasy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pechanga Tribe Stymies Legal Process in Lawsuit

UPDATE:   The NCTIMES agrees that Pechanga Tribe deserves a raspberry for their childish behavior in not accepting the service of the lawsuit:

The 'Are You Being Served?' award
A raspberry to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians for not allowing a process server on tribal land to formally serve them with a suit filed by the city of Temecula.

If they look like punk-ass bitches, act like punk-ass bitches, sound like punk-ass bitches, what does that make the Pechanga Council?



The city of Temecula hit an early hurdle with its lawsuit against the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians: The tribe won't allow a process server to enter the reservation to formally serve the suit, city officials said Wednesday.

Mayor Jeff Comerchero said he's been briefed on the situation and he said the city plans to continue to make every attempt to serve the tribe.  OP:  Might I suggess ZABASEARCH for the tribal councils's addresses?  Mark Macarro DOES NOT LIVE ON the reservation and is not in CA much of the time.

If the tribe ultimately succeeds in stymieing the city's process server, however, Comerchero said there are other options.

"We go into the court and demonstrate that (the difficulty in serving the tribe), and that should suffice," he said.  OP:  That is correct, Joe Liska has similar problems and was able to get the court to have the summons served.  The Pechanga Tribal Council, including the tyrant Mark Macarro were forced into court.

The city filed a lawsuit in federal court this month to force the Pechanga tribe to put together an environmental report that documents how new slot machines at the tribe's casino have affected the city's costs for road improvements and police service.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chukchansi Casino: Jeff Livingston Indictments Increased In Casino Thefts

We've told you about this case that was deadlocked in April.   The Picayune Rancheria, the most egregious of California Tribes that had terminated 50% of their tribe, cheating their people out of per capita and other benefits, don't like it when THEY get cheated.

Fresno BEE

A federal jury in April deadlocked on charges that a former Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino general manager used a corporate credit card to steal from the casino.

Now, the federal government has upped the stakes against Jeff Livingston.

A federal grand jury has handed up a new indictment against the 50-year-old Fresno resident that is much more detailed and includes nine counts. Six of the counts are on mail fraud. The remaining three are on theft by officers or employees of gaming establishments on Indian lands.

Livingston went to trial in April on a two-count indictment. Both counts -- which are also in the new indictment -- were on theft by officers or employees of gaming establishments on Indian lands.

In those counts, authorities alleged that in June and July 2007, Livingston used a Chukchansi corporate credit card for down payments on personal vehicles and also to pay for a Hawaiian vacation package in May 2007.

State investigators at the time said Livingston made a $20,000 down payment on a new Ford Mustang Shelby; a $5,000 down payment on a new Ford Fusion for the casino's former vice president of marketing; and a $7,000 PGA National Golf Championship package in Maui, Hawaii.

He then allegedly tried to conceal the down payments by making it appear as if they were part of a 10-car purchase he made for a casino giveaway.

After a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill, a jury deadlocked 11-1. O'Neill declared a mistrial and, during a later hearing, set a new trial for Sept. 27.

Instead, the grand jury handed up the new indictment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pechanga Website SCRUBS Veterans Page: Almost Empty Without Hunters

It looks like the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians website has scrubbed it's page honoring Pechanga Veterans.  Yes, that page is NO LONGER available.   We wrote about Hunter Veteran Felipe Cuevas earlier. Interesting that Norman Pico Sr. was on that list, as was his neice.   Why would Pechanga do this?

Could this be because the majority of veterans were from the Hunter Family that was terminated from the Pechanga tribe?   You scrub the descendents of Paulina Hunter off the veterans list and you have very few remaining. Or, maybe Pechanga just doesn't care about veterans?

Maybe they need a Pechanga felons list, want to bet that list would be longer than the veterans?

Please pass this information on to Temecula area friends and family, and avoid Pechanga

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Norman Pico Sr. Pechanga Leader has Passed UPDATE

UPDATE:  The viewing and funeral honoring Norman Pico Sr. wil be Thursday October 14th at the Pechanga Government Center.

Sadly, new from the Pechanga Reservation in Temecula is that Norman Pico Sr., Pechanga elder, a longtime member of Pechanga's Gaming Commission and brother of the late tribal chairman Gabriel Pico has passed at age 70.

Norman Pico Sr.
Norman Pico was also the supervisor of the Pechanga Pow Wow, which just had its 15th anniversary.  He also was a board member of the Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health Inc., serving on several committees, and on the board of the Indian Child & Family Services. He was involved in Perris youth baseball.
Mr. Pico had lived in Perris and on the reservation most of his life, family members said.

Mr. Pico is survived by his wife, Deborah; two sons, Randolph and Norman Jr.; a daughter, Kathy; 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In 2004, Mr. Pico ran for tribal chairman against the current tribal chair, Mark Macarro, whose council is well known for terminating tribal members to expand the per capita payments of those they allowed to remain in the tribe.  Mr. Pico did not support the ouster of families, while Macarro was supported by the CPP, who wanted to remove hundreds from the tribe.

In fact, in Dec. 2002, there was an exchange of emails where Macarro contends the tribe's bylawas were "screwy" and in a subsequent email, Macarro states "I could care less about your heart".  "If you want to pop your cork, that's fine by me."     An example of the Macarro temper that is well known on the reservation.  (and YES, we do have copies of the emails.)

Mr. Pico worked hard to help the tribe move forward, he stood up for what is right.  He fought against the wrongs perpetrated by the splinter group, the CPP, that has usurped power over rightful blood Pechanga people.
 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Casino Tribes Defauting On Debts With Little Consequence

Banks must learn tribal law before they give their money to casino tribes.  How can they collect if a tribe doesn't pay?   They can't go on the reservation to get slot machines.    Lots of promises unfulfilled.  Remember when we were promised expanded gaming would balance our budget here in CA?

Last November, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut failed to make $7 million of a scheduled $21.25 million payment on a $500 million debt. The collateral on the deal was their Foxwoods Resort Casino. If they had been a normal business owner, they would have gone into a default, and creditors could have gone after the casino.

But the Mashantuckets aren’t a normal business owner. They’re an Indian tribe, with the rights of a sovereign nation. Legally, the creditors couldn’t take the property or force the tribe to pay. Standard & Poor’s lowered the tribe’s credit rating to D, and Moody’s followed. But with the casino pulling in $700 million in profits a year, even during the downturn, it’s not like they had an immediate need to borrow more money.

In fact, Michael Thomas, the tribe’s council chairman at the time, acknowledged the tribe had the money to pay. But with 2009 marking the first time Indian casino profits dropped from the previous year, making the payment would have meant that tribal members would have gotten smaller payments — something he refused to do, even though some tribal members were getting $120,000 a year in payments.

Read the rest of the article  HERE

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Temecula - Pechanga's Complex Relationship.

The Press Enterprise has a loving article (towards Pechanga)in todays edition. It's comical that anytime something bad happens at Soboba it's front page news. Issues with Pechanga.....swept under the rug.



When it comes to complicated relationships, the one between the Pechanga Resort & Casino and the city of Temecula ranks right up there with any tortured celebrity romance.

The casino brags it's the biggest and best in California. Temecula boosters are happily capitalize on that claim, gleefully noting that a weekend getaway here includes Wine Country, Old Town, golfing and gambling tables.

The casino has showered area charities with cash. Southwest Riverside County high schools have received $2.5 million since 1998 from the casino, funding scholarships to athletic supplies. The casino donated another $1.5 million toward construction projects for the area Southwest Boys & Girls Clubs.  OP:  To put this into perspective, in just the past six years, Pechanga has paid out over $1 BILLION in per capita, just the normal 3% in charitable giving would be about $30 million.  This is much less.

The casino is a major area employer. Pechanga public affairs representative Jacob Mejia estimates that, within Temecula alone, the tribe's economic impact results indirectly in more than 11,000 jobs.   OP:  Really Jacob?  Show us your math, how do you come to these figures.   What would happen if the casino shut down tomorrow?  Would the local citizenry suddenly quit spending their dollars, or would they spend it elsewhere?

That's a major economic force. In these tough times, who would want to mess with that? Yet that's what the city of Temecula is daring to do with last week's lawsuit against the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.  OP:  Yes, DARING to stand up for what is right, just as they stood up for Pechanga to get their expanded gaming.

The argument is over a March agreement between the tribe and city, calling on Pechanga to pay the city at least $2 million annually to cover casino-related expenses such as police. In addition, the tribe agreed to contribute $10 million or secure federal dollars in the same amount to improve a brutal Interstate 15 interchange near the casino, one often tied up with gambler traffic.

The city expected the tribe to pay by June 30, but Pechanga contended the agreement isn't final until talks with Riverside County are done.   OP:   And we all know how trustworthy Pechanga is, don't we?    anyone? Anyone?


Read the rest of the article  HERE     But also read THIS POST   about a neighbor that does bad deeds. 

How Pechanga's Moratorium and Disenrollments are connected

Hunter cousin A'amokat has put together some information on how the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians' moratorium on enrollment and their tragic disenrollment of true Pechanga people are connected.    Please read and share with your friends.  I've added some commentary to A'amokats piece  Did you know you can share these posts on Facebook and Twitter?   There are links at the top of the page.

Some Connections Between the Moratorium and Disenrollment


In March 2002 when new members of the Pechanga enrollment committee were elected by the tribe and took office, including members of both the Manuela Miranda and Hunter families, they found that the committee had not been doing the job they were elected to do and the new committee members felt, after trying to deal with the issues on the committee internally, it was their obligation to report their findings to the tribal council, led by Mark Macarro.

The allegations made by the new enrollment committee members included but were not limited to:

1. Applications that had the required number of signatures for approval (6) but were never processed. When confronted with this a committee member who was responsible for processing new applicants, a descendant of Candarlaria Nesecat Flores, replied, “I don’t care if it has 24 signatures on it, if I don’t think there is a bloodline, I’m not processing it.”   OP:   Frances Miranda was a descendent of Flores, and was on the enrollment committee.

2. Some 40 applications of children of enrolled tribal members were banded and set aside so they would not be processed because the committee members from the CPP faction of the tribe, who to that point had controlled the committee by having a majority, had no intention of enrolling these childrenOP:  Keeping children from their rightful place in the tribe.   Their lineal descent was proven.  This created a virtual moratorium on membership.

3. The new committee members found that there were families where one sibling was enrolled and another was not, even though both submitted identical applications at the same time.

4. Applications that were placed in the moratorium, even though the applications were submitted prior to the deadline, and the individuals had repeatedly contacted the committee to follow up on their status.

5. Refusal to sign enrollment applications or birth certificates for individuals who are members of families they don’t like.

So if these applications were never approved, even those who were the minor children of enrolled members but who are adults now, that means there are dozens of people, if not more, who ended up in the moratorium who never, even under the unconstitutional law that is in place now, should have been there in the first place.   OP:   Think of the implications.  The CPP was working to control VOTES.  Imagine of there were 10 more voters who would be in opposition to their plans.   They would have been stalled.   One vote to end all this lost by four votes.

After the new enrollment committee members made their allegations to the tribal council the committee members who the allegations were made against, including members of both the Masiel/Basquez and Candalaria Nesecat Flores families, served the new committee members with disenrollment papers even before any evidence questioning their tribal membership had even been submitted against them or their families.

This first effort failed but after this their supporters(from the CPP faction), consisting of at least nine of their close family members; including a brother, a son, nieces, and nephews; demanded to meet with the enrollment committee and they submitted statements (which amounted to hearsay) against the committee members’ tribal membership who had accused their relatives of wrong doing on the committee.

Needless to say, reportedly the tribal council never acted on the allegations of wrong doing on the committee made by the newly elected committee members as reportedly the attorney from Indian legal services said he could not advise them on the subject after reportedly being told by the tribe’s legal council to not get involved.

But worse yet, even though there was a clear conflict of interest, those family members from the Basquez/Masiel and Candaralaria Nesecat Flores families (CPP faction) were allowed to rule on the disenrollment cases of both the Manuela Miranda and Hunter families.

By the way the allegations by committee members from the Hunter and Manuela Miranda families had made against those committee members from the Basquez/Masiel and C.N. Flores families officially were not part of the Hunters’ and M. Mirandas’ disenrollment cases but unofficially they seem to have everything to do with them as reasonable people could conclude that retaliation was involved.

Article V of the Band’s Constitution and Bylaws states:

"IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS OF THE BAND TO UPHOLD AND ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS, AND ORDINANCES OF THE TEMECULA BAND OF LUISENO MISSION INDIANS; AND ALSO, TO UPHOLD THE INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS OF EACH MEMBER WITHOUT MALICE OR PREJUDICE."

So how does allowing people my Hunter family member had accused of wrongdoing on the enrollment committee and whose close relatives had submitted statements against my family’s tribal membership not violate this equal protection clause of the Band’s constitution and bylaws? 

So is it any surprise that we were disenrolled? I think not!

Early civil rights battles:

I think most people today would acknowledge that grave injustices were done to black people in this country over the years, especially in the southern regions of the United States where they were literally, even after slavery was outlawed, second class citizens by custom and tradition as well as by actual law.

However, even in the in the deep south before the advent of the civil rights movement, if, for example, a black man was accused of a crime, it would have been frowned upon to have the brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, or close cousins of key prosecution witnesses sitting on a jury that was going to decide his innocence or guilt and to have one of their relatives acting as a judge during his trial.  OP:  Currently, our newest Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan is recusing herself from almost 50% of the case load, because as solicitor general, she had a part in siding with our government.  Even if she contemplated bringing suit or participating, she recused herself.    Now, why wouldn't the tribal council RECUSE someone who had a DIRECT stake in terminating members? 

But that was exactly what happened to my family, the descendants of Paulina Hunter, when we were disenrolled from our tribe in what is supposed to be the more enlightened 21st century. So yes, contrary to what some people would have you believe, our civil rights were violated.

So if it is wrong for it to happen to blacks, then why not Indians. After all, aren’t we American citizens too?

Read why we need enforcement of ICRA (Indian Civil Rights Act)

Agua Caliente Lays Off 2% of Workforce

Remember when we were promised expanded gaming would balance our state budget?  Not only did it NOT appear to balance, we will probably get LESS money.

At a time when Coachella Valley resort properties are hiring seasonal staff, the Agua Caliente Band of
Cahuilla Indians has cut some of its work force.

The tribe, which operates the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs and Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
in Rancho Mirage, on Tuesday confirmed through press secretary Nancy Conrad that 40 to 60 people
were laid off over the past week.

Conrad said the layoffs represent roughly 2 percent of the total work force.

“We have between 2,700 to 2,800 team members at any particular time,'' Conrad said, and added, “Right
now, there are no plans for future reductions.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Robert Salgado, Former Chairman of SOBOBA, Pleads Guilty on Bribery

Robert Salgado, former Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, who was relieved of duty in November 2009 pleads GUILTY.  He had tried to blame this on Riverside Sheriffs, remember

FORMER TOP OFFICIAL WITH INLAND EMPIRE INDIAN TRIBE PLEADS GUILTY, ADMITS TAKING NEARLY $875,000 IN BRIBES


LOS ANGELES – The former chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians pleaded guilty this afternoon to federal charges related to his acceptance of approximately $875,000 in bribes from tribal vendors and concealing that income from the Internal Revenue Service.

Robert Salgado Sr., 68, pleaded guilty to two felony charges – bribery and subscribing to a false tax return. Salgado pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson, who earlier in the day heard a prosecutor’s opening statement on the first day of a trial for Salgado.

In a plea agreement filed today, Salgado admits that he accepted a total of $874,995 in bribe payments from five vendors who did business with the Soboba Band. The payments to Salgado, which were made by vendors hoping to obtain or being allowed to keep contracts with the tribe, were given to Salgado in the form of cash, payments made to his creditors and checks payable to an entity controlled by Salgado.

In the plea agreement, Salgado specifically admits:
  • receiving $486,152 from a vendor involved in the tribe’s $12.5 million purchase of a golf course now called The Country Club at Soboba Springs and other real estate purchases;
  • taking approximately $184,000 in bribes from a second vendor who was awarded food concession and other contracts at the Soboba Casino;
  • accepting bribes totaling $89,000 from a vendor who received a series of construction contracts from the Soboba Bank;
  • taking $65,843 in bribes, plus “substantial cash payments which cannot be quantified,” from another vendor who received a series of construction contracts; and
  • accepting a total of $50,000 in bribes from Abbas Shilleh, the owner of California Parking Services, Inc., which provides valet parking at the Soboba Casino.
  • Salgado also pleaded guilty to a tax offense, admitting that he filed a 2001 tax return that claimed he and his wife earned $146,114, but in reality earned “substantially in excess of that amount.” In the plea agreement, Salgado admits he “also did not report his income accurately” for tax years 2002 through 2006, and that he owes the IRS a total of $226,187 in back taxes.

Judge Pregerson is scheduled to sentence Salgado on February 7, 2010. As a result of today’s guilty pleas, Salgado faces a statutory maximum sentence of 13 years in federal prison. The plea agreement contemplates a sentence of 87 months to 108 months in prison, but the actual sentence will be determined by Judge Pregerson.

Shilleh, 47, of Diamond Bar, was indicted along with Salgado last year. Shilleh, who has pleaded not guilty in the case, is scheduled to go on trial before Judge Pregerson on February 1.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS - Criminal Investigation.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Points to Ponder on Pechanga's Moratorium on Enrollment in the Band

Pechanga tribal gadflys and trial hacks who write to this blog and to the local newspapers claim the Manuela Miranda and Paulina Hunter disenrollments were NOT about the money.    They also claim the Moratorium was put in place to help the enrollment committee catch up.

Point to Ponder:   WHY is there a moratorium still in place?  There are family's that are POSITIVE about their ancestry, because their cousins, uncles and in some cases brothers and sisters in the tribe.  

WHY DOES PECHANGA STILL HAVE A MORATORIUM after 13 years?  For what tribal good is keeping known family out of the tribe?

Can their enrollment committee be that inept or is there another reason?



FOLLOW US on TWITTER   @opechanga

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pechanga Tribe's Chairman Mark Macarro SLAMS City of Temecula

Making what seems like a veiled threat about the upcoming election, Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro, noted for eliminating 25% of tribal citizens, issues a statement on the City of Temecula's decision to file suit.  

STATEMENT OF PECHANGA TRIBAL CHAIRMAN MARK MACARRO


“This absurd lawsuit shows poor judgment by the city’s elected officials. The city council has done a great disservice to the people of Temecula by jeopardizing this very generous offer of $2.5 million per year. This, just weeks before the election.
“Although the city council commonly uses litigation as a tool to conduct business, for Pechanga it is a very serious matter that is not taken lightly. It is not our tradition to solve issues through litigation. This approach has enabled us to become Temecula’s top employer and largest economic contributor.
“As we have said all along, these funds are intended to mitigate reasonable off-reservation impacts, not solve city hall’s budget deficit.”

Mr. CHAIRMAN, it was not Pechanga's tradition to eliminate members from the tribe either, you pompous windbag.   
 
OP:  Chairman Macarro seems to think that Pechanga's lack of litigation has enabled the tribe to become Temecula's top employer.   Remember when Pechanga SUED the state to keep us from voting on Prop. 94, claiming signature gathering was faulty?   It's the gaming the citizens of CA has approved that enables Pechanga to employ the people it NEEDS for it's operation.   
The CITY can mitigate impacts, by not holding or attending any more events at the Pechanga Resort and Casino.   They can choose not to promote the casino on the city website.    Remember, Temecula, that Pechanga has STOLEN over $250,000,000 from those they have exterminated from the tribe.   They HAVE the money.    They just don't want to pay YOU for your inconvenience.

Friday, October 1, 2010

City of Temecula to File LAWSUIT Against Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians for Failure to PAY

The latest news of Pechanga's failure to live up to its agreements.   The City of Temecula should no longer patronize the casino, hold events there, spend ANY city money and request their workers to do the same.

From the PE.com site: Having failed to broker a late-hour deal, the city of Temecula this afternoon will file a lawsuit against the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians seeking money to cover the impact the tribe's casino has on city services, Mayor Jeff Comerchero said.
The City Council voted in August to pursue legal action against the tribe. City officials said the tribe failed to pay a scheduled $2 million payment by June 30 as part of a long-term agreement intended to cover the cost of providing police and other services to Pechanga Resort & Casino.


Tribal leaders said the agreement wasn't official until talks with Riverside County concluded. Following the council's vote to go to court, Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro called the city's actions absurd.

Pechanga is well known for terminating 25% of its tribe via disenrollment.

BIA: Juaneno Tribe will Have to Wait LONGER to be Recognized

After more than 28 years of waiting for the Federal Government to recognize them, the Juaneno tribe will have to wait some more.

A decision on whether the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians will get federal recognition is now expected on or before Dec. 15, a ruling pushed back more than two months since it was originally anticipated.
R. Lee Fleming, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Federal Acknowledgment, informed petitioners of the new decision deadline in a letter dated Sept. 24.

We had no idea that once the OFA makes the final determination it goes to the Office of Assistant Secretary," said Cathy O'Campo Lopez, whose father Joe O'Campo is one of the petitioners.

She is not optimistic that recognition will be granted because Juaneño members are not unified under one tribal government, O'Campo Lopez said.