Saturday, October 30, 2010

Barbara Boxer: Family Profits From Fake Indian Tribe She Helped Create

Funny thing! I wasn't even going to write about this, I was just going to post a link to it in the Saturday Linkaround and let people read or not read it as they will. Then, getting ready to post the link, I went to The Hill and found this:
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Although, if you look, the comments below the "page not found" reference this story. But, I guess it could have been a "broken link", so I took their advice and searched "Barbara Boxer Indian", was taken to this page:
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And when I clicked on the link guess where it took me? (Bonus points if you guessed "page not found"). Here's from a helpful email from the Fiorina camp:

The Hill’s Pundits Blog: Barb Boxer’s Indian tribe take
By Rick Manning
October 30, 2010
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/lawmaker-news/126619-barb-boxers-indian-tribe-take


For the past 10 years Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has been playing a game that would make Jack Abramoff blush, a game that can best be described using the language of “Get Smart’s” Maxwell Smart as “the ole family-profiting-off-of-the-Indian-tribe-that-you-created trick.”


Here’s the story.


In 1998, Lynn Woolsey introduced legislation reinstating an Indian tribe in the wine country of Northern California that had been declared defunct by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1958. None of the Indians of the tribe objected at that time; they received a payment and went about their lives. The Woolsey bill would reinstate the tribe but specifically prohibited them from starting a casino. The legislation ran into trouble when the Bureau of Indian Affairs opposed the legislation because it had not seen any evidence that the tribe was significantly tied to the terminated tribe.


In 2000, Boxer helpfully picked up the Woolsey bill, but changed the prohibition against gaming, and designated any land that the group owned to be considered as a reservation.


In the same year, Boxer got her language into the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act of 2000, and with the changes unbeknownst to either fellow Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) or House sponsor Woolsey (D), the bill was signed into law by then-President Clinton.


With us so far? A defunct tribe of Indians gets reinstated and Boxer inserts language that states in essence, any land they purchase becomes a "reservation". Neat, huh? Get around all those federal and local laws and taxes with the stroke of a pen. But as they say on the infomercials, Wait! There's more!

Shortly after passage, the newly minted Indian tribe declared that after much soul-searching, the only thing it could do was open a casino on the outskirts of San Francisco in the town of Rohnert Park.


The tribe turned its fortunes over to two firms to make its dreams of wealth come true — Platinum Advisers, a political consulting/lobbying firm, and Kenwood Investments 2. Amazingly, and I’m certain quite coincidentally, Barbara Boxer’s son, Doug, was a partner in each firm.


To avoid immediate citizen concern about a casino popping up in their posh neighborhood, Doug Boxer’s Kenwood Investments 2 kindly fronted for the casino interests in purchasing a tract of land in Rohnert Park, as well as helpfully taking options on adjoining parcels of land for themselves to sweeten the pot. (Can I say pot and Sonoma County, Calif., in the same breath?)


Then Platinum Advisers sprang into action to try to gain community support for the casino. They apparently didn’t do a very good job, because the casino still is not built 10 years later.


According to Reference.com, Doug Boxer’s take from the project was a very Abramoff-like $8 million.


What makes the story timely is that the federal government just a couple of weeks ago was compelled to declare the land that Boxer’s son had purchased on behalf of the Indian casino a reservation, effectively killing the local zoning and lawsuits that had tied the project up in knots for most of the past decade.


The Santa Rosa Press Democrat rightly pinned the federal decision right on the Senate Ethics* Committee chairwoman’s doorstep by pointing out that since she used the word shall, rather than may, in the legislation that birthed this tribe, the federal government had no choice but to declare the property that the tribe subsequently purchased to be tribal lands.


The rest of the post goes on to examine the, shall we say, less than stellar (or convincing) bona fides of this "tribe." Read the whole thing if it ever goes back up.

Both Boxer and Harry Reid have done very well by their children, by steering millions of dollars their way. Now if someone could only remind them to do right by the people who elected them and the taxpayers of this country.

Could you remind them for me next Tuesday?

*"Senate Ethics" - under Boxer, an oxymoron. (See: "Obama Justice Department")

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

Update: Moe Lane has written on this as well here.

3 comments:

  1. Great blogging, linked at PJM on Wednesday!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! We got a link from Red State to LCR on this, too!

    ReplyDelete

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