Bill to present free press to a vote of the citizens fails by 2 votes
By Rita Courtwright, Managing Editor
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — In an effort to change the MCN Constitution, National Council Representative Mark Randolph presented a proposed constitutional referendum to the National Council during the Sept. 28 meeting, that would allow citizens to vote on free press.
“Freedom of the Press in my opinion, must be respected, valued and a guaranteed right for our citizens. It truly supports our self-governance and our health as a Nation,” said Randolph. “My experience as a National Council member has given me a bird’s eye view. I found it to be concerning that Freedom of Press is oppressed and not honored.”
In order for citizens to vote on the referendum in the upcoming general election, the legislation needed a 2/3 vote of yes of the 16-member MCN NC, or 11 in favor.
National Council Representative Travis Scott, addressed the NC before the final vote was taken.
‘The main intent of this bill is to get this to the vote of the people. I think we also want to understand that we don’t want this to be able to be changed at the stroke of a pen like it was the last time [referring to the Nov. 8, 2018 Emergency Session of the NC]…and I hope everyone supports it.’
In Nov. of 2018, the NC voted 7-6 to eliminate the tribes Independent Free Press Act and move Mvskoke Media under the executive branch. An attempt to reinstate the legislation was vetoed, and a substitute measure was adopted in Feb. of this year.
With only 9 of the required 11 yes votes, the legislation for an independent free press did not pass and citizens will not see the amendment question on their ballot on Nov. 2.
Representatives voting against the proposed referendum were Pete Beaver, Joyce Deere, Johnnie Green, James Jennings, Adam Jones III and Darrell Proctor.
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