After a political organization dedicated to helping Republicans get elected to the state attorney general's office came under fire for sending out robocalls urging people to march to the U.S. Capitol last week, Cherokee Nation Businesses demanded and received a refund for its donation to the Republican Attorneys General Association.
The RAGA group’s Rule of Law Defense Fund sent the calls out the day before the siege on the Capitol, with a voice recording that did not advocate for violence, but did press people to “stop the steal” at the Capitol building at 1 p.m. Shortly after it was reported, RAGA Executive Director Adam Piper resigned.
The group reportedly hauled in more than $18 million in 2020, and among the donors was Cherokee Nation Businesses LLC, which gave $150,000 to RAGA. According to reports, CNB was unaware of RAGA’s fundraising arm, Rule of Law Defense Fund, or its connection to the insurrection at the Capitol, and immediately requested the refund for money it sent the organization.
"Cherokee Nation has a long-standing practice of supporting state and federal elections of candidates from both sides of the aisle who have decision-making responsibilities over matters that impact our tribe and its businesses," CNB spokesperson Brandon Scott said in a statement. "When we became aware last week that the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a sister organization of RAGA, acted inappropriately by issuing robocalls encouraging people to march to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Cherokee Nation Businesses took immediate steps to demand a full and immediate refund of its membership dues to RAGA."
According to CNB, its policy is to notify the tribe and CNB leadership of any political contribution of $10,000 or more. It said all parties were notified on Oct. 23, 2020.
"Cherokee Nation Businesses is appalled by the actions taken by the mob of insurrectionists towards the U.S. Capitol, Capitol Police, staff and representatives within. Our sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones in the storming of the Capitol," said Scott. "We condemn the actions taken by the Rule of Law Defense Fund and have expressed our outrage with RAGA directly."
During a Cherokee Nation Tribal Council meeting Monday, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. took the first minute of his State of the Nation address to remark the events at the Capitol.
"Last week, there was an insurrection in this country, and we ought to say it – and we ought to say it loudly – [that] we oppose it,” said Hoskin. “I certainly do, and I hope the country stands strong against that.”