TomWitosky

Tribal sovereignty and Elizabeth Warren's problem with her Cherokee heritage claim

Tom Witosky is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was a longtime investigative reporter for the Des Moines Register. -promoted by Laura Belin

Much has been written about U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and her most recent apology about her Native American heritage claim.

The Massachusetts senator opened her presentation at last month’s Native American presidential forum in Sioux City by acknowledging that the controversy over her claims of Cherokee heritage had caused harm.

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A walk on a cold winter day with my grandfather

Tom Witosky, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, reflects on threats to tribal sovereignty and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claims to Native American ancestry. -promoted by Laura Belin

One cold winter day, my maternal grandfather, Cliff King, and I went for a long walk.

Late afternoon in Wisconsin with sunlight fading and snow crunching under our feet, we talked about a lot of things as a bracing breeze out of the north slapped our faces red. This walk was a necessary one for Cliff, who liked to walk outside because it was the only time he could get a chaw of tobacco out of from under the watchful eye of my grandmother and my mother.

He offered me a chunk and – having done a bit of it during my summers in an Idaho logging camp – I accepted. We walked quietly for a while, this man who had been born in the Indian Territory before Oklahoma had become a state and before he was recognized as a U.S. citizen and his grandson, now a college student.

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An open letter to Congressman David Young

Tom Witosky follows up on recent correspondence with his U.S. House representative. -promoted by desmoinesdem

March 13, 2017
Dear Congressman Young,

I am writing this open letter to you because the time is fast approaching when your words will be put to the test with your vote on the proposed American Health Care Act.

Make no mistake, the Republican majorities’ decision to amend key portions of the Affordable Care Act will change coverage for millions of us who have obtained insurance through federal or state exchanges.

In your Feb. 21 letter to me, you outlined your concerns about the current law and what you believed needed to be corrected with new legislation. Those concerns included:

“We need a healthcare law that works for all Iowans, the facts are that the current healthcare law works for some but it does not work for others.”

Analysis of this proposal by a variety of experts and expert groups – conservative and liberal — indicates strongly that the House proposal does nothing to provide a law “that works for all Iowans.”

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David Young on the Affordable Care Act: Raising more questions than answers

Former Des Moines Register investigative reporter Tom Witosky dissects a letter he received from the Republican who represents Iowa’s third Congressional district. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Congressman David Young has scheduled a town hall meeting for today at Living History Farms. Clearly, one of the topics to be discussed will be the Affordable Health Care Act and what the Republican majority intends to do to it.

As fate would have it, I received a lengthy response from Congressman Young about my concerns about the Republican plans on Tuesday.

First some background. Up until I became eligible for Medicare almost a year ago, my wife and I purchased our health insurance on the federal exchange.

Our experience was good. We kept our doctors, the level of deduction was acceptable (stay healthy and you don’t need to worry about it) and the premium cost was acceptable. We received no subsidy. Especially important is the ACA requiring coverage of all purchasers with a pre-existing condition. My wife, who is still purchasing her health insurance on the exchange, has one that insurance companies commonly declined to cover or placed limits on.

I provide this background because Young’s letter to me outlines a position that attempted to persuade me major problems exist within the ACA that apparently deserve radical change.

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Throwback Thursday: Down memory lane with politicians who don't pay income taxes

By Tom Witosky

Donald Trump’s reported avoidance of paying federal income taxes – possibily for almost two decades – raises a simple, but interesting question for Iowa voters.
Does it matter? And, if it doesn’t matter to voters in 2016, then why did it matter when Gov. Terry Branstad and his supporters made such a big deal of it in his campaigns against Democrat candidate Roxanne Conlin in 1982 and Jack Hatch in 2014?

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Title IX and the Rio Olympics

Tom Witosky covered sports, politics and business for many years as an investigative reporter at the Des Moines Register. -promoted by desmoinesdem

-30-

Back when newspaper reporters typed their stories onto paper, the notation -30- at the bottom of the final page indicated the end of a story.

When the U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team on Sunday defeated Serbia, 96-66, the 30-point drubbing fittingly symbolized the end of one of the best Olympic efforts ever by U.S. male and female athletes. Medal totals told the story: U.S. teams earned 121 medals (45 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze) outpacing China’s second place finish with 70 medals.

But what’s more interesting is how the dominance of U.S. female athletes, likely the most superior women’s team ever fielded by the United States Olympic Committee, played such a huge role in that success.

In many ways, the U.S. success provides another metaphor for the progress that has been made in this country’s striving for a better union. Like the breaking of the racial barrier in Major League Baseball by Jackie Robinson, and the breaking of the sexual-orientation barrier by a variety of athletes, the success of the U.S. women illustrates vividly that commitment to equality and diversity does pay despite long-term, deep-seated resistance from those who disagree.

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