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Record Editorial: Cheers to Vizenor and good government on White Earth

Cheers to the landslide victory last week by White Earth Chairwoman Erma Vizenor, who earned 66 percent of the vote to win re-election.

She was the first in White Earth to be re-elected in a primary election, which requires winning more than 50 percent of the vote. There were seven candidates for the job.

The White Earth Tribal Council -- and the voters who elected them -- deserve credit for professionalizing government at all levels on the reservation, where things are done pretty much by the book, in the general interest of the people.

That wasn't always the case in White Earth, and it isn't the case now in some places.

Look for more turmoil on the Leech Lake Reservation, for example, where Archie LaRose was elected chairman last week, also in a big primary vote victory.

LaRose, a scrappy politician who grew up on the rough ground of Track 33 in Cass Lake, is anything but by the book.

In one of the ugliest campaigns we've seen in a long time -- prominently featuring sexual allegations -- he won 56 percent of the vote to unseat incumbent George Goggleye Junior.

LaRose is a young man, but he is proud of governing like an old-fashioned patronage politician -- doling out tribal funds to individual tribal members in need.

He and allies on the council seem to hold meetings when and where they please and take action -- such as firing the tribal attorney who was investigating LaRose for allegedly misusing tribal housing funds -- without the full council being present.

By comparison, ask around for the latest gossip on White Earth, and all people can come up with is that the tribe is considering buying the Gillfillan Center in Bemidji for a youth treatment center.

Here's to continued good governance at White Earth.

***

Jeers to Old Man Winter, who had to follow a long, cold season with a parting shot of deep, wet snowfall over the weekend.

With 14-20 inches of snow across Becker County, it was one of the biggest snow events in several years, leading schools to declare a snow day in April, of all months.

The return of the white stuff was a cruel blow for a winter-weary people, especially young ones more than ready to hit the baseball and soccer fields, play golf and run track.

May the snow disappear quickly and stay gone until next winter...

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