Thank Heaven for Google, otherwise we may never have seen this letter from the BIA, purportedly assuring Cedric Cromwell that everything will be hunky-dory with the Tribe’s application for Land Into Trust by the end of January. The stamp on the letter indicates that the letter was received on the 31st of December (was anybody actually working that day?), yet we only hear about it on the 13th. Sounds to me like another bit of theatrics in the face of burgeoning opposition from the more circumspect among our members and those who just have plain old common sense.
We can break this letter down into its two main paragraphs, the first, where it says “The Office of Indian Gaming will complete its final analysis of the applicability of the initial reservation exception in January 2013.”
Clearly this says that in the month of January, they will decide whether or not the land in Taunton actually is within our territory, and can therefore even be included in the application. Failing that test, the application is dead in the water. Back to the end of the line for us.
The second paragraph is even less comforting, “…we continue to review the record to develop our determination of the Secretary’s authority to acquire land for the Tribe… We intend to finalize our analysis in early 2013.”
Even if the application clears that first hurdle, there is still that thousand pound bear in the wetu that Cedric keeps running from. Does the BIA have the authority, in the face of Carcieri v. Salazar, to grant the Tribe LIT? Can the BIA ignore the SCOTUS? Does Cedric really have that “double secret” evidence that will win the day?
Ask yourselves those questions, then ask yourself, “is this just more campaign theater, with Cedric magically pulling …rabbits out of his…hat?” Then resolve to join the ranks of those who will vote Cromwell and his cronies out of office. Even if all this goes through, we will be much better off with a new chairman, one who will bring “transparency” (remember that word?) to Tribal operations.