Sunday, August 31, 2008

Best Wishes for Pechanga Councilman Gabriel Pico

UPDATE: Sad news from Denver is that Gabriel has passed away. Our condolences to the Pico family and those tribal members and friends and acquaintances who cared about him.

No statement yet from the Pechanga Council.

We are sure the CPP is already figuring how much of Gabriel's per capita will go to them.

We want to send our best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for Pechanga Councilman Gabriel Pico who was taken ill while attending the Democratic Convention in Denver.

We need good members like the Pico's on the council, that bring positive balance to the council, unlike many members, such as Murphy and Calac.

Get better soon Gabriel.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Snoqualmie Banished Members to Court

A federal judge might be the last hope for banished members of the Snoqualmie Tribe who appeared in court Tuesday in their effort to regain tribal membership.

U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart said he would issue a written ruling later as to whether the case is even properly before him or should be dismissed.
Only then — if he rules in favor of the banished members — would he get to the merits of the case.

Nine former tribal members, including five former tribal-council members filed the lawsuit in May, arguing their civil rights were violated when they were banished by the tribe, which accused them of running an illegal shadow government, treason and other crimes.
The banishment came on the heels of months of internal dispute in which dueling tribal-council leaders accused each other of running an illegal government that seized power on the strength of illegal elections.

The feud boiled over last spring when the eventually ousted council members went public, declaring the Snoqualmie tribal government in crisis. The tribe held elections in June to replace the ousted members and choose new officers.

The dispute has roiled the tribe as it prepares to open in November what could become the most profitable tribal casino in Washington state, in part because of its prime location, only 26 miles from downtown Seattle, just off Interstate 90. OP: MEANING: The state government won't stand up for what is right, but for what is PROFITABLE.

It's not the first time the tribe has been torn apart by banishment.

A similar fight erupted in the mid-1990s. Then, as now, dueling council leaders claimed legitimacy, and each side accused the other of hijacking the government with a flawed election. The losers were banished by the winners — ultimately determined in King County Superior Court.
And a fight for eventual control of a tribal casino — hoped for even then, when the tribe was still fighting for federal recognition — was alleged to be at the bottom of the battle.

"It's sad," said Pete Connick, attorney for the tribal council in that dispute as well as this one.
"It's the same thing all over again," he said after Tuesday's hearing. "What they want is to govern," he said of the ousted council members, "and they are not going to."
Connick argued before the judge that the case should be dismissed because it doesn't belong in federal court. But Rob Roy Smith, attorney for the banished members, argued they are entitled under the Indian Civil Rights Act to due process like anyone else.
He said the tribal council banished them without exexplanation or giving the accused an opportunity to defend themselves.
The Snoqualmies have no tribal court, so federal court is the only place they can turn for help, Smith argued. Former chairman Bill Sweet agreed, saying after the hearing, "I don't think in any society they ought to be able to just throw people out."

Please FEEL FREE to add your comments. Snoqualmie disenrolled, you should be directing your email lists HERE, unless you have your own website.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

California Congress Drops Barona Trespassing Bill

Over the past 18 months, a Barona-sponsored measure to create a new infraction with fines of up to $500 for trespassing on Indian reservations moved through the Legislature without a single no vote. But the bill, SB 331, could never overcome the belief by some that it would be used against hundreds of California Indians banished from their tribes, often wealthy gambling tribes. To put those fears to rest, the Assembly Appropriations Committee this month added an amendment that declared the measure would not apply to former members of a tribe. Barona promptly dropped the bill. "The intent was to protect the tribes, specifically Barona, from unwanteds on the reservation, " said Sheilla Alvarez, the tribe's director of government affairs. "The intent was never to get involved with the disenrollment issue." Although Barona has not disenrolled any members, the sequence of events and the decision to abandon the legislation on the brink of final passage have fanned lingering suspicions. "It was a really odd bill, especially when you consider that tribes already have the authority to do certain things to deal with trespassing, " said John Gomez, one of some 400 people disenrolled by the Pechanga band of Temecula. "Hopefully it's finally dead." Barona, a 470-member tribe, operates a thriving casino resort on a 7,000-acre reservation near Lakeside. Tribal Chairwoman Rhonda Welch-Scalco said the legislation was developed after meetings with San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, both of whom wrote letters of support.

Sand Racers Pull Races out of Soboba Due to Violence

The National Sand Drag Association has pulled its races from the Soboba Indian Reservation, citing safety concerns following a series of fatal shootings by deputies that left three tribal members dead.

The Arizona-based organization, with a membership of more than 500, decided in June to pull its events off the reservation and instead will hold its races at a new facility near Mystic Lake west of San Jacinto, said Alfonso "Chachy" Zavala, one of several organizers.
"We didn't feel safe going back there," Zavala said Tuesday. "We didn't want to put anyone else in danger. It was better for the racers, organizers and spectators to hold it somewhere else."

Pechanga at Democratic Convention

Spotted in Denver: Mark Luker, Pechanga Tribal Councilman. Chairman Macarro is there too, I believe...
Are they going to St.Paul too?

Will they support both Presidential candidates?

Who stayed behind to run the ship? Jennie?

Sorry to be slow with blogging, I'm travelling this week and this hotel has only dial up, I expect to see Fred Flinstone driving by.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Allotments at the Temecula Reservation from 1897; PECHANGA denies historical FACTS

Paulina Hunter's grandparents, as proved by the Temecula Band of Luiseno Indians from the Pechanga Reservation are the ONLY ones that mention Pechanga on their birth records.
Notice how the name for the place is the TEMECULA RESERVATION?
Pechanga is a PLACE.

Indian Allotments Temecula Reservation
Approved by Honorable Secretary Interior on March 29, 1897
Filed June 12, 1897

1 Berdugo, Juan 2 Berdugo, Martino 3 Berdugo, Domingo 4 Joac, Felipe 5 Helm, Adolfo 6 Aguallo, Prudencio 7 Raines, FrankPaul 8 Pa, Matteo 9 Duro, Andreas 10 Chowee, Adolfo 11 Valdez, Sinobia 12 Yuac, Leon 13 Kengish, Lugarda 14 Kengish, Santiago 15 Gaishman, Alejandro 16 Medrano, Alfredo 17 Jacuie, Thomassa 18 Trujuillo, Antonio Maria 19 Kengish, Dolores 20 Macaro, Juan 21 Attache, Bital 22 Kengish, Leona 23 Cosme, Salgado 24 Guavish, Christina 25 Rodriguez, Jose Davie 26 Rodriguez, Benito 27 Rodriguez, Alfredo 28 Jacuie, Alocio 29 Oliveras, Juan Maria 30 Majel, Jose 31 Yuac, Maria 32 Alveras, Antonio 33 Guavish, Michella 34 Ayal, Victoria 35 Casas, Luisa 36 Albanes, Martha 37 Medrano, Griselda 38 Attache, Felipe 39 Attache, Jesus 40 Rodriguez, Incarnaciona 41 Rodriguez, Polocarpio 42 Losobal, Ysidro 43 Garcia, Eduardo 44 Madines, Jose 45 Jacuic, Juan Maria 46 Pajaniun, Benito 47 Trujuillo, Vicente 48 Losobal, Petra 49 Losobal, Gabriel 50 Losobal, Rejugia 51 Valencia, Manuel Dolores 52 Valencia, Maria Jesus 53 Medrano, Maria 54 Valencia, Esther 55 Qulich, Salvador 56 Magee, Frank 57 Tochiga, Andreas 58 Garcia, Luis 59 Serrano, Jose 60 Magee, Custoria Nescat 61 Losobal, Juan 62 Hunter, Paulina 63 Contreras, Juaquin 64 Loatmany, Stefena 65 Contreras, Dolores 66 Contreras, Marcellina 67 Ramirez, Feliciano 68 Sal, Jose Antonio 69 Sal, Virginia 70 Rodriguez, David 71 Albanes, Esperanza 72 Nescat, Appolonia 73 Pajanin, Rafael 74 Pajanin, Ramon 75 Japarrakes ,Martina 76 Munio, Ysabel 77 Garboni, Josefa 78 Guavish, Francisco 79 Moguaguish, Victoria 80 Garcia, Vibrana 81 Castro, Escholastica 82 Pa, Gregoria 83 Kenguish, Feliciana 84 Medacuf, Ysidora 85 Jacuic, Jose Domingo 86 School House 87 Cemetery

The foregoing schedule (4 Sheets) of allotments of lands in severalty made to the Indians residing on the Temecula Reservation in the State of California. Under the Act of Congress approved January 12, 1891 (26 stats. 712) by Special Agent John F. Carrere, under instructions from this office approved by the Department February 5, 1893 is respectfully submitted to the Secretary of the Interior with recommendation that he approve the allotments therein described and cause patents to be issued there for in the names of the allottees as provided in the 5th section of the Act aforesaid.

D. M. Browning Commissioner E.E.W Department of the Interior March 29, 1897

The allotments to the Indians residing on the Temecula Indian Reservation in the State of California as described in the above recommendation of the commissioner of Indian Affairs are herby approved and the commissioner of the General Land Office is directed to issue in forum and of the legal effect prescribed by the 5th Section of the Act of January 12, 1891 (26 Stats. 712). C. N Bliss Secretary

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tribal Sovereignty Needs to End:

An interesting article from the blog The Bear growls, discussing the need to end tribal sovereignty.

The various pacts setting up tribal sovereignty were made long before anyone entering into them considered that one day the Indians would be building large casinos and soliciting non-tribal members to come onto “their” land.
The folly of “tribal sovereignty” was enacted long before it was considered that tribal members and their employees will routinely commit violent crimes against non-tribal members of the public, but have no legitimate law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute the casino employee perpetrators. Or run these casinos with no legitimate regulatory oversight, with most of the Indian “gaming commissions” mere puppets for the casinos themselves, sometimes using the same people in conflicting positions.

These Indian “gaming commissions” almost make the Nevada Gaming Control Board look as if it legitimately acts to protect the public from casino wrongdoing.

There are also some good links to sources. The issue is tribal governments wielding sovereignty like a club, harming as many Indians as they are helping.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 Changes Policy: No longer will censor bad news on Pechanga

Rob Schmidt from sent me an email responding to the facts that I posted a quote from the cousin of Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro, Victor Rocha that he DID in fact censor the bad stuff. Now, Rob says:

My claim supersedes Victor's claim and I've explained why repeatedly. If he fails to post something, which he hasn't done in years, I'll post it for him.

Good to know that Rob is taking control of and that we'll read all about the indictments on the site. So let's give him the benefit of our doubt. While they DID censor the news.... apparently...they aren't anymoreDid we read about the firing of Larry Miranda from Pechanga at Rob's site?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kempthorne to Speak Within Bullet Range of Soboba

Local law enforcement say the Soboba Reservation in southern California is too dangerous but that's not stopping a member of President Bush's Cabinet from speaking there on Friday.

Well technically, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne will appear at the golf club owned by the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians. But the property is adjacent to the reservation and WELL WITHIN BULLET RANGE (especially from the assault type weapons fired at Sheriff's Deputies recently) from the tribe's casino, which local law enforcement claim is unsafe.

Kempthorne will speak about H.R.4841, the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Settlement Act of 2007, which was signed into law earlier this month. The bill provides $29 million and up to 2 billion gallons of water a year for the tribe and settles a 75-year-old dispute.

Good for Kempthorne. Dirk, will you address the civil rights violations by California tribes, like Pechanga and Picayune? The Freedmen issue?

Soboba Chair Salgado wants Tribal Force.

The chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians wants tribe members to receive state law enforcement training so that they can patrol the reservation instead of Riverside County sheriff's deputies, whom the tribe has clashed with in recent months, according to City News Service.

Chairman Robert Salgado Sr. told a news service reporter during a break in a public forum Monday night that he planned to send eight tribal security officers to qualify for California Police Officer Standards and Training certification, a requirement for deputies, police and other law enforcement officers.

The forum was called to discuss a federal law that gives local law enforcement agencies the authority over a number of tribes

EXCELLENT idea. A well-trained force is necessary for security. Hopefully, they will learn how NOT to get shot at by tribal members.

Pechanga's well trained force were able to kick little children out of the tribal school after their parent was disenrolled. They were also able to protect the adults who were threatening the mother of some of the children. The tribal rangers also protected a former council members who ran onto the reservation like a punk-assed bitch, after committing battery on another member

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Planners say NO to Sycuan's liquor request

In a move that was expected, an East County planning group voted unanimously last night to oppose a request for a liquor license by Sycuan Casino, saying drunken drivers would be too dangerous on the winding road leading from the gambling hall.

Wally Riggs, chairman of the planning group for the Dehesa area, noted that Sycuan Casino's previous request for a liquor license was rejected by an administrative law judge 15 years ago. “All the things they listed in that judgment have not changed,” Riggs said. “They've gotten worse.”

Sycuan, one of the largest casinos in San Diego County, is the only casino in the county without a liquor license. Casino officials say that by limiting when and where alcohol is available, they can deal with concerns that led to the rejection.

More on that story here

...San Manuel Tribes Per Capita of $100,000 per month doesn't buy happiness

Members of San Manuel Tribe of San Bernardino are making over $100,000 per month in per capita. That's $1,200,000 per year.

And, some of them, still want to be part of the Mexican Mafia? There are issues about the two San Manuel members in a MURDER-FOR-HIRE conspiracy that are getting VERY lenient sentencing.

The PE has the story. The victim says:

"These people are being considered for short-term sentences, using house arrest and probation," Epps wrote. "Wow, to think that it is okay to seek out the services of death through murder-for-hire and get a pass on liability."

Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a couple of murderers.

Soboba: Goldberg says it's about CIVIL RIGHTS when the tribe is a victim, but when the tribes like Pechanga ABUSE civil rights...

From my email from the President of AIRRO, John Gomez

While Goldberg supports tribal officials who violate the basic rights of individual Indians, she sees the enforcement of PL 280 as an infringement on civil liberties. She may as well have said that we must protect the tribe when it is the victim, and, at the same time, we must turn a blind eye to their rights abuses.

OP: Goldberg gets a lot of money from tribes.

And we wonder why Indian Country is in the state it is.

Sheriff a No Show at Tribal Law Enforcement Forum Aug 11, 2008

Some 200 people gathered for Monday's public forum organized by the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians to discuss a federal act giving sheriff's deputies the power to enforce laws on reservations in Riverside County -- but the sheriff stayed away. The focus of the meeting, held at the Soboba Springs golf club, was Public Law 280, which was passed in 1953. OP: Sheriff Sniff was NOT a no show. He made it KNOWN he was not attending.

Representatives of the Pauma, Pala, La Jolla, Barona and other tribes attended, as well as officials from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Justice Department and other government entities. Retired Riverside police Lt. Alex Tortes, the sheriff's Tribal Liaison, was in attendance, though he did not sit on the panel and did not speak during the morning session.

Reporters were not allowed to attend the afternoon, question-and-answer session. Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff said earlier he would not attend. Tribal officials and the sheriff's department have been at odds over the extent of the access deputies should have to the reservation. Tribal Chairman Robert Salgado contends sheriff's deputies have no right to patrol the reservation and must check in with Indian security before coming on to reservation lands.
He believes that Public Law 280 allows deputies to enter the reservation without prior notification only during an emergency.

Salgado said at the forum: "Every time we stand up for our rights, we're being condemned for it." OP: WELL NOW, BOBBY.... now you know how WE disenrolled, terminated, banished and MORATORIUM people of Pechanga feel. People condemn us for standing up for the rights we deserve and the Mark Macarro-led Pechanga Tribal Council denied, not to mention, acting unconstitutionally.

Carole Goldberg, a UCLA law professor who wrote a book on Public Law 280, told the audience: "It's an issue of civil liberties and civil rights." She described the reservation as "the territory of a sovereign nation."

Monday, August 11, 2008

DNC's Dean selects leader of civil rights violators Pechanga Tribe as committee member. The DNC has no regards for civil rights abuses at Pechanga

With the DNC coming in two week, I thought it's a good idea to bring this post back up. The Democratic National Committee has selected the tribal chairman of a tribe that has perpetrated serious civil rights abuses on its membership to be a member of its platform committee. Does the DNC not do any vetting of its candidates anymore? 
From the article: Mark Macarro serves as the Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. He was first elected to the council in 1992 and is serving his fifth term as chairman. Mr. Macarro also represents the Pechanga tribe in the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Through his work, Mr. Macarro has worked to improve the economic self-sufficiency and political self-determination of his tribe. (OP: Mr. Macarro has violated the civil rights of his tribe, refused to uphold the constitution and bylaws of the band, overruled the will of the people and has verbally threatened spouses of members. Please see this link) In addition, Mr. Macarro works to preserve the Pechanga tribal culture, language, and traditional life through traditional singing and speaking the tribe's native language. Mr. Macarro is a product of the California Public Schools and holds a degree in political science from the University of California. Couple this with the NAACP of CA taking money from a tribe that is not for civil rights (Pechanga brought in busloads of people to vote down a civil rights platform and the Exec meeting of Dems in Anaheim late last year.) and you have to wonder who is FOR civil rights anymore. 

  UPDATE: Does the DNC support violating civil rights to control elections? Howard Dean, you have some 'splaining to do. Macarro: No Business of the White Man 
UPDATE II: Here is a letter than you can copy and past and send to Howard Dean AND you can call to express your displeasure: 202-863-8000 Democratic National Committee c/o Chairman Howard Dean 430 S. Capitol St. SE Washington , DC 20003 Re: Appointment of Mark Macarro to the DNC Platform Committee 

Dear Chairman Dean: I submit this letter as a formal request to you and the Democratic National Committee ("DNC") to remove Mark Macarro of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from his appointment on the DNC Platform Committee

Under Mark Macarro's leadership, Pechanga tribal officials have been responsible for the mass disenfranchisement of over 300 tribal citizens, which comprise 25% of the tribal population. And it was no coincidence that the mass removals occurred just prior to two regularly scheduled tribal elections in which Mr. Macarro ran for re-election as tribal chairman. Needless to say, Mr. Macarro was re-elected both times. 
The actions to remove these citizens from the tribal rolls, and deny hundreds more their citizenship, have been characterized by lack of due process and equal protection of existing tribal and federal laws. In fact, laws enacted by the United States Congress to protect Indian individuals from arbitrary and capricious acts of tribal officials, such as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, have gone largely ignored during Mr. Macarro's tenure. 

Targeted individuals have not only been denied minimum due process and equal protection standards, the most recent mass disenfranchisement was approved by Mr. Macarro after the tribe's governing body had passed a law prohibiting such action. This "cultural genocide" now finds hundreds of Pechanga tribal members and thousands more California Indians, cut-off from much needed health care services, senior services, education assistance and child development programs. Mr. Macarro has routinely stated that the actions to strip tribal members of their citizenship were internal matters and of ".no business to the white man." Mr. Macarro and other tribal officials have escaped prosecution for their violations of basic rights by invoking the tribe's sovereignty. Nevertheless, immunity from prosecution does not equate to innocence of action. Mr. Macarro's actions are horrific indeed, and one must wonder why, in this age of instant access to information via the internet, the DNC would appoint such a person to such a prestigious and high profile assignment. The situation at Pechanga has been reported on extensively in many mediums, yet it appears that the DNC is either unaware or cares not about such basic rights violations. The human and civil rights violations which have occurred at Pechanga under Mr. Macarro's leadership rival those in many Third World dictatorships. Indeed, if Mr. Macarro was not the leader of an American Indian tribe and the Pechanga Band was not funneling millions of dollars to the DNC and Democratic candidates, the DNC and Democratic lawmakers might very well be calling for sanctions against Pechanga and an investigation into the human and civil rights violations committed by Mr. Macarro and Pechanga tribal officials. It is time for the DNC to institute criteria for DNC appointees that gives greater weight to the content of the individual's character than it does to the number of zeros in their bank account. At the very least, the DNC must re-examine its vetting process to ensure that people like Mr. Macarro do not slip through the cracks in the future. Please reconsider your appointment of Mr. Macarro to the DNC Platform Committee. Respectfully submitted:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Welcome Readers of Beautiful, Also Are the Souls of My Black Sisters

Ann was nice enough to link to our blog and I'd like to say welcome to all the readers of her BLOG. Please let your friends know that we are trying to inform our readers of the injustices done by tribal councils, who violate their citizen's civil rights.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Most Shared Video on KNBC is Pechanga: Without A Tribe

After two years, it's STILL the most shared video on KNBC.

Without a Tribe details the story of what the Pechanga Tribe did to the Hunter family and the Manuela Miranda family. Pechanga Chairman Macarro gets caught in a lie his first 15 seconds into his infomercial.

There is a place to rate the video. If you like it, please rate it high. If you think it's unfair, rate it lower, if you think it's so-so, then rate it in the middle.

Descendants of Freedmen Association Meeting August 9

The Descendants of Freedmen Association will host its next meeting on Saturday August 9th beginning at 2pm.
The meeting will be held at the Martin Luther King Center, 627 N Third Street, Muskogee Okla.
Advocate Wayne Thompson and Descendants President Marilyn Vann will update attendants on the recent Appeals Court ruling on the Vann Federal lawsuit.

Genealogy "tips" will also be given by org Vice President Ron Graham. An official from the the Muskogee NAACP will also address meeting attendants.. The meeting is free and open to the general public. Meeting attendants are requested to bring a "covered dish" to share with others.

On, July 29th, the DC Court of Appeals ruled that the Cherokee freedmen plaintiffs in the case Vann versus Kempthorne may continue their case; the case was remanded back to the district Court of Judge Henry Kennedy

For more information on the organization, please visit:

Parolees Ordered to Leave Soboba for their own Safety

In another escalations of issues at Soboba

Parolees on the Soboba Indian reservation have been ordered to leave or face possible arrest after the state corrections department said Wednesday that the area isn't safe for its officers to enter."Due to escalating violence, we have asked our parolees to immediately leave the reservation," said Gordon Hinkle, deputy press secretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. "Statute allows us to relocate any offender for their safety or the safety of others."
Hinkle said the decision affects five parolees and was prompted by reports of tension and violence between Riverside County sheriff's deputies and tribal members. Three members were killed in gunfights with deputies in May. Despite a deal to cooperate with authorities, tribal leaders said last week that deputies would be stopped and questioned before entering the reservation unless responding to an emergency.
Sheriff Stanley Sniff threatened to arrest anyone who interferes with officers doing their jobs.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

High Noon at Pechanga 3: All's Quiet After Layoffs

Stopped by the parking area of Pechanga today at High Noon. The number of available spaces were 2021! Could the Layoffs be the reason why?

In a previous post, I noted that there were 577 empty spaces, that turns out to only be on ONE level. That level had 657 empty spaces today, an increase of 14% over the end of June. Now, with 700 employees less than just a few years ago, less people can afford to go to Pechanga.

Would reconciliation of exterminated tribal members and a restoral of business ethics help Pechanga be all that it can be?

Senator Gloria Romero: Please Pull SB 331

Moving this up as there has been some changes.

Please fax a copy of this letter to Senator Romero and Speaker Bass

Read this document on Scribd: SB331pull7 2 08[1]

SYCUAN's $30 MILLION Swindle Maybe Even Costlier

Sycuan and Arnold Schwarzenegger pulled a fast one on the people of California, saving them $30 million and costing the state $30 million. ARNOLD KNEW and he let it happen, worse he sold US the snake oil.

The Sycuan band's decision to put off ratification of its new gambling agreement has saved the El Cajon tribe millions of dollars, but it may be about to backfire.
The compact permitting up to 5,000 slot machines on the tribe's East County reservation has been approved by the Legislature and the U.S. Interior Department, which has the final say.
But all of that happened before the Schwarzenegger administration quietly disclosed a few months ago that the tribe, relying on a little-noticed provision in its new compact, had not executed the deal. OP: Quietly = guiltily
The delay will cost the state at least $30 million in higher payments expected from Sycuan, an administration spokesman said.
Now, at the request of Sycuan's neighbors and a gambling watchdog, federal attorneys are taking a hard look at whether the Interior Department could legally approve a gambling agreement that had not yet been executed by the tribe. OP: That is like signing blank checks. Or giving an A on homework they didn't look over.
If they conclude the answer is no, the federal government's approval could be revoked and Sycuan could be forced to resubmit the deal to the Interior Department if and when it is ratified by the tribe.
That would give federal officials, who were troubled by the agreement's authorization of an off-reservation casino in Dehesa Valley, their first real opportunity to review the compact.
Sycuan's was one of four big new gambling agreements that Interior was forced to automatically approve in December after the compacts reportedly got lost at the agency and were not found until after a 45-day review period had passed.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pechanga's Layoffs aren't the WHOLE Story

Pechanga has announced layoffs of 400 team members from a total of 4700. What they didn't announce was that they have been letting people go for some time.

A Press Enterprise article from 11/24 has a quote from Mark Macarro that says that Pechanga "employs 5100 people." That means that with all the prosperity, employee ranks had already shed 400 spots before this announced layoffs.

No wonder the profits were big enough to give a per capita of $30,000 per month. Eliminate EMPLOYEES AND Tribal Members. It's not just an "internal matter" anymore is it? 800 employees GONE from Pechanga.

Fake Tribe Giving Indians a Bad Name (h/t Hot Air)

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has the story of the unrecognized Kaweah Indian Nation, selling tribal membership to illegals

When federal agents raided the Wichita offices of the Kaweah Indian Nation, Malcolm Webber told the arresting officer that he had not committed fraud and was confused how he could be arrested on “sovereign soil,” court documents show.
Now almost a year later, Webber — also known as Grand Chief Thunderbird IV — is poised to wage a legal battle in federal court as he defends himself against charges that he and his so-called tribe defrauded immigrants by claiming that tribal membership conferred U.S. citizenship. Trial begins Tuesday against Webber and the tribal corporation, the last two remaining defendants in the federal indictment.
His defense attorney, Kurt Kerns, told the federal judge last week that the defense will argue that Webber believed — based on his research, whether right or wrong — that what he did was legal.

OP: Here we have a 'tribe' trying to sell memberships, and on the other hand we have tribes like Pechanga, Picayune, Enterprise and San Pascual throwing their members to the curb. Take a look at Ed's story and comments.

San Pascual - Valley View Casino Seeks to Assure Investors

The NIGC is very busy these days trying to put out fires. Maybe they should have gotten involved sooner. It's easier to put out a spot fire, rather than a conflagration.

From the Union Trib article:

Valley View Casino operator seeks to calm investor worries
10:31 a.m. August 5, 2008
The head of the organization that runs the Valley View Casino said in a statement to investors Monday that the Valley Center gambling hall is not threatened by tribal politics.
“The San Pasqual Casino Development Group is 100 percent confident that the San Pasqual Band will resolve their internal differences amicably,” said Joe Navarro, the organization's CEO. “Valley View Casino will continue to thrive.”

OP: AMICABLY is a positive sounding word. That means that they will either accept the people they just unceremoniously kicked out of the tribe or they will give a settlement. Good news on both fronts. Coming to their senses over their impending loss is good for San Pascual. Some at Pechanga are talking reconciliation too.

On Friday, the local superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs told tribal leaders that their government had collapsed over a membership rift and only tribal governments can operate businesses.
The National Indian Gaming Commission, which oversees tribal gambling operations across the country, is looking into the situation with the tribe

The casino development group is trying to restructure the debt it took on to buy out a prior management and expand the casino.

OP: The lenders would be FOOLISH to allow a business with so much internal strife, which could lead to the CLOSURE of the money-maker casino to restructure the loan. IN FACT, a lender could PUSH HARD to ensure that the tribe ENDS its troubles before they get any money or restructuring. That is exercising Moral Outrage to the good of all.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pechanga Layoffs: FBI Contact information UPDATED

UPDATE: The comment section has some interesting reading and I'm moving this post forward so that readers can see them and take part. There's a good comment on reconciliation.

To all Pechanga Employees facing layoffs and who have already been terminated. If you have information to share about what you've seen, heard and know, here is the contact information for the FBI:

FBI Los Angeles
Suite 1700,
FOB 11000
Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90024-3672
(310) 477-6565

FBI San Diego
Federal Office Building
9797 Aero Drive
San Diego, California 92123-1800
(858) 565-1255

They have been investigating for quite a while and now is a good time for you to help them wrap up the investigations with the Department of Justice. Pechanga obviously doesn't have your job to hold over your head anymore. Give them a call. I'm sure they are interested in what you've seen and what you know.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pechanga Per Capita REDUCED? Did this lead to Pechanga Layoffs?

Teetilawuncha has a blog post up asking that question. Tribal members seem to be below the $30,000 mark. This is AFTER they have added new machines. Seems like the 400 weren't the only ones let go? How many more have to go before they are no longer the #2 employer in Riverside County? Time to go to PALA or another casino.

Maybe it WOULD BE better if the tribe loses the casino. It's has produced money, but not happiness.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

No Budget Deal, But Legislators PAR-TAY at Civil Rights Abuser Chukchansi

There's NO BUDGET for us after over a month into the fiscal year, yet our top legislators were partying at the Chukchansi Casino. Couldn't they have solved the budget over the crap table? Oh, craps table, sorry, I was confused by what they were spewing.

Let's see, a $15 BILLION deficit that they can't figure out how to fix. I KNOW, I KNOW.. QUIT spending so much and start going after those who haven't paid yet. Don't let tribes be LATE on their payments.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines and Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill were among the VIPs Chukchansi's soiree. That's three of the so-called Big Four legislative leaders. They could have celebrated the casino's expansion by giving Californians a budget.
Gov. Arnold had just issued an ill-conceived executive order trying to reduce the pay of 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour until the budget is passed. Bass said that was terrible, but not terrible enough for her to require the Democratic caucus to stay in Sacramento and solve the problem. Villines and Cogdill didn't offer much more.

Your JOB IS NOT DONE and partying with a tribe like Chukchansi, that has terminated so many Indians IS NOT going to get it done. Of course, you can choose to do it the way Chukchansi does it. GET RID of some citizens (illegals) and we'll have more money for the rest of us. Provide nothing for them and we'll have MO' Money. If you think that's okay for Chukchansi and Pechanga, it should be okay for California.

Cherokee Nation: Having the Right..Doesn't Make it Right

J.M Brannum at has a message to the Cherokee Nation.

The CNO (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) is putting a definite spin on this case. The Court of Appeals ruled that the tribe has sovereign immunity, but NOT the tribal officials, meaning that the Freedmen’s case will still proceed against Chief Chad Smith and other officials. And, the decision opens the door for the Freedmen to take the case to the US Supreme Court.
But this is only one side of this case. The tribe might have the right to break its treaty obligations to the Freedmen (and in the end the individual officials might share those rights), but it doesn’t make it right to do so

Read more at the link above

Casino Work Forces Shrinking

Whether 400 layoffs at the Pechanga Resort & Casino are an indicator of things to come at the region’s American Indian casinos is an intriguing question.
Management at casinos contacted by the Business Journal last week said they did not anticipate layoffs; some said they were reducing staff through attrition.

The Pechanga Development Corp. , which operates a casino just over the San Diego-Riverside county line, said July 22 that it planned to lay off as many as 400 of its 4,700 employees. High gas prices, a housing downturn that has hit Riverside County hard and other factors have hurt business, tribal leaders said.
A softening economy has affected people’s discretionary spending, said Robert Livingston, an executive with Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort near Valley Center.
“The market’s down in the casino business. It’s down in every sector you can think of, retail-wide,” Livingston said.
But he said his venue, which had 1,785 employees at the end of 2007, is not anticipating layoffs. “We run a tight ship,” Livingston said, saying he hopes for an economic turnaround by 2009.
He said Harrah’s has cut employment through attrition

Story Here

Soboba and San Pascual Casinos Face Closure

In a move that could force the closure of Valley View Casino, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said yesterday the tribal government for the San Pasqual Indian band has collapsed in a rift over tribal membership.
“I am unable to recognize any tribal government for San Pasqual and strongly urge the members of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians to take immediate action to address this matter,” James Fletcher, the bureau's local superintendent, said in a letter.
“Only federally recognized tribal governments may operate governmental programs, businesses, conduct business or act on behalf of their membership,” he wrote.
In addition to its hillside casino in Valley Center, the tribe operates a quarry and provides government services including fire protection, housing and education.
The tribe last year expanded the casino and is planning to open a hotel.
But it has long struggled over who belongs in the tribe and the disagreement now has broken up a five-member committee the BIA considers the tribe's governing body.
Only legitimate governments can operate tribal casinos, say the BIA and the National Indian Gaming Commission, which oversees such gambling.

Story HERE


Soboba Tribal Chairman Robert Salgado confirmed Friday that members of the National Indian Gaming Commission will visit to the casino near San Jacinto

Tribal members should NOT be displaying their weapons during this visit.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Agua Caliente and Morongo Pay State for Gaming

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Morongo Band of Mission Indians — on Thursday shed light on the revenue checks that were just relayed to the state.
The following payments flowed to the California General Fund, as a result of amended compacts to expand gaming:
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, operating the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs and Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, sent over a $9.3 million check to Sacramento this week. That's on top of the $4.2 million already paid, bringing the total to $13.5 million.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians, operating the Morongo Casino Spa in Cabazon, sent over $12.5 million. With its $8.1 million payment made in May, the total comes to $20.6 million. Additionally, the tribe sent over $400,000 for the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund.