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THE IETAN STORY

Recently, there has been news coverage and significant chatter about Sen.
Dianne Feinstein working to create new restrictions or even prohibitions on the aiready
difficult and rare process of tribes acquiring new lands for gaming purposes. Her effort
have been predicated as a response to attempts by tribes, tribal organizations and tribal
advocates ln the Congress to remove any doubt about tile abi lity of the-Department of
Interior to acquire new lands for tribes recognized after 1934, doubt that .was created

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by the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar.·

It has long been suspected, and only receptly confirmed, that Sen. Feinstein's
efforts to render it impossible for most if not all tribes to acquire new lands for gaming
has been aided and abetted by wealthy Indiah tribes that do ·not wish to see
competition. This battle of the "Have's" versus th~ "Have-Not" tribes exploded into the
national consciousness with the exploits of disgraced and once-imprisoned lobbyist Jack
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Abramoff, who violated numerous federal laws while reaping millions of dollars from
.wealthy tribes to squash the dreams of poor t ibes seeking to enter the gaming
market-including at least
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one tribe
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that he later sought
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as a client. .... Abramoff
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did so
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. through an. UnhOlY.alliance wi~ Co.n~~esSionalstar :~nd rnte.rior offici~IS/.~ num~e~ of
whom were prosecuted for their actlvltles. ~:... . ~... . .. •
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. . Today/one' finds the Ihdian~lobbying firm I ta-nConsUIti'ng at the .mlddle of this


same battlE!· ~etween':."Have/sll a.nd "Have-Nots." Il~t~n has not, h~slta~~d torght. to
block poor tnbes desperately trying to create ecoffilo.mtc opportumty, even wher. dOing
so has been contrary to the interests of the firm's own' clients or tribes. of whi Ietan
lobbyists are actual members. And, like Abramof Ietan is doing so through tight a
network of allies/ former employees, former affiliate~) and former client represe tatives
wo~king within the Administration and on the Hill. I '.

'. . . . The History of IeF


From the very start, Ietan has wDrk~d to block gaming ?roje~ of othe trib~s.
Its founders, Larry Rosenthal and Wilson Pipestem, began their lobbymg car rs With
the .firm of Wheat & Associates/ where Rosenthal J.;as:a principal advocatelob~yjng on
behalf of Michigan's Bay Mills Indian Community irl an attempt to settle a ·Ipngstanding
land claim in exchange for newland. Under the IIndian ·Gaming Regulatory land ~ttT
acquired in settleme~t of a land. claim is eJigibl~ f~r.g~ming.. Rosenthal·~nd p;pestem
left Wheat~ &, ASSOCIatesto: form Ietan, and Imh1edlat~lY: began lobbytng-fqr .more
money~n··b~halfof:Michigan/s Saginaw Chippe~a'.'Tribein oppcsltlonto ....
~y Mills'
efforts. Rosenthat.even began to refer tothevery.l~and claim that he had adv ted as
a "scam." :!; The pattern -repeated itself when Ietan hired former Acting .~ista~t
S~cr~tary of the Interior Aurene Martin to also IOb~yon behalf of Saginaw Chip~.:.~a on
this rssue, even though she had been the federal offiCial responsible for and personally
involved in formulating the Department of Interior'~ position on the Bay Mills lan~ claim.
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- All the while, .letan was busy building a network of allies tied together by
employment histories and deep business ties. Today, "Team letan" is far more
formidable- than "Team Abramoff" ever was. Detailed more fully on a relationship chart
and in the "Team letan" biographIcal sumrnanes, primary players in the teten web
include:

• Firm principals Larry Rosenthal, Wilson Pipestem and Holly Cook Maeatro;

• White House Senior Polic.y Advisor Kim Teeheer former room-mate of


Rosenthal, former deputy to- Macarro, and _Rosenthal's -successor as
_ Advisor to Rep. Dale Kildee and Director of the Congressional. Native
- - _American Caucus;
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• Department of the Interior Congressional Affairs Director Chris Mansour,


who worked with Rosenthal and Teehee in the House, and Congressional
Affairs Staff Chastity Bedonie, who was an Ietan lobbyist and also an
associate with Akin Gump, a Washington law firm that provides office
space to letan and proudly trumpets its strategic alliance with letanon its
- web site;

• Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Democratic Counsel Allison Blnney,


who was an associate at tetarrs strategic partner Akin Gump, and the
Senate Committee's immediate past Policy Director John Harte, who was
also formerly employed by letan.

In addition to: creating a poweiful team of influential insiders, -letan has


leveraged enormous political contributions and thecornblned weight 'of tribal clients
across the -country to have an outsized influence on- federal policy. Just six of the
principal Ietan clients involved in trying to block poor and landless tribes from obtaining
land for gamin-9, together with two Akin clients who share 'that mission;~;contributed a
combined $3,226,35Tto federal candidates,· PAC's and party comrruttees.m the 2008
election cycle. 'In the current cycle,.-that total stood at $2/393,829 asorAuqust, 2010.
When contributions from the fall election season are added, that total will undoubtedly
be much higher. These numbers pale in comparison to the staggering more than $148
million in state-level political expendItures made by this group of tribes during the 2008
ejection.

Abramoff. Ietan. and Efforts to Block Opportunities for Poor Tribes

In the early to mid-2000's, the notorious Jack Abramoff employed a scheme to


direct tribal -contributions to benefit Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and
Administration officials. He and his cronies also showered -their friends -with illegal
gratuities, such 'as golf junkets, expensive dinners, and tiCkets and trips to sporting
events. - (Abramoff also liberally helped himself and -his -Closest partners to kickbacks

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and inflated fees.) The resulting scandal led directly to lobbying reforms intended to
prevent su.ch.~ scandal from occurring again.

Abramoff's prindpat tribal dients, such as, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian
Commurntv, the Aguacaliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and other weal~hy tribes paid
him millions;n fees specifically to work to prevent poor and landless tribes from
obtaining land on which they might establish competing gaming facilities. The great
irony of the Abramoff scandal, however, is that when the scandal broke, the resulting
"tatnt" on Indian gaming led to exactly what these wealthy tribes had been
propounding-a. backlash not against them and their lobbyist, but against Indian
gaming as a whole. Members of Congress who prodaimed themselves horrified by
Abramoffs activities began championing legislation to restrict the ability of tribes to
obtain new lands for gaming. Indian gaming as a whole became the bogeyman, not
the out-of-bounds conduct of those who were trying to stunt tribal gaming. Abramoff's
clients won. And letan was right there to help them.

Throughout the late 2000's and into 2010, Ietanandits clients have fought hard
to block efforts of poor and landless. tribes to enter the gaming market. During
Interior's constderanon of administrative rules to govern the acquisition of gaming
eligible lands,:''Ietan and its dlents were a leading VOice'ealfing for tight~r)restrictions,
In the Conqress, they leveraged their stable of dlerits to have Westerh tribal clients
oppose efforts of a NOrth carolina tribe to win federal recognition (opposed by tetan
client Eastern-Bend of Cherokee) and a Michigan tribe and former Rosenthal client to
obtain approval of a land claims settlement reached by the tribe and the state (opposed
by Ietan client saginaw Chippewa). They lobby Interior to create new limitations on
land acquisitions as well, even when dOing so directly undercuts the interests of their
own clients Of, worse, tribes of which letan members are citizens. (tetarrs efforts to
impose new restrictions on gaming helped set the stage for the denial of an application
for gaming land made by the Bad River Band of Chippewa Indians, tribe of then-Ietan
. lobbyist Aurene Martin, and are stymieing efforts by tne Guidiville Band of Porno Indians
to obtain land for a San Francisco Bay Area casino, even though that effort is being
backed by Ietan client the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.~).

Since the inception of the Obama Administration, no group has .been working
harder than: Iefcln; its' clients and their allies to lobby' against the acquisition of new
tribal landsfor gaming; And dearly their efforts nave had an effect=slrrce'Presldent
Obama took-office in January of 200.9, the Departmerltofthe Interior, has approved not
one single djscretionary tee-to-trust application fo/'gamfng, a record immeasurably
worse than that of the anti-Indian gaming Bush Admin"istration.

Full Circle: Leveraging Carcieri and Relationships to Close the Door on


Competition
Most recently, Ietan has seized upon and hijacked·.a key priority of Ilidian
Country as a whole as a mechanism for attempting to . foreclose any new tribal

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competition to its dients' casinos. And their friends at Interior and the White House
have reportedly been right in the middle of this effort, working with Seh. Feinstein on
. incredibly restrictive Indian gaming language even while denying their involvement. In
the process, they're showing that promises by the Administration to engage In
meaningful consultation with tribes are a lie - their secret efforts with Feinstein are
taking place at the same time the Department is holding gaming policy consultations on
the very sections of the law that they are working with. Fe.instein to render moot.

In the early 2009 decisionceraen v. sstszer; the lLS. supremecourt ruled that
.the Secretary of the Interior cannot take land in trust under the Indian Reorganization
Act for tribes that were not under federal jurlsdktton in 1934. Leading Indian law
scholars and other tribal advocates contend that/ as a matter of law, any tribe that is
recognized as a tribe by the federal government today was, in fact, under federal
jurisdiction in 1934, regardless of when the tribe was recognized. This is because when
recognizing a tribe, the federal 'government is not creating a tribe, but only
acknowledging the existence of that tribe from ancient times until the present-
including its existence in 1934. (The tribe that was the subject of the Carcieri dedsion,
through a procedural error, unknowingly made the unmistaken concession that it was
under state, and not federal, jurisdiction in 1934. ASa legal matter, the only tribes not
actually under federal jurisdiction in 1934 are those tribes that had ceased to maintain
their tribal status prior to that date.) ':-' ..
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While Carcieri should not operate to preventenvcurremv existing' tribe from


obtaining trust land under the Indian Reorganization .Act, the unfortunate reality is that
. tribal opponents have' seized upon thededsion as a basis to challenge larid acquisitions
for ~ny tribe tl1ey want to dsim was not under federal jurisdiction in 193"4; The threat
of such challenges has led to paralysis at Interior when it conies to taking land in trust,
espedalJy for tribes that were recognized after 1934,-\'Vhere lawsuits are almost certain.

The uncertainty and delays caused by the Carcieri decision led to efforts by tribal
advocates in Congress to enact a "Carcieri fix" that would confirm that the Secretary
can take land in trust for any federally recognized tribe. Indian gaming opponents, led
by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, oppose such a fix. Accordingly, in late spring of 2010,
Interior began prepating to move forward with tribal trust acquisitions, even in the face
of likely lawsuits. .
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Enter a .handful of tribal lobbyists and tribal leaders. When the National
Congress of American Indians convened a "Carcied Action Day" in July of 2010 to call
upon Interior to advance tribal trust acquisitions and for.Conqress to enact a csraen
fix, applicant tribes were informed by senior Interior officials that Interior had decided
not to move-forward on fee-to-trust applications ·.with '"possible Carcierl i$sUes"-
because an: unnamed tribal leader had told the Department not to do so as It could
"undercut" ~efforts to: obtain a Congressional "flX.I~ ..' This backtracking ran directly
contrary to. promises by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar a year earlier to make
solving carcien a top priority and by the Department's soncnor in April of 2010 to begin

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immediate consultation with tribes to define a path forward without legislation. But the
tactic was supported by Ietan ally Kim Teehee in the White House.

In the fall of 2010, Congressional efforts took a new turn. Tribal advocates
promised an effort to enact a "Carcieri foci via Interior's Appropriations bill. Sen.
Feinstein, chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, opposed such efforts. As
later acknowledged by Ietan lobbyist Wilson Pipestem, Ietan, several Ietan tribal
dients, and other wealthy Califomia tribes opposed to tribal casino competition met
with Sen. Feinstein to propose an cunning "trade'--sbe should accept a· Garcierifix, and
in turn enact .language prohibiting gaming on lands taken into trust after the date of
such a fix, unless the affected tribe could demonstrate "aboriginal ties" to the lands
through a standard that would be virtually impossibletor any tribe to meet. Pipestem
also acknowledged that certain unnamed Interior staff and AdministrationofficJals were
involved in trying to make this trade. Both Pipestem and hls allies at Akiri Gump have
since beenargLiing that the trade is necessary because, unlesssen, Feinstein ts "thrown
a bone," there will be no C'arderifix. But tellinglYr none ofthe tribes that met with Sen.
Feinstein that day themselves have any potential ;,Carcieri issue. And .more recent
.rumors suggest that the Feinstein language has now rnorphed to an even higher
standard, one that few if any tribes could meet, and that no California tribe could
satisfy. In the meantime, Interior denies working with Feinstein, even though Interior,
Feinstein and letan have all been exchanging draft language that will have the effect of
preventing gaming on lands acquired after a Carderi fIX - shutting out poor and
landless tribes while protecting the markets of the rich Ietan clients. '

Conclusion: Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant

Today, the available documents and Pipestem's own admissions show dearly
that Ietan is spreading millions in political contnbutlonsand working its formidable list
of allies within the Administration and on the HilLtobloclcthe efforts of.' poor and
landless tribes seeking new lands, even when doing so :js harmful to the interests of
Ietan's own.clients, But many questions remain to be.answered, even from Pipestem1s
own statements. Who at Interior is involved? Who.'at the White House? Who on the
Senate staff?' To what degree? What documents has Ietan submitted to Interior
proposing leqtslatlve language? What legislative language has gone from Interior to
Feinstein? How can Interior be involved without betraying promises to run an open and
honest administration, dedicated to consulting with tribes-hoW can Interior be crafting
legislative language on this topic when Interior in the middle of trlbalconsultatlon over
what its poiicy should be with respect to gaming on new lands? Given the evidence
already coming .to lightr the answers to these questions will truly illuminate what is
taking place in the development of federal Indian policy And perhaps then, the cyde of
unholy lobbying influence supporting the "Have's" overthe "Have-Not's" can be broken .

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TEAMIETAN

Ietan Partners

Larry Rosenthal: Served for 11 years as staff to Michigan Congressman Dale Kifdee/
who he assisted in forming the bi-partisan Congressional Native American Caucus.
Served as Director of the Caucus before becoming Chief of Staff of the National Indian
Gaming Commission. Left NIGC to become a lobbyist with Wheat. & .Associates.
Represented the Bay Mills Indian .Community in seeking to acquire land for gaming
while with Wheat & Associates. Left Wheat & Associates to form Ietan Consulting and
make more money from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe to lobby the same issue
against Bay Mills. Has represented Saginaw Chippewa against his former client ever
since, except for a brief hiatus when Saginaw Chippewa retained Jack Abramoff for the
same purpose.

Wilson Pipestem: Member of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and an Osage Mineral Estate
headright holder, Worked as a lawyer in private practice representing Indian tribes
before joining Wheat & Associates as a lobbyist. Left toforrn.Ietan Consulting, where
he has represented other tribes against Bay MillS, which' had been a client of his
previous firm while he was there. .

Holly Cook Matarro: Member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa. served-as Director of
Native American Affairs of the Democratic· National Committee and worked on Indian
issues in the Clinton White House. Later worked as i!J' lobbyist for tribes at Holland &
. Knight, before joining Ietan Consulting. Husband is Chairman of Ietan client Pechanga
Band of Mission Indians, which has a long history of opposlnq land acquisitions and
gaming compacts for otherlndian tribes. .

Ietan Allies

. Kim Teehee: A member of the Cherokee Nation, serves as Senior Policy Advisor in the
Obama White House. A former room-mate of Larry Rosenthal'st.she served-as a deputy
at the ONC to Jetan partner Holly Cook Macarro. ,:\tYhenRosenthal'left ~he 9ffice of
Congress~n,Dale Kildee to work at the NlGC1 she.was hts;hand-pickeq successor as
Kildee's Na.tiv~: Affairs advisor and Director tne .Congressional N~~iv~ American or
caucus. ':.:) .....
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Chris Mansour: Worked in concressmen D~le Kildee;s office with Lerrv Rosenthal and
then Kim Teehee, and eventually became K1ldee's·Chief of Staff. Now serves as
Director of Congressional Affairs for the Department ,.of Interior, where he is a key ally
of his friends at Ietan.

Chastity secorne: An Indian law specialist who serves under Chris Mansour in the
Department' of Interior's Congressional Affairs Office. Was an Ietan lobbyist, .before
becoming an attorney and lobbyist at Ietan ally Akin Gump. Registered inthe past as a

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lobbyist for both Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and. the Gila River Indian Community,
each. of which are wealthy tribes that have opposed efforts by other tribes to open
gaming facilities. Lobbying activity for Gila RIver directly preceded her hirfng by
Interior, despite an Obama Administration promise not to hire lobbyists:

Allison Binney: A member of the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians, serves as
Democratic Counsel of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Previously, she was an
attorney at the Akin Gump law firm, which has; a .strategic alliance·· with Ietan
Consulting .. tetarrs offices are housed within the Indlan law practice at Akin Gump.

John Harte; Democratic Policy Director .at the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Harte previously was employed by Ietan Consulting, and at one time also by Ietan client
.. the National Indian Gaming Commission. Harte just recently left the Senate to join·
former Ietan lobbyist Debbie Ho at a new firm! Mapetsr.

Former Team Member

Aurene Martin: A member of the Bad River Band of Chippewa Indians, worked·for the
Oneida Nation of Wisconsin before serving in numerous capadties at Interior for the
Bush Administration, rising· to be the Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. At
Interior, was directly involved as a federal employee in Indian lands issues concerning
the Bay Mills Indian Community. Despite telling a Native law student audience that she
hated to see tribes opposing other tribes, immediately began representing Saginaw
. Chippewa in opposing Bay 1\1i1lswhen she left Interior.·'Asan Ietan-lobbytst, she
continued these efforts and also helped Ietan lobby'forrestrtcnons err-the . ability of
.tribes to obtaIn new lands for gaming through the so-called "2-part determlnatlon"
process; when: those -restrlctions were put in place by her colleagues attntertor, ~\2.;.
. part" applications by her former employer the Oneida Nation and .her own tribe, Bad
River Chippewa, were rejected.·· .

Debbie Ho: Formerly an ASSistant Counsel at the White House involved in the
appointments process, Ho joined Ietan as a lobbyist, where she was able to provide the
. Ietan team with further insights into the federal hiring process for political appointees.
She recently departed Ietan to form her own firm, taking with her another Ietan
assooate, before John Harte joined her firm from the Senate Committee on Indian
Affairs. '.

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. DEPARTMENT OF THE
INTERIOR . .
. r""'""-------,
WHITE HOUSE
. "~ . SENATE COIl' MIT1"EE ON
iNDIAN AFFAlI~S
Chris Mansour - Director, Kim Taehee,
Congressional Affalrs Senior Policy Advisor Amson f~lnney
Chastily Bedonle, Office of (worked for ~\kln GUf!1p)
Congressional Affairs John rlarte
(worked for letan and Akin (worked for letan)
Gump)

letan client federal


total:

2008: $2,523,131
2010: $1,958,600 IETAN CONSULTING

Akin Gump client Wilson Pipestem


ONe
federal total: Larry Rosenthal
Holly Cook Macarro
2008: $703,226 (wife of Pechanga alliance
2010: $435,229 chairman)

Combined Total:

:)2008:· $3,226,357
. 2010: $2.393,829

Rumsey Mashanlucket Eastern Band San Manuel Band Saginaw. Pechanga Band Gila River Agua Caliente
RancherlefYocha Pequot of Cherokee . of-Mission IndIans Chippewa Tribe of Mission Indians Indian Community Band of Cahuilla
;
i . Dehe Win!un 2006: $490.455 2008: $301.900 2008: $570.272 200B: $431,600 zooe $599,754 2008; $274,950 Indians
i .. Nation 2010: $98,300 2010: $297,500 ·2010: $456,250 2010: $363;000 2010: $370,800 2010: S204,:WO 2008: $344,576
2006: $129,150 2010: 23'1,029
2010: $372,750

Dollar figures represent federal poutlcal conmounons, as of August 2010 (meaning 2010 contributions are likely much
higher). Does not include over $148~ in state political expenditures during the 2008 election.