How you can help
Unfortunately, self-funding is no longer realistic for serious candidates. As a result, any Tribal Council candidate not affiliated with “big money” interests in the Cherokee Nation must now raise tens of thousands of dollars in order to be competitive. Like many of you, I am deeply concerned about the growing influence of American political party and corporate influences on the Cherokee Nation. How many Cherokee Nation citizens who might like to run for office can raise the money they now need? How much expertise and commitment will we lose as a Nation if potential interested candidates won’t seek office because they can’t be financially competitive?
Fortunately, we have seen successful grassroots efforts in American political campaigns, and I hope that can be the case in the Cherokee Nation as well. That means that YOU play an integral role in making sure that independent candidates are able to run viable campaigns.
Whether you can give $5, $50, $500, or the $5000 per person maximum, your contribution matters more than you know. Not only does your contribution support my candidacy, it also sends a message that we will push back against the infusion of big money from outside non-Indian interests dominating our Nation’s political life. Make your voice heard by donating now to re-elect Julia Coates for Tribal Council!
I am very excited about my candidacy for the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council! The good news is that more and more At Large Cherokee Nation citizens are registering to vote and becoming active in Cherokee civic life! However, I know this will be a different kind of campaign than I have ever experienced before. One major difference: in the past, running for Council has not been a particularly expensive proposition. Most candidates were largely self-funded, as was I.
With the growing numbers of citizens that At Large candidates need to reach out to, campaigning has become a more expensive endeavor. In addition, in the past few election cycles, “big money” has entered the Cherokee political world. In the 2011 election, one candidate for Principal Chief was able to raise over $1 million, largely from non-Indian American political party donors and outside corporate and construction interests. This candidate formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) that has funded chosen candidates ever since. An example is a recent special election in Adair County in which this PAC donated over $30,000 to its chosen one.