From: alra@governance.net
Subject: You Can Testimony To Sen. McCain About Reservation Shopping

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net 
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 2000
Rim of the Valley Will Put Landowners Under Siege

You Can Testimony To Sen. McCain About Reservation Shopping

We’ve made it easy for you to testify.

Just go to www.landrights.org

So many communities are going to wake up in the next few years and find they have a huge and unwanted neighbor.  That neighbor is going to be a giant Tribal casino using a concept called “Reservation Shoppinig.”

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is the Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee just held a hearing about Reservation Shopping.  

The technical deadline to mail, e-mail or fax your testimony is Monday, August 15th.  But if you get it in a few days late, they will probably accept it.

Chairman Senator John McCain wants to hear from you.

Action Items:

-----1.  Please return your Testimony Questionnaire by August 15th if you can.  As soon after as possible.    American Land Rights will hand deliver your testimony to your Senators.   Fax it to American Land Rights at (360) 687-2973.  We will hand deliver your testimony to the Committee.   You can mail it to American Land Rights, PO Box 400, Battle Ground, WA 98604.  If you mail it to the Indian Affairs Committee it could be delayed for weeks because of the Anthrax inspections.

You can fax it directly to the committee at (202) 224-5429.  Please fax a copy to American Land Rights at (360) 687-2973.  

-----2.  Send an e-mail to American Land Rights at ccushman@landrights.org
Put in the subject line:  Join Reservation Shopping Coalition.

-----3.  You can use e-mail to send testimony.  Just write out what you want to say and e-mail it john.tahsuda@indian.senate.gov     Or you can e-mail it to ccushman@landrights.org.   We’ll print it out and have it hand delivered to Senator McCain.

-----4.  Ask to testify now.  Every community that is concerned about Reservation Shopping should get a letter in to Senator McCain requesting to testify.  At the last hearing there was no panel of those opposed to Reservation Shopping casino’s in their community.  That should never happen again.

Write Honorable John McCain % john.tahsuda@indian.senate.gov
Send a copy to ccushman@landrights.org.  You can fax your request to Senator McCain at (202) 224-5429.  Fax a copy to American Land Rights at (360) 687-2973.

Testimony Mail, Fax and E-mail deadline is Monday August 15th.

If you are a little late, it will be ok.  Just get it written and sent, whatever way you are going to do it.  The important thing is to make your concerns known to Senator McCain.  

Go to www.landrights.org  for 7 NEW Testimony Questionnaires to help you send in your testimony.

Testimony Questionnaires 1-4 are about the proposed Cowlitz-Mohegan casino between Ridgefield and La Center, Washington, just north of Portland, Oregon.

Testimony Questionnaires 5-7 are from a national perspective.  Anyone anywhere in the country can use them to send in testimony about your own local battle to keep control of your community.

For the record, American Land Rights will help other communities design Testimony Questionnaires for their own specific needs. 

What is Reservation Shopping?

Reservation Shopping is where Indian Tribes go outside their traditional aboriginal boundaries, often outside the state where they reside, to buy land and convert it into an Indian Reservation so they can build a huge casino.

Why should you care?

Because under current law it is possible for a Tribal casino to be built in your neighborhood or community without the consent of the local people.  Communities lose the right to define their own future.   A casino operating on reservation land can ignore local laws and environmental standards.

There seems to be a new definition of sacred ground.  That is, “is the land near an off ramp and freeway close to population center.

What is happening nationwide?

There are many people nationally who are concerned about the abuse of new Indian Reservations as a tool to ignore local land use laws, environmental regulations and install large gaming facilities.  “Reservation Shopping” has become a runaway national problem.  

The US Senate Indian Affairs is holding a series of hearings on Reservation Shopping.   You need to get in the official record of the US Senate opposing your local casino when the technique of Reservation Shopping is being used.

For example, just north of Portland, Oregon between the small towns of Ridgefield and La Center, the Cowlitz and Mohegan tribes are trying to build
what would be the fifth largest in the United States.  

This mega-casino will offer more gambling square footage than all Las Vegas casinos with the exception of the MGM Grand . . . .  in a local residential and farming neighborhood.  

The way things are going in Congress, you have an excellent chance to stop this monster.  But you must do your part.

There are Reservation Shopping proposals popping up all across  America.

The Cowlitz and Mohegans are buying land outside their normal indigenous area for the purposes of establishing a reservation and casino.  The Cowlitz can show virtually no heritage in Clark County, Washington.  

*****Mega-Casinos drive out local businesses, lower property values, increase local taxes, cause personal bankruptcies, encourage crime, and flood roads with drunk drivers.  A gambling complex this large will scare away new non-casino businesses and jobs that do not want to have their employees near a casino.

*****Here is just one example:   At the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut employees and their families do what they call “hot bunking”.  That means that three families share a house.   They rotate through the house every eight hours so they sleep and cook on a rotating schedule.  No matter what they do in Clark County, the demographics here will change forever.  The environment will change.

Homeowners, families, church leaders, non-profits, business owners and others are joining together to fight the giant Cowlitz Casino at La Center Junction on I-5.  

Just like casino’s in other areas, this casino can be beaten if the entire community rises up against it.   Elected officials must oppose it as well.   Clark County already signed a faulty Agreement with the Cowlitz tribe that could hurt the community.  The Commissioners can undo it.  Local people must insist that they rescind the agreement.  

No matter where you live in the country, get your elected officials to oppose Reservation Shopping.  Don’t let your elected officials sign any agreements with your local Tribe that is engaging in this practice.

*****No matter what else you do, go to www.landrights.org and send back your Testimony Questionnaire immediately.  Get on the record with the US Senate.   
Fax it back to (360) 687-2973. 

Church pastors all over America are beginning to organize against Reservation Shopping.  Focus on the Family is opposed.

A huge new Tribal Casino  can change the politics in your community forever.

The Tribe gets so much money that there is no stopping them.  Every official will fear them at election time.  

It’s wrong for a tribe to be able to go outside their original territory and impose their will on an unwilling community.   You can help by getting involved.

American Land Rights is forming a new national coalition against Reservation Shopping.

Send us an e-mail to join the coalition for free.  Just write:  “Join Reservation Shopping Coalition” in the Subject line.

All communities that want to maintain control over their future need to work together to win at the Interior Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bush Administration and Congress.                 

Call your local elected officials to stop them from rushing into agreements with whatever tribe is trying to impose a Reservation Shopping casino on your community.  Ask your city council or county government to go on record opposing the casino.  

Washington, DC officials think these agreements are endorsements of the casino even if they are not.  By signing agreements, your officials are unintentionally selling you out.

Who is the American Land Rights Association?  ALRA was founded in 1978 to protect landowners from the Federal agency abuses.   Since then ALRA has been involved in a great many national land use issues and won most of the time.  We’ve been headquartered in Battle Ground for 16 years and have had a full time Washington, DC office since 1979.  You can learn more about us by going to www.landrights.org or just call (360) 687-3087.

Part of what we do is teach local groups how to compete in the political process with Congress and Washington DC bureaucrats.  American Land Rights consults on land issues all over the country.  You can win your local battle.  But it won’t happen without you.  ALRA can give you tools, tactics and strategy to help in your local area.

For the record, Chuck Cushman, Executive Director of American Land Rights, led the successful campaign to save the Osage Indians from losing their land in Oklahoma to the National Park Service in 1986.   So this is not about being anti-Indian.  We are pro-community.

American Land Rights is trying to reach out to all landowners across America who want to protect their communities form having a Tribal Gaming Casino imposed on them against their will by a Tribe that has no connection to the local area.  

Our plan is to build a nationwide coalition to finally stop this practice of Reservation Shopping.   ALRA has hundreds of thousands of e-mails, fax numbers and several million names in our network.  We need to find those people who care about and want to oppose Reservation Shopping. 

*****Please forward this message as widely as possible.  It must get in the hands of anyone who is working to save their local community from Reservation Shopping.

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