Native American activist Melinda Gopher of Missoula says she will make sure Montana Democrats have a choice in next year’s U.S. House primary.
Gopher told Charles S. Johnson of the Lee Newspapers State Bureau she will challenge John Lewis of Helena, a former top aide to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus who announced his candidacy earlier this year.
Gopher didn’t say much about Lewis.
“On my end, I’m going to keep it positive, but at the same time, we sort of need a shake-up,” she said. “I think he’ll be more of the same of what we’ve seen for a long time. We need a new set of eyes. I don’t necessarily subscribe to doing things the same way.”
Among other things, Gopher opposes the Affordable Care Act authored by Baucus, and instead favors the single-payer system Baucus took off the table as the debate over healthcare reform began.
On the other hand, Gopher agrees with Republicans on the need for tort reform.
“I’m in favor of regulating lawyers,” she told Johnson. “I think lawyers are running amok.”
Gopher, 48, finished third in a four-way Democratic primary for the House in 2010. Her parents were of Ojibwe heritage and adopted into the Blackfeet Tribe through her grandfather.
- Vince Devlin
When high school journalism students get called to the principal’s office, it’s usually because they’ve printed something the administration doesn’t like.
But Maryclaire Dale of the Associated Press reports that when editors of the Neshaminy High School Playwickian in suburban Philadelphia got called in recently, it was because of something they refused to print.
It’s the high school athletic teams’ nickname – the Redskins.
“Detractors will argue that the word is used with all due respect. But the offensiveness of a word cannot be judged by its intended meaning, but by how it is received,” read the editorial backed by 14 of 21 staff members. (An equally well-written op-ed voiced the dissenting group’s opinion.)
The ban comes as Native American activists and a few media outlets, along with President Barack Obama, challenge the moniker of Washington’s NFL team.
Dale reported that principal Robert McGee ordered the editors to put the ban on the term “Redskins” on hold, and also ordered the Playwickian to run a full-page, $200 ad submitted by a 1972 graduate of the high school that celebrates the name.
The alumnus later pulled the ad.
“I understand that there’s an inclination to want to protect a tradition at the school,” Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center in Arlington, Va., told the AP. “But the First Amendment is a longer and a better-established tradition.”
Student journalists have occasionally attempted to ban the term since 2001, but often wavered, Dale reported.
- Vince Devlin