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Neely may have replaced our man Rodoni on the HCAOG Board, but as mayor Virginia Bass has also replaced La Vallee, and so far will not vote for Hoopa admission. Why didn’t anybody see that one coming?
According to the Times Standard article, the “conservatives” on the Board won’t vote to allow Hoopa membership until there is some kind of agreement on the part of Hoopa that they will forgo and future campaign contributions to offices which result in HCAOG membership.
Additional proposed rules for Hoopa membership:
According to the new rules up for consideration, new members would have to have public agency status, a population greater than 300 and a road system greater than five miles. They’d also have to agree to all statutory and regulatory requirements of any grants project delivery processes, and they’d have to conduct all HCAOG related business. American Indian governments would have to agree to a waiver of limited sovereign immunity for interpretation of the HCAOG cooperative agreement.
Incidently, a tribe may waive immunity under quasi-sovereignty. From Wikipedia:
While tribal nations do not enjoy direct access to U.S. courts to bring cases against states, as sovereigns they do enjoy immunity against many lawsuits (Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 1980), unless a plaintiff is granted a waiver by the tribe or by congressional abrogation (Oklahoma Tax Comm. v. Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe, 1978). The sovereignty extends to tribal enterprises (Local IV-302 Int’l Woodworkers Union of Am. V. Menominee Tribal Enterprises 1984), and tribal casinos or gaming commissions (Barker v. Menominee Nation Casino, 1995). The Indian Civil Rights Act does not allow actions against an Indian tribe in federal court for deprivation of substantive rights, except for habeas corpus proceedings (Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 1978).
But it cannot be merely implied. Hoopa would have to make the intent very clear.
Absent “a clear waiver [of immunity] by the tribe or congressional abrogation”, Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Oklahoma, 498 U.S. 505, 509, 111 S.Ct. 905, 112 L.Ed. 2d. 1112 (1991), it is clear that Indian tribes possess the “common law immunity from suit traditionally enjoyed by sovereign powers.” Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49, 58, 98 S.Ct. 1670, 1677, 56 L.Ed. 2d. 106 (1978). The sovereignty of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut is further expressly set forth in the Mohegan Constitution, which provides that the Tribe shall have all the inherent sovereign rights and powers of an independent, indigenous sovereign nation. Mohegan Const., Art. II. While Indian Tribes can waive their sovereign immunity, “such waiver may not be implied, but must be expressed unequivocally.” McClendon v. United States, 885 F.2d. 627, 629 (9th Cir. 1989). “The issue of tribal sovereign immunity is jurisdictional in nature.” McClendon v. United States, Id.
“Where there is any doubt about [the] meaning or intent [of the statute in derogation of sovereign immunity, it is] given the effect which makes the least rather than the most change in sovereign immunity.” Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Peabody, N.E., Inc., 239 Conn. 93, 102, quoting White v. Burns, 213 Conn. 307, 312 (1990).
There are cases in which what appeared to have been clear waivers were held as procedurally and/or jurisdictionally void for their lack of clarity, as illustrated in the above-linked case.
During the 1980s there were hearings to revisit the whole “Red Atlantis” program of quasi-sovereignty (it’s not really sovereignty if congress retains the power to revoke it and manage it). Unfortunately, Sen. Orin Hatch opened his mouth and many of the tribal leaders assumed that there was an agenda to expand Mormon adoptions of native children – a major issue of bitter contention between the tribes and the church. Nothing came of the hearings.
Meanwhile, if anybody on the HCAOG board is reading this, I want to register my support for a Eureka-to-Arcata bike trail along the old railroad track line. That’s up your alley, isn’t it?
Something must be in the air. Progressives are riding high for the first time in years, so now we have to round up the circular firing squads. The article is from the Nation, and is entitled The ACLU vs. The ACLU.
Actually, this dispute is old.
Last September a group of civil libertarians launched a website, savetheaclu.org, on which they declared: “We come together now, reluctantly but resolutely, not to injure the ACLU but to restore its integrity.” Only a “change in leadership,” they insisted, “will preserve the ACLU.” That website, and those words, marked a new phase in a lengthy campaign to unseat Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director. The website contained a surprise: a pithy and combative declaration from Romero’s retired predecessor, Ira Glasser, who recruited Romero for the top job six years earlier.
In late October a second website, voicesfortheaclu. org, was launched by supporters of Romero. That site was spearheaded by some prominent ACLU veterans, including Aryeh Neier,Gara LaMarche and Norman Dorsen, who declared themselves “dismayed by the ongoing attacks on the ACLU and its leadership” and the “disproportionate and distorted coverage…in some quarters of the press.” Since 2004, Stephanie Strom, who covers philanthropy and nonprofits for the New York Times, has written a dozen stories about internal controversies at the ACLU, stories that have infuriated Romero and many of his colleagues at the organization.
On savetheaclu. org, Kaminer and Glasser wrote that the “ACLU continues to do a great deal of excellent, important work.” Romero’s supporters argue the point with greater emphasis and feeling. “The ACLU has never performed better,” says Burt, a former ACLU legal director who is now a law professor at New York University. “If you drew up a blueprint for a machine to protect civil liberties, you’d literally copy the existing ACLU.”
So what is the row about? The critics proclaim that Romero has made grave mistakes; that those mistakes amount to a firing offense; and that he has betrayed “fundamental ACLU values.” Romero’s supporters say that he is a visionary leader and that his critics are only damaging the ACLU. Glasser’s intervention, and his decision to employ the full range of his polemical, linguistic and strategic abilities in the fight against Romero, has only ratcheted up the tension.
Romero’s difficulties can be traced back to 2002, when he signed a consent decree with the New York Attorney General at the time, Eliot Spitzer, to settle a privacy breach that had been discovered on the ACLU website. A company called Virtual Sprockets was responsible for the breach, but Spitzer’s office demanded a $10,000 fine from the ACLU. The terms of the decree required Romero to distribute it to the national ACLU board within thirty days, but he waited six months to do so. Glasser and Kaminer have written that Romero “offered vague and inconsistent explanations of the circumstances surrounding the negotiation, execution, and eventual distribution of the agreement.” They further allege that ACLU president Nadine Strossen and the eleven-member executive committee, the leadership body of the board that oversees the executive director, “declined to reprimand Romero, even though a number of them privately conceded that they believed he had been less than honest with them.” At the Warwick Hotel Romero told me, “I probably was a bit cavalier about it. But $10,000 is not a huge sum of money, and it was fully reimbursed [by Virtual Sprockets] to the ACLU. Had it been a million-dollar fine coming from our bottom line, I would have paid a lot more attention to it.”
Then, in April 2004, Romero quietly put his signature on a Ford Foundation grant letter that contained a dubious clause: “By countersigning this grant letter, you agree that your organization will not promote or engage in violence, terrorism, bigotry or the destruction of any state.” Dissident board members Kaminer and Michael Meyers viewed that language as disgraceful, and believe that Romero and the ACLU should have vigorously opposed it [see Sherman, "Target Ford," June 5, 2006 ]. Upon questioning Romero, the critics learned that he had done more than sign the grant letter: He had privately advised Ford on how to craft it. After vigorous debate, the ACLU ultimately refused more than $1 million in Ford money, which Romero wanted for the organization. “The mistake I made,” Romero told me, “was in not appreciating the civil liberties implications” of Ford’s grant language; he also says that he should not have signed the Ford document without first consulting his board.
A long sad article.
Sisyphus gif is from Wikipedia.
Addendum: For those who are interested in the NAMBLA case which is referenced on the comments page, here is an extensive discussion of it.
For the Nohum folk bored by the Reggae saga (and probably more than a few Sohumers as well): in a thread below a link was posted to a forum discussion of a Houston Chronicle column by somebody named Loren Steffy. He’s apparently one of Charles Hurwitz’ defenders. He is being taken to task, vehemently. Sort of a revival of the old Cowboy/49er rivalry.
If you’ve followed the Charles Hurwitz saga for a while, you probably know that Pacific Lumber was flirting with bankruptcy for several years. I discuss the bankruptcy in my column today.
One thing I didn’t mention in the column, though, is the theory among environmental groups that Hurwitz has purposely kept Palco near bankruptcy.
He did this, the theory goes, because he was siphoning money out of the company. Now first of all, no executive purposely keeps a company near bankruptcy. That’s especially true if you’re wanting to siphon money out of a company, because when the company goes bankrupt the first thing the creditors will do is look at where the money went.
The environmental groups, though, can’t be bothered with such business basics. Here’s another one they frequently flub: they want to stop logging on private land, yet they are unwilling to pay to preserve the trees.
If these guys cared so much about nature, why don’t they simply buy up the bonds of Palco’s Scotia Pacific division? That’s the unit that owns the timber land. Then, they could control the trees. They could refuse to sell the trees to Palco or any other lumber company. They could retire the debt and set up a preserve. They could, in other words, put their money where their mouths are.
Why don’t they?
I’m thinking it might be better to separate some of the discussion. Feel free to post all audit related comments here.
Addendum: The debate is raging on this forum as well.
Further Addendum: Of course, the discussion is taking off on the ROR forum.
So I’m listening to the rebroadcast, and basically as rumored the audit conclusions were drawn from what the CPA had. Taunya’s answers to almost all the questions of ambiguity were simply “We don’t know. We weren’t given the information.” She also said that the law now requires an annual audit.
Carol’s response was in the form of a memo, but did not make herself available for comment. She reiterated her position that the audit itself violated the contract in its lack of timeliness, but did not respond to Taunya’s comments that the audit is mandatory by law regardless of what the contract says. She also curiously claims that she actually tried to comply with the requests and tried to deliver information to the Mateel, but that Taunya refused it.
Why would it be refused?
Further addendum: Bob’s blog is also getting some commentary despite the policy against anonymity.
Took me a few minutes to get through. Blogger chose a real odd time to force me to switch to “beta blogger.”
In the meantime, as you heard on KMUD news, Tom Dimmick announced his intention to void the contract on the basis that the terms required that People Productions produce the event. I expect the Mateel will file suit tomorrow and move for a mandatory injunction.
I can’t speculate on the relative strength of the legal positions without reviewing the lease, which will be available to the public when it is attached to the Mateel’s seemingly inevitable court complaint.
The kids started acting up as Pat Arthur was being quoted. Can anybody fill me in?
Also, the Mateel announced that it was releasing the audit report, and claimed that under new law annual audits are mandatory. Statements from Taunya and Carol contradict each other as to whether People Productions cooperated with the audit. Carol claims she tried to give Taunya the missing information, but it was refused. Apparently the big issue is whether certain wristbands were sold or given away, but I wasn’t able to hear all of the discussion.
I would surmise that the Mateel was advised by its council to disregard the letter from Carol’s attorney which delayed the report’s release.
I’m going to post this for open comment and then amend as I check my notes and get more information.
Update: Found the Dimmick press statement over at Bob Doran’s blog.
Cooks Valley, CA January 25, 2007:
On January 19, 2007, the Dimmick Ranch notified the Mateel Community Center that due to a material breach of the lease contract, the Dimmick Ranch was terminating the lease of the property for the purposes of Reggae on the River. The Dimmick Ranch had been contractually assured by the Mateel Community Center that People Productions would be the producer of the event for the term of the lease. The Mateel Community Center improperly purported to terminate its contract with People Productions and materially breached the lease agreement by doing so. While we firmly believe in the principles forming the foundation of the Mateel Community Center, Dimmick Ranch is concerned that the festival will not achieve its goals under Mateel’s continuing management.
Despite these recent events, the Dimmick Ranch maintains its belief that Reggae on the River has been a world-class community fundraiser that the people of Southern Humboldt County have come to rely upon to help fund our public schools, fire departments, martial arts schools, and environmental and social organizations. We believe, however, that Reggae on the River needs and deserves long-term stability and that we, along with People Productions, which has a 23 year track record of success with county agencies, Cal-Trans, the CHP and CDF, can work together and continue to produce a festival that will make this community proud.
It is our and People Productions’ plan to host a world-class reggae music festival and community fundraiser on the first weekend of August 2007 at the Dimmick Ranch and French’s Camp. Please stay tuned, there will be a detailed announcement very soon.
On the news, Taunya simply responded that the contract is valid.
Addendum: Can they get permits for an event this late? Can the Mateel simply move the event back to the Arthur ranch under the same permits they have?
On his travel blog Ed Denson expounds on a very unique method of judging a restaraunt upon entering.
I just got home from the MCLE weekend – and let me recommend Brit Marie on Solano Av as a fine restaurant with an excellent Sharaz, if that’s the way people spell it. Check it out in the Bay Area. The only thing that worried me was that the two waitresses were really skinny. “Fashionable” says Mary Alice. “Worrisome” is what I say. The food is really good, how come they aren’t eating it?
Several jokes come to mind, but they’ll all get me into trouble.
Yesterday I posted the SF Chronicle editorial on the PALCO bankruptcy, and pretty much dared the local papers to publish something similar, suggesting they wouldn’t. Hank informed me that I had “spoken too soon.”
And he goes way beyond the Chronicle piece in terms of detail. Here are some clips.
But first, note one of the more curious aspects of the omnibus Pacific Lumber bankruptcy, which was finally announced, after years of lead-up, this last Thursday. For some reason known only to the company — even veteran Maxxam Kremlinologists pronounced themselves stumped — was the abrupt U-turn in company rhetoric. Once again, it was all the environmentalists’ fault. This despite the fact that only last month, when the company laid off 90 workers, Palco President George O’Brien blamed his company’s woes on the weak international market for softwood lumber. For some reason, that wasn’t mentioned in this recent round of press releases.
In neither case, of course, was there any mention of the Maxxam Corp.’s seemingly insane (but perfectly sensible, from another point of view) business strategy. In a perfect world, you’d think, there would be some sort of law banning a plutocrat from mortgaging a company up to and beyond the hilt, just so the company could pay for the pleasure of being owned by said plutocrat. Then, too, you’d think that the plutocrat shouldn’t be allowed to let that debt ride for 20-plus years, meanwhile selling off big chunks of the company’s assets and disappearing the proceeds down a hole. But such is perfectly legal and proper business practice in the good old U.S.A.
Then, too, there is the $20 million that the company has diverted from its employee pension plan over the last few years. As John Driscoll reported in the Times-Standard on Tuesday, the taxpayers may well end up picking up that tab, through the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. That lost $20 million, which the company used to service its ludicrous debt structure, will end up coming out of your pockets and mine. Yet another parting gift from Maxxam owner Charles Hurwitz, whose place in Humboldt County history is now secure.
Lots more through the link.
So I guess the question for conspiracy theorists out there is, “how is Hank going to exploit the Maxxam/PALCO maneuver to the advantage of his Dark Lord puppetmaster Rob Arkley?” It’s a vicious circle man!
Oh, and in the second half of his column he warns against purchasing pure-bred dogs over the Internet. Just in case you were thinking about it.
Meanwhile, in the same NCJ issue Bob Doran updates Nohum on the Mateel crisis. Apparently, Sohum lost a booking because the Mateel is inadequately staffed.
The “house that Reggae built” has not exactly fared well through all this. An Oregon-based concert promoter who called me yesterday said he wanted to bring KRS-ONE to the Mateel Jan. 31, but was told the place is not adequately staffed — instead his show will run at Mazzotti’s. (Winter Ruckus 4 was booked ages ago, before the mess got so ugly.)
Lots of events around the country in conjunction with the “Peace Surge” in Washington.
Carol has the details of the local event on Greg’s List.
Also just got this e-mail from Redwood Progressive:
Members of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship will be ringing bells 3,000 times at the
Eureka Courthouse this Saturday, 1/27, at noon, in memory of those who have lost
their lives in the Iraq conflict. We welcome anyone and everyone to
participate… bring a bell if you like. We’ll have several bells, one of them
constructed from a bomb casing recovered from Vietnam.
This is an opportunity for those of us who are not able to march in Washington to
bring mindful attention to the suffering caused by the war.
I’ll be happy to post text or links to any additional information.
Actually, I’d love to see them debate. But I was going through my old e-mails this morning – the ones you set aside until you have time to read them – and came across a link to this article.
Incidently, the word Haaretz is also part of the name of the Sohum Jewish communit B’Nai Haaretz. I’ve never bothered to ask anybody what it means.
From the article:
Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor who has successfully defended O.J. Simpson and other unpopular figures, said he would take Carter to task when the former president addresses a forum at Brandeis University near Boston on January 23.
“I will have my hand up the minute he finishes. It will be polite. It will be dignified but it will be tough,” Dershowitz told Reuters. “There are some very, very hard questions that have to be asked to him. “
Dershowitz said he wanted to ask Carter why he had accepted money from Saudi Arabia and why the Carter Center, an Atlanta-based humanitarian organization, had criticized Israel while not looking into human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.
“He claims that Jewish money buys the silence of politicians and the media, and yet he denies that Arab money has bought his silence,” said Dershowitz.
Carter’s spokeswoman was not available to comment. Carter has said he was “completely at ease’ with the book and that its title was deliberately provocative.
So that was going to be Tuesday night. Does anybody know what happened?
Brought to my attention by the Alliance for Ethical Business – uncharacteristicly harsh wording from a Hearst paper! Guess they don’t owe Charles Hurwitz any political favors.
The man is unstoppable. In 1986 he used junk bonds to buy the nation’s biggest redwood lumber producer. He doubled timber cuts to pay down some $714 million in debt, but even that wasn’t enough.
He then jammed out a deal of state and federal agencies that paid him $480 million for some 10,000 acres of primeval redwoods, some of the tallest stands in existence. The Headwaters acreage was turned into a park, and Hurwitz got his money.
But government wisely locked in an important condition. Hurwitz’s company had to abide by conservation rules that minimized the damage of his hurry-up timber cuts on the remaining land.
Sorry, Mr. Hurwitz, your financial miscalculations can’t be cured by denuding hillsides, clogging streams and harming wildlife. The state and federal purchase of the Headwaters came with an obligation that can’t be jettisoned.
Hurwitz wants a bankruptcy court Hail Mary. A federal judge, sitting in a Texas courtroom, may have the power to undo a California logging deal. But this strategy would be a lawless mockery of an important deal.
Somebody’s been eating raw meat! I don’t imagine we’re going to see anything like that in the local papers. Could you imagine the flaming?!