You can tell a lot about a candidate by how he/she raises their money. And when you see campaign stuff, sometimes you wonder, who is paying for all that?
Cherokee Nation law requires candidates for public officials to be transparent and report their campaign contributions and expenditures to the election commission and then that information is made available to the public. Additionally, Cherokee Nation prohibits campaign contributions from businesses/corporations and caps the amount an individual can give to a candidate’s campaign at $5,000.00.
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.
We’ve been looking at both Chad Smith’s and Bill John Baker’s filings and will point out some highlights here, but I would encourage you to look at them for yourself and all other candidates for whom you will have the opportunity to vote.
As of the April 15th filing, Chad Smith had raised $107,539.45 in campaign income. He also reported that he himself gave $100.00 in addition to the above amount, and that is listed as a “loan.” (It appears that any money directly from the candidate’s pocket is considered a loan on this form.) From reading over each individual donation, it appears none of the money Chief Smith has raised has come from his or his wife’s families. Click here for Chad Smith's report
As of the April 15th filing, Bill John Baker had raised $102,451.64 in campaign income. He also reported that he himself has put in an additional $62,000.00 of his own money, and that is listed as a “loan.” From reading over each individual donation, it appears that $20,000 of Mr. Baker’s campaign income has come from his family, a little less than 20% of total amount he has raised from contributors in total. Add that to what he himself has put into the campaign, Mr. Baker and his family have contributed $82,000 of their own money to this race so far. Click here for Bill John Baker's report
On May 15th, candidates are required file additional reports on their campaign contributions and expenditures from April 1st-30th. Tomorrow, we will look at how the campaigns have spent their money so far.
As always, we are only looking for the truth. If there are things in these reports that need to be revealed, let us know and we’ll put the truth out there.