Susan Bradford has a post on this.
Abramoff (false) accuser and Carlyle Consulting lobbyist Tom Rodgers would like everyone to know that he is not a shill for the Democratic Party. He is simply gung-ho for Indians as reflected in his latest quest to embark on a lawsuit against Montana’s Secretary of State and County Administrators to improve access to voter registration sites for tribal members.
The story, which is reported in The Hill, can be read here: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/311199-tribes-lawsuit-could-decide-who-controls-senate-in-2015#ixzz2ecKDL8PK
On the surface, Rodgers’ latest calling is a very noble pursuit. A democracy should not disenfranchise any of its citizens, least of all the Indians. However, tribes can determine their own members. Native blood quantum is often of least consideration. In fact, the legal definition of Indian, as determined by federal legislation, is a tribal member, regardless of whether that person has actually descended from a Native American.
Sadly, achieving tribal membership status often amounts to convincing tribal governments to accept the application.
In turn, thanks to activist liberal groups, many illegal immigrants have made their way onto tribal membership rolls so that they can take advantage of federally recognized benefits reserved specifically for tribal members.
Organizations, like the Native American Rights Funds, have endeavored to fill membership rosters to expand lucrative captive markets corporations among these sovereign nations for federally subsidized products and services, worth billions of dollars.
Should his suit be successful, Rodgers will succeed at helping more illegal immigrants acquire the vote in national and state elections. Would tribal members have to prove their citizenship or merely produce a tribal membership card to vote? If they were to vote on the reservation, these individuals would be less likely to face challenges to their right to vote.
Rodgers would also help secure a solid voting block for the Democratic Party.
As usual, Rodgers is misguided, though he is convinced he means well, or at least he tries to keep his more cynical, self serving motives hidden within his subconscious. By increasing Democrats power in Congress, he can more effectively wield his influence as a lobbyist and Democratic operative, in turn, enhancing his professional advantage.
He would also have greater wherewithal to mobilize tribal members to back legislation and influence their votes in state, local, and national elections – in turn, taking a page right out of Abramoff’s playbook but with a special Rodgers twist.
But Rodgers insists his motives are pure. “You know I care about the Indians,” he said. “I am looking out for my people and am taking on my own (Democratic) party by doing this. There is nothing in this for me at all.”
Reflecting a rather paternalistic attitude toward the poor “Indians,” Rodgers believes that Indians should not receive absentee ballots. Some would argue it would be easier to simply mail the ballots to the tribal members in distant locations, but such individuals might simply neglect to vote unless they were conveniently driven to a local ballot box.
Instead, Rodgers argues that Indians, who are rightfully distrustful of the federal government, which railroaded Abramoff into prison and broke numerous treaties with the tribes, are too frightened to open letters from the government.
Instead of seeking treatment for fear-based tribal member trauma of federal correspondence, Rodgers has launched a law suit with the blessing and support of the Department of Justice, which private interests have transformed into a weapon and tool on behalf of the nation’s leading corporations.
When asked if he would play the race card, mirroring his gleeful delight in taking down Abramoff, whom he characterized as a “white guy,” the Blackfeet tribal member conceded that “I am Irish.”
At least he was honest with himself on that point. Score one for Rodgers!
Susan Bradford is the author of Lynched! The Shocking Story of How the Political Establishment Manufactured a Scandal to Have Republican Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff Removed from Power.