Editorial: Indian voting rights and Heffelfinger
"In a few short weeks, former U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger has gone from believing that he left his post in the good graces of the Justice Department to realizing that he not only was on an early list of prosecutors to be fired, but was on it for political reasons. If Heffelfinger's head is spinning, others should be rolling.

Why was he on such a list? Los Angeles Times (and former Star Tribune) reporter Tom Hamburger reported, "Part of the reason, government documents and other evidence suggest, is that he tried to protect Indians' voting rights." It certainly appears that he was getting in the way of widespread GOP efforts to curb voting by people who typically vote Democratic.

In Minnesota, then-Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer seemed to see voter fraud behind every tree. She directed that Indians living off the reservation couldn't use their tribal ID cards to identify themselves for the purpose of voting. Heffelfinger's office was concerned that this would harm Indian voting rights; a federal court eventually ruled that the IDs could be used.

A jigsaw puzzle of evidence is starting to line up, and the picture that's emerging looks a lot like a nationwide effort to disenfranchise certain voters -- with the help of state officeholders and federal prosecutors. It isn't pretty."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Senate: Press hard on Minnesota angle (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/2)
pwlat

Related Stories:
Probe sought into Indian voting and Heffelfinger (6/1)
DOJ cut off Indian voting rights probe in Minnesota (5/31)
White Earth chairwoman seeks ouster of Gonzales (5/30)
NCAI concerned about DOJ's commitment to tribes (5/29)
Heffelfinger supports probe into 'broken' DOJ (5/25)
Ex-DOJ aide cites 'concern' about Indian focus (5/24)
Fired U.S. Attorney of New Mexico has Native roots (5/22)
Sen. Tester calls on U.S. Attorney to resign (05/03)
U.S. Attorney in Montana protected by Patriot Act (5/2)
Heffelfinger was a target in U.S. Attorney purge (4/27)
Sen. Coburn tells Gonzales to resign over firings (4/20)
Attorney firings reviewed at Senate hearing (4/20)
Senate panel moves Gonzales testimony to Thursday (4/17)
House committee hits Gonzales with first subpoena (4/11)
Indian Country crime an issue in US Attorney firing (4/2)
Opinion: Fired U.S. Attorney helped Michigan tribes (3/30)
Documents shed light on US Attorney firings (3/20)
E-mails shed new details on US Attorney for Arizona (3/14)
Sen. Domenici hires law firm over US Attorney flap (3/8)
Ousted US Attorneys to testify before House panel (3/2)
Ousted US Attorney cites Republican pressure (3/1)
US Attorney ousted over tribal death penalty cases (2/19)
Hopi woman passed over for interim US Attorney (2/1)
Hopi woman touted as next US Attorney for Arizona (1/29)
Mother Jones: Navajo Nation debates death penalty (1/18)
Bush urged to nominate Hopi woman for U.S. Attorney (01/05)
Heffelfinger: Tribes need homeland security funds (6/9)
Indian gaming law proposal undergoes big changes (02/28)
Tom Heffelfinger to step down as U.S. Attorney (02/15)
Tribal leaders attend meeting on Red Lake shootings (02/01)
Red Lake families meet in private with Heffelfinger (01/31)
California tribes spar over gaming machine distinctions (01/24)
Louis Jourdain sentenced to juvenile rehabilitation (01/17)
Gaming proposal moving forward despite opposition (01/16)
Judge won't allow access to Jourdain sentencing (12/19)
IGRA amendments tough on many, especially tribes (12/12)
Judge to decide on access to Jourdain sentencing (12/02)
Red Lake shootings case not over despite plea (12/01)
McCain proposes major amendments to IGRA (11/30)
Louis Jourdain pleads guilty to one charge (11/30)
DOJ releases proposed changes to Indian gaming law (10/06)
DOJ proposes major change in Indian gaming law (09/16)
Heffelfinger praises actions in Red Lake shooting (08/24)
Senate panel supports NIGC on Class II rules (04/29)
Federal prosecutor seeks to change 'national shame' (04/19)