Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bemidji Pioneer Press omits most important details from story

The article below does not address:

1. Racist poverty imposed by the Indian Gaming Industry with the full complicity of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party along with state and federal governments which fosters this corruption and perversion of democracy resulting from the government imposed poverty of Indian Nations.

2. The article fails to note that those on "the firing list" are casino workers who are forced into employment without any rights under state or federal labor laws.

In fact, this Tribal Court decision is an indictment of what racist poverty breeds.

One wonders if the writer of this article even read the decision before writing about it.

But, in the end, this is very typical of what we get from the mainstream media. No doubt had the writer told the truth Leech Lake Gaming would pull its advertising from The Bemidji Pioneer Press.

Minnesota Public Radio's coverage has been lacking from the beginning and I don't think they even mentioned this most important decision over-turning the election results for Leech Lake Tribal Secretary-Treasurer.

News coverage for what is going on on Indian Reservations should be more closely scrutinized because the issue of poverty is never addressed even when appropriate. For instance, Minnesota Public Radio ran this story about breaking the cycle of obesity and the problems with diabetes on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation:


Why was their not a single mention about poverty in this MPR story? Did MPR omit mention of poverty or did the people who got the foundation grants not speak about the relationship of poverty and diet and obesity and diabetes because they know that they would never get another grant if they exposed these problems as being the result of racist poverty? After all, it takes quite a little bit of money to "eat healthy," doesn't it? And with an 85% unemployment rate on the huge Leech Lake Indian Reservation is it any wonder people can't "eat healthy?" And then you have people being forced to work in smoke-filled casinos which is a major aggravating factor when it comes to diabetes.

The mainstream media is doing a horrible job when it comes to covering the news on Indian Reservations... but, then again, what's new? And look who is underwriting Minnesota Public Radio programming--- the Indian Gaming Industry which directly reaps super-profits from this poverty. And in turn the politicians are getting huge campaign contributions which are nothing more than bribes to ignore this racist poverty. It is this vicious cycle of racism, poverty and corruption which must be broken but to accomplish this requires the enforcement of democracy.

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

Published July 17, 2011, 12:00 AM

Judge nullifies Leech Lake secretary-treasurer election

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Election Judge Heidi Drobnick ruled invalid Friday the June 28 special election that gave Donald “Mick” Finn the secretary-treasurer’s position.
By: Molly Miron, Bemidji Pioneer


Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Election Judge Heidi Drobnick ruled invalid Friday the June 28 special election that gave Donald “Mick” Finn the secretary-treasurer’s position.

The vote was certified by the General Reservation Election Board at 1,104 or 50.14 percent for Finn and 1,098 or 49.86 percent for Donald “Donnie” Headbird. Headbird petitioned for a hearing and discovery, which was set for July 14 at the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Offices, on the election results.

Judge Drobnick found that Headbird had proved violations, which change who was the winning candidate. She ordered a new special election to be held in compliance with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance.

Issues raised in Headbird’s contesting of the election included:

- Lack of cross tabulation by the General Reservation Election Board.
- Technical violations such as spoiled ballots, non-resident votes, non-Leech Lake votes, notary stamp irregularity and malfunctions of the tally on the automated machines.
- Absentee votes also voted at precincts.
- Cross-district votes.
- Discrepancy of counting absentee ballots between the official counting site and final printed vote tally.
- Election precinct officers and/or clerks vouching for voter identity.
- Voter intimidation through a false “firing list.”
- Tribal program funds and gas vouchers used to influence votes.

According to Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance, the burden of proof of irregularities is with the person contesting the election, namely Headbird. Drobnick ruled that Headhad met his burden of proof that sufficient irregularities occurred and affected the June 28 vote.
If anyone seeks to appeal the judge’s decision, the process must abide by Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance.