How Bad is the issue when Playboy recognizes tribal disenrollements are for CASH, but our CA Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein do NOT?
The April 2008 edition of Playboy magazine features and article about deposed and banished Seminole leader James Billie. The article, entitled "The Man Who would be Chief", chronicles the Seminole leaders rise to power and his efforts to bring tax-free cigarettes and high stakes bingo to the Seminole tribe. Eventually, the Seminole nation was flush with cash as slot machines and Class III gaming replace the bingo games.
The article then focuses on James Billies' fall from power as Chairman of the Seminole Nation and his eventual banishment by an opposing faction of the tribal council.
As a side bar, page 56 highlights the disenrollments at Pechanga:
"The Pechanga band of the Luiseno tribe operate California's most profitable casino: its resort in Temecula grosses as much as $1 billion a year.
But don't tell this to John Gomez, Jr. or the 135 members of his extended family who were kicked out of the Pechangas after tribal leaders ruled one of his deceased elders wasn't a true tribal member. The elder in question left the traditional village after her marriage; therefore, according to the tribal leadership, her descendants aren't really Pechanga.
The fact that Gomez is descended from Chief Pablo Apis doesn't seem to matter. When the Gomez expulsion was finalized in 2004, each of the 1,000 adult Pechanga members got about $15,000 a month from casino profits; after a more recent round of disenrollment booted another 10 percent from the tribe, the figure rose to $40,000 a month.
That's a big payout, but it's no wonder. As the Economist reports, gamblers will lose more money this year in Indian casinos than in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Reno, and Macau combined."