Republican Landslide Takes Down Indians

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Last night’s election results were devastating for Indian Country.  Like you, I am outraged by the Republicans lies, and racist dirty tricks used against our INDN candidates and disgusted by the corporate and special interest money that funded them.  There are a few bright spots, which we’ve highlighted at the end of this email, but we cannot ignore the fact that last night the political power of American Indians was set back decades.

 

THE BAD NEWS

We are deeply disappointed by the loss of progressive champions like the only Indian in the Pennsylvania Assembly, Representative Barbara McIlvaine Smith who was narrowly defeated and Washington State Senator Claudia Kauffman, the first and only Indian woman in that state’s chamber, who is currently behind in the vote tally.  Our efforts to put the first Indian in the Wisconsin Assembly by electing Mert Summers were thwarted.  Likewise, in our three statewide races, Arizona Secretary of State candidate Chris Deschene, Oklahoma’s State Auditor Steve Burrage, and South Dakota’s candidate for Commissioner of School and Public Lands, Bob Pille were all pilloried.

And, one of our biggest heartbreaks was Jeff Jones’ loss to Race Baiting, Rex Duncan in the District Attorney’s race in Pawnee and Osage Counties in Oklahoma.  The Republicans use of hate and race drove voters away from the most qualified candidate.
 
In South Dakota, two wonderful volunteers from Maryland and INDN’s List supporters traveled to Julie Garreau’s district to help with GOTV activities.  Unfortunately, that was not enough and Julie was unable to retake this State Senate seat from the incumbent who had switched parties from Democrat to Republican. 

Today we wonder why do we do this?  Why do we keep fighting?  I still believe in the same things and hold the same values today that I did yesterday.  The work of INDN’s List is much more than just winning elections, it is about inspiring people who have no hope for a better tomorrow, it is about showing our Indian boys and girls that they can be what they can see, that they too can and should dream big dreams. 

There is no better example of this than Kiowa tribal member, Maya Torralba, who lost her challenge to an entrenched Republican State Representative in Oklahoma last night, when she said, “This campaign isn’t about me, it’s about us.  It’s about getting political power for future generations.  Our brothers and sisters will be inspired and know that they can do it.”

But, clearly, Indian Country and America suffered a major setback yesterday.  In January, we will have far fewer Indians holding office than we do now.  In addition to those already mentioned, in Alaska we lost Representative Woodie Salmon, in Missouri we lost Clay County Clerk Tom Brandom, in Montana we lost Representatives Frosty Boss Calf Ribs and J. David Roundstone as well as Cheryl Lynn Littledog who was running for a Democratic open-seat, and in Oklahoma we lost State Representative Ken Luttrell.

THE GOOD NEWS

In spite of the Republican landslide INDN’s List did win 12 of our 27 races.  In Oklahoma we won our only State Senate Race, John Sparks and will be sending three superstars back to the State House of Representatives: Al McAffrey, Seneca Scott, and Cory Williams

INDN’s List candidate John Oceguera won reelection in Nevada and is in line to become the new Speaker of the House.  Representative Patrick Goggles won reelection and will remain the Minority Leader in the Wyoming State House.  James Ramos will remain President of the San Bernardino Community College Board.  Carolyn Peace Lopez will remain in the Montana State House and Shannon Augare will join the Montana State Senate.  Albert Hale will take a seat in the Arizona State House.  In the Washington State House, John McCoy and Jeff Morris both retained their seats.

This cycle, Republican special interest groups and corporations spent more on elections than ever before.  Unfortunately, INDN’s List had less money than in past cycles.  We tried to help more candidates with fewer resources, and in most races we just could not compete.  We extend a special thank you to the NEA, IBEW, TWU, San Manuel Band, Ho Chunk Nation, Cherokee Nation, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Muckleshoot Tribe, and Jamestown S’Klallam TribeThis way too short list of unions and tribes (and a few very special individuals) take sole credit for our INDN candidates winning the seats we did.  And, to each of you who has generously given your time, energy and financial contributions to help INDN’s List this year, thank you for all you did to help the First Americans take and keep our rightful seats in the halls of power! 

Sac and Fox INDN Candidate Key to Democrats Retaining Chamber in Pennsylvania

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In 2006 Democrats retook the Pennsylvania State House for the first time since 1994 by one seat. The last and decisive race went to a recount and was won by only 28 votes.This seat was won by INDN’s List endorsed candidate Barbara McIlvaine Smith, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation. She was also the first Indian elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, making her victory vitally important for both the Democratic Party and Indian Country.

Now, Republicans are attempting to retake the House in Pennsylvania and they know they cannot flip the chamber unless they defeat Representative Barbara McIlvaine Smith. So, they’re committed to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars from their special interest friends to beat Barbara.

We need your immediate donation to help us fight back against this onslaught of Republican special interest money!

In the past four years in the legislature, Barbara has fought for a livable wage for all workers, affordable access to healthcare, quality education for all and a healthier, cleaner environment. Additionally, out of 201 legislators, she is one of two who post all legislative expenses online to ensure transparency.

INDN’s List is proud to stand with the first Indian elected to the Pennsylvania legislature and endorses Barbara McIlvaine Smith for reelection.

INDN’s List Announces WA Endorsements

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INDN’s List is proud to endorse three candidates from Washington State: Senator Claudia Kauffman, Representative John McCoy and Representative Jeff Morris.

Senator Claudia Kauffman

In 2005, INDN’s List was born and we hosted our First INDN Campaign Camp where we brought in a very distinguished group of Indian leaders from across the country to be trained by the top political consultants in the Democratic Party.  In that inaugural class was Claudia Kauffman, a member of the Nez Perce tribe, an extraordinarily talented individual who, with the support of INDN’s List made history by becoming the first American Indian woman elected to the Washington State Senate.

In her first term in office, Senator Kauffman has quickly made a huge impact and taken the lead on issues involving children and education.  As Vice Chair for Early Learning on the State Education Committee, Senator Kauffman brought together parents, professionals and policy makers to examine early learning needs statewide and develop a plan to expand early learning in Washington.  She authored and passed legislation that implemented this plan for all of Washington’s children.

This year, Senator Kauffman faces her first reelection campaign.  INDN’s List is proud to once again endorse Senator Kauffman for State Senate.  Republicans have targeted Senator Kauffman, making her their # 1 target, and are raising massive amounts of money to use against her.  They have even already started their dirty tricks, including a push poll, to defeat her.

Please take a moment to visit Claudia Kauffman’s website, learn more about her campaign, and make a donation to help her fight back against these dishonest attacks!

All donations prior to August 17th count as primary donations and not general election donations, so it is vital to donate now if you plan on making the maximum impact on her race.

Representatives John McCoy and Jeff Morris

INDN’s List is proud to once again endorse Representative John McCoy and Representative Jeff Morris for Washington State House.  We have endorsed these candidates since INDN’s List was founded, and they have both risen to great leadership posts nationally and in the Washington State House.

Representative Jeff Morris, a member of the Tsimshian Indian Nation, is running for his eighth term in office.  He is currently the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Washington State House, the second highest officer of the chamber.  He is also the Chair of the Council of State Governments, West.  Jeff is being challenged by a Republican for reelection. 

Representative John McCoy, a member of the Tulalip Tribe, is running for his fifth term in office.  He is current Chair of the House Technology, Energy and Communications Committee.  He is also Chair of the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators.  John is being challenged by a Republican for reelection. 

In Washington State, all money raised prior to August 17th counts as a primary contribution and not a general election contribution.  This allows organizations, like INDN’s List, to “max out” to candidates before August 17th and then “max out” again after August 17th. 

Please contribute now to help INDN’s List “max out” to our endorsed candidates twice, doubling our financial impact on their races!  

Join INDN’s List on Facebook and Twitter

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INDN’s List has worked on 45 winning campaigns for American Indian candidates across the nation and significantly increased voter turnout throughout Indian Country over the past five years.  We are working daily with candidates to win this November and working with our partners to help increase turnout in Indian Country.  But there’s more that we can do.

That’s why INDN’s List has created a comprehensive social media plan to engage American Indians across the country and reach out to people who have not participated in the political process.  

But we need your help!

Please  join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/indnslist) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/indnslist).  On Facebook, after liking our page (at the top), please  suggest our page (under the picture) to your friends and family.  On Twitter, after following us, please take a moment to send a tweet out asking your friends and family to follow us as well.

Social media will help us better communicate with our supporters.  We want you to not just join our Facebook page and Twitter page but more importantly to join the conversation.  Let us know what is going on in your community.  Share your ideas for what we can do to help more American Indian candidates and increase the Democratic vote up and down the ballot.  Help us reach out to your social network.

Thank you for your time and your help!  Together, we can help make a real difference for Indian Country!