Michele Derry
Posted: 04/22/2012 07:04:10 AM PDT

I have stood by long enough while my husband is misrepresented by James Ramos and his gambling special interests. Enough is enough.

How can James Ramos, as a tribal chairman of a sovereign nation who receives over $200,000 a month as a tribal member through gambling profits, represent the interests of the average citizen of San Bernardino County?

Mr. Ramos doesn’t have to pay state taxes on his San Manuel tribal income. He doesn’t have to pay property taxes on his mansion.

How can he speak for us when he doesn’t have to follow the same laws or pay the same taxes that we do?

As Mr. Ramos uses his gambling casino wealth and power to try and buy this election, I have to wonder, do people really think he will represent them?

I bought my house across from the casino just before the expansion project was unveiled, and I know first-hand how the tribe treats the average citizen. I will never forget how the tribe’s consultant said on record, at the public hearing in front of the media, that a sound wall would be built on Lynwood. He then sat down next to me and described in detail what the sound wall would look like. I later found that no such wall was proposed. And it was never built.

I didn’t know Neil at that time. I met him after I became active in fighting the casino impacts. Neil was the only one who had the courage to stand up to these big casino interests. Everyone else hid and refused to listen to residents’ concerns – the mayor, then-county Supervisor Hansberger, and the various state and federal officials I contacted.

To read entire column, click here.