HERE AT ILLEGAL “INFORMATION MEETING” OF NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL THAT SPEAKER JOHNNY NAIZE CALLED YESTERDAY, JAN. 28, 2014, FOR TODAY, JAN. 29., 2014, AT 8 A.M. AT THE QUALITY INN IN WINDOW ROCK, ARIZ. THE DELEGATES THAT WERE HERE WHEN I ARRIVED WERE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON, KATHERINE BENALLY, DAVID TOM, GEORGE APACHITO, LEONARD PETE AND RUSSELL BEGAYE. SPEAKER NAIZE ARRIVED ABOUT 8:30 A.M. OTHER DELEGATES THAT HAVE ARRIVED ARE JONATHAN NEZ, ELMER BEGAY, LORENZO CURLEY, ROSCOE SMITH, LEONARD TSOSIE, DUANE TSINIGINE. I ASKED SPEAKER NAIZE’S POLITICAL APPOINTTEE DARYL TSO FOR COPY OF MEETING AGENDA. I’M STILL WAITING…
Well for some bizarre reason, Delegate David Tom, who has numerous criminal charges against him, has been designated as the Illegal Meeting Chairperson/Moderator. Well, actually it does make sense that Delegate Tom would chair this illegal meeting.
The first legislation that this group addressed was item (D) LEGISLATION 0011-14, which is for Council to appoint a new speaker. And of course, the Delegates that voted to not remove Delegate Naize as speaker argued that LEGISLATION 0011-14 went away when the Council voted down LEGISLATION 0003-14, which was for the Council to remove Naize as speaker. The vote was 12 in favor, 11 opposed and the law required that 16 YES votes were needed to remove a delegate from being speaker.
DELEGATE DAVID TOM, who also faces criminal charges and definitely had a Conflict of Interest in voting on LEGISLATION 0003-14, told Delegate Dwight Witherspoon that the sponsor of LEGISLATION 0003-14 informed the Council that LEGISLATION 0011-14 was part of LEGISLATION 0003-14 and so it’s removed from the Council agenda.
But that’s not true! Only the Council can remove Legislation from their agenda. Legislation does not just disappear.
The next LEGISLATION that this illegal group discussed was LEGISLATION 0369-13 which would return the governing power back to the People that the People delegated to the Council.
DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ, who is sponsoring Legislation 0369-13, made the following statement in support of the Council approving it:
We’re acknowledging that power is with people. We’ve seen movements across reservation for government reform. We need to empower citizens. This action is to put on election ballot and I respectfully ask colleagues to put on November 2015 election ballot. And this referendum would also increase voter turnout. Navajo people have been waiting. Our government is at all time low. This referendum will place the Navajo people as governing body.
DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
Are you doing this to be popular?
We can all be popular.
I’m already popular
There’s no way that this referendum will make the Council popular; the people will always be critical of us.
We can move forward and empower the people. Isn’t that what we are suppose to do?
If the Council approves this referencum, the People vote yes on it then there wouldn’t be any need for the Council, which is alright.
SPEAKER NAIZE interrupts Delegates Nez and Benally to ask a question about an amendment to LEGISLATION 0369-13.
The Navajo Nation Government Development Committee and the Navajo Nation Council’s Government Reform Committee came together on a compromised and that is also for your consideration. It’s at the back of LEGISLATION 0369-13.
Let me add that there was confusion that the Council needed to approve LEGISLATION 0369-13 with a super majority vote but LEGISLATION 0369-13 only requires approval by a simple majority of the Council because it’s a referendum. And there is a legal opinion about LEGISLATION 0369-13 only needing a a simple majority vote of the Council to be approved. I’m just clarifying that.
DELEGATE DAVID TOM
What happens to chapter officials?
i Don’t see any changes to the governing power of chapter officials. This LEGISLATION 0369-13 is recognizing that the power is with the people. And chapter officials get elected by people and so are we.
That is my point, we are already empowering the people.
What is LEGISLATION 0369-13 going to do for you?
Don’t you want to empower the people.
They already are. You just said that.