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Special Session or Special Monkey Business?


A lot has been written about the upcoming special session this month including a warning that Medicaid expansion might be included along with other special interest bills that can be rammed through in a short chaotic session.  We looked at the Oklahoma Constitution and reviewed an Oklahoma Attorney General opinion on the topic and found that if the governor calls the special session then all the legislation has be supported by the governor’s office to be on the agenda.

The legislature itself can call itself into special session with a vote of a 2/3 thirds majority.  Some controversy has arose over whether or not the Speaker and President Pro Tem can sign orders convening the special session if they haven’t been properly elected by their peers and are serving as an extension of being elected “Speaker elect” or “President Pro Tem elect”.  The AG’s opinion is that they may not unless the governor calls a special session for the specific duty of electing them properly, then the special session can proceed.  But that may not stop the governor’s call for special session.

Much has been made about the requirement for 26 to 28 bills to rewrite the states tort system.  Some claim that far fewer bills would do to bypass the log rolling issue and that there are rules requiring a significant number of bills to be on the agenda to justify a special session.  We couldn’t find such a rule in the Oklahoma Constitution but would be interested if anyone knows of a House or Senate rule that would be applicable.
The special session will cost around $30,000 per day in additional costs and is expected to last five to ten days.  The Democrats might form a coalition with the conservative Republicans to kill the emergency clauses in any legislation that passes as both groups opposed the original tort reform on various reasons.  A lot of pressure is being generated to include Medicaid expansion but that would require Governor Fallin to backtrack on her decision not to accept the Medicaid expansion in the early part of this year.
Here is a list of the bills that have been filed so far for the special session.  There is no hard filing date set by law that we could find but House and Senate rules will have some requirements.    Visit this link to view any recent additions to the proposed bills.   
Looking at the bills that were filed as of Sunday morning it appears to be a mixed bag of good and bad legislation:


SB 1  cracks down on the use of expert witnesses used in trials, requiring the experts lay out their opinions early in the court case.


SB 2 appears to make it harder to dismiss cases where the plaintiff has had second thoughts on the merits of the case.  Particularly if the case is dismissed without prejudice and the issue is brought up in a second lawsuit, then the defendant can ask the judge to assess costs for the first lawsuit.


SB 3  starts off eliminating a stay of judgment caused by a court case initiated outside Oklahoma and drastically reduces the limit on the amount of surety bonds required for a stay of judgment.  Strangely enough the law returns that right to a stay of judgment later on in the bill’s language, no doubt placing a plaintiff in a better legal position due to the moving of the language impacting stay of judgments.   Furthermore the bond is eliminated for the appeal of punitive damages, giving the big corporations another free bite at the apple when they lose a court case that awards punitive damages.  This allows them to string out a lawsuit without posting a bond that ensures they will pay the damages.


SB 4   allows the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to pass along its costs of recovering Medicaid and Medicare payments.


 SB 5 allows a wide use of summary judgment in court cases, allowing a Defendant to petition the court to kill the lawsuit.


SB 6 allows the judge to withhold facts that would allow a jury to evaluate an expert witness’s testimony from a jury if the judge believes that the facts are prejudicial.  The ability to cherry pick important facts and remove their use to illustrate an expert witness’s testimony will no doubt save millions in legal damages for the ultra wealthy here in the state.


SB 7 simply moves an existing clause to another section of the law.  The language deals with every contract having an obligation to act in good faith  but disallowing a separate lawsuit for that fact alone.   No doubt moving this text from one section to another has a use for the State Chamber of Commerce, most likely in watering down any protection for injured parties.


SB 8  appears to be a doozy.  It deals with joint and severable liability for damages, where one part only has a small part in the damage but has deeper pockets and so is held responsible for a larger share of the damages.   So far that sounds great but the new language prohibits this protection for defendants in actions brought by the state or any political subdivision of the state!  It appears that they once again are moving existing language into another section of the law to gain some sort of legal advantage.


SB 9   appears to have been re written completely, not just modified.  It allows a maximum non economic loss claim of $350,000 regardless of how many defendants are being sued.  The new language goes on to require that judges and juries lay out exactly what amounts are being awarded and for what purpose so that the eventually judgment can be picked apart by sharp lawyers.  One section defines gross negligence as the lack of slight care or diligence, meaning that if there is a shred of proof that a company acted at 5% of expected diligence then perhaps no damages will be awarded.


While awards for pain and suffering past economic damages might not seem worth defending the law clearly allows awards for disfigurement to be limited to the $350,000 limit.  Imagine if your daughter was horribly disfigured at a young age, perhaps severe burns to her face or limbs, and she could not collect for that disfigurement.  Just for her medical bills and lost income….


SB 10 appears to be a modification of an existing law that allows Governor Fallin to seize any and all resources in the state in the case of emergency.  The modification is adding health care workers to the list of people that can be dragooned into service and removing the exemption on volunteer health care workers.  So you teenage daughter that is doing candy stripe work at the local hospital can be impressed into service caring for plague victims or whatever the Governor feels the need. But once again the new legislation is just pushing text around within the bill because that same ability to impress volunteer health workers is re instated in another section of the bill.


What they are doing is musical chair legislation, camouflaging their changes by moving them into new sections of the law where the previous clauses will allow their powers to grow.  Just making it easy to lord over us while still maintaining plausible deniability for increasing their dictatorial powers in times of emergency.


SB 11 is a re writing of a law that limits liability for volunteer work.  Same text moved around within the law.  It is hard to tell if this bill is good or bad to tell you the truth.


SB 12   will protect those in the food industry from being sued for making a person fat!  That sounds good but is this a case of a solution looking for a problem to solve?  Are Oklahoma juries giving out big awards against McDonalds for plumping up our little tykes?


SB 13 appears to be a pretty decent law.  I you buy a recognized
“unsafe” product, a cigarette or a sharp ax comes to mind, then you can’t sue when you  develop lung cancer or chop off your foot.

SB 14 covers asbestos and silica exposure lawsuits. The law intends to disallow those exposed to asbestos and silica from filing a lawsuit until actual physical symptoms appear.  The language also limits the ability of a doctor to attest to the damage and cause of damage.


What is interesting about this bill is the addition of silica to asbestos claims.  That explosion in granite and quartz countertops since 2003?   That means there are tens of thousands of workers that were exposed to massive amounts of silica.  The University of Oklahoma Heath Science Center has been working on a pilot project study since 2011 that covers the countertop industry.  This is a preemptive move on the part of the countertop industry to protect their State Chamber members.
SB 15 is another attempt to shield companies that used asbestos products.


SB 16 covers kids that are suspended from school due to violence or disruption.    Not a particularly  controversial bill but it allows the use of many bills as camouflage for the special session or tokens to repay other legislators for their support on the tort reform issue.


The special interests and the political whores that they control can believe one thing will be certain; the legislation will be watched closely and political pain will follow for any bad behavior that result.  We ask only one thing of our elected officials; serve the people of the state and the common interests instead of paying back the bribes,…. err, campaign donations that you received in the past.





Is The Oklahoma Hospital Group Looking Out For Oklahomans?

Or Is It Simply A Way To Put More Money Into Their Pockets?

By Ms PM


So…according to this article,    a group from the Oklahoma Hospital Association has paid for a radio ad, taunting through fear, asking Oklahomans to contact their representatives in a push for the Medicaid Expansion. We can only say careful about what you ask for, you may get it but the results may not be what was expected. The sly little devils not only do not call it Medicaid, but they are also pushing their little lies about “if the money from Washington isn’t spent in Oklahoma, it will go to other states.” Digging deeper into their bag of tricks, the federal money as they say, “will,” and not, “may” reduce the cost of coverage along with creating over 15,000 jobs. Has anyone seen the cost of their healthcare go down since this Obama Care farce started? If these new jobs are anything similar to the “green Jobs” or “jobs created or saved,” would the cost of these jobs simply continue to dig deeper into the pockets of taxpayers?



The groups target in the ad is towards refusing the federal money as a “snooze you lose” your piece of the pie tactic instead of the reality of it being Medicaid expansion, which Oklahoma has said loud and clear, we don’t want. Oklahoma’s stand has been to allow the door to state sovereignty to stay shut with the end result being we know best how to take care of our state. Another question is if the group is willing to ask people to go along with the feds intrusion, is the goal really about their concern for Oklahomans?



 Considering Governor Fallin, after much flogging, decided not to accept the funding, and considering the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the funding was optional, why is it that this group attempts to know what is best for Oklahoma? Using the tricks of the trade in their ad, couldn’t one wonder why their point isn’t made by being totally honest? The big fat rat is saying money is involved, they want it, and will use any means of deception necessary to get it. Sort of reminds you of politicians…don’t it?  That is because it is usually the politicians spewing the special interest propaganda  but now the rats are being driven by starvation out into the light of day.


This next article says it all in plain English that we can all wrap our heads around. The devil is in the details and the details are the motives for the group’s interest. 

The information comes from Jonathan Small, member of OCPA. (Oklahoma Council Of Public Affairs) In this phone interview some of the topics he covers are to say the least, well worth listening to. He talks about; the hospital group is a lobbyist to legislatures, threats to close hospitals in small communities, false polls, less federal spending from not setting up the exchanges, tricking business to get behind the exchanges, higher premiums and deductibles, and never trust government.



Those interested can go to OCPA’s website for more information about these exchanges, There is more than meets the eye and the decision on all of this will be yours; we pray you are well informed, and burn up the phone lines; unfortunately, their tactics are working on the uninformed. It’s only your future and the future of this country. Choose wisely!



And Miss Mary Fallin?  Don’t you dare…..






A Man on the Run


The heat generated by the Sooner Tea Party’s exposure of the unimaginably destructive 2013 Conservative Index has caused OCPAC leader Charlie Meadows to head for the hills till the heat dies down. The rotund Republican sent out a very short email early this week announcing his departure:



“This is just a short not to let everyone know I am going to take a month long sabbatical. One of my major projects it to start writing a book and I simply can’t get that done without unplugging from my daily pressures. I probably won’t be on-line much during the next month, so it is unlikely that I will respond to e-mail enquiries. “


The pressure against Charlie Meadows reached a peak after his weekly newsletter that came out two days prior where he called Representative Dr. Mike Ritze and Representative Mike Christian RINOs and actually called for someone to step up and run against Rep. Mike Christian.



Charlie Meadows included Representatives Doug Cox, Lisa Billy, Leslie Osborn, Jeff Hickman, and Weldon Watson in his call for opponents.   While we cannot disagree with Charlie Meadows on those five, they are among the worst; it was telling that Charlie Meadows omitted Representative Mike Ritze from the hit list.  According to Charlie’s own Conservative Index Ritze had far worse scores than any of the five listed;   if a score is a score, why leave Ritze off the hit list?



Now both Representative Mike Christian and Mike Ritze have both been considered heroes to the conservative movement but Ritze has a lot closer ties to Charlie and a lot more supporters and even Charlie understood that he couldn’t go too far.  But he did and Dr. Ritze’s supporters were screaming at OCPAC and demanding answers.  As well they should.



But is Charlie and the Conservative Index right?  Let’s look at the “RINOs” scores compared with the Oklahoma RINO Index score for 2011

2013 OCPAC/
2011 Oklahoma RINO Index score
Mike Ritze
Mike Christian
Doug Cox
Lisa Billy
Leslie Osborn
Jeff Hickman
Weldon Watson


Almost polar opposites on these scores.


Now the 2011 Oklahoma RINO Index was complied using the following votes:


Obama Care, Open Carry, Transvestite birth certificate bill, HR 1004 Open Government bill, Highway bond bill, collective bargaining bill, Property tax reform bill, Illegal immigration bill, and Quality Jobs bill.



So if you opposed Obama Care, stood for open government and all bills getting a hearing and a vote, were for 2nd Amendment rights, against increasing state debt, against unions, for reforming property taxes, against illegal immigration, and against corporate welfare you scored high on the Oklahoma RINO Index.  And the higher the score the more Republican you voted.


Now let’s look at what Charlie Meadows picked out for the 2013 Conservative Index:



HB 1060, the ALAC bill which was nothing more than a gimme for every legislator as it passed overwhelmingly after the third year trying.   We supported it, heavily, but you don’t reward legislators for doing the right thing because they should be expected to have supported American law over Sharia law or international law.



HB 1622, guns in private schools, House vote was 69-21, Senate vote was 40-0.   Charlie wanted to use that bill to draw a line between conservatives and liberals?   Idiot!  That was another gimme as it passed overwhelmingly.  But did Rep. Christian vote against the bill?  No, the vote was on May 22nd and Mike was helping out at the tornado zone.   I saw him there many, many, times.  And we needed those state reps and state senators there, they cut through red tape and got us into the tornado zone when the cops wouldn’t allow us in with food, water, volunteers, and tools for the cleanup effort.



SB 652, drivers license examination fee increase.  This bill was not a good choice for a RINO index because all you have to do is drive past the State Police HQ on I-240 in the morning and see the long line of people waiting in the pre dawn hours to understand that we have a problem with the number of locations, equipment, and examiners for drivers licenses.  The fee increase amounted to $3.00 per year per license or less.  The House vote was 53-42, the Senate vote  was 30-15 so many conservatives got burned because of this bill.  This bill could be argued either way so it was not even close to being worth using on a RINO Index.  Even OCPAC is on record saying that fees are okay if they go to the intended purpose because the one using the service is paying for something they need.



SB 1126, Film tax credit bill, a corporate welfare bill.  Did Ritze and Christian vote for this?  No!  They both missed the vote which was held on May 24th and May 23rd depending on which vote Charlie used.  Remember that last week of session?  Rep. Mike Christian and most of the other South side elected officials were down in Moore where they had dead bodies from the tornado still laying around.  Senator Ralph Shortey was also there and Ralph was declared a RINO based upon the missed votes while he was working the tornado zone.  That man procured diesel fuel for us when our field kitchens were running on fumes and just mentioning his name to the state troopers and policemen manning the checkpoints got us in when other volunteers were being turned back.



SB 1062, Workers Comp Reform.  One of the few good bills that Charlie Meadows let slip through into the index.  Not perfect because the cuts in worker damage awards was draconian and this was a state chamber of commerce supported bill.  Special interests all the way.


HB 1909,  work for food stamp benefits, another good bill but again why reward politicians for doing the right thing?  This was a poor choice to use on that basis alone.  It passed 86 to 11 and 33-8, another gimme bill.



HB 2032, income tax cut bill.  A decent bill  but once again a reward for doing what they should do anyway.  The vote was  almost straight party vote 65-35 and 32-14. But there is a back story here, Rep. Ritze was an original co author of the bill until they added the capitol improvement issue to the tax cut, making the bill un constitutional!   Remember why we are having the $300,000 special session?  Because of log rolling, making  bills on several issues instead of just one subject!  So Charlie Meadows is blasting conservatives and advancing RINOs based upon an unconstiutional law that was voted on!



HB1403,  non discrimination in treatment.  85-11 and 41-2 were the votes, hardly useful in drawing a line between good and bad politicians.  This bill seemed to be aimed at Obama Care limiting medical care to those who are elderly or have been sick for a long time.   Not only a gimme bill, but an insurance mandate to boot.   Hardly a bill useful for declaring conservative values.  But a bunch of old farts at an OCPAC meeting would love to vote themselves some benefits from the public treasury or in this case, mandate it from the insurance companies.



HB 2226, the morning after pill.  Really?  While the Tea Party generally supports anti abortion issues, giving a pill the day after sex is hardly ripping a baby from a womb.  What is next?  Outlawing condoms?  An 89 -0 and 31-10 vote.  What a weak excuse for a bill for the purpose calling people RINOs.  And the vote was taken four days after the tornado ripped through Moore causing Shortey to miss the vote.



SB 765, a so called insurance mandate to cover oral medication for certain treatments for cancer.  While it is an insurance mandate and opposition could be warranted Rep.  Dr. Mike Ritze told stories about screaming children strapped down on gurneys during treatment while an oral dose was available and just as effective.   Look at the voting records, the conservatives were split on this issue so this was once again a very, very, poor bill to score legislators on.  And why would insurance companies support this bill when oral medication costs hundreds of dollars per dose and the intervenous medication costs thousands of dollars per dose?   Well, they didn't support this bill, the Hospital associations and medical community supported the more expensive treatment.


Now stop for a second and consider SB 765 to HB 1403.  Both are insurance company mandates directing care for the sick.  But one is used against the conservatives and one is used as an example of a good vote?   Insane.... 


So looking at these bills that were used to score the legislators, the only commonality seems to be that Sykes and Murphey were given perfect or near perfect scores.  Now we like Murphey and support him and like we have always said, he doesn’t need protection or a perfect score.   Charlie Meadows has a weak spot for both men and access that he wants to preserve so you can bet that he heavily influenced if not outright guided the selection of these bills to protect his favorites.



But to do so he had to throw Ritze, Shortey, and Christian under the bus.  All three men have huge amounts of supporters and it has driven home the fact that Charlie Meadows has driven the OCPAC group from being a strong supporter of conservative values to its worst enemy.  Charlie found out that he is no longer considered a fellow activist by many in the conservative ranks but just another politician that will use lies and deception to mislead people.


Charlie followed good political advice when he disappeared, get out of the butt whipping frenzy and lay low for a few weeks.  But will the blowback continue and will actual conservatives raise cain at the next OCPAC meeting?  Or will this simply accelerate the death spiral that Charie initiated?


In the next few newsletters we will go over the bills that should have been used in scoring legislators.   Once again the Conservative Index has been used to harm the conservative movement, no fault of the Oklahoma Constitution that owns the index, but to the machinations of a sold out, obese window washer that has left no doubt that he has long since lost all connection with reality and with the conservative movement.  It is plain to see for all that Charlie Meadows has sold out the power of his group for access to the politicians.  Time will tell if his sudden disappearance will turn into a much needed change in OCPAC leadership or if conservatives will look the other way when the emperor appears with no clothes.






Here is the 2013 OKLAHOMA COUNTY SHERIFf contact info  
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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Here is the House Directory
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