Petition to reject free press repeal falls short in initial effort

Petition to reject free press repeal falls short in initial effort
(MCN Seal) A citizens initiative for a referendum to reject a Council act that restructured Mvskoke Media has been rejected. A sponsor indicated they would re-submit the petition.

Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer

Election Board only verified 87 of required 100 signatures as registered voters.

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — An initial attempt by Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizens to reject a Council legislation aimed at restructuring Mvskoke Media has been rejected.

On Nov. 16, a petition addressed to Principal Chief James Floyd sought to file an Initiative for Referendum to repeal NCA 18-180 under Article XII, Section 2 of the MCN Constitution.

NCA 18-180 was passed 7-6 in an Emergency Session on Nov. 8 and removed Mvskoke Media as an independent statutory agency, placing the department under the Executive Branch.

In a Dec. 3 memorandum addressed to sponsors of the petition application, MCN Secretary of the Nation and Commerce Elijah McIntosh issued a denial citing the petition’s failure to meet the Constitutional requirement of containing the names and signatures of no less than 100 qualified Muscogee (Creek) voters.

The memo stated 102 printed names and signatures were submitted, however a review of Election Board records showed that only 87 of the names could be verified as qualified voters.

The National Council had made history in October 2015 with the unanimous passage of NCA 15-218, making MCN the fourth tribe in the U.S. to have free press legislation.

College of the Muscogee Nation Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Monte Randall, was one of the sponsors of the petition and indicated in a message to Mvskoke Media that the petition will be re-submitted.

According to the MCN Constitution, a denial of certification on a citizen’s initiative is subject to judicial review.

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