Hoopa Valley Tribe asked to stop political donations
The Hoopa Valley Tribe of California is being asked to stop making political contributions as a condition of joining a board of local governments.

Mayor Virginia Bass of Eureka is concerned that the tribe's donations will influence the Humboldt County Association of Governments. She cited a recent $25,000 donation made by a different tribe -- the Blue Lake Rancheria -- to a local official who sits on the board. The former Eureka mayor also received money from the Hoopa Tribe.

Hoopa Chairman Clifford Lyle Marshall said the tribe won't give up its right to contribute to politicians. "There's nothing illegal about Indians making campaign contributions. Campaign contributions are not bribes," he tells The Eureka Times-Standard.

However, he said local governments should pass contributions limits if they are really concerned about the influence the tribe -- or any other donor -- might have. "If the issue is undue influence, every member of HCAOG, every member municipality of HCAOG, has the legal and political authority to address it," he says.

The tribe has been fighting for a seat on the board but has been repeatedly denied despite a state law that treats the tribe like any other government. "We implore the parties to keep talking, and keep the debate out of court, so that the issues ultimately get resolved and the tribe can take its rightful place as one of the largest governments in Humboldt County," the paper says in an editorial.

Get the Story:
Hoopa says no deal on donation ban (The Eureka Times-Standard 2/23)
Editorial: Debating before adjudicating (The Eureka Times-Standard 2/23)

Relevant Links:
Hoopa Valley Tribe - http://www.hoopa-nsn.gov

Related Stories:
Editorial: Treat Hoopa Tribe like other governments (01/12)
Column: Tribes not the same as other governments (10/13)
Editorial: Veto tribal representation bill (08/22)
Hoopa Valley Tribe again denied seat on board (04/05)
County supports Hoopa Valley Tribe's seat on board (01/18)
Hoopa Valley Tribe denied seat on county board (12/15)

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