Cowlitz Country News - Archives - Politics
  On-line since 2011 - Updated January 2, 2014
   About Us  |  | Unofficial Cowlitz Calendar  | 

Welcome to Cowlitz Country
Pacific Northwest Tribes
  Burns Paiute
  Coeur D'Alene
  Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw
  Cow Creek Umpqua
  Grand Ronde
  Jamestown S'Klallam
  Lower Elwha Klallam
  Nez Perce
  Port Gamble S'Klallam
  Sauk Suiattle
  Shoalwater Bay
  Sqauxin Island
  Upper Skagit
  Warm Springs

January 2014

Politics: Feinstein Insists Carcieri Fix Address Her Opposition to Tribal Gaming - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) continued her battle against Indian gaming in testimony before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs recently, expanding her opposition to off reservation gaming to include federal recognition of additional California tribes, new casinos in other states, the Interior Department’s statutory authority over gaming and land issues and more.

August 2013

Politics: The invisible urban Indian - In politics, urban Indians are invisible. The 19th century removal from indigenous lands to reservations was followed by a 20th century diaspora to cities. Everett, Tacoma, Seattle, Spokane. Today, 71 percent of Indians live in urban areas with nearly 80 percent separated from reservation life.

Politics: Local governments spend big to lobby Legislature - Washington’s cities, counties, ports, Indian tribes, public utility districts and school districts spent about $2.5 million lobbying state lawmakers during the regular legislative session — more than any other group. Indian tribes focus on sovereignty issues and anything related to gambling.

June 2013

Politics: Sequester Guts Indian Education, Part 1 - The sequester, a series of automatic reductions in the rate of increase of federal spending totaling $85 billion in 2013 and $109 billion for each year from 2014 to 2021 for a total over $1.2 trillion, was authorized by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Note: Political posturing imposes actual cuts in places where they will hurt, but the overall budget is not being reduced at all; to the contrary, it will increase by an appalling amount. Democrat or Republican doesn't matter, both parties are corrupt and are using our pain for their gain.

Politics: Sequester Guts Indian Education, Part 2 - Political posturing to cut of $400,000, or 5.9 percent, of Puyallup Tribal School System's budget.

March 2013

Politics: Bill to correct Carcieri ruling introduced - Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation on Feb. 13 that would restore the authority of the Department of Interior to put land into trust for all Indian tribes, regardless of when they were federally recognized by the United States.

Politics: Law would let tribes prosecute non-Indians’ domestic violence - Under a bill the U.S. Senate passed this week, tribes could prosecute non-Indians for domestic-violence cases in some instances. The bill next goes to the House, where it is expected to meet opposition.

Politics: Tribes regain ability to prosecute criminals for some crimes on their reservations - Most of the Supreme Court decision stands — tribes still can’t prosecute non-Indians for most crimes. But in cases of domestic violence, it’s a new day. Under the legislation, tribes may elect to prosecute non-Indians for crimes of domestic violence, date violence and violation of protection orders, instead of turning them over to local, state or federal officials — which still retain jurisdiction, for tribes that don’t want to prosecute.

Politics: Violence Against Women Act provision would close a gap in justice - Another attempt to resolve the racist law enforcement issue that tramples tribal sovereignty by tying it to a sexist spending bill.

Politics: Protect Native American women, pass the Violence Against Women Act - More about using a sexist spending bill to resolve issues of racism

January 2013

Politics: Cantwell to Chair Senate Committee on Indian Affairs - U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is scheduled to become the first woman chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs when the new session of Congress begins in January. The Senate Democratic Steering Committee and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put out the official word on December 12, also indicating that Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and newly-elected Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., would be joining the committee. The plans are subject to full Democratic caucus and full Senate approval.

November 2012

Politics: Portland, Oregon Indians Seek to Maintain Role in City Government - Education, housing, the Oregon casino bill and environmental concerns, as well as employment, top the list of issues that the Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable (PILR)—a body of 24 Native organizations represented by top-level leadership located in Portland—is looking for action on from candidates for mayor and city council.

October 2012

Politics: Anti-American Indian Politics, Washington State Style - Here in Washington State, our own brand of anti-Indian politics can be seen in the race for Governor—not the vulgar, highly visible kind like back east, but the variety that allies state political authority with groups and individuals that attack the sovereignty and treaty rights of Indian Nations. Our state’s version has been practiced by Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna. In a report titled Trampling on the Treaties: Rob McKenna and the Politics of Anti-Indianism, we document Mr. McKenna’s willingness to ally with anti-Indian leaders and promote policies at odds with tribal rights.

Politics: Vote for Coal? Northwest Tribes Raise New Concerns - Romney believes that government regulation is slowing down coal production – and he’s hoping to pick up coal mining votes in Ohio and Virginia. (The mining industry is sponsoring a “Mine the Vote” campaign to turn out “prosperity” voters. “Help fuel America’s comeback with American coal.” Because coal is shipped in open containers it’s dust will be present throughout the region. Even more so if there is an accident of any kind. As Swinomish Chairman Brian Cladoosby put it: “If a coal train or tanker were to spill on the route or in the river at Port Morrow in Oregon, the water ways will carry the pollution throughout the Northwest, and coal dust will be carried through the mountains in the air we all breath.” Note: Support for coal is about jobs, not energy. Coal can be shipped; natural gas cannot, unless it's compressed, first, into liquid. The Chinese want coal, now, but along with many other nations, China is sliding into recession, which will reduce demand for energy. Moreover, it appears we are on the cusp of a new age of clean energy with cold fusion, which will make all other forms of energy production obsolete, including coal.

Politics: Indian tribes, with more clout and money, find ally in Obama - At a July fundraiser in the elegant Mandarin Oriental hotel near Washington's Tidal Basin, President Barack Obama met with some of his most steadfast supporters -- two dozen political and business leaders eager to write sizable checks to help keep him in the White House. All were leaders of Native American tribes, who pressed their issues with a president they say is attuned to their needs.

Politics: Elections 2012: Post-Boldt Politics in Washington State; Seeking Native Support - Native American issues have come a long way in Washington state. In the 1970s it represented one of the most divided states on tribal issues – sometimes called “the Mississippi of Indian Country” – after the fishing rights’ case U.S. v. Washington (the Boldt decision). But politics has changed for the better. Tribes and tribal interests have a seat at the table on issues ranging from higher education to the management of natural resources. Politicians from both parties court Native American support, whether votes or money.

September 2012

Politics: Native Representation at DNC is Washington State’s Largest Ever - Eight enrolled Native Americans from Washington state were in Charlotte, North Carolina as delegates to the Democratic National Convention, September 4-6. According to Lona Wilbur, Swinomish, this was the largest-ever Native representation for Washington state at a national convention. The Washington State Democratic Party is the only state party organization to require elected delegates to have an enrollment number to claim Native American status, Wilbur said.

Politics: American Indian Delegates Swarm Democratic National Convention - American Indians, making their presence known as a force to be reckoned with in American politics—especially in an age of close swing-vote elections where every vote matters—are all over the Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled to conclude tonight with the acceptance of the party’s nomination by President Barack Obama. In total, there are 161 Native Democratic delegates attending the convention, according to Holly Cook Macarro, a tribal lobbyist with Ietan Consulting who has sat in on Indian meet-and-greets with Jill Biden and top administration officials taking place throughout the three-day event in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Politics: McKenna draws unprecedented' support from Indian tribes - Rob McKenna is siding with Indian tribes and against some fellow Republicans in the Legislature who look to the nontribal gambling industry as a potential jackpot for the state budget. On several fronts, in fact, McKenna has become an unlikely ally of the tribal governments that have helped maintain Democratic Party control in Olympia. As attorney general, he has visited every reservation in the state — an outreach effort that even a tribal leader who supports rival Jay Inslee calls "unprecedented."

August 2012

Politics: by Kelly J. Hinton: Impacts of the Obamacare decision (and tribal gaming) on the governor's race - As regular readers know, I'm a Hadian supporter. But that's doesn't keep me from speculation on the impacts of the race between the increasingly muddled front runners, Jay Inslee and RINO Rob McKenna. As I've stated previously, I oppose McKenna and will not be voting for him because he and Inslee are exactly the same on the issues that matter to me. This lack of separation and McKenna's efforts to outdemocrat the democrats, his bizarre instance that what a real governor, in this case, Gov. Scott Walker was doing in Wisconsin amounted to "terrorism," his kowtowing to the Tribes as they rape our economy with their untaxed casinos; his support of the Cowlitz megacasino? Well, that just did it for me. Comment: Tell us how you really feel, Kelly!

Politics: Obama Collects Another $1.5 Million From Tribal Leaders - In a second major campaign fundraiser with tribes this year, President Barack Obama met with a group of tribal donors on July 18, collecting at least $1.5 million. Confirmed to be at the event were Deborah Parker, vice-chair of the Tulalip Tribe; Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation; Todd Hembree, attorney general of the Cherokee Nation; David Bean, a council member of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians; and Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation representative (Indian Country Today Media Network, LLC is owned by the Oneida Indian Nation). Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Suquamish, and other Indian-focused and tribal officials were also in attendance.

June 2012

Politics: Tribes work for record Native American vote - The head of the largest organization representing American Indians and Alaska Natives says federal and state governments should provide voter registration at Indian Health Service facilities. Jefferson Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians, says the health facilities should be designated voter registration sites in the same way state-based public assistance agencies are. He says the facilities are ideal for voter registration because they're in many tribal communities. During his State of Indian Nations address earlier this year, Keel called for American Indians and Alaska Natives to turn out a record number of voters.

Politics: Forgotten Once More? Presidential Candidates Yet to Campaign in Indian Country - In 2012, Native Americans across the land are wondering where on Earth—or in America, at least—the outreach has been from the presidential campaigns. Money will still be paramount, and while the richest tribes have started out making strong contributions to Obama’s campaign, many tribes simply cannot afford to give much. And no tribe—rich or poor—can compete with the super PACs pumping millions into the campaign. Comment: Perhaps the time has come to create an Indian Country super PAC to work both sides of the political aisle.

Politics: Gov debate - Inslee: I have a concern about expansion of tribal gaming that could lead to harm for existing businesses. Each of them needs to be reviewed on the merits. Need to look at land use impacts. McKenna: Does he support revenue sharing with tribes. I do not think it's a good policy.

Politics: The Carcieri Tragedy - The Carcieri tragedy - the amiable business man, serving as a lobbyist for the public - was that he did not use his talents in ways to unleash productive growth across the state. In 2006, Carcieri was active in two campaigns – one for re-election, the other to oppose a Narragansett Indian tribe Casino in West Warwick. ...after campaigning to prevent the Narragansetts Casino, Carcieri authorized a massive expansion of state-run gambling facilities, specifically creating the current mini-casino that is Twin Rivers. Talk about a bait and switch.

May 2012

Politics: House Passes Hearth Act, Senate May Address Soon - On May 16, the House of Representatives, by a vote of 400 to 0, passed HR 205 the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed S 676, their version of the HEARTH Act. When the SCIA passed S 676, it was amended by Chairman Akaka to include a legislative fix to the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The “Carcieri fix” reaffirms the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take lands into trust for all federally recognized Indian tribes, and not only those recognized prior to the enactment of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.

March 2012

Politics: Norm Dicks Retirement a Loss for Indian Appropriations - With U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., announcing his retirement after 18 terms, Indian country is losing a major appropriations advocate in Congress.

Politics: Dicks a go-to guy for federal funding for state - After nearly four decades in the U.S. House, Rep. Norm Dicks has had his share of good days on Capitol Hill...he brokered the Puyallup Land Claims deal, a $162 million package of land, cash and social programs that persuaded the Puyallup Tribe to relinquish its claims to the land under much of downtown Tacoma, the Port of Tacoma, Fife and Puyallup.

February 2012

Politics: Obama spends big for small donations - The Victory Fund also accepted $189,000 from a handful of Indian tribes, including Idaho’s Coeur D’Alene Tribe, Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians, California’s Santa Ynez Band Mission Indians and Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians and Washington state’s Quinault Indian Nation, Snoquaimie Tribe and Tulalip Tribe.

Politics: Flexing Our Muscles at the Polls: Natives Voting Native in 2012 - The year 2012 is a big one for the country. Not only will we be voting to re-elect a President, we will also be voting on key political positions throughout the country that affect and influence a range of Indian issues, including education, health, natural resources, and economic development.

Politics: AIM founder in Spokane: Indians continue to face disrespect - While Americans celebrated news of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs last spring, Clyde Bellecourt was disturbed by one detail of the story: the SEALs’ code name for bin Laden was "Geronimo." "They compared the world’s worst terrorist to one of the greatest chiefs in the world," Bellecourt told a crowd of about 70 people Saturday in Spokane.

January 2012

Politics: Russell Means Endorses Ron Paul
Politics: Washington lawmakers, try these ideas for reforms - Washington state's deficit will not go away forward. The gap between spending and revenues will continue to widen unless the Legislature makes serious cuts and reforms to bend the spending line downward. The Seattle Times editorial board offers some suggestions. Tax the tribes by reopening the state agreements on Indian-operated gambling. Washington is big on other "sin taxes." Why not this?

December 2011

Politics: Inner tribal dispute threatens Sacramento's Thunder Valley Casino - Situations like this serve as object lessons for all tribes. Keeping in mind that the U.S. Supreme Court recently decided that defamation and libel do not apply to the internet, just imagine how intense a tribal fight could be if one of the parties involved cared only about the truth and the welfare of their tribe and was unconcerned by any threats against them, personally. One might expect that would serve as a powerful inducement for everybody else to be sure they were serving the best interests of their tribe.

Politics: Rift among United Auburn tribe members escalates - Documents obtained by The Bee illuminate intense divisions within the tribe, despite apparent net casino profits of $1.15 billion between July 2003 and January 2009.

November 2011

Politics: Slade Gorton: The man who took on Frank Zappa – and Don Rumsfeld

Politics: Dicks, Murray: Protect Olympic rivers and wildlands

Politics: The GOP perspective: A fix for the state budget must start with reform

Politics: Slade Gorton biography out this week

Jack Abramoff: GOP lobbyist's book details corruption in D.C.: "Contributions from parties with an interest in legislation are really nothing but bribes"

Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist [Hardcover]: Jack Abramoff is synonymous with Washington scandal, but his memoir is engrossing, informative, smart, funny and charming. Abramoff on the front pages could not be further from the Jack Abramoff who's ready to tell his honest and compelling story.

Join The Cowlitz Country News Yahoo Forum

Copyright © 2011 Rod Van Mechelen; all rights reserved.

Rod Van Mechelen, Publisher & Editor, Cowlitz Country News

Hosted by: The Zip Connection