American Renaissance

Wealthy Tribes Still Earn Federal Subsidies, Mar. 25

LOS ANGELES — The San Manuel Band of Indians (search), which reaps $100 million from its casino and bingo hall, are also the beneficiaries of subsidies from the federal taxpayer.

The casino revenues have enabled the California tribe to open a million dollar bottling plant, buy into a posh restaurant in Pasadena and office buildings in Orange County and make a $4 million contribution to the UCLA law school (search).

On top of it all, Washington, D.C., granted the tribe almost $173,000 for 2001 and 2002, according to a watchdog group that says tribes like the San Manuel Band don’t deserve to be recipients of federal aid.

“The funds, let’s not forget, are the hard-earned tax dollars of citizens of this state and this nation, and the intent of the program was to provide funding to the needy Indians of the nation,” said Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up for California (search).

Schmit is calling for Washington to re-evaluate its financial relationship with wealthy tribes, but San Manuel tribe chairman Deron Marquez said it’s not about needing the money, but about maintaining the government-to-government relations that stretch back to the founding of the United States.