Based on the Navajo Council agenda, the Council is now on Legislation 0010-15: An Action Relating To Budget And Finance, Naa’bik’iyati’ And The Navajo Nation Council; Approving Supplemental Funding From The Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance In The Amount Of $317,891 For The Navajo Nation Election Administration, Business Unit #101021, To Fund The Continuing 2014 Navajo Nation General Election.
DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
One of my colleagues lobbied for funding of election to be tied to disenfranchised voters. Council voted twice to change Navajo fluency qualification twice and it was vetoed twice. Navajo Supreme Court ruled Council legislation that called for new presidential Primary Election and then Presidential General Election out of order. My great concern is the time frame which put Primary Election in June and General Election in August because of the “limboness” that it would put Executive Branch and Legislative Branch into. We didn’t know if President Ben Shelly would continue as president. The legislation that Council approved for new Primary and General elections was only for funding for Primary. But Supreme Court ruled on current law about how disqualified candidate process would occur, which involved moving up the
like to do analogy, using blinders on horse when going down on canyon so horse only looks at trail. sometime you use riders to keep animals from getting spooked and going off course. my concern is that many of the delegates here must be aware of consequences of what is on their right and on their left. i’m concerned about going down this path which creates disharmony. that is happening between me and one of my chapters. we have difference of opinions. but my concern is about divisiveness.
not funding election will not suport everyone’s overall right to vote. that is not democratic and lead to more lawsuits and pit on branch against another and continue to weaken leadership. Navajo Washington D.C. Office has lost staff. Tribal Divisions of Human Resources and Natural Resources have been replaced. And how long will that continue? I think of Syria, Iraq. Factions have human beings that try to influence. we do not advocate threatening or harming others.
i have rule and i offer this to Dine’ people and applies to all relations and certainly believe we are all brothers and sisters and related by Heavenly Father. At chapter meetings and here on Council, we attack each other as people and we don’t deal with issue.
there is stance by many that their vote didn’t count. i’d like to argue that it did count for candidate but their candidate was disqualified. the right to vote for particular candidate is not at that same level. for democrats and republicans, you don’t have either side voting for the other side.
not everyone gets their candidate on ballot. so what happens if we don’t fund election? do potential candidates get put before court? and then there is division. Many don’t support candidates but you have right to vote. that happens even in chapter elections.
AFTER DELEGATE WITHERSPOON FINISHES SPEAKING, ENTIRELY IN ENGLISH, THE PEOPLE IN THE GALLERY MURMUR, “DO IT IN NAVAJO.”
DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE
there will be divisions. people who lost election raised red flag. with all due respect to anglos, our anglo attorneys saw dollar signs. there are statements from new council that the former council didn’t do anything. some even got charged. as we debate this legislation, we cud get charged again. during council debate on Dec. 31, 2014, we said that election sad and feel for voters. and to throw votes in trash hurts. i also thought about veterans, Navajo Code Talkers, who laid down their lives only to see the Navajo Nation operate like a communist state.
this vote today, my actions, my thoughts is yes we need to move Navajo government. we are idling now. i told my chapter that i had to vote Yes but votes are being taken away. people are texting. we are doing things backward.
We have no direction because of the fact of a judgement call by one sole individual. I’ll probably get charged next week, but oh well. but i’m sadened by way things are going. we try so hard at council. but when return to chapter, people get on social media. and how can we enforce Navajo fluency qualification, when there is no fluency test. We asked Navajo Supreme Court to sit down and talk. not attorneys.
MOTION BY DELEGATES LEONARD TSOSIE AND BEN BENNETT TO SUSPEND FLOOR RULES AND ALLOW MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES FOR EACH DELEGATE TO SPEAK.
DELEGATE AMBER CROTTY
There was opportunity for unlimited discussion during Naabik’iyati Committee and the Naabik’iyati Committee decided not to use that Council rule.