With days to go before an election for two United Auburn Indian Community tribal council posts, challengers are protesting rules that have kept their mailers from going out to voters.
The 275-member, Auburn-based tribe – which owns Thunder Valley Casino between Roseville and Lincoln – has been awash in controversy over the past month as a breakaway group led by tribal council candidates broke ranks and publicly criticized council financial and election-related actions, as well as what they consider undue influence of long-time tribal attorney Howard Dickstein.
The breakaway group – led by former tribal council Chairwoman Jessica Tavares and long-time tribal council member Dolly Suehead – have in turn been criticized by the elected tribal council for what it considers public defamation and false statements they say put members’ economic security at risk.
The dispute came to a head two weeks ago when the tribal council voted to suspend benefits to seven tribal members from the breakaway group. That followed criticism of measures put in place by the tribal council that required notarized signatures on a recall petition that was ultimately denied by the tribal election committee.
With an election Dec. 11 and Tavares running for tribal vice chairwoman against incumbent Kim Rey Dubac, and Suehead taking on current tribal council treasurer Brenda Conway, the two issued a statement Tuesday denouncing what they say is “blatant censorship” of their mailer.
The two were reacting to what they said was a decision by Tribal Administrator Greg Baker to disallow a tribe-funded mailing of a campaign mailer that claims the United Auburn Indian Community has been “bamboozled by an attorney more interested in filling his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a tribal council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”
The tribal council has shot back with a statement of its own, stating that the mailer is filled with misinformation that “makes it appear the tribe is legitimizing this type of gutter politics and giving the allegations credibility.”
The tribal council is contending that the flyer violates a mail policy adopted Oct. 20 that require mailing materials to “contain accurate and appropriate information.” “Inappropriate” content includes “statements, pictures of photos which are defamatory of fellow UAIC tribal members, candidates, UAIC staff and consultants, the general council and the tribal council,” according to a copy of the mail policy provide to the Journal by the tribal council.
Read more at the AUBURN JOURNAL