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Elizabeth Warren dealt out of tribe’s casino scene

Elizabeth Warren dealt out of tribe’s casino scene

Postby smix » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:45 pm

Elizabeth Warren dealt out of tribe’s casino scene
Boston Herald

URL; https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/04/05 ... ino-scene/
Category: Politics
Published: April 5, 2019

Description: Mashpee Restoration Act co-sponsor is AWOL
Massachusetts, we are all “American Indians” now. On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples met to debate the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Reservation Restoration Act, an attempt by Massachusetts Democrats to rescue the Cape Cod tribe’s troubled casino deal. Their congressman — and the bill’s lead sponsor — Rep. Bill Keating was on hand as expected. Their former congressman, Democrat Bill Delahunt showed up, too, as did another former congressman, Republican Richard Pombo. (More about them in a moment.) But who didn’t show up? Who didn’t offer to testify, or send a letter, or even release a statement or post a tweet? The Mashpee tribe’s former BFF (“Before we Found out she’s a Fake”) Sen. Elizabeth Warren. One year ago, Warren was a Senate co-sponsor of the Mashpee Restoration Act. She was ready to fight for the tribe and its casino. Just last April she visited the tribal offices to show her support.

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Today? She’s gone. In the wind. Nowhere to be found. Why? Because the Mashpees don’t want her around. “She’s been waved off,” a gaming industry source told me. “Everyone knows it’s her bill, but they [the Mashpees] don’t want her anywhere near it.” And why would they? If you’re a proud Mashpee Wampanoag who treasures your Native American heritage, Warren’s an embarrassment. And if you’re just an opportunist hoping to make a few bucks off an Indian casino — she’s even worse. I’m not blaming Warren for the Mashpee’s current mess. The problem has always been that federal law says a tribe must have been federally recognized by 1934 in order for the feds to create new tribal lands where they can, among other things, build a casino. The Mashpees weren’t federally recognized until 2007. And that only happened because of the money they poured on notoriously corrupt D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff. And who was Abramoff’s go-to guy in Congress at the time? The aforementioned Rep. Pombo who, you’ll be stunned to learn, is now a lobbyist himself. Care to guess who he works for? Why, the Mashpees! Well, technically Genting Malaysia — the big multinational gaming company pushing their casino bill. And who else got money from the Mashpees after he left Congress? Our own Bill Delahunt. All in all, it’s exactly the level of low-grade shady one would expect from a Massachusetts-based, Democrat-backed casino project. “This bill contradicts a Supreme Court decision and aims to reverse federal court decisions, in order to build a massive 400,000 square-foot off-reservation gaming complex for the benefit of Genting Malaysia,” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said during Wednesday’s hearing. “Is this a bill for the Mashpees, or is it actually a financial bailout for Genting?” Gosar asked. A better question might be why Warren — or anyone else for that matter — would want to have anything to do with this project? Trish Keliinui, spokesperson for the Mashpee tribe, declined to comment on reports that the tribe has asked Sen. Warren not to offer public support for the casino project or file any legislation on her behalf. But what other explanation is there for Warren’s transition from a proud co-sponsor to persona non grata? Here’s the problem — and not just for the Mashpees but for all of us: Warren’s self-inflicted wounds from her fake identity politics combined with her fading 2020 fortunes now leave Massachusetts with the least effective and most embarrassing member of the U.S. Senate. Ask yourself: Who has less juice in the U.S. Senate right now than Liz Warren? When Bernie Sanders speaks, for example, people pay attention. Even freshman Rep. Ocasio-Cortez can get things done, as she did when she helped kill the Democrats’ anti-semitism resolution for her pal Ilhan Omar. Could Warren get that done? Could she make an impact on a cause vital to Massachusetts voters? If you think the answer is “yes,” I’ve got a casino in Taunton to sell you…
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Where's Warren? Mashpee tribe renews casino push without Massachusetts Democrat

Postby smix » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:12 pm

Where's Warren? Mashpee tribe renews casino push without Massachusetts Democrat
Washington Times

URL: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20 ... n-support/
Category: Politics
Published: April 4, 2019

Description: Mashpee Wampanoag bill would pave way for tribal gaming resort
A Massachusetts tribe seeking to build a $1 billion casino resort has renewed its push for a congressional boost, but this time without the conspicuous support of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who may have done more to hurt the effort than help it. So far Ms. Warren, who led the fight in the last session, has not reintroduced Senate legislation to place land into federal trust on behalf of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, even as the House bill saw testimony Wednesday before a subcommittee. Ms. Warren has not commented publicly about whether she plans to reenter the fray, but throwing her support behind the bill last year wound up raising the political stakes by dragging the legislation into the hubbub over her presidential ambitions and disputed American Indian heritage. What’s more, President Trump is seen as unlikely to sign legislation championed by Ms. Warren as she blasts him daily on the campaign trail in her bid to capture the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, meaning her lower profile could be a strategic move. “They’ve finally made the political calculation that she’s killing them,” said an industry source who opposes the bill. Clyde Barrow, political science professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, said the Mashpee tribe’s chances in the 116th Congress would be slim, with or without Ms. Warren. He said Republicans, who control the Senate, have been historically cool to Indian gaming, while Mr. Trump has a record of “just absolutely opposing it vehemently since his days in the industry.” “The Senate’s not going to move anything they know the president’s not going to approve,” said Mr. Barrow, a gaming policy expert. “And as we go into the presidential election season, they’re also not going to be inclined to do favors for any of the opposition candidates like Warren who are running for president.” Ms. Warren and Sen. Edward Markey, both Massachusetts Democrats, introduced the 2018 bill after a federal judge barred the Interior Department from taking 321 acres of Mashpee land into trust for a reservation, a prerequisite for a tribal casino. By that time, the Genting Group, a Malaysian investor, had sunk an estimated $400 million into First Light Resort and Casino, a proposed $1 billion tribal gaming attraction in Taunton, Massachusetts, about 30 miles from the Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln, Rhode Island. At Wednesday’s hearing, Claire Richards, counsel to Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, testified that the Mashpee bill would deal a blow to her state’s revenue base and encourage more bills aimed at leapfrogging the federal trust-acquisition process. Rep. William Keating, the Massachusetts Democrat who sponsored H.R. 312, countered that Rhode Island “has decided that protection of their casino revenue is more important than the long-term existence of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.” “The opposition to [H.R. 312] is grounded in the belief that Rhode Island’s decision to build near the Massachusetts state line should grant them territorial rights that extend over that border and into the commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Mr. Keating said. Also backing the bill was Rep. Ruben Gallego, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee’s Indigenous Peoples subcommittee, who said the “legal limbo imposed by this decision has left the Mashpee on the brink of dissolution.” The subcommittee did not vote on the measure, fueling speculation that the bill may skip the committee process and move straight to the House floor. Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican, argued that the bill would thwart decisions by the Interior Department and the federal court, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that only tribes recognized as of 1934 may have federal land taken into trust.

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The Mashpee, known as the people who welcomed the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, did not receive federal recognition until 2007. The tribe has about 2,600 members. “If H.R. 312 is passed, Congress will declare years of fighting and victories by local stakeholders as if they never happened,” said Mr. Gosar. “Congress will also take the view that current federal law should not apply to the Mashpee tribe.” The tribe has also come under recent scrutiny over its leadership. In January, chairman Cedric Cromwell was stripped of his financial authority over tribal affairs and gaming, followed by a no-confidence vote of the tribal council, but in February the panel rescinded the vote and reinstated his authority. Former Mashpee Chairman Glenn Marshall was convicted in 2009 of fraud and embezzling from the tribe while working with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Asked if the legislation was a “bailout bill” for Genting, Mashpee Vice Chairwoman Jessie Little Doe Baird pointed to the expense of the legal battles involving tribal and reservation recognition. “[W]e are forced to enter into agreements and find funding to help us get through these processes,” said Ms. Baird. “And they’re very expensive. The federal acknowledgement process alone took 30 years and cost us millions of dollars as did the land-in-trust process.” Replied Mr. Gosar: “You’ll never get out from underneath that debt.”
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Warren’s Casino Bill to Get Hearing–but Where’s Liz?

Postby smix » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:26 pm

Warren’s Casino Bill to Get Hearing–but Where’s Liz?
InsideSources

URL: https://www.insidesources.com/warrens-c ... heres-liz/
Category: Politics
Published: March 29, 2019

Description: After months of effort by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to bolster her Native American bona fides, a bill allowing the Massachusetts-based Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation to circumvent current law and open their own casino is finally getting a vote. But activists are now asking: Where’s Warren? Last March, Senator Warren was a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, which would overturn rulings by both the Department of the Interior and the federal courts to give the tribe land for a casino. This year, not only is Sen. Warren not sponsoring any legislation but her office is a firm “no comment” on the legislation entirely. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the Indigenous People’s subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, April, 3. But Warren has yet to endorse or support it publicly since the new Congress began. “She’s been waved off,” an industry source tells InsideSources. “Everyone knows it’s her bill, but they [the Mashpees] don’t want her anywhere near it.”

warren-native.jpg

Warren’s silence is part of an overall strategy by the new Democratic leadership of the House to slip the legislation through Congress with as little transparency as possible. Reported plans to bypass the committee process and bring it to the House floor for a vote were upended when opponents of the effort began bringing attention to it. Will House Republicans raise questions about this casino plan–including the involvement of the scandal-plagued gaming company Genting Malaysia — or will they help Warren repair her troubled relationship with Native Americans by supporting the legislation? “She may be silent now,” the industry source told NHJournal, “but Warren’s 2020 campaign team will be celebrating if they can get this win.” Rhode Island lawmakers, including her fellow Democrats, will not. “This bill is bad for Rhode Island. I have strongly communicated to my colleagues my State’s concerns and opposition to this bill,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) tells InsideSources. Warren’s work on behalf of the controversial Mashpee casino project is widely seen as part of her efforts to mend fences with the Native Amerian community in the wake of her unsubstantiated claims of Native status in multiple official documents. So far the results have been mixed. In the months since she co-sponsored the Mashpee bill, Warren has suffered the poorly-received release of her DNA test showing minimal genetic evidence of Native American heritage; and the unearthing of a copy of Warren’s 1986 Texas Bar registration card with “American Indian” listed as her race in her own handwriting. “If she wants to be considered the leader of our party or the leader of the progressive movement, she needs a reconciliation,” Jennifer Epps-Addison of the Center for Popular Democracy said in the wake of Warren’s dubious DNA test. “And that reconciliation should center on Native voices…not one white woman’s tale of understanding her DNA.”

warren-texas-bar-registration-card.jpg

When the Texas Bar registration card was published, Aimee Allison of the progressive group She the People said, “To claim native identity — clearly it wasn’t the appropriate thing to do. Was she trying to indicate her solidarity with the group? Why was it like that for her in the 1980s? I think she has more to say on that.” She the People’s mission is to help elect women of color.
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