June 11th 2017 Newsletter
2017 RINO Index
The 2017 RINO Index is really simple this year, a No vote is good, a yes vote is bad. That is because we focus on what legislators do wrong, not what they should be doing which is representing their constituents and voting on the good legislation. The major impetus this year was raising taxes, raising fees, and preserving special interest tax credits so that all of the legislation that was bad needed a No vote. Each vote is worth five points, an E or Excused is a negative 2.5 points for missing the vote.
Of the 28 bills that made our decision list we had one senator that voted right every time, Senator Breechen. We threw out six bills to weed the list down to an even twenty bills, choosing bills that some of the good guys had other opinions on. That is a challenge because some of them were bad bills but the larger the list the more a bad vote is diluted. Originally we used ten bills but that leaves a lot of bad bills behind. Then there were two bills out of the batch that the Senate didn't vote on.
The higher the index number the more conservative the legislator. Anything below 70% is considered a RINO, Republican In Name Only.
Here are the bills that were chosen and below them a paragraph why these bills were bad for the average Oklahoman.
allows the Oklahoma Tax Commission to create a new department and hire outside auditors to attempt to collect out of state sales tax payments. This appears to be an attempt to harass out of state vendors with Oklahoma customers with the idea of forcing these out of state vendors to collect sales tax or use tax. If the out of state vendors comply with the auditors and hand over a list of shipments into Oklahoma that would cost Oklahoma companies billions of dollars in new taxes.
Not only is this illegal as federal law prohibits out of state taxation for products shipped into a state, it encourages the growth of government instead of the trimming back to core government functions. Not only that, but this law adds employees and expenses to the state budget.
HB 1449 creates a new tax on electric and hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicles will have $100.00 tacked on to the annual vehicle registration fee and hybrid vehicles will have $30.00 added the registration fee.
All vehicles should be paying something toward road costs but at the same time they give out incentives to buy these vehicles so one hand gives, the other hand takes away. If the incentive is bad, eliminate it. At this time there simply isn't that many of these vehicles to make enough difference to pay for the cost of the legislation.
is the REAL ID bill that forces Oklahoma into the federal identification card system.
The program is a privacy nightmare and unneeded. Worse, those promoting the scheme have long lied about the consequences of not having Oklahoma drivers licenses REAL ID compliant, claiming that you couldn't get on an airplane which is not true. It is also a fee increase, adding $5.00 to the license fee, like the $5.00 they added to the tags last year, with the money siphoned off into Public Safety and two dollars to the tag agents. Even worse, this bill guts the state prohibition on REAL ID passed about eight to ten years ago. There is a clause stating that the state won't share biometric data of its citizen but there is an out for data sharing required by the feds.
is a new tax credit scheme that gives away 10% of sales tax collected for companies with under one million dollars of new investment in a tourist destination, 25% for those companies with over a million dollars new investment, with the annual limit set at $15 million dollars per year drained out of the state treasury.
And this is for investment that is going to be made anyway. The wealthy hire lawyers and lobbyists to pass their special legislation by greasing the palms of the politicians which corrupts the entire legislative process. Meanwhile tax revenue is drained away from the state, causing politicians to raise taxes and fees on the rest of us.
is a soft on crime bill that reduces the penalty for theft, burglary, embezzlement, hot checks, almost every kind of property crime from a felony to a misdemeanor. This is going down from five years in prison to a maximum one year in a county jail.
Being soft on crime isn't good on criminals or the general public. Leniency just encourages the criminals to ply their trade, much of which is fueled by the need for drug money to support their habit. Criminals balance the time in prison against the potential gain of the crime, they don't hire lawyers or bondsmen, they make a plea deal knowing they will probably get a suspended sentence, won't be forced to pay any fees if they don't get a regular job, and they know they can commit ten to fifteen years of crime before the judge finally puts them in prison. The worst thing you can do is to lessen penalties. For the rest of us we deal with kicked in doors, ransacked homes, and higher insurance rates.
is tax credit scheme used in Tax Incentive Districts and it appears to extend ad valorem tax exemptions an additional five years beyond the original exemptions for the project.
Some say this bill was written and passed for a single Oklahoma City developer. Electricity generating projects are exempted from the additional five years property tax exemption. Meanwhile the local school systems have to be repaid by the state, meaning that tax dollars from other sources are diverted to replace the missing money.
is a bill that moves forward the due date for franchise tax payments, moving it forward two months. That effectively increases cash flow for the state by taking the tax money before it was originally due.
This is just not good public policy. It is a budget trick, the income remains the same, they are just collecting it sooner. It is a one time source of quick cash to get past the budget year end. Rather than trim this much money out of the budget by closing useless state agencies or welfare programs they kick the problem down the road for the next legislature to deal with.
creates new state debt, $45 million dollars in bonds, for the Office of Juvenile affairs.
Many millions of dollars will be paid out in bond sale fees and high interest rates, mainly to people that borrowed long term at a few percent interest and turn around and quadruple that in a safe investment to the state. You and I won't be offered these bonds as investments, only the most connected. Past that, we as a people could afford to pay as we go if we had fiscal responsibility and save two third the long term cost of this project.
creates new state debt, $58.5 million dollars in bonds for a new Oklahoma State Department of Health building.
Many millions of dollars will be paid out in bond sale fees and high interest rates, mainly to people that borrowed long term at a few percent interest and turn around and quadruple that in a safe investment to the state. You and I won't be offered these bonds as investments, only the most connected. Like the OJA bonds we taxpayers will pay three times for this project over the life of the bonds. If we need a building, chop that much off welfare or free health care to able bodied people.
increases the annual fee for pesticide permits, removes the state departments from their exemption from paying for the permits (out of one pocket into another) and adds an additional $100 late fee. This is an additional $0.8 million dollars out of Oklahoma pockets.
These fees don't make pesticide use safer, they just bring in money for the state to spend on the department charging the fee. All it does is increase the size of government.
is another gross production tax decrease that allows another four years of reduced taxes from oil and gas wells.
Even though it reduces the amount of tax the state gets the measure was estimated to bring in an additional $95 million dollars. However, the language in that estimate was extremely sparse, as if they were reluctant to discuss the matter and the less said the less to hang them with later. In the end it was an extension of the huge gross production tax decreases passed by Democrats years ago and kept in place by the Republicans thanks to profuse campaign donations. Oklahoma is unique among the surrounding states as we have a gross production rate that is 3.5 times cheaper, money that used to go toward education and other government expenses and programs.
Removes the sales tax exemption on vehicle sales but keeps in place the existing excise taxes on those same vehicles. This is a 38% tax increase on purchasing a new or used vehicle. This will strip another $124 million dollars out of taxpayer's pockets in 2018 and every year afterward.
The excise tax is an “in lieu” tax, a tax levied in the place of a sales tax. So this is double taxation. This was also passed the last week of the legislative session, a constitutional no no. It also passed without a super majority and this is a tax increase which requires a super majority.
is a bill that doubles a fee on all crimes except traffic tickets.
Keep in mind that they doubled fees last year in criminal cases. The bill will strip about $3 million per year out of Oklahoman's pockets. The silly part is that a lot of criminal fees aren't collected from the criminals so there is more than a little dishonesty in the revenue projections, all in the name of protecting the special interest tax credits.
extends the time that three aerospace tax credits can be claimed. The three tax credit schemes allow employers to get a 50% tax credit off tuition costs they pay to employees for four years, a $12,500.00 tax credit for wages paid to employees at the rate of 10% for state graduates and 5% for out of state graduates, and a five year long $5000.00 tax credit for employees.
All this for jobs that would have come to Oklahoma anyway to be near Tinker. These tax credits were set to expire next year but this measure extends them till 2026. The net effect is that a few more jobs might trickle in but they don't generate that much revenue because of the tax credits. Just more corporate welfare paid for with campaign donations to the wealthiest and most corrupt politicians.
removes income tax rate reduction formulas that automatically reduce the income tax rate if state tax revenue hits a certain level.
We never were fans of Fallin's tax decreases because it was all Kabuki Theater because they were raising other taxes and fees and the tax credits were plundering the state tax income. Still, the triggers were set only if state revenue is rising so why bother?
Comrade Senator Yen's tanning booth bill the restricts anyone less than 18 years old from using a tanning booth.
Another do nothing nanny state legislative action. People are less free, businesses have another useless law to worry about. Worse it continues the idea that people can't handle their own decisions and the state needs to protect them from their own stupidity.
Another soft on crime bill that reduces the penalty for first, second, and third degree burglary. It removes a two year minimum sentence and also requires that someone be present in the building before a burglary is a first degree burglary crime.
The idea is to lessen the number of inmates in prison and that is never a good idea. We have a criminal class the prefers a life of crime over working 40 hours a week 50 weeks a year. What is needed is cheaper prisons and cheaper prosecution of criminals. What is needed is to take a county out in the SW corner of the state and make a few small towns into open air prisons for low security prisoners and put their butts to work. Prisons ought to be a profit center for government and they criminals learn some work ethics.
Strips $60 million dollars from the Rainy Day Fund to pay for ad valorem reimbursement from all the tax credits that strip hundreds of millions of dollars from local property tax rolls each year.
This is the tax credits coming home to roost. We have to dip into our state emergency savings account just to pay for the tax credits given to special interests in exchange for campaign contributions. And once again it is a one time source of money, when it is gone it is gone until we begin bringing in a tax surplus again.
This is the smoking “fee” that replaced the $1.50 per pack cigarette tax that didn't pass.
Since they basically lied and called it a fee they didn't need a super majority to pass the “fee” but it has already being challenged in court as it is unconstitutional for two reasons. First it is a tax, not a fee, and second it was passed in the last five days of the legislature and that is not allowed. This is a new $257 million dollar tax placed on Oklahoma smokers.
is the $6.8 billion dollar bloated budget bill.
The only leverage the good legislators have is to threaten not to support the budget so they can kill off tax increases, new taxes, and trim the size and expense of government. While a few things might have been stopped we once again added over a billion dollars in new taxes and higher fees to the state budget.
Next week we will have the House RINO Index.
Come join us this month at:
6175 E 61st St, Tulsa, OK
from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
for another great meeting!
Lunch is only $13, drink, tax, and tip (pay when you check in at our table in banquet room) Membership is $20, Ladies $10, open to the public. For a $25 membership you also get a shirt or hat!
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Our guests this month is Tulsa County Court Clerk Don Newberry
and Tulsa County Clerk Michael Willis!
Oklahoma Joe's - Tulsa
6175 E 61st St
Tulsa, OK, OK 74136
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This will be an exciting talk - you will be glad you made this meeting!
The Tulsa County Republican Men's Club proudly brings you another great meeting: JUNE 14th 11:30 open and start 12:00 noon to 1:00 at 6175 East 61st Tulsa, Ok in Oklahoma Joe's BBQ meeting room. I think you know what we are eating here the great BBQ...for only $13 a salad and a drink - you just cant beat it - and that includes a drink and tip!
Tulsa help us welcome Don Newberry and Michael Willis to our big stage this month. We will meet at our new home Oklahoma Joe's BBQ on 61st Street just West of Sheridan next to Goldie's in the back meeting room. We will get opened up at 11:30 and start promptly at noon. Lunch is $13 buffet style which includes a drink, tax, and tip. We have a special this month...for $20 you get lunch and your choice of a hat or t-shirt (ask Billie to reserve yours or maybe a friend or loved ones size when you RSVP, 918-638-9977). Memberships are $20 and you get a hat or tshirt with it. Ladies $10...add a tshirt for $5. We have a lot of ground to cover and we will plow through quickly so we can get right to the slide show and have plenty of ...time questions. There is a lot happening and I am sure you do not want to miss this opportunity.
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was born on February 17th, 1967. He is a third generation Tulsan, a deacon and active member of Memorial Baptist Church, and has served his country in the United States Air Force as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Specialist. He earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration at Tulsa Community College; a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Liberty University; an MBA from Liberty University; and a Masters of Jurisprudence in Indian Law (MJIL) from the University of Tulsa School of Law. He is currently the Title Research Manager in the Tulsa County Assessor’s office, and enjoys his work as a public servant. Don lives in Tulsa with his wife and four children in the Jenks School District.
He began his service in local government six years ago, and since that time has been involved in the managing, directing, and budgeting of a department within the Tulsa County Assessor’s office. As a result of his efforts, the department has an improved efficiency and higher productivity rate. Prior to his career in public service, Don spent several years in the mortgage industry. His work as the Vice President of Sales resulted in 48 million dollars in sales for the company; and his development of a “workflow analysis” system made it possible for the company to track and analyze the effect of the company’s marketing strategies and sales. In his spare time, and on the weekends, Don serves as a volunteer in many areas. He has spent countless hours teaching Sunday School in the Youth Department of his church, mentoring teens, working with troubled youth at the Tulsa County Juvenile Justice Center, and helping the elderly in his community. Don’s loyalty and commitment to his family, church, and community is part of what draws people to him. He works diligently to serve those around him, and inspires the same in everyone he meets.
was elected Tulsa County Clerk on June 28, 2016 and took office in January 2017. He was born in Tulsa and grew up in West Tulsa and Sapulpa. He attended the University of Oklahoma where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs and Administration, and later earned a Master of Public Administration also from the University of Oklahoma.
Prior to running for County Clerk, Michael served Tulsa County as Chief Deputy County Commissioner and Public Information Officer for nearly seven years.
Michael’s previous experience is grounded in both the private and public sectors as he worked at the City of Tulsa Mayor’s Office as the Director of Government Relations and later at a local public relations and management consulting firm where he served a variety of clients in different practice areas.
Michael is involved heavily in the Tulsa Community. He volunteers time as a Reserve Police Officer for the Tulsa Police Department, is a member of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, Leadership Tulsa, Tulsa’s Young Professionals, serves on other boards including that of the Tulsa Sports Commission, the TPD Foundation, INCOG and Friends of The MET, and has served on several other community and non-profit boards over the years.
He has also volunteered his service at the state level serving as an appointee of Governor Mary Fallin on the Board of Directors for the Office of Juvenile Affairs from 2014 until October 2016.
Michael and his wife Marcie live in West Tulsa with their two children. They are members of Boston Avenue United Methodist Church where Michael serves as an usher.
Michael is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
You have any questions or would be so kind to RSVP...call Billie at 918-638-9977...for complaints call 1-888-909-7926, for compliments call Darren Gantz at 918-638-7430. Let's Make America Great Again and while we are at it - how about Tulsa County as well! There will be a people running for District 1 Chair and Vice Chair very soon! We also have Make America Great Again - Shirts and Hats for sale! Would you like to run for school board? Thank you to our new sponsors Hern for Congress and Strategic Talent Services.
Whadda do you mean I suck at this job?
ETHICS AND LEADERSHIP ABSENT AT
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTITIVES THIS SESSION
By the Watchman
We are living through perhaps the worst time in the history of the State of Oklahoma. At a time when the leadership of the House and Senate had within their grasp the opportunity to set a new course for the political and financial future of this state, they opted to violate the State Constitution and dare the Citizens of Oklahoma to take them to Court. Their desire will soon be granted. We found this news report dated the 8th
of June, 2017 ‘I think it was to me just a matter of time:’ Lawmakers unsurprised by tobacco lawsuit | KFOR.com
. What makes this more despicable is that they knew it would be challenged and didn’t care.
The Speaker of the House made a massive turn to the left when the session started this year. This is evident here Freshmen Legislators & The Abandonment Of Principles - Sooner Politics.org
. There were thirty nine freshmen Republicans that entered the House and Senate this year. Out of those only four Representatives and 2 Senators voted consistently with the Constitution on two of the key revenue bills. That is disgusting. Rest assured we have a copy of those votes and those that violated the state Constitution will see their name in this column in the near future.
The first article of interest we found was this
There was nothing strange or unusual about the individuals changing their votes. Once the Majority Floor Leader declared the bill to no longer be Revenue Increase Bill, they switched in order to make their voting records look better for their next campaigns. They’ll go back to their districts and say we at least tried. That is a pure bald faced lie. It is a revenue increase bill and they failed to follow the State Constitution in order to pass it. Just because some brown nosing Representative is appointed to be the Majority Floor Leader doesn’t give him or any of the elected individuals the right to break the law.
The person behind this betrayal to the state and the citizens is the Speaker of the House. We started by going to his official web page here Speaker Charles McCall - Oklahoma House of Representatives
. There is little information to be gained from this site. We can usually get more information from a Senator’s page than what he has provided on his.
The next article of interest we found was this Charles McCall - Wikipedia
. We highly recommend that you open this link and read it. We find it highly disappointing that a man that is a banker who works with money and budgets his entire life and he has failed to listen to the repeated reports from the State Treasurer of revenue decline for over twenty-four consecutive months. For the first time in over two years the State Treasurer has reported an increase in revenue and that didn’t happen until this week. I cannot believe people trust him with their money.
2012 Oklahoma for Life Inc. 100%
Business and Consumer
2015-2016 National Federation of Independent Business 100%
2016 The Oklahoma Constitution 59%
2015 American Conservative Union 79%
2016 Sooner Tea Party 50%
2014 Sooner Tea Party 35%
We could go on and on with these but it gets very repetitive. This indicates that he is more worried about staying in office than doing what’s right for the Citizens of his District and the State of Oklahoma.
The next article we found was this Charles McCall - Ballotpedia
. What is interesting about this article is that it even discloses the bills that were passed by both Chambers but failed to reach an agreement in conference committee. There is a very good likelihood that these bills will return next year.
In an article written on December 20, 2015, a prediction was made that seems to have come true this year. You can read that article here Al Gerhart: All Hell Breaks out if McCall is Elected Speaker
. The candidates for Speaker last year not only included Mr. McCall, but also included Rep. Leslie Osborne. She withdrew her candidacy for Speaker after being promised the position of Chair of the Appropriations Committee. The lack of leadership of both of these individuals led to the total disaster of the budget that we ended up with this year. To date only the tobacco companies have filed a challenge to the bills, but many more are expected. What makes it worse is none of these unlawful taxes needed to be levied against the taxpayers. They failed to even consider removing enough of the tax credits they give to the funders of their campaigns to even close the gap in the budget. They wanted the citizens to pay. This is a prime example of them not working for us, but working for the Chamber of Commerce instead.
The next article of interest we found was this
. We would urge you to open this link and read the article. This is a sitting member of the House who has been pushed out of leadership positions by our liberal leadership who has urged the people to take this to court. This is consistent with his first statement after the end of the session which you can read here
. The House and Senate passed the budget this year after repeatedly violating the Oklahoma State Constitution. Revenue bills were passed that originated in the Senate is a violation. Passing revenue bills within the last five days of the session is a violation. These clowns must have gone to school at the Obama School of writing and passing legislation.
To make matters worse, the State of Oklahoma has not had a Constitutionally based government in 23 years. Our state Constitution calls for a State Constitutional Convention to be held every twenty years. The last Constitutional Convention was held in 1974. Several legislators have tried to get a bill through the House and Senate over the last several years to have one held, but they all died in committee. Has their lust for power gotten so big that we as citizens are now being denied our rights under our State Constitution? We believe that it has.
The next article of interest we found was this Governor Mary Fallin Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bill - Story
. We have stated many times in the past that being soft on crime is no solution to the prison overcrowding problem. Oklahoma has had this problem for decades. They first went to the private prison solution and realized that to keep those beds full in private prisons they needed tougher sentencing laws. Here’s an idea for all you people who are incapable of thinking outside the box. To cut the recidivism problem and ultimately the prison population, teach the non-violent offenders a trade in a craft they can use outside of prison. This can be done by having these inmates train in the construction fields while they are building extensions on to the existing prisons. It’s a trade they can use to provide an income for themselves and to support their families.
We next went to www.guardian.ok.gov
to see what information was available on his campaign finances. For the last campaign cycle it did indicate that most of his campaign donations were received from special interest groups. He has already opened his campaign offices for the 2018 campaign. Corporations continue to donate to his campaign at an almost three to one pace over individual contributors. In short anyone that wants to run against him better has filed already.
We can only conclude from the horrendous performance of the House of Representatives that there was a complete loss of control of the members. In a state considered the reddest state in the union there was a role reversal this year. The Democrats were the ones trying to make since while the Speaker and the Chair of the Appropriations committee taxed everything they could, and still left a $400 million dollar hole in the budget. Mr. Speaker your lack of knowledge shows.