Monday, December 5, 2016

Buying your Way into Leadership


  Many of you have read this newsletter and have seen us report that Oklahoma is the most corrupt state in the union. This last election cycle proved it beyond the shadow of a doubt. A little known position in the House is House pro-tem. This season the seat was bought by a candidate by giving donations to other candidates in the amount of $500.00 for their vote for him to fill the position. We call that bribery. Both offering and accepting such a bribe, even if it's called a campaign donation, is a crime. In short we have a bunch of criminals running the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

We published a story last week that Representative Harold Wright actually gave campaign donations to his two competitors for the seat of Pro-Tem. That's what got us interested into investigating this story.

We began by going to his official web page at here Representative Harold Wright - Oklahoma House of Representatives. There is a lot of good information on here about Mr. Wright. Of particular interest is his ownership of several radio stations within his district. This makes us ask the question how much free advertising did he give himself through those stations.

In addition to the campaign donations he made to his competitors for the position of Pro-tem, we found out he made additional donations to other candidates for office.  The incumbents that accepted his $500.00 contribution for their votes were Kevin Calvey, Jeff Coody, John Paul Jordan, Mark LePak, Scott Martin, Casey Murdock, Jadine Nolan, Dustin Roberts, Shawn Roberts, Ken Walker, Kevin Wallace, Scott Biggs and Todd Russ. They in effect owe their loyalty to Harold Wright.

The successful candidates that accepted the $500.00 "campaign donations" for their vote were Greg Babine, Tim Downing, Scott Fetgatter, Mark Lawson, Ryan Martinez, Tammy West, Rhonda Baker, Carol Bush Scott Mceachin and Rick West. How can any of these people be trusted to do the work of the people? They have already sold their votes once, they'll do it again just for campaign donations.

Now Mr. Wright didn't spend all of his money wisely. Not all of the candidates he made the $500.00 "campaign donations" to were successful in their bids for office. The unsuccessful candidates are Bob Ed Culver, Bruce Lee and Matt Jackson.

These are only the names we've been able to identify so far. The sheer number of people he has allegedly made "campaign donations" to moves this from donating to a fellow politician to the act of buying votes. Those individuals who accepted the donations are just as guilty as he is. They accepted the bribe.

The next article of interest we found was this Harold Wright - Ballotpedia. This article indicates that he was first re-elected to office in "On November 4, 2008, Wright won re-election to the Oklahoma House of Representatives" We believe this to be an editorial error. This same article indicates he was first elected to the office in 2008.

It is worth mentioning though. If by chance that was a re-election to the office than the term limits would come into effect unless his prior service in office occurred before 1990 as indicated here

The next article of interest we found was this OCPA reportAccording to the OCPA Mr. Wright received a B for his performance in 2015. We also compared this to the 2016 RINO report here Al Gerhart: 2016 Oklahoma RINO Index and we found that Mr. Wright scored 18 out of a possible 100. In short this guy is owned and operated by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce. He's not working for the people of his district, or even the people of the State of Oklahoma. He's working to fatten his own wallet.

The next article of interest we found was this report. This is a report from the American Conservative Union. The average score for all Republicans in the House in 2015 was 78%. On page 14 of this report at the very bottom you'll find that Mr. Wright scored a 61%. Instead of helping the Republican Party, the State of Oklahoma and his constituents he's working against them nearly 40% of the time. He scored lower than some Democrats. That's disgraceful.

The next article we found was this Harold Wright - Oklahoma Legislature - Open States. Now this site is undergoing an upgrade and not all of the information is available. What we did discover was that only the bills he managed to get approved were listed here.

We next went to to see what information they had available on Mr. Wright. We started by going to his biography page here Harold Wright's Biography - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We found no new details to add to what we already knew about Mr. Wright here.

We next looked at his voting record here Harold Wright's Voting Records - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. This covers his entire career. The one item we noticed about this report is that whoever made the report to Project Vote Smart left out the complete record. Missing are the bills he voted no on.

We next went to the Issue Positions (Political Courage Test) page here Harold Wright's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test) - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. It appears that he would like to keep people in the dark as to where he stands on anything. He failed to return the Political Courage Test form to Project Vote Smart.

We next took a look at what they had available on Mr. Wright's campaign finances here Harold Wright's Campaign Finances - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. What we found was the classic campaign of a person owned and operated by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce. He claimed no donations from out of state yet received a donation from a Political Action Committee that is based in Ohio. We didn't know that Oklahoma's borders stretched that far. There wasn't a special interest group out there that he didn't get a donation from.

The next article of interest we found was this Assault on the House Floor? *UPDATED 8:20pm* - . As this turned out some cooler heads prevailed and no punches were thrown however, this does point out several violations of the House Rules and Parliamentary Procedure. There was a speaker on the House floor advocating for the bill. He was a lobbyist for all intentional purposes and had been brought there by Mr. Wright. Rules prohibit lobbying on the House Floor. Mr. Terrill objected to the man being there which was a correct thing to do. House leadership failed to take any action on the objection at all. In short we had a lobbyist from the only school in the state that teaches this particular subject on the House floor selling the bill to the House members as a guest of one of the Representatives. Words after the presentation between Mr. Terrill and Mr. Wright almost turned our state House Chamber into something you would expect to see from some foreign country.  Mr. Wright and the House Leadership should be ashamed of allowing something like this to happen.

The next article of interest we find is this Harold Wright – Oklahoma Grassroots. We cannot urge you enough to open this link and read this article. Mr. Wright co-authored a Constitutional Carry bill in the House. Then when it comes time to start voting on the bill he votes against it. What is his problem? Are his financial backers pulling his strings? We feel this was a trick on the voters. He co-authored the bill than worked to get it to fail so he could go back to his district and say "I tried." If you go back to the voting records page listed above, you won't find this bill on there.

We went to to see what information they had available on his campaign finances. We did find financial records for his 2014 campaign. It appears that he closed the books on the finances for that campaign on September 30, 2015. We will concede that he did have numerous individual donors. A vast majority of those individual donors were professionals in the medical fields and education field. A few even came from the college that he violated House Rules for and allowed them to lobby for a bill on the House floor. Without having a complete and accurate copy of his voting record while he was in office prior to this, it's extremely difficult to figure out how much those donations paid off for the medical and educational fields. We know that the teachers never received a pay raise.

We next looked at the Corporate, Union and Political Action Committee donations to see what they could reveal to us. There were several medical PACs that donated. We found no evidence of unions donating to his campaign. This is about what we found in the individual donations. A lot of medical professionals and special interest lobbyist donating as individuals, but not appearing in the committee donations report.

It is the conclusion of this staff that the position Mr. Wright was elected to was bought and paid for.  The Speaker of the House should forward these events to the House Ethics Committee for investigation. Additionally the Oklahoma Ethics Commission should account for the missing campaign finance report and investigate this vote buying scheme on its own. The Oklahoma GOP Chair should investigate this incident and take appropriate action.

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