indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Charles Trimble: A political kiss of death from Lakota columnist

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: 2012, charles trimble, elections, kristi noem, ryan wilson, tim giago
     

I’ve followed with interest the editorial confrontation between columnist Tim Giago and Lakota educator and scholar Ryan Wilson over whether it was wise or good for Giago to endorse the candidacy of Kristi Noem, the incumbent Republican candidate for South Dakota’s sole seat in the House of Representatives.

The stated reason for Giago’s endorsement of Noem is because of the attitudes of liberals versus conservatives over such issues of the federal role in economic development – particularly the propensity of liberals to fund non-profit organizations on reservations rather than providing federal funds to commercial banks which would be earmarked to lend for-profit Indian businesses on and off the reservations. He establishes his case for Noem by relating a telephone argument he had with her Democratic opponent, Matt Varilek, who was an aide to Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) at the time.

Wilson makes a strong case based on Noem’s record in her freshman years in Congress, and he gives case-by-case examples of her voting record on support for budget cuts that would devastate Indian Country in health, education, and social issues such as the VAWA. He also points out the threat of her adherence to Tea Party principles, or the Tea Party’s lack thereof as they apply to budgets and states rights.

Wilson is right in asserting that Giago should do more analysis of Noem’s record on issues that impact tribes and Indian people before bestowing on her a “metaphoric war bonnet,” as he put it.

It is Giago’s right to endorse whomever he pleases, and many columnists do just that. Most newspapers endorse candidates in their editorial pages, and again, that’s their right. So Giago is not completely out of line in endorsing Kristi Noem.

But Giago is looked upon by many in the white communities as the spokesman for Indian Country – the voice of the Indian people. It’s an image he cultivates, intentionally or not, in his columns. To give Noem his endorsement may look to many people that she is held in high esteem by Indian people generally. Which isn’t necessarily the case, or most likely, isn’t the case at all.

A few years ago, Ryan Wilson wouldn’t need to have been concerned; for in those days it used to be said that Giago’s endorsement was a kiss of death to the candidates on whom he conferred his blessing. Those unfortunate pols have included the likes of the late James Abdnor in his bid for reelection to the Senate, Bruce Babbitt in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Michael Dukakis in his run for the Presidency. In 2008, Giago endorsed John McCain for President because McCain is a Navy veteran, as is Giago.

Giago’s endorsement, it was noted, seemed to go to candidates who placed the largest ads in his Lakota Times, which caused some to speculate that it was some devious trickster in the Bush-Quayle camp who placed the blaring half-page ad for Dukakis in the Times to entice Giago’s baneful buss on the unwary Bostonian.

And tribal pols weren’t immune to the fatal kiss. To get the Times endorsement for his comeback bid for the Oglala Sioux Tribal presidency, Richard Wilson promised to designate the Lakota Times as the tribe’s official newspaper. He was soundly defeated despite – or, more likely, because of, Giago’s glowing endorsement.

Then came the painful political demise of yet another of Giago’s heroes – Navajo Chairman, Peter MacDonald. In one of his columns Giago said of MacDonald, “I for one believe that history will show that Peter MacDonald has proven to be one of the greatest tribal leaders of all time, bar none.” No mention was made by Giago about the news reports of the MacDonald scandal, nor of the televised spectacle on C-Span of MacDonald’s attorney son, Rocky, testifying under immunity before the Senate Investigating Committee about the huge payoffs made to his father by cohorts who enriched themselves ripping off the poverty-ridden tribe for millions of dollars.

Congresswoman Noem appears to be a shoe-in in the blood-red Republican stronghold of South Dakota, so Giago might be looking to break the spell by endorsing a successful candidate for a change.

Nevertheless it is important for Indian columnists to know the facts before endorsing political candidates, especially their politics and voting record. In these times of Tea Party fanaticism especially, most of the Tea Party’s candidates are pledged to cut budgets and not raise taxes. Thus they have sold their options and their freedom in office to secure the support of fanatics. They are owned by people who likely don’t have any great respect for the tribes, their sovereignty or their trust relationship with the United States.

Kristi Noem is a poster child – better yet, a centerfold – of the Tea Party.

Charles "Chuck" Trimble, was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. He was principal founder of the American Indian Press Association in 1970, and served as Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians from 1972-1978. He is retired and lives in Omaha, NE. He can be contacted at cchuktrim@aol.com and his website is www.iktomisweb.com.


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Dakota Access resumes push to complete final portion of pipeline (12/6)
Native Sun News Today: Lone Indian Republican wins in Montana (12/6)
Lakota Country Times: New rule curbs waste of tribal resources (12/6)
Clara Caufield: Indian Country in good hands with young leaders (12/6)
Non-Indian gaming firm fighting Wilton Rancheria casino project (12/6)
Chukchansi Tribe casino dispute leads to lawsuits in federal court (12/6)
Indian Country cheers historic decision on Dakota Access Pipeline (12/5)
Tribes and Dakota Access headed back to court for hearing in D.C. (12/5)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp again parts with Indian Country on #NoDAPL (12/5)
Dave Archambault: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe thanks many allies (12/5)
Mark Trahant: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to defy history (12/5)
Democracy Now: Thousands of veterans deploy to Standing Rock (12/5)
Dana Lone Hill: Lakota prophecy warns of our water turning black (12/5)
James Giago Davies: Finding the real enemy in the #NoDAPL fight (12/5)
Senate committee ready for hearing on Cobell buy-back program (12/5)
Bureau of Indian Affairs extends comment period on probate rule (12/5)
Native American Farming and Ranching panel gets new members (12/5)
Class III gaming compacts for five tribes in California take effect (12/5)
Lakota Country Times: 'Tanka Bar' company recognized as leader (12/5)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne leaders inaugurated (12/5)
Harlan McKosato: Don't believe everything you read on Facebook (12/5)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Why election was dangerous for Indian people (12/5)
Indian Republicans associated with Trump seek trust land changes (12/5)
Quinault Nation prepares for journey to Standing Rock encampment (12/2)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Iroquois prophecies warn of grave dangers (12/2)
Brandon Ecoffey: Media gets it wrong on Dakota Access frontlines (12/2)
Bronson Koenig: What I found during my journey to Standing Rock (12/2)
Timothy Egan: Fake cowboys cheered while the real Indians suffer (12/2)
Lakota Country Times: Laced marijuana finds its way to Pine Ridge (12/2)
Native Sun News Today: Owner of Wounded Knee site lowers price (12/2)
David Ganje: An opportunity for tribes to clean up their homelands (12/2)
Mary Annette Pember: Tribal member arrested for string of arsons (12/2)
Tiffany Midge: The women are here and we have a message for you (12/2)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe calls for safety as veterans head to camp (12/1)
North Dakota sheriff scrubs Facebook of incriminating information (12/1)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp considers role in Donald Trump administration (12/1)
Daniel Brown: Ho-Chunk Nation celebrates a new day in Wisconsin (12/1)
Lakota Country Times: #NoDAPL kitchen in need of more supplies (12/1)
Native Sun News Today: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe summons allies (12/1)
Vi Waln: Sacred fire burns at Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota (12/1)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Veterans at Standing Rock for the good fight (12/1)
Native Sun News Today: Duane Big Crow relishes role in coaching (12/1)
Clara Caufield: Community at Northern Cheyenne stays connected (12/1)
Steven Newcomb: A message to the Donald Trump administration (12/1)
Alaska Native designer brings subsistence fashion to new audience (12/1)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.