Cherokee Election: Reader Responses

Photo: cherokeephoenix.org

Cherry Springs Golf Course: cherokeephoenix.org

Many reader comments have been posted to our series on the Cherokee National Elections. Most post to the story, but some email the editor. One of the most compelling and election critical follows, but first in response to the story on the Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB) purchase of the Cherry Springs Golf Course, Amanda Clinton wrote that the story contained “Incorrect, libelous and/or misleading” information.

Tulsa Today stands by the story.

Amanda Clinton, CNB Photo from LinkedIn

Amanda Clinton, CNB:   Photo from LinkedIn

Specifically we list in response the material that we continue to seek:
1.) A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for the Cherry Springs Golf Course purchase.
2.) A feasibility study for the outlet shopping mall.
3.) Additional leases secured for the mall.
4.) A detailed economy study of the entire $170 million development.

As of this posting, we have not received a response, but if and when material becomes available, Tulsa Today will share it with our readers as we told Clinton both in a telephone conversation and in our email response. Clinton is listed as Vice President of Communications at Cherokee Nation Businesses in her LinkedIn profile.

Click her for the original story on the Cherry Springs Golf Course purchase and related development.

Reader Letter:

Julia Coates, candidate for Deputy Chief, Cherokee Nation

Julia Coates,

After reading your two articles regarding Julia Coates, I wanted to inform you of something that I find concerning regarding the current Chief’s campaign strategies.

If you don’t know, all Cherokee At-Large Citizens eligible to vote can request an absentee ballot. We have to do this for every election. I downloaded the form and sent it to the Election Commission. As I have had issues with my voter registration and absentee ballot before, I called to make sure that my request was received by the Commission.

In the meantime, I have gotten two absentee ballot request forms from the Baker Campaign with the postage paid and mailing address is the Baker Campaign, not the Election Commission. That, to me, is a questionable practice. I am wondering if they will somehow elicit who I support and then hold my request until the last minute if it is not their campaign, or not turn it in at all.

CherokeeNation101I called the Commission and told them about my concerns and again, checked to be sure they had my request. I asked why this was being done, and she said it was a courtesy for the Commission. Interesting since none of the other campaigns have done this. I told her that this brought up all kinds of concerns from me and if she didn’t think that this was a bit shady. She got huffy and ended the call.

I then called the Cherokee Phoenix and they were not very interested in my concerns.

As an At-Large Cherokee, I am appalled at what has been going on. The Baker has lots of campaign money compared to all of the other candidates. The Election Commission, Chief Baker and the Cherokee Supreme Court have connections that I feel are a disturbing conflict of interest and now this ballot request. By the way, I have now gotten 2 of those.

I am wondering if you find this concerning and would maybe inquire and write about it, as a lot of the At-Large Cherokees have been getting these and may not look at the address on the return envelope.

Cherokee Historic Enactment

Cherokee Historic Enactment

I have been a teacher in a inner city high school and I am pretty good at reading people. And I can tell you this current chief has rung all sorts of warning bells when he has paid us a visit. I will vote for the person who I feel is not in this for personal gain, power or money. (In today’s political arena in all U.S and Native Governments, that should be challenging.)

I want our legacy to be a government that we can be proud of and has all Cherokees’ interests at the center of all decisions, not insider deals and the good-old-boy system. While you are looking at the current administration, take a look at the council. There seems to be a block of councilors who back this administration beyond what is reasonable representation. I am wondering if the good-old-boy system is in full play there as well.

Paula,
Cherokee At-Large
(Last Name and email withheld upon request.)

Previous stories on the Cherokee Election are available at the following links:

Cherokee Election: The golf course questions

Cherokee Election activity raises more questions

Residency dispute brewing in Cherokee Election

Your comments and or questions are welcome below.