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Hubbel Receives Mazacoin: No Law Broken, Just Time Wasted

GOP spin machine Pat Powers completely ignores the story of fake U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth committing yet another crime by spam-soliciting and accepting a campaign contribution from a foreign national. But Pat Powers's least favorite gubernatorial candidate, Lora Hubbel, visits the Pine Ridge Reservation, gets a surprise donation of 50,000 Mazacoin, a flavor of Bitcoin, from local cryptocurrency peddler Payu Harris, and suddenly Powers adopts a keen interest in campaign finance rules about foreign donations.

Let's be clear: Lora Hubbel did not break the law in accepting a contribution from a Pine Ridge resident. Federal campaign finance laws aren't clear, but Hubbel is running for state office, and I don't think South Dakota state campaign finance statutes say anything about donations from foreign nationals. Besides, tribal members are citizens of the United States. Whatever the sovereignty status of Indian reservations, our Indian neighbors are as free to contribute to political campaigns as they are to vote.

The only problem for Hubbel is that she just accepted a mostly useless laminated computer printout. Hubbel will not be able to buy any campaign signs or TV time or gas for get-out-the-vote helpers on primary day with her Mazacoin. Hubbel will get more utility swatting flies or blowing her nose with that piece of paper than she will spending hours trying to find some vendor who would accept that piece of paper in exchance for goods and services of any value to her campaign.

The only cryptocurrency we should be discussing in this election is the secret money made by friends of Hubbel's opponent Governor Dennis Daugaard and his predecessor Mike Rounds on the GOED/EB-5 scandal.


  1. Bree S. 2014.05.19

    Your own currency is good for national pride.

  2. Bree S. 2014.05.19

    This currency is in its infancy. Give it time to grow in strength. The value of a currency is a matter of human belief.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.19

    Bree, are Chamber Bucks good for local pride? Should every town create its own currency?

    Is it un-American to declare a lack of faith in the national currency and thus undermine America's economic strength?

  4. Bree S. 2014.05.19

    The Chamber of Commerce is not a sovereign nation. The Lakota Nation is a sovereign nation, according to treaty and the Constitution.

  5. El Hefe 2014.05.19

    The best part is that those 50M MZC are worth less than $10. Payu Harris is just a modern-day snake oil salesman

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.19

    China and some Arab oil-producing countries peg their currencies to the U.S. dollar. Are they hurting for national pride?

    Given the economic exigencies on the reservation, is it worth trying to boost Native pride with an infant currency that will introduce more grit in the wheels of commerce on the reservation?

  7. Bree S. 2014.05.19

    I can't imagine how a national currency could possibly cause any harm to the Lakota nation. Crypto-currencies are the future, free of the machine that squeezes every paper currency.

    If other nations want to peg their currency to the U.S. dollar, that's their choice. If they choose not to, that's also their choice. The important thing is that they have a currency in the first place.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.19

    Let me stretch your imagination, Bree. Suppose the Lakota nation adopt Mazacoin. Sophie works at the gas station in Pine Ridge. She gets paid in Mazacoin. She takes her pay certificate up to Rapid City to for a nice Saturday outing. Every store where she tries to buy something looks at her Mazacoin and says, "What the heck is this?" She's got to run to the bank or log in to Paypal or whatever, pay a fee, and convert her money into dollars. That's grit, economic friction, degrading her buying power and the pleasantness of her weekend.

    Then Sophie comes back to Pine Ridge. Monday she goes out to buy groceries. She pulls out her purse... oh, crap! She has all that dollar-change left over from her Saturday trip, but Louie at the register says, "No way, sister! We're Lakota! We don't take white-man money anymore." She's got to go to the bank again, convert her currency back to Mazacoin, for a fee, eat whatever fluctuation may have happened over the weekend on the Mazacoin exchange, then go back to the grocery store. That's more grit.

    I'm not talking nation-crushing harm. But manufacturing a new alternative currency exacts an unnecessary premium on economic development on the reservation.

  9. Bree S. 2014.05.19

    I'm really not an expert on this Cory but as far as I know the federal government claims ownership of tribal lands. Would federal law require employers on federally owned land to pay their employees in U.S. currency? Should the Lakota Nation in the future be acknowledged a Constitutionally recognized separate nation free of federal oversight, and should such nation choose to adopt Mazacoin as the official national currency and sole tender, then I'm certain the Lakota banks would exchange for American dollars. Somehow they managed in Europe with all the various small countries and their separate currencies before the failed E.U. experiment.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.19


    The federal government does not take ownership of tribal lands either individually owned by the tribe.
    In part, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was created for the government to have a trust responsibility of those lands.

  11. Les 2014.05.19

    There are hundreds if not thousands of currencies in the US.
    Brooking Bucks, Hobo Dough to Lemmon Bucks in state examples and away, Davis Dollars, Bay Bucks. They work well for what they are designed for and I would guess any currency could gain the trust of its users. Look to the almighty US dollar for that example.

  12. CK 2014.05.19

    What you have to remember about what some of you are calling "other currencies," such as Hobo Dough, Chamber Bucks, etc, is that they are based on the dollar. One purchases the "currency" with real US dollars, to be redeemed as US dollars at participating establishments. The IRS has ruled that Bitcoin (for example, as it is the most stable cryptocurrency as of late) will be treated as property rather than currency.
    I think it is too early to say whether or not any of the cryptocurrencies prove viable, although Bitcoin does seem promising.

  13. Bree S. 2014.05.19

    Good reason to get rid of the IRS.

  14. CK 2014.05.19

    The point is, at the moment cryptocurrency is not a stable form of currency...Therefore, it is treated as a property, and the value can be adjusted accordingly.

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