Sunday, February 28, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
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 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
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.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
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.
BY DAVID ORENSTEIN
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.
“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.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
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.
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.
Better to go to Las Vegas, the slots are looser and there's more to see.
Woman injured at casino stuck in legal quagmire
By Onell R. Soto, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
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
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.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
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.
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
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
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:
Assemblymember.Bass@assembly.ca.gov Speaker Bass: (916) 319-2147
Senator.Steinberg@senate.ca.gov Senator Steinberg (916) 323-2263
Senator.Wright@senate.ca.gov 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
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
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.
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?
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
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
If Pechanga will cheat their OWN, won't they cheat their customers?
FROM THE PECHANGA TRIBAL COUNCIL:
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
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....