The True Story of My Involvement with Indian Gaming
Originally I was project neutral on the issue of Indian Gaming in Barstow. I wasn’t until my research showed the pattern and practice of BarWest buying influence and bullying their way into a process of violating the Ancestral Rights of local tribes as they engage in the despicable practice of Reservation Shopping that I saw the light. I was also turned off by their right wing orientation and their relation to the Jack Abramhoff scandal and Rep. Richard Pombo who I consider one of the worst, most corrupt congressman ever.
Pombo who was soundly defeated in last year’s election was the guy that Tom Delay established as the powerful chair of the House Resources Committee. He used that position to try and abolish the Endangered Species Act, reverse the ban on oil drilling in the protected artic areas, and run interference on the investigations of his mentor Tom Delay. Pombo himself was the number one object of the Jack Abramhoff scandal.
Upon these myriads of revelations, I denounced my support for the BarWest project and for two years or more I started speaking out about all of the influence peddling that BarWest was doing in Barstow. In my opinion, BarWest bought and paid for our Mayor who has been doing their bidding ever since.
During the last election, BarWest made a deal with Chamber of Commerce President Tim Silva that if he would turn the Chamber into a PR branch of BarWest, they would make him the next Councilman. Tim got the chamber to support BarWest and against the Chemehuevi, something that would violate the ethics of any chamber and is undoubtedly illegal when the city gives this chamber $50k in annual support along with cheap rent at the Harvey House.
On the last day before the deadline to file, I was talked into running by some LOCAL activist that felt by doing so I would be able to amplify my voice on issues that I was already speaking out on, such as the environment, local corruption, equal access and economic development. As it turned out, Tom Shields had already secured victory for his two candidates primarily by getting the local caucus and the rest of the BarWest Kool-Aid Club to get out the absentee vote. Shields ran their campaign like the Carl Rove of Barstow and it was financially backed through their local PAC. He ran a slick campaign, the likes of which Barstow had never seen and that their two candidates would never have been able to wage on their own. It was a campaign that did not even rely on the involvement of the candidates themselves. In fact he was instrumental in canceling the only debate that would of exposed the total lack of experience and incompetence of his two candidates.
Initially, I had no expectations of winning but my message of economic development, exposing corruption and protecting our environment, resonated with the community. It also garnished the attention of some highly respectable residential and commercial developers. These were quality 'community planning' oriented developers who had a 50 year history of having been scorned by the local cronies who have held power in Barstow since time immortal. The local cronies use Mayor Dale and Economic Development Director Ron Rector to steal projects away from any developer that is not part of the ‘local cronies’ and move them to the cronies‘ properties.
The developers that supported my candidacy felt that the only way to proceed on their quality projects was to change the political landscape. The irony is that they are all Republican and they supported this strong Democrat leader because I have a background in business and have always worked closely with the business community which is most often Republican in orientation. My parents were both GOP Republicans (NOT neocons) and I was raised in a GOP environment. While I have never been a Republican, I have embraced many of the old values of the GOP such as balancing the budget, less government regulations, protecting privacy rights and civil rights. All of which have been lost on the neocons that are destroying the Republican party in my opinion. Nonetheless, any of the old fashion GOP type people that I have been involved with are those that can relate to my approach and values in business.
Along with some small individual donors, these Republican developers who I highly respect, financed 100% of my campaign. It was not until a week before the election that I made contact with a member of the San Manual Tribe when I was participating in an event of Congressman Joe Baca. I told them that I was fighting the cause for Ancestral Rights and Indian Sovereignty and against reservation shopping. I explained how I was alone in fighting for what is the cause of the true legitimate Native American fight for self determination and that I could sure use some back up. After much deliberation within their tribal leaders, they broke from their long standing policy of NOT getting involved here in Barstow and reluctantly made a one-time campaign contribution of $2500. That much needed contribution was received a month after the campaign and was used to retire some of my campaign debts.
For the record, I have NEVER received a singe penny from any tribe to represent them in any capacity. I have NEVER been asked to represent a particular position or take any action on their behalf. I Have solicited input on how I could support a legitimate project here in Barstow but have yet to get any input or advice whatsoever.
Over the course of the past few years, I have come to know Chairman Wood of the Chemehuevi Tribe and on one occasion I had the opportunity to meet their Vice-Chair Shirley Smith. I have been taken back at how honorable they have been and have always taken the high road. I know for a fact that they did not support either Measure H or the recall of Councilman Luellig. I have NEVER seen nor is their ANY record of the Chemehuevi ever attacking BarWest or engaging in the underhanded tactics that is the hallmark of BarWest.
As a Political Scientist, I have a life long passion for the values and causes of the Democratic party. I have been a community activist on issues such as the environment, alternative medicine, equal right, code enforcement, and civil rights. I have come to view Ancestral Rights as being the equivalent of civil rights for Native Americans.
While I would feel honored to serve as a consultant to any tribe seeking to secure or preserve their Ancestral Rights, this has yet to happen. If it did, you would hear it out of my own mouth first and not something that would be hidden before being leaked by the likes of BarWest and their scumbag spin doctor Tom Shields who is now making false allegations of extortion against me. I would wear a consulting contract with a tribe with legitimate Ancestral Rights like a badge of honor. And I would be anxious to be ‘in the face’ of the Mayor, Tom Shields and the entire BarWest Kool-Aid Club. All of my ‘speaking out’ on this issue has been motivate SOLELY by a desire to expose local corruption and standing up for Ancestral Rights. Also, I feel that by speaking out on this issue it might hasten the day when a legitimate, local tribe can bring a casino project to this historically economically depressed community.
I am currently serving as a consultant on economic development and politics. I do this to support what is my main cause and passion. My wife Michelle and I are the founders of the Earth Haven Foundations for Kids which deals with children who are born with substance abuse to parents that are drug addicted. We are the adopted parents of a total of eight of these children and we will take on more when funding becomes available.
THIS is your 'Verifiable' honest to God truth. In my opinion, Tom Shields and his BarWest Kool-Aid Club are directly attacking these child victims by attacking me with their filthy lies, character assassinations and deceptions which are nothing more than the worst kind of libel and slander. But then we all expect nothing less from these sleaze bags.