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Dave Palermo: Lobbyists battle on fix to land-into-trust ruling





In the May 2014 issue of Global Gaming Magazine, Dave Palermo reports on dueling lobbying campaigns regarding a bill that would fix the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar:
Akin Gump and IETAN, powerful lobbyists for San Manuel, Pechanga, Gila River and other tribes embroiled in the controversy, have been criticized by tribes seeking a “clean” fix to the Carcieri ruling.

The firms, which share office space in Washington, D.C., have been accused of working behind the scenes to get a legislative remedy that would limit the land/trust process for new recognized and restored tribes, among others.

“There can be no second-class citizenry of federally recognized tribes,” says Brian Patterson, a New York Oneida and president of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), which has been leading the lobby effort to remedy Carcieri. “There can only be one status for federally recognized tribes. That’s our pursuit.”

IETAN partners Wilson Pipestem and Larry Rosenthal say the criticism is unfair. They contend opposition to a Carcieri fix from Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Charles Schumer (D-New York), Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and others make it difficult if not impossible to get a Carcieri remedy out of Congress without compromising on off-reservation casinos.

“All of my clients support a clean Carcieri fix,” Rosenthal says. “The problem is after four years there hasn’t been a road map on how to get there. Do the math. There simply are not enough votes.”

Akin Gump lobbyist Alison Binney did not return telephone calls for comment. But she has also previously said there were too few votes in the Senate to get an IRA amendment without concessions on off-reservation casinos.

But lobbyists for other tribes working the issue in Washington do not buy that explanation.

Get the Story:
Dave Palermo: Fixing a Hole (Global Gaming Magazine May 2014)

DOI Solicitor Opinion:
M-37029: The Meaning of "Under Federal Jurisdiction" for Purposes of the Indian Reorganization Act (March 12, 2014)

Related Stories:
Law Article: DOI takes diligent approach with land-into-trust (03/19)
DOI addresses Carcieri land-into-trust decision in legal opinion (03/13)