Parent Category: News

An internal memo code-named “Gallant Piper,” obtained by Alt, shows that the governor and his administration understood perfectly well that the Mohawk Warrior Society was a dangerous faction of the Six Nations. Of course, the governor, then serving his first term, had chosen to throw caution to the wind. He launched the kind of assault on Native American sovereignty more suited to the nineteenth century than to the twentieth.

In attempting to collect New York State taxes on Native American soil at gunpoint, the governor, wittingly or unwittingly, drove Native American popular support into the arms of the very same militant group about which his advisers were warning him.

The memo stated, “DSP (Department of State Police) is expected to be met with resistance from the pro-gambling warrior society dissidents who have demonstrated violent militant resistance to occupation or intervention by DSP in the past.”

If the Department of State Police issued such a statement about the Warriors, why is it that now, in the Post 9-11 world of homeland security, that that the governor has welcomed this alleged “violent” and “militant” group is welcomed with open arms? Could it be that political cronyism is more important than threats to public safety?

Later in 1998, the INS launched “Over the Rainbow II,” in which several people associated with the Mohawk Warriors were arrested and charged with transporting large numbers of illegal immigrants into the United States. Both Pataki and Tom Ridge, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, ignored this even greater threat to so-called “homeland security” was also ignored, as we shall see. Clearly, the governor knew who he was dealing with, when he negotiated the Seneca Gaming Compact. And, if it turns out that just one illegal alien slipped across the border with the help of the governor’s new friends and, at some point, commits the next 9-11, don’t think of the victims, think of the short term political benefit that George Pataki, Joel Giambra, and their local GOP Rat Pack are enjoying now.

Concerns Over Organized Crime Continue To Haunt Delaware North, Seneca Casino In an article published on July 12 of this year, The Washington Post revealed that Delaware North’s past links to organized crime appear to have scuttled the company’s plans to take over Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland.

According to the article, “Court papers filed last week by Delaware North shed new light on the deal’s collapse. The documents show that Centaur (ed. note: the company Delaware North was negotiating with) had repeatedly expressed misgivings about Delaware North’s 1972 conviction and decided to ditch its partner after a series of private meetings and conference calls failed to assuage its concerns.”

Delaware North, then called Emprise, was convicted of conspiring to conceal mob interests in the Frontier casino. Perhaps, more troubling than the conviction was the assassination by car bomb of journalist Don Bolles in 1976. He just happened to be doing an investigative report on Emprise at the time of his death. No evidence was ever found linking the company to Bolles’ death. The intense media scrutiny that followed, particularly a story by Sixty Minutes, did much to raise doubts about the company, and was perhaps more damaging than the criminal conviction.

Since that time, the company has changed its name, successfully countered its negative image, and has gotten back into the gaming industry in a fairly substantial way. Delaware North subsidiary Sportsystem is the largest operator of pari-mutuel betting facilities in the United States. Forbes magazine has it listed as the 153rd largest privately held company.

Naturally, the company can point out that, since these suspicious incidents took place decades ago, they can no longer be used as a measure of how the renamed company does business at the present time.

Or can they? The Buffalo News has not raised concerns about Delaware North’s past ties to organized crime, nor was the Washington Post story picked up here. Recent stories have centered around the company’s meetings with the Seneca Nation of Indians Tribal Council to build a casino in Cheektowaga. While the charges against Delaware North are old, concerns about the Seneca leadership’s association with criminal activity are relatively fresh.

The active involvement of convicted felon Arthur “Sugar” Montour on the Tribal Council and his association with the paramilitary Mohawk Warrior Society has raised plenty of eyebrows with casino opponents here and on both Seneca Reservations, but again, The Buffalo News has not mentioned that.

Delaware North spokesperson Wendy Watkins told Alt, “We have no agreement at all with the Seneca Nation, and I can tell you that we are not in negotiations with them,” downplaying the company’s involvement with the Tribal Council. “We’re not aware of any of those claims or charges. It’s certainly something that has never come up in any of our meetings,” Watkins said

When asked whether the company has a responsibility to look into some of the concerns surrounding the Warriors, Watkins said, “At the point where we’re actually going to have an agreement, we’d be doing due diligence.”

The company did, in fact, reach an agreement with the Senecas, according to The Buffalo News as far back as 1999, only to have the Senecas inexplicably pull out. Watkins, in commenting on Delaware North’s corporate policy, however, did go on to state categorically, “We never want to be involved with anything that is not above board, ever again.” Attention Tom Ridge: The Real “Shadow Enemy” Is Organized Crime!!!

On July 21, Tom Ridge gave a speech at the Chautauqua Institution, where he claimed, “Terrorism is a shadow enemy, and terrorist are shadow soldiers.” Unfortunately, terror has long been a tool of organized crime, and it can serve opposing political and economic interests with equal effect. In summary, Ridge has said that we need to be afraid of an unknown enemy that we can’t see. If we employ reason in place of fear, we can see that the most serious shadow enemy that this region now faces is organized crime, as represented by groups that have employed terror tactics in the past, such as the Mohawk Warriors. Sadly, our country’s leader against this threat, Tom Ridge, was governor of Pennsylvania, when that state also opened negotiations with members of the Warriors for a Native American casino. While those negotiations broke off, they have now reportedly been renewed with the influential Liggett family pushing its political weight in Harrisburg to strike a deal.

The lukewarm response that Ridge received at Chautauqua appears to have been justified. Until corruption, starting with the Enron crowd at the top and extending down to Casino Buffalo at the bottom, is dealt with in a serious manner, the “shadows” in this community and this country will only get longer. Until that time, it appears that the Department of Homeland Security is little more than yet another vast political patronage empire.

By John McMahon

Pataki Knew About Casino Crime Links In ‘95

A document obtained by Alt reveals that Gov. George Pataki knew that the Mohawk Warrior Society was involved in criminal activities as far back as 1995, seven years before the governor worked out the Seneca Gaming Compact with members of the same group.