More than a week ago, we addressed Baker’s allegation that Cherokee Nation employees were breaking federal law by sending a letter to other employees asking them to support Smith with their votes and money.
The U.S. Attorney told the Cherokee Nation the same day this was not the case, move along, nothing to see here.
At the time we said “Hopefully, from here on out, he’ll use the truth to educate Cherokee voters. Maybe (Baker) doesn’t like employees supporting Smith, but he shouldn’t accuse them of breaking the law if they haven’t done so. Maybe that one-day "investigation" will be the end of it, but for some reason we don’t think so.”
Boy, were we right! Since then, Baker has sent out mailers, done some pretty spooky sounding robo-calls and apparently taken out radio ads along the same theme.
A lot of people, if they were told by federal prosecutors to stop accusing people of committing crimes when the people hadn’t done anything wrong, would stop. Not Baker, apparently. Instead, he’s kept repeating the story, and finally got the folks at FOX 23 to bite yesterday. At least part way.
The hard hitting FOX news journalists told you what we told you 9 days ago: there is no violation of federal law. They did a story anyway, where Baker said, even if it’s not illegal, it’s wrong. Since we care about the truth here, we have a little rule that says you lose the moral high ground and the ability to say what is right and what is wrong when you wrongfully accuse Cherokee people of violating federal law in public. Especially when you do it repeatedly after the experts have weighed in and said you're wrong (we're talking about the lawyers here, not us)!
The FOX story lets Baker tell his side of the story and references employees who said they were afraid to talk on camera. Then they let Smith respond, and he says, basically, that he’ll abide by the Constitution and Cherokee employees have no reason to fear for their job.
We’ll let their story stand for what it is, though the reporter waving around a piece of paper in front of the hospital looks kinda funny. The real TRUTH is that the story shouldn’t have happened, if Baker would have just taken the word of the U.S. Attorney and moved on down the road to talk about important issues, rather than attacking employees who support Smith.