Saturday, September 6, 2008

What are the parties platforms on Native Issues

Check out Native Votes side by side comparison of the Republican and Democrats platform

Summary of Native Votes Summary:

Issue:

Sovereignty: Both recognize Sovereignty except Republicans reject a one-size-fits-all approach and will work to expand local autonomy

Trust Responsibilities: Both recognize Trust Responsibilities, Republicans acknowledge that unique trust relationship has been insufficiently honored - economic problems have grown worse over the last several decades and must be reversed

Consultation: Dems propose to host an annual summit with Indian leaders - more talk, no promise of reform

Health Care: Both recognize this need - Dems appear to cure this by throwing more money into it - Republicans will modernize and improve as well and make it more responsive to local needs and build essential infrastructure - (no mention of either about an Indian Clinic in Orange County, CA....:))

Economic Development: Dems will *assist* and increase resources (this usually means more strings attached and restrictions on what is *given*); Republicans believe economic self-sufficiency (this is where Indian Casinos come in - they have been the greatest boom to Indian Country in modern history) is the ultimate answer to the challenges in Indian Country; (I might add that some of the Indian items are lumped together in the Dems platform along with people of color, women, rural American so this promise is not Indian specific)

Education: Dems increasing resources to Indian Education (which has proven ineffective in the public schools) and the Republicans to expand opportunities and deliver top-flight education to future generations

Federal Bureaucracy: Dems again throwing money to state, local, territories and tribes; Republicans believe tribal communities, not Washington bureaucracies are better situated to craft local solutions, Ineffective government programs deprive Indians of the services they need with long term failures threaten to undermine tribal sovereignty; regulations that thwart job creation must be reconsidered so tribal governments acting on Native Americans' behalf are not disadvantaged

Housing: DEMS: WE WILL RESTORE CUTS TO PUBLIC HOUSING AND FULLY FUND COMMUNITY BLOCK GRANT programs - (as long as you are willing to exclude the Cherokee Nation from receiving any of these funds!!) again the Dems are throwing more money at the problem with no real long term solutions to tribal self-sufficiency) I might also add the Senate passed a Native American Housing and/or Medical Bill which did not exclude the Cherokee Nation - it is now the Dems in the Congressional Black Caucus that are sitting on any type of resolution to the house version of the bill which did include an exclusion to the Cherokee Nation for funding under both these bills. Rep Tom Cole called it *legislative Blackmail* - I call it economic blackmail since they are trying to force the Cherokee Nation to do what the CBC wants, not what is good for the Cherokee Nation by withholding funding from all Indian Tribes (a white house advisor won't help with this run amok congressional caucus, who wants their civil rights but step on other's civil rights)

Domestic Violence: Both support and end to violence against women and the Republicans against crime in Indian Country as well

Crime: Dems want to re-examine the legal framework (hmmm, government getting their nose in things again coming up with THEIR solution not ours); Republicans government must increase funding for tribal officers and investigators, FBI agents, prosecutors and tribal jails

Energy: Dems will promote economic development in renewable energy; Republicans will get out of Native Americans way and let them develop their own natural resources

Culture - Dems respect American Indian Culture; Republicans support efforts to preserve our culture and languages

Civil Rights - Dems will fight to end discrimination; Republicans support efforts to ensure equitable participation in federal programs - The legal system must provide stability and protect property rights. Every one's civil rights must be safeguarded including the right to due process and freedom of the press with accountability for all government officials.

UNIONS: Republican statement to Dems support of UNIONS - The democratic Party's repeated undermining of tribal sovereignty to advantage union bosses is especially egregious

Vets: Dems generic language on every vet; Republicans Native American Vet specific with assurance all vets will receive the care and respect they've earned

White House Advisor: Dems *We will create a White House advisor on Indian Affairs - (this has been a past promise as well but they've not done that) Republicans have no position on this - but it seems the better approach would be to have an advisor to Congress for each Tribe and they would be located in Indian Country NOT Washington D.C.

Property Rights: Dems have no position on this which is interesting since this can really have effects on Indian country via the BIA and Local Legislatures - Republicans - The legal system must provide stability and protect property rights (the courts are the proper place for disputes, to interpret the law and agreements regardless of their names, Compact or Treaty not to engage in social engineering, whether in a Native American Court or the U.S. Courts - a congressional hearing is for investigation and oversight NOT for COERCION to promote the CBC's desire for a specific outcome in a *sweetheart subject*)