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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hank Plante: Tribes Have Overplayed their hands

Former CBS Reporter and Peabody award winner Hank Plante has an opinion piece on Tribes and their new land grab tax issues, getting state land taken off the tax rolls, while claiming sovereignty on it's use..

 A high-stakes gamble by Native American tribes is being waged far from their Indian casinos. The game is being played in courtrooms all across California.

The latest power grab by the Agua Caliente tribe is a federal lawsuit that would allow the tribe to stop paying certain taxes to Riverside County. The taxes amount to $29 million a year, according to a county audit — money used for schools, police, fire and roads.

It is the latest volley in an escalating war between local governments and tribes, who seem to feel that their status as sovereign nations allows them to avoid taxes, clean air regulations, development limits and even the notion that water belongs to the public.

Yes, Native Americans were badly mistreated in history. But today is a different story thanks to casino revenues topping $7 billion a year in California and northern Nevada.  OP: NOW, it's TRIBES that are mistreating their own people.

A Desert Sun investigation by reporter Keith Matheny last year found the state’s five largest tribes spent more than $4.8 million over a two-year period to lobby state officials in Sacramento, and that the Agua Caliente and Morongo tribes — along with two others — have spent nearly $250 million on politics since 2000.
Noted California journalist Joe Mathews said of the tribes, “They are getting the protection of a monopoly, sanctioned by the federal government and formalized by the states.”

Read the rest of the column here


Anonymous said...

It would only be a monopoly if the same tribe owned every casino. All the casino's compete with each other when many are an hour or less drive from each other isn't that what capitalism is and what this country is all about. Not all casinos are owned outright by the tribe some were originally financed by other companys like Harrahs Corp. and other investors. Don't make it sound like only the natives are making all the money and none of these other American company's who own a piece are not prospering like they do with any other business. It's by far a monopoly when there is a lot of competition especially in California. I'm native and I see how it helps the people and of course there are some corrupt bad apples like in anything police,gvernments,executives,politicians but attacking the tribes to lose everything they have worked to build just like any other family owned business is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

No...the answer is to let all citizens own Casinos, not just the tribes.

Anonymous said...

U must not be native.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know I had to be to be supportive of this site....I believe California needs some Casinos that aren't tribal run.

Anonymous said...

There are it's called Harrah's. Your prob just a jealousy person hating on natives for building up a good business just like any other company or casino in Vegas. Besides this is all there land anyway they deserve it. Tribal casinos are out of the way but accessible nobody wants a casino right in the middle of their town/city so they will not legalize gambling everywhere.

Anonymous said...

B.S......plenty of gamblers would like to see gambling of all kinds in the card rooms already operating in California...the one in Compton even has a hotel. It is probably already wired for machines. Peope get tired of the drive on those 2 lane roads going into the reservations and the fact that they aren't protected while gambling. California voters were lied to when the gambling question was put to them. The tribes aren't using the money to help the poor tribes without Casinos, they are using it to inflate their personal wealth for a select group of themselves. Kicking out members to inflate the surviving members per cap should be a crime. IT IS STEALING,...but there is much money being paid to politicians to turn their backs on this theft. As you see the tribes trying to get out of paying taxes more and more, it just makes the case stronger for gambling by non tribal factions.

Anonymous said...

Actually I have relatives from non-gaming tribes and they get payments from the revenue sharing plan. I myself am a disenrollee but have many family enrolled in several tribes and would not want the help they get from their tribes to be hurt. YES it is very,very true many tribes have been taken over by corrupt greedy councils who steal and use tribal money for themselves but that seems to all be coming to an end they took it too far... and when that happens tribes can get on the right track like they were once before. 2014 is the year you will see action against these corrupt tribal leaders it's already starting if you keep up with current tribal news and what's going on inside the tribe.

Anonymous said...

Been hearing that song for a long time...what ever happened to that old lady at Pechanga who was reselling the old slot machines and her son who ripped off the employees tips?...absolutely nothing!...why? Non tribal citizens couldn't get away with tax evasion like these people have. And the stories coming out of Pala are the same. It needs to be a major cleansing of the old guard to change things and somehow the tribal members won't let that happen, because these leaders are plumping up their wallets. A new leader might let the disenrolled in and that would cut the per cap think the members want a reduction?'s all about the per cap.