Editorial: Tough times for Mashantucket Tribe
"Any sovereign democracy is going to face tumultuous times. Such a time is at hand for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe where a large group of members is agitating to have more of a say in their government.

They're upset, and understandably so, because livelihoods are at stake as the tribe tries to rein in its spending, as its lenders have recommended. Reportedly, Wall Street executives have told the Mashantuckets to trim $40 million in government spending. That's a big chunk of money for a relatively small community.

The tribe reports its membership as 800 to 900 people, and says it employs about 900. For comparison's sake, the city of New London, which just passed an $80.7 million budget, has a population of about 26,000 and employs about 800 people. And unlike the tribe, New London must fund a school system. So if the Mashantuckets are cutting $40 million, their per-member spending ratio must be very large, although the tribe does not make its overall budget public.

But now, faced with layoffs to cut the excess, tribal members are looking for more of a voice in their government. They want to be involved in decision-making regarding tribal services, programs and spending. "

Get the Story:
Tribal democracy (The New London Day 5/24)

More Stories:
Mashantucket Pequots slash 170 jobs, 20 percent of workforce (The Norwich Bulletin 5/25)
End is near for scores of tribe workers (The New London Day 5/24)

Related Stories:
Mashantucket Tribe plans to lay off employees (5/23)