The Washington Post has an interesting story for tomorrow's edition headlined "Returning to a Home on the Range."
I've been extremely remiss in overlooking an excellent report from the Lakota Journal's Nestor Ramos headlined "Summit at Crazy Horse." Excerpt:
A historic, long-rumored meeting between South Dakota’s congressional delegation and representatives from six of the state’s nine tribes took place on Saturday at Crazy Horse Mountain in Custer....
Asked whether there had been any discussion of the contentious Black Hills Land Claim issue, Daschle responded abstractly. “Federal lands have always been a matter of great controversy and contention over the last 150 years, and I think we have to continue to strive to find ways to resolve these issues,” he said....
“The treaty obligations came up in our discussions throughout this morning,” said Daschle. “We talked about the 1851 Treaty, the 1868 [Fort] Laramie Treaty. We talked about the importance of the recognition of those treaties as we enter into government to government responsibility and that relationship between governments. There is no question that we have to continue to strive to recognize the importance of that treaty obligation and the sovereignty that comes with it.”
Questions about the apparent secrecy surrounding the meeting were also addressed. Neither the public nor the media were permitted access to the meeting, held in the lower-level space beneath the Crazy Horse visitor’s center.
Ryne McClaren delivers another stellar report from West River headlined "Tim Giago on campus." Tim Giago is the Native American journalist who ran as an independent candidate in this year's Senate race, but dropped out. Had he stayed in, it probably would have cinched Daschle's defeat. Anyway, he was on the campus of Chadron State College tonight, and Ryne was there.
The long-anticipated meeting between Tim Giago and Senator Daschle that was promised in exchange for Giago to drop his independent bid for the U.S. Senate last spring is being held today. Rapid City television station KOTA has a story about the meeting headlined "Wind Cave used as bargaining chip?":
Earlier this year, Senator Tom Daschle convinced an independent challenger to drop out of the race for US Senate, but what did Daschle promise in return?
A report published in the Lakota Journal newspaper says control and ownership of Wind Cave National Park were used as a bargaining chip in convincing publisher Tim Giago to leave the Senate race.
The former newspaper publisher announced last year he would run against Daschle as an independent, but later ended his campaign after meeting with Daschle face to face told reporters he was running for Senate because Daschle had done a poor job of representing Native American issues on capitol hill.
In the Lakota Journal report, Giago is quoted as saying he and Daschle agreed to a deal…hinting that the ramifications would surprise everyone involved. “Every Lakota, Dakota and Nakota will be shocked and surprised at some of the issues Senator Daschle will bring forth.”
KOTA Territory news will talk with Senator Daschle later tonight to gain confirmation.
Denise Ross, political reporter for the Rapid City Journal, has an interesting report today headlined "Summit set between S.D., tribal leaders." In it, Steve Hildebrand, Senator Daschle's campaign manager, says "There was never a deal struck with [Independent Senate candidate Tim] Giago." The Daschle camp's assertion that no deal was struck completely contradicts the huge headline from last April in the Lakota Journal that read "On Daschle's word of honor, Giago drops out."
DVT has a lot more.
I recently ran across an interesting column written by prominent Native American journalist Tim Giago for the March 7, 1991 edition of the Christian Science Monitor headlined "Dances with Senators." Tim Giago was induced to get out of the Senate race by Senator Daschle earlier this spring. The Washington Post hinted that in exchange for Giago leaving the race, Daschle would "open dialogue on returning the sacred Black Hills to the tribes of the Sioux Nation."
At any rate, it's interesting to observe Daschle's rumored change of heart on the issue of the return of the Black Hills in light of Giago's above-mentioned 1991 article in the Christian Science Monitor. Excerpt from the Giago article:
In his 1986 race for a seat in the United States Senate, South Dakota's Tom Daschle campaigned with vigor on the Indian reservations of his home state. Mr. Daschle won by about 11,000 votes because the reservations, at least in those days, voted a straight Democratic ticket.
One of the first appointments Daschle sought after winning the election was to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs. In my opinion, Daschle has used this position to block legislation prepared by the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation aimed at getting a small portion of their sacred Black Hills returned.
Not only did he prevent the legislation from getting out of his committee, but he was instrumental in assisting an anti-Indian group calling itself the Open Hills Association in spreading misstatements about the proposed legislation, thereby effectively turning public opinion in South Dakota against it.
DVT reports that there will be a meeting between Senator Daschle and tribal leaders on September 25th, and points to a Washington Post article reporting that the meeting will address the return of the Black Hills to the tribes of the Sioux Nation.
DVT noted recently that the "August meeting" Tom Daschle promised to hold with tribal leaders in exchange for prominent Native American journalist Tim Giago dropping his independent Senate bid has yet to come to fruition. There's eight days left in August, and, according to a recent editorial in the Lakota Journal headlined "To be or not to be" (PDF) the Daschle campaign is "clueless" about whether a meeting will even be held. What makes this development so rich in irony is the front page, top of the fold headline from the April 23-30, 2004 edition of the Lakota Journal announcing Giago's withdrawal: "On Daschle's word of honor, Giago drops out."
Here's a blow-up of the photograph of Daschle and Giago meeting at the Rodeway Inn Restaurant in Rapid City:
The photograph's caption reads: "Tom Daschle and Tim Giago met for a discussion of important Indian issues at the Rodeway Inn Restaurant in Rapid City on April 17."
In the story, Giago was quoted at length about Daschle meeting with tribal leaders in August. Excerpt from the April LJ story:
Although neither party was ready to discuss the specific ideas that were raised during the meeting, Giago said he an Daschle hope to initiate a gathering of tribal leaders and government officials in the near future in order to discuss methods of settling ongoing Native American issues that he said have been disputed for more than a century.
"A lot of the things that were discussed I can't discuss here," Giago said. "Tom wants to speak with the tribal leadership first--he wants to meet with tribal leaders in August. At that time, the issues that were discussed on Saturday will be laid out for input from the tribal leadership."
"Tim and I had a very important, thorough discussion about Native American issues," Daschle said. "We shared ideas about working with the government and the tribes to bring economic change to the reservations. We discussed a possible meeting with tribal leaders other government officials in August in an effort to bring people together."
Giago said, "Every Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota will be shocked and surprised at some of the issues Senator Daschle will bring forth."...
Giago has high hopes for Daschle's commitment to Indian issues and trusts that the Senator will keep his word.
"At the end of our meeting [on Saturday], we shook hands," Giago said. "I told him if he follows through on the things we discussed, I would throw my full support behind him. He shook my hand and said, 'You have my word of honor.'"
The point is that it seems when Daschle gives his word of honor, he's hoping you have a bad memory.
A Vermillion area high school student is pictured in today's edition of the New York Times in a story headlined "American Indians Expand College Hopes."
The Fargo-Grand Forks Forum has an interesting piece on Marlon Brando's activism on behalf of Native Americans, particularly in South Dakota, headlined "Brando remembered for off-screen activism." Excerpt:
Marlon Brando's movie career and his celebrity support of American Indians famously intersected when he refused to personally accept an Oscar for his role in "The Godfather.''
Instead, Brando sent a young woman to accept the award and serve as his voice, a voice that noted the "recent happenings at Wounded Knee" – a reference to armed activists' occupation of a village on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation in 1973....
In 1975, he went to Rapid City, S.D., to post a $30,000 cash bond for AIM leader Russell Means, who was charged in a shooting death of a Pine Ridge man. He also appeared at an AIM rally at the state capitol in Pierre, S.D.
Brando even has an often-forgotten cameo role in one of the darkest chapters in AIM history – the conviction of Leonard Peltier for the 1975 murders of two FBI agents at Pine Ridge.
Before fleeing to Canada, Peltier was stopped by police in Oregon; he was driving a recreational vehicle registered to Brando. When police searched the vehicle, they found a pistol belonging to one of the slain agents – later found to contain a fingerprint matched to Peltier.
Peltier, an Ojibwe from the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota, was convicted of the murders by a federal jury in Fargo. Brando was one of a long list of celebrities who called for Peltier's release.
Tim Giago had a piece in the Yankton Press & Dakotan yesterday headlined "Why I Decided To Withdraw From The S.D. Senate Race." Excerpt:
It is true that if I drew a lot of votes from the very large Indian community in South Dakota, the man who would suffer the most would be Daschle since Indians nearly always vote as Democrats.
Some laughed at my audacity, but Tom Daschle did not. In fact, after the narrow victory of Sen. Tim Johnson, also a Democrat, in the last election, largely because of the support given to him from the Indian reservations, even the man Johnson defeated, John Thune, has been out beating the bushes in Indian country.
As DVT first reported, Senator Tom Daschle met with Tim Giago this past weekend in Rapid City to beg him to get out of the race. Now the WaPo is reporting that Giago has relented and will drop out. When Giago first announced his candidacy, Daschle said that he welcomed him to the political arena. It ended with Tom Daschle begging Giago to get the hell out of the political arena. The bottom line is that Daschle's scurrying to shore up support indicates fatal weaknesses in his campaign.
That, and the Dakota Alliance of blogs got a whiff of this story long before the Big Media did.
The Washington Post has a blurb today on Tim Giago's independent bid for the U.S. Senate headlined "Daschle Gets His Own Nader." Incredibly, the WaPo reporter misses the fact that Tom Daschle personally called Tim Giago to urge him to get out of the race, a fact which is at odds with Steve Hildebrand's quote in the blurb:
Steve Hildebrand, Daschle's campaign manager, rejected suggestions that Giago's effort would necessarily hurt the senator's bid. "Native Americans know that Senator Daschle has been there for them," he said. "They're not just going to throw their vote away on someone who stands little chance of winning."
Jeff Gannon, resident DC expert on South Dakota politics, has a new piece out today regarding Tim Giago, the Native American journalist who is running as an independent in the US Senate race, headlined "Daschle Asks Native American Not to Run Against Him." Excerpt:
[Tim] Giago, the publisher of the Lakota Journal, told Talon News that Daschle phoned him following his announcement and asked, "Do you want to be the Ralph Nader of this race?"
The Wall Street Journal chimes in with its own analysis of Tim Giago's third party bid for the U.S. Senate, under the headline "Wildcard Enters the Daschle Race":
South Dakota Democrats may have just got their very own Ralph Nader. But unlike the overblown candidacy of that consumer rights activist, this one might actually play a role in whether Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle keeps his seat.
Tim Giago, who grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and publishes the Lakota Journal, announced last week an intention to challenge Mr. Daschle in the state's Democratic primary. This week he changed his mind: Now he'll run as an independent in the general election. This is terrible news for Mr. Daschle. Instead of being a purely symbolic candidate, now Mr. Giago could have a real impact on the race between the incumbent and his Republican opponent, John Thune, a former U.S. congressman who lost South Dakota's 2002 Senate race to Democrat Tim Johnson by the slimmest of margins.
Mr. Giago, an Oglala Lakota, plans to focus his insurgent campaign on issues for American Indians, one of Mr. Daschle's core strongholds. In 1998, Mr. Daschle sailed to an easy victory helped by an 88% margin in Shannon County, an area populated almost entirely by Native Americans. South Dakota has been trending steadily Republican since then. By 2002, his protégé Mr. Johnson managed to win his statewide race by a mere 528 ballots -- and would have lost but for strong support from Shannon County Indians, who voted for the Democrat by a margin of 2,856 to 248. Did we mention that Shannon County is the home of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Mr. Giago's influential newspaper? Bottom line: In a close race, Mr. Giago's candidacy could easily cost Mr. Daschle his seat and give Mr. Thune the win.
The real question now is whether Mr. Giago plans to stay in the contest to the end. Some suspect he merely intends to fire a shot across Mr. Daschle's bow, extract a few promises on Indian issues, then drop out and pledge his support to Mr. Daschle. For now, however, the publisher seems more focused on his own campaign than on whether it will hurt the longtime senator from South Dakota. Asked if he's bothered by the prospect of being Mr. Daschle's spoiler, he shrugged, "That is the chance you take."
Tim Giago, the Native American journalist who recently announced his run as an independent in the U.S. Senate race in South Dakota, is starting to turn some heads in Washington. Today's edition of Roll Call has a piece headlined "Independent Could Sway Dakota Senate Race." Excerpt:
In the immediate aftermath of Giago’s announcement this week, the campaigns of both Daschle and former Rep. John Thune (R) sought to spin the development in their favor, although an initial analysis would seem to indicate Daschle’s campaign will be more heavily impacted....
Although Giago is given little chance of winning in November, because of the expected closeness of the race between Daschle and Thune and the size of the Indian vote in the state, his candidacy is being taken much more seriously than longshot candidacies in other Senate races.
In the 2002 contest between Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Thune, Johnson won by 524 votes thanks in large part to the presence of a conservative Libertarian candidate on the ballot and an increased voter turnout on the state’s nine Indian reservations.
Libertarian Kurt Evans dropped out of the race days before the November 2002 election, saying he was worried that he could hand the election to Johnson. His name remained on the ballot, however and he received 3,070 votes — the vast majority of which would likely have gone to Thune.
The UPI has a story on Tim Giago's run as an independent, headlined "Independent complicates Daschle re-elect." Excerpt:
As a bloc, South Dakota's Indians tend to heavily favor the Democrats. In 2002, they provided Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., with enough votes to let him eke out a narrow victory over Republican John Thune. Now that Giago, a newspaper publisher and Oglala Indian, has decided to run as an independent in the general election rather than challenge Daschle in the primary, as previously announced, could alter the landscape in an already nationally significant race.
My apologies for the lengthy period of dormancy here at SDP. My grandmother's funeral was yesterday, and I've also been scrambling to find time to prepare and submit my application to take the bar exam, which I finally mailed to Pierre this afternoon. So now it's back to blogging.
Tim Giago, who had planned to run against Tom Daschle in the Democratic primary in June, is now planning to run as a third party candidate on the ballot in November. Undoubtedly, the Daschle camp is not pleased, as Giago is likely to peel off sorely needed votes for Daschle. David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, has a piece in today's Argus Leader headlined "Giago's independent run expected to remodel race." Kranz's piece also appears as an AP story headlined "Giago plans run as independent."
Now watch for the Daschle intimidation tactics to begin with Tim Giago. You see how vitriolic the Dems are with a Nader candidacy nationally. It will be interesting to see how vitriolic local Dems get with Giago, particularly if they see Giago garnering a substantial amount of Native American support.
As always, see DVT for more.
Jeff Gannon, resident DC expert on South Dakota politics, has a new story published today headlined "Daschle Losing Native American Support." The piece discusses the candidacy of Tim Giago, Tom Daschle's opponent in the Democratic primary, who officially announced his candidacy this week, as this AP story reports.
DVT has more on the dissipating Native American support for Tom Daschle.
Native American activist Russell Means has endorsed John Thune in his campaign to unseat Tom Daschle. This is the second major development affecting Daschle's support in the Native American community. Last month, Native American newspaper publisher Tim Giago announced his plans to challenge Tom Daschle in the Democratic primary. For more information on Means' announcement, click HERE, HERE, and HERE.