indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The Rise of Tribes and the Fall of Federal Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
GOP operative admits hatchet job on Wayne Smith
Thursday, April 22, 2004

Update: Roger Stone this morning criticized The Village Voice for its "reckless inaccuracy" and put up a web site http://www.thetruthaboutstone.com seeking to refute the article.

A Republican operative who helped Neal McCaleb and Aurene Martin get their jobs at the Bureau of Indian Affairs admits to orchestrating the campaign to fire former BIA deputy Wayne Smith.

Smith was ousted after letters from Phil Bersinger, a former business partner, surfaced in the spring of 2002. In the letters, Bersinger touted his close connections to Smith, who handled land-into-trust, federal recognition and gaming issues for the BIA.

At the time, Smith was trying to resolve a leadership dispute within a small California tribe. Republican operative Roger Stone worked with one faction of the Buena Vista Rancheria that wants a casino. According to The Village Voice, this faction has a contract to pay Stone a $250,000 retainer plus 7.5 percent of annual gaming revenue from the proposed casino.

When Smith refused to overturn a decision favoring Stone's clients, Stone told The Voice that he "faxed the letters to certain members" of the press, leading to stories in Time Magazine and other outlets. The stories suggested Smith was using his position to help Bersinger hire tribal clients.

Neal McCaleb eventually got rid of Smith but McCaleb told The Voice "there was no reason to believe that Wayne had some complicity in Bersinger's activity." Aurene Martin, a former GOP Senate aide, was then promoted to Smith's position. After McCaleb resigned, she took over his post in an acting capacity. Stone helped both get hired as a member of the Bush-Cheney transition team.

Martin at one point testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on the Buena Vista dispute. But she claimed to know so little about it that Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), her former boss, chided her for not being prepared.

The dispute may be resolved, according to The Voice, paving the way for the casino. According to The Voice, Stone wants to insert language into a technical corrections bill Campbell is sponsoring to ensure the Buena Vista Tribe receives trust land without going through lengthy reviews by the BIA and the state.

Get the Story:
A Dirty Trickster's Bush Bonanza (The Village Voice 4/19)

Related Stories:
White House called weekly about casino (11/05)
Terminated tribe at center of battle (06/24)
Wayne Smith already lobbying (6/5)
Wayne Smith's hired gun (5/28)
Wayne Smith seeks protection (5/27)
BIA fires Wayne Smith (5/24)
Smith won't go without fight (5/24)
Wayne Smith given the boot (5/23)
Decision on tiny tribe fought (5/21)
BIA affirms leadership of tiny tribe (5/13)
Calif. tribe threatens suit over 'retaliation' (5/1)
Norton asked to investigate BIA deputy (4/23)
McCaleb aide reports friend to FBI (4/22)
White House looking into McCaleb aide (4/19)
'I think you get the picture' (4/17)
BIA deputy recused on recognition (4/16)
Wall Street Journal blasted for 'drive by' (4/5)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Effort builds for missing and murdered Native women and girls (6/29)
Native talent among diverse group asked to join film academy (6/29)
Richard Peterson: New era of tribal-state cooperation in Alaska (6/29)
Mark Trahant: A Native champion on the ballot in South Dakota (6/29)
Lakota Country Times: Outdoor movies a success at Pine Ridge (6/29)
Delphine Red Shirt: American history ignores tribal perspective (6/29)
Gabe Galanda: The growing chorus against tribal disenrollment (6/29)
Woman from Crow Tribe dies after brutal attack on reservation (6/29)
Man charged with murdering girlfriend on Fort Peck Reservation (6/29)
Nooksack Tribe fires elder who spoke out against disenrollment (6/29)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe gets ready for 95th annual powwow (6/29)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation members serve on city commission (6/29)
A Tribe Called Red goes to Alaska next month for Native benefit (6/29)
Sorry but DNA tests cannot confirm a person's Native ancestry (6/29)
Church denies connection to vandalism at Otomi site in Mexico (6/29)
Former Choctaw Nation casino worker gets two months for theft (6/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation shares $1.2M from controversial casino (6/29)
Grande Ronde Tribes consider hotel but not a casino at old track (6/29)
Meskwaki Tribe looks for fugitive reportedly seen at casino hotel (6/29)
Supreme Court puts an end to another tribal jurisdiction dispute (6/28)
Native women hail Supreme Court decision on domestic violence (6/28)
Navajo Nation leaders reflect on historic Supreme Court session (6/28)
Lakota Country Times: Runners take 500-mile Black Hills journey (6/28)
Mark Trahant: Navajo Republican drops out of race for Congress (6/28)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must update its constitution (6/28)
Editorial: Lakota treaty council supported work at Wounded Knee (6/28)
Alex Jacobs: Our elected leaders do little to address gun violence (6/28)
St. Croix Chippewa Tribe ousts 10 people from rolls amid debate (6/28)
Film exposes police harassment of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (6/28)
Northern Arapaho Tribe asserts more control over health system (6/28)
Trump rehashes 'Pocahontas' slur as Warren hits road for Clinton (6/28)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation still fighting for recognition and casino (6/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino foes lose big source of funding (6/28)
Big Sandy Rancheria remains optimistic on plan for second casino (6/28)
Little River Band credited with sharing $30.4M in casino revenues (6/28)
Editorial: Let's leave gaming to tribes and kill Arkansas casino bid (6/28)
Supreme Court deals setback to tribes in labor sovereignty dispute (6/27)
Washington tribes win major fishing rights decision at appeals court (6/27)
Shinnecock Nation hits the end of the line with ancestral land claim (6/27)
Supreme Court won't hear Pauma Band compact negotiation case (6/27)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on 3 bills (6/27)
Lakota Country Times: Teams compete for Indian horse relay title (6/27)
Native Sun News: Rebuilding the Lakota Nation through education (6/27)
Vi Waln: Don't be afraid to come pray with your Lakota relatives (6/27)
Clara Caufield: Out fishing on the Upper Boulder River in Montana (6/27)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.