Editorial: Lumbee leaders gambling with recognition bid
"It appears that Lumbee leaders have decided it's acceptable to bet a big piece of the tribe's net worth on one game of chance.

It's not surprising, though, that many of the people they represent are outraged. They should be.

On March 12, the Lumbee Tribal Council, meeting at a conference in Raleigh, abruptly dumped longtime Lumbee lawyer Arlinda Locklear, who had worked - for free - for more than two decades to achieve full federal recognition for the tribe. Recognition would bring hundreds of millions of federal dollars to the tribe, to improve housing, education and health care, and to create new and better jobs.

The recognition effort has made good progress in the current Congress, winning approval in the House and clearing the Senate's Indian Affairs Committee. The measure has President Obama's support and both this state's senators believe it has a good chance of Senate approval.

That may be out the window now, because the Tribal Council hired a Nevada gaming consultant to take Arlinda Locklear's place. That means (although the council won't say as much) that the tribe's pledge to forsake casino operations, as a condition of recognition, is also out the window. The tribe wouldn't hire a specialist in casino development if it wasn't planning to get into the gambling business. That sudden change of course may be enough to kill any chance of Senate approval this year - or any other year.

And then it gets worse."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Bad bet: Tribe gambles its assets on recognition bid. (The Fayetteville Observer 4/18)

Lumbee Recognition Bills:
S.1735 | H.R.31 | H.R.839

Related Stories:
Lumbee council fails in vote to rescind lobbying contract (4/16)
Lumbee leaders threatened with recall over lobbying deal (4/13)
Lumbee group plans to discuss contract for recognition bid (4/8)
Editorial: Hope fading fast for Lumbee Tribe's recognition (03/22)
Lumbee Tribe ends relationship with longtime attorney (3/19)
New Lumbee chairman promises to push for recognition (1/15)
Lumbee Tribe chairman aims to boost credibility (11/18)
Lumbee Tribe moves closer to federal recognition (10/23)