Halito Brothers & Sisters,

Well my Chahta family we have a new Chief, Gary Batton. I say new because the Chahta people have spoken (as it should be) and Miko Batton was actually voted in. As a people we have won because there was an actual race with an actual opponent and, going on faith, an honest outcome. As a people we have lost as well because the challenger didn’t have access to a million dollar campaign fund politely handed to her by the former chief nor did she have an army of employees going door to door to campaign for her. I heard many family and friends say they just didn’t know a lot about the challenger. I saw her video, her biography and brochure and still knew nothing concerning her business acumen or her qualifications to run a tribal nation as large as the CNO. I felt she was sincere in her desires for leadership with integrity but that’s not enough to win a campaign. Gary Batton was sincere in his goals and objectives as well and he had the money and power to let everyone know.

We have no new council members. However, we had candidates which isn’t always the case so I still see this as progress. I want to look at Bob Pate’s seat in District 11 for a moment and show this as an example for the need to have an active political party with actual candidates. Bob Pate ran against Nellie Meashintubby, William Frye and Henry Byington. Combined the opposing candidates secured approximately 44% to Pate’s 56% with a little over 800 votes to be split amongst them. Had there been a preliminary election for opposing candidates where only voters in District 11 could vote it may have made a difference in District 11. The voters would have shown who of the opponents were strongest then all of the splintered support could have been united behind the most viable candidate. I want to commend Henry Byington for calling on the Chahta people to support our new Miko and our Council. This is how we should conduct ourselves with class and dignity. The other candidates may have made statements of support and I just haven’t seen them so I don’t want to imply that they too have not shown their support for our leadership.

Sadly, there was plenty of intimidation still lingering in the current elections and often times the intimidators take it upon themselves to act like goons. We as a strong people should put an end to the bullying and the oppression by these individuals. There are facebook groups I don’t even visit anymore due to the adolescent antics and the bullying that went on within those groups. We should hold our status as a sovereign nation with more dignity than what I’ve seen from small fractions within the reform movement. Healthy discussion leads to a more responsive and accountable government.

I am in agreement with Mr. Byington it is time to support our ELECTED Miko and Council and prepare for the next round of elections. To those elected officials congratulations I realize what a huge responsibility you have chosen to undertake and my prayers are with you to lead our people with integrity. Congratulations to the people who decided to run for office knowing the task would be monumental and almost impossible. It’s people like you who will always stay in the back of our elected officials minds helping to keep them honest. You are winners and deserve a place of honor.

One last thought, Miko if you had released the voters list, opened up the campaign fund and had announced consequences for intimidation you would have won by an even bigger landslide so I ask that you consider true campaign reform because the Chahta who does that will truly make history with no clouds or whispers. Congratulations my Chief.

Chi Pisa La Chike,

S. Crowder