Charlie Meadows Taken to the Woodshed by a Legislator
Representative Mike Reynolds Calls for New OCPAC leadership
A week or so ago we heard from an activist that they had approached Charlie and ask if he intended to write about the recent Oklahoma Supreme Court decision on the state income tax/Capital repair bill that was ruled log rolling and therefore unconstitutional. Remember that that bill was one that Charlie and OCPAC picked to judge legislators on in the Oklahoma Constitution/OCPAC Conservative Index in 2013. No, legislators didn’t get a positive score for voting against the unconstitutional bill, they lost ten points if they voted against the bill!
The activist reported that Charlie said he didn’t know what he would write about the court decision but one would think that he would have apologized for hurting conservatives and aiding RINOs and liberals by including the bill in the Conservative Index. One would think he would admit the misjudgment and repair the Index record of those that he harmed and those that he unfairly boosted the score.
But our favorite deranged Santa look-alike just didn’t have the integrity to come clean; instead he blamed everyone including the Supreme Court for getting it wrong. But late in the week Charlie got his butt taken to the woodshed by one of Oklahoma’s most conservative state representatives, Rep. Mike Reynolds. Below is the text from a copy of an email that was sent to Charlie Meadows from Rep. Reynolds after an OCPAC member asked Rep. Reynolds what he thought about Charlie’s email blaming everyone but himself. The black italic type is Charlie’s original email; the red bold type is Rep. Reynolds response.
On Tuesday, December 17th, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruled the law (HB 2032) passed earlier this year to reduce our state income tax from 5.25% down to 5% during the 2015 tax year was unconstitutional. The law also provided millions of dollars over a 2 year period of time to make needed Capitol repairs. The Supremes, in a unanimous decision, declared this law to be “log rolling” and therefore unconstitutional. They were correct in their ruling.
First a little information about log rolling and why it is an important law. Politicians are famous for making deals, some good and some bad, some very bad. If 2 groups of politicians each had a bill that the other group could not stand, but neither of them were sure they could get their legislation passed without the help of the other group, they might then agree for each of them to support the other so they both can get their bills passed.
Of course not trusting each other, neither of the groups might want to take the chance of passing one bill and then the other group backing out on the second bill. Therefore, the solution is to combine both bills into one piece of legislation. Now, if both bills are “germane”, or in other words about the same subject, that is allowable and not considered log rolling. However, if the 2 bills are about different subjects and they are both put into the same piece of legislation, that would be considered log rolling and thus a violation of the state constitution.
This provision is designed so that a good lawmaker will not have to vote for a bad piece of legislation to get a good piece of legislation passed. In the case of the law overturned by the Supremes, one part of the law was about a tax cut and the other part of the law was about repairing the Capitol, thus log rolling.
The first 4 paragraphs are fairly accurate, but have some subtle insinuations that I don’t agree with. The main one is “ If 2 groups of politicians each had a bill”. Logrolling is exclusively accomplished by Legislative leadership, i.e. the Speaker of the House and the Pro-Tem of the Senate. They are trying to compromise the members into voting for one of their pet projects by putting a bad idea in with something that carries much more weight with the populace, a vote against which the general populace would frown on. Only 3 republican members of the House had the character to vote against HB 2032, Mike Ritze, Tommy Hardin, and myself.
Both of these ideas are good and things we have been pushing for at OCPAC. I am told by reliable sources that each of these issues could have probably passed on their own and didn’t need to be combined, so what went wrong? Based on my sources, it was probably carelessness on the part of the Governor as well as Senate and House leadership. I personally believe that carelessness was aided by some very bad legal advice by the Senate’s legal staff, a group I was already very suspect of as to their competency.
Your “reliable sources” are just the opposite. Obviously they were just defending their unconstitutional position. The funding for Capitol repairs would not have happened. I suspect every OCPAC member could accurately speculate who you reliable sources are, but in the interest of full disclosure, why don’t you just tell us. I’m sure you believe in the idea of openness in Government, and I bet the sources say the same thing publicly. The statement “Based on my sources” further discredits these sources. It is ridiculous to think legislation is passed carelessly and can get by the Governor, Speaker and Pro-tem. It is even more ridiculous to believe they received “very bad legal advice”. If they received an legal advice against the obvious logrolling you would not know, because the advice was given to them exclusively, and even if the legal staff did advise them incorrectly, they are personally responsible for hiring the legal staff.
I wonder if one of the sources in on the newly formed House Budget Committee that gave an
unconstitutional pay raise to House Staff members.(Johnson,Murphy,Nollan,Sears.)
Sources tell me that in an effort to have a tax cut and also fix the Capitol they were simply trying to figure out how to best make it work rather than a deal with trade-offs (good bill for bad bill). The idea was to delay the tax cut until 2015 rather than have it go into effect in 2013 or 2014 and then to take the monies that would have been generated at the higher tax rate and use those revenues to repair the Capitol. In that sense, they carelessly saw the issues as germane.
Once again who is the mysterious “Sources tell me”. The whole paragraph draws ridiculous conclusions: the idea that to postpone a tax cut frees up revenue. Please try to elaborate on what you or your “sources” are saying. That will be difficult because this idea is totally illogical. (Taxes collected as a result of delaying a tax hike will be used to pay to repair the Capitol!)
In an Oklahoman article published on December 22nd, the Democrats accused Republican leadership of knowing it was log rolling but chose to proceed anyway. Senate President Pro-Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) countered by saying: “The measure was passed after legal research was completed, we felt like it was fully constitutional.” Well folks, their legal research team was wrong and should be held accountable as it was not hard to see.
Another problem I have with the Senate’s legal staff comes from a policy adopted in the Senate during 2013 where a decision was made to not hear any bill that had intent language mixed within the bill itself. When I asked my personal state senator why they would make such a rule and cede legislative power to the courts, as intent explains to the courts the purpose of legislation, I was told that legal staff said the courts would be more confined without intent. The very opposite is true. Laws without intent become gray and thus provides much greater opportunity to take issues to court for God knows what kind of interpretation by an activist court. Those kinds of laws provide eternal work security for attorneys as they lead to unending legal challenges.
State Representative Mike Ritze had been a co-sponsor of HB 2032 which was passed in the House as a clean tax cut bill. The repair to the Capitol was an amendment added over in the Senate and when the amended bill came back to the House for final passage, Ritze took his name off the bill and voted AGAINST this conservative measure, along with Representative Mike Ritze. There reasoning was that they believed the legislation to then be unconstitutional log rolling. Our good friend Jerry Fent, and former recipient of OCPAC’s Taxpayer Watchdog of the Year award a few years back, filled the lawsuit and as I said earlier, the Supremes ruled in Jerry’s favor with a unanimous decision.
So what is the solution? My first recommendation would be for the Senate to make some changes with their legal staff. As an added measure of safety, to keep this frequent violation of log rolling from happening again, the Senate should pay a reasonable consulting fee to Jerry Fent to review all possible log rolling pieces of legislation as well as train legal staff in what to watch out for to keep this from happening again.
How could you possibly recommend the Senate make changes to the Legal Staff. You don’t know what the staff recommended, and it is not the Senate but the Pro-Tem that hires the staff. What about the House legal staff and the Governor’s legal staff. Hire Jerry Fent as a consultant?, please be serious. I’m the person that told Jerry Fent about this piece of Legislation. Maybe they should listen to me or my debate on the floor, or read the previous Supreme Court rulings. Do you seriously think that they didn’t know this was logrolling. If that is the case you should be calling for the voters to hire new legislators, not legislators to hire new legal staff. But when OCPAC, under your leadership rewards 68 Republicans for voting for obviously unconstitutional legislation, and downgrades the only three members of the Republican caucus that had enough courage to vote against this, maybe OCPAC also needs new leadership.
Of course the log rolling issue is made even more complicated by the fact that the Supremes have been all over the place when it comes to their decisions on log rolling. They were clearly wrong when they ruled the tort reform bill passed a couple of years ago was log rolling and that very bad ruling caused the special session during this summer to pass multiple bills, all related to the same issue (germane) to get back to where we were with tort reform before their bad decision.
Actually, the court was clearly correct. You are clearly wrong, and it is time to admit it before you discredit yourself further. I could go into the why the court was correct, but don’t want to waste my time. If you would like to explain why the court was wrong by refuting the specific language in their ruling, please do so, and I will then respond.
Then just before their ruling on the tax cut and capitol repairs law they got another ruling right by declaring that the workman compensation reform law passed during this year’s session was not log rolling. However, in the past they have got it wrong on numerous occasions when a smart high school student could read the constitution and then the law at question and have done a better job at getting it right than the Supremes. At other times the Supremes have ruled in favor of Jerry Fent’s lawsuits but would not overturn the law but instead just warned the legislature not to do this again. No wonder the legislature doesn’t know whether or not to take the law seriously.
What numerous occasions are you referring to. Is this something that your “sources” told you. Please give the specific examples that “a smart highschool student” would have gotten correctly that the court missed. “No wonder the legislature doesn’t know whether to take the law seriously”: You should be berating the Court for not being stronger in the past, not giving yourself, you sources and the Legislative leadership a pass on what a smart high school student knew was unconstitutional.
Bottom line, we need to get the log rolling issue solved as the court wrangling and special sessions are expensive. The law is good, the legislature needs to comply with it. Lost in all this mix is the question of where was the Governor and her legal staff? What kind of leadership do you call that? I suggest it be labeled weak to very week.
The bottom line is the logrolling issue is solved, but with so called Conservatives blaming everyone but themselves it will continue. And throwing in the Special Session at the end of you response leads to a whole other topic, which I am not inclined to discuss at length. I will simply point out the Legislation that has not been needed for the last 100 years (the specific tort-reform bill) did not need a special session to repair. That could have been done quite simply in the upcoming regular session, and you know so. Please tell us how many of the provisions that were passed in Special Session were an emergency. None of them even had the emergency clause on them until I did a press release pointing this out.
I look forward to seeing everyone at Denny’s in Edmond to start of a great new year.
Rep. Reynolds was justifiably angry for Charlie’s incompetence and refusal to admit making serious mistakes but Reynolds spoke the truth, not angry words that were ill conceived. Rather than taking the path of integrity Charlie chose to ignore any blowback against his leadership failures. Everyone knows that forgiveness begins with admission of guilt and that won’t occur if someone is so stiff necked they refuse the obvious.
And why did Charlie act like this when faced with a major fax paus? Perhaps it was pride, stubbornness, perhaps even more than a little fear at being caught supporting an unconstitutional bill and judging legislators wrongly. But the most likely reason for Charlie supporting an unconstitutional bill was that he had been told to break up the opposition that would make full advantage of the bad judgment calls. .Rep Reynolds correctly points out that Charlie’s judgment has become very suspect at this point and it is obvious that OCPAC needs new leadership.
Charlie long ago sold out the power of his group for access to the legislators. Only an idiot wouldn’t understand that he has become the spokesperson for the liberal Republicans and exists only to tell his group what they must settle for instead of leading the opposition forces. He is between a rock and a hard spot; if he changes the Conservative Index he alienates146 legislators and gains a tiny bit of respect from three legislators, the three that voted against the bill. When you have no character you take the easy way out and in Charlie’s case that meant ignoring his disrespect against the three conservative legislators. Charlie needs the 146 legislators to come to his meetings on Wednesday more than he needs the three brave conservatives that did the right thing and voted against the legislation.
But the Oklahoma Constitution has the power to correct this wrong simply by revising the 2013 Conservative Index, changing the score to reflect reality. Those are good people running that newspaper and they have been misled by Charlie Meadows. Oh, they will argue that Charlie’s group is responsible for the flawed choice but everyone knows that Charlie leads the group and most of the OCPAC members follow Charlie’s lead.
Bottom line is the Oklahoma Constitution going to fix this travesty? Or do we allow the deranged Santa Claus to continue to crap down the conservative chimney?
First It Was Their Land, A While Ago It Was Their Water, Now It’s Their Land Again.
Leave It To Government To Steal The Same Thing Twice.
By Ms PM
We ask, is the farm bill going to be worded in such a way that will block the return of Cheyenne and Arapaho lands here in Oklahoma?
The land in question has been deemed “on again, off again” as “excess property.” The catch is if it is excess property it is to be returned to the Tribes as written in a treaty established in 1869 signed by executive order when U.S. Grant was President. This issue addressed in the farm bill will answer the question as to whether or not to keep open what is called the Grazing Lands Research Laboratory. The Feds conduct the research but it is questionable if this lab couldn’t be done in another location just as well or better which would include the town of Marshall in northwestern Oklahoma. We all know that bigger is better and when it comes to the federal government there is little doubt that government will finagle a way to break a treaty, or at least try. Returning the land to the rightful owners is beyond the moral meter of both Democrats and Republicans. And just what does this research lab do? Is it a waste of taxpayer money? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?
In 1883 about 10,000 acres were used for Fort Reno. That area would be returned when it was no longer needed for the military and that Executive Order was signed July 17th. The tribes never included Fort Reno when much of their land was deeded to the government. Rampant greed from the feds, along with decades of time, the fort lands have been used for other things including a prison. In 1948 the Army transferred the land to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Where is the justice and why is it easier for the state of Oklahoma and its citizens to allow this theft to continue? Are we a state of cowards, too busy to care, or possibly just uninformed as to what is going on around us? Do we justify what is happening as a Tribal issue and nothing to concern ourselves with? Would we be as unconcerned if it were a piece of land our family owned, or would we step up and never tire with the work to shrink the size of government at the state and federal level? Where are our state leaders and what are they doing on this matter? Do you even care to find out?
In 1949 and 1951 the House of Representatives, on the right track, passed legislation to return the remaining 7,000 “fort” acres to the tribes but wouldn’t you know that it died in the Senate. From then on the Department of Agriculture and their brown nosed baboons continue to keep the land from the Tribes.
Many state and national Indian groups have supported the claims by the Tribes in order to get their land back. In 1995 the 103rd Congress stated that the Department of Agriculture needed defunding and closed due to no purpose for having the research station open other than “providing subsidies to selected local farmers.” Republican Congressman Frank Lucas was a staunch advocate to keep the research station open. Was Congressman Lucas getting kickbacks from the farmers? Isn’t that how it really works?
This could all go away with an executive order from King O-shithead or through the Federal Surplus Property and Administrative Service Act of 1976, and the land would be returned to the Tribes. The federal government would rather ride the merry-go-round and keep it tied up in litigation with lawyers paid for with your money.
The corruption goes deeper. The late activist, Archie Hoffman, was told that a “$100,000 tribal contribution to the national Democrats’ drive for President Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection would grease the skids for a look at the merits.” Money for nothing is what was gotten, along with a court case where the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the tribal land claim was “time-barred” even though lawyers had evidence that “status of the property had been deemed classified for fifty years after going on standby military status in the 1950’s.”
“The tribes successfully fought a bill in 2006 that would have directed federal mineral lease revenue toward historic preservation of existing facilities. The tribes uncovered, in federal litigation, a long-standing U.S government practice of classifying as national secrets various documents in order to obscure the land’s status. Even as a federal court found that Tribes has missed a statute of limitations claim (under the federal Quiet Title Act) the judges admitted that title to the land was clouded.”
There is no doubt that this land belongs to the Tribes. Through the power of government there will never be an end to taking something that doesn’t belong to them unless citizens stop it. The laws, regulations and interpretations will ebb and flow like the tide. What on earth has happened to us? Does anyone feel just a tiny bit ashamed?
Tulsa Republican Mens Club to meet on January 8th
The discussion will center around the issue of should we term limit judges and can the state of Oklahoma take your guns away? They will have speakers discussing this legislation which will be debated in the upcoming legislative session.
The event will be held at the Stokley Event Center, 10111 E 45th Pl S · Tulsa. Lunch starts promptly at 11:30 and the speakers start at 12:00. Lunch costs $10 -Enchiladas, rice, beans, chips, salsa, and a drink.
The speakers will be Tim Gillespie, OK2A Oklahomans for the 2nd Amendment, not one of the Sooner Tea Parties’ favorite people but he might have something interesting to say. Gillespie has a reputation for letting down his allies and being somewhat of a timid man for someone that leads a Second Amendment group. But David Tackett, Tackett Consulting Group, will be present and David always has his finger on the pulse of Oklahoma politics and has a pair of brass…. well, he has courage shall we say.
If you wish to attend please RSVP, Billie @ 918-688-9977. If you wish to join the Tulsa Republican Mens Club the memberships for Tulsa County residents are $20.00 for men, women and out of county residents $10.
Liberal Senator or Just Learning the Ropes?
By the Watchman
Every once in a while we get to critique a freshman legislator after their first session in office. Usually we try to give them the benefit of the doubt, and chalk up their performance to just settling in to office. We wish we could do so in the case of Senator Rob Standridge. During the course of our investigation we found enough information on the Senator to indicate that he is a liberal at heart, and will do or say just enough to gain the trust of the people to stay in power. A good example as to how liberal he is, his appointment as Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee with no legislative experience. What is it that the President pro-tem of the Senate sees in him?
We wanted to know more about the district he covered, District 15, so we pulled up a map of his District. Here is what we found. If you will notice, his district virtually surrounds the University of Oklahoma Campus in Norman. This is an area that votes generally reliably Republican, so we had a hard time understanding why his campaign web site, as indicated here, does not mention any fact that he is running as a Republican. This is the first major sign that he is a liberal politician. He is adopting the campaign tactics of the Democratic and Progressive candidates.
We did find two press releases that we found of interest. The first is here. It deals with Medicaid reform. It indicates that the ultimate goal is to strengthen the Medicaid program in Oklahoma. This should be an eye opener for all Oklahomans. This will be another attempt by the Oklahoma State Senate to back door Obama Care into the state. One would think that they would at least have the decency to allow the Attorney General’s Law Suit filed on behalf of the Citizens of the State of Oklahoma to come to a conclusion before they try to cram it down our throats again.
The second press release deals with reducing the divorce rate in Oklahoma. You can see the news release here. Admittedly this is a noble cause, but this liberal must realize that you cannot correct all of our social problems through legislation. Yes, the impact on children is terrible. Yes there are dead-beat parents out there. If any legislation is proposed, it should be something along the lines of garnishment of wages immediately to pay for child support. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure that out.
While we were on the campaign web site for Senator Standridge, we explored the site a bit. The first place we visited was the biography page, which you can see here. What we found remarkable about this site was the number of organizations he is a member of. Most are not of a concern; however he is a member of two different Chambers of Commerce. As a politician that receives donations from various Chamber of Commerce organizations and corporate donors, we feel that his membership in the organizations represents a conflict of interest.
We also found the issues page of his site to be very interesting. You can read it here. We take issue with his statements on Limited Government and Health Care/Obama Care . They simply don’t match his votes as you will see later in this article.
While doing our internet search we also found this article. This explains an estimate of campaign donations he received during the campaign cycle. It also shows some of the votes he took during his first session as a Senator for his district.
We also found this article on the Senator’s Medicaid Reform. Although this article indicates that the Senator has good intentions, these good intentions will morph into a bill that will bring Obama Care to Oklahoma. That is what the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce wants, and that is what the Senate President pro-tem, Brian Bingman , will do his best to deliver. After all he owes his power to the special interests.
We next went to www.votesmart.org to see what information they had on the Senator. Th Ratings and Endorsements page were very enlighting:
2013 Oklahoma Sierra Club 93%
What this tells us is we have an environmentalist in the Senate. It’s beginning to look like the entire Senate is made up of environmentalists.
We next went to www.followthemoney.org to see what they had on his campaign finances. Although we found entries for numerous individual donors, we also found entries for unions, corporations and political action committees (PACs) to his campaign.
We next went to www.ok.gov/ethicscommission to see what they had on file for his campaign finances. The first item of interest we found was that this was a campaign in disarray. From July, 21, 2010 until the end of the campaign, they had to modify the Statement of Organization four different times. That is unusual. Additionally we found that the Ethics Commission needs to investigate the reason as to why it appears that the campaign failed to file a campaign report to cover the time frame of Jan. 01, 2011 through Mar. 31, 2011. We can only wonder in amazement as to what happened to this report.
We next took a look at the donations from individual donors. Although most of what we found was from in state donors, we did find some from out of state. We feel that in state donations from individuals are only acceptable to campaigns for in state offices. Here are a few examples of what we found.
Sep. 23, 2010 5403 Lisette, St. Louis, Mo. 63109 $ 100.00
Dec. 22, 2011 P.O. Box 2763, Orange Park, Fl. 32067 $ 100.00
Feb. 16, 2012 69 Notre Dame Dr., St. Louis, Mo. 63141 $ 100.00
There are many more examples throughout the reports. We just listed a few.
We next to a look at the donations from Corporations, Political Action Committees (PACs) and Unions. Surprisingly we found no donations until June of 2012. Here is some of what we found.
Jun. 08, 2012 Okla. Optometric PAC $ 500.00
Jun. 14, 2012 Okla. Pharm. PAC $2,500.00
Aug. 31, 2012 Okla. Public Employees PAC $1,000.00
Oct. 22, 2012 Chesapeake Okla. PAC $1,000.00
These are just a few examples. As you can see they represent all aspects of the lobbying industry. All of them are hoping to buy some type of influence.
We next looked at his voting record for subjects that mattered to Oklahomans during the 2013 Legislative session. Here is what we found.
HB 1359 Regulating Animal Shelters, Did not Vote
HB 1740 Scrap Metal Dealers Regulations, Did not Vote
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
What this tells us is he’s afraid to vote on items that truly matter to Oklahomans. He missed 4 out of 10 votes here. He didn’t want to vote on spending caps. He voted to create a new state agency. He voted to create an Obama Care Agency here in Oklahoma. This man is a liberal. This man needs to resign. He’s lied to get into office he’s lied on his web site. He’s afraid to take the tough votes. He’s doing nobody any good but himself. He’s a disgrace to the citizens of his district and the State of Oklahoma.
2013 Senate members and House Members
Please copy the block of emails for your contact list so you are able to email all of them and help to inform and educate them before the new sessions begin. Use Bcc to send dozens of email with one email from you to them. This will look like you send each one of them a personal email with only their email showing as the recipient. Please mention the Sooner TeaParty in your emails so they will have a healthy respest for what we do.
Here are the updated House members email addresses in three blocks of Thirty- four each and updated senate emal addresses in one block.
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