Saturday, October 27, 2012

Robert Smith Acknowledges Margarita Brittain's Daughter is 1/2 Indian

This is a document signed by Robert Smith acknowledging that the Daughter of Margarita Brittain (Britten), Casilda Welmas, is 1/2 Indian. Robert Smith has been the Chairperson of Pala for over 20 years. Robert Smith Acknowledges that the Daughter of Margarita Brittain is 1/2 Degree Indian Blood

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stella Pink for Pala Tribal Treasurer

My Aunt, Stella Pink, is running for Treasurer in this year's election. It's time for a change at Pala. Please support my Aunt and help get the word out.

Please note, Scribd, the website I use to host documents, can be a little slow. It may take about 30 seconds for the flyer to pull up. Or, you can click the link and go directly to it. Either way, feel free to print one out and share it with friends and family.
 Stella Pink for Tribal Treasurer

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Quote For The Day

"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half." - Jay Gould US financier & railroad businessman (1836 - 1892)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pala Nominations

Last night was nominations.  I am no longer able to go to meetings so I had to rely on family to let me know how it went.

This is what I heard:

For Chairman

Robert Smith (Incumbent)
David Duro

For Treasurer

Theresa Nieto (Incumbent)
Stella Pink

For Committee

Sheila Smith (Incumbent)
Theron Cueva
Nevil Tiger
And others?

There may have been more nominated for Committee so if anyone knows the names let me know and I will update this post.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gresham's Law

Gresham's Law is a a law of economics.  According to Wiki it is expressed as follows:

Gresham's law is an economic principle that states: "When a government compulsorily overvalues one type of money and undervalues another, the undervalued money will leave the country or disappear from circulation into hoards, while the overvalued money will flood into circulation."[1] It is commonly stated as: "Bad money drives out good", but is more accurately stated: "Bad money drives out good if their exchange rate is set by law."

Another expression of Gresham's Law is as folows:

"Two decades before the S.&L. crisis and the article on looting, Akerlof wrote about “Gresham’s dynamic” in a 1970 piece on “lemons”: “Dishonest dealings tend to drive honest dealings out of the market. The cost of dishonesty, therefore, lies not only in the amount by which the purchaser is cheated; the cost also must include the loss incurred from driving legitimate business out of existence.” NYT - William K. Black

One way to think about it is prohibition.  Prior to the prohibition of alcohol sales it was regulated and taxed.  After prohibition we saw the rise of a massive black market for alcohol.  This lead to over 10 years of intensive gang violence.  Our entire political system was being gamed by bootleggers.  Entire cities like Chicago were owned essentially by gangsters like Al Capone.

Any of you watching Boardwalk Empire, while this is a dramatization, will be familiar with politicians, government officials, judges, and police being bought off in order to keep the flow of liquor going which was supposed to be illegal.

Another example is the drug war.  The War on Drugs has done nothing to create the black market for drugs.  Selling drugs is more profitable than ever.  In the absence of any rules, laws, regulations, and oversight the bottom line becomes making as much profit as possible.  Honest business people will not touch illegal drug sales which leaves the markets to more unscrupulous forces that care about nothing but making money.

We saw this in Las Vegas in the 1940's to the 1970's.  A lack of regulations brought in the mafia which essentially ran Vegas for decades.  Skimming, rigged games, and other shady business practices were common.  Movies have been made about this legendary corruption such as Casino.

It's my view that we are seeing Gresham's Dynamic play out with Indian Casinos.  The NIGC is supposed to be regulating the casinos but it is not clear (at least not to me) how effective their regulating has been.

Tribal Sovereignty makes it even harder for the Federal Government to assert legal jurisdiction over tribal casinos.  At least at this point the Federal Government through the NIGC or other agencies have had for the most part a hands off approach to tribal gaming.

We all want to believe that the governing bodies of tribes are being honest with their tribal members about their business.  But we know based on news reporting that scandals have taken place at Tribal Casinos up and down the State of California.

There's a political nexus as well with politicians taking contributions from tribes in exchange for support for putting land into trust, supporting a casino development plan, or to keep the State from putting regulations on tribal casinos.  Or to keep the State from legalizing gaming in general.

There are several dynamics at work and not all work for the tribe.  In some cases Cities seek to take advantage of tribes demanding more money from them for infrastructure improvements than was previously negotiated.  In some cases tribes fight tribes to prevent each other from opening casinos.

All this has lead to some level of corruption in tribal gaming.  It may not be totally wide spread.  I am sure many tribes try to operate as fairly and honestly as they can given the environment.  But the lack of oversight and regulation has created an environment where the bottom line is to make as much money as possible by any means.

My opinion is that eventually this will lead to the Federal Government having to take a more active role in regulating tribal casinos.  It won't happen overnight but as more and more scandals get unearthed, as more people go to jail, and as more public attention is drawn to the issue the Federal Government will be forced to act unless tribal casinos clean up their act on their own.  Gresham's Dynamic suggests they won't.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Vote For Robert Smith Is A Vote For More Disenrollments

Pala is facing its most important election in a long time.  The outcome of this election will determine Pala's future and fate as a tribe.  If Robert Smith and the rest of the Executive Committee are re-elected they will view it as tribal approval of the disenrollments.  They will feel emboldened and continue their plans to disenroll even more tribal members.

Right now Pala's Executive Committee is just sitting back and waiting.  They are waiting to see if the BIA will do anything.  It appears they won't.  They are waiting to see if NIGC will do anything.  It appears they won't.  They are waiting to see if the Federal Government will do anything.  So far it appears they won't.  The last hurdle really is this election and the General Council.  Once they secure another term they will be able to accelerate their plan.

I don't know if the People of Pala are aware (except the families of the disenrolled) but Pala's Executive Committee basically took the minor's trust funds.  Where the money went is not clear.  Some of the money from Vulcan was supposed to be in trust with the BIA.  It wasn't.  It was with the tribe.  The Per Capita money for the minors was in trust funds with Pala.  That was their money.  They were members over the years the money was put into trust.  Those trust funds should still be theirs.

The only way to reverse all this is to change the make up of the Executive Committee and return power to the General Council.  Word needs to get out.  All 162 disenrolled have fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins still enrolled.  They need to all be voting.  About half live off the reservation the rest live on.

It's no secret that in the past many Brittains living off the reservation voted for Robert Smith.  Not being able to go to General Council meetings they had to rely on meeting agendas and minutes to determine what was going on.  The consensus seemed to be that since the casino was doing ok Robert and the rest of the Executive Committee must be doing ok so they kept voting for them.

That's over now.  The mask is off.  The Brittains know they were betrayed by the Executive Committee.

It will be herculean task to defeat the current Executive Committee in the upcoming election.  But for the sake of the tribe it needs to be done.  If the Executive Committee is re-elected more disenrollments will happen.  Will your family be next?

Speak out at a General Council meeting against the Executive Committee's plans and your family could be targeted for disenrollments.  Do you want to continue living under that fear?  Vote in new people and move the tribe forward.  Reverse these shameful disenrollments and put Pala on a path to future prosperity.  If a change in leadership does not happen then the tribe will continue to be torn apart by the Executive Committee.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pala Raceway Noise

Fallbrook Bonsall Village News - Pala Tribe rebuts issue of raceway noise

Debbie Ramsey
Managing Editor

Here are some excerpts from the article:

The Rainbow Community Planning Group has stated that the Pala Band of Mission Indians has responded to its latest written plea (Aug. 19) for help in regards to a noise issue coming from Pala Raceway that they say is disrupting peaceful living. Unfortunately it wasn’t the answer they were hoping to hear.

RCPG chairman Dennis Sanford said the group received a letter dated Aug. 29 from Pala Chairman Robert Smith, which essentially said noise from the raceway does not exceed legal limits and the Tribe would not require the operators of the raceway to take any further steps to reduce noise.

"We have no proof of the sound levels as their study results were not shared and we had no access [to them]," said Sanford. "County ordinances govern noise levels being emitted from various sources. We have been told by the Tribe that because they are a "sovereign nation" they can do whatever they want and are not subject to various laws and ordinances."
In regards to taking any other measures to reduce noise emitting from the track, Smith said those measures would be "prohibitively expensive." 

Read Full Artcile and Commnets Here - Fallbrook Bonsall Village News - Pala Tribe rebuts issue of raceway noise