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Thursday, August 5, 2010

NC TIMES: Pechanga on Wrong Side of This Deal

The North County Times editorial staff sees something rotten at Pechanga. Something we know TOO WELL.

For most of the 15 years the Pechanga tribe has operated a casino in southern Temecula, it could be counted on to be a good neighbor. OP: Yes, they only hurt their OWN tribal people and allowed a few people to be beaten at the casino by security guards.

It has given generously to local charities, contributed millions to area roads (not entirely altruistically, of course), and hired thousands of local residents for relatively good-paying jobs. OP: So what if they've cheated tribal members out of millions, destroyed the heritage of true Pechanga Temecula Indians?


So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the tribe is effectively reneging on a deal it struck just last year to contribute $2 million a year to Temecula to help compensate for the impacts it has on its neighbor. OP: Surprise to WHOM? Those that turn a blind eye to the civil rights violations? Those that support a tribal enterprise when it's well known they cheat their OWN?

We say "effectively," because the tribe may have a legal leg to stand on ---- just not a moral one.

At the center of the dispute is a ballot measure that voters approved in 2008: It allowed tribes to expand their casinos beyond the limits set in 2000 if they struck deals with the surrounding communities to help alleviate the impact of those larger casinos.

In Pechanga's case, those deals are with Temecula and Riverside County. The deal was struck with Temecula in March, but the county and the tribe have reached a stalemate in their talks over an undisclosed issue or issues.

The Temecula deal called for the tribe to pay the city $2 million a year for 21 years to help compensate for necessary traffic control, road maintenance and law enforcement resulting from casino activity. The first payment was due June 30, but the day came and went without a check arriving.

Subsequent talks gave the tribe until July 30 to deliver the money ---- but that day, too, came and went.

The tribe is falling back on language in the agreement that says the deals become effective when all parties agree. And since Riverside County hasn't come to the party yet, the tribe says it isn't obligated to pay Temecula.

Of course, that technicality didn't stop the tribe from more than doubling the number of slot machines in its casino, as allowed in the ballot measure. It has simply decided to be selective in which parts of the agreement it thinks apply.

At this point, Temecula may be forced to go to court to press the issue. It is unfortunate that what has been a good relationship may be turned sour over what to the tribe is a relatively small amount of money.

We acknowledge that there is more than a bit of irony in local governments being victimized by Indians over treaties ---- or contracts, in this case ---- but we urge the Pechanga to stop hiding behind the letter of the law and to abide by its spirit.

13 comments:

Snoqualmie9 said...

Making a plea to people without souls to abide by anything is a waste of time.

The Pechanga government is a leader for corrupt tribal governments across the United States to follow - I know because the tribal council at Snoqualmie follow every step they take and learn how to manipulate and double-deal - how to pillage and steal everything they can. And how to do it ruthlessly regardless of public opinion.

The better use of time and energy would be to help us get the Indian Civil Rights Act amended so we can remove this corruption from our tribes and place honorable people with souls in our tribal governments who will not need to be "urged" to abide by their word - people with spirits who would not sell their honor and souls for greed. People who would not sell their own people......

'aamokat said...

“So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the tribe is effectively reneging on a deal it struck just last year to contribute $2 million a year to Temecula to help compensate for the impacts it has on its neighbor.”

It comes as a surprise that Pechanga doesn’t keep their word?

Well the tribe promised in 2002 that if the Great Oak Ranch property was made part of the reservation that no changes whatsoever would be made to the land but once they got it they tore up the land and put the Journey at Pechanga golf course on it.

From the United States congressional record April 17, 2002

Mr. Hayworth. Thank you, Mr. Avery.
Chairman Macarro, does the Pechanga Tribe have any plans
for development of any kind on the Great Oak Ranch property?
Mr. Macarro. No, we don't. As stated in our application to
Interior/BIA, we stated or have designated there is no change
of use in the property, and the intended use and purpose is to
preserve and protect the resources that are there.


Mr. Hayworth. Without objection, we would welcome that.
Just one follow-up, and for purposes of the record, Mr.
Chairman, does the tribe plan to use the Great Oak Ranch for
gaming purposes or any purposes other than what you have just
outlined?
Mr. Macarro. No, the tribe does not.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_house_hearings&docid=f:78759.wais

Can we say that Pechanga speaks with a forked tongue?

Doesn’t it sound like a pattern of dishonest behavior?

Anonymous said...

At least the press if finally noticing that all is not well at Pechanga.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that what has been a good relationship may be turned sour over what to the tribe is a relatively small amount of money.


Relatively small amount ... funny. The amount they have stolen from members is HUGE, well over $200 mILLION dollars...

Luiseno said...

Doesn't The North County Times even do any investigation before posting a story? If so it should not have come as a surprise that this would happen.

Macro's lying to Congress is an easily verifiable fact. Everything we have written here is easily verifiable if they just do some freek'n research.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe anyone is making a big deal out of this. Nowhere was it ever said that Temecula isn't going to get their money, they just have to wait until the Riverside agreement is signed. If the city wanted their money soon then they should not have allowed that clause.

'aamokat said...

"I can't believe anyone is making a big deal out of this. Nowhere was it ever said that Temecula isn't going to get their money, they just have to wait until the Riverside agreement is signed. If the city wanted their money soon then they should not have allowed that clause."

But didn't Pechanga agree to pay by June 30 and when that deadline passed, through negotiation with the city, they agreed to pay by July 30 and they still haven't paid?

So if they agreed during talks with the city to pay by the second date, then they should buck up and pay what they agreed upon.

Yes it is a big deal as this is still my tribe regardless of what a minority of people who happen to hold key positions in the tribal government say and my tribe's word means something.

Luiseno said...

No, they will NOT receive there money, or at least not the first 2 million. Since the Tribe is saying that the deals become effective when all parties agree.

They are banking on the fact that the deal has not become effective yet, hence they do not owe the agreed upon money. But I would assume that it also means that since the deal hasn't gone through yet, then they shouldn't have added any of the new machines.

Anonymous said...

In this case I would not blame Pechanga as much as Mark Maccaro, He basically does what he wants and the tribe has no say.

Luiseno said...

They voted him into office, and he represents the Pechanga People. What did they expect voting in a deceiver and liar into office to represent them?

Anonymous said...

But I have to give credit to the North County Times for daring to be critical of one of the richest, if not the richest, gaming tribe in the state.

For this I say well done.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the tribal members would squeal like pigs if the tribe held on to their per capita checks for a couple of months?

Anonymous said...

with all the attempts to terminate the native americans it is corrupt people themselves who were taken in given a home by some tribes and they are the ones ending the native american story. very strange but beware of the people you bring into your home and family. and at pechanga it is people from other tribes that work for pechanga that started alot of this disenrollment.