It looks like Mayor Bloomberg is standing by his cowboys and Indians statement, despite the hot water it's gotten him into with the Seneca Indian Nation. Now, multiple tribes are planning a rally on Monday to "demand an apology and voice our position on this issue." Brian Patterson, president of the United South and Eastern Tribes, wrote to Bloomberg, "Your comment was a throwback to an earlier time when matters of rights were settled at a point of a gun," and an Oneida leader wrote that his comments were equivalent to encouraging politicians to "wear a red armband and hold a shotgun" to confront Jewish people.
Bloomberg's original remarks were made as a call to Governor Paterson to implement the new cigarette tax on packs sold at Indian reservations, something the Seneca Indian Nation is seeking a federal order to stop. Taxation and Finance Department spokesman Brad Maione said the department would move forward with plans to implement the tax starting September 1st, but the Seneca nation is seeking a temporary restraining order to keep the state from collecting the $4.35 per pack sales tax. Seneca President Barry Snyder said, "Unfortunately, the nation now finds itself in the position of needing emergency relief from the federal courts to keep the state from implementing this illegal tax scheme." The state estimates the tax would generate about $200 million a year.