Advertise:   712.224.5420

Inhofe accuses Cherokee chief of shenanigans

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) is asking the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to investigate allegations that Cherokee Nation Chief Chad Smith is improperly using tribal and federal funds to campaign for Rep. Brad Carson (D-Oklahoma).

Inhofe said Smith has inserted pro-Carson materials in the paychecks of tribal and federal employees and that the tribe has forced employees to participate in campaign activities. He cited an article in The Muskogee Phoenix that said Smith persuaded the council to spend $100,000 on voter education efforts.

The tribe's spokesperson acknowledged the use of the materials and said 30,000 CDs were mailed to Cherokee voters to show support for Carson in the race against Republican former Congressman Tom Coburn. One of Smith's political rivals has filed a suit in tribal court alleging intimidation of employees.

Smith and other Cherokee leaders have endorsed Carson. They criticized Coburn for saying that Cherokees are "real" Indians and for suggesting that treaty rights are a "joke."

Get the Story:
Campaign questions dog chief (The Muskogee Phoenix 10/31)
Suit claims chief illegally uses federal funds, forces employees to campaign [see middle of page] (The Muskogee Phoenix 10/29)
Strange endorsements, last minute charges (The Native American Times 11/1)

Relevant Links:
Tom Coburn -
Brad Carson, campaign site -
Brad Carson, U.S. House site -

Related Stories:
A Day at the Races: Indian Country and the election (11/1)
Four Oklahoma tribes endorse Carson for Senate (10/27)
Two Oklahoma tribal leaders endorse Coburn (10/26)
Cherokee leaders blast Coburn for 'divisive' remarks (9/17)
Woman counters Coburn on forced sterilization (09/17)
Senate candidate Coburn denies malpractice (9/15)
Senate race pits tribal member against conservative (07/28)