Opinion: Oneida Nation deal a step backward
"County Executive Anthony Picente recently revealed his “historic” agreement with the Oneida Indian Nation, which he claims will move the area forward and will stop all the costly litigation. Where has Mr. Picente been? Doesn’t he understand why all this costly litigation has been necessary?

What the “agreement” agrees to do is put the area back to the conditions of a decade ago, conditions that prompted all this costly litigation that Mr. Picente doesn’t like. We shouldn’t allow that to happen for $55 million or $55 billion.

What has all this litigation been about? First and foremost it has been about the LAW which is sorely lacking in Oneida County. It has been about equality. I has been about free enterprise. It has been about the sovereignty of our once great state. It has been about the United States Constitution.

By proclaiming itself a “sovereign nation,” Ray Halbritter’s tribal government used to be able to do just about anything it pleased without worrying about the laws, state or federal, that we all have to obey. Two lawsuits changed all of that by clearly demonstrating that the tribe was in violation of both state and federal laws, “sovereign nation” status notwithstanding."

Get the Story:
Scott E. Peterman, vice president Upstate Citizens for Equality: Agreement a step backward (The Oneida Dispatch 5/13)

Related Stories:
Oneida Nation land-into-trust deal needs state action (5/12)
Deal proposed over Oneida Nation land-into-trust (5/11)
Oneida Nation and county near land-into-trust deal (5/8)