Column: Rep. Cramer stumbles over tribal provisions of VAWA

With controversial comments about tribal jurisdiction provisions in S.47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) learns a lesson as a new member of Congress:
The [Violence Against Women Act] as passed strengthens actions the government can take against sexual crimes, and it contains special provisions for Indian Country.

Coincidentally, it was this same issue that tripped Kevin Cramer, the newcomer in the state’s lone U.S. House seat. In a speech at Spirit Lake last week, he went farther than he should have, making disparaging remarks about tribal government and raising questions about his own safety on the reservation.

This brought a harsh response from the community and a quick apology from Cramer.

Cramer’s relative inexperience was apparent here. He’s run for federal office in the past, but up to now, his experience has been on the state Public Service Commission, a regulatory post. This is important, because people who come to the PSC want something and behave accordingly toward commissioners.

Voters have different expectations.

Cramer needs to learn that lesson.

Get the Story:
Mike Jacobs: MATTERS AT HAND: Let’s review the new cast in N.D. politics (The Grand Forks Herald 3/31)

Related Stories:
Melissa Merrick: Letter to Rep. Cramer on attempted apology (3/29)
North Dakota tribes blast Rep. Cramer's remarks at meeting (3/29)
Rep. Cramer wants to apologize for meet with Indian women (3/29)
Melissa Merrick: Rep. Cramer of North Dakota attacks women (3/28)

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