Richard Cebull, a Bush appointee, has forced tribes to sue Democratic Secretary of State Linda McCullough who is running for re-election. From a piece by Jordy Yager in the Hill:
“I'm not arguing that the opportunity is equal for Indian persons as it is to non-Indians," Cebull said, according to the Associated Press. "Because of poverty, because of the lack of vehicles and that sort of thing, it's probably not equal. However, you have to prove ... that they can't elect candidates of their choice."From news aggregator rt.com
Fifteen Native American plaintiffs insisted to the court that they were being discriminated against because they did not have fair and equal access to ballots, needing in some cases to travel 120 miles round-trip in order to vote at sanctioned polling places. Judge Cebull, however, implied that their case was not strong enough to warrant emergency action.Again, Yager in The Hill:
It was announced in early October that the misogynistic judge would assume senior status with reduced case loads according to Clair Johnson of the Billings Gazette and published in the Helena Independent Record:
“The judge was wrong on the law and the defendants are on the wrong side of history,” said Tom Rodgers, a member of Montana’s Blackfeet Indian tribe, and a lobbyist with the Carlyle Consulting group, in a phone interview with The Hill Wednesday night.“They have a fear of Native Americans’ political power and a fear of their own budgets coming under stress,” said Rodgers, who blew the whistle on former lobbyist Jack Abramoff for charging Native American tribes exorbitant fees.
At least two organizations, including the Montana Human Rights Network and Common Cause, also filed formal complaints against Cebull. The incident drew national attention and calls by other groups, elected officials and the media to resign. The Ninth Circuit has not issued a decision in the case.Pitting tribes against a Democratic secretary of state in a tight election between Senator Jon Tester and earth hater Dennybriated Rehberg, whose drunken antics contributed to a near-fatal 2010 boat crash, is a desperate move by the Montana Republican Party after another GOP judge reluctantly released a heavily redacted version of the incident.
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Billings Gazette file photo.