Opinion

John Kane: Republicans and Democrats go after tribal wealth





John Kane doesn't think Republicans or Democrats have treated tribes in New York kindly, especially when it comes to tobacco:
Although I cannot embrace the rape of the planet and obscene support for the rich lords of capitalism that seems bound to Republican DNA, there is no question that some of the worst actions and most aggressive policies our people have seen toward our trade and commerce has come from a Democrat as Governor of New York State and a Democrat as President of the United States.

Racism and the arrogant ignorance behind it seem to know no bounds. Neither race nor political party affiliation affects the moral compass or the conscience of elected officials in the American system.

It was under David Paterson, Democrat and New York State’s first black governor that the State pushed through enough of its legal hurdles to shut off its State-licensed wholesalers from selling tobacco products to Native retailers. This plan was put into motion by Governor Mario Cuomo almost 20 years earlier and seemed to be upheld by his successor, Republican Governor George Pataki.

Now don’t get me wrong, we also clashed with Pataki. But this guy changed his stance on attacking our commerce and got elected two more times in spite of it. In other words, caving in to those his predecessor planned to attack militarily under “Operation Gallant Piper” cost him nothing in political capital.

But after 10 years of relative peace and even a huge growth of Native tobacco retail due to remote sales (Internet and mail order), back came the socially responsible Democrats. Democrat Eliot Spitzer got elected as the tough “Sheriff of Wall Street” with every intention of shutting us down but resigned in disgrace after a prostitution scandal. So that’s how New York ends up with its first black (un-elected) governor at the same time the U.S. gets its first black president.

Get the Story:
John Kane: Republican-Democrats, Liberal-Conservatives…What’s the Difference? (The Two Row Times 3/19)