Editorial: Judge Choctaw chief by accomplishments
"Just as incumbent Republican Gov. Haley Barbour has his detractors in an election year, so does incumbent Choctaw Chief Phillip Martin. Despite unprecedented economic growth and development, Martin faces political challengers and policy critics as he seeks re-election to an eighth term as the leader of the Choctaw tribe.

There are legitimate points of contention. The tribe's relationship with corrupt Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the expenditure of $10.4 million on lobbying and $1.3 million in political contributions during the tribe's time as a client of the infamous lobbyist raises such questions.

But neither Martin nor the tribe was implicated in any wrongdoing. Beyond the Abramoff affair, most of the criticism aimed at Martin centers on traditional political differences - how the political pie is divided on the reservation and the size of the slices received by various factions.

Martin's critics will have their say during the coming election. But Martin's legacy can only fairly be judged by how far Mississippi Choctaws have come from poverty and marginalization over the 32 years under Martin's leadership - a distance measured in steady progress."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Choctaws: Tribal politics not unlike others (The Jackson Clarion-Ledger 3/27)

Relevant Links:
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians - http://www.choctaw.org

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