Texas Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke, who represents Texas 16th congressional which includes El Paso, is running for the Senate seat currently held by first term Republican Senator Ted Cruz, probably the most disliked senator on both sides of the aisle. Sen. Lindsay Graham jokingly once said, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of …
Aug 23 2018
Jun 30 2015
In a late announcement Monday afternoon, the Supreme Court stayed a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which imposed limits on a woman’s right to choose. In a 5 -4 decision, the court allows Texas abortion clinics to remain open.
The Supreme Court issued a brief, two paragraph order (pdf) on Monday permitting Texas abortion clinics that are endangered by state law requiring them to comply with onerous regulations or else shut down to remain open. The order stays a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which imposed broad limits on the women’s right to choose an abortion within that circuit.
The Court’s order is temporary and offers no direct insight into how the Court will decide this case on the merits. It provides that the clinics’ application for a stay of the Fifth Circuit’s decision is granted “pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition” asking the Court to review the case on the merits. The Court adds that, should this petition be denied, the stay will automatically terminate. Otherwise, the stay “shall terminate upon the issuance of the judgment of this Court.”
Justce Anthony Kennedy joined the liberal judges to grant the clinics a reprieve. The court has yet to decide if they will hear arguments in the case in the fall.
May 05 2015
It’s been evident for years that Texas has been becoming more and more radical and not in a good way. Besides being taken over by the Tea Party and the narrow minded Christian right wing, the Texas state government is now pandering to the really wacky conspiracy theorists. Now, don’t take that as all conspiracies are wacky, some have been proven to be quite factual true and not the fiction of some paranoid’s delusions. But this latest theory, that was sparked by a post in the internet by none other than Alex Jones’ “Info Wars,” is beyond bizarre and proof positive that state government has gone off the deep end.
Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor federal military exercises in Texas after some citizens have lit up the Internet saying the maneuvers are actually the prelude to martial law.
The operation causing rampant suspicions is a new kind of exercise involving elite teams such as the SEALs and Green Berets from four military branches training over several states from July 15 to Sept. 15
Called Jade Helm 15, the exercise is one of the largest training operations done by the military in response to what it calls the evolving nature of warfare. About 1,200 special operations personnel will be involved and move covertly among the public. They will use military equipment to travel between seven Southwestern states from Texas to California.
On Monday, command spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria attended a Bastrop County Commissioners Court meeting to answer community questions and was met with hostile fire. Lastoria, in response to some of the questions from the 150 who attended, sought to dispel fears that foreign fighters from the Islamic State were being brought in or that Texans’ guns would be confiscated, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman.
Joining in the fun, of course, is Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), presidential candidate and right winger extraordinaire, who is requesting that the Pentagon explain itself:
“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise,” Cruz, a Texas senator, told Bloomberg at the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual convention. “We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”
Oct 10 2014
Late yesterday the Supreme Court and s federal judge put the brakes on voter ID laws in two states.
In Texas, US District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the law passed in 2011 was tantamount to an “unconstitutional poll tax” and an unconstitutional burden on minority voters
“The court holds that SB 14 creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose,” Ramos wrote in a 147-page ruling. [..]
The trial stemmed from a battle over stringent voter ID measures signed into law by Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry in 2011. The measure, which supporters say will prevent voter fraud, requires voters to present a photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport or military ID card.
Plaintiffs argued the law would hit elderly and poorer voters, including ethnic minorities, hardest because they are less likely to have such identification.
They would therefore be more likely to be turned away on voting day, suppressing the turnout of groups who traditionally have supported Democrats, the plaintiffs charged.
Then last night the US Supteme Court granted the request of civil rights group preventing a new voter identification law in Wisconsin from going into effect. It overturned the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals that that had declared the law constitutional.
On Thursday night the U.S. Supreme Court issued a one-page order that vacated the appeals court ruling pending further proceedings. Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying the application should have been denied because there was no indication that the 7th Circuit had demonstrably erred. [..]
Wisconsin’s photo ID law has been a political flashpoint since Republican legislators passed it in 2011. The GOP argues the mandate is a common sense step toward reducing election fraud. Democrats maintain no widespread fraud exists and that the law is really an attempt to keep Democratic constituents who may lack ID, such as the poor, minorities and the elderly, from voting.
The law was in effect for the February 2012 primary but subsequent legal challenges put it on hold and it hasn’t been in place for any election since.
The ACLU and allied groups persuaded a federal judge in Milwaukee to declare the law unconstitutional in April.
The ACLU has recruited an unlikely ambassador to aid in the fight to overturn and change these laws. At a photo shoot with ACLU’s Voting Rights Project Director Dale Ho, comedian and actor Lewis Black Says F#%! Voter Suppression. (Warning language in the video may not be suitable for the work place.)
Not on our watch.
Jul 11 2014
On April 17, 2013, an ammonium nitrate chemical storage facility in West, Texas exploded killing 15, injuring 160 and destroyed or damaged over 160 buildings. The cause of the original fire is still unknown. The plant that exploded was owned by a privately held family corporation. The plant only carried $1 million in liability insurance which under Texas law, was $1 million more than it needed. One year later, no legislation has even been introduced to increase regulations or inspections.
CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “The fire and explosion at West Fertilizer was preventable. It should never have occurred. It resulted from the failure of a company to take the necessary steps to avert a preventable fire and explosion and from the inability of federal, state and local regulatory agencies to identify a serious hazard and correct it.”
The CSB’s investigation found that at the state level, there is no fire code and in fact counties under a certain population are prohibited from having them. “Local authorities and specifically-local fire departments-need fire codes so they can hold industrial operators accountable for safe storage and handling of chemicals,” said Dr. Moure-Eraso.
CSB Supervisory Investigator Johnnie Banks said “The CSB found at all levels of government a failure to adopt codes to keep populated areas away from hazardous facilities, not just in West, Texas. We found 1,351 facilities across the country that store ammonium nitrate. Farm communities are just starting to collect data on how close homes or schools are to AN storage, but there can be little doubt that West is not alone and that other communities should act to determine what hazards might exist in proximity.”
The CSB’s preliminary findings follow a yearlong investigation which has focused on learning how to prevent a similar accident from occurring in another community. “It is imperative that people learn from the tragedy at West,” Dr. Moure-Eraso said.
One of the major factors that has kept any new regulations from being passed has been the large amounts of cash from families like the Koch brothers that has flowed into the pockets of the Republican politicians. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow talked with Wayne Slater, senior political writer for the Dallas Morning News, about Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott allowing chemical plants to keep their contents secret, a move that benefits Koch Industries, and a campaign donor.
DALLAS — For the past 30 years, federal law has required chemical makers and handlers to disclose what’s stored on premises. It’s called the Community Right To Know Act, and it has been at the core of the safety conversation since last year’s deadly fertilizer explosion in West, Texas.
But News 8 has learned that in the past few weeks, state health officials have stopped making those hazardous chemical records public. [..]
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “states and communities […] can use the Tier II information to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment.” In Texas, Tier II reports are kept on file at the Department of State Health Services and according to its web site, those reports are public information. All citizens “may ask for” them by simply filling out a request.
Yet, just days ago, following the ammonium nitrate building fire in Athens, when News 8 asked the Department of State Health Services for an updated Tier II report on the facility, department spokesperson Carrie Williams told us, “We’re not able to release the kind of information you’re requesting.”
Williams cited an Attorney General’s ruling from May 22, 2014, which denied public access to “Tier Two information […] because it reveals the location, quantity and identity of hazardous chemicals […] likely to assist in the construction of an explosive weapon.”
Emergency officials and responders are now the only ones in Texas able to access Tier II reports.
Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, under fire for blocking public access to state records documenting the location of dangerous chemicals, said Texans still have a right to find out where the substances are stored – as long as they know which companies to ask.
“You know where they are if you drive around,” Abbott told reporters Tuesday. “You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don’t have chemicals, and if they do, they tell which ones they have.”
In a recently released decision by his office, Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, said government entities can withhold the state records – in so-called Tier II reports – of dangerous chemical locations. The reports contain an inventory of hazardous chemicals.
But Abbott said homeowners who think they might live near stores of dangerous chemicals could simply ask the companies near their homes what substances are kept on site.
Collected under the federal Community Right to Know Act, the information was made available upon request by the state for decades to homeowners, the media or anyone else who wanted to know where dangerous chemicals were stored. But, as WFAA-TV recently reported, the Texas Department of State Health Services will no longer release the information because of the attorney general’s ruling.
Apr 12 2014
Lumberton, TX Independent School District substitute teacher Laura Jane Klug has been suspended for being transgender. The school district says they are “looking into the matter”…and that Klug has not been terminated…yet. Klug is supposed to hear about the resolution of the school board today, after the school board met on Thursday.
Klug substituted for a teacher in a fifth grade class last Thursday, which was the first day she discovered that someone might have “issues”.
Parents of some of the students at the school say, of course, that they don’t have any problems themselves with the teacher being transgender, but that the teacher may be confusing the 11-year-olds who are in her charge.
Within an hour of them being exposed or dealing with this, there’s a few issues here, I think these kids are too young for this issue, so that’s our main focus is, if it happens in older grades, high school, ok but too young for this.
Other parents say there has not been an issue before with Klug and they don’t see why it is an issue now…and that they have no problem explaining to their child what a transgendender person is.
My son knows who he is and I don’t think any outside influence is going to change that, I’m more concerned about straight predatory teachers rather than I am someone who lives an alternative private alternate lifestyle, I don’t worry about my son.
–Jammie Marcantel, parent with a pronoun problem
Texas, of course, has no employment protections for transgender people.
Nov 16 2013
La Feria, TX high school senior Jeydon Loredo just wants to have his picture in his high school yearbook. But La Feria Independent School District Superintendent Rey Villareal has a big problem with that. You see, Jeydon was born and raised to be female. But, like transgender people everywhere, that didn’t take.
Villareal has told Jeydon’s mother that Jeydon can have his picture in the yearbook only if he wears stereotypically feminine attire, like a blouse or a drape. The superintendent does not take responsibility for this decision, however. Having only been in the job for four months, he says he is deferring to Jeydon’s principal. Villareal says the student handbook is clear: the suitability of each photo which appears in the yearbook is subject to the judgement of the principal. Jeydon’s family says that in fact Villareal made the decision, not the principal.
Jeydon has everything right in his statement:
I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve grown up with the kids here. I’ve seen those in my community go through troubles, and denying my tuxedo photo would be a way for the district to forget me and everything I’ve brought to this community. The yearbook is for the students, not the faculty or the administration. It is a way for us to remember each other.
Jun 01 2012
Good news for the real left: an eight term House Democrat in the Texas 16th Congressional District went down in flames in a primary against former El Paso City Council representative:
Former city Rep. Beto O’Rourke bucked a nationwide trend Tuesday night by ousting eight-term U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes in the 16th Congressional District race.
In the final tally, O’Rourke beat Reyes by 23,248 votes to 20,427, or 50.5 percent to 44.4 percent.
Nationally, challengers rarely defeat incumbents in primary elections, and only a few exceptions have occurred so far this election cycle.
When the first numbers were posted earlier Tuesday evening — the results of early voting — O’Rourke had a healthy 51.3 percent to 43.3 percent lead, but Reyes was closing the gap as the evening progressed. However, he was not able to garner enough votes to push the race into a runoff election.
Rep. Reyes had the blessing of President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, who personally reaffirmed an endorsement delivered earlier in a video. The voters obviously were ready for real change by voting for O’Rourke who is opposed to the war on drugs arguing that drug laws increase profits for Mexican drug cartels and increase violence, as well as, real job stimulus by supporting government sponsored projects and a full service Veterans Hospital.
There are many reasons to be happy that Reyes lost. He is and was an awful Congressman, both stupid and craven. As Democratic leader of the Intelligence Committee, Reyes did not know the group Hezbollah, and he didn’t know whether Al Qaeda was Sunni or Shia. Reyes is a proponent of any number of authoritarian policies violating our civil liberties, and he is backed by predator drone cash. So if you like militarizing, well, everything, then Reyes is your man. And this has been the trend recently.
So it’s nice to see voters choose peace over war, and an end the war on drugs. Now that a candidate won a significant race while arguing for drug decriminalization, it’s going to be increasingly more difficult for politicians to avoid debating the issue. And that’s good.
The 16th CD is located in a heavily Democratic El Paso and since it creation in 1903 has had only one Republican representative who lasted just one term. So, in all probability Mr. O’Rourke will handily defeat his Republican Barbara Carrasco in November holding the seat and moving it left.
Take that Third Way Democrats. This is how you get real change.
Feb 29 2012
Is anyone surprised that the White House has given its blessing to Transcanada’s Keystone XL pipeline plan to build an portion of the oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas despite rejection of the company’s earlier application in January? After all the protests last year to stop the construction and the Republican congressional maneuvering to force the president’s decision, it certainly appears that the Republicans and the oil companies will win but that shouldn’t be a surprise considering this president’s penchant for siding with the ruling class against the best interests of the country’s needs. This project won’t create jobs or reduce the price of gas, not now or in the future:
“As the President made clear in January, we support the company’s interest in proceeding with this project, which will help address the bottleneck of oil in Cushing that has resulted in large part from increased domestic oil production, currently at an eight year high. Moving oil from the Midwest to the world-class, state-of-the-art refineries on the Gulf Coast will modernize our infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage American energy production,” Carney said in a statement. [..]
But if the argument for building Keystone is to generate new oil within the United States and bring down gas prices, TransCanada’s plans don’t deliver. In fact, environmental groups say, TransCanada’s plans for Keystone mean more domestic oil will head overseas and a potential spike in gas prices. [..]
Kim Huynh, speaking for Friends of the Earth, accused the president of trying to have it both ways by touting his commitment to clean energy “while simultaneously shilling for one of the dirtiest industries on Earth” by endorsing the pipeline’s construction.
“What the administration seems to be missing is that the southern segment of this pipeline would exacerbate air pollution in refinery communities along the Gulf Coast and threaten our heartland with costly spills — all for oil that likely won’t make it to Americans’ gas tanks,” Huynh said in a statement.
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the International Program at the National Resources Defense Council, wrote in blog post:
So what exactly has TransCanada proposed today? TransCanada announced that it has let the State Department know that the company will submit a new application for a presidential permit for the northern portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from the border crossing in Montana to Steel City, Nebraska on the Kansas border where an already existing part of the pipeline starts. TransCanada would supplement this application with the proposed route through Nebraska after that has been determined in cooperation with Nebraska. But there is some question as to how long this would take since Nebraska does not currently have laws in place to do this assessment. TransCanada will then apply separately to the various federal and state permits for the southern portion of the pipeline from Cushing Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast.
Raw tar sands oil going from the Midwest to the Gulf for refining means serious pipeline safety issues for landowners and environmental justice impacts of tar sands refining. Concerns of Texas landowners over TransCanada’s high-handed attempts to take their land through eminent domain will all remain the same in the case of an Oklahoma to Texas tar sands pipeline.
And the southern route pipeline will still provide the main service to oil companies that Keystone XL would provide: it will divert tar sands from the Midwest to the Gulf, raising American oil prices and likely also gasoline prices. An Oklahoma to Texas tar sands pipeline will mean more tar sands converted to diesel and available for export overseas. It will mean less tar sands remaining in the US, even while Americans bear the risks of the pipeline.
Bill McKibben, who has led protests against Keystone XL, gave the following response to the news:
“Transcanada’s decision to build its pipe from Oklahoma to Texas is a nifty excuse to steal some land by eminent domain. It doesn’t increase tar sands mining because there’s still no pipe across the Canadian border, but it’s the usual ugly power grab and land grab by the fossil fuel industry — we’ll do what we can to stand by our allies in that arid and beautiful land.”
The plight of Texas land owners was highlighted in Brain Buetler’s Talking Points Memo:
Julia Trigg Crawford, 53, of Lamar County, TX faced similar pressure. On Friday, a judge voided a temporary restraining order she’d secured against TransCanada on the grounds that the company is threatening to build the pipeline across a portion of her 600 acre property that archaeological authorities say is teeming with Caddo nation artifacts. It also threatens a creek she uses to irrigate her land and wells her family uses for drinking water.
“I do not want my place to be a guinea pig on this,” she told my by telephone. Those practical concerns lay atop a more fundamental question of whether a for-profit company should be able to seize private land for profit.
“I’m looking out my window every hour,” Crawford said. “While they don’t have a permit to build anything, they have the right to start construction…. A foreign for profit pipeline was allowed to condemn my land without my being allowed to talk to a judge.” [..]
The result: protests in Paris, Texas against the pipeline, on Crawford’s behalf.
“You could check off 20 different kinds of boxes, politically, professionally, temperamentally,” Crawford said. “We had Occupiers, Tea Partiers. This is about rights as a landowner.”
A Nebraska landowner, Randy Thompson told TPM in the same article how he was harassed by Transcanada after he withdrew his permission to survey his farm land in 2007.
“Once I found out a little bit more about what was going on, I rescinded that permission,” Thompson told TPM by phone on Sunday. “[W]e did meet with them once, maybe a couple times. We told them, you don’t have a permit yet, so we absolutely do not want this thing on our property. So until you actually get a permit we have no reason to have any further discussion about this. They continually called me, like once a month or whenever they felt like it. Kept the pressure on us. Made us an offer, $9000. Whatever the offer was, we just don’t want the damn thing on our property.” [..]
“In July 2010, we got a written letter from TransCanada, they told us if you don’t accept this within 30 days, we’re going to immediately start eminent domain proceedings against you,” Thompson said. “They didn’t say anything about a permit. I tried to contact the Governor’s office. All I got back was a form letter talking about the pipeline.”
If the White House thought for even a nanosecond that this would blunt Republican criticism of Pres. Obama, they are as deluded as the Republicans who say this will reduce the price of gas:
House Speaker Boehner, R-Ohio, said he will continue to stress that the Obama administration is blocking construction of the entire pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands of western Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas.
“The president is so far on the wrong side of the American people that he’s now praising the company’s decision to start going around him,” Boehner said in a statement.
“But he can’t have it both ways,” Boehner said. “If the president thinks this project is good for America, he knows how to make it happen right away. Until he does, he’s just standing in the way of getting it done.”
The only thing that completing the southern portion of the pipeline will do is ease the glut of oil that is being stored in the Midwest. It won’t lower the price of gas because that oil will be exported to the global market where it will be resold at a higher price. That will drive up prices in the Midwest where gas prices have been kept low because of the lack of the pipeline.
The reality is oil prices will continue to be artificially high by the saber rattling over Iran. The best and easiest way for the President to immediately lower gas prices is to stop the phony rhetoric of a war with Iran. Repeat it loud and often, Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon. That’ll work better than any environmentally unsafe pipeline.
Dec 10 2011
Vandiver Elizabeth Glenn, who goes by Vandy Beth, is a transgender woman who was fired from her job editing legislation for the Georgia General Assembly Office of Legislative Council when she informewd her supervisor that she would be transitioning from male to female in 2007. Legislative Council Sewell Brumby conceded to the court that Vandy Beth’s “intended feminine appearance” was the reason for the termination.
The federal District Court ruled that termination to be a violation of the Constitutions’s Equal Protection guarantee and discriminated againston the basis of her failure to conform to sex stereotypes. The state appealed the case to the 11th Circuit.
The decision is now in. Writing for the unanimous panel that included Judge William Pryor (appointed by W) and Judge Phyllis Kravitz (Carter), Judge Rosemary Barkett (Clinton) wrote:
An individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender-nonconformity. Because these protections are afforded to everyone, they cannot be denied to a transgender individual…A person is defined as transgender precisely because of the perception that his or her behavior transgresses gender stereotypes.
Nov 13 2010
Claude Jones was executed by Texas on December 7, 2000. He was the 152nd person executed while George W. Bush was governor of Texas. Now, nearly 10 years after his state execution, the single strand of hair used to convict and sentence Jones to death has been found to have belonged to the victim.
Texas may have killed an innocent man.
The Texas Observer reports DNA Tests Undermine Evidence in Texas Execution.
Claude Jones always claimed that he wasn’t the man who walked into an East Texas liquor store in 1989 and shot the owner. He professed his innocence right up until the moment he was strapped to a gurney in the Texas execution chamber and put to death on Dec. 7, 2000. His murder conviction was based on a single piece of forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene-a strand of hair-that prosecutors claimed belonged to Jones.
Oct 20 2010
Jimi Castillo, the Native American Green candidate for Lt. Gov, is affiliated by name with a tribe is on the verge of getting official recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on whether they are about to get official recognition so they could build a casino. That decision was supposed to be made Oct 4th, but it’s been delayed post election to Dec 15th, no doubt to see how the election plays out plus this state is so amazingly crooked with this Casino lobbyist money flying like confetti everywhere at this time of year.
I don’t know of any Southern CA Indian tribes (or even the ones up here) with official tribal recognition which support Democrats.
That being said, Mr. Castillo himself is an honorable person, other than his bio on his website is a bit sketchy, but I am now pretty sure after my little side trip thru the archives that he definitely being backed by unseen business interests that would prefer to keep it that way. THAT is also typical so that tribes can gain public media name recognition.
Hopefully his candidacy will not result in sticking us with Maldonado for a full term. I really don’t think the anti climate change and anti women’s reproductive rights Maldonado is a net improvement over Newsom.
Jimi Castillo is called, or refers to himself in interviews, as a Tongva, a Tongva Achjachemen (spelled several ways), Gabriellino / Tongva , a Gabrielino – Tongva.
He is also mentioned on the Kumeyaay Tribal website news pages.
This site already did a background check on him http://www.newagefraud.org/smf…
The Achjachemen are also called the Juaneno.
Here’s the webpage for the Gabrielino – Tongva tribe http://www.gabrielinotribe.org…
Here’s the webpage of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians Acjachemen Nation
They all fall into the category of the Mission Bands of Indians who lived on the coastline of Southern CA from LA to San Diego area at the time of the invasion of the Spanish, 1769, when the Spanish re named them after whatever Mission they were living near.
The fight over Federal BIA tribal recognition is of course, splitting off tribal factions.
He (Jimi Castillo, the Lt Gov candidate) worked as an employee for the Herman G Stark Youth Prison for 20+ years until they laid him off last year. He conducted weekly sweat lodges for the inmates. They changed it over to an adult prison.
Sweat Lodge tradition ends at Stark site in Chino
Castillo is outspoken about his troubles with drugs and alcohol. This is his 28th year being sober.
“I had a troubled youth,” Castillo said. “I would go to psychologists, priests, ministers….They would seem to give up on me just when I was ready to open up and spill my guts.”
Born and raised in Whittier, Castillo is a member of the Tongva tribe and now lives with his wife, Jeanette, in Rancho Cucamonga. Before being hired at Stark in 1998, Castillo worked as a cabinet maker. As a spiritual leader, he volunteered at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco and began volunteering at Stark in 1989.
I think working as a woodworker is also an honorable profession and I don’t see why that isn’t also mentioned on his campaign website.
I can find NO campaign finance filings with the state of CA for this candidate, not even who is his campaign manager and treasurer, which is typical of all the CA Greens I’ve looked at this cycle. ( We have one here in this district which has nothing I can find filed with the Federal EC, either. )
Federal Recognition for Juaneno (Acjachemen) Tribe is pending, fr Sept 9th
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – After nearly three decades of seeking federal recognition, a divided Juaneño Band of Mission Indians could get a final answer in the next few weeks.
R. Lee Fleming, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Federal Acknowledgment, said in a letter to one of the tribal leaders that the office is making a final determination and that a decision is anticipated on or before Oct. 4.
If the Juaneños – also known as the Acjachemen Nation – become a tribe in the eyes of the federal government, the group will be recognized as a sovereign nation. This means it would be allowed to buy land anywhere in the United States for a reservation, where it could govern itself, get federal aid for things such as education and health care and, under federal law, be allowed to build a casino.
Final decision on Juanenos now expected by Dec 15
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – A decision on whether the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians will get federal recognition is now expected on or before Dec. 15, a ruling pushed back more than two months since it was originally anticipated.
R. Lee Fleming, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Federal Acknowledgment, informed petitioners of the new decision deadline in a new letter dated Sept 24
“… the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs need this extension to allow for review of the recommended decisions,” the letter said in part.
The petitioning groups had expected a decision, called final determination, on or before Oct. 4, which was the date set in a previous letter by Fleming.
The divided group has been seeking federal recognition for nearly three decades.
In 2007, the Bureau of Indian Affairs dealt the Juaneños a setback in their continuing effort to become a federally-recognized American Indian tribe, saying the group did not meet four of the seven criteria required.
The negative finding indicated that if the group cannot provide more evidence, it will not be considered a tribe under federal law, a status that would allow it to own land, build a casino and get federal aid for things such as education and health care.
The lobbyists working this routine in DC are not using the tribe’s name “Juaneno Band of Mission Indians” in this Casino tribal recognition wrangling, but calling them by the client name of a Texas lobbying company called “Hard Count.”
This is a BIG SH*T money deal to try to get a Casino opened in Los Angeles. You see how it says Connecticut below ? That’s Abramoff related, and it even is Doolittle related, altho that’s another story. You even have SoCal Rep. John Campbell(R, CA 48 ) chiming in, but he’s just trying to protect the turf of already established Casinos that are already funding Republicans.
Lobbyists spar over unrecognized tribe 9/9/2007
Two prominent Washington lobbying firms are representing rival factions of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians.
On one side is David Belardes and a Texas firm called Hard Count. Their lobbyist is Barbour Griffith & Rogers, a Republican-heavy firm with ties to the Bush administration and a firm that recently represented anti-recognition foes in Connecticut.
On the other side is Anthony Rivera, whose lobbyist is Paul Moorehead of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Moorehead was the Republican chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
Belardes and Rivera both claim to control the Juaneno Band. Whoever is in charge could land a lucrative casino near Los Angeles.
Suspicion is fueled by Hard Count’s contract. Its president, Billy Horton, is in line to receive 5 percent of the tribe’s business revenue for seven years if, at any point, the annual revenue exceeds $10 million.
Rivera’s lobbyist, Paul Moorehead, a former chief counsel to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, reported being paid $20,000 in his 2007 midyear disclosure form. Rivera denied having any connection to gaming but said he would not disclose the identity of donors to the tribe.
The lobbying firm Barbour Griffith Rogers (BGR) worked to REVOKE tribal recognition for 2 Indian tribes in Connecticut in 2005.
Haley Barbour used to be a lobbyist with Jack Abramoff a long time ago.
Barbour Griffith Rogers also has a client list that would make your liberal head explode. This includes the Iraqi Kurds, the same foreign government who use the Republican PR firm King Media aka the Russo Marsh/ Move America Forward / Tea Party Express.
Yes, I said Kurds and Tea Party Express, those swiftboating nuts who are currently running Tea Party candidates Sharron Angle against Harry Reid and Christine O’ Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska. Or at least doing lots of “independent expenditures” for them.
This Shinnecock Nation Indian Casino feud in the Southhamptons of Connecticut has been going on for years, from 2003 – . This year 2010 the Federal govt. finally recognized them as a tribe.
Another other tribe which was unrecognized was the Schaghticoke. Also the Pequot were tossed out.
September 27 2009
NEW YORK – Almost five years to the date after the BIA issued a devastating reversal of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s federal acknowledgment, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the nation’s ongoing quest to restore its federal status.
The BIA recognized STN in a Final Determination Jan. 29, 2004, then reversed its decision on Columbus Day, Oct. 12, 2005, in an unprecedented Reconsidered Final Determination, taking away the federal acknowledgment of both the Schaghticoke and Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.
In addition to direct contact with officials in the White House, Interior and the BIA, the lobbying was so fierce that it included the first termination bill in Congress since the 1960s, sponsored by a former Connecticut congresswoman, and a threat by a Virginia congressman to go to the White House and have former Interior Secretary Gale Norton fired if she didn’t reverse STN’s federal acknowledgment.
Jimi Castillo’s bio on his campaign website does not mention the Juaneno tribal name, nor any of the ongoing efforts by the two rival factions to get the Juaneno Acjachemen tribe official BIA Federal recognition.
This is just sort of ….. odd.
Jimi Castillo (Tongva / Acjachemen), a respected Native American spiritual leader, has served as a mentor for young men at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility. Born and raised in Whittier, California, Castillo is a Pipe Keeper and Sun Dancer for the People. He is also a proud member of the statewide Bear Clan Society and a Marine Corps veteran (1960 to 1965). Jimi participated on the Board of Directors and also contributed as a counselor for the Southeast Area Counseling Center in Santa Fe Springs, California, actively helps plan and staff UCLA’s annual Graduation Powwow and Youth Leadership Conference and donates much time to work with the UCLA Native American Student Association. Jimi is married to Jeanette Castillo and has four children and nine grandchildren.
Mr. Castillo has done much good in the world with his prison counseling work and in his efforts to protect Native American burial grounds in the Southern California area.
This does not mean on November 5th, because the Greens drew away so much support, that I want to see the state of California with an ex e Bay executive billionaire Republican who bought the seat as Governor, a global climate change denier Republican as Lt. Governor, and the woman who outsourced Hewlett Packard and never missed a photo opp with John McCain as Senator. Especially with McCain being on the Senate’s Dept of the Interior Committee for Indian Affairs.
Hard to compete for attention with this-
Be An Abel Fan – Abel Maldonado ’10 for Lt Governor
Fundraiser in Highland, California
Special Guests Gloria & Emilio Estefan
Where: San Manuel Casino
When: Thursday, October 14, 2010, 5:00 PM
Alex Meruelo and Luis Armona
Special Guests Gloria & Emilio Estefan
VIP Dinner and Concert
$10,000 Per Couple