Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pechanga Resort & Casino Meeting Leads to Robbery at GUNPOINT

More on the criminal element at Pechanga's Casino.

A Moreno Valley resident who allegedly robbed a Temecula man at gunpoint when he asked for a ride home from a casino last week has been arrested, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies from the Perris Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery about 5 a.m. March 21 at the intersection of Whirlaway Street and Alysheba Street in Perris, Sgt. Kevin Smith said.

The victim was leaving the Pechanga Resort & Casino, around 3 a.m., when he asked the Moreno Valley man, who was later identified as 34-year-old Aeth Nivone, if he could give him a ride to his Temecula home, Smith said.

Nivone agreed to give the Temecula man a ride home, but instead drove him to the intersection in Perris and allegedly pointed a gun at the victim, demanded his money and personal property, then told him to get out of the car, Smith said.

Smith said the two had not met prior to that night. The Temecula man was not injured during the robbery.

After an investigation, Nivone was arrested without incident the following day. Nivone was booked for armed robbery.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cherokee Freedmen Presentations BLOCKED at Barone College by Cherokee Trustee & Friends

Marilyn Vann, President of the Descendants On 3/29/2011, scheduled presentations at the Bacone College Annual Native American Symposium on the Cherokee freedmen tribal disenrollment issues were blocked by the board of trustees. According to Bacone faculty members, this cancellation was led by trustee Mike Miller, spokesman for the Cherokee Nation and former Cherokee Nation communication director  (OP: Remember their Chief Chad Smith said the Cherokee Slaves were treated well?)

The Cherokee freedmen descendants are descendants of persons of African ancestry, the majority of whom were enslaved under Cherokee tribal law prior to the Civil War. Emancipation and Cherokee citizenship was granted to the Cherokee African slaves and their descendants by a treaty agreement between the tribe and the US government in 1866. These slaves became known as Freedmen.

The official explanation given for cancellation of the presentations was that the issue is in litigation and should not be presented at the college of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association, and Chief Plaintiff of the Federal lawsuit Vann Versus Salazar stated that “We are disappointed that Cherokee nation influence has blocked an opportunity for Bacone students and faculty to be educated on the importance of the freedmen disenrollment issues.  Our issues regarding enforcement of 1866 treaty rights to descendants of former slaves as well as Washington DC Appellate court decisions on the inability of tribal leadership to break the law and hide behind tribal sovereignty are important to all in Indian country. To state that the freedmen presentations should be cancelled due to ongoing litigation is surprising as Cherokee Chief Smith has presented in forums giving the Cherokee nation spin on the freedmen issue at forums such as the Federal Bar Association, Sovereignty Symposium, and before the Native American Journalists. However, in those forums, either the freedmen were not allowed to present at all or Chief Smith was given three times more time to speak. The Cherokee nation does not want to participate in forums where both sides are allowed to present and or are given the same amount of time to present.”

We ask that all persons who support 1866 treaty rights and support rights of Students and Faculty to hear about ongoing events in Indian country and oppose this cancellation to contact Bacone College Board of Trustees and President Reverend Robert Duncan at Bacone College, 2299 Old Bacone Road, Muskogee, Okla. 74403 (918-683-4581) and state your disapproval. We encourage you to contact your elected public officials to register your concerns.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Joe Liska: YouTube Take on Larry Echohawk and the BIA = Worthless

Joe Liska takes a sharp point to the BIA and Larry Echohawk. Do something, sir. Some more videos to follow

Genocide in California Indian Country

Genocide in California Indian Country

Below is a list of places in California Indian Country where tribal officials are participating in actions to decimate their own people.

The incidents at each has happened since the passage of Props 5 and 1A which legalized Indian Gaming in California. As a result, California Indian Gaming has grown into a multi-billion dollar business where even non-gaming tribes share in revenue generated by California tribal casinos.

The actions taken by the tribal officials are exactly the types of "arbitrary and capricious" acts that were the catalyst for the introduction and passage of the Indian Civil Rights Act. The acts to strip or deny individuals of their basic human and civil rights have been taken in violation of both tribal and federal laws which are intended to protect these rights and privileges of tribal members. The victims have been denied access to fair and impartial forums in which to have their grievances heard, and the tribal officials have invoked immunity from suit to protect themselves from prosecution.

In most instances, individual members have been denied the due process and equal rights protections provided in the Indian Civil Rights Act, as well as language in their Tribe's governing documents which mandates that tribal officials uphold the individual rights of each member without malice or prejudice.

Another commonality exists- each of the tribes listed benefits in some form or fashion from Indian Gaming. Tribes such as the Pechanga Band and Table Mountain Rancheria have highly successful gaming operations, while others enjoy moderate success. Other non-gaming tribes are paid money from the Special Distribution Fund. In total, hundreds of millions of dollars are paid out each year to individual tribal members.

Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians- 300 adults and children
In 2004, 130+ adult members and their immediate families were disenrolled from the Pechanga Band. The members were all descendants of Chief Pablo Apish, a historically significant leader of the Pechanga/Temecula people. None of the members were allowed to participate in the 2004 tribal elections as a result of their disenrollment.

An additional extended family of approximately 100 adults was disenrolled in March 2006 when tribal officials determined that the ancestor from whom they are lineally descended from was not an Original Pechanga/Temecula person. This determination was made despite the fact that a report prepared by a well known anthropologist hired by the Band's Enrollment Committee concluded she was a Pechanga/Temecula person.

The most recent disenrollment of 100+ adults and children was especially egregious as the General Membership, the Tribe's governing body, had previously passed a law which (1) repealed the Tribe's disenrollment procedures and (2) made it illegal for the Enrollment Committee to disenroll members.

Repost from 2007

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Did John McCain Help Mutual of Omaha Acquire Business with Abramoff Client?

Our friend Susan Bradford continues to raise questions on John McCain's actions against Jack Abramoff. Was McCain acting in concert with his contributors?  Here's Susan Bradfords post:

By Susan Bradford
Recently, members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan have come forward with complaints that they were pressured into purchasing life insurance from the Mutual of Omaha, a company with ostensible ties to Sen. John McCain.

In the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which McCain convened in 2004, the Senator called Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff to task for, among other things, offering life insurance to tribal elders in the form of an Elder Legacy Program, which was created and promoted by his employer, Greenberg Traurig.

On November 15, 2006, Abramoff commenced his prison sentence after pleading guilty to trumped up corruption charges stemming from Florida and Washington, DC. The scandal had its roots in Indian Country, and among Abramoff’s biggest critics was Saginaw Chippewa SubChief Bernie Sprague, a McCain ally who nursed a personal grudge against the lobbyist who nearly nixed his uncle’s plan to acquire a casino for the Gun Lake tribe.

As tribal members have alleged, and paperwork seems to confirm, McCain interrogated Abramoff’s ally, Deputy Secretary of Interior Steven Griles, about whether he tried to block Gun Lake’s casino aspirations, as a personal favor to Sprague.

On December 20, 2006, just a month after Abramoff’s incarceration, Sprague, who was serving on Tribal Council, motioned for his tribe “to gather membership data from the Tribal Clerk’s Office in regards to the possibility of Life Insurance coverage for Tribal Members.”

Bringing a life insurance carrier on board was a slow process. In September of 2007, a request was filed with the Saginaw Chippewa’s Tribal Council “to approve the Group Life insurance coverage,” but the plan was tabled for further review by the tribe’s Finance Committee.

Finally, in 2009, the Tribal Council agreed to pay $251,203.25 to Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company per month for the group insurance plan. Funding for the plan was slated to come from the Gaming Trust in the form of a monthly wire transfer, Tribal Minutes report.

On November 2, the Tribal Council unveiled a group life insurance product underwritten by Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance for the tribal membership, which was to take effect January 1, 2010. Tribal members were given the option of purchasing as much as $150,000 in life insurance for as much as $76.50 per month.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Indian Tribes Commission Study on Economics of Tribal Casinos: WILL THEY TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH?

Facing an uncertain political climate, California's Indian tribes are commissioning a high-profile study designed to show the economic benefits of tribal casinos.  OP:  And of course, it will be objective, right?  The tribes want the whole truth, right?   Pechanga has hired experts before and then disregarded the evidence when it didn't go their way.

The study, to be released later this year, will be led by one of California's most prominent economists: Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics consulting in Los Angeles.

"The main thing is letting California legislators and the public know that Indian gaming is working," said Susan Jensen, spokeswoman for the California Nations Indian Gaming Association. The association is co-sponsoring the study with the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations and the California Association of Tribal Governments.

OP:  This must also tell the story of the hundreds of Native Americans thrown back into poverty by tribes who exterminated them from the membership rolls.  The losses are nearly half a BILLION DOLLARS.

Thornberg said he'll prepare an independent look at Indian gambling without any thought to political implications. "From my perspective, this is a matter of doing an economic survey," he said. "We're not weighing in on the pros or cons."

Indian casinos in California have become a $7.3 billion-a-year business, and a considerable political force, in the past decade. But the tribes with casinos still are grappling with questions about their status.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Interlude: Elizabeth Taylor, Dead at 79; The LAST Movie STAR?

Sad news from Hollywood today, Elizabeth Taylor, passed away after a long illness.

One of those Oscars came for a searing performance in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" She played an alcoholic shrew in an emotionally sadomasochistic marriage opposite real-life husband Richard Burton.

For all the ferocity of her screen roles and the turmoil of her life, Taylor was remembered by "Virginia Woolf" director Mike Nichols for her gentler, life-affirming side.
"The shock of Elizabeth was not only her beauty. It was her generosity. Her giant laugh. Her vitality, whether tackling a complex scene on film or where we would all have dinner until dawn," Nichols said in a statement. "She is singular and indelible on film and in our hearts."

Taylor was the most loyal of friends and a defender of gays in Hollywood when AIDS was new to the industry and beyond. But she was afflicted by ill health, failed romances (eight marriages, seven husbands) and personal tragedy

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Juaneno Band of Missions Indians DENIED Federal Recognition.

The Juaneno Band of Mission Indians' 30-year bid to gain federal recognition has been denied, the tribe announced today.

The decision from the federal Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs comes four years after a preliminary report ruled the San Juan Capistrano-based tribe could not prove members lineage back to a historical tribe and had remained a governed group since then.

Wednesday's ruling indicates the tribe could not make progress in proving the same four areas: That external observes have continually identified the tribe since 1900; that the tribe has maintained political influence over its members; that members descended from a historical Indian tribe at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

The ruling covers both factions of Juanenos that had submitted applications for federal recognition, said Nedra Darling, the Indian Affairs spokeswoman.

Tribal leaders, including Chief Anthony Rivera, said they will appeal. Although Juanenos are spread throughout Southern California, Mission San Juan Capistrano is their spiritual center.

But the Juanenos have split over the years, often in publicized battles. When the city of San Juan Capistrano invited two factions to the opening of park in the Los Rios Historical District last year, Rivera's group heckled and mocked the other group while its members were leading a Native prayer

State AG asks to remove CA from City of Temecula's Lawsuit against Pechanga

The state attorney general's office has asked a federal judge to remove California as a party to Temecula's lawsuit against the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, which is well known to have violated the civil and human rights of 25% of its membership.

U.S. District Court Judge Dale S. Fischer will consider the state's request, as well as a motion by the tribe to dismiss the suit, at an April 11 hearing in Los Angeles.

Temecula sued the tribe in October in an effort to force it to pay the city for the effect the Pechanga Resort & Casino has on municipal services and infrastructure.

The tribe's lawyers contend that the court can't hear the matter because Pechanga has sovereign immunity.

The suit names then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, current Gov. Jerry Brown, who has accepted almost $1 million from gaming tribes, and the state Gambling Control Commission as "real parties of interest," meaning they would benefit from the suit even though Temecula is the plaintiff.

Read more at the Press Enterprise

Monday, March 14, 2011

Civil Rights Violating Tribe, Pechanga, Asks Judge to Throw Out Lawsuit by Temecula

A hearing was set for a judge to consider the Pechanga Tribe’s request to throw out a suit the City of Temecula filed against it.

A judge will consider the matter during a hearing at a federal court in Los Angeles on April 11, according to the city’s attorney.

The city filed the suit in October because the tribe broke a deal to pay for road improvements needed to support the extra traffic caused by the casino’s recent expansion, according to city records.

The tribe agreed in April to pay $10 million toward a project called the “Ultimate Interchange,” a $24.3 million project that will improve access to Temecula Parkway from I-15.

The interchange needs improving mostly because of the crowds the Pechanga Resort and Casino attracts, according to city records.

They also agreed to pay $2 million per year for 21 years to pay for other costs the casino incurs, such as increased police presence and infrastructure upkeep.

When Temecula voters gave the tribe the okay to expand in 2008, paying for the negative impact on the city was part of the deal, said Peter Thorson, the city's attorney, in a brief filed with the court.

“In short, in exchange for the right to expand its gaming facilities considerably, the tribe made several promises to the voters regarding the analysis and mitigation of off-reservation impacts,” Thorson wrote.

The city gave four reasons the judge should deny the tribe’s request to throw out the case.

First, the tribe waived its “sovereign immunity,” which ordinarily would protest it from being sued. Second, the city will be impacted by the casino’s expansion. Third, the court decided earlier this year it has jurisdiction over this matter. Lastly, the reason the tribe gave for throwing out the suit are based on facts the city disputes, according to Thorson’s brief.

The Pechanga Tribe is well known for eliminating 25% of their tribe to capture those per capita funds, which now totals over $1.3 million from EACH of 230 members.  The resulting loss of income and health benefits have put the burden back onto the state of California.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Huge earthquake, tsunami Hit Northern Japan

Best wishes for the people of Japan. The film of the tsunami strikes are incredible. We hope loss of life is minimal.

Quake reportedly 8.9 on Richter scale with aftershocks in the 7 range.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pechanga Tribe and Chairman Macarro Want Californians to Pay MORE taxes. Many Pechanga People are EXEMPT from State income taxes

Steven Greenhut from Cal Watchdog reports that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians SUPPORT more taxes for Californians. Well, that's because many of THEM do not pay income taxes, because they live on the reservation. Here's what Steven wrote:

Governor Jerry Brown today announced that he has received supportive letters from the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and the California Grocers Association for his budget plan and letting California voters decide whether or not to temporarily extend existing taxes.

In a letter to the California State Legislature, Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of Pechanga Tribe wrote, “Given the deep and seemingly unbridgeable philosophical divide that exists in our State Capitol today, we believe the voice of the voters must be heard to determine the size, scope, and efficacy of services provided by state government.”  “California is clearly at a crossroads. The voters and taxpayers should have the right to decide on whether or not to continue paying higher taxes or further reduce funding for public safety, schools, universities, and support for California’s most vulnerable citizens.”

THIS IS THE SAME Mark Macarro that DID NOT want you, the citizens of California to VOTE on expanded gaming, REMEMBER?  THEY SUED us...!  This is rich, and would be funny if not for the tragic events that Pechanga and Mr. Macarro perpetrated on their own citizens.    They have stolen $1.3 million of TAXABLE monies EACH from over 230 people.

How about changing tribal law to have withholding of Pechanga's per capita payments to it's remaining people?   They were up to $360,000 EACH after disenrolling 25% of their tribe.    Come on Macarro, put your OWN money on the line.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Man Who Bribed Soboba Chairman Salgado Pleads GUILTY; Salgado Sentencing March 21

A Diamond Bar man pleaded guilty today to paying $50,000 in bribes to Robert Salgado, the former chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians to secure a contract to operate the valet parking concession at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto.
Abbas Shilleh, 47, who along with two family members is the owner of California Parking Services, pleaded guilty to one count of paying a bribe.

Shilleh admitted that he paid the bribes to Robert Salgado Sr., the former chairman of the Soboba Band. During today’s appearance in United States District Court, Shilleh admitted that he paid Salgado a total of $50,000 in the form of three checks over a two-week period in late 2006 and early 2007. California Parking Services received a contract in March 2007 from the Soboba Band to provide valet parking services at the Soboba Casino.

Shilleh is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson on June 6, at which time the defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. In a plea agreement filed in federal court, prosecutors and Shilleh have asked Judge Pregerson to impose a sentence of three years of probation, to include eight months of home detention, 500 hours of community service and a $100,000 fine.
Salgado pleaded guilty to bribery and tax charges last October (see:, and he is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Pregerson on March 21.

We are expecting news from the Pechanga Reservation from the FBI this year.   We understand their investigation is completed, it's now a matter of time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

San Manuel Tribal Chairman Focuses on Education While Pechanga Chairman Eliminated College Grads from Tribe

While Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro is well known for eliminating tribal citizens and sending many into financial hardship, as well as practcing Apartheid on the rez,  San Manuel Chairman James Ramos is well known for his emphasis on education.

The Press Enterprise has a story up on Mr. Ramos:

James Ramos is a busy man these days. He is in his second two-year term as chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, leading the tribe as it works to expand its businesses and develop its reservation.

He is chairman of the California Native American Heritage Commission and owns two restaurants in San Bernardino and Highland.

In November, voters elected him to his second term on the San Bernardino Community College District board.

This year, Gov. Jerry Brown named Ramos to the state Board of Education, the first American Indian to hold a seat on the panel.

See the link above for the rest of the story on James Ramos of San Manuel.      You can learn more about Macarro, the diminutive leader of Pechanga     Here    and HERE

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Will Indian Casino Declines Lead to More Disenrollments in Indian Country

That lying, thieving Mark Macaro said Pechanga's disenrollments weren't about the money, but then, that's before the total reached over $1.3 MILLION from each Pechanga member from the Manuela Miranda and Hunter families that were terminated from the tribe.   NOW, the second straight year of gaming declines in CA lead to speculation that disenrollments will come back as per capita payment will drop.

SFGATE has the story: After several years of slower growth, the $26.4 billion in tribal casino revenue represents a 1 percent decline - which included a 5.3 percent drop in California in 2009, according to a study released Thursday by Alan Meister, an economist with Nathan Associates in Orange County who has charted the industry for a decade. Revenue declined 3.9 percent in California's card rooms.

Nationwide, commercial casino gambling revenues dropped even further: 8 percent in 2009.

"I don't think the market is saturated (in California), but it is maturing," Meister said. While he foresees the industry rebounding with the economy, he added: "I don't think we'll be seeing double-digit annual increases any time soon."

With $6.9 billion in annual revenue at 66 facilities operated by 60 tribes, California holds 26 percent of the revenue generated by tribal casinos, more than any state. This is the second consecutive year California has seen revenue drop.
Still, California tribes sent $518 million in fees and various payments to state and local governments in 2009, an increase of 5.3 percent over the previous year.      THAT IS less than 8% of revenue.   Not enough to balance our budget as promised with expanded it?

Susan Bradford: John McCain Beholden to Abramoff Witness?

Susan Bradford continues to ask questions from her new book  LYNCHED:
The Shocking Story of How the Political Establishment Manufactured a Scandal to Have Republican Super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff Removed from Power.

Was McCain Beholden to Witness Who Testified Against Abramoff?

By Susan Bradford

A confidential memo written by a relative of Saginaw Chippewa SubChief Bernie Sprague, whom Sen. John McCain freely allowed to make false allegations against Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee indicates that the Senator may have been beholden to the lead witness.

A little over a week before the hearings got underway on September 29, 2004, the relative wrote to the membership of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan that “It’s been discovered that Bernie Sprague is secretly planning to avoid the members (sic) vote “NO” on Proposal B/Secretarial Election and any other future vote of the membership by traveling to Washington, DC on this day to meet with Senator McCain in an attempt to grandfather membership into the tribe by passing a bill into Congress.”

This statement seems to indicate that McCain may have been knowledgeable, if not complicit, in tribal membership fraud and that he might have been willing to take officials on behalf of a witness against Abramoff. Sprague has been a longstanding defender of efforts of a coalition of Saginaw Chippewa tribal members, whose Native credentials are in dispute, to dominate the tribe’s government and businesses.

“Evidently Bernie from his previous Council powers helped Senator McCain get into office and now Bernie feels Senator McCain owes him a huge personal favor,” the relative continued in her statement.

Among the favors McCain evidently doled out to Sprague was to interrogate Deputy Secretary Steven Griles, Abramoff’s chief contact at Interior, about any actions the agency might have taken to obstruct a casino for the Gun Lake tribe, which is chaired by Sprague’s uncle.

Susan Bradford is the author of Lynched: The Shocking Story of How the Political Establishment Manufactured a Scandal to Have Republican Super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff Removed from Power.

(Book is available here: