The Cowlitz game

At this point, Genting and the Mashpee were looking to the Cowlitz tribe. Like the Mashpee, they were federally recognized after 1934. In 2016, a district court ruled that the Cowlitz were under federal jurisdiction in 1934 even though they were not officially recognized until 2000. That opened the door for the Cowlitz to get trust land and provided hope to the Mashpee. There was one big glaring problem for the Mashpee: The Cowlitz were under federal jurisdiction in 1934 and the Mashpee were not. The Mashpee waited on the hope that the Department of the Interior would come up with a magic incantation that provided a rationale for taking land into trust.

Yet another “No”

By late June 2017, the Mashpee got the word that the Secretary of the Interior was going to rule that the tribe was not under federal jurisdiction in 1934. The Mashpee then asked the Department of the Interior to suspend its review. This left some ambiguity and where there is doubt there is hope. The new strategy will try to show that being under the jurisdiction of the state of Massachusetts is somehow the same as being under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Spoiler alert: It’s not.

Meanwhile, there are rumblings in financial circles that Genting may lose the $274 million they loaned to the tribe if the casino is not built. Given that the bulk of this money came after the Carcieri ruling, it is hard to understand why Genting would bet so much money on such a long shot. I have to believe they are not stupid despite all evidence to the contrary.

Reelwamps view

Shovel Ready cheesing it up with Taunton Mayor Hoye back when they broke ground. That's all they did. It seemed too good to be true, and it was. Hoye and crew are freaking out right about now. Ceddie looks so happy here, but he's freaking too.

Shovel Ready cheesing it up with Taunton Mayor Hoye back when they broke ground. That’s all they did. It seemed too good to be true, and it was. Hoye and crew are freaking out right about now. Ceddie looks so happy here, but he’s freaking too.

The Mashpee story sounds very different depending on who you are talking to. Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell is able to spin every setback into something that sounds positive. Opponents, myself included, will give you a perspective that has a very pessimistic outlook for the prospects of a Mashpee casino. The blog reelwamps.com gives a very interesting perspective. It is written by a member or members of the Mashpee Wampanoag who are very down on current leadership and very clear-eyed about the prospects for trust land and a casino. According to reelwamps, the tribe is “nearly $400M in debt” with nothing to show for it. They have characterized tribal leaders as incompetents who are bilking the tribe for their huge salaries and wasting a pile of money for lawyers and lobbyists who do nothing but run up the tribe’s debt.

Reelwamps describes the current state of affairs this way: “What the BIA is suggesting now is that the court allows them to substitute our state jurisdictional status for the mandated federal jurisdiction, to take our land into trust. Not only is the BIA guy admitting that their original decision to put our land into trust was a scam … but is completely dismissing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling defining the criteria for the agency to take land into the trust of the United States.”

The Mashpee are in a world of hurt brought on by bad leadership squirrels chasing the nut of quick money without any real hope of getting it. Prospects for a casino are dim at best. Their land in Middleboro sits empty and any development there will have to face gigantic environmental hurdles. The saga drags on but seems to be near a tipping point as the tribe’s options decrease and their debt increases. The weight of 10 years of false promises and $400 million weighs heavily on the Mashpee.

The column is pretty accurate, accept it infers that we acquired recognition underhandedly because of our high powered lawyers, lobbyists and backers(pre Cromwell).  Well, we had some players on our team and the money to back up the research to prove we were a tribe. We had the same lawyers and experts that the Seminole Tribe of Florida had when they battled successfully against the State of Florida. And by the way, we never hired Jack Abramoff.  That said, we still hold title to being ” the most credentialed tribe in the United States.” But we also have the worst of the tribe running it in the ground.

And now, news of Cedric Cromwell “quietly trying to secure a commercial casino license.” Not too damnedd quiet in the Boston Globe is it? That was never a secret, being the last ditch effort. Okay, next the Genting note comes due at the end of the month…in a few days. Uh oh.  So Ceddie changes the subject to a commercial casino. Ludicrous.

Okay, so Genting wants their money, as we disclosed earlier.  But we have no way to pay it back because we have  no income other than grants (that they will begin pilfering again).  Not only are we unable to pay it back, who would buy the $400m debt and loan us another $600 to build it? We lost reputable American bankers two years ago and finance has never been mentioned since. Genting owns the Taunton land, remember? So here we are Ceddie Lou still getting paid with his cousin Jessie Baird who collect a check at any price

All I hear is a sucking sound. How about you?