Friday, June 10, 2011

15 Days Until the Election- It's Getting a Little Ridiculous

Bill John Baker is keeping it interesting-- it seems like every day he throws something new out there. 

Today, he sent out an email blast declaring his opponent, "a man who blocked a bill that would have given councilors $40,000 to restore and protect cemeteries in their districts, but he has no problem spending $2 Million on a private plane- we need to Ground Smith."

The best part is that the Baker campaign  attaches a PDF of the legislation with Smith's veto stamped across the top. We're just wondering if the campaign itself read the entire document before sending it out. 

We read the whole thing, cuz that's what nerds like us do. And what is interesting reading is Chief Smith's explanation of the veto at the bottom of the document. He vetoed the legislation because it was unconstitutional. 

What? Cemetery preservation is unconstitutional? No.

Smith says any law passed that is to be executed by the legislative branch of Cherokee Nation's government, which is the Tribal Council, is unconstitutional, which is how this law is written. To put it simply, the Council can budget money but they aren't allowed to hand it out themselves. In fact, the document states a similar program was already in place and Smith believed duplicating it with an unconstitutional council hand-out program was illegal.

Did Chad Smith veto a law focused on Cherokee Cemetery Preservation back in 2004? Sure. But it's evident from the very documents sent out by Baker that it wasn't because Smith hates preserving sacred Cherokee cemeteries. Or because he needed the money to fuel his plane. 

The document indicates Baker and Smith both think Cherokee cemeteries should be preserved, they just disagree over how to get it done. For Baker to insinuate otherwise is not quite the truth.

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