Upstate Citizens for Equality, Inc.


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UCE's Position on Gambling in New York

Recent Events

UCE calls for Congressional investigation into the handling of the illegal gambling at Turning Stone Casino! Click here to read the request to the of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources and the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

UCE calls for investigation into the handling of the illegal gambling at Turning Stone Casino! Click here to read the request to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Interior, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Chairman of the New York State Commission of Investigation.

Position Statement

Our State leaders in their zeal to increase revenue and in a vain attempt to demonstrate that they are trying to do something for the economy have circumvented the Constitution of this state and deprived us of our right to vote. When our Constitution was debated, drafted and passed by a vote of all New Yorkers it prohibited commercial gambling. New Yorkers did this because they did not want commercial gambling in this state at that time. Because the citizens of New York chose to prohibit commercial gambling through our State Constitution we need to amend our Constitution in order to permit it. By requiring that we amend our Constitution to permit commercial gambling our forefathers guaranteed all voters of New York an opportunity to decide this important element of our state public policy by popular vote at a general referendum. Often when the doctrine of separation of powers is discussed reference is made to the three co-equal branches of our government. What is often left out is the fourth branch of our government, the people. In a republican form of government the people have the ultimate power and what is not expressly granted to the government is reserved in the people. The authority to permit commercial gambling has not been granted to any branch of our State Government. It is only with the permission of the people that it may be granted. Upstate Citizens for Equality will dedicate its resources to protect the right to vote guaranteed to all citizens of New York.

Recently the Seneca Nation of Indians have designated Buffalo, NY as the intended location of their third casino under the recently signed compact between them and the State of New York. Although this Compact was purportedly ratified by the Legislature it is still illegal. Why? Article 1 Section 9 of our State Constitution and Article 225 of the New York Penal Law. Without amending the above referenced provisions of our state law no Class III gaming is permitted and the Legislature and Governor acted in excess of their authority.

Under the current plans the Senecas will remove 9 acres of land from the real property tax rolls of the City of Buffalo and the County of Erie. Therefore it will result in the need for these two governmental entities to increase taxes to recoup this loss from the taxpayers. Additionally this will lead to increased cost to the taxpayers and not result in a net gain for the area. Here is a study completed in 2000. The bottom line is that after 3-5 years a casino will cost the community. Professor Grinols testified before Congress in April 2003. The question is did our "leaders" take this study into account or did they rely on anecdotal evidence and knee jerk reactions?

It is the official position of Upstate Citizens for Equality that Chapter 383 of the Laws of 2001 (Part B) and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act as it is being applied to the State is illegal and unconstitutional and any tribal-state compact entered into pursuant to its purported authority are null and void. In America the sovereign powers reside in the people who have delegated certain of these powers to the Federal Government and have prohibited some to the States reserving all others to the States respectively, or to themselves. (See U. S. Const., 9th and 10th Amdts.; N. Y. Const., art. I, § 14.)

Lastly the state is without the power to authorize such gaming to any person for any purpose absent an amendment to the State Constitution which has not been done.

Since Class III gaming cannot be conducted by any person for any purpose and the State is without power to authorize such gaming absent a State Consdtitutional amendment, any tribal-state compact purportedly entered into between the State of New York and any Indian Nation or tribe is not valid under the IGRA.

Information on actions against this illegal and unconstitutional gambling in New York

A civil action has been commenced by Daniel T. Warren against the United States of America, Governor George E. Pataki, New York State Racing and wagering Board Chair Cheryl Ritchko-Buley, and others on April 6, 2006 challenging the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and the lconstitutionality of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Click here to view the complaint and grounds for this lawsuit!

By letter dated October 16, 2006 UCE urges the Buffalo Common Council not to approve the agreement between the City of Buffalo and the Senecas negotiated by Mayor Brown!

By letter dated October 24, 2006 UCE urges candidate Eliot Spitzer to change his position that certain out-of-state tribes should be considered in-state tribes for purposes of acquiring land and/or opening a casino!

UCE joins Buffalo Mayoral Candidate Judith Einach and 26 other elected officials, religious leaders, civic groups, business and civic leaders in a letter to Secretary Gale Norton asking that she not approve the fee to trust application of the 9 acres of land purchased in downtown Buffalo for use as a casino. Click here to read the letter!

Click here to read Judy Einach's remarks on the joint letter to Secretary Norton

Click here to read Joel Rose's remarks on the joint letter to Secretary Norton

Click here to read Daniel T. Warren's remarks on the joint letter to Secretary Norton

Click here to view Daniel Warren's previous state court lawsuit that challenged Part B of Chapter 383 of the Laws of 2001 and the tribal-state gaming compact between the Seneca Nation and the State of New York.

Click here to view the papers in the action by the City of Buffalo, Anthony Masiello, Carl Paladino and the Huron Group, Inc. over the interpretation of the tribal-state compact between the State of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians. The plaintiffs contend that according to the tribal-state compact the casino should be located in the City of Buffalo and not the Town of Cheektowaga. The defendants contend that the tribal-state compact just requires the casino to be located in Erie County.

Click here to read about the true costs of casino gambling to our communities in a report entitled Business Profitability versus Social Profitability: Evaluating Industries with Externalities, The Case of Casinos by Earl L. Grinols and David B. Mustard

Click here to read Senator Padavan's report "All Gambling All the Time -- Turning the Empire State into the Gambling State"

UCE calls on U.S. Department of Justice to take legal action against the racketeering activities of the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. The Oneida Indian Nation of New York, and others in concert with them, are trafficking in contraband cigarettes in violation of 18 USC 2342; engaging in illegal gambling in violation of 18 USC 1955 and are engaging in monetary transactions derived from illegal gambling and trafficking under 18 USC 1957. Thereby they have and are committing at least two predicate acts under 18 USC 1962 (Racketeering, Influenced, Corrupt Organizations ACT (RICO)). Click here to read the letter to United States Attorney Suddaby.

Click here to read the National Indian Gaming Commission's response to our FOIA request for all decisions, determinations, or rulings that gaming on lands acquired after October 17, 1988 is permitted for the land occupied by the Turning Stone Casino and Resort and the Seneca Niagara Casino.

Click here to learn about and help Ulster County in their fight against Indian gaming!

UCE calls on Senator Schumer to halt Seneca Casino in Erie County and to end illegal Class III gaming at Turning Stone Casino and Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in New York Click here to read the letter to Senator Schumer!

UCE calls on New York State Liquor Authority to not issue any liquor license to OIN for Turning Stone Casino. Click here to read the letter!

UCE is calling on the National Indian Gaming Commission to close Class III gaming at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, New York. To view the letter to Commissioner Hogen
Click here!

UCE, Peterman et al, v. Pataki, et al

By a letter from Assistant Attorney General Andrew Bing the State of New York has announced that it will no longer oppose UCE's 1999 challenge against the tribal-state compact with the Oneidas which operate the Turning Stone Casino. Therefore the Turning Stone Casino is now operating illegally.

Click here to read the letter!

Click here to read the letter dated May 17, 2004, from Assistant Attorney General Robert A. Siegfried to Justice McCarthy regarding the matter of Peterman v. Pataki wherein he states "In conclusion, there was no "agreement" between the plaintiffs and the State. In recognition of the controlling law as set down in Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, the State has only conceded that application of that case to the instant matter results in a declaration that Governor Cuomo was without authority to enter into the Oneida Compact in 1993, and the Compact is therefore void and unenforceable under State law."

In light of the receipt of the above letter UCE has renewed its request for the federal government to act in this matter and halt Class III gaming at Turning Stone and Akwesasne Mohawk Casinos. Click here to read this letter We have also renewed our objection to the issuance of any liquor license by any entity for the premises of the Turning Stone Casino. Click here to read this letter

The Oneida Indian Nation in a last ditch effort to distort truth and disseminate propaganda now asserts in Court papers that the case of Peterman v. Pataki is seeking to close the Turning Stone Casino. This is not the case. Any judgment in the action Peterman v. Pataki will only affect Class III gaming. Gaming that is Class I and II will still be permitted and Class III will be once a valid tribal-state compact is entered into. Click here to read Leon Koziol's letter to the court on this issue.

Justice McCarthy ruled in Peterman v. Pataki that the compact between the Oneidas and the State of New York which permits Class III gaming at Turning Stone is unconstitutional. Click here to read the decision!

Recently the Oneida Indian Nation of New York purportedly appealed Justice McCarthy's decision in Peterman v. Pataki (a copy of this decision is available By clicking here) that invalidated the tribal-state compact between the Oneida Nation and the State of New York. The grounds that reportedly will be urged by the Oneida Nation on appeal are whether the case should have proceeded in their absence and that the validity of their compact can only be decided by a federal court. It is the position of Upstate Citizens for Equality that because the Oneidas intentionally absented itself as a party it has no standing to appeal the decision and judgment entered in Peterman v. Pataki. The Oneida Nation arrogantly takes the position that they can place its agreement above judicial review by intentionally refusing to appear as a party to defend its validity. These issues were addressed by this State's highest Court and were rejected in Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce v. Pataki and the United States Supreme Court declined to review that case. The Oneida Indian Nation presented these same arguments in Saratoga where it appeared as amicus curiae. Even if the appeal is not dismissed the grounds for the appeal is frivolous and without merit in fact or law.

Click here to read the Oneida Indian Nation of New York's brief on appeal in Peterman v. Pataki.

Click here to read UCE's Brief in response to the Oneida Indian Nation of New York's appeal in Peterman v. Pataki.

Click here to read Appellate Division, Fourth Department's decision affirming Justice McCarthy's judgment that the tribal-state compact between the Oneida Indian Nation of New York and the State of New York is unconstitutional and void.

The Oneida Indian Nation's motion for leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals from the Appellate Division's affimance of Justice McCarthy's decision declaring their tribal-state compact as void was denied on December 22, 2005. Click here to view the decision (page 7)

The Court of Appeals denied the Oneida Indian Nation's motion for leave to appeal the decision of the Appellate Division affirming Justice McCarthy's ruling that the tribal-state compact by which Turning Stone Casino has been operating under as unconstitutional and void and assessed them $100 in costs and necessary reproduction costs! Click here to read the decision list!

Click here for the Onieda Indian Nation of New York's Petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision declaring their tribal-state compact with New York State (which they are operating the Turning Stone Casino under) is illegal and unconstitutional.

Click here to view the brief UCE filed in opposition to the Oneida Indian Nation's petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision in UCE v. Pataki!

On December 4, 2006, the United State Supreme Court declined to review the New York Court's determination that the compact between the Oneida Indian Nation of New York and the State of New York were entered into by former Governor Cuomo in violation of the New York State Constitution and was therefore void.

Click here to view UCE's statement concerning the legality of the Turning Stone Casino

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