Salud Carbajal, 1st District Supervisor

Paul Wellman (file)

Salud Carbajal, 1st District Supervisor

Chumash Call out Carbajal

Tribe Asks Supervisor to Abandon Federal Task Force

Thursday, December 5, 2013
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Although 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal broke precedent in October by voting against the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, his vote ​— ​to send a letter to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) opposing the tribe’s plan to annex its 1,400-acre Camp 4 property ​— ​was more symbolic than anything else. His fellow supervisors had already made clear what their votes would be ​— ​3-1 in favor of sending the letter. Though Carbajal’s decision didn’t change the outcome, it was something to appease his annexation-opposed constituents.

But the Chumash administration saw it as a betrayal. In a November 26 letter addressed to Carbajal ​— ​a draft of which was obtained by The Santa Barbara Independent ​— ​tribal chairman Vincent Armenta asked Carbajal to remove himself from a White House–appointed climate-change task force for which the Chumash wrote a letter of recommendation.

“As the chairman of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, you have been invited to sit on a Climate Change Task Force that includes federally recognized Tribal governments,” Armenta stated. “To the extent that you continue to express the opinion that tribes are not governments worthy of engaging in government-to-government negotiations, we respectfully request that you immediately withdraw from the Climate Change Task Force as you cannot fully support its mandate to support tribal preparedness for and resilience to climate change.”

Accompanying the letter was talk that it would be passed along to members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, a Sacramento-based group that works to get Latinos into elected office, but there is no word of whether it has actually been circulated yet. Armenta and other members of the Chumash administration declined to be interviewed, and State Senator Ricardo Lara ​— ​the caucus’s chair and one of many recipients of several campaign contributions from the Chumash ​— ​did not return multiple requests for comment. Carbajal, who according to county elections records received $5,000 from the Chumash during his 2004 election campaign but nothing since, declined to comment on the letter until he received an official version directly from the tribe.

The Chumash weren’t alone in supporting Carbajal for the task force, a 26-member panel of various political figures and tribal leaders selected to help the Obama administration tackle climate-change issues nationwide. Carbajal ​— ​who was the only county supervisor in the country, and one of only four California politicians, to be appointed ​— ​was also recommended by Representative Lois Capps, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, and State Assemblymember Das Williams, among others.

In the letter, Armenta states that Carbajal earned the spot “based in part on the support of the Tribe” but that his October vote doesn’t align with one of the task force’s aims, which is to support climate-change preparedness for tribes. Armenta goes on to suggest that Carbajal’s vote goes against a federal order to recognize tribes as sovereign and a state order that advocates for dialogue between state governments and tribal governments. But many of those with knowledge of the supervisor’s voting history, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed surprise and confusion over the letter’s apparent nose-thumbing of Carbajal. On the dais and behind closed doors, he has been one of the tribe’s most consistent supporters.

Earlier this year, the Chumash put in motion a proposal to annex Camp 4 into its reservation in the Santa Ynez Valley. During initial board meetings on the issue, Carbajal advocated for the Chumash. At a hearing in August, he (along with Lavagnino) voted to establish a special government-to-government relationship with the tribe, a vote that was shot down by the three other supervisors. He was also the sole supervisor to oppose sending the federal government a different letter challenging the Chumash’s right to form a proposed Tribal Consolidation Area. And in a recent closed-session meeting, multiple off-the-record sources said, Carbajal was pro-Chumash, arguing that the outside legal counsel hired by the county to deal with tribal issues shouldn’t consider litigation as an option and that the amount paid to the law firm should be reduced from $150,000 to $25,000.

Several people questioned the tribe’s motives behind last week’s letter. It is widely believed that Carbajal would consider running for Congress if Rep. Capps declines to run again, but many people acknowledged that although the state’s Latino Caucus has been growing, it holds far more sway statewide than nationally.

Shortly after that October vote, the tribe took its Camp 4 case to Congress, introducing legislation through Northern California Rep. Doug LaMalfa. Where the county stands in its negotiations with the tribe remains fuzzy, but Carbajal said his participation in the task force ​— ​scheduled to start next Tuesday ​— ​is anything but. “I’m looking forward to my first task force meeting at the White House,” he said.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

The weakening evidence of any "climate change" moots this point even further. Money continues to walk and talk in the local political scene. Salud in a tough spot - keep the First District Montecito money happy or the Chumash money happy, for his next political move

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2013 at 9:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess if you bought something or someone for $5,000, you should get your money's worth.

spacey (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2013 at 12:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Carbajal is willing to throw cancer patients under the bus to boost his career, what makes the people of Montecito or the Chumash think they'd get different?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2013 at 12:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So who bought Salud's vote, or was it a trade for a vote on SME?

Another thing, if Salud does run for other office, what other Supervisor is going to hold the index cards telling Janet Wolff how to vote on an agenda item?

Validated (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2013 at 5:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"California Latino Legislative Caucus"="us against them". So much for living together as brothers. Divisive much?...y'all do the math.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2013 at 7:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Poor Salud, he looks as though he is stopped up. Perhaps a more high fiber diet would cure his constipation woes. ):

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2013 at 7:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Time for a BOS change. Vote who ever is an incumbent out. These idiots have long lost the respect to hold public office. Their only reason for being BOS members is to pass personal agenda's and to screw who ever is in their way. TIME FOR CHANGE!!!!!

Priceless (anonymous profile)
December 7, 2013 at 8:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Desperados. Is COLAB their political consultant?

The Casino Chumash would harvest a lot more political hay by simply attacking Carbajal for grandstanding about the freeway widening in Montecito.

The Casino Chumash want to annex land so they are immune to land development restrictions that everyone else must comply with.
As usual, follow the money.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
December 7, 2013 at 10:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Montecito needs to outvote Carpinteria next time and get someone with more savvy and independent chops on the BOS to do far more than merely represent the Democratic Central Committee.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 7, 2013 at 7:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How bout the Central Committe you represent Foo? Bitter at the people of Carp eh?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 7, 2013 at 8:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's not about Carp/Montecito. Carbajal is a grandstanding politician only looking out for his best interest and his next political office. He panders to whom ever will give him money. He has done nothing toward making this county fiscally sustainable for future generations. He will look to leave the BOS as soon as Capps states she is no longer running. Mark my words...

Priceless (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 9:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Since Dale Francisco has already declared for Lois Capps office in 2014, the food fight among the Dems in Waiting will be fun to watch. We have Williams, Hart, and Carbajal just to name the obvious.. Would Hannah-Beth give up her shot to rule the world too? Anyone hear from Pedtro Nava lately?

Who is to say Lois Capps daughter was not groomed for this position, or the prior election seasoning of Schwartz and Alley to carry the Democratic feminist charge. Let alone everyone' favorite Democratic union shill with all the chits now to call in, our own local favorite Daraka Larrimore-Hall.

BTW: a reanalysis of Carp is in order - they vote far more conservatively than SB so Carp/Montecito- do your thing! Just don't pick a suicide mission like Carol Lieff again.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 10:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It really does not matter who the Democratic Party runs for Congress in this district. They will win. The GOP is a poisoned brand.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 11:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

But it DOES matter who the Democratic Party runs and I am offended to have my vote taken for granted. It matters very much. Especially when locally we have so many Dems who are Dems just for an easy election race.
There are certain Dems I'd never vote for. To place party loyalty over what's good for the community or nation is not a trait to be admired, applauded or fostered.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 1:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wouldn't it have been great if the headline read:

Carbajal calls out the Chumash

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 1:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Calls them out for what, being an important asset to the local economy and an excellent neighbor?

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 2:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, we could call out the Chumash for doing an end run to some Northern state Congressperson in order to get special favors in our own backyard that our local Congresswoman is not supporting.

Gambling is not an important asset. And from all reports they are not an excellent neighbor. You might have them mixed up with someone else because the Chumash itself is a non-precise term.

One should rather say SY Band of Indians or Chumash Casino perhaps when discussing this instead of the overly broad term "Chumash" mainly because the vast majority of those tracing Chumash heritage do not participate in the Chumash Casino revenue's largesse.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 2:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They are a big part of the local economy. Once again you are making fact free assertions. As far as the reservation expansion, they are simply exercising their rights as a federally recognized Indian tribe. Fool , you sound like a bitter jealous individual.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 2:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

2 Corinthians 11:19

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 2:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm glad to see you're at least familiar with Scripture dear Foo, now why don't you try actually learning from it.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 3:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry Foo ,my spell checker changed your handle in the post to fool. You are certainly not a fool.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
December 8, 2013 at 5:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'd rather put up with Foo then with Fools.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
December 9, 2013 at 12:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ironic that Foo should quote Corinthians because I've noticed that the Chumash (and by no means are they the only ones who do this) make quite a media circus when they donate money to causes. When one does a good deed, one should not brag about it, and that is covered in the following chapter:

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 9, 2013 at 12:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Since the Chumash are required to spend any additional gambling revenues under their gambling compact on "charitable" endeavors, is this really a "good deed" or merely fulfilling an administrative requirement.

That needs more publicity too. Most Indian tribes running casinos on average only spend 75% of their gambling revenues on themselves. What is the ratio for the Chumash Casino group?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 9, 2013 at 9:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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