If you are looking for a candidate who
- initiates legislative solutions to the Nation’s problems
- responds to emails and phone calls
- takes his job seriously
- has an unmatched attendance record, and
- communicates regularly with constituents
you’ve come to the right place. Below is a sampling of Congressman Red Corn’s legislation. To see the latest communication from Congressman Red Corn, click here.
INITIATIVE MATTERS: Below is a partial list of important legislation initiated and sponsored by Congressman Red Corn. Following that is a list of legislation Congressman Red Corn believes should be passed in the 2nd Congress. Click on the name of an underlined act to see the legislation as originally passed. (Some bills may have been amended since passage)
THE OSAGE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY ACT.
The foundation of our diversification effort, this bill established the holding company that directs non-gaming business investment and acquisition. It is modeled after the successful efforts of other tribes. Congressman Red Corn also fought for full funding for the diversification effort while other candidates opposed it.
Over a year in the works, this act provides access to Osage Nation public records but protects the privacy of individuals and recipients of tribal services. Gives real meaning to the term “transparency in government”. In effect for just a few months, local newspapers – including the Osage News – are using this new tool to request financial records of the Executive Branch, truly bringing sunshine into Osage government.
After the Executive branch issued a “communication protocol” many thought infringed on our employee’s rights of free speech, this law reaffirmed the rights of free association and the freedom to express oneself politically while not at work. It also allows directors to speak freely about their programs and prohibits retribution by superiors of those that do.
As the name implies, this Act protects all Osage Nation employees from retribution if they report illegal or unethical conduct of both elected and appointed officials or employees of the Osage Nation.
A law to govern the conduct of the Nation’s elections. The Minerals Council formally sought exemption from the law, and their wishes were honored, although at this writing the Minerals Council is formulating a request of the Congress for some action on the MC election.
A tedious but absolutely necessary law that governs how rules and regulations are promulgated and adjudicated across the Osage Nation. Ensures public notice when rules and regulations are modified.
First of a series of Uniform Commercial Code-type laws that will govern the conduct of business in the Osage Nation. There are several sections to this code, and those sections will be a priority of Congressman Red Corn’s next term.
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR EARLY RETIREMENT OF DEBT
A one-time use of savings to pay down Gaming Enterprise debt tied to unfavorable slot machine contracts. Result: improved casino profits.
An act that prevents any future Executive from selling off Osage Nation real-property assets without the consent of the Osage Nation Congress. Prior to this Act, a Principal Chief could have sold off Osage Nation property with no legal requirements sell it at market value.
An important resolution expressing the unanimous desire of Congress that proceeds from trust lawsuits go only to Osage shareholders and are not taxed or otherwise diminished by the Osage Nation government.
Some have asked “why a resolution and not a law?” The Osage Constitution stipulates that “the Osage Nation government shall not create any law or ordinance pertaining to the mineral royalties from the Osage Mineral Estate that acts in conflict with Federal law and regulations”. The resolution in question stated that the position of the Osage Congress was that proceeds from the trust lawsuit go only to Osages; Federal law allows for non-Osage headright holders to receive royalties. Therefore, a law that would have required trust lawsuit proceeds to go only to Osages would have been unconstitutional, a resolution was not.
The Next Four Years
The Osage Nation has many legislative needs. Here is Congressman Red Corn’s personal priority list. Legislation that has been introduced but not passed is marked with an asterisk (*).
Lowering petition signature requirements. The current constitution requires a prohibitively high number of citizen signatures before the petitioners can force an election to consider a constitutional amendment, a referendum or initiative, or a recall election. Only Congress can break this impasse. Twice Congressman Red Corn has put forward resolutions that would put the lower numbers to a vote of the people, and twice the measure has failed. This is the most important issue facing Osages; the “will of the people” will not be heard until such a constitutional amendment is passed.
Legislation creating the office of Attorney General.* Many of the inter-branch conflicts that exist “on the hill” could be remedied with the addition of an Attorney General as the top law enforcement official of the Osage Nation. To enhance independence, such an Osage Nation Attorney General should be elected, preferably to a four-year term with the election held in the “off-year” elections like those to be held in 2012. To reduce conflicts of interest, such a person should be Native American, but may not necessarily be a member of the Osage Nation.
Legislation amending the Ethics law.* The majority in Congress inserted amendments to the Ethics law right before passage that make anyone filing an ethics complaint against a member of Congress to bring that complaint to Congress. All other complaints against elected or appointed officials may be taken to the Osage Nation prosecutor. Congressman Red Corn opposed this amendment that carves out special treatment for Congress and has entered a bill to eliminate that special treatment.
A study to ensure programs and benefits are sustainable. This may or may not take the form of legislation, but the Osage Nation Congress is in need of professional assistance in determining the breadth and depth of present and future benefits funded by tribal dollars. Such a study will ensure the Congress has the information necessary to “right-size” benefits to ensure Osage citizens can count on such benefits should they need them.
Legislation to expand the Uniform Commercial Code for the Osage Nation. There are several parts to the tribal model of the Uniform Commercial Code. It’s tedious, but necessary legislation that increases outside investors comfort level with the Osage Nation in terms of making investments under Osage Nation law.
Privacy laws: While the Osage Nation has passed an Open Records Act and has indicated what information is private and confidential, it still needs a Privacy Act to assure Osage citizens that personal and sensitive information in possession of the Osage Nation will not be abused or misused.
Legislation creating a permanent Reserve Fund. A least a few members have tried and failed to put together a bill that creates a “permanent fund” for the Osage Nation. This issue needs to be revisited under the 2nd Congress in order to establish and fund a permanent savings account for the Nation.