Sunday, July 09, 2017

Tom Diamond, lawyer who helped Tiguas, dies at 94

Tom Diamond, an El Paso attorney and Democratic Party stalwart who helped the Tigua Indians gain federal recognition, was remembered as a political legend, an extremely likeble man and a problem-solver who sought common ground. Diamond died Saturday at age 94. Diamond was a protege of former El Paso County Judge Woodrow Bean and knew Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. He served for many years as an attorney for El Paso's Tigua Indians, who struggled for decades with poverty and a lack of federal recognition of their Native American status. Working with then U.S. Rep. Ron Coleman, D-El Paso, Diamond helped the Tiguas gain federal tribal status with the passage of the Restoration Act in 1987. Coleman, who represented the El Paso area in Congress from 1983 to 1997, said "anyone who knew Tom loved the man." "He was extremely important in the Democratic Party in El Paso, long before I ran for public office for the first time in 1972," Coleman said. "Anyone would have a hard time disliking Tom, even during disagreements," Coleman said. "He liked to laugh and had the ability to understand issues and deal with them rapidly." "In remembering Tom, he was a man who stood tall with many, many people of many views and sought common ground," Coleman said. "He would be aghast" at what was going on in Congress today with the divisiveness and unwillingness to cross the aisle and seek common ground, Coleman said...more

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