Mixed Senate group opposes tribal recognition


WASHINGTON ? The handful of senators, seven Democrats, seven Republicans and one Independent, who supported the Dodd Amendment for a moratorium on tribal recognition reflect a curious mix of possible motives.

The vote to table, or kill, the amendment was backed by 80 senators. Only 15 voted no, which would have kept the amendment alive. Of these 15, two were from Nevada, one from Louisiana (Mary Landrieu) and one from New Jersey, states where anti-Indian gaming forces wield great influence. (Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., didn't vote. John Breaux, D-La., opposed the amendment.)

Both Republican senators from Oklahoma supported the moratorium, as did Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., which might interest their Indian constituents. The two senators from Connecticut, both Democrat, of course backed their creation. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., a long-time opponent of Lumbee recognition, also supported Dodd and Lieberman, who on many issues are ideological opposites.

The other five votes, two Democrat, two Republican and one Independent, had little in common except for state histories of removing, and in Vermont, sterilizing, their Indian inhabitants.

The 15 pro-moratorium senators follow:

Carnahan, D-Mo.; Cleland, D- Ga.; Corzine, D-N. J.; Dodd, D-Conn.; Ensign, R-Nev.; Helms, R-N.C.; Inhofe, R-Okla.; Jeffords, I-Vt.; Kyl, R-Ariz.; Landrieu, D-La.; Lieberman, D-Conn.; Lugar, R-Ind.; Nickles, R-Okla.; Reid, D-Nev.; Sessions, R-Ala.