Thursday, May 5, 2011

51 Days Until the Election- Baker Outspending Smith in Campaign

Just like you can tell much about a candidate by analyzing how he/she raises campaign dollars, one can learn a few things about them by looking into how they spend that campaign money as well.

Cherokee Nation law requires that candidates not only account for their campaign contributions, but they must also document campaign expenditures, both monetarily and in-kind.

On April 15, 2011, all candidates running for office in the June 25th election were required to file their contributions/expenditures as of March 31st. Links to all those records are available online by clicking here.

Today, we’ve taken a look at both Bill John Baker’s and Chad Smith’s reports, specifically at their expenditures and will highlight some of those expenditures here. But, like yesterday when discussing their campaign contribution reports, we encourage you to look over these reports for yourself and not just take our word for it. You can also peruse every candidate’s report at the above link.

We’ll start with Bill John Baker’s balance sheet. You can look at it below or click here to see in a separate window.

According to the April 15th filing, Bill John Baker had spent $131,722.66 in total. His largest expenditure on the balance sheet was $59,597.00 labeled “Miscellaneous.” From what we can tell, $58,322.00 of those miscellaneous expenses went to folks in Washington, DC, Maryland and South Carolina for “consulting.” He spent $19,000 of that miscellaneous money hiring a company in South Carolina to do a Cherokee Voter Survey.

His next largest expense was $47,266.22 under printing costs; $37,512 of that printing money was sent out-of-state to Washington DC.

 He spent $12,256.92 in compensation to individuals but there are no expenditures reported for utilities, phone or office supplies.

The report shows the Baker campaign with a cash balance of $32,728.98, after a loan of $62,000 from Baker to his own campaign.

According to Chad Smith’s filing, which can be seen in its entirety by clicking here,  he has spent $87,218.13 through the reporting period.  Almost half of that, $41,571.28, has been spent on advertising.  Printing ($12,455.92), Postage ($10,903.95) and compensation to individuals ($9369.95) are the next largest expenditures. 

Smith’s campaign has spent little more than $1,500 out of state, almost all of which went to AT&T in Atlanta for phone and internet. 

The report shows the Smith campaign had a cash balance of $20,421.32.

All candidates must file campaign income and expenditure reports again on May 15th, and we'll report on this again when that information becomes available.

Please feel free to comment and send us suggestions on any truth you want out there by commenting below or sending us an email at 


  1. It would be thought that a candidate who wants to "represent the people" would spend the money to be elected by those people by using services available through those people. Sending the money out of state to outsiders is like having the President pay China to run his campaign.

  2. BJB doesn't care about the CN people (HELLO! Remember when he was bff's with Joe Byrd). He only cares what the CN can do for him. He is a slum lord and he didn't even claim his heritage until it was beneficial to him. Some of us still remember that. I will always remember that.

  3. Actually out of curiosity I clicked on the Link and other than consulting fees, billboard costs and automated mail services, blankets that we don't make in Tahlequah, he did spend the money at home. Living in Tahlequah $5,442.44 to OK Signs and is Cherokee Owned, Dirk Van Veen has the local printing and probably done some smaller not bulk jobs, Cherokee Phoenix, $1333.00, Dreamcatcher is another Cherokee and local owned business, $2300, Mail Mart Tahlequah $572 and various others, so take a look, it's right there.

  4. Sure, he spent some money in Tahlequah or in Oklahoma-- but he's spent almost $96,000 out of state! He could have used a print shop in Tulsa or Oklahoma City! At least kept it in Oklahoma! And what do folks in Washington DC know about Indian Country? Yikes!

  5. Ok so it's called a budget, so if I could save a few thousand dollars by having my bulk printing elsewhere then I would do it too. There is still alot to do and the money needs to meet those goals. Im not even a voter but if he is trying to make his dollar go further on his big ticket items, I think it makes alot of business sense. Consulting fees were the biggest items, and he chose a firm out of DC, hello, the home of anybody and anything for running campaigns. A billboard, maybe they were cheaper. Its a budget. I this is any indication of how he would be a cautious spender with his Tribes money its a good thing, after all he's a business owner himself if you look at his tax return.

  6. How much of these campaign expenses have been spent with Cherokee businesses? Chad likes to talk about Indian preference and Cherokee First but he doesn't practice it when spending the hard earned money of his Cherokee contributors.