Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 9, 2013

White Clay: Nebraska Governor and his Liquor Industry

Oglala President Bryan Brewer

Video: Oyate Mednet Interview with Oglala President Bryan Brewer, July 9, 2013

Nebraska Governor and his liquor industry
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Yesterday, Oglala President Bryan Brewer walked out of a meeting, saying that Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman disrespected the President. President Brewer said Gov. Heineman has no intention of helping halt the devastation being caused by bordertown liquor sales at White Clay. 
It turns out that the Nebraska governor's top campaign donors include the liquor industry. These campaign donors top the list with their dollars going to Gov. Heineman: Double Eagle Distributing in Lincoln, and ANHEUSER-BUSCH, according to the 2012 campaign report.
Before the meeting, the statement below was released, which was widely circulated. President Brewer describes in the video how the release of the information on liquor donors to the Nebraska governor upset the governor.
Meanwhile, AP reported White Clay, with roughly a dozen residents, sold the equivalent of nearly 3.9 million, 12-ounce cans of beer in 2012.
"Brewer said he also met Monday with Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, a well-known advocate for poor and minority populations. Brewer said he still hopes to work with state officials, including Chambers and the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs.
"Had Monday's meeting continued, Brewer said he would have asked Heineman to help shutter Whiteclay by asking for Nebraska to restore a 50-square-mile buffer zone known as the Whiteclay extension, created in 1882 to protect Pine Ridge residents from whiskey peddlers. President Theodore Roosevelt eliminated it in 1904, which opened the land to settlement and alcohol sales.
"Restoring the zone would effectively give back the northwest Nebraska land to the tribe," AP said.
Newswire release prior to the meeting:
LINCOLN, Neb., July 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alcohol Justice is reporting that Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer will hold a press conference in front of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission on Monday afternoon, July 8, 2013, to hopefully discuss new developments in stopping the illegal alcohol activity taking place in the town of Whiteclay, which borders the Pine Ridge, South Dakota Native American Reservation. Earlier that day President Brewer will be meeting with the Nebraska Governor, Liquor Control Commission, and key state legislators to discuss possible solutions.
 "I am optimistic that my meetings in Nebraska will produce steps to mediate the issue of Whiteclay alcohol sales and the catastrophic impact they have on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation," stated President Brewer. "However, I stand firm in my belief that this liquid genocide inflicted upon the Lakota people, which produces great profits for Anheuser-Busch, Whiteclay alcohol retailers and the state of Nebraska, must end."
Activists are charging that the illegal alcohol activity and bootlegging have not been stopped in Whiteclay, Nebraska because of heavy financial contributions to Nebraska legislators from Anheuser-Busch, alcohol distributors and alcohol trade associations.
Political financial contributions include:
  • Beer, liquor and wine companies have contributed $96,000 to Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman. Making the alcohol industry one of his top contributors.
  • Nebraska State Attorney General Jon Bruning has received $86,000 from the beer, wine and liquor industry since 2008.
  • Alcohol distributors and trade groups gave candidates for in-state offices $135,000 in 2010, according to the Institute on Money in State Politics.
  • 75 percent of the beer bootlegged at Whiteclay, comes from the Pivo Anheuser-Busch distributor based out of Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
Over the past few months tension has intensified between Pine Ridge activists, Whiteclay liquor storeowners, and the Pivo Anheuser-Busch beer distributor. In several instances activists successfully blockaded the delivery of Budweiser beer to the local Whiteclay liquor stores. Storeowners responded by arming inebriated customers with bats and fireworks, and offering them financial compensation, to confront the activists. Since April 30, 2013, activists have maintained a Zero Tolerance Camp along the border to document illegal activities committed by Whiteclay liquor storeowners, such as selling to intoxicated patrons and solicitation.

Oyate Mednet VIDEO: President Bryan Brewer met for a meeting with the Nebraska Liquor Commision to discuss the alcohol problems facing Lakota Country, President Brewer walked out of the meeting because he was told that it isn't their problem when they are the main source to the problems taking place on our homelands, only given a few minutes to talk and was disrespected the way he was treated, no progress made at this meeting!

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