Friday, August 5, 2011

Election Day 41: Playing Hookey

Ferris Bueller's  Bill John Baker's Day Off
The rumblings about Bill John Baker skipping out on today's council meeting were true. Today, Baker, S. Joe Crittenden and 4 other council members refused to show up to a meeting that would have addressed election law tweaks Baker himself actually demanded in court just a few short weeks ago. Not only that, but now the Election Commission has to work short-staffed for another 17 days because they weren't able to approve Susan Plumb, the woman unanimously appointed by the council, to be the 5th Election Commissioner. 

Speaker Meredith Frailey and the council members who showed up were dismayed that their colleagues would refuse to do the job with which they were entrusted by the Cherokee people, saying, "I’m very disappointed that we don’t have a quorum to do the work and be the voice of the Cherokee people."

Meanwhile, Baker and friends sent out a press release spewing that the special meeting requested by Speaker of the Council Meredith Frailey and called by Chief Smith was illegal and unconstitutional. They even went so far as to claim that council attorney Todd Hembree stated as much. 

However, in the very document supposedly backing up this claim, Mr. Hembree never even used those words. Perhaps they are counting on the fact that no one will read the opinion. But we did and we hope you will too. Go ahead, just click here.

In fact, according to Article 7, Section 7 of the Constitution, the Chief CAN call a meeting and SET the agenda. The council doesn't have to like it or apparently show up, but it is NOT illegal. In fact, it's very constitutional, so much so that it is actually written INTO THE CONSTITUTION. 

It's pretty weak and misleading for Baker and Company to stretch an attorney's memo about council procedure into something bigger and more important than the constitutional authority of the Chief. 

A little teaser for tomorrow's Truth--there's something that looks a little unusual about Baker's news release today. Do you see it?