Opinion | Politics

Steve Russell: 'Cruzing' to disaster with bad federal land policies

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on the campaign trail. Photo from Facebook

Steve Russell, a member of the Cherokee Nation, takes on Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz for advocating even more takings of Indian land in a new campaign ad:
Cruising to misfortune with another unqualified Texan fanatic at the wheel: Did this country learn nothing from George W. Bush? Ted Cruz’s willingness to say anything to get elected has spawned an ad aimed at Nevada that ought to alarm the country if the country could decode it.

Nevadans will be able to hear most of the dog whistles, so the ad works fine in context.

If Indians attend to what this man is saying, they will see what little they have left at the mercy of persons with no pretense of treaty obligations or awareness of the double-dealing that brought us to this pass. The smallholders to whom Cruz is pitching the demise of the federal commons would also be worse off.

I speak of the smallholders personified by—if not represented by—Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. The same Cliven Bundy who is a hero in the circles Cruz is courting for deadbeating the taxpayers out of a million dollars in grazing fees over 20 years. The same Cliven Bundy whose sons, Ammon and Ryan, led the recent armed takeover and siege at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, formerly known as the Malheur Indian Reservation.

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Steve Russell: Cruzing to Malheur (Indian Country Today 2/23)

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