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Jason Gant Fighting Suppression of Indian Vote

The early voting stations for American Indians in South Dakota aren't running too smoothly. Fall River County auditor Sue Ganje set up the Shannon County station in a five-foot-by-ten-foot entryway, making it hard to process all the Indian voters who were coming to exercise their Constitutional rights. Ganje's response (so I hear from someone who's been on the scene): those Indians need to exercise their Constitutional rights more slowly.

Auditor Ganje has also had the sheriff out to the polling station in Pine Ridge twice. Ganje says she received complaints that Indian voting rights group Four Directions, which has fought for years to establish early voting stations on the reservations, was coercing voters. Shannon County Sheriff Jim Daggett thus cruised out to see what the fuss was about. He found no fuss, of course, but take a moment to envision a sheriff summoned by a white county auditor to stand at the door of a polling place in front of American Indian voters. What was that you were saying about voter intimidation, Susan?

Enter the unlikely hero, Secretary of State Jason Gant. Our Secretary of State has fought these early voting stations, but yesterday, he evidently came to their assistance:

Four Directions officials were upset that the early polling place in Pine Ridge was set up in a small entryway. After complaints to Secretary of State Jason Gant, a new, larger polling place was found Thursday.

Bret Healy, a spokesman for Four Directions, complimented Gant for personally investigating and finding a new location.

“This was a public official doing the public’s business in a very admirable way,” Healy said [Jonathan Ellis, "Voting Accusations Fly in Reservation Areas," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.10.24].

I find it hard to put Jason Gant and admirable in the same quote, but there they are. The Secretary can't tell the sheriff to stay the heck out of Pine Ridge, but he appears to be doing his job to make voting run as smoothly as possible for all South Dakotans.

Now if he could just straighten out Buffalo County, which has reneged on its promise to open a satellite voting station:

Commissioners last year said they would establish an early voting center in Fort Thompson if they could do so using Help America Vote Act money. Elaine Wulff, Buffalo County’s auditor, said the county has about $20,000 in HAVA [Help America Vote Act] money.

But Wulff said the commissioners didn’t want to use the county’s HAVA funds, but instead wanted to use state HAVA funds. When the state funds weren’t available, the commission decided not to open an early vote center in Fort Thompson.

“We’re really short of funds, and we could not afford it,” Wulff said, adding that it would cost the county about $200 a day.

But Healy said the county was treating its allotment of HAVA money as if it belonged to the county. He also criticized the commission for “changing the benchmark after the fact,” and he said the commissioners were not the type of people he would trust to buy cattle from [Ellis, 2014.10.24].

Buffalo County has HAVA money in its pocket, but it's refusing to use that money for it's intended purpose. Secretary Gant, maybe you need to swing through Fort Thompson on your way back to Pierre.


  1. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.24

    Cory, The polling place in Sisseton, when I lived there was at the Catholic Church. There was a police car and officer stationed at the end of the parking lot for intimidation just like that of which you write. It brings to mind that former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Renquist and former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor used to do the same thing years before their terms on the court, to intimidate Hispanic voters in Arizona.

  2. Bill Fleming 2014.10.24

    Good to hear there's lots of Indian Country traffic at the polls. Gang is minding his P's and Q's because he knows the DOJ will be on him like ugly on an ape is he doesn't. But yeah, let's give him points for at least following the rules. Sad when that seems like the exception rather than the norm.

  3. Catherine Ratliff 2014.10.24

    A note from Fall River County, which controls Shannon County (Pine Ridge) voting access: Sue Ganje has been a great auditor and I trust her to do a good job and the right thing. Our former auditor was a different story. She used to switch polling sites without notice and with impunity. On election day, Lakota people would share cost of gas, drive 60 miles to vote, only to be told their polling site has been changed, and was 60 miles the other way. All that manipulating went away when Sue Ganje came on board.

  4. Roger Elgersma 2014.10.24

    People are capable of improvement.

  5. Bill Fleming 2014.10.24

    In my post above, Gant not Gang. I hate auto-spell. It's not my friend. Siri either.

  6. ck 2014.10.24

    I am disappointed with the newd about Buffalo County. But it is a hard county to manage, in many ways. It's size and low revenues, along with added costs from a high profile criminal court case have left coffers lean this year. Not too mention people (commissioners) are really tight.

    I'm not making excuses, and I hope the situation will be rectified, but many people in Buffalo County have to drive a distance to vote.

  7. mike from iowa 2014.10.24

    Lanny S-I just sent Cory an article from Salon detailing Rehnquist's poll activities from the 60s. I had no idea he was into that,but it doesn't really surprise me.

  8. larry kurtz 2014.10.24

    The name change to Oglala Lakota County should produce a high turnout in that part of Indian Country.

  9. Nick Nemec 2014.10.24

    The voters of Buffalo County need to place and pass an initiated measure on their ballot moving the county seat to Fort Thompson. It's the largest town in the county with a population of 1300 while current county seat Gann Valley has a population of only 14.

  10. PlanningStudent 2014.10.24

    Nick N, I swear I've seen a statute that lead me to believe the county seat couldn't be on the reservation.. It is counter intuitive to think to put the seat of government where it has no authority...

  11. Jenny 2014.10.24

    GOP likes to claim they have no authority on the Reservations. That's a copout. How about just working together? The Indians would love to have the voting centers in their towns and the GOP knows that.

  12. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.24

    Awe heck, Planning Student, we have State run agencies gone private, using the State emblem and the Four Faces on their solicitations to appear to be legitimate with foreign investors. So what difference does it make what a county does?

    The old cowboy said, " Never seed a bronco, couldn't be rode, never seed a cowpoke couldn't be throwed."

    The new cowboy says, "Never seen a buck couldn't be took. Never seen a pol who wasn't a crook."

  13. Nick Nemec 2014.10.24

    Planning Student, I'd like to see the law cite on that one. Off hand I can think of several county seats that are on the reservation, Mission, Dupree and McIntosh come to mind.

  14. larry kurtz 2014.10.24

    Screw South Dakota: statehood for the tribes and Mexico.

  15. Paul Seamans 2014.10.24

    It doesn't seem possible that Buffalo County could use HAVA funds for anything other than their intended purpose. I don't know, maybe they can.

  16. barryh 2014.10.24

    this action by Gant is a real 180 from the last election...last election he could of been the poster boy for Gov.Christie's control of the election mechanisms in the states...

  17. 96Tears 2014.10.24

    Thank you, Jason Gant, for stepping up and doing your job in Fall River County. My vote, your vote and every South Dakotan's vote is our own possession, perhaps our most precious possession as Americans. It's not for auction and it does not belong to political parties or thieves who obstruct our access to vote or marginalize an American vote through gerrymandering. It is theft. Stealing my vote is the most un-American kind of theft.

    Again, Secretary Gant, thank you.

  18. ck 2014.10.24

    At this point, can Buffalo County rectify the situation? Can a satellite site still be set up? Or is it too late?
    What can be done?

  19. Bill Fleming 2014.10.24

    Mike Rounds should offer to shuttle those voters to the polls in the Grassroots express bus. No strings attached. So should all the other candidates.

  20. larry kurtz 2014.10.24

    "President Obama won nearly 3,000 votes from Shannon County in 2012, 93.4 percent of the vote. Can that number grow as voters consider changing the name of the county to Oglala Lakota County? My guess is that Weiland will get the majority of those votes, but the bigger question is can he get a large percentage, 80 or even 90 percent? (If you look through the 2014 election map and every blue county is an American Indian homeland.)"

  21. jerry 2014.10.24

    So we have now come to this. The thanking of an elected official for simply doing their job. What a load of bull. We are supposed to elect officials that are representing all of the citizenry, aren't we?

  22. jerry 2014.10.24

    Why are we wasting money paying for a county seat in Gann Valley? Consolidate the county into a neighboring one or make Fort Thompson the county seat.

  23. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.24

    Exactly Jerry. What has the State's treasury secretary been doing in all of these financial fiascos?

  24. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.24

    Planning Student,
    The state and tribes share many areas of authority, they are called compacts. Gaming compacts aren't the only ones, they are the most obvious ones.
    Tribes require and states demand compacts for DSS, tax collection, DMV and wide area of services the tribes are entitled to.
    As with most Republican, money is the issue for them. Follow the $20,000 HAVA funds Buffalo County is sitting on, how do they plan to spend this windfall, who is going to get those bucks?

  25. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.24

    I'll reserve any accolades for Jason Gant until after he forces Brown County to provide voting stations.

  26. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.24

    All the whiners have had a month or more to spend a whole 49cents to get a ballot.

    Those counties with sparse, dispersed population should have portable voting systems in converted buses. If DWI arrest data can be taken and spread to law enforcement and court authorities from mobile stations, it should be possible to have mobile voting stations. If the tribes actually gave a tinker's damn, they would provide funds to make it easier for their members to vote.

  27. OJ Semans Sr. 2014.10.24

    The South Dakota Help America Vote Act allows for the use of HAVA funds for these offices. Also in order for the State to comply with the Voting Rights Act they must make these funds available that how Jackson, Falls River and Shannon Counties ended up in Federal Court and settled.

    As for moving the County building to Ft. Thompson that is on the agenda and a petition drive will happen and enough signatures will be obtained to move the whole building.

  28. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.24

    Shall we have a discussion about the whiners that hate Indians?

  29. Bill Dithmer 2014.10.24

    Wiken is right about this.

    The Blindman

  30. grudznick 2014.10.24

    My friend Mr. kurtz is right that Mexican statehood for the tribes would have an effect on this problem but it might not be a good effect. It might be bad.

    I think the more voting stations there are the better it is, within reason. I don't think they need a voting station next door to my building and also next door to the building across the street but they should take into account how far population centers are from where you vote.

  31. Nick Nemec 2014.10.24

    OJ, I'm glad to hear of the efforts to move the county seat to Fort Thompson. Good luck.

  32. Nick Nemec 2014.10.24

    I could see Pennington County setting up an early voting station in Wall or Meade County in Sturgis.

  33. Nick Nemec 2014.10.24

    A voting bus might be a good idea if it had a regular, well publicized, route. IE Monday-Wednesday in community X, Thursday-Saturday in community Y.

  34. Bob Klein 2014.10.24

    Nick, Todd County is unorganized. Mission is not a county seat. The relationship between Todd and Tripp County (where the county seat is located) is similar to Shannon and Fall River.

  35. Dr. Math 2014.10.24

    Perhaps we should do what Oregon does--vote by mail!

  36. JeniW 2014.10.24

    Dr. Math, do the people living in Oregon who vote by mail have to send a letter of request to the County Auditor, along with a copy of a photo ID?

    Knowing that November can have nasty weather, I decided to have a ballot sent to me. To make that happen I had to send a letter to the County Auditor to make the request and I had to send a copy of my driver's license. Fortunately, I have a copier, or I could have gone to a nearby HyVee to use their copier.

    I have asked before, bur no one has yet to answer (that I know of,) how many people living on the reservations have access to a copier, and how many are able to obtain an acceptable photo ID?

    Actually to vote by mail, it cost about a dollar (paper, envelope, and stamp) to send a request, then $.49 to send the completed ballot. That is not an impossible amount, but please be more accurate about the details of the voting by mail process.

  37. JeniW 2014.10.24

    Yes, Dr. Math it does sound easy, however I could not tell from your link how the people in Oregon get the ballot through the mail.

    Do they have to request it, or does every registered voter automatically receive a ballot through the mail? If every registered voter automatically receives a ballot through the mail, that is awesome!

    I forgot to mention that if I want to vote by mail for any elections held in 2015, I have to submit another letter of request, and another copy of my driver's license.

    The same thing will have to happen again if I want to vote by mail in 2016 (unless there is a change in the system between now and then.)

  38. Dr. Math 2014.10.24

    Once you are registered to vote, they just send you the ballot. My sister lives there and loves it! They mail it to the address on your registration. So, if you move, you would need to change your voter registration address.

  39. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.24

    JeniW, that sure sounds like a nearly unbearable burden. If your vehicle gets 16mpg, gas alone for a mile is about 20 cents. Stamps are still cheap compared to driving anyplace. Good scanner printers Epson 2540 can often be bought for $79. You must use some expensive envelopes and paper to burn up 50 cents. When I walk in to vote on election day or go to the courthouse to do it, they tell me, "Doug, show me your driver's license." Sending a photo copy of it doesn't seem too terrible. Of course, the ID requirements really are a GOP attempt to discourage voting rather than actually control non-existent "voter fraud" and the data requirements for women are discriminatory and expensive in many cases. Hard not to view the ID requirements both racial and sexual discrimination by the state.

  40. grudznick 2014.10.24

    You people are convincing me there are no polling problems in Buffalo County. Buffalo County might be the best covered per population center county in the state. Thank you Mr. Gant. I know I have jibbed at you in the past about your girth and jowls but this is good news and I, for one, commend your work.

  41. jerry 2014.10.24

    I think the argument is about early voting. Of course, there are places to vote on election day and it looks as if there are three places to do so in that county. I think that those should be open for early voting as well, all three of them. Why not?

  42. jerry 2014.10.24

    I remember when South Dakota was the Sunshine State and had that for our motto. Sunshine seems to lead one to think of a brightness, a transparency or something of the like. Now we are the Mt. Rushmore state with a symbol and a declaration of being that of the "Shrine of Democracy." Crazy isn't it for a state that beams the "Shrine of Democracy" out as a hook only to be found to be completely dishonest when it comes to democracy for all of its citizens. Hope the tourists don't figure that out.

  43. JeniW 2014.10.24

    Doug, I wrote about voting by mail because it has been brought up. Usually people have to purchase a whole box of envelopes, I have never seen or heard of just buying one envelope. If you are griping because I wrote about presenting accurate details, then you are correct to gripe. I just rounded off of what the cost of what one envelope would cost, one sheet of paper (although the letter can be written on toilet paper,) plus the tax on the envelope and paper. Forgive me for not presenting the exact amount.

    I have gone to the Auditors office to vote early, not a biggie for me because I have a vehicle to drive. I have to show my driver's license every time I vote at the Auditor's office, even though I have been there often enough that the staff know who I am. Shoot, even the Auditor knows me, and I still have to show my driver's license.

    My question was how many people living on the reservation has access to a copier? Why would anyone buy a copier just to make a copy of a photo ID? Would you tell me how many people living on the reservation have easy access to a copier, or where there are copiers available on the reservations?

    I happen to have a printer/copier because I needed one for my business. Otherwise I would have not purchased it.

    I agree with you that the voting requirements in SD are an attempt to suppress voting. What do we need do to change that?

    That is a neat system that the have in Oregon, but I am willing to bet that the legislators and governor in SD would cite that mailing ballots would be too expensive.

  44. barry freed 2014.10.25

    One DOES NOT have to show an ID to vote. If the Poll workers refuse to let you vote, they have supervisors, move up the ladder. There are people at the ready on election day to resolve these problems.

  45. Nick Nemec 2014.10.25

    In SD you don't NEED an ID to vote, you can sign an affidavit that says, under penalty of perjury, you are who you say you are.

  46. Erwin 2014.10.25

    I voted by mail in SD this year. For the primary I mailed my noterized absentee ballot request to the county auditor. Since it was noterized I did not need to include a copy my driver's license. I received my ballot, voted, and returned it in the enveloped provided. Had to cover the postage which was more than $.49 since it was oversized. When I requested the absentee ballot for the primary I checked the all elections box so I received the general election ballot without submitting a request. SD does have voting by mail in a sense.

  47. OJ Semans Sr. 2014.10.25

    I know Secretary Gant very well and in most cases we are in constant disagreement such as the Brooks v Gant case, my filing a civil rights complaint with the Dept. of Justice for 3 tribes, testifying before the legislatures on donation so on and so on, but Secretary Gant did the right thing in Shannon County.

    As for computers and internet most individuals do not own or have access to the internet. The reason for such a strong effort to have a Native turnout is to improve our social and economic conditions on the reservation. If you are not participating at the political table you will become the meal as history has shown over and over for Natives.

    I have also learned once you take away all the excuses such as office and funding the real reason to deny equality is prejudice towards Natives.

  48. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.25

    Native Americans want special equality. They will get actual attention for their problems when they demonstrate they can responsibly get out the vote without special equality, without being begged to get out. They can influence an election if a lot of them actually vote. Too many of them want an excuse for not voting. Then they can maintain their whine for more years when they are ignored because they did not vote. Or they will get money to set up an elections office that has a dozen employees who do nothing but burn up the money.

    Elections are free lunch we can't eat.

  49. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.25

    Don't most politicians and political parties beg voters to got to the polls?

    Wiken continues with his racist whining.

    Wiken is an embarrassment to the South Dakota Republican Party, the party that supposedly represents equality.

  50. OJ Semans Sr. 2014.10.25

    Wiken: Thank you for providing me with a good laugh today. I am sitting here actually smiling while I write this seeing the fear in your words. People like you are getting fewer and fewer so your fears are real. Although individuals such as you, in your own mind think you are superior to Natives such as me, your words show otherwise.

    The thing is as a Native I am not afraid to go anywhere in person and present my views, whereas you on the other hand, hide behind a computer or with people such as yourself to degrade others.

    With that said prove me wrong, I will set up an debate on our local radio stations with u on the Rosebud or Pine Ridge Indian reservation prior to November 4th, where you can appear in person to discuss your thoughts.

    Just let me know the date and time and I will sent it up.

  51. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.25

    A few elections ago, a Native American ran for office. Turnout by Native Americans was low in areas a few hundred feet from a poling place. They did not even get out to vote for one of their own. I do wish they would get out and vote. I would prefer they vote Democratic, but even if they vote Republican, it would be a demonstration of political maturity that would gain respect by the political operatives and parties. Carrie Ackerman-Rice campaigned in Ideal, SD and was warmly greeted. She teaches in a Native American school near Lake Andes I think. I hope they will get out and vote for her and also vote for other Democrats. At least some of them recognize the value of political participation. If it is hard for Native Americans to get to voting places and they do it anyway, they will get respect and they will get better more convenient voting places. If they claim not voting is a protest of the evil White Eyes corrupt government, they will remain irrelevant.

  52. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.25

    How does the white trash guy determine which Indians voted or didn't vote so they can "earn" his respect?

    How does the white trash guy determine which Indians are mature enough to vote and "earn" his respect?

    Indians are as political as any other groups as Americans and have aggressive elections, I would never vote for a fellow Indian because he was an Indian, in fact, there are some I actively campaigned against.

    The white trash guy condemns Indians because many of them refuse to vote, it is not an excuse but their belief that their votes don't matter and all too often they don't.

    If every single eligible South Dakotan voted in this election, our political landscape would be drastically different going into this election, this includes both whites and Indians.

    There are very traditional families on the reservations that don't believe in their own system of government because it modeled too much like the white man's. Indians can have the same apathy as non-Indians when it comes to voting, there is plenty of blame to toss around.

    And than there are the obstacles that have been placed in front of Indian voters from the time they became eligible to vote in 1924.

    This is a long process to educate Indian voters and welcome them into the political arena, instead we have one too many white trash guy sitting in his lazy boy making racist comments.

  53. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.25

    Attitudes like yours Roger, doom success for Native Americans. Anybody can compare population data, registration, and voting results. I do not understand why Whites don't vote better when their economic and social improvement are at stake or when poor whites vote for corrupt plutocrat retrograde Republicans.

    All Native Americans including Roger are free to ignore my perspectives even if I believe they warrant consideration by progressive Native Americans who desire to progress and benefit their families.

    There is a peculiar kind of racial bias in assuming that Native Americans must have special privileges because they are somehow defective. I believe they have the same kind of inteligence and abilities as all the rest of us and just need to make use of the intelligence and abilities.

  54. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.25

    In South Dakota it is not just Native American votes that may not count for much. The 35 percent or so of Democrats of all colors who vote often don't influence who sits in office. If SD had one house based on percentage of vote for a slate, Native Americans and also those of us who happen to be Democrats would have some proportional representation.

  55. jerry 2014.10.25

    Much like a parliament Mr. Viken is what you propose, correct?

  56. jerry 2014.10.25

    I will make this observation regarding Native voting, there has to be a reason to vote. Mid terms are difficult for any party but the republican party of old white guys that vote consistently. They clearly watch their news from their guy to get the marching orders on who to vote for. I have noticed that whenever there is a GOTV on the reservation, there is an interest to know what is going on and how this will have an effect on Native lives. Case in point, the XL, it is hated in Indian Country because it is known that it is not going to work properly and cause disaster if allowed to be built, so here is a reason to be involved that is clear. To have more involvement in Indian Country, perhaps an investment of time and meetings by high level representatives of the state party socially not just at election time. In short, outreach and encourage. The voting stations on Crow Creek and Pine Ridge, should have never gone as far as they did. This was a disgrace to thoughtful voters of both parties across the state and should have been resolved weeks ago. Stand your ground and fight like hell for all of the people and you will see they return the favor.

  57. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.25

    Jerry, for years I thought that a Unicameral made the most sense. In recent years I have decided that perhaps a better system would still be bicameral, but with one house elected as it is now (single member districts however) and the other similar to parliamentary systems but without any necessary connection to the governors support unlike systems with Prime ministers selected by parliamentarians.

    Democratic and Republican Parties in primary votes often have slates for one candidate or another. This would be a slate for the party members in one house. If the slate gets 30% of the vote, They get 30% of that house membership and that proportion of their slate matching the percentage gets seated.

  58. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.25

    Wiken has once again invoked his white privilege and by doing so is behaving not as a Democrat, but as a Republican.
    It should not make a damn bit of difference how or where Indians vote, for those that live in isolated rural areas miles from county seats, Democrats want those people to be able to exercise their right to vote or not. Democrats will go all the way to ensure that right. If there are federal funds available for that effort, use them.
    If Wiken were a true Democrat, he would not be acting like a Republican by criticizing Indian votes and by that criticism, working to suppress the Indian vote.

  59. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.25

    A unicameral state government isn't within the realm of possibility, our state government political is ingrained and here to stay. Any discussion otherwise is a pipe dream.

  60. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.25

    You hit it, Indian voters need to have a reason to vote and Keystone XL is a reason to vote for Rick and Corinna.

    On the Pine Ridge the other ballots issues that are important are the minimum wage increase and the all important Shannon County name change, if these issues drive a Native American turnout they will increase the Democrats chance of victory.

  61. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.10.25

    Doug, just shut up about Indians.

  62. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.26

    Why Deb? So Roger can spew myth and invective? Lie about rural electrics, the post office, and rural water, rural telephones, etc with no response. claim Native Americans pay property tax on Indian Land when that is untrue?

    Political correctness that produces blindness is never a solution to any problems. The coyotes howl at the moon and laugh when liberals sucker for their stories.

    If Native Americans value their traditions of following the stars and moon and winds and bent grass trails to get across the prairies, they can figure out ways to get to the polls. Pandering to the whiners is not helping.

    As indicated, the voter ID laws are designed to deter the poor and disadvantaged and minorities from voting. That attempt is the best reason for minorities and women to get out and vote and dump the jerks who have followed ALEC proposals for restrictive voter IDs.

    A recent Bill Moyers show details how the only real tool for those without unlimited funds, ie, the right to vote, is being attacked by the GOP Supreme Court, the richest 1 percent and partisan hacks. The right to vote is the last tool available. Failure to use it and make absurd and lame excuses for not using it is damaging to all minorities and all women. Use your brains and get out and vote even if you have to drive a few miles. The GOP is depending on failure to vote.

  63. jerry 2014.10.26

    What do you perceive as the lie about rural electric, the post office, rural telephone etc.?

  64. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.26

    Read Roger's posts in other discussions. I forgot about the problems of cost of Native Americans to get medical care when social services actually pays mileage (social services will also pay such mileage for poor whites as well).

  65. jerry 2014.10.26

    I am not asking about what Roger says, I am asking what you perceive as lies, how do you see them? What is your answer to them? You declared it, and I am not going to sift through miles of verbiage to see if I found the holy grail of what you feel is a lie.

  66. jerry 2014.10.26

    Mileage does not cover all of the expenses for anyone. The VA also pays mileage but does not consider food or shelter. If you travel with your spouse, she cannot stay in the accommodations without you. So, if you are hospitalized, the bride needs to find someplace else to stay. The mileage helps, but does not defray most of the costs. The same applies to Natives and the rest of the working poor.

  67. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.26

    Jerry, I did not say mileage covers all costs. I am also not going to search for Roger's BS. He has claimed the post office does not deliver mail to Native Americans, He has claimed the REA charges Native Americans more than Whites, he has claimed that Native Americans pay property taxes on homes on Indian Land. It talked to our assessor here and the don't pay (Native Americans with homes on other land pay just like the rest of us). In short, Roger and others who post bullshit do not deserve a free pass in the name of political correctness.

  68. jerry 2014.10.26

    It is all in the perception that the truth sometimes gets lost. There are post offices in most of the villages large and small on the reservations, so I am not sure what what that was all about. I believe it is a known that there are deposits required for some folks and not for others, but I am not confident enough in the billing procedures to argue that point. Tribal land, with scattered sites on allotments that are in the family, are not taxed. Deeded land is taxed. I would bring this up about Roger and say that he does not speak bullshit, but rather a bluntness and clarity that is easy for folks like me to understand. I find it very satisfying that on this blog site, we have Native voices that bring about a shift in the way things used to be. Those Native voices are very important if we are ever going to leave some of the not so distant past hate and bitterness in the dust to form a better community for all.

  69. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.26

    Doug Wiken's lies as much as Mike Rounds.
    Here is what I have stated previously:
    1. From experience I was able to see drastic rates charged to reservation residents by Lacreek Electric and the rates for similar usage charged by Nebraska Public Power (?) that serves the village of Pine Ridge.
    2. A number of years ago I tried to get rural mail delivery and was turned down even though the white ranchers that bordered me had such service. Many Indians in rural areas do not have rural delivery despite the fact they should be able to have it.
    3. I have never had a problem with Golden West's rural telephone service.
    4. What I stated about property taxes is that Native American home owners that live off the reservation due in fact pay property. If I said that and I don't recall that I did, it was clearly in error. Additionally what I have repeatedly stated is that Indians pay most of the same taxes that non-Indians pay, including income tax, sales tax, gas tax, etc.
    The lies that Wiken thinks I told are from my personal experiences, those experiences as I detailed them could not be true because Wiken is the poster child of white privilege and I'm just another damn Indian.

  70. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.26

    From my personal experience, some family members that I have living on the reservation do get referred to specialty clinics and doctors in Rapid City. There is not guarantee that they will get that referral automatically. A doctor refers the patient and someone in the IHS acts on it. My elder sister was recently denied a referral because IHS said the need could be met locally, it was not available locally and my sister has a continuing problem.
    A number of years ago IHS eliminated the patient expenses, at least at Pine Ridge. They do pay for gas in some cases, but food and lodging are no longer provided.

  71. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.26

    What the white privileged Wiken knows about Lakota tradition and culture would fit in a gnat's navel with an orange.

  72. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.26

    Roger is at it again. If he can't refute something he plays the race card over and over and over again.

    The post office would not deliver mail to our driveway when we were more than 1/2 mile past the end of the established route. It is not discrimination that limits mail delivery, it is regulations. Those regulations apply whether in Tripp County or Clay County or on any of the reservations. Roger knows that.

  73. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.26

    One more time Doug, you assume an awful lot.

    I lived about a mile and half off of Highway 18, I did not ask for mail to be delivered to my home just to the highway like the white farmers and ranchers around me. I did ask for special treatment or services, but for the same services others had. What is so wrong about that?

  74. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.26

    Alright, I am not the cop on this blog, but I think that the Native American population of this State, have been disrespected enough in the last twelve years by the Rounds/Daugaard administrations, that we don't need to keep it going by private citizens. Race card or no, as my Father used to say, "can't we get along?"

  75. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.26

    It is true that most villages and towns have a post office, it is also true that a number of residents of the reservation are not within walking distance to the post office and will often times have to hire "a ride" to the post office.
    I'm not familiar with any changes for rural delivery, but I hope they have expanded services to the more isolated areas.

  76. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.26

    I get along quite well with all races and intermingle easily with all social and economic classes. I'll defend Indians against individual racist comments and don't condemn any class of people because of their standing.
    In particular I don't judge all white people as being another Wiken.
    To judge white people with a racist slant would be to condemn who I am. My white grandfather from Iowa farm country was a good and decent who understood my full blood Lakota grandmother to practice her traditional Native values.
    What Wiken does is judge and condemn an entire race of people because of his perverted perceptions of their culture and not seeing any good qualities of the Lakota.
    All cultures have the good, the bad, and the ugly, Wiken is the ugly part of the white culture.

  77. Douglas Wiken 2014.10.26

    Roger is now telling a different story about mail delivery. Previously, he was miles away from several mail boxes of white ranchers and said he would not want a mail box there because of what they would do to him. Roger will apparently tell whatever is convenient to fit his story for the day.

  78. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.26

    Just like the messages we are getting today about immigrants, be they legal or illegal, be they Muslim, or Native American or Black, racism continues to reign. I am writing a story of my ancestry and today was writing about my immigrant from Germany, Grandparents whose barn was painted with yellow stripes during World War I, because they were from Germany. Things never seem to change, no matter how much preaching of equality of man and woman, be it in church, be it in the school teaching about our Constitution, apparently racism is going to exist until we have destroyed this planet.

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