NY State Thruway - 1997..
August 19, 2010 - An upstate Indian tribe is calling on Mayor Bloomberg to resign over "inflammatory and racially insensitive" remarks he made last week. Short of quitting, the Seneca Indian Nation tribal council passed a resolution urging Bloomberg to issue a written apology.
Bloomberg infuriated Senecas by suggesting Gov. Paterson collect disputed cigarette taxes while wearing a cowboy hat and wielding a shotgun.
In 1997, the Senecas burned tires and shut down part of the Thruway following an attempt that year by the state to tax Indian suppliers. (Tax Protest Turns Into A Scuffle As Indians Briefly Block Thruway from Tribune News Services, Chicago Tribune, 4/21/1997)The tribe is asking a federal judge to block Paterson's push to collect state cigarette taxes sold on reservations next month.
Bloomberg: "And you know, the Indians said, 'We're going to shut down the roads if you don't let us continue to sell cigarettes without taxes.'
"Now, why every governor -- I've said this to David Paterson, I said, you know, 'Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun. If there's ever a great video, it's you standing in the middle of the New York State Thurway saying, you know, 'Read my lips -- the law of the land is this, and we're going to enforce the law.' But the, just think about it."
Mayor Bloomberg To Gov. Paterson: Become The Sheriff Of Cigarette Street, The Daily Politics by Celeste Katz, NY Daily News, 8/13/2010.
Under recent thearts from NYS Gov. Patterson to collect taxes on cigarettes sold on their reservation, Seneca Nation President, Barry Snyder Sr. said: 'a system for the nation to collect tolls on the NYS Thruway' [interstate 90], is being designed. His
plan includes collecting $2 per car on the 300 acres of Seneca Land inside the Reservation. [this part of RT.90 goes through the reservation] Mr. Snyder is allocating $1 million for 'emergency response personal' to protect his people from a state sponsored attack. (Senaca Indian Nation: Threatens tolls on NYS Thruway, Prison Planet Forum, 1/14/2009)
VIDEO - Will Native American tribe block New York Thruway again?, The Buffalo Post, 6/23/2010..
Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser indicated there is no reason to apologize. "The Supreme Court has ruled several times that tribes have no right to sell cigarettes in violation of state tax laws," he said.
Reference: Seneca Indian Nation calls for Mayor Bloomberg to resign over 'racially insensitive' remarks by Kenneth Lovett, DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF, NY Daily News, 8/18/2010.