Saturday, May 29, 2010
The DOJ needs to take a closer look at California.
I thought it was an opportune time to talk about its origins, the failures and inadequacy of Congress in enacting the Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act in 1988, and the political process and corruption involved in the negotiation and execution of the 59 original compacts, negotiated in California by now deposed governor Gray Davis who received massive contributions for his 1998 election from the illegal Indian casinos operating here before March 2000.
Once Indian gambling was introduced into California I went on to discuss the impacts on communities where they are located and some of the irony of tiny recognized “tribes” of one or two people, or perhaps a handful of members, often tracing only fractional descent [if any] to a real California Native Indian Band and claiming they were sovereign governments because they have been “recognized” by bureaucrats in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. These tiny “sovereign governments” pay no taxes and provide no services or infrastructure to their “tribe”. Rather they depend on the public services and infrastructure paid for by non-Indian taxpayers and the federal government for their welfare. I discussed how these claims of “sovereignty” were not only used to evade paying the taxes needed to fund local public services and infrastructure, but also used to evade all the many laws enacted for the protection of the public, customers in Indian casinos and businesses, their workers and the environment and quality of life in the host communities. I discussed the false economy of Indian gambling casinos that promise “jobs” and claim to be a destination “resort” bringing in tourist dollars when, in actuality these are unprotected, transient and generally low paying “jobs” that are created. This job creation is far-outweighed by the fact that the many gamblers losing money at an Indian casino, come from nearby communities where they are not spending those discretionary dollars in non-Indian businesses. These nearby non-Indian businesses often cannot compete with an Indian casino or business that pays no taxes, operates above the laws and which cannot be sued by customers, workers (or anyone else) for their misdeeds because of an outdated court-created legal doctrine giving Indian tribes, their casinos, businesses, agents and employees complete immunity from lawsuit no matter how outrageous their actions or conduct may be.
That in addition to siphoning millions of dollars in discretionary money from gamblers drawn to these casinos from nearby communities these patrons are gambling with money they often cannot afford to lose. That produces increases in crimes of theft, robbery and embezzlement, divorce and family neglect, financial problems, foreclosures and bankruptcies, gambling addictions, substance abuses, even increased suicides that are an inevitable result of the introduction of Indian casino gambling. I quoted Warren Buffet who astutely pointed out a few years ago that there has always been gambling activities. The problem with Indian gambling casinos is that they have made gambling much more convenient so those losing vast amounts of money do not have to travel great distances to places like Las Vegas to do READ MORE
Friday, May 28, 2010
Linda Marasti nearly fainted when she heard her name announced as the winner of a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu in a casino drawing.
"My legs were weak. I was pale," she said.
But Marasti's euphoria quickly turned to bitter disappointment Sunday evening when she was told by managers at the Chicken Ranch casino that she would not get the car after all because she could not produce an original Social Security card.
Ironically, Marasti, 65, had always carried the card with her until she lost her wallet last month. When a new card was issued May 4, it came with the following warning from the Social Security Administration in capital letters: DO NOT CARRY THIS CARD WITH YOU.
"The woman at the Social Security office told me not to carry it in my wallet. She said to make a copy of it and carry that with you instead," Marasti recalled.
Marasti presented her driver's license and a photocopy of her Social Security card when she went up to claim the car, but after a brief discussion, she was told she was being disqualified because of the photocopy
Department of Justice Creates 30 new Prosecutors to Indian Country, OMITS California, where crime runs RAMPANT
Smith is hopeful it will pay off.
"This is a big improvement, and if they follow through, it will be even better," he said. "A lot of times they say they're going to do things and they don't. This time it looks like they're really serious."
In announcing the $6 million initiative, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that violent crimes, particularly against women and children, continue to devastate tribal communities at rates much higher than the national average.
The new prosecutors, along with a law enforcement grant program and the promise of an even bigger effort in fiscal 2011, are seen as a part of a new government commitment to fulfilling trust responsibility to the tribes.
Pine Ridge will also benefit from a pilot program pairing prosecutors with a victims' advocate. The Navajo Nation in New Mexico and the Menominee Tribe in Wisconsin are also getting the new two-person teams.
South Dakota U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson said his office wants to work more closely with tribal prosecutors, and has offered technical assistance to the Oglala Sioux to ease the overburdened court system.
"They have such a high volume of cases," he said. "Obviously at the tribal court level, if you're not addressing the simple assaults the concern is that, over time, those simple assaults become aggravated assaults."
Smith said that with gangs, officers often concentrate on minor crimes and aren't able to keep repeat and violent offenders off the street.
"We can't keep records on them, (so) we can't get the more serious crimes prosecuted," said Smith, estimating the tribe's police department is at least 25 years behind others in the country.
Arizona received the highest number of the 30 new prosecutors with five, followed by Montana with three, and New Mexico, Wyoming and South Dakota with two. Sixteen other districts (Alaska, Colorado, eastern Michigan, western Michigan, Minnesota, southern Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, northern New York, North Dakota, northern Oklahoma, western Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, eastern Washington and western Washington) received one prosecutor each.
The Justice Department's 2011 budget request includes an additional $22 million for a grant program to be used to hire and train tribal police officers, and purchase equipment.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Dry Creek Rancheria Votes to OUST Harvey Hopkins Due to Disenrollment of True Members. IS Pechanga's Macarro NEXT?
We discussed the disenrollment issues that Dry Creek had in 2009 and look what's happened. The tribe was able to muster enough votes to oust Harvey. A difference with Pechanga, is that the tribal council, led my Mark "El Corrupto" Macarro, is that they were able to eliminate enough votes to remain safely ensconsed in power. Imagine that, you'd think it was by design, wouldn't you.
But she said the major reason was Hopkins’ repeated challenges to individuals and their tribal membership despite an audit of tribal rolls completed last year. The issue was particularly important when it came to those nominated to serve on various government committees, Nojima said.
“People are scared to run for office or scared to speak up in a meeting, because who knows if their membership is going to be questioned? That was one of the reasons why we did the recall,” Nojima said.
“The numbers kind of speak for themselves,” Pina said. “However, there’s also a number of people who have voted three different times to elect him chairman.”
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Christopher P. Olsen, 24, was pronounced dead at the Rancho Springs Medical Center about 3:45 a.m. May 10, according to a coroner’s report. He died about 90 minutes after he arrived at the Murrieta hospital.
According to the report, Olsen was found unresponsive in stairwell of hotel and was transported to the hospital. An autopsy was performed and determined cause of death to be multiple blunt force traumatic injuries and the manner of death is pending further investigation, the report states.
Sgt. Joe Borja said the initial information indicated that Olsen death was an accident and that he had fallen down some stairs at the hotel. He was with a group of friends at the hotel, Borja said, but apparently alone at the time he fell. At this point, Borja said, the investigation is not considered a criminal case.
No, of course not. Would it be considered criminal if it were at Soboba?
Borja said he did know why the report of the death was announced Friday, two weeks after the incident.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Letter To Department of Justice in Opposition to Glenda Nelson and Jack Potter Jr. for Tribal Nations Leadership Council
Office of Tribal Justice
Tracy Toulou, Director
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington , DC 20530
Re: Candidates to the Tribal Nations Leadership Council
Dear Director Toulou:
As a United States citizen, a registered voter, and a person concerned about the growing problem of civil rights violations in Indian Country, I am submitting this letter regarding several tribal leaders nominated to sit on the Tribal Nations Leadership Council.
I am especially outraged that Glenda Nelson of Enterprise and Jack Potter Jr. of Redding Rancheria have been nominated to the Tribal Nations Leadership Council, and I urge you to refuse to sit them as members of the Council.
Throughout California Indian Country, tribal officials such as Ms. Nelson and Mr. Potter have taken actions which have denied and/or stripped thousands of California Indians of the basic rights guaranteed by tribal and federal laws. These very same tribal leaders have escaped prosecution for their gross violations by invoking tribal sovereignty.
If it is the intent of the Department to gain perspective and develop policy regarding tribal justice issues such as civil rights, the Department would be better served by meeting with those who have been victims of the arbitrary and capricious acts of tribal officials.
Moreover, it would be the height of hypocrisy to allow either Ms. Nelson or Mr. Potter to sit on the Council and influence Department policy regarding tribal justice issues when they themselves continue to prosper or retain power as a direct result of actions which have victimized the citizens of Enterprise and Redding Rancheria.
I urge you to deny Ms. Nelson and Mr. Potter’s nomination to the Council and respectfully request that you revise the manner in which the Department will interact with Indian Country to include consultations with those who have had their rights violated and/or stripped by tribal leaders.
Cc: Gaye.Tenoso Gaye.Tenoso2@usdoj.gov
Here is the ruling:
Pursuant to the Order filed herewith, IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The Court orders that such judgment be entered.
See the judgement HERE
H/T to Stand up For California
In a 5-part series, I outlined what led up to the advent of the Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act of 1988. How Congress engaged in a feeble attempt to wean Indian tribes from total federal dependence and at the same time clarify the 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Cabazon Tribe versus California. How Congress completely failed to take into account the complex and confusing body of Indian law, including the court-created doctrine of Indian tribal immunity from lawsuit.
Then I discussed the tortured history of how Indian gambling found its way into California illegally and the attempts to legalize it by corrupt politicians and Gov. Gray Davis, who executed 59 tribal-state compacts for casinos with several tiny bands of questionable Indian descent, and who had no legally eligible lands on which to build and operate a gambling casino and even allow questionable “tribes” to purchase land near perceived gambling markets in a practice that came to be known as “reservation shopping.”
These often ridiculous policies and events led to the rapid expansion of Indian gambling casinos all over California being thrust into many communities who didn’t want them and which provided no benefit despite the creation of “jobs.” That was because of the many negative impacts of such a casino and the demands placed on public services and infrastructure, which the Indian casinos and businesses used regularly while paying no taxes.
This continuing article is to demonstrate how pervasive the corruption from Indian gambling dollars has become. Although there are many examples, this limited space only allows for the recounting of some of the typical and more outrageous examples of it.
As set out in the earlier series, Gov. Davis owed his election to the massive contributions from Indian casinos operating illegally in California at the time and the massive campaign instituted by those tribes, many of which had only a handful of members, and fractional and often questionable claims to being “Indian” at all. A campaign to enact a tribal initiative to amend the California Government Code known as Proposition 5 was circulated in an attempt to legalize the illegal Indian gambling casinos operating in California at the time.
To repay this largesse, once elected, Gov. Davis negotiated 59 tribal-state compacts through the summer of 1999 with these illegal existing casino tribes and many other questionable groups, several with no eligible land upon which gambling would be allowed under federal law. These compacts had been negotiated behind closed doors under the authority of Proposition 5 enacted in November 1998 at the same time Davis was elected.
These secretive negotiations took place behind closed doors, away from all of the major public forces that usually shape laws, such as city and county governments, unions, law enforcement, women’s rights groups, environmental protection groups, local and consumer rights groups and lawyers’ organizations. Even though the California Supreme Court had struck down Proposition 5 in August 1999, undaunted, Gov. Davis executed these give-away “sweetheart” compacts in September 1999 and had the democratically controlled legislature approve them in October 1999. To overcome the fact there was no statutory authority to execute and approve those compacts after the August 1999 Supreme Court decision, Gov. Davis and the Legislature put a “legislative initiative” on the March 2000 ballot called Proposition 1A. Although this initiative amended the State Constitution to authorize the Governor to negotiate future tribal-state compacts, it was, in effect, an initiative designed to retroactively ratify the 59 compacts signed earlier without lawful authority and without informing the voters.
As if this corrupted set of events was not enough, it was but the opening bell in a bruising round of corrupt practices that followed at both the state and federal level.
Proposition 1A established two funds: The Revenue Sharing Trust Fund and the Special Distribution Fund. The former was a fund established by the state into which those tribes with casinos would pay money. That fund would then make annual payments to “Indian tribes” in California that did not have casinos, or had casinos with fewer than 300 slot machines. Each “tribe” would receive an annual distribution of $1,100,000 over and above the hundreds of thousands they receive in federal welfare and grant monies.
Some of these “tribes” had only one or two members, like the Valley Miwoks and the Buena Vista MeWuks and Mary Ann Martin’s Augustine Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians. She was the only member of that “tribe” and not only entitled to receive a $1.1 million dollar distribution but also hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in federal welfare and grant money for “tribal government,” “tribal economic development,” “tribal housing,” and so forth. Many other bands or tribes had perhaps a handful of members.
The first thing that happened once Indian gambling became openly legal was that these casino tribes began contributing monies large and small to various politicians at the state and local level.
Many of you may recall how Jack Abramoff, (OP: whom Mark Macarro and his wife had dinner with.) the now imprisoned and disgraced lobbyist, got $80 million from one “poor” Indian tribe in Alabama with orders to spread it around Washington politicians, in order to block another Indian tribe’s attempt to open a competing casino. When the scandal finally broke, the Indian tribal governments and liberal media castigated Abramoff and his partner Scanlon for his activities, but carefully concealed the fact it was the Indian tribal governments, lawyers and lobbyists that furnished the tribal ‘pay-off” monies and that Abramoff was just the bag man delivering the tribal gambling monies to the many corrupt politicians he knew and who willingly took it.
One tribal government operating a gambling casino near Palm Springs gave Abramoff $10 million and then later refused to disclose what it was for, even to the tribal membership. State Senator Jim Battin from Palm Springs received tens of thousands of dollars in Indian casino contributions deposited into committees mostly called “The Friends of Jim Battin.” These committees were very generous in handing out tens of thousands of those casino dollars to other Sacramento politicians, lending a new meaning to the expression “it pays to have friends.” When he finally got in trouble with the state F.P.P.C. and they filed complaints against him, he and these Indian casinos set up the “Jim Battin Defense Fund.”
Senator Battin, (now termed out), was a champion of Indian gambling causes of all kinds. A year or two ago, the former chairman of the Indian Gaming Commission, Phillip Hogen, had been trying to change the federal rules defining more clearly what a slot machine was. Casino Indians and slot machine manufacturers had designed machines they called Bingo machines. Bingo under the IGRA is a class II gambling game that can be operated by a tribe without needing a tribal-state compact. Such a tribal-state compact is required for class III casino gambling, including the use of slot machines.
The compact requirement is the only way states can require tribes to pay money for all of the public services and infrastructure they use at the taxpayers’ expense. The compacts are also the way states can impose rules and regulations on gambling tribes. Commissioner Hogen had been trying to change the rules for years and reclassify these “Bingo machines” as facsimile slot machines subject to state control and the tribal-state compact requirements.
Sen. Battin wrote a letter, at the time, to Commissioner Hogen urging him not to change the rule, and he had 20 other Senators sign it. So, here we have fully one-half of our state’s Senators opposing a federal rule change that would be a direct benefit to the State of California, the state that they are supposed to be representing.
As I wrote in an article last year for this Valley Journal titled “Pay to Play,” this Indian casino corruption is rampant. Locally the Chumash and other tribes pushed for a bill early on in the gambling casino saga. They urged adoption of a bill in the Legislature that required local communities to come hat in hand for monies from the special distribution fund that were paid into it by gambling tribes. This money was originally intended to mitigate the negative impacts of casinos on local communities. That bill established local committees, controlled by the very Indian tribes causing the negative impacts who would then either approve or disprove any requests for grants by local governments to be made from the monies that were originally in that fund to mitigate those impacts.
On another occasion when the IRS refused to allow Indian tribes to issue tax-free bonds for gambling casino construction, arguing that such bonds were for public works projects, the tribes went to their friends in Sacramento – and introduced a bill to have the State of California issue tax-free bonds on their behalf.
When the gambling tribes wanted to eliminate any competition, they went to Sacramento again and had a bill introduced to place a long moratorium on the issuance of any more private non-Indian card room licenses that is still in effect. In fact, they just got their buddies in the Legislature to extend it.
When they wanted to eliminate competition from charities conducting Bingo games for charitable purposes, they got their Legislative friends to pass a bill banning the use of these Bingo machines by charities. You remember, the same machines they argued to the federal government were not slot machines at all, but then when they wanted to block their use by charities in California, they claimed that the state should not allow this use because it infringed on their exclusive right to operate “slot machines,” as provided for in the tribal-state compacts and in Art. 4, section 19 of the State Constitution.
Even locally, you may recall, when the Chumash wanted to rename San Marcos Pass/Highway 154 “The Chumash Highway,” they went to another friend of the Indian casino tribes, Assemblyman Coto, who has taken thousand of dollars from casino tribes and is now doing so for a run for the State Senate. Assemblyman Coto represents a San Jose District some 300 miles from here.
After receiving a generous political contribution of several thousand dollars from the Chumash, he introduced a resolution to rename Highway 154 as the Chumash Highway.
This was done without any local notice or knowledge and/or a resolution from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, which resolution was required by a section of the California Streets and Highways Code. It was then shepherded quietly through the legislature by a number of elected officials in record time, many of whom had received thousands of dollars from the Chumash and tens of thousands from other casino tribes. The community only learned of the resolution when the tribe issued a press release after the fact.
Read the remainder of the article HERE
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Snoqualmie Tribal Council had ordered and then canceled a general meeting of tribal membership on Saturday, May 8, but about 50 voting members showed up anyway at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds longhouse in Monroe. Sub-chief Nathan Barker opened the meeting, and chairwoman-elect Shelley Burch, Barker’s sister, presided.
At that meeting, attendees voted to recall six tribal council members, including MaryAnne Hinzman, Bobby Hinzman, Ray Mullen, Margaret Mullen, Kanium Ventura and Arlene Ventura, who did not attend the meeting. Recall letters stated that the recalled council members had 30 days to reply to the membership on their reasons for not attending.
The Tribal Council met five days later in a closed session Thursday, May 13, at the tribe’s Snoqualmie offices. That morning, a note from Tribe Administrator Matt Mattson posted on the door of the office stated that the general meeting was illegally held and that the council remained intact.
“Staff will continue to respond to the sitting tribal council and proceed with the understanding that Nina Repin has a renewed term and Jake Repin, Jolene Williams and Shelley Burch assume office on May 15,” Mattson’s letter stated.
According to a tribal official, the Snoqualmie Tribe’s constitution calls for the general meeting agenda to be sent to the Tribal Secretary at least 30 days prior to the meeting, and for a meeting notice to be published in a newspaper. Neither of those conditions were met.
Council members had been told days earlier that the meeting was improper, acting chairwoman MaryAnne Hinzman told the Valley Record.
The meeting was called off, she said, to avoid legal challenges.
"We didn't want to have to go to court again," Hinzman said.
While 50 votes are technically a quorum, the tribe' constitution states that recall requires a vote by at least one-third of the tribal membership, roughly 120 votes — double the number of votes tallied that Saturday.
The tribal council called for a fact-finding meeting on Wednesday, May 26, on events surrounding the meeting. Tribal officials said that no council members are being forced off the council, but some of the council members who took part in the meeting may be censured, or required to go before the membership to explain their decision.
The council is also expected to set the agenda next week for a new general meeting. That meeting will come no less than 30 days from the date the agenda is set, according to officials.
In the letter posted on the door of the tribal center, Mattson stated that his office had been inundated with rumors of the dismantling of the tribal council.
Then-current chairman Joe Mullen and Hinzman ordered him to close the tribal office to all but staff, council and those with appointments.
Chief Barker attended Thursday’s meeting and attempted to deliver the recall letters. Instead, council members sanctioned him.
Barker disagreed with the council’s decision not to attend the meeting.
“The rest of them chose not to face the people,” he said. “You’re elected by the people. You don’t go and hide from them.”
The tribal center was locked down in an election-related council dispute last fall. During mitigation hearings between council members that followed, Barker remembers being asked by a negotiator what he wanted. His answer: a general membership meeting.
“Let the people decide what they want,” Barker said.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
"How can that be?" you ask. Well, as our friends have noted: Who better to provide insight to the Department of Justice on civil rights than the biggest violator's walking the planet. As a commenter put it, it's like having a child molester babysit.
Quite simply, the U.S Department of Justice does not have the authority to enforce the Indian Civil Rights Act: http://www.justice.gov/otj/civilrights.htm
Thousands of Indians from throughout the United States understand all too well that the DOJ does not enforce the ICRA. And tribal leaders such as Nelson and Potter, as well as Mark Maccaro and Chad Smith, among others, know that the DOJ's failure to uphold federal law creates opportunities for them to violate the ICRA without fear of retribution. In Macarro's case, disenrollment of 25% of the tribe was worth more than $20,000 per month to him over the past four years! A $MILLION$ to him, his family and friends, EACH, is worth violating a few civil rights.
In fact, it might be said that some tribal leaders, Nelson and Potter included, have gained substantially both personally and politically due to the DOJ's failure to protect the citizens of the Enterprise and Redding Rancherias from the arbitrary and capricious acts which were outlawed by the ICRA. Power, money both influence corruption. And when you know Eric Holder won't do anything about it, why do what's right, when doing what's wrong is so much more lucrative.
All things considered, Nelson and Potter are perfect fits for a Department that has failed Indians and Indian Country time and time again. This particular Department of Justice has proven its incompetence time and again, such as not reading AZ's immigration law, denigrating it, while having a policy that supports it.
However, if you don't agree with this, and think that honor has a place in this committee, please feel free to express your concerns to the DOJ by contacting Tracy Toulou (Tracy.Toulou2@usdoj.gov) and Gaye Tenoso (Gaye.Tenoso2@usdoj.gov).
Monday, May 17, 2010
Breaking News: AG Holder's Tribal Nations Leadership Council has Nominees from Tribes That Have CRUSHED the Civil Rights of Members!
Nominees made by Pechanga, Redding Rancheria and others included Chairwoman Glenda Nelson of the Enterprise and Jack Potter Jr from Redding Rancheria.
Concerns or support regarding the TNLC representatives should be made to Tracy Toulou (Tracy.Toulou2@usdoj.gov) and Gaye Tenoso (Gaye.Tenoso2@usdoj.gov) These two members of tribal councils that have crushed the civil and human rights of their people SHOULD NOT have the honor of sitting in meetings with the Attorney General. Certainly there are better choices in California's Indian Country. And Pechanga shouldn't be able to nominate ANYONE.
And are these two REALLY who should represent California's Indian Country?
BOYCOTT the LAKERS for ACCEPTING A Sponsor that Violates CIVIL RIGHTS and HUMAN RIGHTS: Yes Pechanga
The Los Angeles Lakers' website shows that the Pechanga Resort and Casino, operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, well know civil rights violators are SPONSORS.
It's funny that Mexican-American groups are calling for a protest over head coach Phil Jackson's comments to ESPN the other day, yet have NO PROBLEM supporting a sports team that takes MONEY from a tribe the actually HAS violated civil and human rights. What's UP WITH THAT?
In an interview with ESPN, Jackson spoke in support of SB 1070 saying, “Am I crazy, or am I the only one that heard [the legislature] say ‘we just took the United States immigration law and adapted it to our state.’” When sports reporter J.A. Adande remarked that SB 1070 actually represented “the usurping of federal law,” Jackson responded, “It’s not usurping…. they gave it some teeth to be able to enforce it.”
He then chided his upcoming playoff opponent, the Phoenix Suns, for coming out as a team—from owner to players—against the bill.
“I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff,” Jackson said. “If I heard it right the American people are really for stronger immigration laws, if I’m not mistaken. Where we stand as basketball teams, we should let that kind of play out and let the political end of that go where it’s going to go.”
altoarizona.com want has a petition out asking Jackson to stand with Los Angeles, you know, the city whose leader's haven't read the law and are only looking to get press coverage. Ed Reyes is a moron who doesn't know that the AZ law has the same law as our OWN California law, Janice Hahn..a political legacy and not worth much... direct your ire at PECHANGA
Friday, May 14, 2010
Letter to Editor of Fresno Bee:
Regarding the Bee's recent front page story of Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indian's latest business venture.
I find myself wondering once again when the paper genocide of our Chukchansi People and so many other Indian People throughout California will cease? Tribes such as Picayune continue to blatantly violate the tribal, civil and
human rights of hundreds of their own People through disenrollment and moratorium
Tribal council member Alberta states "a healthy economy will allow money to be pumped back into tribal programs". This same promise was made to 1600 Chukchansi People prior to the establishment of Chukchansi Gold. Since that time, over 600 tribal
members including elders and future generations, language keepers and
babies have had their very birthright stolen from them by a PRCI
government who swore to protect the People and their rights.
Chukchansi ancestors have been disrespected and history rewritten--a once proud Chukchansi Nation replaced instead by a greedy corporation whose members have chosen to forget the Indian way of respect and caring for one's People. Programs? Ask currently enrolled tribal People about housing, education or health insurance
for all...then ask of talk of future audits and disenrollments.
PRCI tribal council...do what the Creator planned for our People. Bring the
People--ALL thePeople--home to Picayune!
While this letter was unpublished, writing newspaper editors is critical to getting the word out. The Fresno Bee as well as the Riverside Press Enterprise depend heavily on the advertising revenue of local gaming tribes. Anyone wonder why some news and letters don't get printed?
Original Pechanga's Blog: John, how is it that Pechanga could tell you that you were banished while at a meeting with other tribes, have you removed from the reservation and then explain that it was for something you said a week AFTER that meeting?
I have no doubt that the Tribal Council will fabricate something to reconcile the inconsistancies in their actions. However, does it really matter? They do not have to be right or do the right thing. They make the rules and they can enforce them as they see fit, regardless of the facts or circumstances.
Original Pechanga's Blog: Are you a threat to the Pechanga Reservation? Who is a bigger threat to the Pechanga People?
What is especially bothersome about the council's action is that they are justifying their action as necessary to protect the people. If the health and welfare of the reservation residents is such a high priority, why not exclude those individuals who have actually committed violent crimes. Maybe it's because those criminals are their criminals, their family.
Or as Chairman Macarro allegedly responded when asked why he was allowing criminals and thiefs to run amok, "That's who we are." I guess that explains it all.
OPB here are excerpts from Mr. Gomez's request for an appeal
1. As a Temecula Indian, I have a property interest in the lands referred to as the Pechanga Indian Reservation. Said lands were set aside by Executive Orders in the 1880’s and 1890’s for the use and benefit of the “Temecula band or village of Indians”. The use and benefit of said lands has never been extinguished or revoked by the entity that has the sole authority to do so- the United States Congress. Until such time as the use and benefit may be extinguished or revoked, I will continue to have a property interest in said lands.
2. I require access to the Pechanga Indian Reservation to personally use the Indian Health Services Clinic. At times, I also transport my grandmother to and from the Indian Health Services Clinic located on the Pechanga Indian Reservation.
... a hearing is also necessary to address the conflict that exists between the Notice dated May 4, 2010 and the notice of exclusion ... delivered by Councilman Masiel on April 14, 2010 as I attended a meeting ... on the Pechanga Indian Reservation.
On April 14, 2010, at or around 12:45 pm, Councilman Masiel asked to speak to me and lead me out of the Pechanga Cultural Resources Building. We were met by David Nelson of the Tribal Rangers. At that time, Councilman Masiel notified me that I had been banned from the reservation and asked me to leave. I notified Councilman Masiel that I had never been notified of any exclusion or banishment and asked when it occurred. He stated that it happened when he was “off the Council” and he had only recently been made aware of it.
.... I requested that Councilman Masiel have a notice sent to me.
On May 7, 2010, I received a Notice of Exclusion.... the Notice cites a statement made by me on April 18, 2010 and published in the Lake County News on April 19, 2010 as the basis for my exclusion. Therefore, I would like clarification as to how a statement published 5 days after I had been officially notified of my exclusion could be used as the basis for said exclusion. OP: Is the Tribal Council motto: A LIE is as good as the truth, if you can get someone to believe it?
... I can provide evidence that the statement referred to has not only been misinterpreted but has been taken out of context. The statement in question was a response to a specific incident that occurred at another reservation... the Chairperson of ... Rancheria and several of her family members had, on April 18, 2010, assaulted a member of the Rancheria who had recently been disenrolled.
Based on the information provided regarding the alleged incident and my personal knowledge that the Congressman from that district had been watching the events ... unfold over the years, I offered my opinion on that matter. (Incidentally, Congressman Thompson did act. On April 29, 2010, the Congressman sent a letter to the House Resources Committee requesting that oversight hearings be held regarding the enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act).
OP: PLEASE share this on Facebook
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The BANISHMENT of Pablo Apis' Descendent John Gomez, Jr. for Fighting for The Civil Rights of Native Americans In the United States
MORE to follow.
The MIRACLE of The Pechanga Tribal Council: Visions of the Future, Like a Scene From Spielberg's Minority Report
We've talked about wielding sovereignty like a club, but in this story, reminiscent of Steven Spielberg's MINORITY REPORT, where criminals were prosecuted for something they planned to do, a banishment was brought for for something that didn't happen until a week AFTER the banishment.
STAY TUNED....... Mr. Macarro, HAVE YOU NO SHAME? Nick Rahall, how about that oversight hearing? Isn't this outright FRAUD?
The tribe owns Red Hawk Casino, which it built two years ago with the help of partner Lakes Entertainment Inc. The suit was brought by an earlier development partner, Sharp Image Gaming Inc., which claims an existing exclusive right to offer gaming with the tribe dating back to the late 1990s.
The tribe’s attorneys had tried to get the court to change the venue to Los Angeles, but the transfer was denied Monday by El Dorado Superior Court Judge Patrick Riley
The trial date was set for Nov. 1 in El Dorado Superior Court for the suit brought three years ago by Sharp Image. Over the past three years, the tribe has appealed the venue of a state court and sought a federal court. The tribe also has fought to have the case dismissed outright based on tribal sovereignty. The appeals made it up the to the California Supreme Court, which ruled in March the trial had a right to be heard and that the venue was in a state court.
Since Sharp Image filed its suit in May 2007, the tribe’s attorneys have sought to have the suit dismissed on the grounds that the company had no standing to sue a sovereign Native American nation, maintaining that the suit should have been filed in federal court.
That plea was denied by an El Dorado County judge in January 2008. The tribe appealed and was denied, again.
In January, it lost yet another appeal in the Third District Court of Appeals, so it took its case to the California Supreme Court. In March, the state’s high court denied the tribe’s petition for review.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently held in Solis v. Matheson, No. 07-35633 that the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply to a business owned by a tribal member and operating on trust land within the boundaries of a reservation
The court made two additional decisions that impact tribal sovereignty. First, it determined that because the FLSA applied to this business, the Secretary of Labor could enter onto the reservation to investigate FLSA claims and obtain wage and hour records. Second, the court concluded that if the business was ordered to pay overtime wages and associated penalties and failed to do so, the court could appoint a receiver to take over the finances of the business to ensure that payment was made.
This decision represents another move by U.S. courts to apply federal employment laws to tribal employers, notwithstanding tribal sovereignty. Tribal members who own or operate businesses should be aware that they may be subject to a growing body of federal employment laws under these decisions, and may want to seek advice on whether these laws apply to them and how to comply
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Please take the time to download, sign, and fax to the Committee. We must do our part to move the hearing forward and make it a reality and we need YOUR help.
Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro and Tribal Council Member Andrew Masiel Fail to Answer on Liska Lawsuit
Macarro and Masiel, who were served had 21 days to respond to the suit of Joe Liska, son of Pechanga member Fred Magee and brother to two sisters, Mary Bear Magee and Gloria Wright, who were instrumental in having 300 people ripped from the tribe via disenrollments. This could result in a default judgement for Mr. Liska.
Tribal Council members Russell "I'm a White Man who tried to break away from Pechanga" Murphy, Marc Calac, Mark Luker and John Magee have avoided the process server, thus far and the judge, Irma Gonzalez has granted Joe Liska more time.
Mr. Liska, who was banished from the reservation where his father is buried, is asking that the banishment be lifted and his RIGHTFUL back trust proceeds be restored.
Increasing Efforts to Draw Attention to Disenrollments In Indian Country and Boycotts Of Offending Tribes
Throughout the day Friday, about two dozen American Indian community members and their friends stood alongside the entry into Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino, holding signs, shouting slogans and trying to bring attention to the situation of local tribal disenrollees.
The action comes in the wake of a Bureau of Indian Affairs decision last month to uphold the December 2008 disenrollment action carried out by the Robinson Rancheria Citizens Business Council against a total of 67 tribal members, as Lake County News has reported.
Members of the Quitiquit family, several dozen of whom were disenrolled from the tribe, were back at the scene on Friday, a day they picked because it also was the fifth annual National Indian Day.
The group called for a boycott of the casino and demanded a hearing on what they argue are civil and human rights violations.
They carried signs with slogans that accused the tribe of offering the disenrollees no due process and misspending tribal and federal funding.
But the main issue was the disenrollment action, which has cut off the now-former tribal members from the rancheria and their cultural ties. They say disenrollment is an attack on their identity as American Indians.
“Why is the government backing this genocide on paper?” asked Wanda Quitiquit, one of her family's most vocal members.
A message left at the tribal office seeking comment was not returned.
Quitiquit, ironically, worked for years as a member of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization (AIRRO), to bring attention to the growing number of disenrollment actions across California and the nation before she herself became a target of it.
AIRRO has estimated 3,500 Indians have been disenrolled in California, with a total of 11,000 civil and human rights violations across the United States as a whole.
During the Friday protest, American Indians from other tribes – including Dry Creek in Sonoma County, and the Apache and Passamaquoddy, the latter from Maine – stopped in to ask questions, as did other community members.
Natives from other areas agreed that many of the problems facing tribes is all about money.
The Quitiquits and others whose names were removed from the tribal rolls say they are planning to appeal the BIA decision, with a letter expected to go out to the agency announcing that intention this week.
“We really don't want to go into court, but if that's the last thing we have to do, that's what we'll do,” Quitiquit said.
Even a favorable court decision doesn't guarantee a welcome back into the tribe, she said, pointing to court rulings in other states that still left disenrollees without resolution.
However, there are efforts to draw attention to the disenrollment problem, both from other activists and from Lake County's congressman, who is calling for a congressional hearing on the matter.
On April 29, North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson wrote a letter to Congressman Nick Rahall, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, which includes the Office of Indian Affairs.
“Disenrollment of tribal members is an issue among tribes in my district and throughout California, as well as in other parts of the United States,” Thompson wrote. “In some cases, members are voted out of tribes for bona fide reasons such as their lack of relative bloodline and/or failure to meet membership or residency requirements in accordance with tribal constitutions. However, in other cases, there appears to be arbitrary removal of entire families for obscure reasons.”
Thompson explained that when Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act in 1968, tribal members who believed that their civil rights were abused had no legal recourse except to turn to the tribal bodies that were accused of civil rights infringements.
“On behalf of the growing number of disenrolled Native Americans, I believe this issue merits a congressional oversight hearing be convened to review enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968,” he said.
Late last week, Thompson's Washington, DC office told Lake County News that there had been no formal response to, or acknowledgment of, the letter yet.
Quitiquit said she and the others impacted by the disenrollment action are looking to Thompson for leadership at this time.
Friday, May 7, 2010
BOYCOTT OVER CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS! Arizona? NO, Tribal Casinos of Tribes that ACTUALLY HAVE VIOLATED the Civil Rights of Their People
A boycott is a form of consumer activism involving the act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons
Here is what the gaming tribes mentioned, as well as others told within this blog or at tribalcorruption.com have done to members of their tribes:
•Stripped tribal members of their citizenship
•Denied voting rights to members
•Taken away rightful healthcare to seniors
•Blocked access to land on the reservation
•Denied members due process of law, including legal representation, even writing tools.
•Prohibition of practicing religion, including the right to pray at their ancestor's graves.
•Threatened others if they speak out
•Subjected some to ex post facto laws.
Many will say that "well, they are sovereign nations, they can do what they want". Of course they are, and Arizona is a sovereign state that passed its laws through the democratic process too. Remember, South Africa was a sovereign nation too, they had the right to pronounce Apartheid as a policy. But in the tribe's case, many or most have acted OUTSIDE their own constitutions. Just as the boycott of South Africa worked to eliminate apartheid, so can boycotts work to show these casino tribes that "violations of civil rights don't pay".
Important in a boycott is to let the tribes know you will no longer patronized their business, until they do the right thing and restore rightful membership to those they took it from and to halt all moratoriums. They only understand the loss of income and you should make it clear that you would come if they we no longer in violation, but until then, you won't. There are many things to do, including : Telling your friends and family to join you, No anniversary dinners, No Class reunions at the offending locations. Quite a few letters saying you "went to Vegas instead' would have an effect.
Many have said, "why should we care? It's just a small tribe". These money making tribes are using money stolen from tribal members to influence politicians. And tribes like Pechanga tried to keep Californians from exercising their RIGHT TO VOTE on their expanded gaming propositions, with the Feds help. And to put it in perspective, the sovereign nation of the Picayune Rancheria eliminated almost 50% of the tribe. That's equal to eliminating 16 MILLION in California's population. Pechanga eliminated the equivalent of 8 million citizens in order to increase per capita payments and to control votes.
They deserve your scorn, they don't deserve your patronage and a boycott might just open their eyes, especially if you keep their wallets from fattening.
BOYCOTT: Pechanga, Picayune Rancheria, Redding Rancheria, Snoqualmie, Table Mountain Rancheria, San Pascual Reservation, Cherokee Nations Casino, Mooretown Rancheria, Guidiville Rancheria, Oneida Nation, Robinson Rancheria, Enterprise Rancheria
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Tribal gaming has helped many tribes in CA, come out of poverty, Pechanga included. Many of the Pechanga people are uneducated and I remember they were so excited when they qualified for a Target credit card. Unfortunately, with success, greed soon follows. Instead of helping all their people, including those they placed in a moratorium hold, they looked at who they could get rid of to increase their per capita. And, unfortunately, the money hasn't made everyone happy.
But the facts are clear, most tribes have not treated their people as abominably as Pechanga, Redding, Picayune Rancheria, Snoqualmie and others have treated their people. I have expressed earlier that I am FOR expanded gaming, for those tribes that haven't gotten to the table yet.
Reconciling MORAL OUTRAGE at Pechanga Tribe with Self Determination
Here is an excellent article by Sheryl Lightfoot about how to support sovereignty issues, while not supporting the actions when they are morally repugnant, such as Pechanga's disenrollment of 25% of their tribe in order to enrich the remaining members.
Sheryl Lightfoot Article
In order to be sovereign nations, we must act like sovereign nations. But that does not mean that in order to support self-determination in principle, we need to agree with every decision of other sovereign nations. Nation-states in the international system do not always agree with the internal actions of other nation-states, yet they nearly always accept the principle of the equal sovereignty of all nation-states within the international system (with certain notable exceptions like the Iraq invasion or humanitarian interventions). When a nation-state, a group of nation-states, or private citizens of other nation-states disagree with the internal actions of another nation-state, there are a number of possible avenues of action.
First, sovereign nation-states can register a diplomatic complaint with the government of the offending nation-state. This is done all the time in the international system. The U.S. Department of State often drafts and delivers letters of protest to the diplomats and officials of other governments over areas of disagreement. Likewise, the executives of our indigenous nations have the right, if not the moral responsibility, to send letters and make phone calls of complaint directly to the executives of the Cherokee Nation, expressing their concern over the disenrollment decision. This can be done while supporting the inherent right of an indigenous nation to determine its own membership.
Another tactic which can be employed by other indigenous nations or the private citizens of other nations is the art of moral persuasion, or ''moral suasion,'' as it has also been termed. This involves a campaign of exposure and embarrassment. This tactic has most often been employed in international human rights campaigns, with the purpose being to expose the immoral government action in the media and open up international discussion in order to embarrass the target government into changing its policy to better conform to international norms. This was done in the early days of the campaign against apartheid in South Africa and has been used often by groups like Amnesty International to urge governments to stop human rights abuses.
My view is this:
As mentioned on other sites, tribal sovereignty is something that should be nurtured and cherished. Many now believe that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from Temecula, CA will be responsible for the quick erosion of sovereignty, that tribes have fought for for centuries. The question was asked, "what could be done?".
Frankly, economic sanctions of another nation, plus public embarrassment may be the only course of action that is effective. For instance, in South Africa, it was their SOVEREIGN RIGHT as a free nation to impose apartheid on their country.
What recourse did civilized countries use to bring down this hateful policy? Economic sanctions and world ridicule of the policy. No trade, no travel, no money. Final result, end of apartheid and a welcome back to South Africa into the world community.
Similarly, citizens of the United States (OP: AND California especially) can impose their own economic sanctions on the Tribal Nation of Pechanga by boycotting their nation.
Stop patronizing their casinos, hotel, restaurants and their powwows. Let them know that we do not agree with their system of denying civil rights to their people and until they follow their own tribal law, citizens of our country will NOT support their nation, but will patronize (OP: In other words, support tribal gaming elsewhere) their competitor nations.
Also, letting state and federal representatives know that we expect them not to support a nation that would treat its citizens this way, especially NOT to allow them increased monetary benefits by expanding their casino slot machines.
Readers, there are 250 members of the band that were disenrolled and 500 people who are caught in Pechanga's illegal moratorium (illegal in that SOVEREIGN nation, against the sovereign nation of Pechanga's own constitution) Pechanga and its chairman, Mark Macarro deserves no benefit from violations of their laws and against citizens of the United States.
Please ask your friends to read my blog and friends, please let me know your opinion by posting comments.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
He was instrumental in shining the light on one of Washington’s biggest scandals. He made Jack Abramoff a household name. But few know who he is.
Tom Rodgers preferred to operate strategically behind the scenes as he played a leading role in taking down the most notorious lobbyist on K Street. But now, in an interview with The Hill, he has decided to go public with his story.
We watched this all unfold and we remained quiet,” he said. “At that time, we were stereotyped as ignorant and greedy Indians. But we knew different … we knew the time to tell this story wasn’t then.”
For years, speculation about the Abramoff whistleblower has focused on the supposed revenge of a former fiancee of Michael Scanlon, Abramoff’s right-hand man. Others suspected Republican lobbyists jealous of the enormous fees Abramoff collected from Indian tribes.
But some of the very tribes Abramoff deceived and defrauded turned on him and worked to destroy him — with the help of Rodgers, a trusted fellow Native American familiar with the ways of Washington.
For nearly eight years Rodgers has remained cloaked in anonymity as the Justice Department pursued its case. He watched and quietly celebrated with the tribal leaders who helped provide the inside information as the impact of the scandal spiraled.
It landed Abramoff and former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) in prison, helped force then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) from office and played a key role in Democrats taking back the majority in the House and Senate in 2006. In the aftermath, Congress passed the most sweeping new ethics rules since Watergate.
Read more here but an interesting comment from Pechanga's Anthony Miranda:
In the opening address to the conference, Anthony Miranda, chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association and a member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, said he fears the scandal may close the doors of Congress to gambling and non-gambling tribes that want their issues heard.
“The same people who want to take away our rights are those who will use the disgraceful acts of … Abramoff to advance their cause,” Miranda said. “This man violated the trust of members of Congress, Indian tribes, banks, major corporations and charitable organizations.”
Miranda said Indian tribes should consider bypassing Washington’s legendary K Street lobbying establishment, saying: “Now, more than ever, it is vital, absolutely vital, that tribal leaders be the ones to walk the halls of Congress themselves.”
And yet, we know that Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro, and his current wife have had dinner with Abramoff. The Saginaw tribe is also mentioned in the article, one the Cherokee has linked with disenrollments in a post earlier last month. I wonder what the topic of dinner was. Mr. Macarro, care to answer that for us?
Monday, May 3, 2010
U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on Friday declared a mistrial in a criminal case involving a former general manager of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino who was facing federal charges that he used a corporate credit card to steal from the casino.
Jeff Livingston, 50, was indicted by a federal grand jury on felony charges of theft by officers or employees of gaming establishments on Indian lands.
Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon after a trial that had lasted a good part of the week. O'Neill declared the mistrial Friday afternoon.
A new trial date will be chosen May 7.
Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/04/30/1917292/local-briefs-5-arrested-in-valley.html#ixzz0mtP21e9t
The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indian tribe has begun buying businesses and investing in companies, creating a much-needed source of capital in the central San Joaquin Valley.
The people who manage the tribe's fund, Mighty Oak Capital, vow to keep many of its investments local -- and they may have to if they want to access special advantages like tax exemptions that are tied to its Coarsegold reservation.
Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/05/02/1918875/tribes-fund-seeds-businesses-in.html#ixzz0mt5eRukf
Sunday, May 2, 2010
“Governor Brewer’s signature on SB1070 is another attempt to roll the clock back on civil rights protections in this country.”
Attempt means that it didn't happen or hasn't happened. Two years ago, we told you that the CA branch of the NAACP actually TOOK MONEY from known civil rights violators: PECHANGA.
The president of the California NAACP has been paid more than $40,000 in consulting fees – and the organization itself has received $60,000 – from a coalition of Indian tribes at the same time the civil rights group has endorsed four ballot measures pushed by its tribal benefactors.
The payments to Alice Huffman, who has served as president of the state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People since 1999, continue a three-year pattern in which Huffman's political firm has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by special interest groups.
Those same interests, including tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, have also donated tens of thousands of dollars directly to the state NAACP while receiving the organization's backing.
OP: The Pechanga Band has stripped 25% of their tribe of their voting rights, right to due process, right to have attorneys present, right to confront their accusers, in a thus far successful effort to eliminate two large voting blocs. Now, a group that proclaims they are for civil rights, sides with violators of civil rights, all for $100,000 grand. I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that the only African-American members of Pechanga, who were Hunter family members were kept from the tribes schools, being thrown out when they were disenrolled.
AIRRO wrote a letter to Alice Huffman HERE
Get the drift: POTENTIAL civil rights violation NO WAY ACTUAL CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION: OKAY!!