|Former Chairman Glenn Marshall gets credit for Wampanoag|
Tribe Federal Recognition by current Chief.
The current Chief of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in Massachusetts told the Enterprise News that were it not for former Council Chair Glenn Marshall that the Mashpee band today would not be a federally recognized tribe. You see, Marshall is returning home today from prison on the eve of a critical vote by the citizens of Taunton on Mashpee Wampanoag plans to build an Indian casino - something only federally recognized tribes can do - and current Chief Flying Eagle, Earl Mills, Sr told the Enterprise News:
"“Without him we wouldn’t have tribal recognition... without Glenn we would not have recognition and chances are we would have never gotten it..."
|Wampanoag Chief Earl Mills|
The Chief admits Glenn "made a mistake" along the way, and he's admitted that he is no fan of the current Council led by Cedric Cromwell but doesn't seem to want Cedric to forget how he got where he sits today. While trying to distance himself as a reformer, Cromwell served as a Tribal Council member under Marshall during his "mistakes." Cromwell served on the Council which voted to shun and ban tribe members who tried to challenge and seek the tribe's financial records associated with lobbyists Jack Abramoff and Kevin Ring.
So what mistakes associated with gaining federal recognition and starting the tribe's pathway to a casino did former Chairman Marshall make? Just five criminal counts, including making illegal campaign contributions, tax fraud, wire fraud, and Social Security fraud. Marshall used monies lent the tribe by South African "investors" hoping to cash in on casino riches (sound familiar today? - just replace South African with Malaysian) to engage in various felonies and activities with the infamous lobbyist "Casino Jack" Abramoff which the Tribe hopes people will forget when considering them as a good partner in casino deals today.
So were it not for these criminal acts - which included over 50 illegal political campaign contributions to elected officials who helped the Tribe gain recognition (some of whom are still in office today supporting the Tribe's reservation casino efforts) - we would not be having a vote in Taunton to consider the Tribe's casino plans. By most accounts from the Tribe, Marshall's acts were not for self-enrichment, but were illegal none-the-less. The inheritors of Marshall's ill-gotten booty, however, appear more bent on their personal gains versus those of the tribe.
Today's list of characters in this bizarre saga simply has grown to back fill those sent off to jail in a previous act. They include lobbyist Bill Delahunt, understudy to Mr. Abramoff; Chairman Cedric Cromwell, understudy to Mr. Marshall; and, playing new supporting roles Deval Patrick and Stan McGee.
By all normal definitions the Mashpee Wampanoag's current application for land in trust (LIT) and plans for a casino in Taunton are fruit of a poisonous (or at least rotten) tree. Federal recognition gained through fraud, deception and shady dealings is not exactly the foundation upon which a credible and trustworthy casino gaming business should be founded.