From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Vote Soon On Reservation Shopping In Congress – Call Now!

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
Alliance Against Reservation Shopping
PO Box 400 - Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 - FAX: 360-687-2973
Email: alra@governance.net or alra@pacifier.com
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003 
mike@hardimanconsulting.com -- 202-489-4893

Vote Soon On Reservation Shopping In Congress – Call Now!

Look for your Congressman below.

*****Stop the new tribal casino grandfather clause.

Do you want a new off-reservation tribal casino built near your home?

Would you be surprised that some tribes are abusing the law to sneak in the back door? 

*****As of now, your community cannot say no to a new casino, no matter what your local laws, customs and culture say.

That means that your community could end up with one or more giant tribal casinos that do not pay taxes, obey state or local laws, and often damage local communities with the ills of gambling like high crime, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and gambling addiction.   These casinos take money but don’t give much to the community.  Except in the political process where local politicians are so afraid of them that few local decisions are made without the tribes consent. 

The key here is choice.  If a community does not want a casino, it should have the ability to stop it.  But that is not how the law is written now.  Tribal casinos can be plunked down pretty much anywhere the tribes want regardless of local custom and culture.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988 was supposed to control this process and stop the massive expansion of casinos and keep them on traditional reservations.  

But the bill allowed exceptions.  And those exceptions have erupted into a remarkable expansion of new casinos around the country with the prospect of hundreds more damaging our communities.

*****Your Congressman is listed below. He is a member of the House Resources Committee that will vote soon.  He or she must hear from you opposing a grandfather clause to allow new off-reservation tribal casinos in your area.

*****He’ll be home for the Easter Recess over the next two weeks.  

Richard Pombo (R-CA) – Phone:  202-225-1947 – Fax:  202-226-0861
Don Young (R-AK) – Phone:  202-225-5765 – Fax:  515-225-0425
Jim Saxton (R-NJ) – Phone:  202-225-4765 – Fax:  202-225-0778
Elton Gallegly (R-CA) – Phone:  202-225-5811 – Fax:  202-225-1100
John Duncan Jr. (R-TN) – Phone:  202-225-5435 – Fax:  202-225-6440
Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) – Phone:  202-225-5311 – Fax:  202-225-0254
Ken Calvert (R-CA) – Phone:  202-225-1986 – Fax:  202-225-2004
Barbara Cubin (R-WY) – Phone:  202-225-2311 – Fax:  202-225-3057
George Radanovich (R-CA) – Phone:  202-225-4540 – Fax:  202-225-3402
Walter Jones (R-NC) – Phone:  202-225-3415 – Fax:  202-225-3286
Christopher Cannon (R-UT) – Phone:  202-225-7751 – Fax:  202-225-5629
John Peterson (R-PA) – Phone:  202-225-5121 – Fax:  202-225-5796
Jim Gibbons (R-NV) – Phone:  202-225-6155 – Fax:  202-225-5679
Greg Walden (R-OR) – Phone:  202-225-6730 – Fax:  202-225-5774
Tom Tancredo (R-CO) – Phone:  202-225-7882 – Fax:  202-226-4623
J. D. Hayworth (R-AZ) – Phone:  202-225-2190 – Fax:  202-225-3263
Jeff Flake (R-AZ) – Phone:  202-225-2635 – Fax:  202-226-4386
Rick Renzi (R-AZ) – Phone:  202-225-2315 – Fax:  202-226-9739
Steve Pearce (R-NM) – Phone:  202-225-2365 – Fax:  202-225-9599
Henry Brown (R-SC) – Phone:  202-225-3176 – Fax:  202-225-3407
Thelma Drake (R-VA) – Phone:  202-225-4215 – Fax:  202-225-4218
Cathy McMorris (R-WA) – Phone:  202-225-2006 – Fax:  202-225-3392
Bobby Jindal (R-LA) – Phone:  202-225-3015 – Fax:  202-226-0386
Louie Gohmert (R-TX) – Phone:  202-225-3035 – Fax:  202-226-1230
Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) – Phone:  202-225-4676 – Fax:  202-225-5870

Nick Rahall (D-WV) – Phone:  202-225-3452 – Fax:  202-225-9061
George Miller (D-CA) – Phone:  202-225-2095 – Fax:  202-225-5609
Edward Markey (D-MA) – Phone:  202-225-2836 – Fax:  202-226-0092
Dale Kildee (D-MI) – Phone:  202-225-3611 – Fax:  202-225-6393
Peter DeFazio (D-OR) – Phone:  202-225-6416 – Fax:  202-225-0032
Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) – Phone:  202-225-2726 – Fax:  202-225-4580
Solomon Ortiz (D-TX) – Phone:  202-225-7742 – Fax:  202-226-1134
Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) – Phone:  202-225-4671 – Fax:  202-225-9665
Ron Kind (D-WI) – Phone:  202-225-5506 – Fax:  202-225-5739
Jay Inslee (D-WA) – Phone:  202-225-6311 – Fax:  202-226-1606
Grace Flores Napolitano (D-CA) – Phone:  202-225-5256 – Fax:  202-225-0027
Tom Udall (D-NM) – Phone:  202-225-6190 – Fax:  202-226-1331
Mark Udall (D-CO) – Phone:  202-225-2161 – Fax:  202-226-7840
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) – Phone:  202-225-2435 – Fax:  202-225-1541
Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) – Phone:  202-225-6131 – Fax:  202-225-0819
Jim Costa (D-CA) – Phone:  202-225-3341 – Fax:  202-225-9308
Charles Melancon (D-LA) – Phone:  202-225-4031 – Fax:  202-226-3944
David Daniel Boren (D-OK) – Phone:  202-225-2701 – Fax:  202-225-3038
Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) – Phone:  202-225-2801 – Fax:  202-225-5823

If a grandfather clause gets in HR 4893, the speculators like Donald Trump and other developers will win and your community will lose.  Most new off-reservation casino proposals are funded by outside speculators hoping for large windfall profits by hiring lawyers to use the many loopholes in current law. 

A grandfather clause virtually guarantees these speculators will make huge profits at your expense.   But what about local communities?  Most of these tribes won’t lose because the money already expended comes form speculators.  These speculators have no vested rights.  They took risks.  They are used to losing.  They are called speculators because they take big risks, and big losses and often win huge profits.  But local communities should not suffer at their hands.

Congress needs to get a grip on these loopholes and stop the exceptions and grandfather clause.   

Most of the lobbying controversy in Washington was about Jack Abramoff  and reservation shopping by tribes crossing state lines or moving outside their traditional boundaries and away form their reservation. 

The key issue is the grandfather clause.

The House of Representatives will consider a bill shortly (HR 4893) that will likely have a grandfather clause amended to it that allows many if not most of the tribes in the process now the ability to avoid all the new requirements.

There could be as many as 400 and possibly more new off-reservation casinos built under current law.  Most casinos today are built on existing reservations.  But most of the new ones will come on private land in communities near a freeway close to a population center. 

If you want to save your community you better speak up now. 

-----Below is a press release about a new bill (HR 4893) by Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) intended to stop reservation shopping.  It does not now have a grandfather clause.  However many Congressmen on the Resources Committee are likely to vote for a grandfather clause unless they hear from you.

-----Below we have also highlighted the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians way of going around the law as they engaged in reservation shopping.

Action Items:  

-----1.  Call your Congressman listed above.  Congratulate Rep. Pombo on his bill and urge him to fight back against any attempt to add a grandfather clause by an amendment.

-----2.  Your Congressman must hear from you and your friends that you oppose adding a grandfather clause to HR 4893 by amendment.  Try to go to one of your Congressman’s local meetings he’ll will be holding in your district over the next two weeks.

-----3.  Write a short letter to the editor about the fact that your Congressman is on the Resources Committee and should vote against any grandfather amendment.

-----4.  Help us help you.  Get on the e-mail list of the Alliance Against Reservation Shopping and American Land Rights.  Just your name, e-mail, fax and address, and we’ll put you on the list and keep you informed about Congressional and Administration actions regarding new tribal casinos.  

E-mail it to:  alra@pacifier.com and just put Reservation Shopping in the subject line.   There is no cost and you can remove yourself from the list at any time.  You have complete control.  We will not rent, sell, loan, lease or otherwise provide your e-mail address to anyone.  

What is a grandfather clause?

If added to HR 4893, it would allow many tribes to play by the old rules and allow many more tribes to impose new off-reservation casinos in communities that do not want them.  It grandfathers tribes (speculators) who already have some sort of application pending to guarantee them the use of the old process which has all kinds of loopholes and exceptions. 

What is reservation shopping?

Reservation shopping is when a tribe looks to locate a new casino as close to a populated area as possible.  To do this, they must create a new reservation that cannot be stopped by local communities.  

Reservation shopping is becoming a huge new land grab in America.

It is by Indian Tribes who want to build new gambling casinos in or near urban areas.   

Why should you care if you have no casino proposed near you at the present time?

Answer:  Because it is coming.  Over 200 new off-reservation casinos are in the pipeline.   There are potentially over 200 additional tribes that could get into the process or have already started by their application but it has not yet reached the Washington, DC office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  That is at least 400 more potential new casinos and possibly more.  There are huge numbers of large-scale investors recruiting tribes and paying for all their expenses to get recognized and approved for gaming.  

What does off-reservation mean?

It means that tribes find private land as close to freeways and communities as possible and buy that land.  Then they go to the Interior Department to get them to take the land into trust.   In other words, a new Indian Reservation right in the middle of your community.   Then they get it approved for gaming.  So they go off their traditional reservation which is usually out in rural areas and instead put a casino in your neighborhood, often near schools, churches and businesses.  In numerous cases these casinos rival Las Vegas casinos in size.  

If you fight for the people facing a new casino in their area now, they will be there to fight for you when a tribal casino threatens to damage your quality of life.  It is a team game.  A simple call by you can make so much difference.  American Land Rights allies have been very successful because they have fought together for the common good on numerous issues. 

Think about whether you want a giant mega-casino placed in your neighborhood without your approval and against the wishes of your community.  That’s what is happening all across America.  

Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) has introduced a new bill in Congress to provide local communities with more say as tribes try to engage in reservation shopping.  

His bill, HR 4893, is available at www.landrights.org. 

It would allow the legislature to vote and allow for the local community to vote on the issue of new off-reservation casinos in their communities.  It also would provide for other hoops for the tribes and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to go through.  At present BIA has no regulations governing its conduct in this process. 

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, offered up legislation that passed the Senate Committee two weeks ago to amend the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.   It DOES NOT allow communities more say in the process.  Unfortunately, the McCain bill includes a grandfather clause that needs to be blocked in the House.   It would grandfather tribes now in the process.  It actually encourage more tribes to apply because it gives until April 15th for them to get a letter in to the Secretary of Interior.  

Here is an example of reservation shopping:

The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians in California tries to sneak in the back door.

In March 2000, California voters approved a constitutional amendment granting Indian tribes a statewide monopoly on slot machines and banked card games (like blackjack).  The Indians proponents had spent $30 million on top of $70 million spent two years earlier on a statutory amendment, and, in response to public concerns, had promised that Indian casinos would be limited to Indian lands on mostly remote, rural locations.

But the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians was not satisfied.  They wanted to put a casino in an urban area.

In October 2000, in violation of the earlier promises to the voters, Congressman George Miller snuck a three sentence amendment into a 150 page Omnibus Indian bill, directing the Secretary of Interior to take a 9 acre parcel of land in the middle of the heavily urbanized San Francisco Bay Area in trust for the Lytton Indians and to backdate the acquisition to 1988 so that it would be exempt from provisions in IGRA.  IGRA supposedly limits casinos on new Indian lands if they would be detrimental to the surrounding community.  At the time, the land consisted of a 70,000 square foot card room and a 700 space parking lot.

The Lytton Indians were from 65 miles away on lands in rural farmlands.  Back in the 1920s, the government had bought a piece of land at a spot called Lytton (an English name, not Indian), and in 1937, the government allowed two Indian families to live on the land and have small farms.  The government gave the families the land in 1960.  The two families had never organized as a tribe, and before 1991 had never been treated as a tribe. 

In 1999, the Lytton had indicated to Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) that they wanted to have the land taken into trust, and the BIA had indicated that the application would be denied.  The Miller amendment, which had never before been proposed or even discussed, was inserted in the bill at 9:25 at night, just five minutes before the bill was passed, without the knowledge of the public or other elected officials and without any public debate.  

This stealth legislation was inserted into the Technical Corrections section, even though it was not a technical correction, and it did not identify the land except by reference to a recorded deed.  The bill was passed before anyone knew what had been done.  In January 2001, when Dianne Feinstein first learned what had happened, she immediately indicated her opposition.

In January 2005, Senator Feinstein introduced S 113 to reverse the backdating provision in the amendment and require any Indian gaming to be reviewed to ensure that it is not detrimental to the surrounding community.  The bill was heard by the Senate Indians Affairs Committee in April 2005, and passed out of committee in June 2005.  Now, it awaits action by the full Senate.

You should call both your Senators to urge them to pass S 113. 

We’ll give you more about the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians in the future.

Here is an additional contact address for information about the Lytton Band.
Conor Lee -- info@stopurbancasinos.org

Pombo Introduces Bill To End Off-Reservation Indian Gaming

  For Immediate Release
House Resources Committee
  March 8, 2006
  Contact: Brian Kennedy or Jennifer Zuccarelli (202) 226-9019

  Pombo Introduces Bill to End
  Off-Reservation Indian Gaming

  Washington, DC- After more than a year of Congressional hearings and public input, House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) officially introduced legislation to stop the spread of off-reservation Indian gaming yesterday evening.  See below to read the bill, H.R. 4893.

  Off-reservation gaming is the practice of exploiting a loophole in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).  Some tribes attempt to acquire lands outside the borders of their reservation to establish a casino, typically close to large urban areas or tourist destinations. H.R. 4893 amends Section 20 of IGRA, to close this loophole and give local communities control over new casino proposals from newly-recognized or landless tribes. 

  "Off-reservation gaming is a nationwide concern and I knew we had many different opinions and concerns to keep in mind," said Pombo "By working openly with Indian Country and the American public over the last year, I believe I have crafted the strongest bill possible.  This will put local communities in control and encourage economic opportunities for tribes at the same time."

  Pombo held three hearings on off-reservation gaming last year, including one field hearing in California where more than 10 local officials and tribal leaders testified on the effects of off-reservation gaming.  The state ranks at the top of the nation's list with as many as 40 proposals to establish off-reservation casinos.

  The Chairman circulated for the public two discussion drafts of his bill last year. The Resources Committee will hold a hearing in the near future to review the bill.
Chairman Pombo's Off-Reservation Gaming bill will:

-----1.  Completely repeal the so-called 'two part determination' in Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ("IGRA"), the part of IGRA that has authorized 'reservation shopping'.  This means that under no circumstances can a tribe that already has land into trust that is eligible for gaming acquire any more land not contiguous to the reservation and use it for gaming, without exception.  This puts a permanent end to 'reservation shopping' once and for all.

-----2.  Give local communities and state officials a seat at the table to decide whether or not a casino proposed by a new or landless tribe should open in their town or city. 

-----a.  The tribe and local community must enter into a memorandum of understanding under which the tribe must pay the community for mitigation of direct effects of the casino on infrastructure and services such as transportation, public safety, and other costs.

-----b.  The tribe must pay for an advisory referendum in the local county or parish that currently holds jurisdiction over the land on whether they would like to have a casino or not.  The result of this referendum would then be forwarded to the Department of Interior, along with the completed Environmental Impact Statement, prior to Department review and determination of whether or not the land should be taken into trust.

-----c.  The Secretary of Interior must certify that the facility would not be detrimental to the surrounding community or nearby Indian tribes.

-----d.  The Secretary must certify that the facility is in the best interest of the surrounding community.

-----e.  The Governor of the State must concur with the Secretary's findings.

-----f.  The State legislature must concur with the Secretary's findings.

-----g.  Nearby Indian tribes must concur with the Secretary's findings.

-----h.  Only after having cleared all of these hurdles will land be placed into trust for a new or landless tribe that wants a casino.

-----i.  A tribe may only propose to locate its facility on lands where the tribe has its primary historic, geographical, social and temporal nexus with the lands.

-----3.  Ban any attempts to establish off-reservation casinos outside of the tribe's current U.S. state.

-----4.  Allow for the creation of 'Indian Gaming Zones', where one tribe can host a gaming facility for another tribe on already existing reservation land where gaming is allowed.


Click here for a copy of the bill, HR 4893.


or go to www.landrights.org

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