Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Why does Conrad Burns hate Native Americans?

Okay, we all know about how Conrad Burns pandered to a Michigan Chippewa tribe and Abramoff client, getting them a $3-million federal grant in exchange for $75,000 in campaign contributions. Old news. But what newspapers and politicians haven’t challenged is Burns’ statement that he has been a long supporter of Native American tribes. As usual with the Senator, nothing could be further from the truth. What’s his record with Native American issues? I’m so glad you asked:
• In 1998, Burns drafted legislation that would exempt all non-Indian land on Montana reservations from tribal jurisdiction. That’s like saying all non-federal or state land shouldn’t be under jurisdiction of state or federal authority. • In 2003, Burns raised a procedural point that killed $2.9 billion for tribal programs. • In 2005, Burns led opposition to a bill that would have provided $1 billion for tribal health services. • Last week, Burns voted against an amendment proposed by North Dakota’s Sen. Byron Dorgan that would have given $220 million towards tribal education.
Burns' record on voting for appropriations for Native Americans is so poor, it makes the grant for the Michigan tribe doubly suspicious. The more I learn about the junior Senator, the more he reminds me of one of those street performers that moves only when you throw coins in his can...
This is blatantly unfair! Conrad doesn't hate all indigenous people, just those without casino money.
It would seem your generalization is inaccurate, touchstone.

Here's a grateful tribe in Montana for you.
And here's one from the Tribal Leaders' Council.

There's a good closing in this one where Chairman Matt says "Senator Burns fully understands and appreciates consultation with Indian Country, our sovereignty and our right to self-determination. Before others weigh in on our behalf, they would be well advised to learn the same lessons."
Understands tribal sovereignty? Even after trying to weaken it? I guess he does understand it...

And please, spare me your patronizing line vis-a-vis speaking about Native American issues. If you don't like my opinions, don't come around.
Also, it's interesting that these same groups praising Sen. Burns wouldn't take his Abramoff money.
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