06-19-2018  3:19 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

Colorado to adopt California's stricter car pollution rules

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor on Tuesday ordered his state to adopt California's vehicle pollution rules, joining other states in resisting the Trump administration's plans to ease up on emission standards.Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper told state regulators begin writing rules that...

Protesters on round-the-clock vigil at Oregon ICE facility

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A small group of protesters has set up camp outside the Portland, Oregon headquarters of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protest the Trump administration's policy of separating families after illegal border crossings.About two dozen protesters gathered...

Woman shot to death in Snohomish-area home, man arrested

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say 45-year-old woman was shot to death northeast of Seattle in her Snohomish-area home and a man believed to be her husband has been arrested.The Seattle Times reports a man called 911 around 9 p.m. Monday and reported that someone had been hurt in his...

Colorado to adopt California's stricter car pollution rules

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor on Tuesday ordered his state to adopt California's vehicle pollution rules, joining other states in resisting the Trump administration's plans to ease up on emission standards.Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper told state regulators begin writing rules that...

OPINION

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lawsuit: Chicago police falsely ID thousands as gang members

CHICAGO (AP) — Civil rights group filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that the Chicago Police Department relies on an error-plagued database that names up to 195,000 people as gang members, including many who have never been in a gang.Many people were erroneously listed in the database simply...

Bucks' Sterling Brown sues Milwaukee over stun-gun arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown sued the city of Milwaukee and its police department Tuesday, saying officers' use of a stun gun during his arrest for a parking violation constitutes excessive force and that they targeted him because he is black.Brown's attorney Mark...

Lawsuit claims Kansas official exposed private voter data

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach challenging a multi-state voter registration database it claims exposed sensitive information including partial Social Security numbers from nearly a thousand state...

ENTERTAINMENT

CBS' '60 Minutes' gathers audience week by week

NEW YORK (AP) — The newsmagazine "60 Minutes" was not television's most popular program this year, but for the 11th consecutive season it had more people who watched at least once during the year than any other non-sports show on TV.The Nielsen company's cumulative measurement of programs...

Film Review: 'The King' is guilty of an Elvis crime- excess

It's usually a bad sign when critics start questioning your film before it's even finished. But director Eugene Jarecki had to endure worse. While making the documentary "The King," he actually got gruff from a member of his own film crew.After a car breaks down, Jarecki takes the opportunity to...

Birthplace of singer, activist Nina Simone to be preserved

TRYON, N.C. (AP) — The dilapidated wooden cottage in North Carolina that was the birthplace of singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone now has the protection of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.The trust said in a news release Tuesday that it will develop and find a new use...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Lawyer: Police think slaying of XXXTentacion was random

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The lawyer for slain rapper XXXTentacion said Tuesday that detectives believe...

Trump raises risk of economically harmful US-China trade war

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China edged closer Tuesday to triggering the riskiest trade war in...

Meat 2.0? Clean meat? Spat shows the power of food wording

NEW YORK (AP) — If meat is grown in a lab without slaughtering animals, what should it be called?That...

Merkel says climate change is 'a fact,' laments US stance

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel took aim Tuesday at U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to...

Blurring the border, Turkey deepens roots in northern Syria

AL-BAB, Syria (AP) — A newly paved road links the Turkish town of Elbeyli to the Syrian town of al-Bab,...

London police say short circuit caused minor subway blast

LONDON (AP) — A battery short circuit caused a small explosion at a London Underground station that injured...

Justin Juozapavicius the Associated Press


Chad Smith served as chief of the Cherokee Nation until June.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- In a rare move by the government, a federal judge will delve in to the interworking of an American Indian tribe this week by deciding whether to allow the descendants of slaves once owned by members of the Cherokee Nation to vote in the tribe's embattled election for chief.

A special election being held Saturday was ordered by the tribe's highest court after recounts from a flawed election in June were reversed several times, with the longtime chief and his challenger each being declared the winner twice. Tribal experts believe the slave descendants - known as freedmen - could swing the vote to new leadership of one of the country's largest tribes.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy will hear arguments Tuesday in Washington, D.C., from attorneys for the freedmen, who are suing to keep their right to vote and other tribal benefits after tribe members voted to cut them off. They're asking for a preliminary injunction, which would allow freedmen to vote like other members of the tribe Saturday.

The election challenges had been playing out in the tribe's court system until the freedmen sued, citing an 1866 treaty with the federal government that they argue guarantees their tribal rights. That pushed the case into the federal courts. The federal government warned the Cherokees this month to reinstate the freedmen, saying Saturday's election would be illegal if they weren't allowed to vote.

Chad Smith, who was chief until a temporary replacement was named after the June election, has actively campaigned for the last decade to remove non-Cherokee freedmen from the tribe's voter rolls. His challenger, longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker, also backed their removal but not as vocally.

Although no official breakdown exists, attorneys for the freedmen estimate that between 330 and 500 freedmen voted during that election. The tribe initially announced Smith had won by 11 votes, but subsequent tallies had the margins at seven, 266 and five votes.

"My impression is that an overwhelming majority of the freedmen would be supporting Bill John Baker," said attorney Ralph Keen Jr., who is representing the freedmen in tribal court. "They feel like the past administration was so staunchly opposed to their rights that any change would be a change for the better."

After ballots were counted a fifth time from the June election, the tribe's Supreme Court said it couldn't be sure the tally was correct and ordered a new election.

But in the meantime, it upheld a 2007 vote by tribe members to revoke the freedmen's suffrage rights after three-fourths of voters favored doing so.

The Cherokee Nation has about 300,000 members, making it Oklahoma's largest tribe and one of the largest tribes in the U.S. About 2,800 freedmen held tribal rights after fighting for years to regain citizenship privileges that they believe were granted to them under the 1866 treaty, which gave the freedmen and their descendants "all the rights of native Cherokees."

Smith and Baker both backed the tribal court's decision to kick the freedmen out of the tribe. But Baker has appeared less vocal about it while on the campaign trail, inviting the idea by his opponents that he is courting the freedmen vote. Smith, however, has repeatedly invoked the freedmen issue and tells voters he is the only candidate who has consistently defended the results of the 2007 vote.

"The non-Cherokee freedmen are vocal in their support of Baker because they know he will support them instead of the constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly by the Cherokee people," Smith said. "I have chosen, instead, to be vocal in my support of the Cherokee people."

Jon Velie, a tribal law attorney who also represents freedmen descendants, said it would amount to "political suicide" if Baker came out as strongly as Smith has on the freedmen.

Chuck Hoskin, Jr., a senior adviser to the Baker campaign, dismissed any theory that the freedmen vote would automatically tilt in his candidate's favor.

"No matter what the courts end up deciding, we are confident that Bill John Baker will be elected as the next chief of the Cherokee Nation by a wide margin," Hoskin said.

Amid mounting pressure from the federal government, which included the freezing of $33 million in Cherokee funds by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the tribe's election commission decided to allow freedmen to cast provisional ballots for chief - but said those votes would only count in the event of a court order.

The principal chief controls business and gaming enterprises that provide jobs for thousands of Cherokees amid high unemployment, and he or she oversees rural health care facilities and other services. The chief administers a $600 million annual tribal budget, has veto power and sets the tribe's national agenda.

Baker and Smith waged bare-knuckle campaigns in the weeks leading up to the June election, with each accusing the other of negative campaigning and resorting to questionable campaign tactics. At odds on almost every issue, they fought over how many jobs the nation was creating for the Cherokee people, spending on health care and even Smith's use of a twin-engine airplane the tribe has owned for 38 years.

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