Setting the Record Straight

The CCT has featured another in a long series of not so subtly slanted articles on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal politics. As usual, they get their facts wrong. That is not surprising, considering that three paragraphs are dedicated to former columnist Paula Peters, who has no relevance to this election other than being the partner of outgoing treasurer Mark Harding.

Here are some facts:

David Pocknett was on the Council when the former Chairman was in office. His jobs were to be liaison for the Horse farm operation and the Tribal museum. Pocknett likes to take credit for the education grant issued to UMASS Boston from the Kellogg foundation, but he in fact had no part in writing or negotiating this grant. It was written by a man Named Floyd Gallegos, who at the time was a candidate for his doctoral degree. Gallegos had worked for the tribe in the 1970’s and in fact was a good friend of Russell Peters and Vernon Pocknett, as well Oliver “Clucker” Pocknett who is David’s Father.

Pocknett had run against Shawn Hendricks for the Vice Chair position in the 2000 election and lost, He was also a candidate for chair position in the 2009 election and three weeks before the election he dropped out, which left a gaping hole that few have forgotten. David “I’m out” Pocknett’s cousin Putnam Peters ran, and did an admirable job in a short time, but lost in the tsunami of illegal voters paid by the Cromwell administration. The casino stalkers were bought cheaply, for $20, while some got winter jackets and a promises of a casino.

Cromwell loved to say that he worked for Fidelity Investment Corp as an account executive, when in fact he was just a computer programmer and repair guy. This is known and attested to by a variety of people who worked at Fidelity with Cromwell.

In the years prior to Federal recognition, Marshall and the council needed, and wanted, to get the applications for Tribal membership resolved, as it was a criterion for Federal recognition. Cromwell was on the Council for two terms as a council member, having been forced to join the Tribe in 2006, and, in fact, was part of the Council that ratified the contract between the the Tribe and the former investors. This contract was ratified with a unanimous vote of the council.

The programs that were available to the tribal members have been left to languish by the current administration of the Tribe. There is no transportation program, no elders program that works for all tribal members, the office in New Bedford has all but been forgotten and has no support from this administration. The New Bedford office is a recapped idea from the former chairman. The Tribal emergency team has no support from the council and has been undermined by the leadership and specific tribal workers related to the Chairman by marriage.

The CCT again missed the boat, and did not get the full story, but then that is their modus operandi. It makes no sense to say that a change in leadership would cause a negative impact for the tribe.

All elected officials are expected to do the job they are charged with by the constitution. The present administration has forgotten its legitimate members and has squandered $47 million–and maybe more. It seems that this administration has spent about $23,500 per tribal member since they have been in office and have produced nothing. Where is the money and where are the services it should have provided?

Our Tribe’s endeavors are, and should be, open to reasonable scrutiny and responsible reporting. What is unwelcome is news organizations becoming, or even appearing to become, a part of the delicate political process of Tribal elections and governance. The mission of the press should be the truth.