Sunday, May 15, 2011

41 Days Until the Election- Deputy Chief Candidates Debate

Last night’s Deputy Chief debate featured all four candidates, Chris Soap, S. Joe Crittenden, Raymond Vann, and Callie Hathcoat.  It was less eventful than the Chief’s debate, but we’ll spend some time catching up on it.

Chris Soap

Really there were maybe just a few high points, as the candidates agreed on almost everything.  The thing they disagreed on the most was whether the policy of a 30% dividend from our businesses is right or, what the percentage should be if they got to pick the number.

S. Joe Crittenden
Soap went first, and said 30% was the right number and the Nation has had good results with it.  Crittenden disagreed and thought we should double it to 60%.  Vann agreed and Hathcoat got some laughs by saying that it should be at least 50%, because she’s a woman and thinks that the relationship ought to be fair.

All candidates agreed that there should be term limits.  Crittenden had a rather cryptic remark, saying something like:  “In my heart I’m not sure we’re under the 1999 Constitution to be honest.”  It’s rare that someone runs for office while denying the existence of that same government’s Constitution, but there you have it.  We’d love to find out more about this in the future.

Raymond Vann

Callie Hathcoat
The best responses came to the last question, which asked about the language programs of the Cherokee Nation.  Soap had a good story about his son being able to read Cherokee to Soap’s father, a multi-generational language success story.  Crittenden had a good line saying that language represents the fire that represents the center of our nation.  Hathcoat finished up by saying that a lot of the Indian people she knows don’t know how to turn on a computer, and that technology was not the answer to continuing our language.  We’re not sure how the Indian people who read this blog will feel about that comment, but we do congratulate you on being able to turn on the computer!

We heard the link to the archive of the debates will be up Monday on Cherokee Phoenix’s website. When it is, we’ll let you know.  

1 comment:

  1. Did it seem to anyone else like Chris might have had the answers before this debate? I have never known him to be able to speak effectively and answer questions on the fly in Council. One time when he forgot what he was supposed to say he began reading from the papers he had in front of him. I also heard Paula Holder venting out in the hallway how they had worked and worked with him on those questions and he still messed up. I hate to sound hung up on this but if one of the candidates had previous knowledge of the questions then this was not a debate at all. It was a planned attempt to bushwhack the others. Whatever may have happened with Chris, the other candidates held their own. Joe Crittenden sounded more knowledgeable and rightfully so as he is the most qualified of the bunch. Raymond Vann answered most of the questions by taking his answer to a community based solution. Callie Hathcoat held her own against the men and incorporating into her answer about increasing the dividend that because she was a woman she would want half of the moneys. The dividend question brought more division between the Chief’s choice for Deputy with Chris stating he would leave the money in the hands of the corporations rather than increasing it for services for the people. Joe said flat out he would double it to 60% so the people were able to enjoy more services. Ray and Callie for the most part echoed Joe’s answer. Because of the feeling on Chris and the answers I would definitely give this debate to Joe Crittenden. He answered from the head and heart and he also had the courage to point out that there is a question if we are under the Constitution Chad would have us believe although two different Secretaries’ of Indian Affairs have refused to approve it and have notified Chad In writing that the valid governing document is the 1975 Constitution. Why was there no question asking if candidates believe Chad has led the Cherokee people blindly into a real Constitutional Crisis?