In the latest edition of the Cherokee Phoenix, both candidates got a column in the paper, and the Phoenix did their truth report as well (scroll down to page 6 for the columns, page 7 for the Truth report).
Baker used his column as basically a campaign ad. The Phoenix ran a truth report on Baker’s column and found some information that didn’t add up. Baker wrote that “the chief relates a story calling anyone who asks for services an ATM Cherokee, and then turns around and takes a $2 million plane for a test ride before the nation buys it.”
The Phoenix reports that Smith was quoting someone else when he mentioned the phrase ATM Cherokees, and applied it to people who only want a blue card to get benefits. That’s not ‘anyone who asks for services.’
Also, Cherokee Nation didn’t buy the plane, and doesn’t own the plane. Cherokee Nation Businesses owns the plane, or, as we like to call it Cherforce One, and the Nation pays to use it. And we already confirmed here a couple of months ago that Smith had flown on the plane before CNB bought it.
The Truth report in the Phoenix also talks about how Baker did indeed accuse Smith of calling an illegal meeting, when in fact it was not an illegal meeting, and no one thinks so, even the guy Baker was relying on asa source for the his claim, council attorney Todd Hembree.
The Cherokee Phoenix didn’t put Smith’s column through the truth test, probably because Smith didn’t use his column to trash talk Baker. Smith instead talked about the lessons he learned from his mother, who recently passed away. He says she lived her life trying to make the lives of others better, and that he has tried to follow her example.
Thanks to the folks at the Cherokee Phoenix for checking into some of the statements the candidates are making.