Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Okla. Stop HB2904! Would classify e-cigarettes as tobacco product, lead to higher taxation

rlc

Kaye Beach

Feb. 25, 2014

Oklahoma Vapors phone calls, emails needed today to stop HB 2904

HB 2904 is scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary committee today at 3PM.

HB 2904 by Rep. Ownbey would define electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product opening the door to higher taxation on vapor products.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee members and ask them to please vote NO on HB 2904!

Tell them to keep lifesaving vapor products accessible and affordable for smokers.  (Copy and paste email addresses below)

Vaping is NOT smoking and vapor products should not be treated like tobacco cigarettes

Here is my email to House Judiciary committee members:

Dear Representative,

I am a 30 year, pack a day smoker.  I have failed at every attempt to quit until I tried a personal vaporizing device.  I have not touched a cigarette in over six weeks.  I consider this technology to be a literal lifesaver for myself and other smokers.

HB2904 opens the door to higher taxation on electronic cigarettes.  This is wrong! We should keep vapor products accessible and affordable for smokers so that more people may improve their health and longevity.  Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco and are estimated to be 99% safer than smoking.

Please vote NO on HB 2904!

You can call House Judiciary Committee members at House Switchboard 800-522-8502 and 800-522-8506.  (Just ask for the Representative you wish to speak to and the operator will connect you)

Chair Rep. Osborn, Leslie 

Vice Chair Rep. Stiles, Aaron

or Email them in one blast by copying and pasting the emails below.

House Judiciary Committee Members:
leslie.osborn@okhouse.gov; aaron.stiles@okhouse.gov;  ; scott.biggs@okhouse.gov; jon.echols@okhouse.gov; randy.grau@okhouse.gov; scott.inman@okhouse.gov; dennis.johnson@okhouse.gov; fred.jordan@okhouse.gov; stevemartin@okhouse.gov; charles.mccall@okhouse.gov; mark.mccullough@okhouse.gov; richardmorrissette@okhouse.gov; tom.newell@okhouse.gov; bensherrer@okhouse.gov; emily.virgin@okhouse.gov ; cory.williams@okhouse.gov

Oklahoma Vapers call to Action Calls, E-mails needed in support of SB 1892

Kaye Beach

Feb. 17, 2014

**Update**  Feb. 18, 2014  The bill is SB1892 not SB1852 as I had listed.  Sorry about that.

SB 1892 passed the Senate Finance committee today  but due to a minor snafu the title was stricken.  The bill will have to go to conference committee for title to be restored.  If all that sounds confusing, the bottom line is that it will end up before the committee and have to be voted on again.  This should happen shortly and so if you didn’t get your calls or emails in, it wouldn’t hurt to do so now.

Will update again as soon as there is any movement on this bill.  Thank you!

SB 1892 will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM in Rm 535

Call or email the Senate Finance committee members tonight or first thing tomorrow morning and tell them to vote YES on SB 1852!

Electronic cigarettes and vapor products are NOT tobacco and should not be categorized as such.  SB 1852 defines “vapor products’ separately from tobacco products and does not allow vapor products to be taxed like tobacco products.  This is GOOD!  It keeps the safer option of ‘vaping’ accessible to more smokers who have been unable or unwilling to quit smoking.

Briefly tell the committee members how you or your loved ones have benefitted from using a personal vaporizing device.  Ask them to vote YES on SB 1852 and thank them for their time.

Here is the Oklahoma Vapor Advocacy League’s Alert on SB 1852.  (Find out more about OVAL at http://ovalok.org)

oval alert sb 1852

You can email the Senate Finance committee members in one swoop by copying and pasting their emails as provided;

mazzei@oksenate.gov; Brinkley@oksenate.gov; Aldridge@oksenate.gov; dahm@oksenate.gov; david@oksenate.gov; fordj@oksenate.gov; halligan@oksenate.gov; johnsonc@oksenate.gov; jolly@oksenate.gov; mcaffrey@oksenate.gov; simpson@oksenate.gov; sparks@oksenate.gov; treat@oksenate.gov

You can call the Senate Finance committee members by dialing the Senate Switchboard and asking to be connected to the Senator you wish to speak with.   Senate switchboard (405) 524-0126

Senate Finance Committee Members are as follows:

Senator Mike Mazzei – Chair
Senator Rick Brinkley – Vice Chair
Senator Cliff Aldridge
Senator Nathan Dahm
Senator Kim David
Senator John Ford
Senator Jim Halligan
Senator Constance Johnson
Senator Clark Jolley

Senator McAffrey
Senator Frank Simpson
Senator John Sparks
Senator Greg Treat

Clearing the Air on the Oklahoma E-cigarette War

Kaye Beach

Feb. 11, 2014

Recently I wrote an article for The Oklahoma Constitution on the politics and money behind the e-cigarette bans in our state.

Many credible health experts have also noted a curious imbalance regarding the claims made by some public health advocates about
e-cigarette health dangers. . . .  Judging from the reaction to the sudden spate of prohibitions on vaping in our state, the public t buying the hype either. What most people want to know is,  why are they being banned? Who is being hurt by the use of an electronic cigarette? . . . This innovative technology is not a threat to public health but is a grave threat to the entire multi-billion tobacco industry as it exists today.

. . .You’ll find TSET grant funding everything from OETA to bike racks, but let’s look at the “Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control” incentive grants that are driving the vapor bans.

You can read the article ‘Clearing the Air on the Oklahoma E-cigarette War’ in its entirety  at The Oklahoma Constitution.

Also, you may want to see this rebuttal to the OK. State Dept. of Health’s alarmist e-cigarette advisory. FINAL OSDH rebuttal 2 9 2014

And if you haven’t done it yet, subscribe to The Oklahoma Constitution!

Oklahoma Bill to Stop Unconstitutional NSA Actions!

SB 1252 nsa

Kaye Beach

Jan. 28, 2014

SB 1252 The Fourth Amendment Protection Act by Sen. Nathan Dahm has been assigned to the Rules Committee.  Read more about SB 1252 here and you can read the bill (SB 1252) here

The bill must receive a majority vote to pass and your support can make the difference.  Specific action items are provided below.

A nationwide coalition, Nullify NSA, has formed in an effort limit NSA surveillance abuses through state legislation.

Nullify NSA website http://nullifynsa.com/

Nullify NSA on Facebook

The most important part of SB 1252 would bring a halt to the practice of  NSA intelligence being used to investigate people on matters unrelated to national security and then cover up the source of the information as was revealed by Reuters a few months ago.

(Reuters) – A  secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation  to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.. . .documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from  prosecutors and judges.  Read more

That revelation was responsible for the outburst from one outraged Oklahoma Republican at a Town Hall meeting that went viral last August.

Apparently OK Congressman Lankford was less than fully informed about some of the NSA’s programs that were being reported on, along with documentation, by the news media.  His audience, however,  was informed and Rep. Lankford’s seeming denials of what was known produced some understandable consternation.

Shortly after being challenged about the NSA’s activities at the Town Hall meeting, Rep. Lankford issued this statement:

“As a Member of Congress, I expect to receive accurate and complete information from a federal agency when requested. It is absurd that the
intelligence community was not completely forthcoming in its answers about classified government programs misusing Americans’ private information.  An agency that cannot fully answer questions asked by a  co-equal branch of government can expect significant structural changes and stringent oversight in the future.”

SB 1252 would put a stop to the NSA secretively passing on information collected  about Oklahomans without a warrant.

With the Fourth Amendment Protection Act in place (SB 1252), defense attorneys will be able to challenge data gathered without a warrants and passed on to state or local law enforcement.  Such data would be excluded as evidence. Judges will be obligated to disallow data gathered without a warrant.

“We know the NSA is sharing unconstitutionally gathered information with state and local law enforcement agencies – and it has nothing to do with keeping us safe from terrorists. This should offend every American who cares about the Constitution,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey. “Oklahoma may not be able to stop the NSA from vacuuming up the data, but it can darn sure make it as useless as a three dollar bill to state and local cops.” Read more

Nullify NSA provides the following Oklahoma action items to support SB 1252 in Oklahoma:

Oklahoma Action Steps

On January 6, SB1252 was prefiled by Sen. Nathan Dahm. This bill would big steps forward to protect Oklahoma residents from unwarranted surveillance (learn about it here).

STATUS – SB1252 has been assigned to the Rules committee where it will need to pass by majority vote.

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW. It doesn’t matter where in Oklahoma you live, take these actions today.

1. Contact the Committee Chairman.  Be strong but respectful. Ask her to promptly move SB1252 forward to a hearing and vote in the committee. Ask her to vote YES on SB1252

AJ Griffin (405) 521-5628 griffin@oksenate.gov

2. Contact all the other members of the committee. Again, be strong but respectful. Ask them each for a YES vote on SB1849. If they say they’re opposed, ask them why. If they’re undecided or will not commit to a YES vote, let them know you will be following up in a few days after they have a chance to consider it.

Rob Johnson (405) 521-5592 johnsonr@oksenate.gov
Don Barrington 405.521.5563 barrington@oksenate.gov
Cliff Branan (405) 521-5543 branan@oksenate.gov
Kim David (405) 521-5590 david@oksenate.gov
Eddie Fields (405) 521-5581 efields@oksenate.gov
John Ford (405) 521-5634 fordj@oksenate.gov
Jim Hlligan 405.521.5572 halligan@oksenate.gov
Constance Johnson (405) 521-5531 johnsonc@oksenate.gov
Clark Jolley (405) 521-5622 jolley@oksenate.gov
Ron Justice (405) 521-5537 justice@oksenate.gov
Bryce Marlatt 405.521.5626 marlatt@oksenate.gov
Al McAffrey (405) 521-5610 mcaffrey@oksenate.gov
Jubar Shumate (405) 521-5598 shumate@oksenate.gov
Frank Simpson (405) 521-5607 simpson@oksenate.gov
John Sparks (405) 521-5553 sparks@oksenate.gov
Rob Standridge (405) 521-5535  standridge@oksenate.gov
Gary Stanislowski 405.521.5624 stanislawski@oksenate.gov
Charles Wyrick (405) 521-5561 wyrick@oksenate.gov

3. Call Back – any NO or UNDECIDED – in 3-4 days. Ask if they’ve had a chance to review the legislation and what their opposition might be. Comment below or contact us at info@offnow.org with any information you get.

4.  on Twitter?  Retweet

5. Write a letter to the editor. Look up your local newspaper and submit a letter to the editor voicing your support for SB1252. Following strong legal principles, it’s essential that Oklahoma no longer help the federal government spy on all of us. Passing SB1252 will make that happen.

http://offnow.org/oklahoma/

‘Vape Ban Warning’ Issued for 26 Oklahoma Counties

super cell 1

Kaye Beach

Jan. 25, 2014

Feb 11, 2014 UPDATE: On Feb. 10th the TSET apparently decided to revamp their entire website and all of the informative links below were rendered dead.  THANKFULLY the Internet has a very long memory and all links were restored on Feb 11th via The Wayback Machine.

 

An electronic cigarette or personal vaporizer (affectionately known by its fans as a ‘vape’) is a battery-operated device that heats a liquid containing nicotine (but not always) and various flavors to produce,  not smoke, but vapor, thus eliminating tar and toxins associated with burning tobacco cigarettes.   Thousands of Oklahomans have switched from smoking to vaping, potentially improving their health and longevity.

The good news about this safer alternative to smoking is being clouded by a potent mix of financial and political interests making conditions ripe in 2014 for potentially disastrous vaping bans and other dangerous political phenomena such as unreasonable taxation of vaping products.

Oklahomans should be advised that the political environment may turn treacherous at any moment.

At 4:59  PM CT AxXiom for Liberty’s Nanny State Prevention Service has issued a Vape Ban Warning for the following Oklahoma counties:

vape ban watch

The previous  state-wide Vape Ban Watch is now upgraded to a Vape Ban Warning for these counties.

TSET funds at work

Residents of these twenty-six Oklahoma counties are advised to expect a whirlwind of TSET funded anti-tobacco coalition agitation at the city level, accompanied by media saturation of anti-electronic cigarette propaganda, local political maelstroms, and SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) team activation.

Immediate city level organization is necessary to  protect life and property from dangerous government overreach.

Don’t wait until the vape ban is on top of you – take your  big government precautions now!   

Oklahoma TSET Communities of Excellence In Tobacco Control

Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control FY 13 budget: $6 million (Source: TSET Program Fact Sheet)

A Vape Ban Watch means that conditions are favorable to the formation of e-cigarettes and vaping bans.  85% of Oklahoma has been under the Vape Ban Watch since last fall when the same political influences that threaten areas in 2014 produced damaging bans in Oklahoma communities such as Shawnee, Ada and others.

Sporadic outbreaks of vaping bans and e-cigarettes prohibitions this fall prompted vigilant vapers and other Oklahomans leery of the nanny state  to take action on impending bans.  Oklahoman’s may feel overwhelmed by sudden storms produced by the explosive combination of cold cash and hot air but as the residents of Tahlequah demonstrate, citizen preparedness and quick action can save the day.

Be proactive.  Call your city council member now and tell them that TSET bribes are not a good reason to ban vaping!

Please remain vigilant.  Under normal circumstances, community health coalitions are relatively benign and even helpful entities but when fueled by tobacco settlement funds granted by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, these entities can coalesce becoming supercells that produce twisted efforts that can devastate opportunities for Oklahomans to improve their personal health.

tobacco free coalitions TSET

Right now these coalitions are primed to start firing off  Vaping Bans in cities that fall under the 26 county (highlighted in green pg 31-33)Vape Ban Warning area.

Detail is as follows:

These twenty-six Oklahoma counties are part of a ‘Communities of Excellence’ coalition/consortium and are  eligible for TSET Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control funding for  fiscal year 2014.

In 2014, flush with tobacco settlement cash extracted from predominately low-income smokers, the TSET has doubled the grant funds available to communities as part of the Healthy Communities Incentive Grant for Tobacco Control.

If you live within one of these twenty-six  counties, chances are good that your city will be targeted by one or more TSET funded anti-tobacco groups operating in your area in over the course of this year.  TSET has set aside 4.1 million dollars in 2014 just to fund the anti-tobacco coalitions that you will find agitating for the Vape Bans.  (Page 3 http://www.ok.gov/tset/documents/RFPCXTC_1_Nov_25.pdf )

‘Additional grant money of $42,000 would be granted to Choate’s group as part of TSET’s Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control.

An amount of $200,000 is received annually by her group from the tobacco settlement.

She emphasized that it is not money that motivates them to push ecig ban.’

(Reported by North West Watch http://www.northwestwatch.org/news/speculations-that-money-push-council-to-ban-ecigarettes/)

These health related coalitions work within our communities to promote public health education and policies that many of us welcome and support but the TSET and it’s partners have decided to focus in on eradicating the imaginary scourge of e-cigarettes and are funding the coalitions to be the tip of the spear in this misguided effort.  Given the well established and devastating effects of smoking, redirecting health activists’ efforts away from this and other pressing health concerns can only be described as perverse.

turning point coalition e cigarette

Coalition applicants must develop work plans to address five (required) Core Indicators defined in TSET’s 2014 Request for Proposals (RFP) for Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control funding. (Page 24 http://www.ok.gov/tset/documents/RFPCXTC_1_Nov_25.pdf)

Required “Core Indicator 1″ is a city-wide tobacco-free policy which is defined to include e-cigs/vapor products.

CI red lined

Pg 25 http://www.ok.gov/tset/documents/RFPCXTC_1_Nov_25.pdf

Oklahomans fed up with the ever encroaching nanny-state would do well to inform themselves by spending a little time perusing the TSET’s website http://www.ok.gov/tset/    (Well, not so much now since they have removed MANY public information links!) You should get to know these coalitions that are getting their paychecks and marching orders from TSET while professing to represent ‘the community’ and thus YOU!

Each of the twenty-six  counties eligible for TSET tobacco control grants in 2014 are listed below.  They are linked with their respective TSET funding pages that identifies the lead coalition as well as their most recent yearly and cumulative total TSET funding to date.

Coal
End Advisory.
When the political weather heats up, stay tuned to AxXiom for Liberty, we’ll keep you advised.

Ohio says no to Real ID citing concerns about biometric collection, facial recognition

frt cctv

Kaye Beach

Dec. 16, 2013

Ohio is the first state to reject the federal Real ID Act solely on the basis of the biometric (facial recognition) collection.

(Read Biometrics 101 -Your Body is Your Id)

When people really understand that the mass collection of biometrics on ordinary people turns all of us into suspects and transforms our rights into privileges, sensible people will reject it.

State officials balked at the “one driver-one license” rule and at being required to store and share copies of personal documents, such as birth certificates, said Joe Andrews, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety…The objection is that it’s not acceptable in many circles in Ohio to do facial recognition on everyone who comes in to get a license,” http://www.dispatch.com//content/stories/local/2013/12/06/state-pulls-plans-to-comply-with-federal-id-law.html

Ohio had been set and ready to go with Real ID but when residents and legislators got a whiff of what Real ID with its facial biometric requirement was really about, they weren’t so happy.

 After Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
quietly added a facial recognition capability to the
Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway
, which gives government officials unified access to databases for their browsing pleasure, state residents became a tad creeped out that they’d been conscripted into an ongoing police line-up. Link

The actuality of harm to our rights inherent in mandatory biometric ID is beginning to become apparent.  Compared to a few years ago, it is now much easier for the people and their legislators to see what this technology is and how it is being used and they are taking issue with it.

Recently Missouri legislators completed an investigation into privacy violations of Missouri residents and found that the state’s Department of Revenue has  continued implementation of the federal Real ID Act in spite of state law prohibiting it.

Mo. House Committee Releases Report Accusing DOR Of Breaking 2009 Anti-REAL ID Law

 “The Department of Revenue adopted a system of scanning and retention of source documents,” Cox said.  “They acquired and they spent considerable money in obtaining biometric information on citizens, they adopted the central issuance of driver’s licenses, and finally adopted what’s sometimes referred to as Level Three security, which is also a feature of (the) REAL ID Act, according to the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano.”

But the federal government says it still intends to force the Real ID Act on the states.

National Conference of State Legislatures (NSCL)
Oct. 2013

REAL ID Enforcement on Its Way

In a recent meeting with NCSL, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) confirmed it is on schedule to announce, later this year, a timeline for the phased-in enforcement of the federal REAL ID Act.

There will likely be four to six phases, with each phase focusing on the use of  REAL ID-compliant IDs in different settings, such as to board commercial aircraft.

Each phase will consist of three steps: 1) signage regarding the upcoming enforcement, 2) verbal warnings of enforcement and 3) hard
enforcement.

Full enforcement of REAL ID is expected to begin
in two to three years.  Approximately 21 states are expected to already be in full compliance when DHS releases the timeline this year.

http://www.ncsl.org/documents/transportation/TRN-Oct2013.pdf

While the stealth national/international biometric ID has remained largely hidden from mass awareness, that is going to change.  More and more citizens and legislators will become aware of the reality of mandatory biometric ID being forced upon the American people and we can expect that this reality will create a new wave of battles.   It won’t be a moment too soon though because the fact is that all states are collecting digital facial images suitable for use with facial recognition technology which means you can kiss your privacy, autonomy and religious freedom goodbye unless its stopped.

I am engaged in my own battle against mandatory biometric ID right now.  I want to know if I have the right NOT to be enrolled into this system of biometric identification and financial control.  Many would benefit from a favorable ruling in my lawsuit and I am asking for your support to help me win my case.

Please help me stop mandatory biometric enrollment by making as generous a contribution to my legal fund as you are able to today.

If you wish to donate to my legal defense fund, you may do so online  through Paypal.com
By US mail, you can send a check or money order to;
Kaye Beach
P.O. Box 722381
Norman, Oklahoma, 73070

(Please make the check out to “Kaye Beach”. You may write “legal defense fund” in the memo section of your check or money order)
Thank you and God Bless,

Help Me Stop Mandatory Biometric ID!

Facial Recognition black white

Kaye Beach

Dec. 9, 2013

My name is Kaye Beach.  If you don’t know me, here is the short story;  I’m an ordinary woman, a Christian, a mom, and a wife.  I was a small business woman for about 20 years but for the last six years I have been an activist with one mission – to stop mandatory biometric ID.

I have filed a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma to challenge the requirement of my biometric data in exchange for a state driver’s license.  I believe that this requirement is a violation of my right to religious freedom and my right to be free of unwarranted searches and seizures both of which are protected under Oklahoma law.  (You can read my Motion for Summary Judgment here)

Biometric means “measurement of the body.”  This is technology is used to measure aspects of an individual and transform this personal data into digital code for the purpose of identification.  With biometrics, your body IS your ID.

Biometric identification creates a perfect connection between our bodies and information about us.  It is also used to control access to places, services and goods and it is being implemented around the world through deception, coercion and stealth.  Industry experts predict that within five years, the majority of the world’s population will be enrolled into one or another biometric identification scheme.

The simple truth is that all of us are being enrolled into a single, global system of identification and control that links our bodies through biometrics to our ability to buy sell and travel (and more!)

My lawsuit is based on the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act and Article II Sec. 30 of the Oklahoma constitution, our state’s reiteration of the Fourth Amendment which says we have a right to be free of searches and seizures without just cause. When it comes to biometric ID, It makes no difference whether you are a Christian who is preaching the Gospel, an activist protesting injustice, or merely an ordinary person trying to work and feed your family – mandatory biometric ID means ultimate control by government.

Information is power.

As more and more of us are enrolled it is safe to predict that the balance of power that exists between the people and their governments will correspondingly shift further away from the people and towards government.  History shows us that, unerringly, that such power will be abused and the window of opportunity to resist this system of human identification and control is closing.

In the US, enrollment is being accomplished largely through state driver’s license and ID cards.  For example, the current Immigration reform bill seeks to build upon the existing DMV biometric databases and use our biometrics to control our ability to work for a living.

And as Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation has testified,

‘The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) database represents the most robust effort to introduce and streamline multimodal biometrics collection.  FBI has stated it needs “to collect as much biometric data as possible . . . and to make this information accessible to all levels of law enforcement, including International agencies.” Accordingly, it has been working “aggressively to build biometric databases that are comprehensive and international in scope.”’

The state biometric DMV databases are the foundation for corporate and government tracking, identify and control. This is why I am fighting the state’s mandatory biometric ID but I need your help in order to win.

The Constitutional Alliance writes, “Kaye Beach’s lawsuit, is the only substantial challenge to government mandated biometric ID, to my knowledge, that exists anywhere in our country.”

My lawsuit is challenging the compulsory nature of biometric ID.  I want to know – do we have the right NOT to be enrolled?  That is the question that has not been asked, that must be asked in a court of law, and this is why I am asking for your help.  We have one more deposition to complete and then the case should proceed on to the courtroom.  My legal representation is not free and my case will only go forward if people are willing to support it.  I need to raise $20,000 for my legal fees in order to keep my agreement with my legal team and keep my case moving forward.

There are no longer any technical or political barriers to implementing this unprecedented system of global identification and financial control. The only obstacle now is you and I. 

If you want to help me win this first, crucial fight against mandatory biometric enrollment I ask you to please consider contributing whatever you can, to my legal fund.

If you wish to donate to my legal defense fund, you may do so online  through Paypal.com
By US mail, you can send a check or money order to;
Kaye Beach
P.O. Box 722381
Norman, Oklahoma, 73070

(Please make the check out to “Kaye Beach”. You may write “legal defense fund” in the memo section of your check or money order)
Thank you and God Bless,

Kaye Beach

Follow the developments in my legal case at http://constitutionalalliance.org

Contact me at AxxiomForLiberty@gmail.com

Mary Fallin: Stroke of the Pen, Law of the Land?

fallin 11

Kaye Beach

Oct. 10, 2013

“Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool.” –Paul Begala, political  advisor to President Bill Clinton, on executive orders. (Source: The New York Times, July 5, 1998)

On Tuesday the Journal Record published an article that caught my eye;

Fallin reverses agency rules process

“An executive order, quietly issued by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, is changing the way state agencies develop new rules and policies” http://journalrecord.com/2013/10/08/fallin-reverses-rules-process-capitol/

The word ‘quietly’,  in regards to government actions,  is always a sure hook.

Governor Fallin’s Executive Order 2013-34 was filed on Sept. 10, 2013.

What the Executive Order says is that upon filing a Notice of Rulemaking Intent with the Office of Administrative Rules, the agency should simultaneously file a copy of the complete text of the proposed rule to the Governor and the appropriate Cabinet Secretary.  Further, if within 45 days either the Governor or the Cabinet Secretary disapproved the Proposed Permanent Rule then said proposed rule cannot be adopted.  Period.  End of sentence.

The Journal Record explains;

Before the  order, if a state agency needed a rule change, its officials took the proposal to a member of the Legislature for consideration. Lawmakers and agency representatives negotiated the rule. Often a rule was authorized via joint legislative resolution during the legislative session. Under the state’s administrative procedures act, both the Legislature and the governor had the authority to override a rule or policy change made by a state agency. http://journalrecord.com/2013/10/08/fallin-reverses-rules-process-capitol/

This executive order, however,  appears to go against the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act which clearly states that the “Legislature reserves to itself” many rights regarding the rulemaking process.

Six specific rights reserved to the state legislature regarding the rulemaking process are enumerated in the Act but  these two stand out the most;

3. The right and responsibility to designate the method for rule promulgation, review and modification.

And

5. The right to disapprove a proposed rule or amendment to a rule during the legislative review period independent of any action by the Governor by a concurrent resolution.

This executive order removes those rights reserved to the state legislature regarding agency rulemaking with one stroke of the Governor’s pen.

I wonder if the Legislature will mind being having their authority removed by Executive Order?  Can Oklahoma statute simply be erased simply by the Governors decree?

Should be interesting.

Medicaid ExSPAMsion Effort Calls for A Response

Kaye Beach

Oct. 5, 2013

There is an awful lot of work going on both before and behind the scenes to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma.

I think the recent uptick of Oklahoma pro-Obamacare propaganda, social media feather fluffing and “like” padding lends the effort a distinctive SPAM-like flavor but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take this campaign seriously.  In fact, conservative policy-watchers caution against letting our guard down now.

Medicaid expansion, of course,  is an integral part of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) And the states have a choice in whether or not to expand the deeply flawed and expensive system.  25 states, including the state of Oklahoma, have chosen to reject Medicaid expansion.

Oklahoma’s stance against Medicaid expansion is well-established,  however some think that this could change.  As reported by the Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs, ‘Will Oklahoma expand Medicaid?’, Oct. 2, 2013;

“. . a consultant for Gov. Fallin’s re-election campaign — who is also a consultant for entities promoting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion — is on the record saying Gov. Fallin “hasn’t slammed the door either. If it were dead on arrival we wouldn’t be taking our time and energy to do this.”  Read more from OCPA
While we are swivel-heading back and forth over other sensational current events, pro-Obamacare forces are mobilizing.  For instance, the Oklahoma Hospital Association which is leading a PR campaign for Medicaid expansion based on their discovery through market research that by reframing the issue, Oklahomans are a little warmer to the idea of Medicaid expansion.
The strategy of framing the issue as the rejection or acceptance of  federal money — rather than pitching it as Medicaid expansion — appears to be supported by a recent survey done for the Oklahoma Hospital
Association. Read more from NewsOK

The fact remains that majority of Oklahoman’s oppose the implementation of Obamacare and 46.2 percent of Oklahomans across the board specifically oppose Medicaid expansion but the Oklahoma Hospital Association doesn’t seem to mind going the extra mile to  manipulate the public on important policy issues nor the investment of time and  resources  it takes to carry out the time tested strategy of grinding them down.

Jonathan Small, OCPA  does a great job tackling Obamacare boosters’ favorite deceptive arguments such as  “if Oklahoma doesn’t act, our tax dollars will be sent to other states.” and the “it’s our money” line of thinking in this recent article
We should take note,  Obamacare supporters are feeling rather optimistic that Governor Fallin might cave to pressure.
“. . . Fallin is, above all, a creature of Oklahoma’s corporate elite. And many of them — Chambers of Commerce and the big hospital interests, to name two — think the Medicaid expansion is a splendid idea”  Link
Big business does have a lot of pull so please take a few moments this week to fortify our Governor and encourage her to hold fast to her promises not to expand Medicaid.
**Read this excellent editorial by Jonathan Small and Sen. Tom Coburn,

Expanding Medicaid threatens Oklahoma’s bright future

 

Remind the Governor:

The Office of Governor Mary Fallin

Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Local: (405) 521-2342
Fax: (405) 521-3353

Tulsa Office of Governor Mary Fallin
440 S. Houston Ave., Suite 304
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127

Phone (918) 581-2801
Fax (918) 581-2835

Secret Service nabs Oklahoma driver’s license equipment burglars

secret service

Kaye Beach

August 20, 2013

Two men are accused of committing multiple felony burglaries at metro area tag agencies. They were after only one thing – the equipment and supplies needed to make Oklahoma driver’s licenses and ID cards.  The Secret Service nabbed them.

Wonder why the Secret Service is involved when the charges were filed in Oklahoma County District Court and not federal court.

Apparently 591 customers had their personal information stolen along with the equipment prompting a notice from the Dept. of Public Safety with instructions on how to get a replacement license or state photo ID.

We keep piling on security feature like biometrics to our state driver’s license but the weakest link is the local DMV or tag agencies as the case is in Oklahoma.  This sort of crime is happening all over the country.  DMV employees are being bribed and license making equipment stolen.  All the personal data and high tech security features in the world will not t make the card secure.  Instead what it does is  make the document a hot commodity for crooks.

Read more from the Edmond Sun who broke the story on August 19th.

Affidavit: Tag agency suspects confess to metro crime spree