MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 26, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Vote against Baker’s buddies

Bill John Baker’s administration continues to reward and enrich its elitist country club supporters, family members and contractor buddies at the expense of the Cherokee people. Baker is going so far as to favor and sell the Cherokee Nation to the highest bidder, which includes many non-Cherokees, non-Indians and out-of-state contractors. As an example, a $100 million construction contract was recently awarded to HWH, a non-TERO and out-of-state company.

While tens of millions of Cherokee Nation dollars are doled out to the connected and wealthy, many Cherokees are lacking basic necessities or barely making ends meet. Many former CN employees are still seeking work after being terminated by BJB and his cronies to make room for Baker supporters on our Tribal dime.

Close to $15 million has been spent by the Nation on questionable land deals directly benefitting CNB Board Members’ families. ($5.3 million for Woodmark, and $9.5 million and rising for Cherry Springs, both in Tahlequah) We could have used that cash to keep our programs afloat and Cherokee citizens services in tact in a time of Federal budget cuts. Everyone was aware of the Sequester when these good ‘ol boy deals were done. The priorities are obviously not with the Cherokee people, but instead are with Baker buddies ... and others with their hands out for their cut of our pie.

The best way we as a people can fight back and reclaim our Nation before 2015 is to vote out the Baker “yes-men” on the tribal council on June 22. “Yes-men” include Hargis, Byrd, Snell, and Thornton. It is also critical to not elect any new members of Baker’s slate, which he is trying so hard to get elected with country club shindigs and offensive “Cowboys and Indians” fundraisers. This includes Carlton, Richmond, and Taylor.

Cherokee voters need to reclaim our Nation from those such as Baker who would abuse their positions for their personal benefit rather than invest in our future.

GEARY DON

CROFFORD

Tahlequah

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