Archives for posts with tag: Choctaw pension

Halito Sisters & Brothers,

I noticed on Facebook many Chahta proudly displaying their ballots for the upcoming elections. It warms my heart just to see that we actually have people who are brave enough and are willing to stand up to a decades old system that is well known for it’s unfriendly (to say the least) attitude for those candidates who are not incumbents. We have come quite a ways since the last election cycle and we have so much farther to go for the sake of our descendants.

While there is no candidate to run against Perry Thompson so I can’t vote for council I have cast my vote for Chief. I paused to think before marking my ballot because I know next to nothing about the challenger. I don’t know about her background and I don’t know where she stands on the issues that have plagued our Chahta government for decades but I marked her name as my choice because I do know a thing or two about our current Miko.

I know that he most likely has good intentions but no business experience outside of the CNO. I know that his efforts toward election reform while historic were very shallow. I know that there is no TERO at the CNO. This means that Choctaw business owners and employees have no recourse in their own tribal nation to take advantage of Choctaw preference. I know that he has never answered the question concerning the campaign fund. I know that he is surrounded by the old guard and that, to me, is what we have had since I was a child riding along with my mother campaigning for Wendell David. That campaigning cost my mother her job at the tribally owned Indian Clinic in Hugo all for the right of Choctaw people to have a vote that actually counted. I know that during this election year I have seen more expensive commercials with Miko’s face in them than any other time that I recently remember. I know that some Chahta’s with large families are now receiving some big promotions. Ironically, these are promotions they should have had long ago.

So tonight I want to really encourage our absentee voters (I count myself among you) to think about the legacy Gary Batton proudly carries into his office, an office that we didn’t elect him into. He carries with him corruption, greed and disregard for the well-being of the Chahta people. He carries with him a legacy of intimidation and force. He carries with him a false sense of importance and that is due to lack of experience in other business arenas. I had hoped that he would carry something else. I had hoped that he would change the system. That he would speak frankly and honestly. That he would announce that any employee using intimidation and threats during the election year would be immediately terminated. I had hoped he wouldn’t participate in the jobs for votes practice. He proved my hopes to be futile. Absentee voters we need YOU to set the stage for real change by voting for the challenger. You can break the strength of the chain that has held us back for decades. The opposition has no secret campaign fund and she doesn’t have the power to intimidate those Chahta who work for the nation. If she doesn’t fulfill the duties of a Chief with integrity and business acumen we will have the choice to vote her out next election cycle. Remember the longer those corrupt old guard people hold top positions in our government the longer it will take for us to rid ourselves of them. This is our chance to send a clear message concerning integrity and answering to the very people leadership is charged with serving.

I would also like for you to view this short documentary concerning the struggle we have dealt with in our corrupt political system. When I first watched it I was shocked. Even though I had known about the intimidation and the strong armed tactics to see even a glimpse of it against one of our elders infuriated me. What you should remember is that this is the legacy that Batton continues to proliferate. The link to the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugc1AoPs_gk

Chi Pisa La Chike,

S. Crowder  (CW)

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Halito Sisters & Brothers,

Our Chief is announcing his candidacy by throwing a huge party in McAlester with none other than Neal McCoy as entertainment. Here I sit shaking my head again. Who will be the guest speaker the anti-native Governor Mary Fallon? Who planned this kickoff event? It must be the same old people who seem to always plan them because it’s just like the ones the former chief and the felony chief had to announce their “candidacy”. I am trying so hard to see the silver lining for our current Chief but so far I see a man who cannot get true election reform and who is walking in the same muddy foot prints as those who have come before him. Let me tell you the sad part – this Chief has so much potential. Who in the world is advising him to throw an obviously outrageously expensive party only months after the Merida trial? How much is it costing? Who is paying for it? Who will be working it? Where is the million dollars noted in the federal trial that former Chief Pyle put away for your campaign? Is this where the money is coming from? Will there be transparency concerning how much JUST the kickoff event cost? And I mean down to the last lavish give away.

Can you not see and hear the Chahta people questioning your integrity? Let me tell you what I had hoped you would do and really what I thought you would be advised to do. Announce your candidacy in the most dignified possible way in the same fashion as “town hall” meetings. Invite any opponents or just regular hard working, struggling, Chahta’s to bring you their questions in a public forum and answer them as honestly as you can. Invite the absentee voters to participate by sending in questions by joining a meeting via Skype. Chahta’s are soooo tired of the smoke and mirrors and it’s very disappointing to know you cannot see that. If you must have music then have our Chahta people sing. Our tribe has some of the most beautiful voices out there, turn your candidacy announcement into a CHAHTA celebration. I’m sure Neal McCoy is a swell guy and a fantastic 90’s singer but I don’t associate him with our people. It’s insulting to think that this is part of your strategy for clearing your name? Insulting and very frankly, ineffective. You will have mostly employees there and some Choctaw people there as well but the whisperings will be about the money and you walked right into it. I would take a good long look at who is advising you concerning your strategy and let them know what worked in previous decades will not work the same way now not after all of the corruption. Pandora’s Box has been opened and a new flat screen isn’t going to close it.

This Chief, while not elected by the Chahta people, has so many positives working in his favor such as having managed a multi-billion dollar business. I bet a lot of you don’t know that he has been the one overseeing a business as the CEO for years now. Not just checking on it now and then but down in the trenches making big decisions. Why wouldn’t that be the focus? Why the circus? Tell me, tell us everything that qualifies you to be our Chief because it’s so much more than a title.

Be your own man don’t isolate yourself with the old guard. When I see that over the top party (and I’ve seen it in the past – was made to blow up balloons for it) I think of my grandmother and my room at her house. I would be lying in my bed and if it was windy outside my hair would blow in the wind as if the window was open. Why can’t we use all of these political dollars to insure safe and secure housing for our elders? Why does it take millions of dollars to run as a candidate for Choctaw Chief? Where did this go wrong? We have to look at this my Chahta family for what it is. We have to hold the amount of money it takes to throw this celebration in one hand and our elders’ needs in the other and see which is heaviest. My guess would be it’s about the same except the money hand benefits our people the least and our elders are still struggling. It’s a shame. The hunting trips, the fake boobs, the extravagant cars and the elitist parties while our elders do the best they can. I am beginning to wonder if we will ever be given the chance to make it right.

Chi pisa la chike,

CW (S. Crowder)

(S. Crowder has written under the pseudonym Choctaw Wright and Muriel Wright since December 21, 2011)

Halito Sisters & Brothers,

I have received word just today that Chahta employees can no longer run for an elected office unless they resign their positions. Good thing Tony Messenger, Greg Pyle, Gary Batton, you were assigned your positions before this new rule was enacted. Whew…really dodged a bullet on that one. What happened did Birdie get too many votes? Was this rule brought before the council or introduced by the council? If it was, man that got passed fast. I thought things took a few decades longer than that. Were the people consulted about this new rule at all? I didn’t think so.

You may sense a little anger and frustration and believe me you do. I have heard from other Chahta employees about past voters registration list usage. Yes, my Chahta family the sacred voter’s registration list has been shared in the following ways:

“We were given pages of voters with all of their contact information. We were dropped off in a different county and went door to door. We would call and offer to pick up their vote. We would call continuously if they were undecided about who to vote for. Everyone saw that list and working to get the vote was not a choice it was a command”.

So let me get this straight. Thousands of employees are forced to work the elections? Yes, I believe it because I’ve seen it. Yakoke for contacting me and telling me about your experience. This concerned Chahta wasn’t the only one who contacted me. Please read further:

“I’m tired of this. I’m just not going to do it anymore and I have done it. I have let them (CNO) tell me what to do and when; whether it was my time or theirs. I have let them tell me who to vote for and when to work at fundraisers. My children are grown and live on their own. I don’t have to let them take away my rights ever again and if I get fired at least I have only myself to worry about supporting”.

Is this where we are Chief? Is this where we are Councilmen? Did Tony Messenger not say he didn’t like people ignoring the election reform progress and choose to attack them on releasing the voter’s list? He said he felt like it was the Middle East or something. How do you think we the Chahta people feel Tony? I agree with you it DOES feel like the Middle East or something. We have no rights and it’s still condoned to intimidate and threaten candidates. Is this the century where we will still take away people’s livelihoods for exercising their right to vote? I agree Tony after all this time it’s still like some violent dictatorship. Why don’t we use this expedited Council process to pass a regulation about intimidating and threatening candidates? Why not say if you do this you get fired because that’s not what democracy is all about. Could that be passed as quickly as employees can no longer run without resigning their positions?

Okay, now tell me what Indian nation doesn’t allow their candidates to campaign at their community centers but does allow the nahullo political candidates who are running for senate or whatever office campaign at their community centers – that’s right the CHOCTAW NATION of OKLAHOMA. Our own candidates cannot campaign at our own community centers but the Boren family can. Tell me this is something that went before the council? Did they vote on this too? Once again if they did that was passed quickly? If not who made that rule? Please someone let me know because this is Tiananmen Square China not the 10 ½ counties of the Choctaw Nation.

I congratulate and I challenge this Chief on election reform but it’s a long way from being done and the time is approaching to elect new officials. Come out with it! Tell the truth and be proud of it. The Chahta our TIRED of the tyranny and the threats and intimidation. It’s time to make the changes necessary and if we don’t watch out brothers and sisters the reform will be delayed and pushed back until the elections have come and gone. Now is the time to show them who they are charged to represent and reclaim your right for free and unbiased elections. Register to vote, encourage people to run let’s get rid of this council and get a council that can get things done who are honorable and have the welfare of the Chahta people uppermost in their mind and not their enormous rates of pay.

Chi pisa la chike,

CW (S. Crowder)

(S. Crowder has written under the pseudonym Choctaw Wright and Muriel Wright since December 21, 2011)

Halito Brothers & Sisters,

This is a time of pivotal change.  It will be written in the history of our tribal nation.  We are about to lose the inherent right of our people to govern ourselves.  I am not talking about tribal self-governance and the relationship we as a sovereign nation have with state and federal governments.  I am talking about within ourselves.  We are about to sign away our rights to leadership that is Chahta.

Who is heading this movement to remove Chahta from our government – Kalyn Free the creator of Choctaws Rising.  Does she do this out of a love for the people?  Does she do it out of some obligation to rid us of corrupt leaders?  Corruption – that’s a heavy word with all kinds of nahullo meanings.  If corruption is defined as greedy and selfish (which by the way is the definition of nahullo) then maybe everyone should be measured with the same veracity.

Ms. Free reported this excerpt on her web page Choctaw’s Rising with scathing remarks concerning Chief Batton’s integrity and his moral character.  “I felt guilty about it.” This was Chief Batton’s response when asked why he wrote $27,500 checks to charities. Chief Batton was on the stand today for nearly four hours and testified to the following: (1) Batton went an all expense paid hunting trip to NM paid for by now convicted Brent Parsons of Builder’s Steel. Two of the four on that trip have pled guilty, the third is Merida, and the fourth is Batton. It was “not a business trip.”

Parsons flew a private plane to Hugo to pick up Batton. When asked if there were any other trips, Batton said “No.”; (2) When asked if he had gone to Ft Worth, Batton remembered that he had flown yet again on Brent’s private plane, this time being picked up in Durant, to Cabela’s in Ft Worth to “buy gear” for the NM hunting trip. Brent paid for everything. Batton wasn’t asked about the dinner Batton allegedly bought for the four of them during that trip and whether he used the tribe’s credit card or his own. Perhaps Matt Silverstein can ask the Chief to answer that question? (3) Batton admitted that Parsons paid $50,000 into Pyle’s campaign fund to have a private dinner at a fancy restaurant in Tulsa with Pyle and Batton;…”

In 2004 Kalyn Free made an unsuccessful bid for the United States Congress.  She blames much of this loss on then Chief Greg Pyle who didn’t support her in the democratic primary.  As part of the public record which can be accessed at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqsdocsMUR/28044212013.pdf Kalyn Free was found guilty of violating several federal campaign laws (see page 7 for a listing).  You will also see her signature acknowledging she stole money from her federal campaign for Congress.  http://eqs.fec.gov/eqsdocsMUR/28044211963.pdf

As you can see Ms. Free committed the following federal violations during and after her 2004 campaign:

  1. Accepted a lump sum of $15,000.00 from campaign funds AFTER the loss
  2. Accepted a lump sum of $30,000 from campaign funds AFTER the loss
  3. Set up an accounting system to pay her an advance AFTER the loss
  4. Did not report the monies paid as a debt thereby nullifying the monies as a loan

The above were violations of USC 2 Improper Use of Federal Campaign Dollars for Personal Use.  All told the monies added up to almost $50,000.00 the same amount she is so outraged by in the above reference post on Choctaws Rising.

My question is this why does she want to remove the blood quantum restrictions? She has no interest in running for Chief?  However, she does have interest in acting as the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma legal counsel as she currently does for the Cherokee, or so she says.  As a person who often quotes what the Chahta Chief and Council are being paid I think you will be delighted to know the Cherokee Nation Executive Branch (which is basically the Chief) pays Ms. Free some $275,000 per/year.  Her first year with the Cherokees she made more than half a million dollars in nine months and the Tribal Council voted to forbid any one not Cherokee from being Chief Counsel, this was targeted directly at her.  So she changed her title and moved her invoices over to the Cherokee Nation Businesses where it is not available for public review and denies FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests from the Council.  She’s taken more than a million from the Cherokees in less than four years by instigating the removal of blood quantum and greatly helping Bill John Baker 1/164th Cherokee become the current Cherokee Chief.  Is this what our people want, a Chief that is 1/164th?

I think what really affects me concerning these revelations is how powerfully and with ease she throws stones in her own glass house.  Tell us Ms. Free after breaking federal campaign laws did you give that amount to charity, because Chief Batton broke not one federal campaign law, as a matter of fact, he did not break any law and yet he gave the money to charity.  This Chief as Assistant Chief began the very process that brought the illegal activities to light. You signed the above referenced documents in federal court admitting your guilt and yet you call for campaign reform?  These reforms were discussed and created, written and re-written long before you or I ever started our separate efforts to change the CNO.  Yes the amendments were discussed except for removal of the blood quantum requirement YOU insisted on that little change.

Did you feel bad? Did you track down who donated that money for your own campaign and pay it back to them?  Or did you pay back the Federal Government and call it a day after you were caught?  You demand so many answers from Chief Batton how about providing some answers to your own actions?  At the end of the day Ms. Free I want to know do the Cherokee people welcome you with open arms or do they keep asking themselves how you managed to ingrain yourself into their nation at more than one million dollars a year.

Chahta people we have so much to do to make change but signing our Chahta away is not one of them.

CW

Halito Sisters & Brothers,

These are sad days for us.  Here we are knowing more than we probably wanted to know about our government.  Once again our leadership is in Federal Court and again the Chahta people are the ones to pay with our dignity and our programs.   Concerned citizens have been giving reports via web pages and Facebook.  YOU need to discern from a variety of reports and perspectives of what has been going on during the trial of Jason Merida.  The media has let our people down on this coverage so has the Biskinik but we knew that would happen.

I applaud those Chahta citizens who have taken off from work and covered this trial for our people.  They can’t silence all of us.  However, the tone of some of the reports does not communicate what an unfortunate time this is for all Chahta.  I find myself analyzing Miko Batton and I find myself dismissing former Chief Pyle.  Former Chief Pyle and his family have and should spend their remaining days together in peace no matter his sins.  Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease and its effects according to those I have been communicating with, were evident in our former Chief as he took the witness stand.  I send his family my prayers.

Our current Chief and former Chief gave monies from “campaign contributions” to various charities and educational institutions.  We are left to wonder, did they donate that money AFTER the investigation?  And, whose monies were they donating?  Were the funds given directly to them so therefore they made a personal donation?  If that were the case why were they given a personal donation in the first place from major players in the construction industry in correlation with Tribal affairs and businesses?  Or was it monies donated to the Chahta people and when the waters started to boil it was decided to quickly donate the monies without the consent or knowledge of the very people they serve?  Did the IRS have any say in the matter? Either way the situation was unethical to say the least and since the verdict we know they were definitely criminal.

There is no denying Jason Merida could not have committed the crimes he was found guilty of without considerable support from people very high in our government structure.  Now whether that support was just turning a blind eye or partaking in the embezzlement or setting up as “business as usual” it is up to YOU to decide but one thing is perfectly clear we have been dealing with this for forty some odd years. It is clearly time for change.

So my question for Miko is this, how much more illegal, unethical, abuse of power, embezzlement and criminal behavior are we going to endure before there is legislative change?  Must we always look to the Federal Government to clean our house?  Do you know there are people tasked to go onto Social Media to try to shut down the very people reporting from the court house?  What other types of governments do this?!  China!  Iraq! North Korea!  You see Chief what happens when they cannot rely on their own tribal paper to write the truth they have to go find it themselves and report back to their families and friends.  Free us from the suppression of our Choctaw constitutional right to free speech and our first amendment rights to free speech.

There is something very important I want all Chahta to consider if Miko and Council are removed by the Federal Government then we are at the mercy of that same government until we could change our constitution and re-structure our entire election process.  Assistant Chief Austin would be the third Chief put into office without a vote of the people.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs would occupy us and create a plan for us that we should be creating ourselves.  This would happen AGAIN, how demeaning for us to once again be forced to rely on the Feds to clean our house as if we were children.

Please hear me out on what I am about to say, we could work with our current Chief to change our system.  Batton has met with attorney and Choctaw citizen Doug Dry who has been fighting for free and unbiased elections for decades. No one has been willing to do this since Mr. Dry ran for Chief in the 90’s and blacklisted from the tribe so for Chief Batton to sit with him for two hours really says something about our leader.  A trusted source informed me that he has also demanded a new call to truly support preserving our traditions and he has terminated one of the major sources of anti-Choctaw personnel policies.  If we as Choctaw people were to work with Batton then we as a united people right our own government through compromise and issue voting.

Chief Batton the citizens of the Choctaw Nation know too much not to hear from you. They will draw their own conclusions and you nor I can blame them.  I ask you out of support and good faith to address our tribal nation.  What a historic event it would be for ANY government leader to stand in front of his people and say “I’m going to speak honestly so we can heal”.

I know many are saying it’s time to rid the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma of all current leadership but our constitution is too weak but Miko could strengthen through reform. He could call for a new order, new elections, freedom of information, balance the constitution and right the rift that separates us.

He may be the Chief who will put his own personal embarrassment aside to empower our people and to change our tribe for the better.  What we need from him is to open our paper to all opinions and platforms.  We need him to balance the power of the political system which means lessening his own power.  Our leadership should support and make into Choctaw law transparency.  Our people should be able to access the budgets and know where every dollar is spent.  Any contractor doing business with the CNO should have to follow TERO guidelines which would drastically lessen the opportunity for unethical behavior.  He should apologize for taking the money.  I want to hear him speak plainly and openly.  If he would then we might stand a chance of taking care of our own business.  It may be too late.

Years ago I was angry and I spoke my mind, but I haven’t felt anger since the trial started.  I kept waiting for it but I only felt intense sadness.  I saw the cartoonish memes and the disrespectful behavior toward all those involved and it was like an earthquake.  Our people are splintering in the middle and ready to do whatever it takes to remove our top leadership and in their haste may sign away our right to have Choctaw people lead our tribe.  Choctaws Rising is not Choctaw Voting Block we respectfully distanced ourselves from them after Tushka Homma and although we tried to work with them and I even announced the petition I don’t support that anymore.  I will not support removing the blood quantum requirement for Council and Chief.  It chips away at our fabric as Chahta people and insults those of a higher blood quantum by insinuating we are not intelligent enough to operate our own tribe.  In addition my motives have always been transparent in the fact that I don’t expect gain from my writings.  I expect Chahta to participate freely in their government and for our leadership to welcome and encourage the participation.

As the opposition we need to concede on issues as well without letting our leadership fall back into the same old corrupt government.  We need to stop disrespecting the OFFICE of Chief (and I freely admit to this particular offense) but on the other hand we need leaders who deserve our respect.  If we aren’t careful we will lose Choctaw people running the Choctaw Nation.  Are we prepared to sign Choctaws Rising’s petition to remove the ¼ blood quantum requirement for leadership?  If we lose it we have lost it forever and the days of our Chief and Council being elected from our own Choctaw families is lost to us.

One last thing please keep in mind I write under the name Choctaw Wright and I haven’t written anything concerning the trial those who are quoting almost verbatim past blog posts and taking those words as their own are not speaking as me.  I speak now as I always have from my love for my Chahta family – we must work together and if Miko Batton is willing to compromise on election reform and implement internal controls then I say let’s support him and rebuild our own house.

Chi Pisa La Chike,

CW

Good Evening Brothers & Sisters,

Many of you have requested to see the information that will be distributed at this year’s Labor Day Festival. We have been granted a space after explaining that our right to have a space is protected in our current constitution. Our intent is to peacefully distribute information. We don’t want to be arrested or harassed and we plan on occupying our 10 X 10 space and going no further. You my family must come to us. We will be by the amphitheater.
I apologize for getting you this information so late but we have been debating the issue of removing the blood quantum limits for elected officials. I will not ever support such a move but I agree with all of the other proposed amendments so what you see below is true compromise. We must not let this one issue (designed by the federal government to eventually separate us) curtail our efforts at regaining are inherent freedoms. I believe this issue is one for the people and not for a few lone voices.
Below is the brochure in a plain text form. The petition is as we speak (per/say) is receiving last minute polishing and editing before going to the printer. The proposed amendments will be there for all to see at Labor Day. If we gather enough signatures (we need approximately 7000) we will be able to vote for each amendment separately. They are not rolled into one big bill like you would see in Washington. I encourage you to speak with a Cherokee Citizen to find out how they feel they are being represented since the removal of the blood quantum restriction for their elected officials. I know I will.

CW

Did You Know?
A non-Indian Tribal Attorney has represented both the Chief and the Council for nearly 40 years? In 1991 his “salary” was raised to more than $30,000 every month. Just since 1991, that is well over $8 MILLION Dollars. It is believed that this lawyer has been paid over $30 MILLION while the Choctaws have suffered. This non-Indian attorney controlled Hollis Roberts and Greg Pyle and many believe he controls Gary Batton.

Your Tribal Councilor makes as much as $175,000 per year?

The Chief sets his own salary and the salaries of high-ranking employees and you can never see the tribal budgets?

For the last 40 years, all our chiefs, except one, was “chosen” and not elected by the people?

Chief David Gardner, who died in office in 1978, was the last chief elected by the people? He was the last chief to serve who was not first appointed as Assistant Chief.

The Chief appoints the Assistant Chief and can fire him whenever he wants?

We don’t have term limits for our Chief and Council and that most of the current council has served more than 20 years and some more than 30 years?

All 12 members of the Council are men and that’s exactly how they intend to keep it?

The Chief and the Council used this corrupt system and all the power of the tribe to make sure the last three women who ran for Council did not win?

The Tribal Council conducts all its business behind closed doors and Choctaws are not allowed to attend the meetings where legislation, issues and spending are discussed?

Dozens of non-Indians are running the Tribe, drawing enormous salaries and these “bosses” treat tribal employees terribly?

Tribal employees have no employee rights, live in fear for their jobs and know the Chief can fire them at any time without recourse?

Our tribal Constitution was forced on the Choctaw people in 1983 and was created by former Chief Hollis Roberts to give more power to the Chief’s office?

Our previous Constitution, adopted in 1860, had term limits and didn’t have a blood quantum to run for Chief or Council?

About 130,000 or 2/3 of the Choctaws live “at-large” or outside the tribal boundaries?

These at-large Choctaws have no direct representation on the Tribal Council?

78% of Choctaws are less than ¼ blood and they cannot run for office?

The Chief, Assistant Chief and almost every member of the Council does not want to remove the blood quantum and allow any Choctaw to run for office,but they are counting on you to keep them in office to continue this corrupt government?

Of Course You Didn’t Know Because:
Those who do know, can’t tell those who don’t know.

The Chief and Council will not allow Choctaws to freely exercise our Freedom of Speech at Tvshka Homma except in a 10 x 10 square foot stockade. If we step foot outside of this tent and talk to anyone about these issues, we will be arrested and/or ordered to leave our sacred capitol grounds.

The Choctaw Nation does not have a free press and the tribal newspaper, the Biskinik, is simply a propaganda machine for the Chief’s office.

Candidates who run for tribal office cannot buy an ad in the tribal newspaper and the Biskinik will not print any letters to the editor that are critical of the Chief or Council.

The Chief and Council will not give the list of registered voters names and addresses to candidates running for office, so their opponents cannot tell you about their campaign platforms and vision for the tribe.

The Nation has absolutely no campaign fundraising or reporting laws. Companies doing business with the Tribe can give unlimited money to the Chief and Tribal Councilors to keep them in office so the non-Indians can continue cashing huge checks and running our tribe.

There is no Freedom of Information law in the Choctaw Nation. You cannot write the Chief or Council and ask for information and expect a response. They don’t have to and they won’t answer your questions.

What Can You Do?
You can help change all of this by signing the petition to amend our Constitution. Together we will bring great change to the Choctaw Nation, honor our ancestors, elect our own leaders and implement an open and transparent government that serves the Chahtas, not the Nahollos.
Choctaws Rising
choctawsrising.com
info@choctawsrising.com

Halito Chahta Family,

“I want to become the number one employer in Oklahoma and love for the Choctaw Nation to become world renown in the future, said Gary Batton”, http://www.newson6.com/story/25378662/gary-batton-sworn-in-as-new-choctaw-nation-chief

This is a quote from our new Miko.  I respectfully say, number one employer of whom?  World renown to whom?  Love for the Choctaw Nation by whom?  This can’t be directed to us, the Chahta people?  I don’t know about you, my brothers and sisters but I don’t want the world to “love” the Chahta.  I would rather have freedom to vote, freedom to run for election, freedom to work and prosper without henchmen to tear down signs, to intimidate and pay voters, to pistol whip candidates at our annual gathering. I want a workplace that doesn’t see the Chahta as stupid or threatening to those non-Chahta in power.  I want our Chahta people to be informed of the true goings on within our government, I want those Chahta who have left our land boundaries to have incentives to come home or at least know that their sisters and brothers welcome their input on tribal affairs.  I want candidates to not have to be wealthy to run for office.  I want our tribal paper to present both sides of the story and hold accountable our leaders.  We all know what I want.  I have written about it over and over.  I have also prayed to our Creator God for relief from the tyranny and embarrassment of our Chahta government.

Now, I once again respectfully request you read the following letter from attorney and Chahta tribal member, Kalyn Free requesting the desperately needed changes required to truly give our people the freedom we not only deserve but are entitled to as Chahta people. To find out how to sign this petition please see Ms. Free’s email address listed at the bottom of the last page.  It’s not requested as a favor it’s requested because for the first time in forty plus years you may actually have a say in the future leadership of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  Please pay special attention to the “CC” at the bottom of the letter.

I hope this is the Miko who will change our decades long history of being one of the most oppressed and violently controlled tribes in the United States.  We will see…

CW

KALYN FREE

ATTORNEY AT LAW

May 1, 2014

Principal Chief Gary Batton Assistant Chief Jack Austin, Jr
Speaker Delton Cox & Tribal Council PO Box 1210
Durant, OK 74701

Dear Chief Batton, Assistant Chief Austin, Speaker Cox and Councilors:

This is an historic opportunity for the Choctaw Nation and our people. As we enter this unprecedented time in our nation’s history, my hope is for this new administration to be imbued with the wisdom, integrity and compassion of those who came before us. My prayer is that you, our elected and appointed leaders, will find it in your hearts to embrace the Choctaw people, to engage with us and to welcome participation in our government.

I listened intently to Chief Batton’s inaugural address and his closing words to always “do what is best for the Choctaw people” brought hope to my heart. This chief and council have the ability to right the wrongs of the past and to chart a new and promising course for the future of our great Nation.

During the course of my career, I have been particularly blessed to have traveled extensively throughout Indian Country, having visited almost every reservation in the lower 48. Literally hundreds of times over the years, when people learn that I am a proud citizen of the Choctaw Nation, I have heard remarks of “Oh yes, that’s the tribe that doesn’t have real elections”; “that’s the tribe that is ruled by a dictator”; “that’s the tribe that appoints their chiefs”; “that’s the tribe that won’t let their people participate in elections”; “that’s the tribe that won’t let candidates communicate with the voters.”

Most of Indian Country and engaged people in the state of Oklahoma are fully aware that the past two chiefs, both of whom ascended to office by virtue of appointment, Greg Pyle and Hollis Roberts, adamantly opposed fair elections and the release of contact information for Choctaw voters. In fact, since our removal to Oklahoma, we have only had one chief, C. David Gardner, elected by the people when he took the oath of office as Principal Chief.

Countless Choctaws are cautiously optimistic that Chief Batton and the Tribal Council will reverse this medieval position and release the voter lists so Choctaw citizens can be fully informed, communicate with one another, participate in the electoral process, have a true voice in tribal government and move our Nation forward.

Some tribal councilors and the Choctaw Nation Registration department have told me that the Election Board “does not meet until shortly before an election is called.” In other tribal governments, the requests below would be made to the election board or commission. However, Article IX Section 5 of our Constitution fully empowers the Council to prescribe election procedures and regulations. Given the unique nature and composition of the Election Board, coupled with the Tribal Council’s history on these issues and the timing restraints, I am requesting this information and cooperation from the Chief and Tribal Council.

Article XVI of the Choctaw Constitution sets forth specific procedures for our citizens to propose legislation through the Initiative and Referendum process. Section 1of this Article mandates stringent timelines on the filing of petitions and the timing of special elections, which must be called if the petition is filed more than a year before the next chief s election.

Article XVIII Section 1 of the Constitution mandates that amendments to our Constitution may be proposed by the Tribal Council or by the filing of a petition signed by the requisite 30 percent of the voters who voted in the last chief s election, which was the 1999 election.

In order to propose legislation or amendments to the constitution a citizen must know certain factual information that is not publicly available and which only the Nation maintains records of.

Thus, I am requesting the following information:

1. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over
2. Total Number of registered voters
3. Total Number of Choctaws in each county in Oklahoma
4. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over in each county in Oklahoma
5. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over in each state
6. Total Number of registered voters in each state
7. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over with valid addresses
8. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over with invalid addresses
9. Total Number of registered voters with valid addresses 10. Total Number of registered voters with invalid addresses
11. Total Number of voters who voted in the 1999 chief s election
12. Tabulated results of the 1999 chief s election; specifically, the total votes received by each candidate
13. Total votes received in each precinct by each candidate in the 1999 chief s election
14. Total votes received by each candidate by absentee ballot in the 1999 chief s election

15. If absentee ballots were segregated in the 1999 chief s election, I am requesting the total absentee votes received by each candidate by voters residing within the Choctaw Nation
16. Tabulated results of the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011tribal council elections 17. The names of all candidates who appeared on the ballot in the elections
referenced in #16 above and the results for each candidate by precinct and the number of absentee ballots cast for each candidate
18. A list of voters who voted by absentee in the 1999 chief s election and/or any of the subsequent tribal council elections, which include 2003, 2007 and 2011
19. A list of voters, including names and addresses, who voted by absentee in the 1999 chief s election and/or any of the subsequent tribal council elections, which include 2003, 2007 and 2011
20. A list of voters who voted in person in the 1999 chief s election and/or any of the subsequent tribal council elections, which include 2003, 2007 and 2011
21. A list of voters, including names and addresses, who voted in person in the 1999 chief s election and/or any of the subsequent tribal council elections, which include 2003, 2007 and 2011
22. A list of registered voters, including names and addresses, eligible to vote in tribal elections; please segregate this list by valid and invalid addresses
23. Total number of households the Biskinik is delivered to; it has been rumored that this number is 80,243
24. A list of all Choctaws who receive the Biskinik
25. A list of all Choctaws with complete mailing address who receive the Biskinik
26. Election Procedures or Ordinance that the Tribal Council contends are effective and will govern a special election and/or the 2015 chief and tribal council elections.

If the Tribal Council maintains that the Election Ordinance, referenced in # 26 above and currently displayed on the Nation’s website, is in effect and controlling, please provide documentary evidence that this Election Ordinance was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. If there is a different set of election procedures, other than those currently on the Nation’s website, that the Council contends will govern special elections and the 2015 chief and tribal council elections, please provide those.

Article V, Section 1 of the Election Ordinance, which appears on the Nation’s website, purports to fully empower the Election Board with the authority to determine the date of the 2015 election, subject to approval by the chief and tribal council. Assuming only for this limited purpose that the referenced Election Ordinance is valid, please advise as to the month and year the Election Board and/or the Tribal Council intends to hold the next chief and council elections.

While I have faith that a majority of the Tribal Council will ultimately do the right thing and enact a new Election Ordinance that provides for full and open participation by all Choctaws, I recognize that this will take some time. Thus, during

the interim, I am requesting a list of names of all Choctaws who have voted in every election including and since 1999. The Election Ordinance provides at Article VIII, Sections 1and 2 that any candidate who has filed for office, upon request, will be provided a list of the registered voters in each district. The incumbent tribal councilors, some of which have served more than two and three decades, have each had multiple opportunities to acquire and refine said lists. Thus, immediately releasing only the voters’ names to allow the citizenry to participate in the Initiative, Referendum and Petition process is only a small first step in allowing Choctaws to exercise our constitutional rights.

Because the Election Board is not available, I am asking the Chief and/or Council to designate an office or person( s) that I can communicate with and that can assemble the information I have requested. Clearly, there are certain parts of my request that should not be controversial and I am hopeful that I can get responses to these requests quickly. The requests that I believe can be quickly responded to are: ## 1- 14, 16, 17, and 23.

If the requested information is available in an electronic format, please provide it in the same format. For example, lists of citizens and voters are maintained in a digital format and thus are requested in this medium. Other documents, such as election results may be maintained in “hard copies” or pdfs. To the extent possible that these documents can be scanned and sent electronically, I am requesting this be done.

I will gladly pay for any research, scanning, copying or labor costs associated with fulfilling this request. I will be happy to travel to Durant and review records from our previous elections that are publicly available and make my own copies or designate for your staff which documents I wish to copy. If you have any questions about my request or wish to discuss this matter, please call me at 918.916.0716 or email me at kalyn@kalynfree.com .

In closing, Chief Batton I believed you when you said you want to do “what is best for the Choctaw people” and thus pray that you will lead by example and support the Council in their efforts to have a transparent and fair election process. My hope is that each of you will listen to your hearts, your people and pray on these things. If I may ever be of service to each of you or the Choctaw people, please call on me.

Yakoke,

cc: DOI Solicitor General Hilary Tompkins
      Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn
      BIA Area Director Bob Impson

Halito Brothers and Sisters,

As most of you know Chief Greg Pyle is retiring. Love him or not it’s the end of an era, or is it? Since former Chief Roberts created the Assistant Chief position the election of Chief has been a carefully, ardently controlled process and we, the voters, have not had any say. Our votes are controlled by those who would lose the most if their regime was voted out. Remember money and power are aphrodisiacs to even the strongest most moral of men and women.

I see that even some members of the opposition to this one party system have crossed their fingers and bowed their heads hoping that Chief Gary Batton will change the way Chahta leadership does business. He is the first Chief to publicly support the opposition to the pipeline across our tribal jurisdiction. This is significant because he has put his name beside members of the opposition, traditionalists who are calling for change. Is this a sign that Batton is more supportive of Chahta rights? Were his hands tied all this time in making true significant change? Will he be able to call off the goons who intimidate, rip up signs, threaten and ridicule opposition candidates? Will he provide space in the Biskinik for ALL candidate platforms? Will he truly let the people decide? Will he enact a TERO department?

This is what I know he has done:
* He plays stickball (I happen to like this)
* He supported and implemented a Choctaw University for CNO employees
* He supported the opposition to the pipeline
* He implemented audits throughout the CNO (several incidents of embezzlement were found)
* He and his wife have adopted Chahta children
* He is a hard worker and his right hand people have good work ethics – they are Chahta

This is what disturbs me:
* He has promoted known liars and greedy leaders into high positions of power
* Some who were revealed in those audits to be unethical were moved to different positions or their involvement kept quiet
* Due to the audit lower level leadership took the fall to cover the true criminals
* He has continued the same managerial style that gives employees no recourse against an unethical manager or supervisor

So we are back to the question of hope. We are back to the questions of transparency and true democracy. We are back to the questions of truly serving the Chahta people.

It is no secret that I am a religious person. I believe in the power of prayer. I think we should pray for our new leader to have the moral armor to lead us into an era of Chahta rights and a redistribution of power. What is there to be afraid of? By opening our elections, by ending the oppression he could RIGHTFULLY be Chief for many many years. However, if it’s more of the same corruption, secrecy and greed then we have nothing but what we have had for almost four decades.

Yakoke,
CW

Good Afternoon Brothers & Sisters,

It’s not a story you will see featured prominently anywhere but here is a link I think you will find interesting.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/6_people_charged_in_Choctaw_Nation_casino_construction/20130806_11_A1_ULNSar16548

The link concerns steel and bribery and a few things you will see should look familiar to you already because we have discussed them here on this very blog. In case the link doesn’t work I will just tell you six people have been indicted in relation to the construction of the Choctaw Nation Casino including a CNO project manager. The same project manager had little experience but a four year degree and no he wasn’t nor has he ever been an actual Chahta person or even a Native. Beneath him however, was a qualified Chahta with lots of experience, integrity and no degree. Now, I don’t know about you but I would take experience and honesty over a degree any day of the week. A degree is good. Knowing how to get the job done should be just as valuable.

Man, it’s just unbelievable. African safari’s, trips to New York City, designer wares, a Cadillac Escalade, lake homes and mortgage payments. Chahta people, especially you that bust it working for the casino’s being treated like less than – wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had bought you an Escalade and a Lake House or at least remodeled your kitchen with granite counter tops? None of the people that have been indicted are Chahta but to look at the demographics of managers, directors and Executive Directors you would think the Nahollo have some sort of in when it comes to managing the CNO, hmmm wonder what that is? The Construction Executive Director has yet to be charged but I believe he has some explaining to do.

My Chahta family, the CNO is playing the victim. They found the discrepencies in an audit and turned the evidence over to the FBI, because tons and tons of steel is hard to hide without a bunch of people knowing it. But I want you to think about this, when ordering office furniture we were REQUIRED to order from the office furniture company SCOTT RICE. Let me say that again we, in the government offices (as opposed to the Casino offices) were REQUIRED to order office furniture from the SCOTT RICE company. That directive came straight from the top. So I ask you are these six nahollo people the only ones who need a good indictment? Oh and by the way, spending hundreds of dollars on an office chair that you could get at Office Depot for around $65 dollars should give you an idea of how kickbacks work.

How many scholarships would these stolen funds have provided? How many new BRICK INDIAN HOMES would all that wasted stolen money build? How many elderly Chahta per/cap’s could that provide? I can only shake my head – take in the thieves and clothe them, take in the liars and give them gold, tell the Chahta he is stupid and doesn’t know better, that’s what who we have as our champions.

The Chahta people deserve leadership who isn’t in on the pillaging of our people.

CW

Good Day am Intek & Nakfish,

Were you upset by District 9 going to Ted Dosh? I know those of you out there who regularly read the blog believe I was upset. I can’t say that I wasn’t but I expected it. It was no surprise. As I watched from afar the corruption, the untold thousands of dollars being spent on Ted’s behalf, the job for votes, the intimidation, the forced labor, access to the voters list and countless other fraudulant activities I would have been hugely surprised if Birdie Williams had won. How can a normal person with normal means overcome such intimidation and relentless fraud?

My people take heart in this, according to a leading Indian newspaper Birdie Williams came within 200 some odd votes of beating Ted Dosh. What turned the tide were the coerced votes of the Choctaw CNO employees. That’s right, Birdie Williams won the absentee vote. Truth be told she probably won the election but we will never know for sure because you and I both know the CNO and the powers that be would have never conceded defeat. So the arm twisted Choctaw members in Durant won the election. I can’t complain because feeding your family comes before voting out a corrupted official.

Ted Dosh how do you feel about “winning” this election? Do you sleep well at night knowing you didn’t win but stole the Chahta people’s right to a fair unbiased and honest election? Or does the money keep you so warm you sleep like a baby and damn the very people you have been ah hum “elected” to serve? What about the Chahta tribal member in the nursing home? You remember him? He wanted to vote but was told they would only bring him a ballot if he voted for you? When you go to the pearly gates and a replay of your life is shown are you going to be proud of what you’ve done? To your own people Ted – you sold out to power, corruption and absolute dictatorship. You know what you BARELY “won”, the people are waking up and that warms my heart and makes me even more hopeful.

Where by the way, is the unbiased totally independent election board? Aren’t you supposed to take care of this corruption? Throw this election out? Or as I suspected all along you are just puppets being controlled by the Chief? After all he appointed you. It’s laughable this system you have Pyle. How in the world you have gotten away with decades of corruption and greed I will never know or understand. You take our sovereignty and you put it all at risk for your own benefit. As I have said numerous times you should be ashamed but I don’t think a man who blames his Hepatitus B on his wife has any shame.

Below is a scathing comment from #1 Choctaw, my old friend who has named me as the person responsible for the civil war within the Chahta tribe. Nahollo (#1 Choctaw) you give me way too much credit. My one little vote is nothing. My one little blog just tells it like it is and for that you want to shame me? How dare I expose even a small part of the corruption and the Chahta hatred spewed out by the CNO machine? I should be a good Choctaw and just wait patiently for change and expose nothing of the abuse, degradation and stripping away of rights that is being done to our people. I will make you this promise #1 Nahollo this fight isn’t over. If we can’t get our rights back from our own Choctaw Traitor Leaders then we will need to find an alternative – you just can’t have what is by birth ours. We are not going to give you what our families so long ago died for. The days of raping and abusing our Chahta women are over. The days of forcing handouts over hand ups are fast coming to a close. Even if that means going to the feds to do it.

“Your agenda of deceit and revenge is hurting the very people you claim to love and protect. Your misinformation will only divide the nation you you claim that you want to unite! How dare you lie to the good people that actually trust your bogus information you post here!

It’s amazing how much information you seem to have, but there’s never any true evidence for what you claim to hear or see. I have looked back at many of your blog entries and what you write is littered false accusations and claims. On several entries I have actually posted rebuttals with the facts listed and cited so your readers could confirm the real truth, and you have deleted them! I doubt you will have the guts to let this one stay either.” #1Choctaw

I would like to clarify something for my readers. #1 Nahollo has not been sending facts with cited sources she/he was hoping I would publish this rant in its entirety (which I have) so as to lie about sending me the “truth”. He/she knew I would publish this because I have always published what she/he has said. #1 Nahollo is a mouthpiece for this administration who spends millions of dollars marketing their good deeds and integrity while hiding their dirty shameful secrets. That’s what makes me the perfect target, I know differently and after these last rounds of elections so many people contacted me to say, I never really thought what you were saying was true until I saw what happened during this election.

To our absentee voters – I want to apologize. I didn’t give you enough credit to see what was happening here. You don’t know what your votes have done. You have given us, the ones who dare to fight the battle, hope that what we are doing is not in vain. I will never underestimate your love for the people and for your own heritage again. Thank you for such a valuable gift as hope for change.

CW