Monday, December 11, 2017

Low Standards


WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICS ARE YOU
REALLY A REPUBLICAN IF YOU LOWER YOUR STANDARDS
THE WATCHMAN

  It's not often that we see a National Party member return home to run for a statewide office. We have such a case here in Oklahoma in the 2018 Lieutenant Governor's race for 2018. We all are aware that the job as Lt. Governor is not a glamorous office to hold. They often get stuck holding the leftovers and trying to make them work. Party politics aside we'll introduce you to a well-known name and face to the Oklahoma GOP faithful. We are long in remembrance of this man and what he has wreaked on the Oklahoma Republican Party.

  We came across this article first . We were surprised to see some of the endorsements, others not so much. There is nothing this man has done for the Republican Party except allow liberals to run for office. He's had to witness it himself. Two of our state Representatives ranks among the worst in the nation. He did turn the state into the reddest state in the nation, but at what cost has it been on those who pay their salaries within the state. Jobs are down, growth is level and taxes keep getting higher because the Republicans he helped get into office have no self-discipline when it comes to spending your tax dollars.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Todd Lamb & The Slush Fund Shuffle


A Blast from the Past, Corn Vs. Lamb
2010 election ad screen shot

TAXPAYERS AND CITIZENS SUFFER IN LOSS OF SERVICES WHILE THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT COMMITS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE
THAT GOES UNPUNISHED
THE WATCHMAN

Here we are in the middle of November and they still haven't completed the work on the budget. We are getting close though. In the middle of this budget battle, some very disturbing things are coming out of the Health Department. We are all aware that the Health Commissioner resigned a week or so back. Preston Doerflinger was appointed to replace him. This sudden resignation had consequences. Those consequences have yet to be felt by the people who performed the fraud, but are already being felt by the citizens of the state of Oklahoma.

The first article of interest we found that directly affects the budget was this This is a direct resort of the lack of oversight by the state legislature and the state auditor. The biggest fault lies in the lap of Governor Fallin. Having unqualified people in positions that are so vital to the health and welfare to the citizens that are in dire need of these services is an indication that she is unqualified to sit in the chair as Governor of the State of Oklahoma.

The next article of interest we found was this . We were amazed at the disclosures in this article. This makes a case for the immediate resignation of the Governor and the Lt. Governor. The state was warned three years ago by the Attorney General and the F.B.I. about the shenanigans going on at the Department of Health and they did nothing. Their incompetence has left the tax payers with an additional $30 million dollar hole to fill.

The next article we found was this. This article indicates that the House passed a bill to give the Health Department the funds they requested in order for them to pay their personnel next month, yet we've been unable to see any indication that the Senate has taken any action on the legislation or that it has been approved by the Governor. They must be following the "Never let a crisis go to waste rule" at the capital these days.

This article tells you a lot about the shady accounting done at the Health Department . This article also turns the spot light on to the TSET program. It was discovered that the State Health Department was forced to end an $8.5 million dollar program with the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust that was funding grants for things like lighted walking trails at city parks. Since when did lighting walking trails in city parks become the responsibility of the Tobacco Settlement Fund or the State Health Department for that matter?

The next article we found was this. We feel that they are more than incorrect in this matter. Like the legislators they seem to feel that raising taxes is the only option that we have to dig ourselves out of this financial mess the state is in. They have forgotten a few items. The government is overgrown and bloated. It should be cut down to size either by layoffs or retirements. Then there's that $60 million dollars a year they spend on trinkets they hand out to visitors to their offices. Taxpayers shouldn't be responsible for that. They want the trinkets they should pay for it out of their campaign funds or their own pockets. There is also income tax reform. Instead of those that make the least paying the higher percentage of their income on taxes turn it around and let the upper class pay more of their fair share.

The next article we found was this. This story involves the budget committees for both chambers where they passed a proposal for a budget.

The next article of interest we found was this. We actually looked at all three channels in the Oklahoma City market and it was like they all seemed to have the same script writer. We only posted the one. This vote was scheduled for the House floor for Wednesday morning, but didn't actually pass until Wednesday afternoon.

Then we found this article . We urge you to open the link and read this article. This explains the political tricks and games the Speaker used to get this bill passed. For a banker he's pretty dishonest. Directly below we've included the tally board from Wednesday's House vote on HB 1019X. Find your legislator and let them know how you feel about their vote.

The next article we found was this . Now this is not a factual report from the news channel. Here we have several Senators complaining about the $60 million dollars in cuts that the agencies are going to have to absorb and they are complaining about it. We contacted the news channel about the factual error they made about all agencies having to take a cut. The House and Senate are not going to take a cut in the $60 million dollars they get annually for trinkets they hand out to visitors to their offices. Shocking isn't it. Let the common citizen suffer while those who make the decision keep laying on the fat.

Then the end of the special session saw the light. We found this article . To us this appears to be a piece of lazy reporting. It is nothing more than a rehash of the report of the House of Representatives report on the vote held on Wednesday and at the very end you'll find where the Senate voted to approve the legislation by a vote of 29 to 14.

The next article we found was this . This is the only good news to come out of this special session. The bad news out of this is that it doesn't become effective until November of 2018.

Even though we're almost two months past the start of the special session the Governor is still not happy with the results. She wanted her massive half billion dollar tax hike. She let her opinion be known to the press.

Throughout this debacle the members of our state legislature leadership and the Governor have proven that they are incapable and unwilling to make the hard decisions when necessary. We as a state are paying directors of various departments more than we pay our Governor. There are even a few Superintendents of School Districts making more than our Governor. The problem not only starts with the Governor and legislature, it permeates through the entire structure of our elected officials. Gary Richardson has said it more than once and we'll say it again, Oklahoma doesn't have a revenue problem it has a spending problem.

In conclusion there is only one thing that can be done to lower the cost of running the Government of the State of Oklahoma. Slash the number of people in the staff of government. It's bloated and cumbersome. Pass a law that any campaign funds a legislator may have in their account when they are removed or resign from office are forfeited to the Oklahoma Election Board to help cover the cost of a special election. Change the election laws to where there is only one election day per year. These measures in themselves will save the taxpayers a lot of money.

This special session could have been completely avoided. Our legislators need to start paying more attention to the calendar than anything else. They should resolve themselves to address no other legislation, except emergency funding for a disaster that has occurred in the state, until such time as a budget is passed. If they find they are unable to do that they should resign from their office. We once again call for a vote of no confidence in the Governor, the President pro tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. Threats and intimidation is no way to be a leader.

Then after all of this, Governor Fallin throws a temper tantrum and vetoes the legislation passed. She has not announced plans for a second special session but has indicated they will be soon. We would highly recommend that the next special session include articles of impeachment against the Governor.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Republican Candidate For Senate 37


THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
FOR DISTRICT 37
THE WATCHMAN
As we promised here we begin the look at the Republican candidate for the State Senate being vacated by Senator Newberry. The candidate is Republican Brian O'Hara. We took a lot of time in researching Mr. O'Hara simply because we wanted to be fair and accurate.

The first article we found was his campaign web site. We found it interesting in that he broke from recent trends and actually indicated on his web site that he did represent the Republican Party. That in itself is something we have been seeing less and less of from our candidates.

We first looked at his meet Brian page here. He tells you a little about his background and his family. More importantly though he tells you about three core values that will guide him in any decision on a vote he must make. He also points out his record of voting no on tax increases as a board member of the City of Jenks.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Speaker Fails To Keep Agencies In Line

  
...Ah, nothing smells a good as the smell of roasting RINOs on a crisp fall morning!


AFTER YEARS OF MISMANAGEMENT AND OVER SPENDING THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE DARES TO TELL THE CITIZENS THAT WE SHOULD ACCEPT THE TAX HIKE AND NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT IT
THE WATCHMAN

Here we are in November of 2017 and the state still hasn't figured out how to plug the hole in their budget. We find it rather remarkable that those who chose to fill the ranks of leadership in the state of Oklahoma can remain so inept at doing their jobs. We don't just mean our legislator's either. We are speaking of the lack of leadership from the Governor, Mary Fallin. This has truly turned into a state of we the unwilling led by the unqualified to do the unnecessary for the ungrateful. It is high time that you stop refunding your corporate donors and work for the people of Oklahoma for a change.

We all know that the state government is being run by the Republican Party. They control all of the state wide offices and a majority in the House and Senate. The Republican Party has always alleged to have stood for smaller government and less regulation. We ask why have the last eight years seen a continuous growth in both the size in government and the regulations imposed on businesses. What ever happened to the Republican Party Platform?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Bullying & Intimidation: The Politics of RINO-ism



BULLYING & INTIMIDATION
THE POLITICS OF THE RINO REPUBLICANS
AND THOSE WHO LACK THE CAPABILITY TO LEAD
THE WATCHMAN

As we are all aware, the budget mess continues at the state capital. When they allowed Mr. Doeflinger to burn through the states rainy day fund with impunity they even failed to call for an audit of the fund to see where the money went. That is complete stupidity. All they do is say he had the authority and let it go. Why is that drunk still working for the state? Is he a boy toy of Governor Fallin?

What first brought our attention to this story was this article . This is dated October 17, 2017 from the SoonerPolitics.org online Newspaper. It's a short article but it gets directly to the point. It would appear that Governor Fallin took lessons from former President Obama while he was in office. She is now guiding her administration and state agencies are entering a political warfare of bullying and intimidation and the legislature along with the middle class and poor of the state of Oklahoma are the targeted opponents.

The weapon chosen for this assault on the dignity of every Oklahoman is terror. Not the terror of blowing up buildings or mass shooting, but the terror of threatening those citizens in need of specialized services the ability to have access to them. This is similar to the Obama tactic of closing down access to open air monuments and military cemeteries a few years ago but fully staffing Camp David so he could have all of his little perks.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

What is "Truth In Politics"?



TRUTH IN POLITICS
VERY SELDOM DO WE EVER HERE IT
THE WATCHMAN

  Most people who read our articles know that above everything else we value truth in our politicians above anything else. Seldom do we write an article on the Democrats, even though we could, simply because the Republicans keep giving us so much rich material to write about. This article is an exception. The people of Senate District 37 do need to know the truth about their candidates before going to the polls next month. We started with the Democratic Candidate for the seat being vacated by Senator Newberry.

  What brought our attention to this story was this article . Now we do believe that her life style is her choice and her's alone. We also believe that her potential constituents deserve to know the truth. According to OSCN.com, which is the Oklahoma Court records system on line, she obtained a marriage license with another woman on March 31, 2017. According to the license they were married at American Marriage Ministries on April 2, 2017. That was a full two months prior to filing to run for office.

  The next article of interest we found was this. There isn't a lot of information available here. It does verify that she was unopposed in the Democratic primary for this seat.

   We next went to her campaign web site. We went to the about Allison section here. This gives you the impression that she is a loving mother of three children, which we do not dispute, and they attend church on a regular basis. Nowhere does it mention that she is married or the name of the person she is married too. This would have been the perfect time to come out of the closet and run on her merits as they are.

Monday, October 16, 2017

New Candidate For Governor



 A NEW CANDIDATE IN THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR

THE WATCHMAN

We have a new comer to the race for Governor next year. The state's political elites are not going to be happy about him either. The reason is rather simple. He is not one of them. He is a hard working individual who has had enough of the way things have been going for the people of the state of Oklahoma and decided to do something about it. This makes a crowded field of twelve (12) candidates for Governor who have announced their candidacy to date.

What brought our attention to this article was this . Mr. Stitt has promised to bring an outsider's perspective to the Government of Oklahoma. He's promised to tackle Oklahoma's problems head on. Mr. Stitt is a first time candidate and pro-life advocate. He is also the founder and CEO of Gateway Mortgage Group (GMG) in Tulsa.

The next article of interest we found was this . Now we are all use to hearing politicians telling us what they think we want to hear. This is a little different. He is stating that he wants to build Oklahoma opportunities just like he built his own business. That's a refreshing idea for a change.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Consequences Have Elections



OUR STATE BUDGET HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERSHIP BETTER THINK TWICE ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT TO DO
THE WATCHMAN

  So here we are again talking about the state's budget. We can't help but wonder if those in control, from Governor Fallin on down, realize how stupid they are making the state look to the rest of the nation. Have they not recognized the reason behind the repeated failures of Republican candidates during the numerous special elections held to replace the criminals among them? Have they figured out why donations to the State GOP are down? Are they prepared for a major defeat in the 2018 elections? Are they ready to hand the state back over to the Democrats next year? It sure looks like that's what they are trying to do.

  For decades now the Republican Party has claimed to be the party of smaller government and less government control. We must ask why has it been that during the Fallin administration spending has gone up every year to a point where we are now spending the most that has ever been spent by the state government in its history. Despite monthly reports that have shown a continued loss of tax revenue by the state for over two years, with few exceptions, our wasteful politicians continue to raise spending levels and even go as far as to refuse to consider halting the $60 million dollars a year in trinkets they spend. That is shear disrespect for those of us in the state that pays the bills with their taxes. Do you still think they work for us citizens?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Will The Frat House Atmosphere Continue, In Special Session



THE LEGISLATURE IS IN SPECIAL SESSIONWILL THE FRAT HOUSE ATMOSPHERE CONTINUE?

THE WATCHMAN

With the legislature being called back into special session it brings back the question of will they actually legislate or will it turn into another Frat House Party. One can only guess as to what they do but either way it goes they'll protect the rich and stick the bill on those that can't afford it.

The first article we found that really made us think of this was this 'Frat Party' Culture Continues At The Capitol - Sooner Politics.org. We do encourage you to open the link and read the article. The Republican Party is having huge problems in both chambers over misconduct by their members. That misconduct is showing up at the voting booth. Republicans are losing special elections as fast as they happen. That is a clear example of the erosion of ethics in our government. It should be noted that some of those special elections have yet to be held. So we are in a special session deciding on raising the taxes on the middle class and poor, with some districts not even being represented. That's no way to run a government.

The next article of interest we found was this In The Know: Tulsa senator's resignation creates seventh legislative vacancy this year. Senator Dan Newberry timed his resignation conveniently so he could draw his legislative salary to the end of the year. That's more money out of the tax payer's pocket. It also leaves the expense of another special election to come out of the tax payer's pockets next year. Do these fools think we citizens enjoy paying for all these special elections? We don't. That's money that could have gone to a much better use elsewhere.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Campaign Law & The Lamb Issues


 LAMB FOR GOVERNOR
ANOTHER CAMPAIGN LAW VIOLATION HEADED YOUR WAY?
THE WATCHMAN 

What brought our attention to this race for Governor and this candidate was this article In Governor's Race, Todd Lamb's Nonprofit Walks a Fine Line | Oklahoma Watch. We had been unaware that he was running a non-profit organization. We felt that it deserved some investigation and we did. The Citizens of Oklahoma and the small business owners of Oklahoma are not going to be happy with what we found.

We started by going to his official biography page at www.ok.gov here Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb - Biography. We note that he has stressed his dedication to the small businesses of the state and to the oil and gas industry. Paying attention to the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma is only natural for any politician, and that's why we are in the financial mess that we are in.

We next went to his campaign page and found this Todd Lamb's Conservative Plan To Renew Oklahoma | Learn More info@votetoddlamb.com. Now he does say all the right words in his plan, but there is no meat on the few bones that he gives the people. His idea of a Conservative Plan appears to be tell the people what they want to hear and do whatever I feel the State Chamber of Commerce wants me to do. He is sorely out of touch with the people.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kannady's RINO Identity

 ANOTHER RINO REPUBLICAN
IN A LEADERSHIP POSITION
THE WATCHMAN
  This week we returned to the RINO list for our story. Not surprisingly we found a member of the House leadership right at the bottom of the list. We still haven't seen a Democrat near the bottom. Is it any wonder that Republicans are losing their special elections?

  We first went to his Official web site at www.Ok.gov here Representative Chris Kannady - Oklahoma House of Representatives. We will give him credit for his service in the Marine Corps. It deserves to be noted that his service in the JAG Corps is what those on the line would refer to him as a REMF. You'll have to ask your friendly Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran what that means. It's not fit for publication according to our editor.

  The next article of interest we found was this Chris Kannady - Ballotpedia. Now this gives us a little more insight into his 2nd term in office. What we found especially interesting was his sponsored bills. We would encourage you to open the link and go through the bills for yourself. Almost every single bill or resolution he sponsored that was approved was for a special interest group. The one he failed to get approved was the pay raise for the teachers. Every single bill or resolution he did get approved will have a drastically bad effect on the pockets of the middle and lower income citizens of the state of Oklahoma. This article also highlights that more priority was placed on commending various citizens and organizations than on passing a budget. This is indicative of a complete failure of the entire leadership of the House of Representatives leadership.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Candidate Hypocrisy We Cannot Ignore


GUBENATORIAL CANDIDATE HYPOCRACY WE CANNOT IGNORE
THE WATCHMAN

We became aware of this story through this article 10 Dark Horse Oklahoma Gubernatorial Candidates | The Lost Ogle. From everything we could see on the surface this one candidate appeared to be a good candidate for the office of U.S. Senator. We felt that she should be vetted as are all candidates for office. What we found was disappointing to say the least, but also allowed us to present a clear and distinct hypocrisy of an organization founded with a good cause in mind, but has become corrupt and one sided in its views. Now this article says she is running for Governor however we were unable to find any indication of her having filed for that office. We did find this Search results | FEC indicating a run for the U.S. Senate.
 
The first article of interest we found was this Constance N. Johnson - Wikipedia. She decided to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2014 and won the Democratic primary. She lost the special election to the Republican challenger.
  

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Civil Asset Forfeiture Is Revealed For The Piracy It Truly Is.


             Source:  The Cato Institute

CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE
IS IT LEGAL OR NOT?
THE WATCHMAN

Editors note: The Supreme Court recently struck down a Colorado law that refused to refund seized property and court fines for people who had their convictions overturned, demanding that the now innocent victim of the judicial system "prove beyond reasonable doubt" that they were innocent of a crime. That is something that is near impossible in most cases. The state of Colorado decided that the people were innocent enough to overturn the cases but not innocent enough to return their seized assets. The Supreme Court's Justice Thomas recently stated that the historical backing for asset forfeiture might not stand a constitutional challenge the way modern police are using the practice.

We are well aware that Civil Asset Forfeiture is an extremely sore spot between the law enforcement community and the civilian population. Over the last two legislative sessions we have watched events unfold at the State Capitol were Senator Kyle Loveless has made repeated attempts to change the law to make it friendlier to the citizens and visitors of Oklahoma. Both years he has been unsuccessful. This has been primarily due to the strong lobbying efforts of the various Law Enforcement Agencies. What our investigation has discovered is sure to upset both sides of this argument.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Was Leslie Osborn Ever A Republican?



  

Not a whole lot of difference here

 WAS SHE EVER A REPUBLICAN
WE SAY SHE WAS NOT
THE WATCHMAN

Strange things happen during the legislative session. A politician's career can be on the line with every vote they make. This year was no exception to the rule. Perhaps the strangest thing to happen this last session was the state budget. It was clear that the House Appropriations Committee had her own agenda. That agenda had nothing to do with what was good for the people of Oklahoma. It was all about her political career.

We started by going to her official house web site here Representative Leslie Osborn - Oklahoma House of Representatives. There is very little information about her available on this site. That's an indication that she wants her privacy. We all do, but public figures should give more information than just her name.

What actually brought our attention to this sordid tale was this Oklahoma representative who spoke out against House leaders removed from committee position | KFOR.com. The way this was reported here would indicate that she lost her position due to remarks that she made that were derogatory to the Speaker of the House. That is not all there was to the story. They left out the part where she failed to close the hole in the state's budget; she also violated the state's Constitution by passing revenue bills within the last five days of the session. To date one of those measures has been declared unconstitutional by the Oklahoma State Supreme Court which has caused the Governor to call for a special session to cover the $250 million dollar gap added on to what she didn't close. To put it into perspective she failed to properly manage the budget bills through the House of Representatives in a timely manner. She just wasn't up to the job.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Coins On Gravestones



THE COINS
THE WATCHMAN


Labor Day is coming up shortly. Many of you will see it as the official end of summer. Most of you will never give a thought as to the cost of your being able to spend the weekend in piece. Most managers of the nation's cemeteries aren't aware of this tradition that is followed by those who mourn those that paid the ultimate sacrifice. That needs to change

In the photograph above you see a headstone of a grave with an American Flag beside it and many coins cover the grave. Each one of those coins has a different meaning. We ask that from this point forward that all Cemetery Managers and the people that work for them honor this tradition. Just remember, all gave some and some gave all.

We'll start with the penny. Leaving a penny means that you visited this hero. This is something that should be done every time you visit.

Next there is the nickel. A nickel has a little more significance. It shows that you knew the individual by either having gone through boot camp or some other type of training with them. You were comrades in arms.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Taking Media Bias Even Lower


Nazi, Obama Supporter, Bernie Sanders Supporter or All Three?

LIBERAL BIAS INVADES A PROMINENT
OKLAHOMA NEWS BROADCASTING FAMILY
THE WATCHMAN

We have all known that the main stream media has demonstrated a liberal bias since former President Obama was elected in 2008. This even applies to the local media outlets. We will say that the local media doesn't display the same level of bias as the national media outlets; still they get their stories and directions from the major broadcasters that they represent. Now one member of a prominent news broadcasting family in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area appears to have allowed his bias to slip into the blog that he writes. In this case he has lost all credibility when reporting any news on any subject.

What brought our attention to this story was this blog post 5 Oklahoma Confederate monuments that must be torn down… | The Lost Ogle. This article clearly shows that he supports the far lefts agenda of changing history to fit their needs. It would also indicate that he did little research into the facts about events at Charlottesville that has created this statue tearing down mess. It leaves us to wonder if he would agree that the statue of Communist Russia leader Lenin should be removed from downtown Seattle, Washington. We would also like to know if he feels that the statues of prominent U.S. figures and officials who were members of the KKK should be removed from inside the Nation's Capital?

Although four of the statues he lists are on state or county owned property, the fifth is not. The fifth is located in Tahlequah at the Cherokee National Tribal Headquarters. This sits within the exterior boundaries of the Cherokee Reservation and is subject to tribal control. You would have known that if you had just looked it up.

The next article of interest we found was this PBS Does Poll on Confed Monuments... Horrified by What Americans Really Think. Now PBS is another federally sponsored broadcasting company that is supposed to be neutral. We would urge you to read the results of this poll. Contrary to what the main stream media wants you to believe, the majority of the people in the nation do not want to see the destruction of the Confederate Statues. This is like the University of Chicago trying to rewrite history by placing a plaque on a building claiming President Lincoln was a Democrat. If you forget your past, you are bound to relive it over again.

The next article of interest we found was this Gettysburg Has Stunning Statement on Confederate Statues. This is within compliance with federal law. The law does not apply to state, county or city statues. It only applies to federal sites.

To save you a little time we took the liberty of looking the federal statute up for you. You can find it here
54 U.S.C. 320301 - National monuments. We urge you to open this link and read it. If you will scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see a yellow highlight over a particular part of the law that deals with this subject. You can even find the most up to date list of protected sites under this law.

What we feel may be the most telling part of the story coming from the main stream media and Charlottesville is this Bombshell: Leader of C'ville White Supremacist Protest True ID Revealed. This article needs to be read by all. In it you'll find tweets and emails that indicate that up until the night of the election, the organizer of the so called alt/right protest was an Obama and then Sanders supporter. It doesn't take a blind man to see the implications here. We believe the nation has been put on a fast road to another civil war.

In conclusion there is only one remedy that can be accomplished. All the groups that were involved in the utter madness in Charlottesville should be considered Domestic Terrorist. I'm talking not only those that were on the right like the KKK; I'm also talking like those on the left like Antifa. Whether you know it or not Antifa has been around since the 1930's. Research the history of the group and you will find that they are the violent wing of the Workers Party, a Communist organization. What we are witnessing is nothing short of a violent takeover of the way we are governed and the American way of life. This cannot be allowed to stand.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Private Prison Corruption

 
 
 
 
 
PRISON OVERCROWDING AND PRIVATE PRISONS
WHY KICKING THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD NEVER FIXES ANYTHING
 
THE WATCHMAN
 
We are always up front with our readers. To be fair, we took a stand against State Questions 780 and 781 simply because they created a mess that made the citizens of the State of Oklahoma more vulnerable to crime. We also took offense to the questions due to there being written by a former Speaker of the House who is a known social justice warrior. As Speaker of the House he managed to get these bills passed only to have them vetoed by the Governor because most of the funds that would be paid to companies monitoring the individuals on ankle bracelets he was a high ranking member of. The largest of the companies also included as a senior partner the Oklahoma County D.A. David Prater. This was nothing more than an unfunded pay for play scheme.
 
The first article of interest we found was this A Sticking Point in Justice Debate: What Is a Violent Crime? | Oklahoma Watch. This article brings out a problem that the people who wrote State Questions 780 and 781 wrote failed to take into consideration. They either didn't consider it or they just wanted the money. Included in this article were several links that shows you how in depth the problem really is. Listening to the liberal press or the company that will benefit from these laws you would never imagine the depth of the effect of the damage they have done. We have made it easy for you by finding the articles and listing them for you here OCIS Document Index. This list all the various criminal offenses that are covered by those two question.
 
The next link you need to open is this OSCN Found Document:Required Service of Minimum Percentage of Sentence - Offenses Specified. We urge you to open this link and read the article. It is an actual list of crimes that are mandated by law that required eighty-five percent (85%) of their sentence before they are eligible for parole.
 
The next link you need to open is this OSCN Found Document:Definitions. This gives you the definitions of certain crimes that are considered violent by nature. We find that this list is hard to get past when you want to consider individual non-violent offenses. What is really missing from all of these definitions and list is how it affects the victims. To an individual or even to a family breaking into their home while they are away from home violates their personal well-being and is every bit as devastating as being assaulted physically.
 
The next article of interest we found was this Seven things to know about SQ 780, 781 | News OK. This is another article that is a must to open the link and read for yourself. The two State Questions created a program that was to be run from the savings of not sending people to prison. The problem with that is since the mid-90's the state has been contracting with private prisons. These private prisons cost the state just over ninety two million dollars a year. The way the contracts are written, the state must pay for the beds they have contracted for even if those beds are empty. These contracts became necessary simply because the legislature and the governor signed stricter sentencing laws into effect in the 90's. Where they made the fatal error was that they failed to take any action to correct a problem that has existed within Oklahoma State owned prisons since the 1950's. They in fact created the need for the private prisons. So in steps a Social Justice warrior who is actually seeking to make a profit off an error he was unable to fix while he spent twelve (12) years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
 
The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma Reclassification of Some Drug and Property Crimes as Misdemeanors, State Question 780 (2016) - Ballotpedia. This article is well worth the time of reading for yourself. It gives a brief description of a few of the changes subject to change by this State Question being passed. It also points out a major flaw in the passing of both questions 780 and 781. The flaw is stated "The prison cost savings brought about by State Question 780 were intended to be allocated according to the companion initiative State Question 781. State Question 781 was designed to allocate funds made available by the prison cost savings to counties in proportion to their population and could be claimed by privately-run rehabilitative organizations that provide drug and mental health treatment, job training and education programs." What these two initiatives have given the citizens of the state of Oklahoma is an unfunded program designed to make retired politicians a way to keep milking the tax payers after they have finished their careers. It is truly unfathomable to think that a third initiative that would have made this program feasible would have been one designed to cancel the contracts with the private prisons in Oklahoma. Like it or not there will be no savings from these changes until such time as the contracts with the private prisons are canceled or they are not renewed. Whether they are empty or full those beds are still going to have to be paid for until then. That currently runs to over $92 million dollars a year.
 
The real tragedy of this is the list of organizations involved in getting the legislation passed. The Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform website they listed the following endorsements for State Questions 780 and 781.
 
The chief proponent was former Speaker of the House and Social Justice Warrior Kris Steele. He was a Republican for his entire political career but what we referred to as an undocumented Democrat.
 
Some of the organizations involved included the ACLU, CEO Works, Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma, George Kaiser Family Foundation and many more. There were also numerous individual endorsements. If only people would learn to research the subject before endorsing something, things would be different. We guess you just can't fix stupid.
 
The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma senator files bill to change voters' criminal justice reform decision | KFOR.com. The biggest voice in the crowd was former Speaker Kris Steele. He was at the capital almost daily in an effort to get this bill killed. We'll even provide you a copy of the bill here webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2017-18 AMENDMENTS/Amendment & Engr/SB649 HASB & ENGR.PDF. What has basically happened here is former Speaker Steele and the media whipped up everyone into such frenzy over possibly changing what was passed. What they failed to do was take into consideration the various sentencing guidelines that needed to be changed. The way their Question is written a former violent felon who even so much as forgets to pay for a candy bar is released back into the population with no further jail time involved. That is not prison sentencing reform. That is prison work release that puts the lives and property of everyone in the state in danger.
 
The next article of interest we found was this Punishment and Profits: A brief history of private prisons in Oklahoma. While private prisons have been around for at least two centuries, the industry didn't make its way into Oklahoma until 1995. Most people will blame the harsher sentences people get on the federal government, but they would only be partially correct. Part of the reason is the war on drugs and the tougher sentencing guidelines. We can't help but wonder if our state legislature has ever heard of the 10th Amendment. There was absolutely no justifiable reason that our own state legislature had to apply those same tougher sentencing guidelines to state cases. The lobbyist for the private prison firms waved a little cash in front of their faces and they got what they wanted. That is no way to lead a cub scout pack much less be a leader of the state.
 
The next article we found was this Private Prisons in Oklahoma. This is a simple map of the locations of the various private prisons in the state. You might want to open the link and see if you live near one for your own safety.
 
The next article of interest we found was this U.S. Justice Department plans to end use of private prisons | News OK. We find this article to be significant. We can't help but wonder if this was done on an order from the former President, or if they found something that caused them to rethink the use of private prisons. We believe it was a combination of both.
 
The next article of interest we found was this Private prisons prove costly in Oklahoma | News OK. This article is dated October 18, 2015. At that time it cost the state of Oklahoma $92.2 million dollars to rent space for private beds. What makes the problem even worse is the fact that in neither state run or privately run prisons do inmates truly get a chance to learn a skill that they can use outside of prison. A good part of our overcrowding problem stems from the repeat offender that knows no other way to make a living.
 
The next article is this Oklahoma's private prisons operate in secrecy, advocacy group says | Metro & Region | tulsaworld.com. We are fully aware that this article is from a left leaning think tank. That doesn't change the fact that when you are right on a subject you are right. The records of these facilities involving Oklahoma inmates should be open to the public. They signed a contract with the state and should understand that they are subject to the same laws as the Department of Corrections.
 
There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from all of this. Former Speaker Steele lost this battle while he was still a member of the House and now he thinks he's found a way to win. A social justice warrior his entire life, he was unable to separate his personal feelings from his goal of protecting the citizens of Oklahoma. He chose profit over the protection of the residents. Because of the complex nature currently on the state Statutes involving various crimes, the legislation was justified for the safety of the residents. For a man that served twelve years in the state legislature he should have known better.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Congressional District 2 Has A Challenger


LET THE CAMPAIGN SEASON BEGINU.S. DISTRICT 2 HAS A CHALLENGER

THE WATCHMAN

  Ladies and Gentlemen you are actually going to have an opportunity to place a man that we feel shows the epitome of integrity into office in 2018. We are well aware that there is a distinguished Veteran of the Army who was in command of the unit that captured Saddam Hussein. A good plumber and businessman don't always make a good politician. The voters in U.S. House District 2 in Oklahoma are going to have that chance. You'll have the chance to vote for an individual who to date has received not one single campaign donation from a political action committee or large business to one like Representative Mullin who tried to collect and spend campaign funds before he ever filed to run for his 4th term.

  We first became aware of this article from reading this MuskogeePolitico.com: Economist Brian Jackson to run against Mullin following term limits violation. This article clearly indicates his decision to run was made based on the fact that Mr. Mullin went full steam ahead and broke the oath he gave to the citizens of his district by running for a fourth therm.