The Sacramento Bee has a editorial up on the United Auburn flap. But misses the bigger picture, which I've addressed in their comment section
Imagine organizers of the campaign to recall Gov. Gray Davis being stripped of their citizenship or denied government payments to which they were entitled. OP: WE know this issue and discussed it recently
Either scenario is unthinkable. In our constitutional democracy, government cannot punish people for exercising their basic rights as citizens. But that's not true of tribal governments.
The tribal council of United Auburn Indians, owners of Thunder Valley Casino and one of the richest casino tribes in the state, is threatening to banish council critics from the tribe and to strip them of their $30,000 monthly stipends.
Banishment is an old tradition among Indian tribes, but now, with some tribes dividing up wealth from casino operations, the stakes are much higher. When it happens, tribal members have very little recourse. A bedrock principle of tribal sovereignty is the right of tribal governments to determine who is and who is not a member of the tribe. And federal courts have been reluctant to intervene in tribal disputes.
Former longtime tribal Chairwoman Jessica Tavares is the main target of the United Auburn Tribal Council's ire. She has led an effort to recall the current council and claims to have gathered signatures from 75 of 186 adult members for a recall election.
The tribal election committee claims many of the signatures could not be verified and were not notarized as required.
Representatives of the current council also claim Tavares defamed and slandered the Tribal Council and the tribe's election committee in "reckless disregard of the truth in non-Indian forums," in violation of tribal law. That's why she and seven others who circulated recall petitions are being banished.
While the action against dissident tribal members seems extreme, current tribal officials say that when Tavares was tribal chairwoman, she regularly banished tribal members who criticized her leadership. In fact, the tribal laws that allow for banishment were enacted when Tavares was chair of the tribe.
OP: It's past time for start forcing thei issue with these corrupt "tribal nations". Let's hold them accountable by refusing to patronize their businesses.