Courtesy Debra Haaland
Debra Haaland, Democratic Party of New Mexico chairwoman, with Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

We Need Democratic President for Indian Country: NM Dem. Party Chair

Harlan McKosato

The Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico is Debra Haaland, who is from the Pueblo of Laguna. She is the first Native Americans ever elected as the state chair of one of the two major political parties. With the 2016 presidential election too close for comfort, Haaland is working hard to get New Mexico voters to cast their ballots for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and earn the state’s five electoral votes, which could sway the national election.

Haaland was elected as chairwoman of the DPNM in April 2015. She recently sat down with ICTMN to talk about the upcoming presidential election.

The vitriol in this year’s election is like nothing most people have ever seen. Have you ever seen anything like it?

No I haven’t. Let’s be clear. The vitriol and the animosity that is going on started on the Republican side and the Republican primaries.

New Mexicans voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Why do you think Democrats can do more for the state and Indian country?

We’re the party of inclusion, for one thing. Look at the two presidential tickets. The Republicans have a vice-presidential candidate (Indiana Gov. Mike Pence) who passed a law to exclude gay people. Native American issues are just as important to Democrats as African American issues, or Hispanic issues. You don’t have to be rich and you don’t have to be white to have a seat at the Democratic table.

President Obama has been the best president Native folks have ever had. He’s done more for Indian country; put more land into trust. He’s done more for Indians than any president. He promised tribes better government-to-government relations and he kept his promise. He just finished his 8th White House Tribal Nations Conference. Why wouldn’t we still want that?

Hillary Clinton recognizes the need to nurture government-to-government relationships that are necessary. Democrats want our tribes to share in the country’s successes. Hillary will continue meaningful tribal consultation. She will work to resolve long standing disputes. She will advocate for justice. She will make Native veteran’s issues a priority and push for better Indian Education policies.

Do you think Trump, if elected, will bring tribal nations to the White House?

No I don’t think so. He puts money first and people last. If you recall, he was in front of a Senate committee testifying and he made many disparaging comments about how people didn’t look Indian, therefore they couldn’t be Indian. He asked why they were getting special treatment when it came to casinos. He’s already shown his true colors when it comes to people of color.

New Mexico former Governor Gary Johnson, a Republican, is running as the candidate for the Libertarian Party. What do you say to his supporters?

The third party candidate vote is not the best option for Indian country. Hillary Clinton is the most qualified presidential candidate we’ve ever had, in my view. She has a lot of experience. So many people have agreed with that. Gary Johnson’s own vice-presidential candidate admitted on national TV that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate.

She knows how government works. She understands everything domestically and has relationships with world leaders already. They trust her. They know her. She did an excellent job as secretary of state. I don’t think anyone can deny that. When you have your own third party candidate saying she’s the most qualified, what else is there left to say?

If Hillary wins then tribes win because she understands tribes. Donald Trump doesn’t like Indians, he’s already said it. In order for us to do well, we need to have a Democratic President in the White House.

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tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
The political climate is not just inclusive of Repubs and Dems especially but also included is the TV (America) channels and cable stations of NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS. The US Government to TV Media Complex is inclusive of husband/wife teams where one works influentially with TV news and the other works under the White House or Obama Administration. Certainly, anybody who doesn't agree or support the White House agenda is deemed a racist, bigot, etc. (which by progressive standards, "people of color" are racists, and bigots!) >>>>>>>>> "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money" — Margaret Thatcher The demands of potentially 20 MILLION plus newly minted illegal aliens as US citizens and the complex demand of Islamic/Muslim and other foreign interests (China, Middle East, etc.) vested into investments in the US economy obviously make the legit requests by Indian Tribes Nation....secondary! Consider too a $20 TRILLION Federal deficit (10 MILLION more from GWB) that kids, descendants are stuck in paying for future generations. Obviously the money has to come from somewhere, i.e. in CUTS and SET BACKs where the demands and absence of US Foreign Policy for 8 years will require United States investments! Russian, Chinese, North Korea, Iranian have increased their demand for military hardware where the United States has drastically cut military hardware and investments in the past 8 years! >>>>>>>>> Hillary Clinton will show interest where it benefits her (if not the Clinton Foundation). Of course who would know better about fund-raising and the lost millions that were to be invested in Haitian Rebuilding from their Earthquake. The Clintons were no where to be found after the donations came in. Baraq Obama has done for the native/tribal yes but again the federal dollars and investments had to come from somewhere. Some other federal service was depleted considering what was given by the Obama Administration. Giving criticism to Wall Street, but holding the other hand behind your back with fingers is no sign of honest, trustworthy, or direct (unlike being a hypocrite). Hillary Clinton has demonstrated and finessed this technique for as long as she been political. Woman being groped, fondled, and sexed by none other than Billy Jeff Clinton and attacked by Hillary Clinton lends no credibility to the Clinton name. Thank goodness for Wiki-Leaks considering the US Govt. FBI James Comney it turns out is on the Clinton Foundation payrolls. Being brought up of being guilty but NOT CHARGED demonstrates that there is no credibility nor likeabilty to someone such Hillary R. Clinton who should be charged (if you consider anybody else would charged and found guilty).

Old Lady's picture
Old Lady
Submitted by Old Lady on
Debra Haaland - if you ever run I will DEFINITELY vote for you!!! For now: To the polls for Hillary!!

MrsB's picture
Submitted by MrsB on
O.k. so i'm posting because I just don't see how Obama is the best thing to happen to Native Americans. Haven't you heard of pineridge? I just learned a lot about that place and my only question was... How is it than ANY president of this country could allow the conditions of pineridge to go on. How can it be that WE (the USA) have the 2nd poorest place in the western hemisphere nest the Haiti??? How is that??? How on Earth is that?? How can the United States be home to the 2nd poorest place... And now I read that Obama actually visited the Dakotas and saw it for himself and still no fixing?? There are people there that are STARVING!!! KIDS ARE STARVING!! And what does Michelle Obama do?? She cuts student's calorie intake to 850 calories!! She took food away!!! A growing teenager can need up to 3000 calories a day because they are growing. More if they are athletic. People in Pineridge are near freezing in the winter. Have you seen their housing? Why did our president not fix this??? Doesn't it make you a little mad that he isn't doing anything? Golfing perhaps.. He is NOT the best and never will be. I think he crapped on our native people. He saw and he left. Over all, I do not think native people are better off since he took office. And isn't Hillary getting large sums of money from the banks that are supporting that Pipeline? And you said that Donald Trump SAID that he doesn't like Indians. Did he really say he doesn't like them?? I think you should actually back that statement up. The actual quote or video would be great.