Thursday, November 19, 2009

We don't need Racist Bullys in Congress!

Cherokees target California congresswoman's re-election campaign

By CLIFTON ADCOCK World Staff Writer
Published: 11/18/2009 10:22 PM
Last Modified: 11/18/2009 10:22 PM

The Cherokee Nation is supporting the primary opponent of a California congresswoman who has been at odds with the tribe over its stance on the descendants of freedmen.

The tribe’s Executive Finance Subcommittee voted Tuesday night to send a $2,400 campaign donation to Democrat Felton Newell and a $5,000 donation to a political action committee called New Leadership PAC for Newell. Newell is challenging Rep. Dianne Watson in the Democratic primary for California’s 33rd Congressional District, set for June 8.

During the meeting, the subcommittee also voted to send campaign contributions to other politicians and political action committees.

Watson has been the tribe’s most vocal critic after tribal voters approved a measure in 2007 that limited tribal membership to those who had ancestors with a blood quantum on the Dawes Rolls.

At least two court cases on the issue, one brought by a freedmen descendant and the other brought by the Cherokee Nation against freedmen descendants who had their membership approved after a court decision, are still pending.

In 2007, Watson sponsored a bill that would sever government-to-government relations with the tribe and has been one of the most vocal critics of the tribe’s actions on the freedmen descendant issue.

“Felton Newell is a good candidate, and he has broad support in his district, and I believe he has a solid understanding of tribal sovereignty,” said council member and subcommittee Chairwoman Cara Cowan Watts. “I think he would make a good addition to Congress. It boils down to respect for tribal sovereignty.”

Council member Jodie Fishinghawk, who voted against the donation, said it would be difficult to unseat Watson, who won her last primary in 2008 with about 88 percent of the vote, and that she disagreed with sending money to politicians who are not in Oklahoma.

“We would do just as good taking that money and burning it in the parking lot,” Fishinghawk said.

The subcommittee also approved other donations to politicians and political action committees, including $4,800 to U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla.; $2,000 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership political action committee; $4,800 to U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.; $25,000 to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and $10,000 worth of $1,000 donations each to several members of the Tennessee state Legislature.

By CLIFTON ADCOCK World Staff Writer