Single Issue Voting

UpdateBelow, you will find the continuation of a discussion between Terry Lente, President of the Task Force for Membership, and myself, Christopher Abeita, regarding political endorsements.  To read this topic from the beginning, click: Political Endorsements & Blood Quantums



An informed voter in any election should know about the candidate’s position on issues that are important to them. The Task Force for Membership does not divide the Tribe, the difference of opinions on this sensitive issue already exists. The endorsement by the Task Force merely inform our supporters of which candidates are less likely to create roadblocks once the petition is submitted to the Secretary of Interior.


Terry, the problem with your “Task Force for Membership” is that they are concerned about a single issue: lowering the blood quantum. But, that is not the only issue or challenge facing our Tribe. The problem with single issue advocacy groups is that they have tunnel vision and they fail to properly educate the voters.

Our Tribe has many other issues that are of equal, if not greater importance than the blood quantum issue, like finding a way to pay the cost of decent health care for all of our people. The 3.5 million dollars that our Tribe wasted on a bunch of cows could have been better spent in providing health care to our people. Perhaps, we could’ve built a satellite EMS department in Chical to ensure that our families are better protected.

Right now, our Tribe is facing critical issues like mismanagement of the Casino, Lava Block Plant, Comanche Ranch and the IBC. Our Tribe is losing millions of dollars due to failure of the officials currently in office.

Our Tribe needs to ask: Why are so many of our families still living in poverty when we have a Casino? We have tribal members struggling day to day to simply feed their families while our current officials happily give themselves free concert tickets to shows at the Casino. Sure, once in a while, an official will give a concert ticket to a tribal member. But, our people deserve a hell of lot more than a concert ticket.

Right now, our families don’t even have an equal chance at getting a simple job with our Tribe unless they are lucky enough to be related to Governor Torres or one the Council Members. Why is that?

We also have many complex issues that do not get enough attention such as the Tribe’s water rights. The next time you drive over the Rio Grande ask yourself: why is our river turning into a dried up ditch? What are Governor Torres and the current Council doing to protect our water rights?

Right now, our tribal officials are trying to find a way to violate our Tribal Constitution to avoid term limits instead of applying the plain language to honor the will of the Tribe. They are using — the Tribe’s money — to pay lawyers —- to find a way to escape their obligation of honoring the people’s decision to establish Term Limits. Why?

We have a court system that is dysfunctional and I could go on and on and on.

So, voting for a candidate based on a single issue is a very poor method of choosing a candidate to represent our Tribe.

I’ve attended many Council Meetings and I know very well the strengths and weaknesses of our current Council and Governor. Sadly, only a very few deserve to get back into office. I wish that I could endorse all of them because we are supposed to be one people. We’re supposed to be a Tribe standing together. But, we’re not — because many of us have tunnel vision.

2 Replies to “Single Issue Voting”

  1. So whose gonna fix all your issues?? I never said any of those other things were unimportant! Why all if a sudden your concern for all? Come on, you were on council before and were still seeing the same issues!

    1. First, those aren’t “my” issues. Those are the Tribe’s issues. Second, are you saying that I was not addressing those issues when I was on Council? Because, as I Council Member, I fought vigorously on all of those issues and many others that you have no clue about because they involve individual families with extremely serious problems like child abuse. Our Tribe will continue to see the same issues because I will continue raising them again and again until they are resolved whether I’m on the Council or not. I am not a single issue person. And, I have always cared about these issues since 1997 when I started writing a newsletter about them. So, my interest is not “sudden.” And, even if people do get a “sudden” interest in politics, what’s wrong with that? And, finally, the solutions to all of those problems must come from the Tribe.

What are your thoughts?