Here we go again folks, all you see are extended arms with fingers and pie holes flapping along with the typical reasons handed out for spending more taxpayer money.
We have Bob Blackburn, director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, trying to build “momentum” for financial support from the state as he says “it makes too much sense.” So… if dipping into the never ending supply of taxpayer money makes “too much sense” then we think changing his title to director of the Oklahoma Hysterical Society a much better fit.
Blackburn also touts that just because the state hasn’t committed to funding, they have received donations from “those in the music, film and other industries.” That’s cool Bob, keep it coming, after all they are the “creatives” as you like to call them. You might try skipping along the path of creativity and figure out a way to fund your own “whoopee cushion.”
This isn’t a small space to fund either. It would be a four story, 75,000 square foot building with a place for public gatherings or events to generate revenue. And now we get to the drum roll please….It will be self-supporting. One would think that this cat’s meow would be able to raise the money on its own, maybe have a few Tupper-ware parties or a “Kiss the Creatives” booth.
Blackburn also noted that the last legislative session didn’t go forward because those pesky tornados devastated a lot of taxpayers and any support at the Capitol was pulled. No, that move from legislatures wasn’t in your “creative” handbook but it sure makes more sense.
Senator Patrick Anderson appears to be the only one quoted in the article that truly makes a lot of sense. He believes that there is already a short fall in funding to meet budget increases from agencies. He wrote in an e-mail, “I hope you will take the time to think about the financial situation the state is facing and that you will assess your priorities and responsibilities as a legislator before you commit your vote to divert millions of Oklahoma taxpayer dollars on nice (but not necessary) museum projects.
Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture project director, Jeffrey M. Moore believes that the items for the Tulsa museum could end up in Nashville or New York if the new museum isn’t funded. He goes as far as wondering if they would be tossed in the garbage or sold in a garage sale. Really? A little too much drama, ya think?.
The bottom line Mr. Blackburn, figure out a way to “create” another bottomless pit to pull your money from. We’ve had enough of your fingers in our pockets. You can start by pestering those on that important list of celebrity names you dropped.
Voting Against Republican Values
By the Watchman
A well-known business woman wins a special election to the Oklahoma State Senate. One would think that before people claim to be a conservative, that they would at lease take the time to look the word up in a dictionary. Maybe then they wouldn’t find themselves on the wrong end of an editorial like this. Senator Griffin may have ran as a conservative, but her voting record has proven her to be another run of the mill undocumented Democrat.
We began our research by going to her brag sheet at www.ok.gov
. Unlike most of her fellow Senators, we found a wealth of information there. The first item that interested us was in her Occupation line. There she indicated that she was a “Not-for-profit Agency Executive.”
This is an occupation normally taken by liberal minded individuals.
The second item that caught our attention was that she was assigned to be the Chair of the Rules Committee. We find it extremely curious that what is basically a Senator who arrived on scene with barely enough time to cast a few votes in 2012 was assigned to be the Chair-person of the Rules Committee in 2013. We can find no justification for her rapid climb in leadership unless she has surrendered her vote to the leadership of the Senate and the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce.
We also found this article
that interested us. This article clearly shows the reason for the special election and the results. It also indicates a very light turnout for the election. This is enough to wonder if she’ll have the same results in the 2014 elections.
We also found this article
. This indicates some of the bills that she sponsored and some of the votes that she took during the last legislative year. It should be noted that this report doesn’t list all of her votes, only those that became law.
We next went to www.votesmart.org
to see what information they had available on the Senator. We first went to her Biography page to see if we could find any additional information there. In her Professional Experience section we found that she is a former teacher.
In the Organizations section we found that she is, disturbingly, a Board Member of the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce. Nowhere does it say what Not-for-Profit Agency she is an executive of. This makes you wonder what she is trying to hide.
We next went to the Ratings and Endorsements page. We honestly didn’t expect to find anything due to her short time in office, but we were surprised. Here is what we found.
2012 Research Institute for Economic Development 100%
This score indicates a pure support for business and a complete lack of concern for the consumer. As long as she is in office hang on to your wallets.
2012 Oklahoma Sierra Club 67%
This indicates one of the highest environmental ratings in the Senate. While she is in office, it will be an uphill fight against the U.N.’s Agenda 21.
We next went to www.ok.gov/ethicscommission
to check on her campaign finances and found donations from out of state contributors in the personal donation category like this.
Dec. 27, 2011 108 S. Craig Rd., Prosper, Tx. 75078 $100.00
Jan. 09, 2012 14108 Hadley St. Overland Park, Ks. 66223 $100.00
Jan. 25, 2012 1001 17th St. Suite 2000, Denver, Co. 80111 $250.00
We fail to understand why these politicians can’t keep the individual donations for elections from people in state. If they truly believe in their message, then they should refuse those donations.
We next looked at her donations from Committees, PACs and Unions to see what was there. Here is some of what we found.
Dec. 30, 2011 Greater OKC Legislative Committee $1,126.00
Dec. 31, 2011 Greater Oklahoma Business Alliance $1,931.42
These two organizations are groups that funnel money to campaigns from the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce.
Jan. 15, 2012 OKCNRA PAC $1,000.00
Jan. 23, 2012 Okla. Public Employees PAC $2,500.00
Jan. 25, 2012 OKC Business Council PAC $2,500.00
She touched all the bases here. We have a contribution from a medical PAC, a union and another feeder from the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce. You can see where this is going.
Feb. 05, 2012 Oklahoma Public Employees Assoc. PAC $2,500.00
Apr. 10, 2012 Chesapeake Oklahoma PAC $1,500.00
Jun. 28, 2012 Working Oklahoma PAC $2,500.00
This is another fine example of special interest liberal politics. We have donations from a union, a major donor of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and the rebranded remnants of ACORN.
We next took a look at her voting record for this last session of the legislature. We took a look at votes on items that mattered to Oklahomans to come up with our RINO Index. Here is what we found.
HB 1359 Regulating Animal Shelters, Voted No, Liberal
HB 1740 Scrap Metal Dealers Regulations, Voted Yea, Liberal
SB 854 Union Reform, Voted No, Liberal
HB 1917 Contingency Planning for Loss of Federal Fund, Did not Vote
HB 2180 Creation of New State Agency, Voted Yea, Liberal
SB 1126 Compete with Canada Film Act, Voted Yea, Liberal
HB 2195 Debt Spending Caps, Did not Vote
SB 76 Raise Candidate Filing Fee Bill, Voted Yea, Liberal
HB 1031 Medicaid Expansion Hospital Tax Extension , Voted Yea, Liberal
HB 2301 Budget Bill, Voted Yea, Liberal
That’s a pretty sad statistic. She managed to score a 20 on the RINO index because she missed two votes. It takes a minimum of a 70 to be considered a conservative. Senator you have a lot of work to do. We would suggest you begin by looking the word up in a dictionary to find the meaning of the word and trying to live by it. Another recommendation we have is for you to stop listening to those politicians that are currently in the Senate leadership. They are Liberals plain and simple. If you want to serve your constituents then serve them as a conservative and stop bowing to the wishes of leadership and the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce.
The Political Persecution of Representative Randy Terrill
What an Amazing Story That We Can Finally Tell
Prosecutorial Misconduct, Nasty Revelations of Infidelity and Cuckolding in Return for Legal Fees, Blackmail of a District Judge, Allegations of Manipulating Oklahoman Newspaper Reporters, Even the Involvement of a Governor Fallin’s Staffer and one of Attorney General Scott Pruit Staffers
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater is running for the State Attorney Generals Office by attempting to build a reputation for hardnosed corruption busting cases and as in most things in this world the perception that he is creating is divorced from reality. Prater is an inept lawyer who had been before the Bar Association discipline board and would have lived his life in obscurity had he not learned the only thing that he is really good at; getting elected.
With the media behind him or afraid of him he has managed to escape scrutiny and justice while using his office to create his image as a corruption fighter. But like all corrupt schemes it is a house of cards vulnerable to the slightest weakness. Last week we pointed out the similarities between former Speaker Kris Steel’s political downfall and the impending political destruction of David Prater’s agenda. In the Kris Steel case many believe that his persecution of then Representative Randy Terrill was Kris Steel’s Waterloo and many are predicting that once again Randy Terrill will play a key role in setting up David Prater’s ultimate political downfall.
Terrill of course was convicted by a jury a few weeks ago and is out on appeal bond. Some said that Terrill’s decision to testify allowed the prosecutor to paint a picture of insider politics, reinforced by circumstances in Terrill’s life that turned the jury’s sympathy away from Terrill. After all we do tend to hold political figures accountable to a higher standard, if only in our minds. We waited till after the Leftwich trial before writing about this story so that all the cards were played out because we knew all too well that this trial was a political persecution trial and there was little we could do other than letting them run with enough rope to hang themselves. And they did….
Terrill’s sentence will be ultimately reversed upon appeal due to some very simple and irrefutable facts that the jury didn’t get right. You see we are still a nation of laws and even jury decisions must follow the law even if the prosecutor successfully twisted the facts before the jury and obtained a conviction.
Our sources tell us that initially Leftwich was offered a deal; hand over Randy Terrill and we will drop the charges against you. Leftwich’s reply was quite honorable: “ I don’t have anything to give you on him.” The most incredible thing was that she didn’t just make something up in exchange for her freedom. When pressure on Leftwich produced nothing, all that was left was obstructing justice using pressure on the judge and jury. And it paid off when Judge Cindy Truong made a controversial ruling after the jury came back into the court room asking for clarification on a key point: How to define when someone is a political candidate. As in when does a political contest begin? Truong refused to clarify the statute and sent the jury back to make a decision. Obviously one or more of the jurors understood that something was wrong but when Judge Truong failed to do her job these jurors succumbed to peer pressure.
The obvious weak points in the Terrill conviction are many:
How can you give something to someone if you have no control over the item?
Assuming that a deal was made, something that had never been proven, for Terrill to give Leftwich a job was beyond his ability as he was one of 101 House members, on the wrong side of leadership at the time, under attack from leadership actually. And any job given would have to pass the House, Senate, and get signed by Governor Henry. The Medical Examiners office position is no exception to this rule.
How do you receive something that is constitutionally prohibited?
State lawmakers are prohibited from working for state agencies for two years after they leave office. The only way to have rewarded Leftwich would have been to use unappropriated funds for a public job, and the legislation that pulled non appropriated funds passed the House and Senate but was vetoed after allegations of impropriety surfaced. The position was created, that is a fact, but Leftwich couldn’t take a job created in her term of office. This is an Oklahoma Constitutional prohibition!
How do you get around the mens rea requirement for a crime to have been committed?
Mens rea means guilty mind, a common law requirement that not only must the law have been broken but the crime must have been intentional. The federal government has been using what is called strict liability statutes where mens rea is not required but usually state law doesn’t follow this approach. In Terrill’s case how do you induce someone to do something that she had already made up her mind to do? Testimony from none other than Glen Coffee said that Leftwich had already decided not to run again.
How can a candidate withdraw from a race if they have not filed for office yet?
If a state statute existed that made convincing a person not to run for office a crime, instead of the existing statute that says that inducing a candidate to withdraw from an election is a crime, then the Prater would have had a case. To run for office requires filing and paying a small fee at the Capitol. If the legislature had the intent of making it illegal to convince someone not to run for office then we would live in a dangerous world. Imagine the wife of a candidate being charged for attempting to dissuade her spouse from running for office. Or the employer of a potential candidate that makes an offer of more money or more perks in exchange for not quitting a job to run for office? What about the family of a potential candidate that might not want the extra scrutiny that might come if their family member runs for office? What if a group of local activists tries to persuade someone from running to clear the path for a more suitable candidate? Where does it end if we don’t follow existing law that requires a candidate to have actually filed for office before an offer of value in exchange for withdrawing becomes illegal? What about If Governor Fallin called Judge Truong and offered her a shot at a Supreme Court position if she doesn’t run for re election as district judge?
If you never enter a race, how can you withdraw from a political race?
The Journal Record ran an editorial defending Terrill
, albeit a left handed one at best. Their point is that legislation is like making sausages; not always an easy thing to watch. Their point that federal bribery charges would have been dismissed because of the lack of tangible property being offered is correct, and that Prater is meddling in legislative affairs, using tactics that many say are coercion and blackmail.
Ultimately justice will be done here by the upper courts that must follow the law. Terrill was not only the leader of the conservative legislators but he also angered many in the big business world when he authored HB 1804 that tried to slow the avalanche of illegal immigrants. Terrill also angered Oklahoma Count District Attorney David Prater by opposing Prater’s ally, former Speaker Kris Steel. Who can forget the sight of Prater and Steel leaving a meeting in tears after state officials torpedoed their little golden parachute for Kris Steel? How is Prater’s support of giving Kris Steel a job after he term limited out any different than what they accused Terrill of doing?
What was on trial was the legislative process, not Randy Terrill. Like it or not our political system allows for arm twisting and deal making to get things done. Those familiar with the process know that despite transparency efforts the powers that control things will always have their ways of killing a bill or slipping something into a bill in secrecy. Those that understand the process knows that a bill can leave the House and Senate then go into conference committee where a handful of legislative leaders can completely gut or completely change a bill, then a vote can be forced without deliberation or discussion b y bending the House and Senate rules. Like it or not when we appoint men and women to power they will use their power to get things done. Fabricating charges and successfully misleading 12 jurors will only serve to make legislators more timid as special interests and king makers like David Prater can misuse the law against legislators in retaliation for representing their constituents instead of doing what the special interests tell them to do.
But there is far more to this story than what we have told so far. The biggest question is Judge Truong’s actions when she changed the jury instructions. Few people know that jury instructions are set by law so that they agree with the actual statute on the crime committed. Title 26 section 5-101e legal definition of becoming a candidate but Truong changed the jury instructions to say that you can be a candidate when you go file, you are also considered a candidate when you raise enough money to file with the jury instructions. Title 26 Section 5-101 says this:
§265101. Declarations of candidacy required.
A person may become a candidate for office and have his name appear on a ballot only after he files a Declaration of Candidacy as hereinafter provided.
Judge Truong’s jury instructions changed the existing jury instructions by saying that a person can become a candidate by declaring they are or raising money in excess of $500 or filing with the Ethics Commission. Truong basically made up the law from her bench.
And Section 26 16 section 1-107 says this:
§2616107. Bribe for withdrawal of candidacy.
Any person who shall offer or give to another anything of value to induce or cause such other person to withdraw from a political contest as a candidate or nominee at any election shall be deemed guilty of a felony.
When the jury came back and asked for a clarification of what a “political contest” was Judge Truong refused to clarify and undermined the hold out jurors. An honest judge would have clarified that a political contest occurs after the candidates file for office as required by state statute.
So the million dollar question is this:
Why did judge Cindy Truong stretch so far to disregard the law?
The answer is a story in itself and involves judicial corruption, several cases of infidelity, prosecutorial blackmail to influence the Terrill trial to avoid judicial charges being filed against Truong, a staffer from the Governor’s office, and the story even ties up some loose ends from one of our original stories on the corruption of the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office. Political infighting and political positioning between Governor Fallin’s office, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, the Oklahoma Attorney Generals Office, and even private attorneys is wrapped tightly together with some disgusting revelations of public officials betraying spouses and the public trust. This won’t be a pretty story but the allegations are strong and sources are filling in the holes in the story and we expect to publish the story in several installments starting next week.