This morning SHARK held a press conference at the Oklahoma State Capitol regarding US Senator Jim Inhofe’s cruel pigeon shoot fundraiser. We want to thank the members of the Cherokee Nation who joined us at the press conference.Cherokee Nation members Sharilyn "Cherokee" Van House, Twila Barnes and Cheryl Brown joined SHARK president Steve Hindi at the press conference.
Press Release 9/30/14:
Cherokee Nation Members Object to Chief's Participation in Pigeon Shoot Benefiting US Senator Jim Inhofe; Animal Protection Group to File Federal Complaint Against U.S. Senator
Read the complaint HERE and the exhibits HERE
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Members of the Cherokee Nation will participate in a press conference here Tuesday and voice serious concerns about their Principal Chief's participation in a controversial pigeon shoot fundraiser for U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) that has drawn worldwide attention.
An undercover SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) investigator secretly recorded the pigeon shoot in Lone Wolf, OK earlier this month (Sept. 5) of Sen. Inhofe and a second member of Congress – Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). The video of that shoot, which exposed horrific acts of animal cruelty, has gone viral.
Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, was filmed participating in the pigeon shoot. A complaint against Chief Baker has been filed with Attorney General Todd Hembree of the Cherokee Nation by Cherokee lawyer Michael E. Moore.
SHARK president Steve Hindi will present new evidence at the press briefing and announce that SHARK has filed a complaint with the United States Justice Department regarding multiple potential violations of state and federal law. These include that a political fundraiser may have been held on federal property, that the pigeons were illegally transported across state lines and that state employees were used to work at a private electioneering fundraiser for a sitting US Senator.
Members of the Cherokee Nation have said they were particularly incensed at their Chief's involvement representing the Cherokee Nation, which was listed as a “Gold Level Host” of the pigeon shoot (meaning it had donated at least $2,500 to Inhofe).
Twila Barnes, a noted genealogist and member of the Cherokee Nation, will attend the press conference with other members of the Cherokee Nation. She has publicly objected to the Cherokee Nation support of the fundraiser while Cherokee Nation members are going without basic necessities for lack of funds.
"This was not just some employee of the Cherokee Nation going out and participating in something disgusting. This was the top elected official of the Cherokee Nation, OUR CHIEF, Bill John Baker, participating in an event where living creatures where killed for fun, on our dime while driving our vehicle and listing us as a sponsor of the event. We the Cherokee people are the Cherokee Nation. Bill John Baker did not just damage his own reputation by participating in this 'pigeon shoot,' but damaged ours as well. To me, that is absolutely unacceptable," said Barnes.
Please politely contact Senator Inhofe's campaign office and Senate office in Washington, D.C. Ask him to join us in calling for a full investigation into the fundraiser. If he thinks he did nothing wrong, then he shouldn't be worried about what will be uncovered.