FROM THE ARCHIVE
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In The Hoop
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2001

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Thanks Auntie Gale
Is Secretary of Interior Gale Norton avoiding Indianz.Com. Of course not!

The day Norton announced her proposal to strip the Bureau of Indian Affairs of its trust duties, she gave a number of media organizations a ring. The Associated Press, The Denver Post and The Washington Post all got a call.

So where was Indianz.Com's chat?

According to her spokespersons, she tried to call us. But she must have reached our voice mail, they said, and moved onto the next media group.

While we understand Norton has other stuff to do -- like presenting misleading testimony to Congress, talking to state governments and avoiding tribal leaders -- we have to admit we were disappointed we couldn't badger her with our questions.

But judging by the information, or lack thereof, she gave other publications, it doesn't look like we missed out on much.

From The Washington Post:
"'This new approach will help us move ahead with trust reform,' Norton said in an interview after announcing the moves. 'It will allow better coordination so that we can have a solid game plan for trust reform and put it into effect.'"

From The Denver Post:
"'It's important that we make progress in better managing trust assets,' Norton, a former Colorado attorney general, said in an interview. . . Although Norton declined to discuss any issue raised by an Indian lawsuit over the accounts, she acknowledged the litigation was a major factor in the reorganization. "The court action certainly has focused attention on these issues," she said.

From the AP:
"'The main question that people have been struggling with is, 'Who is in charge of trust reform?'"

Boy, are we glad we talked to tribal leaders that day instead. Something, incidentally, which she has failed to do so far.

Swimming Upstream
Is the Bush administration the repository for politicians no one else wants to see in office? Or for leftovers of the Reagan administration? Maybe.

Just as former Assistant Secretary and former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation Ross O. Swimmer.

Earlier this year, Swimmer was considering running for Congress since Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.) was going to vacate his seat to run for governor of Oklahoma. But once Cathy Keating -- wife of Gov. Frank Keating, whom Bush passed over for a Cabinet post -- got involved, he dropped out.

"I've had quite a few people that have said: 'I wish you were in the race,'" he told Indianz.Com.

When he did some polling, he said he couldn't stand up to a big name like the First Lady. "When you face that kind of opponent," he said, "it will be very difficult."

Nevertheless, he told the First Lady that he supports her 100 percent. "I think she'll do well and probably make a very good Congresswoman," Swimmer said.

In Your Hoop
What's your favorite ex-Reagan official? Jim Watt? Don Hodel? Email In the Hoop and let us know.

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