Sunday, February 28, 2010

Morongo Chairman: California Tribal Business Alliance is WRONG on Internet Poker.

Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin say that the California Tribal Business Alliance is making up their own facts: CTBA wrongly contends that legalizing online poker in California would violate the tribal gambling compacts the state already has with California tribes. Morongo attorney George Forman, who has been involved in tribal issues for the last 40 years, clearly rebutted that contention at the Legislature's Feb. 9 informational hearing on Internet poker. Forman explained that the Legislature can allow Californians to play poker on their home computer or laptops without violating the state's guarantee that tribes have the exclusive right to operate slot machines. Forman's explanation matches that of a 2008 Legislative Counsel opinion. The CTBA did not offer a contrary legal opinion to rebut the explanation provided by Forman and the Legislative Counsel, most likely because nothing in either the compacts or the law supports CTBA's argument. SACBEE Editorial In a previous editorial, CTBA chairwoman Leslie Lohse made the case that the tribes' compact allowed them to dictate USE OF YOUR OWN PERSONAL computer. Did YOU vote to give them that right? See that editorial HERE What is in play here, readers is that the CTBA doesn't want individual tribes to benefit. Morongo is NOT a member of the CTBA anymore. Wonder why? But, more importantly, it shows WHY we need gaming in this state outside of Indian Casinos.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rincon Decision Could Change Compact Negotiations.

Rincon Chairman Bo Mazzetti has an article in Indian Country Today, arguing that our Governer, Arnold Schwarzenegger negotiated in bad faith with tribes. Well, the tribes also promised they would take care of their people. How did that work out for members of Pechanga, Picayune, Redding and many others in California? Disenrollment, elder abuse, loss of voting rights, healthcare...... By stacking the deck against tribal governments when negotiating casino compacts, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was gambling that he could violate federal law with impunity. He bet he could hold the tribes hostage by our need to engage in gaming as our only means to economic development. But, it appears this is one bet he may lose. OP: Tribes like Pechanga tried to circumvent laws too, like putting additional Class II slots trying to get around their 2000 slot limit. Mr. Mazetti falsely claims that gaming is the only means to economic development and that's not true, entertainment and dining, also have economic possibilities. Of course, one may make you rich, the other, simply a business venture. The United States District Court has ruled that the governor’s negotiation tactics with California’s gaming tribes are illegal and constitute bad faith. The state appealed to the 9th Circuit Appeals Court and a decision is expected soon that may change the way governors throughout the nation negotiate. It may also halt the trend of holding tribes hostage to state politics and charging increasingly higher fees as a condition for signing compacts. The lawsuit, brought by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians of San Diego, alleged Schwarzenegger imposed an illegal and unfair tax on gaming revenues in return for tribal state compact agreements. OP: If you want a monopoly, you should have to pay dearly for it. Otherwise, it would make more sense to change the laws and legalize gaming in California, with total regulation by the state. What a CONCEPT!

Rather than work with Rincon to reach an agreement consistent with the court’s order, what did the state do? The state appealed, until the case finally landed where it currently sits – pending the decision of the 9th Circuit Court. OP: The HORROR! After suing the state, Mr. Mazetti whines about the state suing back!?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

James Riley, Accused in Pechanga Fraud, Prohibited From Working in Insurance Industry

State authorities on Monday announced that the 46-year-old insurance broker accused of defrauding the Pechanga Resort & Casino of about $4 million in an insurance scam has been prohibited from working in the insurance industry.

James William Riley, of Murrieta, has been barred from working in the industry in any manner pending the outcome of his trial on multiple counts of grand theft, money laundering and commercial bribery, according to a news release form California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. If Riley is found guilty, his license will be revoked, the release said.

Riley, will have his day in court March 15 in Riverside

The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and it's chairman mark macarro (Intentionally not capitalized as a show of disrepect) are well known for disenrolling 25% of their tribal membership, acting outside their own constitution. In those despicable actions they have harmed their elders and children. While insurance fraud is serious and IF James Riley did these things he's accused of, he should be punished. It should be noted that there has been NO punishment meted out to Pechanga for their own theft of health insurance to the tune of $12 million dollars, nor the theft of over $200 million in per capita payments from over 230 tribal members.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Interlude: Congratulations to Ed Morrissey, Blogger of the Year

A friend to Original Pechanga's Blog, Ed Morrissey, blogger extraordinaire at Hot Air was named blogger of the year at the CPAC convention today. Ed was also named blogger of the year by Freedom Works.

Ed has blogged on some Native American issues like Indian Health Care and the debacle the state of CA had in losing paperwork for the big tribes as they expanded their gaming.

Congratulations Ed for the honors to your excellent journalism work.

U.S. Supreme Court Renews Interest in Wolfchild v. United States

In an unexpected development, on January 13, 2010, the Court requested a response from the United States in Wolfchild (and Zephier) v. United States, a case which involves two groups of individuals who claim to be the descendants of the ―loyal‖ Mdewakanton Sioux. The United States had waived its right of response—usually an indicator to the Court that the case is not worthy of review. Evidently, something in the case has caught the interest of the Court. The Wolfchild petitioners are seeking review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit which reversed the trial court‘s finding of breach of trust by the United States. The Federal Circuit held that (1) the 1888, 1889 and 1890 Appropriation Acts enacted for the benefit of the loyal Mdewakanton Sioux and their lineal descendants which included lands, improvements to lands and monies as the corpus did not create a trust; and (2) even if the referenced Appropriations Acts did create a trust, the 1980 Act terminated that trust by transferring beneficial ownership to the three Mdewakanton Indian communities (Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Sioux Community, Lower Sioux Indian Community and Prairie Island Indian Community). This case could become a vehicle for the Court to further erode the nature of the United States‘ trust responsibility, and to limit the scope of the fiduciary duties the United States owes to the Indian people.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

SMOKE LEVELS at CA Indian Casinos Exceed Health Benchmark Levels

STANFORD UNIVERSITY REPORT: Smoke levels at California Indian casinos can exceed health benchmark levels during peak attendance hours and many non-smoking areas offer incomplete protection.

OP: PROTECT your health and your families health: Stay out of the tribal casino's until they clean their scrubbers and do a better job. If you smell smoke on your clothes, you are risking your health. And remember, the tribes can't be sued for not providing a save gaming environment.

This device was used to detect smoke levels in a year-long investigation of California casinos.

Secondhand smoke in California's Native American casinos often exceeds concentrations associated with harmful health effects, according to a new study by environmental engineers at Stanford University. The casinos, which are exempt from the state's smoking restrictions, are one of the few public places in California where smoking is still legal.

The study of smoke particle concentrations during busy evenings in 36 casinos across the state found that even many nonsmoking areas within the buildings contained smoke concentrations that were several times that of outdoor air. The paper was published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.
One-quarter of U.S. adults visited a casino in 2008, according to the 2009 American Gaming Association Survey of Casino Entertainment. Of the almost 60 casinos operating in California, 98 percent allow smoking.

"We did this study to warn the public that where they go and what they do in their everyday lives can impact their health," said Lynn Hildemann, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and a senior author of the study. "Air pollution affects human health, whether it is secondhand smoke indoors or truck exhaust outdoors. Because many people frequent smoky casinos, and many employees work there, we became interested in finding how high the pollution levels inside the buildings were."
Over more than a year, the team of researchers discreetly made smoke particle measurements in various locations at each casino on weekend and holiday evenings – times when casinos were most likely to be crowded. Sampling each location for 30 to 60 minutes, the engineers used compact monitors that measure smoke particles in the surrounding air every 10 seconds.

Read more at the link above, but if you have breathing problems, it's best to stay away from tribal casinos.

Soon to Be EX Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Compact with Thieves Of Pinoleville

Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed a new compact with the Pinoleville Tribe and Leona Williams. Here's what they did to some of their families (h/t

Pinoleville Rancheria
“Tribe stolen by Corrupt Tribal Officials”

I had planned to write to you about a corrupt tribal council that has stolen my tribe and retroactively stripped my ancestors of their legal identity as Native Americans. I was going to detail the manner in which they hijacked our Tribe for their own purposes, but after contemplation it, I thought better of it.

I decided that I am tired of telling the story of the injustices that I and my family have suffered over the last several years. I won't talk of the lies, the anonymous and illiterate hate mail, the fact that my children have been denied membership...and therefore Native American status under the law, the crooked elections, the ballots “counted” behind closed doors, the molestation of my constitution, the late-night death threats, the misuse of federal funds, and the general disgust I feel at being disrespected, unrepresented and denied the rights to participate in my own Indian community.

Nor will I detail how the corrupt thugs on Tribal Council responsible for protecting my human and civil rights violated those rights when they disenolled me and my family, or how the same thugs manipulated our constitution to exterminate my rights and the rights of all other Pinoleville Indian Community class members defined in the precedent setting Court ruling filed by deceased Pinoleville Indian Community member Tillie Hardwick. As a result of that ruling all California Rancherias enjoy Tribal status and the riches they receive from their Indian casinos.

I likewise decided against another protracted airing of my grievances concerning the US Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs officials that ‘shepherded’ our case to it's ultimate dismissal. I won't bore you with the tales of their failure to follow the US Federal Code of Regulations, their consistent refusal to provide information in a timely fashion, their illegal ex-parte communications with the Chairwoman’s faction during our administrative debacle, their legendary bungling of a completely insane 'General Membership' meeting called illegally by themselves under no authority in April of 2004, the manner in which the BIA Director Dale Risling conveniently misplaced a vital document original at that meeting, or any other of a number of acts on their part which range from hideously negligent to criminally suspect.
Erik Enriquez
Wonderful news governor. You help those that violate the civil rights of their membership. What's the countdown to when you are out of here?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

CA ASSEMBLY Speaker Karen Bass Announces Candidacy to Replace Rep. Diane Watson

From Speaker Bass's Facebook Page:

I am very excited to announce that I will be launching a campaign to fill the congressional seat being vacated by my dear friend and mentor, Congresswoman Diane Watson. Earlier today, the Congresswoman, City Controller Wendy Greuel, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and grassroots leaders joined me at a press conference announcing my campaign, and I hope you can support me as well.

Well Speaker Bass, are you going to take up Rep. Watson's championing of the Cherokee Freedmen? How about those disenfranchised Native Americans in CA? Will you refuse campaign donations from tribes that violate the civil rights of their people? Pechanga, Redding, Enterprise, San Pascual, Picayune all should be avoided.

What say you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SacBee: Why Are Casino Payments Secret? Let's Quit Going to Tribal Casinos UNTIL we know where the Money is.

The Sacramento Bee has an editorial that all Californians should look at.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger regularly asks that Californians "trust" him. OP: Uh, yeah, we've already apologized to Gray Davis for voting him out. Arnold deserves no trust.

Two years ago this month, the governor promised that if voters approved compacts authorizing significant expansion of four Indian-owned casinos in Southern California, the tribes would pay the state "hundreds of millions of dollars" annually. OP: Remember that one of the tribes, SYCUAN, hadn't even gotten the expansion approved by their tribe! We told you about that HERE

He made the promise in California's official voter pamphlet, and declared that the state would reap "billions in the years ahead to help pay for public safety, education, and other services."

Tribes that benefited from the deals spent $82 million on their campaign. Voters approved the deals, as they have done repeatedly when Indian gambling goes before them. OP: Not before Pechanga spend 50 million more than the other tribes. They didn't believe that votes like them anymore, because of the bad press they generated.

Two years later, as the state is mired in a budget crisis, the public ought to be able to find out how many "hundreds of millions" have been delivered to state coffers. The question is timely now that the Morongo Band of Mission Indians is seeking the right to operate Internet poker in exchange for payments to the state. OP: Our cousin recently wrote a post on the need for open audits. Raise your hands if you believe the tribes would operate with two sets of books!

Morongo is one of the four tribes whose compacts voters ratified in 2008. The deal authorizes Morongo to operate 7,500 lucrative slot machines, up from its past cap of 2,000.

So how much have the four tribes paid the state since the 2008 vote? The California Gambling Control Commission says the information is not public. OP: How much the tribe pays to the PEOPLE of CA, for the monopoly we GAVE them is NOT OUR BUSINESS? We MUST have that right, otherwise, we will have politicians taking money from tribes and not reporting it...

The Schwarzenegger-negotiated compacts exempt information that tribes provide to the state from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. As a result, the amounts that individual tribes pay to the state is secret.

That exemption is bad enough. But surely the public is entitled to know what the aggregate amount is that the four tribes have paid into the state coffers – especially given that the governor told voters in the official voter handbook that the deals would deliver "hundreds of millions" a year.

Schwarzenegger asks us to "trust" him. We rather follow the advice of another governor, Ronald Reagan:

Trust but verify.

And since we can't verify...... how can we trust Arnold? How about this: QUIT going to tribal casinos until we get a clear accounting of their fund payments to US.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why Choose Las Vegas over a California Tribal Casino? Because you have FEW rights on an Indian Reservation.

At least in Las Vegas, you will have all the rights you are entitled too. The woman in this story followed all tribal ordinances in her suit and the tribe then says, "nope" and doesn't pay. Pechanga has BEATEN one of their customers, Richard Swan we wrote about it HERE. The Press Enterprise wouldn't write about it and the D.A. Rod Pacheco wouldn't press charges.

Better to go to Las Vegas, the slots are looser and there's more to see.

Woman injured at casino stuck in legal quagmire


Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.

During a visit to Sycuan Casino five years ago, Sarah Harris walked into a restroom altercation that she says changed her life.

Now, after what feels like countless hearings on the Indian reservation and in federal court, the 75-year-old former diesel engine mechanic still doesn’t have the $160,000 an arbitrator says she’s due.

Although tribal law says arbitration awards are to be enforced in federal court, the tribe has convinced a federal judge that he has no jurisdiction over the case.

Harris’ lawyer said this is more than frustrating.

“Why prepare an ordinance that says you can go to the federal court and when you get to the federal court, they say there’s no jurisdiction?” attorney John Crawford said. “They’re shooting out of both sides of their mouth

OP: Avoid Sycuan

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Group says Greg Sarris, Chairman of Graton Rancheria, NOT an Indian

A group trying to stop a casino in Rohnert Park says the chairman of the local tribe has no Indian blood — and it wants the Bureau of Indian Affairs to remove him. Will the BIA step into this action? Is Sarris Native American? Is this a case of selective enforcement by the Bureau of Indian Affairs?

That leader, Greg Sarris, the chairman of the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria, has shot back with charges of politics and said the group has no legal leg to stand on. OP: But he didn't shoot back with, "YES, my ancestors are Indian,"

The dispute centers on the Graton Rancheria’s efforts to build an urban casino in Rohnert Park on the northern edge of the densely populated Bay Area. But it also touches on how casino politics in California are inextricably tied with racial politics, not only in the present but deep into the state’s past.

Read more: HERE and also at Stop the Casino 101 They have MORE to the story.

Watch Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro Lie to KNBC News

On the the sidebar, with a picture of Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro (albeit, when he was thinner) and with it, a link to KNBC's WITHOUT A TRIBE .

In the first 15 seconds to the piece, Mark Macarro, whose net worth is over $1 million is caught in a lie. He continues to obfuscate during his interview with Colleen Williams, KNBC anchor.

 It's important to remember that Macarro has lied often about the disenrollments. He lied to the tribe when he said that the petition brought forth by Anthony Miranda, former head of CNIGA, to the tribe to halt all disenrollments, included the Hunter family. Mark also was disengenuous when he went before Congress to ask that the tribe be given land that was "sacred". So "sacred" that they put a golf course on it.

 Mark Macarro's  little brother John, said it was a "re-zoning" issue. It's important to know what Macarro is capable of, as he gets his press in the current internet gaming case. Mr. Macarro is the leader of the INCREDIBLE SHRINKING TRIBE. One of the largest terminations of Native Americans in California history. He is a beneficiary of the theft of per capita from the Manuela Miranda family and the Hunter family. That theft is now over $200 million dollars. Is that a big enough incentive to lie? Watch the whole video. It did so well for KNBC during sweeps, that they showed it in its entirety the very next day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rep. Diane Watson, Champion of Cherokee Freedmen, to Resign

A champion for the rights of the Cherokee Freedmen, this leaves a hole in the support of those who have been disenfranchised by tribal governments. Karen Bass was recently fined for not reporting gifts from, among others, The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, noted violators of the civil rights of their people. Well, certain members anyway.

Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles), a prominent African American politician for more than three decades, plans to announce her retirement from Congress on Thursday, opening her seat for a possible run by termed-out state Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.Watson, 76, plans to hold a Los Angeles news conference to announce her plans.

A House Democratic leadership aide, speaking on condition that he not be named, confirmed her retirement plans.A congressional source said Watson was tiring of the cross-country trips and wanted to spend more time with her mother, who recently turned 100.

Watson's challenger is Felton Newell, who is getting money from the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation.

Pechanga Chairman, Mark Macarro, Does Not Want Californians To Be Free to Gamble Online

First, Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro was the spokesperson for for Prop. 5 and Prop. 1a, where he promised that gaming would stay on current tribal lands. Now, we have tribes reservations shopping.

Then, the Macarro led Pechanga tribe tried to keep Californians from voting on Propositions 94-97, suing to invalidate signature gathering. Pechanga had to spend over $40 million more than the other tribes to overcome some bad publicity.

There were carjackings in front of the casino, their security guards beat Richard Swan, who over a year later still suffers from medical issues.

NOW, Mark Macarro, who led the council to act outside the tribes constitution and bylaws, wants to keep Californians from being able to have online poker.

Macarro testified before a California Senate hearing yesterday:

Macarro invoked the raw history of the state and federal governments breaking treaties with tribes.

"When times are good, the state has agreement with tribes. When times are bad, they break agreements with tribes. That's a dangerous road to go down," Macarro said.

This is the same Mark Macarro that had his tribe's casino put in extra Class II gaming machines, that looked like a slot machine, acted like a slot machine, but wasn't really a slot machine to try to get around the "state's agreement with tribes". A clear violation of the compacts, that almost led to a shutdown of the casino.

Macarro Threatens to withhold Money:

Arguing that the games violate the tribes' gambling agreements with California, he said his tribe may withhold more than $42.5 million in annual casino revenue-sharing payments to the state if California approves online poker.

So, we have the leader of a tribe, who tried to keep us from our rights to vote as citizens of California, which eliminated 25% of the tribe to fatten their per capita checks to $360,000 each, ripped healthcare from over 300 people, forcing the state to pick up that responsibility, NOW trying to keep the state from generating more income from POKER, which is already legal in California.

SHAME ON YOU, Mr. Mark Macarro

San Pasqual Tribe, Who Cheated Members of Casino Profits, Sues State for Lost Profits

In a bold move, the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, well known for disenfranchising some of their members, keeping them from voting as is their right, is suing the state because of lost revenue. They say, it's okay to cheat our own people, but when WE get cheated, boy, are WE mad! They are similar to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, that is also well known for violating the civil rights of their people.

The North County tribe that owns the Valley View Casino in Valley Center filed a lawsuit against the state on Tuesday seeking $115 million in profits it claims were lost due to the governor's refusal to grant the tribe all the slot machine licenses to which the tribe was entitled.

Last year, the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians received authority from the state to add more slot machines to its casino after a federal judge ruled in favor of the tribes, who argued in court that the governor was illegally withholding licenses for the machines.

Valley View Casino now has 2,000 slot machines, the maximum number it is allowed under its gambling agreement with the state.

In its lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the San Pasqual tribe contends the state breached its 1999 contract and illegally interfered with the tribe's ability to provide slot machine play for its patrons. OP: The tribe has interfered with the Alito family's ability to vote in elections.

By refusing to issue the slot machines licenses, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated a badly needed source of income for counties and cities that would have generated up to $30 million per year in tough economic times, tribal officials said. OP: Raise your hands if you believe that the San Pasqual tribe cares a whit about the counties and cities getting funds from them!

Final question: WHY would you patronize a business that cheats its own people?

If they will cheat their own, like Pechanga does, don't you think they'll cheat YOU?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Letter to Committee on Internet Gaming

The issue of Internet Poker is being addressed at the Capitol on Tuesday morning and in the days ahead. This is an important issue that could impact all of you who are Native American and Without a Tribe.

The following letter needs to be emailed and/or faxed asap to the following political leaders who will be among those making the decisions on this issue:

Email to: Fax to: Speaker Bass: (916) 319-2147 Senator Steinberg (916) 323-2263 Senator Wright: (916) 445-3712

See further instructions below:

I am attaching the letter in file form and I am pasting the letter below. The fastest way to send this letter via email is to copy and paste it into the email you plan to send. Once you paste it in your email, be sure to type in your name and address in the space provided at the end of the letter.

Thank you for your co-operation on this important issue,

February 8, 2010

California Senate
Government Organization Committee
Chairman Roderick Wright
1020 N Street, Room 584
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Internet Poker in California

Dear Chairman Wright:

I understand that your Committee will be holding a hearing regarding internet poker in California . It has been reported that the reason for this hearing is a proposal by several gaming tribes and card clubs to get a monopoly to provide internet poker in California .

The proposal would allow the tribes and card clubs to offer internet gaming in California and they would split the profits. I have not read if the State would receive any portion of the proceeds from internet gaming, and I wonder if all California Indians will benefit from the proceeds.

The voters of California passed several propositions which allowed California Tribes to open casinos in California and provide gaming similar to that found in Las Vegas and Atlantic City . We were lead to believe that Indian gaming would benefit all California Indians, but I know this has not been the case.

Indian gaming brings in billions of dollars and a handful of the large gaming tribes reap most of the profits. The non-gaming tribes also receive a portion of the profits through revenue sharing in the gaming compacts. However, there are thousands of California Indians who do not benefit from the proceeds of Indian gaming.

These California Indians, who are also recognized by the federal government, are not enrolled in a California Tribe. Some may be members of Tribes who were terminated by the federal government and others have been disenrolled or denied membership in one of the many California tribes which has reduced its rolls after the approval and expansion of Indian gaming in California .

The thousands of federally recognized California Indians who are not members of a recognized California Tribe must also be provided for in any bill in which the California Legislature is going to allow California Tribes run internet gaming in California. The Legislature has a responsibility to all California Indians, not just to the federally recognized tribes, to provide for them equally.

I look forward to your response regarding this issue and the points I have made. Please remember that you have a responsibility to all of California ’s citizens, including its first citizens.




Cc: Speaker Bass
Senate President Pro Tem Steinberg

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pechanga Tribal Thefts: A Tale of Two Investigations

Many of us who follow what happens at Pechanga find it curious that an investigation into two crimes against the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians have disparate outcomes. We have the current criminal charges agains Ryan Robinson and James Riley for allegedly overcharging the Pechanga Tribe for insurance. Pechanga investigates, gives evidence to the grand jury, and the DA files criminal charges. In May 2007, we told our readers about the charges against Larry Miranda (CPP Member Frogmarched out of Pechanga Casino) . This was a case where Mr. Miranda was accused of skimming from employees tips. He was removed from his job, but, curiously, there were NO CHARGES filed against the son of former tribal council spokesperson Jennie Miranda and nephew of current council member Andrew Masiel. Larry is the grandson of Ruth Masiel, who was one of the group who eliminated 250 people from the Pechanga Tribe, in order to increase their per capita. The Masiel Crime Family has been documented HERE HERE and HERE We wonder why Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro wasn't worried about the integrity of the tribe in the Larry Miranda case. We also wonder why DA Larry Pacheco isn't concerned either? So in this the type of INTEGRITY we can expect from the Pechanga Tribal Council?

Tim Giago: Felton Newell Supports Cherokee Against Freedmen. Stands with Civil Rights Violators

Challenger to Rep. Diane Watson supports Cherokee Nation

By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© 2010 Native Sun News

February 8, 2010

How many of you know that a U. S. Congresswoman from California has twice tried to terminate the federal status of the Cherokee Nation? It may be the first and only time such an event has occurred. Representative Diane Watson (D-CA) is trying to do just that. OP: When you have a Nation that is violating the civil rights of others, should they benefit from U.S. Government funds?

In March 2006, the Cherokee Nation's Supreme Court ruled that the descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen (Black descendants of slaves) were unjustly kept for over 20 years from enrolling as citizens. They were allowed to register and to become enrolled citizens of the Cherokee Nation.

Principal Chief Chad "Corntassel" Smith called for an emergency election to amend the constitution. A petition for a vote to remove the Freedmen descendants was circulated and Chief Smith held an emergency election. As a result of the amendment's near unanimous approval the Freedmen descendants were removed from the Cherokee Nation tribal rolls

Read more of the article at the Huffington Post

For those that believe in civil rights of the Individual Indian, do NOT VOTE for Felton Newell. Support Diane Watson.

Who is Ryan Robinson and Why Did Pechanga Put Him in Charge of Tribal Funds?

Ryan Robinson went from being the Casino's Chief Financial Officer to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians CFO.

Now, remember this from March 2005:

A financial officer for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula was arrested Wednesday for allegedly embezzling nearly a half-million dollars, Riverside County authorities said.

Paul Del Vacchio, 39, of Murrieta was financial controller for the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians' casino, and allegedly funneled $489,000 into his personal bank account over the last two years, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Ryan Robinson, the casino's chief financial officer and Del Vacchio's boss, was placed on administrative leave and investigated for nearly two months.

Someone who had this cloud, was then placed in charge of the Pechanga finances? WHY

Who in the tribe stood to gain from a guy who managed a person who skimmed from the tribe and then later, has a relationship with a PDC officer, and then allegedly skimmed or got kickbacks from an insurance fraud scheme?

What money is still owed to the state in income taxes by this illegal venture and did anyone else benefit from the money Riley and Robinson took?

Who IS James Riley and Why Did Pechanga Choose Him?

Why did Pechanga choose James Riley? What relationship does he have with Pechanga prior to becoming their insurance broker?

From their website:

James William Riley
Years of Experience – 20

Jim Riley has a distinguished insurance background with over 20 years experience. During this time he has become a specialist in the Construction Industry, Native American Operations and large Property placements. Other areas of expertise include Manufacturing, Distribution, Auto Dealerships and Employment Services. He is a premier agent in Southern California and is expanding nationwide thru a subsidiary, R.Garrison Strategic Risk Management. Working diligently for his clients has allowed him to one of the top agents in the Southern California. Jim has been on the forefront in developing unique programs to meet the needs of his clients.

“I enjoy strategic planning with my clients, isolating problem areas, and using technology and my own experience to provide customized solutions.”

Is There MORE to the Pechanga Insurance Fraud? Ryan Robinson had FRIENDS on the Pechanga Tribal Council and Dated a PDC member

On many newspaper stories about the 'alleged' insurance fraud, it's been reported that Ryan Robinson, former CFO for the Pechanga Tribe, was DATING a member of the Pechanga Development Corporation, see the link for it's members.

This member of the PDC is related to many of the same people the pushed for the termination of hundreds of Native Americans from the Pechanga Tribe. This meant she would get much more money, as would her mother and uncles.

There's MORE than what's being told here. How did this man move from the Casino operations to the TRIBAL operation without friends on the tribal council? Who were his friends on the council?

Why would DA Rod Pacheco only use the evidence given to him by the Pechanga Tribal Council (a.k.a. Friends of Ryan Robinson) and not look further? Why would the Press Enterprise only take the story at face value?

Can we trust that Mark Macarro, Andrew Masiel, Butch Murphy and the rest of the Pechanga Tribal Council are telling the whole story? Macarro has lied to Congress, lied to the press about disenrollments, lied to the tribal membership about stopping all disenrollments and the council has acted outside of the Pechanga Tribal Constitution and Bylaws....

How much advertising dollars does it take to keep a NEWSPAPER from digging into the NEWS?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pechanga Announcement on Theft. No Mention of Their Own Theft of Health Insurance from Disenrolled Tribal Members

Interesting choice of the word "victim" by the Pechanga Tribal Council. There is no mention of "victimhood" when they discuss those they disenrolled. Pechanga has defrauded those terminated Native Americans of more than $12 MILLION in lost health insurance over the past four years.

If Pechanga will cheat their OWN, won't they cheat their customers?


Dear Friends:

We wanted to be the first to inform you that today, the Riverside County Superior Court indicted Ryan Robinson, former CFO of the Pechanga Resort & Casino and the Pechanga Tribal Government, and James Riley, the insurance agent of record for Pechanga, on charges of grand theft, commercial bribery, and money laundering against Pechanga. In total, Robinson and Riley are charged with defrauding Pechanga out of more than $4 million.

Today’s announcement was the direct result of a joint investigation by the Tribal Council, PDC, and Gaming Commission into misconduct by these individuals. Because the integrity of the Pechanga Tribe and its operations is paramount, we acted quickly to conduct a thorough, independent investigation and provide law enforcement with all of the evidence we gathered.

No guests, Team Members, or business partners were affected by this fraud – the Tribe was the sole victim. The fraud perpetrated involved property and casualty insurance.

We will continue to assist law enforcement with this matter. In order to protect the integrity of the case and to allow the justice system to determine the outcome, we cannot comment further.

Pechanga Tribal Council

Man Who Cheated Pechanga Tribe, INDICTED, Pechanga Tribe who Cheated Their Members, NOT Indicted

Does anyone wonder why it would take so long for an indictment from Riverside DA Rod Pacheco?
We understand there are still some indictments coming, this from the Federal side. Is this a sign of incompetence from those running Pechanga? Since the premiums were overcharged to Pechanga, does Pechanga owe any of that to the state? Wouldn't their "net win" now be higher?

A man who allegedly overcharged the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians $4 million in insurance premiums, and another who worked for the tribe, were charged with grand theft in indictments unsealed today.

James William Riley, a 46-year-old insurance broker, is also charged with commercial bribery and money laundering.

Ryan Jay Robinson, the 39-year-old former chief financial officer for the Pechanga Resort & Casino and the Tribal Government Center, is also charged with commercial bribery.
The men allegedly committed the crimes in 2006 and 2007, according to Ryan Hightower of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

The indictment states that after Hurricane Katrina, Riley overcharged the Pechanga Development Center by more than $4 million in insurance premiums, Hightower said.

Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro Statement:

We uncovered evidence of fraud and theft against the Pechanga Tribe and immediately launched a detailed internal investigation," Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said in a written statement. "Our investigation found millions of dollars were stolen. It is our understanding that no patrons, employees or business partners were affected by the inappropriate activities of these individuals."

We say in the headline that Pechanga is not indicted. The amount of insurance lost to those they unconstitutionally disenrolled is THREE times this loss. More on that later....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

CA Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, politicians FINED for Not Reporting Pechanga Gifts

How much to buy our politicians? $94 seems to be enough. That's the amount that Pechanga gave a host of California lawmakers in free dinners. Democratic Party's Assembly Speaker Karen Bass had to pay a $600 fine for not reporting Pechanga's gifts. It's curious that an African American politician would accept gifts from a tribe that has denied civil rights to many of their people? SHAME on you Madame Speaker. Wilmer Carter (D- Rialto) pays a $200 fine for accepting and not reporting Pechanga's gift. Learn what the Pechanga tribe has done to their people, Rep. Carter. Here is a link to a letter we wrote to the President of CA's NAACP