We decided to wait until after tonight’s council meeting to do the TRUTH tonight, and we’re kinda glad we did. We had some campaign finance stuff ready to go, but there was some interesting action at the council meeting, so we’ll save that other stuff for later.
We watched the video stream, and then afterwards got an email from Chad Smith’s campaign. The email referenced a vote tonight, which repealed a couple of laws that have actually been referenced in campaign material and have been the subject of Cherokee Phoenix Truth Reports as well as some of our reports.
Basically, the council tonight was repealing the laws where Bill John Baker had made motions in illegal meetings (meetings without a quorum) in 1997. Smith said during the council meeting, and in his news release, that Baker pushed these illegal measures when he should have known better. To paraphrase, Smith basically said that the Constitution says a quorum is 2/3 of council, and that third grade math shows that 2/3=10/15, so a council meeting with 9 doesn’t work.
In 1997, Baker (and eight other council members) ignored that and went ahead with their illegal meetings. Apparently, the repeal of this illegal law has been in front of the Rules Committee already this month and Smith’s email included a link to the May 2011 Rules Committee meeting, where he says just last month Baker voted twice to table a measure that would repeal the illegal laws and then finally voted against repealing them. Check out this link to watch for yourself. (shuffle forward about an hour and 20 minutes or so into the video)
After viewing the link, that’s right. However, tonight Baker reversed himself and asked to be a sponsor of the bill repealing the illegal actions of the 1997 council of which he was a part. He made no explanation, so we won’t hazard a guess why he changed his mind, but not every council member did. The final vote was 13-3 in favor of repealing the bill.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Baker has to say about why he changed his mind on the vote, and if he acknowledges that the 1997 actions were illegal or wrong. He’s avoided that one so far. Smith, on the other hand, is starting to pick at Baker’s record. Baker has been hitting Smith’s record hard, often taking things out of context to do so, but now is Baker’s opportunity to give us some context as to why he changed his vote and to defend his 1997 actions.