Now, as much as I really don't want to like this senator, I've got to say her activities regarding Native people, especially Alaska Native people, have been pretty interesting. Interesting in a good way.
I don't know that I'll ever get over the way she got her job (I'm going to have my dad appoint me as his replacement when he quits just to see if it works, too) but she actually has been PROactive in the Native arena. There are some places I wish she'd focus more, and certainly in issues NON-Native related I have much bigger problems with her. But in this particular area, I will give a grudging "B-" on the Writing Raven politician report card.
It's answers like the one below that make me wonder - it's a very politician answer, yet a politician who can "speak" Native policy will always make me take another look.
ICT: Do you worry at all that Alaska Natives will receive less attention as a result of your move?
Murkowski: I don’t believe that the interests of Alaska Natives will be diminished as a result of my decision to accept the ranking role on the energy committee. The Alaska Native community is a leader in self-determination and self governance. They share common interests with tribes around the country that contract and compact Indian programs.
You see, though the premise of the question is that Native people will suffer without her on the committee, she turns it around to say Alaska Native people are good at taking care of themselves, thank you very much.
Okay, the politic-y part of that is OF COURSE Alaska Native people will be politically better off if one of their elected officials is on the senate committee that addresses their issues directly. OF COURSE their will be some negative effect of not having that voice. But still, thanks for the thought.
CORRECTION: Don't know how I missed it, but Murkowski is still on the committee, just not the vice-chair. I'm hoping for some very good outcomes...