By Ken Thomas
Obama met with 70 to 75 supporters from Native American tribes. Democratic officials said the fundraiser would benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint committee of the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Tickets started at $15,000.
Obama told participants that he has worked to include American Indians in his administration and wants Native Americans to be "full partners in our economy." The president noted that he had signed laws to improve health care for Native American tribes and pushed for better educational opportunities and more improvements to tribal economies.
"We want new businesses and new opportunities to take root on the reservations," Obama said. Attendees included Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I.
By Levi Rickert
By reading the reactions from our readers to Saturday's article, there was not one positive comment about the tribal officials paying at least $15,000 to attend President Obama's fundraiser.
Here is a sampling of the comments:
The following comment came via an email to me late Sunday night from Los Angeles:
"Sovereign nation leaders, tribal elders and Obama refers to them as 'you guys'? Is this how he addresses the governors or other leaders at the United Nations? The 75 'guys' giving $15,000 to sit with Obama was a waste of money. Is this the payment of money he got by hosting three tribal leaders meetings?"
I am sure the 75 American Indian tribal officials would argue this is how American politics is played. They would argue you have to give big money in hope of something in return.
Meanwhile, the chances of Obama's pardoning Leonard Peltier are slim to none. I wouldn't even waste time asking him about it. If you get a few minutes to talk with Obama, you should concentrate on jobs, healthcare, and law enforcement, not one possible pardon.
For more on the positive side of Obama's relationship with Indians, see Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline and Obama Signs Cobell Settlement. For more on the negative side, see Funding Cuts for Tribal Justice and Obama Breaks Promise to Indians.