Cherokee chief goes astray in CBC battle over membership

(Regarding article “Frank sides with CBC, holds fast on Cherokee funding,” April 21.) It is alarming for tribes to see Congress get involved in tribal disputes, but the Cherokee Nation administration under Principal Chief Chad Smith has ignored every chance to resolve the Freedmen membership issue before it got to this point, including repeatedly refusing to meet with the Freedmen at every point during this ordeal. The political theater that is unfolding is one of money, power and cronyism.

Smith has put over $4 million into hiring lobbyists to fight a PR battle against the Congressional Black Caucus and our own Cherokee citizens. The CN administration is framing the issue around a tribe’s right to select its membership, which is a given. However, one can also frame the issue by asking the commonsense question, Can tribes break a treaty that their relationship with the United States is soundly based on? The answer is no. …

Federal and Cherokee courts have long sided with the Freedmen. The CN administration shows no intent to follow any ruling by any court, and continues to appeal, while its members sit back and run out their terms in office. This is their strategy.

Individuals whose campaigns were financed by Smith have a supermajority on the CN Tribal Council. Smith has appointed his own personal legal counsel as the attorney general for the CN, in a clear conflict of interest. …

I believe now one can see the picture a little more clearly, and see why Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) holds fast on Cherokee funding.

Scottsdale, Ariz.


Graft-ridden gov’t

From Ruth Skidmore

(Regarding article “Supreme Court upholds voter ID law,” April 28.) There is no reason why anyone can’t have an ID. In most states you can go to the department that issues driver’s licenses and they will give you an ID for a minimal price. 

How can it be a big problem except for those who are here illegally? It appears the Democrats want a government as corrupted and graft-ridden as Mexico’s. They use the rest of our tax dollars to buy votes with programs to help those here illegally. Enough — it is time to uphold our laws!

San Jose, Calif.

My only purpose

From Larry Martinez

It never ceases to amaze me that people actually sue because they do not want to have IDs for voting.  Voting is our right as citizens. As citizens we have an expectation that our votes are getting a full count and not being diluted by illegal voters.

 In my state, until this past year, you needed ID for welfare and food stamps and housing subsidies. We now have no idea who is getting all of these benefits. In many towns and cities even illegals are allowed to vote. That practice makes my vote a waste! As a legal citizen, I no longer count and my only purpose here is to pay the outrageous taxes!