Published on Dec 14, 2016 OCPAC meeting in OKC Area
Former Oklahoma Representative Charles Key explains why we have no real representation and the need for an Open Government rule which requires a hearing of certain legislative proposals.
Charles Key has written a pamphlet on topic. Please obtain one and make sure your representative has a copy. I will share a link here when possible. Attend an OCPAC meeting in the meantime if you can do that because I know they will have them available.
For several days now I have been wanting to do a post on judicial retention in Oklahoma. Sadly, I was never able to find the information that I wanted to do a post I would have been satisfied with. It is election eve and many of you have already voted in early voting. I apologize for that, but this is all that I have found. My summary version on how I plan to vote is that at the moment of writing this Hudson is the only one I plan to vote to retain. My general philosophy is “When in doubt, vote them out.” Hudson was the only one I could find any philosophical reasons to support him. OCPAC article said,
“He was recently appointed by Gov. Fallin to the Criminal Court of Appeals. Hudson appears to be a serious Christian, and everyone consulted gave him very high marks.”
You can often tell a little about the judicial slots by who appointed them and that tells you a little about the current problems we face (that information on appointments is documented in the Sooner Politics article referenced below.
The best article I found was published by OCPAC. The section on judges is reprinted here:
OCPAC recommendations on judicial retention
SECTION 3 – JUDGING JUSTICES & JUDGES
Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices: Vote NO on Justices James Winchester and Donald Combs. They are not just. Overall, our State Supreme Court is progressive and activist. It sometimes disregards our state constitution, and its opinions are inconsistent. These two justices voted incorrectly on five out of six key votes, yielding a score of only 16.5%.
In the last few years, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has banned the Ten Commandments (Prescott v. Okla. Capitol Preservation Committee, 2015 OK 54), protected child rapists (Burns v. Cline, 2016 OK 99), protected abortionists (Burns v. Cline, 2014 OK 90), and protected sex offenders (Hendricks v. Jones ex rel. State ex rel. Okla. Dept. of Corr., 2013 OK 71). Download this Judging Justices Flyer and give a copy to everybody at church.
Charlie Meadows provides the following recommendations on appellate judges based on his off the record discussions with attorneys, prosecutors, and lower court judges.
Judge Clancy Smith (State Court of Criminal Appeals): Vote NO – Sources tell us that this Brad Henry appointee is very smart, but ideologically progressive to her core and way too nit-picky with jury decisions.
Judge Robert Hudson (State Court of Criminal Appeals): Vote YES – Hudson is fairly new on the court. He was appointed Payne county District Attorney by Frank Keating, replacing a corrupt DA. Eventually he became chief of staff for Scott Pruitt. He was recently appointed by Gov. Fallin to the Criminal Court of Appeals. Hudson appears to be a serious Christian, and everyone consulted gave him very high marks.
Judge Thomas Thornbrugh (State Court of Civil Appeals): YOUR CHOICE – The Court of Civil Appeals is the most difficult to evaluate because they do not settle many high profile cases. Thornbrugh was the only judge on the court with whom some sources were not fully satisfied.
Judge John Fischer (State Court of Civil Appeals): Vote YES.
Judge Larry Joplin (State Court of Civil Appeals): Vote YES.
Charlie Meadows did a flyer on a couple of the slots which has been circulated statewide:
Graphic memes from a friend on facebook.
In another article by Sooner Politics, David Van Risseghem reported this (summarized below / complete article here:
Seven judges are seeking another term on our statewide oversight courts. A couple of them are worth keeping. Far more are needing to go. Perhaps the finest judge is retiring.
Steven Taylor has shown a strong and independent library of case opinions. He has sometimes dissented alone. Even then he has boldly declared his clear intellect and respect for the state’s constitutional language.
The editorial review being published here, is a work subject to further consideration. Comments are especially welcome. But we have gathered enough data to begin the discussion and tip our hand as to which judges we do and do not support for a whole new term.
Oklahoma Supreme Court
As we mentioned above, Steven Taylor is retiring and we call upon the appointed committees to find a set of candidates worthy to sit in his seat.
We did not use the Ten Commandments ruling in this review. It is our opinion that the constitution is clearly flawed in the so-called “Blaine Amendment” section. The justices were duty-bound to maintain a strict-constructionist ruling on this case. The correct remedy is to change the constitution (which we are doing with state question 790). A failure to pass this reform could result in the Oklahoma National Guard to go without chaplain care during deployment in war.
For Retention: None
Against Retention: Winchester & Combs
James Winchester has consistently disappointing the legislature and been a foot dragging the process of reforming Oklahoma law. His continued selective use of the “One subject” argument is unacceptable. Winchester also ignored the plain language of the constitution 2 years ago when he voted to allow a legislator to run for District Attorney, even though the language of the constitution barred him from being elected until after his legislative term had expired. (Justice Taylor scolded the majority for this ruling)
Douglas Combs is a clear case of ‘lame duck’ abuse of power. Three days after Republican, Mary Fallin defeated Jeri Askin to succeed Brad Henry as Oklahoma Governor; Henry decided his fellow Shawnee Democrat should get this last-minute appointment. Henry has stacked the high court more successfully than any other governor since 1908. Five of the 9 justices are Brad Henry’s appointees. If Combs wants to continues serving he should be removed by the voters and then seek a new appointment untainted by lame duck shenanigans.
Court of Criminal Appeals
For Retention: Hudson
Against Retention: Smith
Court of Civil Appeals
This court reviews all civil suits and has the power to adjust or reverse the decisions of lower courts. The Oklahoma Chamber and other large corporate interests have greatly stepped up their interest in this court. One pro-business group of the Oklahoma Chamber, Oklahoma Civil Justice Council; hasreviewed the decisions of the judges and scored their “pro business” dispositions. While there have been abuses of the courts for ridiculous judgments based upon frivolous “damages”, There have also been scores of folks who are further damaged by a legal system stacked against the people of limited means or other severe impediments.
For Retention: Thomas Thornbrugh
Thornbrugh scored a moderate rating with a slight edge away from the pro-business group’s preference. He is the brother of a former Tulsa legislator and from a historically active Republican family. His previous district court legacy is also a stellar one.
Against Retention: Larry Joplin
Joplin has been rated a vastly pro big business. His extreme legacy is worth a recall. His appointment was also a lame duck abuse by David Walters. Joplin had been a political appointee in the Walters administration and the court appointment was just another of Walters legacy of burdening the Keating administration with an inability to exercise the full duties of the governor’s office.
On each measure you will have an opportunity to vote either:
FOR THE PROPOSAL – YES
AGAINST THE PROPOSAL – NO
STATE QUESTION NO. 776 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 367
This measure adds a new section to the Oklahoma Constitution, Section 9A of Article
2. The new Section deals with the death penalty. The Section establishes State constitutional mandates relating to the death penalty and methods of execution. Under these constitutional requirements:
• The Legislature is expressly empowered to designate any method of execution not prohibited by the United States Constitution.
• Death sentences shall not be reduced because a method of execution is ruled to be invalid.
• When an execution method is declared invalid, the death penalty imposed shall remain in force until it can be carried out using any valid execution method, and
• The imposition of a death penalty under Oklahoma law-as distinguished from a method of execution-shall not be deemed to be or constitute the infliction of cruel or unusual punishment under Oklahoma’s Constitution, nor to contravene any provision of the Oklahoma Constitution.
My thoughts: This amendment sounds reasonable to me. I support the death penalty in general as a crime deterrent and appropriate to some crimes. I plan to vote YES.
STATE QUESTION NO. 777 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 368
This measure adds Section 38 to Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution. The new Section creates state constitutional rights. It creates the following guaranteed rights to engage in farming and ranching:
• The right to make use of agricultural technology,
• The right to make use of livestock procedures, and
• The right to make use of ranching practices. These constitutional rights receive extra protection under this measure that not all constitutional rights receive. This extra protection is a limit on lawmakers’ ability to interfere with the exercise of these rights. Under this extra protection, no law can interfere with these rights, unless the law is justified by a compelling state interest-a clearly identified state interest of the highest order. Additionally, the law must be necessary to serve that compelling state interest. The measure-and the protections identified above-do not apply to and do not impact state laws related to:
• Eminent domain,
• Dominance of mineral interests,
• Right of way or other property rights, and
• Any state statutes and political subdivision ordinances enacted before December 31, 2014.
My thoughts: I am a clear NO on this one because of the ‘compelling state interest line’. I call these weasel words. They basically undo all the good language above and say we the state can do whatever we want when we have a ‘compelling interest’. Given the state’s track record for undermining rights – this is NOT acceptable to me.
This from one of our brightest and best who just happens to be a rancher in the Panhandle – Kenny Bob Tapp: I understand the concerns pro 777 folks have with the infamous HSUS [Humane Society of the United States]. Our concerns maybe should be with a group that has had a very detrimental affect to Life and Liberty in Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce. If you look at the authors and sponsors of 777, the majority of them are State Chamber backed candidates. For almost 10 years of my citizen grassroot involvement in promoting 2nd Amendment legislation, abolish abortion, legislation, free market efforts and opposing insurance exchange efforts (Obamacare) in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Chamber and their controlled legislators have been at the forefront of stopping or opposing all these efforts, plus some. My point is while we haven’t had any negative effects by the infamous HSUS in Oklahoma who opposes 777, Life and our freedoms have taken a huge hit by the infamous State Chamber who apparently is the huge reason we have 777 on the ballot in Oklahoma
Dax Ewbank has this observation (and I agree): This is why I will be voting NO on SQ777. The entire premise of it is based on the idea that government creates rights. That is not a school of thought that lends toward freedom nor one that we should be using as a premise for government.
My well researched friend Andrea Hutchison on her reason to vote NO on 777: There are several reasons 1. Farm Bureau and OCA’s stance on the repeal of the Country of Origin Labeling both groups promoted this action which has destroyed thousands cattle producers. 2. Their stance on The Transpacific Partnership – they both promote this action that will destroy US sovereignty TPP is not about global trade it is about global control aka Globalism. These two organizations have taken the path of globalism. I have worked with both groups in attempts to stop the sustainable model from advancing. Both have advanced it further and support it openly. I wrote a resolution to address this which passed and is now Oklahoma Farm Bureau policy. However in July Oklahoma Farm Bureau leadership praised the Global Food Security Act and Food Initiative which will demand sustainability ( this term is a tool to destroy US producers it is a Trojan Horse for Regulations. Both of these groups are advancing globalism. I want Americanism. They are getting marching orders from higher up. Our OCA was on Fox News urging a yes vote , on that clip was an individual who was tied to the dismissal of HSUS intrusion onto producers properties via a verification program. That was a huge red flag … They are advancing globalism by these very actions. There is too much confusion in it and too much vague language in it. We are fighting an ideology and that is top down centralized control – one world government and “sustainability” is the weapon being used to destroy us —from within— we can’t amend our constitution to fight an ideology.
“Don’t let corporate interests harm our family farms, land, and animals.”
“We’re a grassroots campaign of family farmers, community leaders, and concerned citizens opposing State Question 777. SQ 777 wasn’t proposed by farmers or ranchers — it’s designed to give free reign to corporate interests and Big Ag.”
STATE QUESTION NO. 779 INITIATIVE PETITION NO. 403
This measure adds a new Article to the Oklahoma Constitution. The article creates a limited purpose fund to increase funding for public education. It increases State sales and use taxes by one cent per dollar to provide revenue for the fund. The revenue to be used for public education shall be allocated: 69.50% for common school districts, 19.25% for the institutions under the authority of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 3.25% for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and 8% for the State Department of Education. It requires teacher salary increases funded by this measure raise teacher salaries by at least $5,000 over the salaries paid in the year prior to adoption of this measure. It requires an annual audit of school districts’ use of monies. It prohibits school districts’ use of these funds for increasing superintendents’ salaries or adding superintendent positions. It requires that monies from the fund not supplant or replace other educational funding. If the Oklahoma Board of Equalization determines funding has been replaced, the Legislature may not make any appropriations until the amount of replaced funding is returned to the fund. The article takes effect on July 1 after its passage.
My thoughts: I am a clear NO and continue to ask when we will get spending under control. This is more tax and spend – enough already!
STATE QUESTION NO. 780 INITIATIVE PETITION NO. 404
This measure amends existing Oklahoma laws and would change the classification of certain drug possession and property crimes from felony to misdemeanor. It would make possession of a limited quantity of drugs a misdemeanor. The amendment also changes the classification of certain drug possession crimes which are currently considered felonies and cases where the defendant has a prior drug possession conviction. The proposed amendment would reclassify these drug possession cases as misdemeanors. The amendment would increase the threshold dollar amount used for determining whether certain property crimes are considered a felony or misdemeanor. Currently, the threshold is $500. The amendment would increase the amount to $1000. Property crimes covered by this change include; false declaration of a pawn ticket, embezzlement, larceny, grand larceny, theft, receiving or concealing stolen property, taking domesticated fish or game, fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, or issuing bogus checks. This measure would become effective July 1, 2017.
My thoughts: I am a clear YES on this one. No fan of the current drug laws at all. This one just doesn’t go far enough in that regard.
STATE QUESTION NO. 781 INITIATIVE PETITION NO. 405
This measure creates the County Community Safety Investment Fund, only if voters approve State Question 780, the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act. This measure would create a fund, consisting of any calculated savings or averted costs that accrued to the State from the implementation of the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act in reclassifying certain property crimes and drug possession as misdemeanors. The measure requires the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to use either actual data or its best estimate to determine how much money was saved on a yearly basis. The amount determined to be saved must be deposited into the Fund and distributed to counties in proportion to their population to provide community rehabilitative programs, such as mental health and substance abuse services. This measure will not become effective if State Question 780, the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act, is not approved by the people. The measure will become effective on July 1 immediately following its passage.
My thoughts: I am a probable NO on this one. Save the money and do not redirect it elsewhere.
STATE QUESTION NO. 790 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 369
This measure would remove Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibits the government from using public money or property for the direct or indirect benefit of any religion or religious institution. Article 2, Section 5 has been interpreted by the Oklahoma courts as requiring the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the State Capitol. If this measure repealing Article 2, Section 5 is passed, the government would still be required to comply with the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, which is a similar constitutional provision that prevents the government from endorsing a religion or becoming overly involved with religion.
My thoughts: I am a clear YES on this one. I love that it removes language that has been used to cause problems regarding the Ten Commandments monument.
STATE QUESTION NO. 792 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 370
This measure repeals Article 28 of the Oklahoma Constitution and restructures the laws governing alcoholic beverages through a new Article 28A and other laws the Legislature will create if the measure passes. The new Article 28A provides that with exceptions, a person or company can have an ownership interest in only one area of the alcoholic beverage business-manufacturing, wholesaling, or retailing. Some restrictions apply to the sales of manufacturers, brewers, winemakers, and wholesalers. Subject to limitations, the Legislature may authorize direct shipments to consumers of wine. Retail locations like grocery stores may sell wine and beer. Liquor stores may sell products other than alcoholic beverages in limited amounts. The Legislature must create licenses for retail locations, liquor stores, and places serving alcoholic beverages and may create other licenses. Certain licensees must meet residency requirements. Felons cannot be licensees. The Legislature must designate days and hours when alcoholic beverages may be sold and may impose taxes on sales. Municipalities may levy an occupation tax. If authorized, a state lodge may sell individual alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption but no other state involvement in the alcoholic beverage business is allowed. With one exception, the measure will take effect October 1, 2018.
My thoughts: I am a clear YES on this one. It eliminates some of our really bad laws over-regulating and killing competition in the state of Oklahoma. It doesn’t go far enough, but it is a step in the right direction in my opinion
Primary Elections are about electing the best person for the office. In the general you can pick the lesser of two bad choices if you don’t get someone who walks the talk through the primary options… Happy campaigning out there! Don’t forget to have fun and make friends while you are on the campaign trail. #R3s#4life#4liberty
So everyone is a conservative now. And oddly enough everyone is for liberty now. Hmmmm. Who are the real champions? They are the ones who were there before it was cool. Leading the way. Standing on principle.
Randy Brogdon’s record:
Summary of Senator Brogdon’s recent record (text version):
Oklahoma State Senator 2002-2010
State Legislator of the Year- The Oklahoma Constitution Newsapaper
100% Conservative Voter Index- First Senator in 20 Years
Oklahoma Eagle Award – Phyllis Schlafly
Author Tabor- Taxpayer Bill of Rights
Author Ballot Access Legislation
Author Term Limits Legislation
Author (SB1) Taxpayer Transparency Act – Allowed Oklahomans to see State Spending
Defeated Real ID – Protected Oklahomans from Federal Biometric Snooping
Defeated NAFTA Superhighway -Protecting the Property of Oklahomans from Confiscation
Note: The legislation above was achieved under a Democrat Governor
Received the overwhelming endorsement for Oklahoma Conservative PAC 2014
Amanda Teegarden announced her candidacy for the State Chair of the Oklahoma Republican Party today. Teegarden’s experience in grassroots education and activism convinced her that “the only way to solve our current crisis is to truly become the party of the people… Oklahoma has a strong history of populism, based upon self-reliance, neighborliness, community and civic involvement that accounts for the unique character so many people admire in our citizens,” Teegarden said.
“That means making our precincts active enterprises for education and activism. The precinct is the smallest political unit in the nation and the most important. American government is designed to flow from the individual up to the precinct and beyond. We need to actively encourage participation in these neighborhood areas so we can help citizens restore good government to our cities, counties, state and nation, “ she continued.
Teegarden, of Tulsa, is the Executive Director of OK-SAFE, a non-profit educational and activism organization dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Free Enterprise system and Constitutional Government. She is a long-time grassroots activist, as well as being in national demand for her work on grassroots training and public policy.
Amanda feels that now is not the time for politics as usual; we must stop recruiting candidates who don’t understand the basic principles of our American system of government. “We need principled men and women of integrity to rise to the challenge of running for office to restore our nation. I intend to find them and equip them to win,” Teegarden said.
She was called by many supporters to consider running. It was a tough decision for Teegarden because last month she was elected as a member of the 1st District Committee. “After four days of prayer, thought and consultation,” she said, “I decided that I would accept the call and take on this new challenge.”
Amanda formally announced this afternoon at a candidate forum sponsored by Oklahoma Political Action Committee.
From her website, Teegarden’s reasons for running for State Chair:
“Amanda is motivated by devotion to principle, implementation of conservative policy, and effective grassroots mobilization. So she is distressed by recent rules changes by the National GOP to dis-empower the grassroots and put all the power to select candidates and state delegates into the hands of people who have lost the last two Presidential elections. She is dedicated to reversing this as State Chairman.
America is at an historic crossroads that will determine whether our grandchildren will enjoy the blessings of freedom or the curse of tyranny. Never has the need for principled, courageous state legislators, state, county and local officials, been so great to resist and roll back the power of the Federal government. As your next GOP State Chairman, Amanda will work tirelessly to help make Oklahoma the model for the nation.”