Brandon Ecoffey: It's business as usual for South Dakota Republicans

From left: Sen. John Thune (R), Sen. Mike Rounds (R) and Rep. Kristie Noem (R) at a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs field hearing in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 17, 2016. Photo by SCIA

Politics as usual
A note from the editor’s desk
By Brandon Ecoffey
Lakota Country Times Editor

South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem has gone on record to say that she will continue to support GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump regardless of the released audio recordings of Trump making a mockery of sexual assault.

Both Sen. John Thune and Sen. Mike Rounds have announced publicly that would prefer Trump dropout of the race in favor of his running-mate Mike Pence.

When I sit back and try to understand the reasoning behind Noem’s decision to basically “ride or die” with Donald Trump, I can sort of sympathize with her. As a student of politics I’ve always categorized my own political views as just left-of-center. With that in mind you can understand why I am not all that inspired by the Democratic nominee for president.

Like most of my generation the culture of partisanship that has taken root in Congress has left me filled with sense of apathy towards the entire political process. The choice by Rep. Noem to continue to support Donald Trump is a result of a culture based partisanship. It makes absolutely no sense for Noem to ignore this level of sexism. Red flags should have gone up all over the halls of congress when Trump first referred to people as “the African Americans."

In many ways the thinking expressed by Noem has also manifested itself in the world of tribal politics as many of our people choose to vote based on past favors owed or along family lines. In Indian Country the choice to ignore ideas and progression in favor of the same run-of-the-mill politicians and policies has led to a state of idleness that we can no longer afford to endure.

As the primary numbers sort themselves out this week for tribal elections we will our best here at LCT to educate our voters about the ideas that these candidates bring to the table. As the official paper of the Oglala Sioux Tribe our role is present an accurate and factual representation n of our community. While our competitors choose focus on personalities and their long held policy of “if its bleeds it leads” to determine content, we will report our stories based on facts.

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Throughout my career in journalism I have witnessed the impact of certain news sources on our community. Many want to dip in, write outlandish and often inaccurate stories, and then go on with life without contemplating the end results of this work. We at LCT simply cannot afford to be that reckless.

So as the next few weeks progress we fill our pages with significant political coverage to help inform our people about the candidates.

(Brandon Ecoffey is the editor of The Lakota Country Times and is an award winning journalist who was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He can be reached at

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