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Staying Positive in a Negative Campaign – Can It Be Done?

I guess the first thing is say sorry for not having written a blog in a while.  Having completed by Master’s Degree at UNR I kind of got a little sloppy with writing blog entries, but that coupled with some additional time for deer hunting and recovering from surgery also played a role in that also.  Well, anyways, I’m back to write up and issues occurring recently.

SocratesAs many of you know I am running for re-election as the Treasurer for the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the campaign is turned pretty nasty.  Despite the negative campaign being run against me and the personal and professional attacks I’ve been under, I’m stayed true to myself and not taken that route.  I’ll be the first to admit that it hasn’t been hard trying to stay positive and focus on the future of my Tribe and its members when your opponent uses false and misleading information on a regular basis.

For example, during the last month and half of this campaign season, my opponent has put out information that isn’t true regarding my salary and overlooks that all tribal employees, including elected officials, receive annual merit increases.  I’ve countered his “statements” on my Facebook campaign page, but of course, my opponent puts out another set of numbers.  It’s interesting that the first claim that I recall was that I personally gave myself a raise of approximately $40,000, then while later it was in the $30,000 range, then a follow-up after I posted correct information put out another set of salary numbers I believe in the $20,000 range.  So the situation keeps changing and my opponent puts out different numbers each time.

You know what is missing though?  PROOF.  My opponent makes “allegations” and in one case cites he got is information from an anonymous official at the Tribe.  STILL NO PROOF THOUGH.  That’s when I realized his strategy to try to put a dead horse hoping to gain traction for his election bid.  I know that I would like to see the proof of all these raises and monies that I’ve supposed to be receiving because I know that I’m not getting them.

lies imageI guess that for me and my ethical standards if I’m going to put any type of accusation out on the Internet or in print I would definitely have documentation and evidence to support myself.  Also what is gained by attacking my opponent – nothing really and in the end the only people that are hurt is the Tribe and its members.  Everything that I’ve done can be documented and verified which is the reason that I believe that a person must use false statements and misleading information to try to attack a person.

Like I’ve said in my campaign materials and literature if ANY member of the Tribe has a question or concern about the issues and would like to see financial documentation then they just have to contact me.  To date, though, I haven’t gotten any calls either from my opponent or his supporters for information that would verify his “claims”.

I know that I could go negative campaigning also but again, to me, this does nothing to move our Tribe forward and continue to develop, improve, and expand services to our members and to grow the economic development efforts of our Tribe.  We have gone far over the past number of years with development and getting programs running at 100% to provide services to our member.  It would be a shame for these efforts to be stopped and our Tribe go backwards because one person has a “personal grudge” against me.

Governing our Tribe should be based on the values of what is best for our people and in protecting our cultural heritage while moving forward with strong development.  It shouldn’t be about personal animosity towards individuals and families cause that does nothing but take our Tribe in a backwards direction.  To anyone who encounters this negative type of attacks the only thing that I can say is ask them for proof (not anonymous information) – ask for written documentation and see what happens.

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