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Montana Indian Democrats Council and Montana Democratic Party meet

Corrected

By Adriana Fehrs

Andrea Marcoccio, the new Montana Democratic Party Executive Director, takes a quick second to chat with Lea Whitford, Democratic Candidate for Senate District 8, before the Montana Indian Democrats Council and Montana Democratic Party meeting.(Adriana Fehrs photo) Andrea Marcoccio, the new Montana Democratic Party Executive Director, takes a quick second to chat with Lea Whitford, Democratic Candidate for Senate District 8, before the Montana Indian Democrats Council and Montana Democratic Party meeting.(Adriana Fehrs photo)

PABLO — The Montana Indian Democrats Council (MIDC) partnered with the Montana Democratic Party (MDP) on a four-day tour of Montana Indian Reservations. They stopped at the SKC Camas Kitchen to hear feedback from the Native community and to speak on the alleged harmful impact of Congress Steve Daines voting record.

Andrea Marcoccio, the new Montana Democratic Party Executive Director, addressed the crowd on May 27. Marcoccio, the first female executive director in 26 years, adamantly threw her support behind Senator Jon Walsh and U.S. House Candidate John Lewis. “If Steve Daines is elected to the U.S. Senate, there will be catastrophic results.” Local Organizer and Chairperson of Lake County Democrats, Caryn Kelley, agrees with Marcoccio, “The primary elections are in seven days [June 3], and if we do not get a democrat into the Senate, Jon Tester will lose his position as the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Also, if we do not get the right people into office, we will go to litigation on the water compact.”

Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Andrea Marcoccio stopped in at SKC on May 27 while on a four-day tour with the Montana Indian Democrats Council. (Adriana Fehrs photo)  Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Andrea Marcoccio stopped in at SKC on May 27 while on a four-day tour with the Montana Indian Democrats Council. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

Marcoccio then gave several highlights of Congressman Steve Daines voting record. She explains that Daines voted in favor of the government shutdown, which halted several tribal programs including health care. He supported sequester cuts that limited funding for schools and Indian Health Services. Daines has repeatedly voted to repeal legislation that would improve Indian health Service. Daines also voted against increased funding for the BIA, food stamp benefits, and funding for Violence Against Woman programs for Indian woman.

Anna Whiting-Sorrell, THSS Director of Operations, gave her input at the meeting. “We need to have people in office who will represent us in Indian country. I know Steve Daines demanded a government shutdown, and that hurt IHS. Every time we hear him say he is going to repeal the Obamacare Act, we should ask, ‘How is he going to protect the wellbeing of Indians?’”

Anna Whiting-Sorrell, THSS Director of Operations, gave her input at the Montana Indian Democrats Council meeting. “We need to have people in office who will represent us in Indian country. I know Steve Daines demanded a government shutdown, and that hurt IHS.” (Adriana Fehrs photo) Anna Whiting-Sorrell, THSS Director of Operations, gave her input at the Montana Indian Democrats Council meeting. “We need to have people in office who will represent us in Indian country. I know Steve Daines demanded a government shutdown, and that hurt IHS.” (Adriana Fehrs photo)

The MIDC and MDP announce that they are in need of support. Marcoccio says, “We need feet on the ground – people going out and knocking on doors. That is what it is going to take to make sure we get a democrat in office.”

Lea Whitford, Democratic Candidate for Senate District 8, was next to speak at the meeting. The MSU Master’s in Education graduate and mother of three says education only opens doors. “As a legislator it is our responsibility to support educational systems, especially Native American programs. We need to push harder to make funding more available for us.”

Correction: In the print edition of CKN, the article stated that Andrea Marcoccio, the new Montana Democratic Party Executive Director, adamantly threw her support behind Senator Jon Tester; she actually supported Senator John Walsh.

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