Thursday, March 15, 2012

After paying out $400,000 To Entice Members to Vote, Reggie Lewis Elected to Chukchansi Council

The Sierra Star News' Carmen George has thefull details of the drama, subterfuge and get paid to vote story at the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians

The General Council meeting was scheduled for Saturday after the council led by Lewis failed the weekend before to reach a quorum, with meetings historically only held quarterly. This time, a $1,000 check was promised to every tribal member that attended, and free rooms at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino for those traveling from outside 70 miles of the rancheria.

An estimated 60 Chukchansi people, including those elected Dec. 3, were not a part of those discussions, barred from attending the General Council meeting on grounds that they were not allowed on tribal properties for 30 days. Salazar said the number was actually about 40 individuals.

They were kept out of the meeting because they were determined to be present at the tribal offices Feb. 27 or 28 during the office break-in in an attempt to seat the four tribal council members elected in December. The newly-elected are against recent disenrollments of tribal members, what Lewis' council has been voting in favor of.

Some tribal members did not receive letters that they were banned from tribal property until Saturday, when trying to attend the meeting or vote. Some stated that they were never present at the tribal offices when the break-in occurred -- purposefully avoiding the offices for fear of retaliation later.

Read More at the Carmen George link above
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