Friday, May 17, 2019

Drama: Walkingstick thrown out by Cherokee Nation Election Commission

Drama continues to build in the wild Cherokee Principle Chief election:


Friday evening, the Cherokee Nation Election Commission voted to disqualify David Walkingstick as a candidate for Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation as a result of a complaint filed by an employee of the Chuck Hoskin Jr. campaign. The complaint alleged that the actions of an independent expenditure supporting David Walkingstick were a violation of Cherokee Nation election law. Following their decision, the Walkingstick campaign released the following statement:

"Although we are proud Cherokee citizens, we are also United States citizens with a guaranteed right to free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. The Cherokee Nation Election Commission's ruling to remove David Walkingstick shows either a total disregard or misunderstanding of what our First Amendment protects.

The United States Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. FEC that U.S. citizens cannot be denied the right to raise and spend money to influence an election for a candidate. The Election Commission's disqualification of Walkingstick from the Principal Chief election is in direct conflict with this ruling that remains the law of the land. The Walkingstick campaign did not coordinate with or accept contributions from Cherokees for Change LLC, and the Election Commission has no legal right to remove a candidate from the ballot as the result of another United States citizen exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.

We fully intend to take the necessary steps to right this egregious wrong and ensure that our Cherokee citizens’ right to vote is protected on June 1st and beyond."


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