Fake House Republican Caucus Agenda Busted!
On Tuesday, Jan 17th,: House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, Floor Leader Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, Appropriations and Budget Chairman Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, and a mere 15 other members of the House Republican Caucus appeared at the Governor’s Blue Room at the State Capitol to release what was supposed to be a new 2012 Republican House Caucus Agenda.
Last week we published the Speaker’s press release that mentioned the “policy initiatives” that were in fact the State Chamber of Commerce policy position papers that were presented at the December 6th Republican House Retreat in Shawnee. We also covered the critical topic of the legitimacy of their “new” caucus that had not been voted on by the Republican House members and provided a copy of the only existing Republican House Caucus Agenda, the so called Bartlesville Agenda that was produced and voted on at the December 2010 House Caucus retreat.
Of the 69 Republican House members, only 15 showed up to support House leadership’s agenda and press conference. Of the 15 that did show, two of them were plants sent in to report back to conservatives on the inside story of the press conference. Less than a quarter of the Republican House members participated, a genuine reflection of the dwindling support that the embattled Speaker Steele can muster.
What occurred at the Agenda press conference? Not what you would expect, they passed out copies of the 2011 Republican House Agenda, the one from Bartlesville. Not a peep from the RINOs about the State Chamber Agenda or the policy position papers. Reporters at the scene called it a “non event” and wondered aloud what they would write about.
Earl Sears tried to press House leadership’s billion dollar bond issue story and found that apparently there is little support for bond issues this year, although the Sooner Tea Party expects that Governor Fallin will submit multiple public debt bond issues.
The Sooner Tea Party through its newsletter has brought down the illegitimate Agenda and killed any notions of increasing Oklahoma’s indebted bonds. We forced them to honor the Bartlesville Agenda instead of fabricating a new agenda out of whole cloth, and made the idea of borrowing one billion dollars to spend on frivolous projects completely politically toxic.
Even More Work for the House Ethics Committee
on Opening Day
Last week we reported on the new House Ethics Committee that was formed as a face saving exercise after the Leftwich scandal investigation. Intel came in this week that showed that the Ethics Committee has even more work that we anticipate. One online blogger opined that the entire Ethics Committee was formed specifically to go after those Republican House members that dared to stand up against Speaker Steele and to plug the leaking of House Documents by attacking the Sooner Tea Party.
More evidence blasted the roof off the Capitol when the following email was delivered to the Representatives:
From: Mike Christian
Date: Friday, January 20, 2012
To: Representatives <Representatives@okhouse.gov>
Dear fellow members of the House:
Yesterday, I received information that the House leadership has inappropriately released confidential medical and legal information relating to a car wreck I was the victim of in 2009. It is also now clear that the Speaker of the House has used the power of his office to interfere with judicial proceedings I’m involved with in order to try to make sure that I will not be able to be fully compensated for the very expensive medical bills I will have to pay as a result of the wreck. The Speaker has even gone so far as to send the House General Counsel to talk “ex parte” with the judges involved the case in apparent violation of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s rules of ethics. This was done for the purpose of influencing which judge would be used to decide my case.
All of this appears to be an overt act of retaliation for the votes I’ve taken in my official capacity as the representative of the nearly 35,000 people of my district, as well as a recent high profile vote taken in caucus. The Speaker's actions are a disgraceful abuse of power and are acts that are far below what is normally considered “fair play” in politics. I want to make you all aware of exactly what is occurring.
In the next few days you will likely see stories about my workers' compensation claim in the media. I am in no way embarrassed about this case, and everything I have done was lawful and appropriate. But, I do very much object to the release of my confidential, personal and private health and medical information to the press, and I object to the Speaker attempting to "fix" my court proceeding so that I might be denied justice.
At the beginning of the next session I will ask for the formation of committee to investigate whether the Speaker or any member of his staff has inappropriately interfered with my judicial proceedings in an act of retaliation, and whether House leadership has released confidential medical and legal information about me without my consent. I hope each of you that respects transparency and accountability will make sure those values apply even to the leadership of our own institution.
Rep. Mike Christian
Representative Mike Christian’s email was followed up by one out of Far Westerner Oklahoma:
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012
Subject: Letter to Members: Rep. Mike Christian
Dear fellow members,
Transparency and accountability are indispensable elements of the House of Representatives, if it is to continue to operate as an honorable institution. When information comes to light that creates the appearance that any House member or staffer is acting in opaque ways and abusing the power of their office, each member has a duty to come forward and act to protect the integrity of our institution.
Today, serious allegations, contained in Rep. Mike Christian’s letter to the House membership, have arisen. It is alleged that certain House members or staffers have abused the power of their office, in several respects, in an effort to retaliate against a fellow member for votes cast both on the floor and in caucus. We, the undersigned, believe accountability and transparency should rightly start from the top. The serious nature of these allegations demands we thoroughly investigate them - if for no other reason than to clear their name, should the allegations be untrue. Accordingly, we the undersigned do hereby find the following actions to be both necessary and proper, at this point in time:
1. Each member of the House and each House staffer who have been involved with Representative Christian’s worker’s compensation claim must immediately and publicly disclose any knowledge they have concerning the release of Rep. Christian’s private, legal or medical information to members of the press or to any other individual. Alternatively, each member of the House and each House staffer who have been involved with Representative Christian’s worker’s compensation case must disavow any knowledge of the release of Rep. Christian’s private, legal or medical information.
2. Either the newly formed ethics committee, or an ad hoc committee created specifically for this purpose, must fully and fairly investigate the following allegations and report its findings to the entire House:
a. Whether members of the House leadership or staff interfered with Rep. Christian's worker's compensation case by pressuring CompSource to withdraw Rep. Christian’s workers compensation settlement agreement, after a settlement between the parties had already been agreed to.
b. Whether members of the House leadership or staff met with the judiciary in an attempt to influence which judge would hear Rep. Christian’s worker’s compensation case.
c. Whether House counsel had ex parte communications with worker’s compensation court judges regarding the Rep. Christian’s case.
d. Whether any information held by House members or House staff, related to Rep. Christian’s worker’s compensation claim, was released to the press or to any other person.
We respectfully demand that the above actions be commenced on the opening day of this legislative session, to remove any doubt anyone may have regarding the integrity of our institution.
Rep. Gus Blackwell, Rep. John Bennett, Rep. David Derby,
Rep. Joe Dorman, Rep. Charles Key, Rep. Lewis Moore, Rep. Anastasia Pittman,
Rep. Mike Reynolds, Rep. Mike Ritze, Rep. Randy Terrill, Rep. John Trebilcock
We have been talking of the attacks on conservative legislators since November of 2010, the numerous reprimands on House members in 2011, the dirty tricks pulled by House leadership, the firing of committee chairs for their non support of issues that Speaker Steele supported, and the incredible corruption involved in the Floor Leader Dale DeWitt shake down scandal. We reported on theborderline racist comment by Speaker Steele and the utterly fantastic ending of the Shawnee House Republican Retreat, where the Chairman Watson ended the meeting after an uproar occurred when Speaker Steele got caught lying. We reported on the subsequent letter from Representative Blackwell
that verified much of what we reported and how his letter called for House members to hold Speaker Steele accountable.
We reported last week on the Democratic response in the Oklahoman article on Speaker Steele’s last legislative session and how Steele will have to cede control of the House to the Democrats in order to survive as Speaker. We reported that Representatives were meeting privately to decide whether Speaker Steele should survive as Speaker and how the Democrats had made offers to conservative Republican House members to assist in taking Speaker Kris Steele out of power early on in the legislative session. But this latest revelation is absolute proof that Speaker Steele’s days are numbered. The allegations are serious enough to warrant an investigation and the expulsion of Kris Steele from the House of Representatives.
One also wonders if the very Ethics Committee that Kris Steele ordered into existence will excuse itself and allow alternate House members to serve in the investigation. That decision will likely rest with the Chairman of that Ethics Committee, Representative Gary Banz and for those who know the players at the Capitol, there is abundant reasons that Banz himself should resign from the committee prior to a Kris Steele investigation.
Gary Banz’s House Ethics Committee Aimed at the
Tea Party and Conservative Legislators?
It turns out that Representative Banz has financial ties with Speaker Steele and neither is being coy about it. In fact, they are literally rubbing everyone’s noses in it. In November Speaker Steele announced the 2012 Speakers Ball beneficiary group and low and behold, who is the beneficiary of this fundraising ball? Representative Gary Banz’s own organization, Oklahoma Honor Flights.
Only a RINO Republican could besmirch the noble goal of taking U.S. Veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the war memorials dedicated to their sacrifice. Yet despite being known around the Capitol as a generally decent man, Banz has managed to do just that by tainting the group by his involvement in what is an obvious deal cut to prosecute conservative legislators in return for being the recipient of the Speaker’s Ball fund raiser. A review of the Oklahoma Honor Flights website gave no information about the organization finances or who the board members were, so it would be enlightening to find out if Banz operates this as a volunteer or if a portion of the donations goes into Banz’s pockets through payroll or board member payments.
And remember our House staffer friend, the person promoted into former parliamentarian Kintsel’s job? The same Arnella Karges that is going to work for the State Chamber on the 20th of this month? Karges was the person that drafted the new Ethics Committee rules and from her emails it seems she is quire anxious to finish the rules before she moves to the Chamber payroll.
Now we shouldn’t hold the Oklahoma Honor Flight
beneficiaries responsible for the incestuous relationship between the State Chamber, Speaker Steele, and Representative Banz. Rather than that I would ask that readers donate to this worthy cause.
But Banz himself should resign from the Ethics Committee or he should explain just how it came to be that he was appointed Chairman and just how his nonprofit group received the largess of the 2012 Speaker’s Ball.
Still not convinced? Let’s look at who Representative Banz uses as a political consultant, none other than another frequent subject of the Sooner Tea Party newsletter, Neva Hill. Former partner and current friend of Mike McCarville, Neva Hill represents nearly all of the Kris Steele/Jeff Hickman lieutenants. Indeed Banz stepped right into the Rules Committee Chairman slot not that long after he was elected. Another bit of proof of the ubiquity of Neva Hill’s political consulting is Marian Cooksey who was married by Kris Steele acting as the pastor. Many at the Capitol believe that this Ethics Commission is the culmination of a long lived plan designed to replace conservative Republicans with Republican House members that are controlled by the State Chamber of Commerce.
Even better proof was this week’s article on the McCarville report where he reported that the entire mission of the new Ethics Commission was said be for blocking the flow of information out of the House of Representatives and specifically McCarville stated that among the intended targets was the Sooner Tea Party. No one else has come forward to tell the world that the Tea party was the object of the Ethics Committee. But McCarville’s inside information most likely comes from former partner and current friend Neva Hill, the political consultant to Kris Steele, Gary Banz and numerous other Steele/Hickman lieutenants.
So the fix is in against conservative legislators who must decide to represent their constituents or to curry favor with the speaker. They will go from being the personal representative of over 35,000 people in their district to being an “at will” employee of Kris Steele. All that remains to be seen is if the legislators reject Speaker Steele as Speaker and begin to repudiate his star chamber style Ethics Committee or if like Frankenstein, the creation is turned upon its own creator.
House Code of Conduct
members of the House Ethics Committee:
Rep. Gary Banz, Chairman
Rep. Jabar Shumate, Vice-Chairman
Rep. Dennis Casey
Rep. Ann Coody
Rep. Danny Morgan
Rep. R.C. Pruett
Rep. Wade Rousselot
Rep. Todd Russ
Rep. David Brumbaugh (alternate)
Rep. Rebecca Hamilton (alternate)
Fusion Center Controversy, It’s good to be right
Tim Gillespie, one of the leaders of the OK2A group lashed out last week at the Tea Party for reporting on the Fusion Center controversy. Apparently stung by the requests to “stand up” and to “fight back”, Gillespie actually outed the FBI agent whose comments started the controversy:
“During one of the briefings, Ken Western, the Domestic Terrorism Coordinator for the Oklahoma City Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, said, “I know who these militia guys are and they go to H&H to meet and shoot, and so what.” Agent Western has confirmed this is what he said and it is verbatim what the police officer relayed to his fellow OK2A members. “
What Gillespie left out was that there were two police officers, one of which contacted us and gave us the exact words that he had given to the OK2A members that night. The second police officer was a supervisor of the first and admitted that he was the one that elaborated on the FBI agent’s comments by reasonably assuming that since only two gun groups met regularly at H & H Gun Club, it had to be High Noon and OK2A. But what Gillespie says next is amazing:
“Neither Agent Western nor the police officer ever mentioned High Noon or OK2A because Agent Western wasn’t talking about either organization, nor was he implying that H&H sanctioned any militia group. He was simply stating that he knew that some militia members occasionally met, informally, to use H&H’s range for target practice. However, one of the individuals involved in the conversation following the OK2A meeting misunderstood or misconstrued what was said and sent an email saying that High Noon and OK2A had been named as militia groups and added to a terror list.”
We believe that it is patently unfair to place blame on an OK2A member for reporting suspicious activity by the Fusion Center and to not mention that the supervisor policeman was the person who elaborated from “militia guys” that meet at H & H to OK2A and High Noon Club. One would think that Gillespie would try to protect his members, not throw one of them under the bus.
We also received independent confirmation on the department source of the comment. After some of our legislative friends began asking questions on this issue, the OSBI agreed to contact the FBI and determine if any of their personnel had been involved. Then late last week the OSBI contacted a legislator with news that there was a forum where state and local law enforcement officers reviewed threat assessments and it included an FBI briefing on domestic and international terrorism. According to the FBI, it was at that forum that the FBI agent mentioned H & H Gun Club; specifically our source stated that “FBI admitted with some degree of certainty that H & H was mentioned.”
The bottom line is that there was a definite concern and that the two police officers and the OK2A member did the right thing in reporting the comments. The result was that the OSBI and the Fusion Center received some oversight by members of the legislature. While Gillespie got his facts wrong, we do appreciate him outing the FBI agent responsible for the comments. The Tea Party values what Gillespie is doing as far as recruiting; it is his willingness to apologize for elected officials and his refusal to stand and fight back that is the basis for our concern. A good gun group leader ought to be leading a howling mad pack of gunnies against the legislators that were responsible for the defeat of Open Carry last session, not acting as the spokesperson for the anti 2nd Amendment politicians.
Tracking Trash in Tulsa Town or More Nanny State Tactics?
TALKING TRASH, I MEAN TRACKING TRASH IN TINSEL TOWN, I MEAN TULSA TOWN...OR MORE NANNY STATE TACTICS? NOW I'M CONFUSED.
In the letter below by Leola Farmer it appears she is concerned that the TARE board just might convince the City Council that they need to spend approximately $15 million for SMART trash carts that 94 percent of Tulsans surveyed don't want. Now, is she alone? Do you know what a SMART trash cart is? No, it does not empty trash or recycle by itself. It is about an RFDI chip put on each cart. You might ask yourself why anyone would want to chip a trash or recycle cart. It is supposed to be so the can does not get lost from your address. But...the cost of these new SMART CARTS will be paid for through a bond and yes, you taxpayers will foot the bill over an eight year period. Verify for yourself..
We want to sincerely thank Aaron Griffith and Dave Bell for bringing this information to us.
Both are local activists fighting City Hall on this issue.
Council Meeting, Special
175 E. 2nd St., Tulsa, OK 74103
Room 411, One Technology Center
High-tech carts will tell on Cleveland residents who don't recycle ... and they face $100 fine
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It would be a stretch to say that Big Brother will hang out in Clevelanders' trash cans, but the city plans to sort through curbside trash to make sure residents are recycling -- and fine them $100 if they don't.
The chips will allow city workers to monitor how often residents roll carts to the curb for collection. If a chip show a recyclable cart hasn't been brought to the curb in weeks, a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables.
Trash carts containing more than 10 percent recyclable material could lead to a $100 fine, according to Waste Collection Commissioner Ronnie Owens. Recyclables include glass, metal cans, plastic bottles, paper and cardboard.
The Division of Waste Collection is on track to meet its goal of issuing 4,000 citations this year, Owens said.
Dec. 8 -- The Gastonia City Council in North Carolina voted to halt the delivery of 27,000 recycling carts containing radio frequency chips.
If you are as alarmed about these RFID carts as I am, don't despair, there is still time left to stop this. A temporary restraining order issued by Judge Sellers against the TARE board to prevent them from awarding any bids remains in effect until at least January 23rd, and has basically put everything on hold. Although, TARE is pressuring the Council to rush to judgement and approve allowing the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority to issue $15 MILLION in debt to the TARE board to purchase these RFID carts, let's hope the Council holds fast in waiting for Judge sellers to make a ruling on this issue before moving forward.
Not only are these RFID carts a threat to personal privacy and personal liberty, but they are identified as unnecessary to administer the cart size pricing system, redundant and inefficient in TARE's own bid addendum. According to this document
, the less expensive Barcode scanners(also required in the TARE bid specs) alone could meet or exceed all the information processing requirements called for in the bid specifications without RFID chipped carts:
Also, the barcode technology is used during the Assembly and Distribution process as well as the work order process. By scanning the unique barcode on each cart you are able with 100% confidence to know that you scanned one individual cart to a specific address. When you have to use a more costly RFID scanner to scan a cart you run the risk of scanning an RFID tag and not knowing which cart you just scanned. Using RFID tags to assign containers to households is not the most accurate because of their broad read range. The barcode is designed so that the delivery team must be right up on the container to scan, which ensures that it is accurately assigned to the correct household while at the same time being the most efficient and expedited process to deliver containers. As we discovered in prior programs, the broad read range of RFID tags can cause the scanner to read other carts around the container you are intending to assign to a specific house, increasing the chances of a misread.
Programs that involve RFID truck reading equipment require building an accurate database during the delivery of containers and this is quite possibly the most important detail to insure a successful program. Using RFID tags to assign containers to households will not provide the necessary accuracy needed. By using bar code technology to deliver the containers you are able to have a system of checks and balances in place to insure that the correct cart is delivered to each resident.
But the nanny state doesn't stop at trash cans, help stop RFID at the State level:
Vote YES on HB 1399 and say NO to RFID Tags in the OK Driver's License. People are not inventory!
In 2008 the Oklahoma House and Senate voted overwhelmingly pass SB 47 which prohibited the implantation of microchips in persons.
(SB 47 passed the House 98-0 on 5/22/08).
Recognizing that people are not inventory to be tagged and tracked, HB 2569 was introduced and passed in 2010. That bill prohibited the use of RFID (radio frequency identification) tags in the OK driver's license and ID cards. Governor Brad Henry, at the prompting of an outside special interest group SIA (and lobbyist Jim Dunlap) vetoed this bill. Unfortunately, last year's House members failed in their override attempt in May 2010.
This year, HB 1399 (by Wesselhoft/Russell) has been introduced, once again prohibiting the use of RFID tracking technology in the OK DL/ID cards.
HB 1399 has been assigned to the Public Safety Committee chaired by Rep. Sue Tibbs (R-HD 23).
Please call/email the following committee members and ask that HB 1399 be voted on and advanced to the Floor.
Rep. Sue Tibbs, 405-557-7379 email@example.com
Rep. Steve Martin, 405-557-7402 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. John Bennet, 405-557-7315 email@example.com
Rep. Ed Cannaday, 405-557-7375 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Josh Cockroft, 405-557-7349 email@example.com
Rep. Doug Cox, 405-557-7415 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep.Tommy Hardin, 405-557-7383 email@example.com
Rep. Chuck Hoskin 405-557-7319 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Fred Jordan 405-557-7331 email@example.com
Rep. Charlie Joyner 405-557-7314 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Al McAffrey 405-557-7396 email@example.com
Rep. Pat Ownbey 405-557-7326 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Pam Peterson 405-557-7341 email@example.com
Rep. Brian Renegar 405-557-7381 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Paul Roan 405-557-7308 email@example.com
Rep.Todd Thomsen 405-557-7336 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep.Steve Vaughan 405-557-7355 email@example.com
Contact House members at 1-800-522-8502, or 405-521-2711
I can only speak for myself but the thought of spending my taxes and allowing state government to make sure I "do it" the way they want is shall I say, crossing that preverbal line. Get out of my life, my business and go get a real job. I like to use words like "jack wagon" when I describe those who think they know how to spend my money better than me. For those who can't tell if you're a jack wagon, here is a hint. Are you stomping on the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights? Tag, you're it!!!
CAIR Tries to Scuttle CLEET Seminar
In a recent newsletter, we wrote about a seminar called “Understanding the Threat to America,” which took place on January 12th & 13th. CLEET advertised this seminar on their website and offered continuing education credit hours to the law enforcement officials who attended. The seminar featured a former FBI Counterterrorism Agent, an Army Major who formerly briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and the retired Commanding General of Delta Force. The Sooner Tea Party had representatives that attended the seminar and the evidence these speakers shared with us was nothing short of shocking.
To review briefly, in 2004 the FBI raided a home located in Falls Church, Virginia and seized documents from a secret sub-basement that contained the archives of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. The seized documents
were classified until federal prosecutors introduced them into evidence in the case of United States v. The Holy Land Foundation,
the largest terrorist-financing trial in the history of the U.S. In November of 2008, a jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on 108 separate counts.
The stated goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to overthrow the government and replace the Constitution with Shariah Law. One of the documents admitted into evidence contained the following quote: “The (Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their (our)hands ... “ CAIR, along with numerous other individuals and MB front organizations, was included in the case as an unindicted co-conspirator.
After our newsletter came out, CAIR tried to get CLEET to rescind its accreditation of the seminar. This happens when groups broaden their subject matter, you earn enemies but you also pick up new allies. And while sitting at the table with them, you can moderate their goals on issues where the two groups don’t see eye to eye. During one of the sessions, a law enforcement official stood up and announced that CAIR had filed a Complaint with CLEET. Based upon the evidence we’ve been able to gather, it would appear that CAIR desperately did not want the information presented in this seminar about them to come out. After seeing the overwhelming amount of jaw-dropping evidence presented, I now understand why.
The problem with CAIR’s Complaint is the overwhelming weight of the facts against them. For example, Congress recently passed a law prohibiting any state or local FBI offices from doing business
with “any unindicted co-conspirator” (to include CAIR). In addition, one of the presenters offered a copy of a letter signed by a former Central Intelligence Agency Director
, a former Defense Intelligence Agency Director, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and a former Defense Department Inspector General which read “While all four of us were in senior positions in the U.S. Intelligence Community and should have been aware of this information – we were not
. We first heard this critical information from the two primary presenters.” One might wonder how it is that a former CIA Director had not heard of this information until our presenters showed it to him.”
House Bills to Watch in 2012
Sooner Tea Party researchers are sifting through the thousands of bills that were filed this year along with some expert help from conservative legislators. We will post a list of bills that might be of concern in the coming legislative session. Remember that bills are filed by Title number, under the appropriate State Statute Title and other than that they are literally a blank piece of paper in that the existing bill language as of when it was filed might have nothing to do with the bill that comes out of committee or off the House floor. But the original language as filed is an indication of what the author of the bill wants to happen.
by Colby Schwartz, Funding on the Oklahoma Drone Program. Let’s fill the sky with unmanned drones and pioneer the use of these unmanned drones to spy on Oklahoma citizens. Let’s make money doing this and exporting it to the other states too.
by Doug Cox. Mr. transvestite birth certificate bill himself. A bill that allows local government to raise property taxes and local sales taxes to pay for road and bridges. But we already pay taxes on fuel and property for road and bridges so their plan is to divert the existing money into other projects and raise our taxes to pay for things that we are already paying for.
by Skye McNiel, a Venture Capital Formation Tax Incentive Modification, basically this will be corporate welfare authored by the queen of tax credits, Representative Skye McNiel.
by Skye McNiel. Another Quick Action Closing Fund modification, more corporate welfare and slush funds for Governor Fallin.
Pay Increase. 5% pay raise for the Turnpike Authority. Did anyone else get a nice pay raise this year? I think most of us were happy to keep our job or even take a pay cut to keep working. Is this the time for fat pay raises for turnpike employees? I guess raising the toll rates will be next to cover the increased costs.
Tulsa Town Trouble, County Officials and
Industrial Authority Is Getting Nervous
Last week the Sooner Tea Party sent a researcher up to meet with a Tulsa County elected official to get the background information and documentation on a series of potential scandals that are brewing in Tulsa County. The powers that be in Tulsa are extremely nervous over the idea of anyone looking into actions taken by the Tulsa County Excise Board, so much so that one of the Tulsa County Commissioners wrote a letter attacking another Tulsa County elected official.
There seems to be a virtual smorgasbord of juicy scandals just ripe for exposure but it will take some investigation and perhaps a concerted public document request campaign to dig to the bottom of the mess. There seems to be a question of almost $200,000,000.00 being AWOL from the coffers of the Vision 2025 projects, with the income from bond sales vastly outstripping expenditures. Sources claim that much of that nearly two hundred million dollars might have been siphoned off with fat bond sales commissions and “administrative” costs.
Also at play in Tulsa is the property taxes collected for the Great Plains Airline corporate welfare scheme, which was overturned by the Oklahoma Supreme Court but sources claim that the tax is still being collected from Tulsa County taxpayers.
The sides are drawn up, a lone county official on one side, one would say a former Marine but there is no such thing as a former Marine, and literally every other county elected official on the other side. The first question that arose was why were these elected officials attacking with unusual viciousness? Then answer turned up in a December 28th Tulsa World article where it was shown that proper ty taxes were rising even as the value of the homes was staying put or even sinking in some cases.
It is amazing how much trust most of us, this editor included, put in our elected officials to do the right thing. We turn things over to them at elections and go about our lives sometimes not even understanding exactly how we are taxed. Property taxes are calculated by the millage rate and the assessed value of the property but the millage rate is set by demands for money turned in each year by “requests for needs” by cities and school districts in that county. If the “needs” go up and property values stay flat or decline, the millage rate increases to raise the tax needed by the tax hogs.
Another misconception is that senior property taxes are capped, they are not, their taxes will rise as the millage increases.
So a flat tax base, shrinking in some areas, increased demands by tax hogs, set the millage rates rising and property taxes cost more than the year before. This upsets the taxpayers who look to County officials to cut spending, but they are paying back their campaign donors and allies so filling the hog trough less full isn’t an answer they want to consider. Their answer to the problem? Easy, raise the property valuations. Most scams come undone when the scam artist gets greedy so the masters prefer to boil the frog slowly but in this case, they find themselves having to turn up the heat and the frog is wanting out of the pot.
This is going to be an interesting story, one that will drag out for months as we find Tulsa activists that will be able and willing to file Open Records requests. One thing is certain, something stinks, and both elected officials and industrial bond authorities are acting very skittish.
If you would like to help research this story please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
and tell us where you live and what kind of expertise you can bring to the project.