Tribe misspent money to fight recall with robo-calls

March 24, 2014

To the Editor,

According to a story in The Robesonian, Tribal Chairman Paul Brooks said “that a robo-call to tribal members questioning The Lumbee Revolution’s accusations and status as a nonprofit organization cost $200 and was paid for with tribal funds.”

The calls were sent out twice, Brooks said, at a cost of $100 each.

Brooks has admitted, in print at least, that he and his administration are responsible for the robo-calls that went out to Lumbees who are eligible to vote in a potential recall election. How can he justify using tribal funds to combat tribal members exercising their constitutional rights? Assuming that they made at least 2,000 calls to members, the fine could be up to $32 million. In that Brooks is quoted as saying that the calls were made twice, that could be a fine of up to $64 million.

Where would the money come from to pay such a fine if one were to be levied?

It is also my understanding that that recording of the calls did not meet FCC requirements to state name, and/or organization, as well as a telephone number other than the toll free number making such a call or calls. This is direct evidence of noncompliance with FCC requirements, which require the following: “The call must include a disclaimer clearly identifying the caller’s name, contact information, and the nature of the call.”

These calls did neither. As a result I publically call upon Paul Brooks to resign his position as Lumbee Tribal chairman and to stop using funds meant for services to the Lumbee people for personal political purposes.

Samuel Kerns