Senseless Bureaucracy or Bootleggers and Baptists?
Sounds crazy at times, these senseless regulations and rules that government comes up with, right? Are they all mad? Are they purposely trying to destroy society with ridiculous rules or drive manufacturing jobs overseas? But it can be explained by the economic theory of Bootleggers and Baptists.
Coined in the eighties, the phrase “Bootleggers and Baptists” refers to a paper written by Bruce Yandle that suggests that regulations and laws sometimes are brought about by a coalition between moralists and special interest business groups that both gain something by the excessive regulation. One group gains by publically making something illegal, the other side gains by undermining or evading the law.
The phrase plays off the century old effort to enforce prohibition and or the laws that restrict the legal sale of alcohol on Sundays. Evangelical Christians gained credit for passing and enforcing the laws and bootleggers got more business when the legal sale of alcohol was restricted. Even if the hootch was of poor quality it was available on Sunday. Politicians gained by being seen in favor of moral goals while accepting contributions from Baptist and bootlegger alike.
But the theory is even deeper as the moralists not only push for legislation they also watch for the law being broken and help enforce the law that would otherwise be like other unpopular laws and be ignored. There is a societal cost to this as while both Baptist and bootlegger are happy with the deal broader society would be better served with no legislation or approaching any problem from a different perspective. If you outlaw Sunday liquor sales you enrich the bootleggers, the tax money that didn’t get collected can’t be spent on reducing the amount of alcohol use or in supporting the increase of public morality by supporting churches. But the taxing of alcohol is itself a moral compromise as the government has become the bootlegger and profits handsomely.
Global warming is an excellent example of this economic theory as both polluters and green minded activists support the selling of carbon credits. The polluters gain the delay of more stringent regulation, use the ensuing regulation and taxes to drive competitors from the industry, while the green activists are probably completely unaware of how they are helping the polluters strangle new competition that would likely have a less wasteful and more environmentally clean process. The greenies just get a public win attributed to their organization.
Another example is the Tobacco Settlement where we saw the government turn from discouraging tobacco sales to profiting by tobacco sales as the price of a pack of cigarettes skyrocketed. Indian casino gambling is another excellent example, as is NAFTA, wine regulation, and the majority of other business regulation.
And remember the spotted owls that put millions of acres of federal forest off limits to logging back in the seventies and eighties? Weyerhaeuser was pushing that research and paying researchers to find spotted owls on federal land, not their own property, after taking a few hundred thousand acres of their own land. In return for a modest expense Weyerhaeuser managed to get millions of acres of timber declared off limits, wiping out competitors from Mexico to Canada in one fell sweep, while driving the price of timber products to new heights.
Special interest groups like the State Chamber of Commerce have learned well to manipulate public opinion aided by the corporate media giants that own the majority of newspapers and radio/TV stations in the U.S.. Politicians learned to play both sides and rake in the cash contributions from both sides while actually looking like they were doing something productive. A good legislator would do well to figure who is the Baptist and who is the bootlegger on any legislation that he is asked to vote for.
But few things are new to this world. The earliest known example was written in the Magna Carta in the 14th century where the London measure of corn and the London standard width of cloth were written into the Magna Carta that King John was forced to sign. Human nature means that we aren’t going to stamp the practice out but the strong sunlight of transparency and citizens paying attention to politics will go a long way in erasing bad legislation.
A Conservative Victory
RINO Republican Party Leadership leaves Oklahoma GOP Bankrupt
$50,000 in debt and Unpaid Bills Discovered after Conservatives Retake Power
Last week we saw a great conservative victory with the election of former Senator Randy Brogdon to the State Party Chair position. Formerly ran by U.S. Congressman Tom Cole’s lapdog and hatchet man, Dave Weston, the party jumped through hoops to disenfranchise enough Republican activists before the final state convention. I myself was refused attendance to the Oklahoma County Republican convention after the County Chairman promised to get in contact after the precinct meeting reports had been tallied.
The Oklahoma County Chairman, Matt Jackson, had sent out the notice of the precinct meetings literally one day before the meetings and I had plane tickets, car rentals, and other travel plans already scheduled the day the precinct notice arrived in my email in box. Despite the fact that they announced at the precinct meeting that they would accommodate anyone that couldn’t attend the precinct meetings and despite the fact that no one else showed up that lived in my precinct, Matt Jackson refused to contact me or even answer emails in order to prevent me from attending the County Convention.
This form of tyranny was played out all across the state by RINO Republican party leaders. They even went so far as to change the rules right before the state convention by requiring that all attendees bring a voter registration card with them. Do you know where your voter ID card is? They also attempted to disenfranchise older Republicans by requiring internet registration and payment of the convention fees by credit card. The email notification even hid the requirement to register online if you didn’t download the HTML version of the email, something that a lot of people don’t do. The Weston goons eventually backed down, claiming it was just a suggestion instead of a requirement.
Other irregularities ensued such as County proposals being rejected for a vote at the convention, stripping delegates of the right to vote based on technicalities. Tom Cole’s goons weren’t going to lose without a vicious fight to the end.
At the convention itself the battle over disenfranchised Republicans was fierce, so bad that the convention that was scheduled to start at 10 am was delayed until 2 pm. Delegates were not allowed to leave for refreshments or lunch. As many had arrived at 7 am there were many that were forced to leave due to medical issues or sheer hunger. The only trick that Dave Weston’s goons missed was locking the bathroom doors.
The incumbent Chairman Dave Weston had angered many Republican grassroots activists by excluding conservatives and libertarian Republicans from party participation, by refusing to visit the rural county GOP groups, and his ill fated attempt to set the Oklahoma presidential primary back three weeks without any approval by the party at large. There was nothing in the party platform giving Weston the right to push for legislation like this.
End the end Weston got what was coming to him as he was soundly defeated and eliminated in the first round of voting. Conservative Randy Brogdon came in first with 47.45% of the vote, RINO Pam Pollard pulled 29.11% of the vote, and Weston pulled a dismal 23.43% of the vote. On the second ballot conservatives pushed Brogdon into the position with 53.33% of the vote against a 46.65% RINO following for Pam Pollard.
But the real surprise was how much that even the RINOs themselves had abandoned both Congressman Tom Cole and Dave Weston. After handing over the books and keys to the offices the incoming Chairman Randy Brogdon realized that there was $50,000.00 in debt and unpaid bills left behind by the outgoing RINO leadership.
Brogdon was forced to lay off seven paid staffers and work without salary until finances improve.
How bad is it when even the RINO elite jump ship and refuse to fund the party? The lack of popular support is bad enough, when the special interests lose faith in the ability of their stooges to deliver the corruption then either things are very bad or about to turn around.
Some are calling on conservatives to sign up for the Minute Man program where you allow an auto draft of $8.25 per month from your checking account. I doubt the wisdom of that as you are writing a blank check to the Party without strings and it is difficult to get those ACH charges stopped if you decide to withdraw.
While it is great that we now have conservative control over the Party the margin is razor thin at 3.33% of the vote. There are a lot of RINOs still left in the Party and in control of the County organizations so Randy is going to have a fight on his hands when he starts making reforms and holding elected officials to the Party Platform. Randy needs money but he also needs strings attached to that money.
Far better is to contact the Republican Party and offer to send them a re occurring payment on PayPal. It is easily set up on your PayPal dashboard, easily stopped if the Party isn’t turning around, and the Party gets immediate donations to pay their bills, some of which can be paid using PayPal. There are no valid excuses for the Oklahoma Republican Party not setting up a PayPal account. The fees are about the same as any credit card provider as far as costs per transaction and it is secure.
Having a chunk of incoming money that has strings attached would allow Randy to maintain control over the party. After all that income could evaporate if nothing changes and perhaps the remaining RINOs need reminded that the election is over and that they lost.
You can reach them or send a check to:
4031 N Lincoln Boulevard Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 528-3501 | (405) 521-9531 - fax
Republican Party Tulsa Office: 2816 E 51st St, Suite 103 Tulsa, OK 74105
Be sure and write Tea Party on the check to remind them of who they need to please.
Or if you want to really add some clout to your donation contact the Sooner Tea Party by simply replying to this newsletter and sign a petition to ask Brogdon to start up a PayPal account for the organization so you have control over your monthly donation.
We will kick it off by donating the first $100.00 donation to the Republican Party via PayPal. By banding together we increase our clout and ensure that conservatives remain in control of the Republican Party for many years to come.