Isleta Pueblo Politics

By Christopher L. Abeita

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Free Concert Tickets for Tribal Officials

Community Meeting

Governor Eddie Paul Torres scheduled a Community Meeting for November 15, 2014 to report on the state of Pueblo affairs for 2014. The meeting will be held at the Isleta Resort and Casino.

This will be your chance to ask incumbent Governor Torres and the incumbent Tribal Council questions about their decisions OR their failure to make decisions while in office.

Free Concert Tickets

Now, that Governor Torres and the incumbent Council are seeking re-election, this would be the perfect time for you to ask them to give you a free first class ticket to a concert at our Casino. 

In 2009, the Isleta Tribal Council secretly enacted Council Resolution 2009-001, this Resolution allows Tribal Officials like Governor Eddie Paul Torres and Council Members to give themselves “up to four (4) complimentary tickets to enter into any sporting and similar events staged at the Isleta Casino and Resort.” 

So, for these past two (2) years, how many free concert tickets have these incumbent officials given themselves?  (How many have they given you?)

Shouldn’t they be required to give the Tribe a report to allow us to see exactly how many free tickets they took from the Tribe? 

Shouldn’t Patrick Sanchez, Executive Director of the Isleta Gaming Regulatory Agency, be at the community meeting to give us a report about all the freebies Governor Torres and the Tribal Council have enjoyed these past two (2) years? 

How many free concert tickets has Council Member Juan Rey Askhe Abeita given to you compared to how many he has given to himself?  Who were the lucky few that got his tickets? 

Council member Juan Rey Askhe Abeita proclaims to represent the upcoming younger generation. Yet, he has done absolutely nothing in office to represent the ideas of the “younger generation.”  Instead, he’s done the same thing as the old guard by giving himself free concert tickets, advocating governmental secrecy and violating the Isleta Tribal Constitution. But, hell, maybe you’re willing to forget about that since he thought of you and gave you a free concert ticket to buy your vote and keep your mouth shut. 

Block Plant

In 2011, Governor Eddie Paul Torres made a promotional video about the the Tribe’s “block making facility.”  When he made the video, he was serving as the Lt. Governor for the Pueblo.

According to Torres, at the time he made the video, the plant had been operational for 2 1/2 years, this means that it became operational sometime in 2009.

Now, more than 5 years later, how much money has the Tribe made from the Tribe’s block making facility?  According to Council member Barbara Sanchez, the Tribe has not yet seen a profit.  Indeed, Sanchez believes that the Tribe’s block making facility will follow in same path as the Tribe’s other failing business enterprises.  Sanchez made a comment to that affect this year when Governor Torres went before the Council to request hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct a building that would enclose the block making plant. 

Anyhow, as you can see from the video, the block making facility is open to the air.  Now, 5 years later, Governor Torres wants to enclose the facility because he said that it would allow the plant to stay open throughout the year. 

Yes, the block making facility has created jobs.  But, if the Tribe’s block making facility is not making money, how can it continue to stay in “business” and provide those jobs? 

Oh, that’s right, we’ll just take money from the Casino and give it to the block plant.  This will allow it to stay in business and create the illusion that the block making facility is successful.  Hell, it’s worked for the Tribe’s cattle enterprise at the Comanche Ranch, which has been operational for the last 17 years while losing approximately $200,000 each year for a total of 3.5 million dollars.

If it was vital that this block making facility be enclosed, why didn’t that occur when the Tribe entered into the block making business?   How many more years will it take for this enterprise to make money?  17 years?  25 years? 30 years?  What is Governor Torres planning for this so called business?  Where is the plan? Does it even exist? Where are the numbers for this business?  Does the Treasurer know? Does the Council know? 

Term Limits

As you know, voters approved a constitutional amendment that requires tribal officials to sit out one full term after serving two consecutive terms in office. This amendment became effective on October 8, 2014.

But, interestingly, we have 9 incumbent Tribal Council members seeking re-election. From those officials, 4 candidates have already served two consecutive terms in office, if not more. Those officials include: Barbara Sanchez, Joseph “Cougar” Lucero, Fernando Abeita and Larry Jaramillo. 

So, why is the incumbent Council disregarding the Constitution, which establishes Term Limits?   Many Tribal Members would like to know. Don’t Tribal Members deserve an answer? 

Where do all the new candidates that are seeking public office stand on this issue?  Shouldn’t you know before giving them your vote?  When these candidates go to your house asking for your vote, ask them where they stand on the issue concerning Term Limits?  And, then ask them what are they doing about the current incumbents that are seeking re-election despite having already served two or more consecutive terms.

They want to be leaders of our Tribe.  So, they should demonstrate leadership ability by doing something about problems in our community or with our government.  Ask these candidates how they intend to fix these problems.  Don’t just give them your vote because you are related to them.  Don’t give them your vote because they gave you a free concert ticket. You and your family deserve more than a measly concert ticket. 

We deserve a better government.  We deserve a government where we don’t have to be terrified of the police.  We deserve a government where the EMS department will respond to our calls for emergency help immediately. We deserve leaders that will come up with better ideas than a $2,000 prize for writing a poem.

Maybe Governor Torres and the current Council will be able to answer some of these questions about the “Pueblo’s State of Affairs” at the upcoming community meeting on November 15th.  Get your questions ready.  



By Christopher Abeita


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