01 November 2010

Boxer's Familial Wampum

During this years contentious California Senate campaign, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has been recognized as the upper chamber’s quintessential liberal but not as a leading legislator.  However, the Miwok matter is showing how Boxer’s legislative legerdemain can be profitable for her family.

In 1998, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA 6th) introduced a bill which reinstated the Miwoks, an indian tribe that the Bureau of Indian Affairs declared defunct in 1958.  Woolsey’s bill also expressly prohibited the indian tribe from establishing a casino in the middle of Northern California’s wine country.  The legislation got stalled when the Bureau of Indian Affairs opposed it because of insufficient evidence that the tribe was actually related to the Miwoks. When the stalled Woolsey bill eventually was advanced to the Senate side, Boxer removed the restriction on casinos and allowed the Miwoks to consider any land owned by them a reservation.  Boxer inserted her legislative language into the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act of 2000 which President Clinton signed into law.

Of course the Miwoks decided that they needed to build a casino. Senator Boxer’s son, Doug Boxer, helped facilitate an arrangement between the tribe and Stations Cross, a Las Vegas casino entity.  Doug Boxer’s firm then fronted the purchase of 2,000 acres in the tony town of Rohnert Park, on the outskirts of San Francisco.  Doug Boxer’s firm then optioned the land to Stations Cross casino on behalf of the Miwoks. How convenient as that conveyance nullified state and local regulations as it was a Indian reservation which did not need to comply with Federal regulations.

Senator Boxer recused herself from the Miwok matter, but not until her son pocketed big profits from the deal.  Gregory Sarris, the Miwok tribal chairman complained that the consulting fee that was paid to Doug Boxer’s firm was “too much, more than I would like.”  The Hill puts the price tag at $8 million.  Although ten years have passed and the casino has not been built yet, if it ever opens Doug Boxer stands to win again, as the casino is a limited liability partnership in which Doug Boxer’s firm and the developer are partners.

Republicans suffered significant legislative losses in 2006 due to their ties to Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist who was convicted of defrauding Indian tribes and corrupting public officials.  I wonder whether if the Lamestream Media will decide to cover this?

Much like the Alaska mafia manipulation of Native Corporations, this is another example of how political insiders profit from specials rules intended to help protected minorities.   This corrupt crony capitalism inspires so much animus in the Tea Party and why Washington insiders are worried about the invasion of the outsiders

Update 11/01 - Hot Air reports that The Hill withdrew the article due to serious factual flaws, namely that Boxer did not change the prohibition on casinos. Boxer refuted the reliability that her son made millions on the deal and that he was not a partner in the LLC.

Assuming all of these denials are true, it makes one wonder why Senator Boxer stonewalled these issues during an October 10, 2010 interview with the Sacramento Bee when she said:

“I can’t talk about any developments because my son was a lawyer who was part of some consultant that was somehow related to this.”
Final hour straight talk?  More likely plugging the breach in the stonewall until the tidal wave passes.

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