15 July 2007

Citizen Voters of the Catawba Indian Nation
Concerning the Tribal Election of July 21, 2007

I have a sign for the public to read. It is located in my yard on Reservation Road. It reads, “Election Tribal Officials June - July 21, 2007, Do not vote for Buck, Dewey and C. Ayers, Butch and Jason Harris.” The reasons for my opposition to their candidacy to seek re-election as Executive Committee Members are many. I have only limited time to voice a few of my reasons for opposition:

1.    On May 26, 2007, these men presided over a General Council Meeting which was advertised as an Informational Meeting only. Little information was provided even though there was a quorum. Acting Chief Buck George stated that the meeting was out of order, even though the General Council's authority to govern the Nation exceeds the authority of the Executive Committee according to the Constitution and By-Laws.
2.   Buck George stated that the tribe's trust account monies, $25,000,000.00 had been placed in the tribe's economic development fund. This money has been spent but no accounting has been given to tribal members. Today there is no economic development business functioning in the tribe. Who has this 25 million?
3.   Buck George also stated that the tribe's Educational Trust Fund account has $6,000,000.00 currently in that account, plus $1,000,000.00 of earned interest which totals 7 million dollars. Some people want to know why they can't get educational assistance from this fund. Mr. George's answer to these questions was that the Bank of America will not release these funds. It appears that the Executive Committee has used these Educational Trust funds to secure a loan. If this were not true the Executive Committee would make these monies available for the people to use.
4.   Carson Blue is the Secretary Treasurer and would certainly have the answer to this question. During the discussion with Carson pertaining to the tribe's Constitution and By-Laws, Carson referred to the tribe's Constitution as "nothing more than a piece of toilet paper." No member of the witnessing Executive Committee came to the defense of the Constitution and By-Laws. This episode has the appearance of a breech of trust and disrespect for tribal law.
5.   Gilbert Blue signed the real estate documents selling the tribe's bingo facility plus the lands it occupied to the Bi-Lo Food Distribution Co. without consulting or debating this sale with the General Council. The Bingo Hall had grossed over $100,000,000.00 during its operation on Cherry Road. It appears the tribe received 3% of the income from the total gross amount.
6.   On July 15, 2007, Buck George made a statement in the local Herald newspaper that he was re-establishing a gaming facility for the tribe in Marion, South Carolina. There has been no discussion with the tribe about Buck's gaming position with Carolina Entertainment Complex organization in Marion, South Carolina. On July 12, 2007, the Sun News article by Emma Rich titled "Gaming Facility Proposed" on the MyrtleBeachOnline.Com is partially owned by a man who has a criminal record. This man has a felonious record. The current Executive Committee says that Catawbas who are felons do not have a right to occupy a home on the reservation.
7.    Vote "NO" on the proposed constitution of July 21, 2007. The Legislative, judicial, and executive powers are all vested in the Executive Committee. Constitutions are written democratically with a separation of powers. This constitution is written for a dictatorial form of government.

This list goes on and on, but it is doubtful that members of this Executive Committee have the right to hold a seat as a public official of the tribe. These men have dealt in secrecy concerning the tribe's business ventures since 1993. Why should the Catawba Nation be used as a front to bail out a business failure promoted by a felon in a county over 190 miles away, depending on one's route.


E. Fred Sanders, Former Assistant Chief,