Dr. Gavin Clarkson is an educator, small business owner, farmer, and has been called by The Financial Times “the country’s leading scholar on tribal finance.” Clarkson, a candidate for New Mexico’s Secretary of State, has made it his mission to assist tribes away from government dependence and toward economic independence.
Clarkson came on the podcast for the purpose of discussing lawsuits filed in Virginia that claim that tribal law is being misapplied with respect to short-term lending.
Two specific cases, Solomon et al v. American Web Loan, Inc. et al and Williams et al v. Big Picture Loans, LLC et al allege that the lenders are protecting themselves from federal and state regulation using a scheme condescendingly labeled as “rent-a-tribe.”
On the show, we discuss:
– His being an enrolled member of the Choctaw nation.
– That Indian poverty is not a life sentence and that it is the fault of a paternalistic government
– Values he received from his parents growing up
– How he came into having such a breadth of experience and knowledge in agriculture, business, law, education, and technology
– Why tribal sovereignty is an economic resource
– What is the current Federal authority over tribes
– The economic devastation on tribes caused by federal and state governments and workarounds
– His role in the Trump administration with the Department of Interior
– What does the federal recognition of Virginia tribes entail and why was it important
– Short-term lending, tribes, and lawsuits – why current litigation is unfairly targeting tribes
– What is racism?
– His view on U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and the CFPB (Washington Examiner Op-Ed)
– Should tribal leaders do a “better job” of overseeing short-term lending?
– The nuances of internet commerce and internet lending and how tribal sovereignty relates
– The importance of economic opportunity for tribes and tribal ability to participate in financial commerce and lending
– His thoughts on Ruth Bader Ginsburg
– Why he’s running for Secretary of State in New Mexico
– What motivates and inspires him
Links of note:
– Gavin Clarkson for New Mexico
– Clarkson’s Facebook Page
– Indian Civil Rights Act
– CFPB estimates a $32 per person payout on class action lawsuits
– Warner and Kaine on passage of recognizing Virginia tribes
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