Tag Archives: Legislation

Four Reforms to Note in Oklahoma Personal Asset Protection Act SB 838

scale_of_justice

Kaye Beach

Sept. 20, 2015

Sen. Kyle Loveless is the author of SB 838, the Personal Asset Protection Act which would give more protection to innocent property owners from the practice of civil asset forfeiture.   It is a good bill but to my dismay, I keep running into misconceptions about the measure.  Legislation is a little tricky to read and often, the media does not break them down very well.

In this post, I will show you the bill and point out the four major reforms it would accomplish.

A tiny bit of background first.  Civil asset forfeiture allows the government to take property that they assert to have been gained or used in the commission of a crime.

There is a difference between civil and criminal asset forfeiture.

Civil Forfeiture
Civil forfeitures are based on the unlawful use of a property irrespective of an owner’s culpability. Civil forfeitures followed the rules of civil procedure.

Criminal Forfeiture
Criminal forfeitures are subject to all the constitutional and statutory procedural safeguards available under criminal law. The forfeiture case and the criminal case are tried together. Forfeiture counts must be included in the indictment of the defendant which means the grand jury must find a basis for the forfeiture. At trial, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Read more

Unlike criminal asset forfeiture, civil asset forfeiture does not require a conviction. In fact, the person who has their property taken under civil asset forfeiture may not even be charged with any crime.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Over a five-year period, law enforcement officials in 12 Oklahoma Counties seized more than $6 million in cash, almost $4 million of which was taken without any criminal charges…
Records indicate that of the $6.1 million dollars taken, only $2.1 million was seized from people who were actually charged with a crime, meaning more than 65 percent of the cash seized was taken without any criminal charges being filed.
Read more

Some legal experts would like to see asset forfeiture ended with few exceptions but most states aren’t willing to simply banish the practice. In the meantime, important reforms can and should be made.
Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice offers five recommendations for states who are will not summarily call a halt to asset forfeiture. He recommends that states:
1. Place seized revenues in neutral funds
2. Increase the standard of proof for seizure to require “clear and convincing evidence” of a crime,
3. move the burden of proof to the government,
4. Make the tracking of seized assets more transparent,
5. Eliminate “equitable sharing” arrangements.

Link

SB 838 by Sen. Loveless would accomplish three out of those five reform recommendations (plus one more important one that is not on Bullock’s list )

I have heard some people say  that the only thing that this bill does is take the proceeds gained through civil asset forfeiture away from the police and give them to the state.   It’s not true.

I find four substantial reforms in SB838 in addition to removing the profit incentive for civil asset forfeiture.

1) SB 838 requires a conviction before property can be taken by the government
2) SB 838 puts the burden of proof on the government taking the property.  They have to prove guilt rather than the individual being threatened with the loss of their property having to prove innocence
3) SB 838 raises the amount of evidence required for the government to take the property
4) SB 838 increases due process by providing trial by jury to all who are involved in an asset forfeiture claim by the state.

If removing the direct profit incentive by moving the funds gained through asset forfeiture to the state’s general fund as proposed by SB 838, seems problematic to you, Sen. Loveless has gone on record stating that he is open to other methods of putting a buffer between the profit and the agency seizing the property.

So, let’s take a look at the actual bill, SB838

Remember, when reading amendatory legislation such as SB 838,  only the underlined or stuck though language is new (the changes being proposed by the bill) the rest is just a recitation of current law.

The very first thing SB 838 does is require that there be a conviction before taking a persons property by adding the language “upon a person’s conviction”

upon CONVICTION sb838

Currently there is no qualification that the property is subject to forfeiture only after a conviction. (That is why it is called civil as opposed to criminal asset forfeiture)

If SB 838 became law, The property could still be seized if the officer or agency has a reasonable suspicion that there is criminal wrongdoing associated with it however,  a criminal conviction would be required before property could be taken (forfeited).

As I read it, this bill would end civil asset forfeiture. All asset forfeitures would have to be criminal.

The next thing the bill does is strikes the portion of  existing law that puts the burden of proof on the individual having his property taken.

sb838 removes burden of proof from the individual

The third thing that SB838 does is increase the amount of evidence required for the government to take a person’s property.

SB838 would require “clear and convincing evidence” to be established before your property can be taken by the government.

cc sb838

Currently the standard for the state taking ownership of your property is by a “preponderance of the evidence” which means simply that if there is one feather weight of evidence that lends more than 50% certainty that plaintiff’s (in this case, the state) version of events is true, then they can take your cash or property from you.

“Clear and convincing evidence” raises the bar and affords much better protection to the innocent property owner.

The fourth reform in SB 838 is the addition of the right to a jury trial for any party to a forfeiture action.  It is my understanding that currently, there is no right to a jury trial in civil cases  involving less than $1,500.

jury trial
This language will afford greater due process in civil asset forfeiture cases.

The remainder of SB 838 deals with removing the direct profit incentive by requiring that the proceeds from asset forfeiture be moved to the state’s general fund. Currently the proceeds go directly to the agencies that forfeit the property and the concern is that this incentivizes civil asset forfeiture.

In my opinion, this bill simply affords Oklahomans the basic justice that those who have not run up against a civil asset forfeiture claim, think they already have.

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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/

Friday on AxXiom For Liberty Live – Lucas Catton,Colin Henderson on Narconon Arrowhead

Friday March 29th on AxXiom For Liberty with Kaye Beach and Howard Houchen

6-8 PM Central CALL IN LINE 512-646-1984

Listen Live-LogosRadioNetwork.com  click ‘Listen’ then choose your Internet speed.  Logos Radio Network is a listener supported, free speech radio network and your contributions are vital but you do not have to be a subscriber in order to hear the show.
 nn arrowhead

On Friday, Lucas Catton former president of Narconon Arrowhead, author of ‘Have You Told All?’, and our good friend Colin Henderson will be catching us up on the remarkable happenings at Narconon Arrowhead Scientology’s flagship rehab facility in located here in Oklahoma.

Lucas Catton

Lucas Catton

Catton came out of the shadows in the wake of the 3 Narconon patient deaths in a 9 month span that have led to criminal investigations and civil lawsuits against Narconon Arrowhead.

‘It was Catton who explained to us that Scientology officials have spent considerable resources lobbying and schmoozing state officials, worried that they would take a hard look at Narconon Arrowhead’s certification.

“When I left in 2006, they were eagerly trying to get some type of amicable relationship with the Department of Mental Health,” he says.’  . . . “They were worried that they had to get their entire program certified by the state, or get the law changed, or they would not be allowed to operate at all,” .  . .The Village Voice, August 18, 2012 http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/08/scientology_lucas_catton_narconon.php

Gabriel Graves,32,  Hillary Holten, 21,  and Stacy Murphy, 20 years old all died at the Narconon Arrowhead facility. Read more Narconon Rehab Deaths

Lucas Catton also recently published a book on his experiences as a Scientologist and the figurehead and PR specialist at Narconon Arrowhead called ‘Have You Told All?’

CattonCover

NBC’s Rock Center did a feature on Narconon Arrowhead last August and will be airing  a very powerful piece on April 5th at 10pm EST/9PM CST featuring Lucas Catton and former staff member at Narconon, Eric Tenorio.  There will be a promo during the Rock Center’s show Friday March 29th show.

Axxiom For Liberty has been covering NN Arrowhead, the largest Narconon facility in the United States, since 2010 prior to the tragic deaths of at least 3 young people who were seeking help for their addictions that has set off a firestorm of media activity.

Much thanks to the sincere and tireless efforts of Colin Henderson who since his own dangerous experience with the facility in 2007, has been trying to warn others not to seek help there.

Here are just a few of the recent news items on Narconon Arrowhead;

-Legislation to curtail the dangerous practices at NN has been filed and has passed the Senate

Oklahoma Drug Rehab Bill Passes Senate: Scientology’s Narconon Days Numbered?

. . .history showed that the state had resisted Scientology’s plan to open the large rehab center in the late 1980s, and refused to grant it a license. But Scientology found a loophole in the law that allowed them to open based on a certification by a national nonprofit organization, bypassing state regulators.

In his bill, Ivester is trying to close that loophole.

Read more TonyOrtega.com

5 new suits have been filed against Narconon Arrowhead

“Narconon Arrowhead’s program “has the appearance of being nothing more than a pyramid scheme and sham” that operates to extort money while acting as a recruiting tool for the Church of Scientology, according to one of the lawsuits filed Thursday in Pittsburg County District Court. ”
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=14&articleid=20130322_11_A11_CUTLIN837575

Suits Claim Narconon Arrowhead Drugs-For-Sex Trade

National counseling certification has been revoked for CEO, staff members of Oklahoma drug rehab Narconon Arrowhead

March 9, 2013

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Narconon Arrowhead’s top executive and several of his employees have had a counseling certification revoked by the National Association of Forensic Counselors, officials say.
Read more: http://www.kjrh.com/dpp/news/local_news/narconon-officials-lose-counseling-certifications#ixzz2OfpR2hhj

And this is nothing new but something parents might want to watch out for, Narconon continues to do anti-drug presentations in public schools;

March 18, 2013

ASHER, Oklahoma –

Several parents say they are concerned over an anti-drug presentation at their school. The organization making the presentation and handing out literature is the controversial Narconon Arrowhead, which News 9 has been investigating here for several months.  Read more at NewsOn6

The curriculum provided by Narconon for grade and high school students is linked in the News 6 article and seems to diverge from scientific understanding of human biology.  This was a point of contention in California over Narconon’s anti-drug presentation to public school kids.

Schools urged to drop antidrug program / Scientology-linked teachings inaccurate, superintendent says

February 23, 2005

State Superintendent Jack O’Connell urged all California schools on Tuesday to drop the Narconon antidrug education program after a new state evaluation concluded that its curriculum offers inaccurate and unscientific information.

http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Schools-urged-to-drop-antidrug-program-2728677.php

Your questions or comments are always welcome!
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Restore Oklahoma Public Education – ROPE

A brief list of Common Core educational materials

Here is a link to our one page information sheet called, “What Oklahomans Need To Know About Common Core State Standards“.  If you’re not in Oklahoma and wish to have something more generic, please use this handout from our friends at the Truth in American Education website.

Here is the paper that really helped to spread the word about CCSS, “Common Core State Standards, An Introduction To Marxism 101”  This should help you put the background together on where the Common Core came from – it’s political background and who’s behind the push.

For those of you interested also in the data collection aspect, our paper, “How Much Data Is Enough Data? What happens to privacy when bureaucracies exceed their scope?” might be of interest.  We also have another one page information sheet called, “What Oklahomans Need To Know About The P20 Council” that you can hand out to those seeking information.

Candidate Promises Statue of Free Cheese in Norman, OK March 28, 2013, The American Thinker

‘David Kempf for Mayor’  on Facebook

Oklahomans concerned about unmanned aircraft attend state Capitol rally

idp13 capitol 1

Photo by Dana Lawhon

Kaye Beach

Feb.24, 2013

From the Oklahoman, Michael McNutt, Feb. 23, 2013

Nearly 200 people attend a rally Saturday at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City to support Oklahoma House Bill 1556 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, that would place regulations on the use of drones in the state.

Joanne Francisco, one of several people who came to a state Capitol rally Saturday with a face mask, said the encroachment of government on
her 4th Amendment right to privacy, such as the possible use of drones to spy on individuals, is a growing concern.

“Government is getting too intrusive, nosy,”
said Francisco, of Tulsa. “How do we know when our rights have been infringed upon? We can see a peeping Tom outside our window, but we
can’t necessarily see when we’re being spied on by a drone.”

The article highlights statements by Ryan Kiesel, Director of the Oklahoma ACLU, Amie Stepanovich, legal counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center and an expert in government surveillance, and Amanda Teegarden, Exec. Director of OK-SAFE, Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise.

Read more

Oklahoma has three important privacy protecting bill active this session.  All of them need some grassroots support to help ensure that they become law.

Please see our action items on HB1556, HB1557 and HB1559 covering privacy protections regarding drones, phones and RFID chips;

Okla. Legislative Action: Three Important Privacy Protection Bills and What You Can Do to Help

A Truly MADD Campaign to Completely Eliminate Drunk Driving

Kaye Beach

August 12, 2012

MADD wants to completely eliminate drunk driving.  That sounds great doesn’t it?  I have seen the destruction wrought by drunk drivers, have cried with families over precious lives lost and have upbraided irresponsible friends and family members that might consider getting behind the wheel when they are not sober.  I bet you have done most if these things too.

The way MADD and some of their friends want to go about eliminating drunk driving though,  is absolutely stunning.

I am told by respected legal experts that driving is a privilege, not a right. If this is an unchallengeable fact then American motorists should be prepared to pay dearly for that privilege.

About a year ago, I was discussing with my husband, a reliable and reasonable skeptic in all things, a number of ridiculously intrusive technologies that are making us all more like slaves than free people.  The example I hit on in this particular conversation was technology being used to analyze blood alcohol levels on the spot. This technology is frequently  mandated to be installed on the vehicles of those convicted of DUI offenses.  Its called ignition interlock devices or IIDs and it prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver tests positive for alcohol.  I had heard the news report that this technology was being considered for some kind of alcohol vending machine.  The customer would have to submit to a blood alcohol level test and if the level was not acceptable,  the machine would not allow the purchase to be made.  I asked my husband how long did he think it would be before some kind of alcohol sensing device would become standard issue on all vehicles.  He thought the idea was insane but said not sooner than fifty years from now.  I said ten.

Not a week later an article popped up in the news suggesting exactly such a plan.

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) has been waging war against the practice of driving while drunk for some time.  The organization has taken flak for some of their methods in doing so and I am about to be added to their growing list of detractors.

As a side note, a few months ago I challenged myself to prove a claim I have openly made again and again: Take nearly any proposal, initiative or policy in some way related to policing that  runs roughshod over our natural and legal rights, especially if it includes new technology, and you will invariable find the International Association of Chiefs of Police to be intimately involved in that plan. (Here is just one example)

The idea of forcing all drivers to submit to some kind of testing of their body chemistry in order to be able to start their own car in the absence of any sort of evidence that the driver might be inebriated is just beyond the pale in my mind. But if there is anyone thinking about doing such a thing, it would be the IACP.

In my research I discovered that MADD was working very diligently on a technology called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety or DADSS as part of their campaign to completely eliminate drunk driving.

More than 7,000 road traffic deaths could be prevented every year if alcohol detection devices were used in all vehicles. link

2011

This technology is being tested under the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (or DADSS) program. Under a $10 million cooperative research effort, NHTSA and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (or ACTS), just recently completed a “proof of concept phase” and is planning to move forward to further explore the feasibility of developing technologies that potentially could be mass produced.--Brian McLaughlin Senior Associate Administrator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Here are some of the technologies that MADD was considering for Phase I of their endeavor;

So where is the IACP?  I had no doubt that these UN affiliated tech tyrants were doing their part to promote this repulsive plan.  I was right.

GHSA supports the MADD Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

Now lets see how this IACP backed, Mad Campaign to Eliminate the Presumption of Innocence and Completely Control Drivers  has progressed since 2011.

From the National Motorists Association’s E-Newsletter #187: The Frog in the Pot

Buried within the approximately 600 pages of legislation enacted in the recent federal transportation law are two provisions to encourage the installation of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) into more vehicles.

. . .The first offers grants to states that implement mandatory interlock requirements for all DUI offenders. The second provides continued funding for the Driver Alcohol Detection System and Safety (DADSS) program.

The effort centers on two possible technologies—one that reads BAC through the driver’s skin and another that uses cabin sensors to measure alcohol concentrations in the driver’s exhaled breath. Note that neither technology operates like current interlock devices, which have been deemed as unreliable, too intrusive and “not acceptable for widespread use among the driving public…”

It’s no secret that the true aim of DADSS is to install interlock devices in all new vehicles. Under this regime, all drivers—not just those with DUI convictions—would have to pass a BAC test every time they wanted to start their car.

Interlock proponents, such as MADD and certain policymakers, downplay their support for mandatory, universal interlock use because of the public backlash it would cause. So, they work toward incremental gains, such as passing more interlock legislation at the state level and funding initiatives like DADSS, which are couched as “research” programs.
But the efforts of advocates and policymakers may not be enough. According to this recent article, the key to universal acceptance (read mandatory in all new vehicles) of interlock devices may lie elsewhere:

While some believe that the universal implementation of alcohol interlocks should be mandated by government, there is an argument that suggests that the paradigm shift towards universal acceptance will be driven by private industry.

The writer explains that as interlocks have become widespread in commercial and fleet vehicles, especially overseas, the companies that have adopted them are perceived by the public as more safety conscious and better corporate citizens. The logic goes that if a taxi passenger in Belgium observes the driver using an interlock before starting the cab, the passenger will feel more secure and have a more positive view of interlocks.

The writer concludes that the private sector, not government, can do a better job of changing public perception of interlocks, especially in North America. If consumers become more aware of alcohol testing in commercial driving settings, and the assumed accompanying safety benefits, they will more accepting of interlocks in their personal vehicles and may actually want them.

It’s an interesting point. Private sector companies are masterful at influencing public opinion. It’s called marketing, and the techniques to do it effectively have been honed over 150 years. But even if UPS or Walmart did require interlocks in its fleet vehicles, would the company really want to call attention to that fact? Likely not, for fear of even suggesting that its drivers might drive while impaired.

So, even if the private sector begins to adopt interlock technology on a large scale, the spillover effect on consumers will likely be subtle and incremental (like slowly turning up the heat on a frog in a pot of water). Given the modus operandi of the interlock proponents, they will probably be very content with that.

Ignition interlocks represent a flawed solution to the drunk-driving problem. Nonetheless, their supporters will continue to push for universal acceptance through obvious, and not so obvious, means. Their success is not guaranteed. We encourage you to ask your policymakers to consider alternative, thoughtful approaches to this serious public safety issue. ♦

**You can find a collection of DADSS documents here

Specter of Drones Unite Left and Right to Fight in VA

Kaye Beach

August 2, 2012

Protecting privacy and the right to due process is not a right/left issue and things aren’t always as cut and dried as they may seem.  Conservatives do worry about civil liberties and sometimes the ACLU even works with gun rights groups on mutual causes.

I applaud this “strange bedfellow” pairing!

Reported by the Tenth Amendment Center;

VA Lawmaker to Introduce Domestic Drone Regulation Bill

By Joe Wolverton

What could bring together the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and one of Virginia’s most conservative state representatives? The specter of drones filling the skies of the United States. In a joint statement released July 17 by Virginia Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) and the Virginia Chapter of the ACLU, the seemingly disparate pair announced plans to work to fight the unregulated use of drones by law enforcement in the Old Dominion. He stated,

Both the ACLU and I believe, as do many Virginians across the political spectrum, that the use of drones by police and other government agencies should be strictly controlled by state laws that protect the privacy and civil rights of all Virginia residents. I will be introducing legislation in the 2013 General Assembly Session to i) prohibit the use of drones by law enforcement unless a warrant has been issued; ii) require that policies and procedures for the use of drones be adopted by legislative bodies in open meetings; iii) provide for public monitoring and accountability; and iv) mandate that pictures of individuals acquired by drones be destroyed unless they are part of an authorized investigation.

Read more

OK-SAFE: Senate Committee Passes Brown’s Health Care Info Bills – SB 999 and SB 1059

Kaye Beach

Feb. 10, 2012

The federal Health Care Reform mandates are being put in place in Oklahoma in dribs and drabs.  Here are a couple of examples (But wait!  There’s more where these came from!)

 

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Update to 2/9/12 post.

Despite the objections of all the people who really don’t want more government access to their health information, the Senate Retirement and Insurance committee yesterday passed SB 999 and SB 1059.  (See post below for details about the bills).

Read more

OK2A ACTION ALERT: Senator Ellis Wants To Disarm CCL Holders

Jan 28, 2012

From OK2A;

ACTION ALERT: Senator Ellis Wants To Disarm CCL Holders

Senator Jerry Ellis (D – Valliant) wants to do away with all of Oklahoma’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements with other states, in effect, disarming Oklahoma CCL holders when they travel out of state.  Senate Bill  1556 would nullify all other states’ concealed carry licenses in Oklahoma, which would then cause other states to no longer recognize Oklahoma’s CCL.  This is a ridiculous bill and a huge step backward for the freedoms of Oklahomans.

Even though the 2012 Legislative Session will not begin for another 10 days, it is not too early to call Senator Ellis’ office and ask him to withdraw this terrible bill.  You can reach Senator Ellis at (405) 521-5614.

***

AS INTRODUCED

An Act relating to crimes and punishments; amending 21 O.S. 2011, Section 1289.13A, which relates to the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971; deleting certain license to allow for lawful transportation; amending 21 O.S. 2011, Section 1290.26, which relates to the Oklahoma Self Defense Act; rescinding certain reciprocity authority; requiring certain concealed license under certain circumstances; providing penalty; and providing an effective date.

 

Read the bill SB1556

2012 Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process OK-SAFE, Inc. Training Dates

Jan, 26, 2012

OK-SAFE announces;

Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process

 

OK-SAFE, Inc. Training Dates

In anticipation of the upcoming February 6th start of the 2012 Legislative Session in Oklahoma, OK-SAFE will be conducting its’ annual Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process training.

These training classes are working sessions, so please be prepared to bring a laptop/notebook pc and notepaper.  Handouts will be provided.

These training classes are free and open to the public. However, we do ask for a small donation to offset the associated expenses. Light refreshments will be served.

The 2012 OK Legislative Session

The Oklahoma Legislative session begins on the Monday, February 6, 2012 and runs through the last Friday of May.  This year plans to every bit as contentious as last year’s, since more people are aware of the bad legislation being passed in this state and the state will be attempting to establish some sort of an insurance exchange.

For instance, last year’s  HB 2130, dealing with the health insurance exchanges, is still a live round. This highly controversial bill passed the OK House by a narrow margin on March 17th, 2011.  Due to backlash the bill was not heard in the Senate; however, since it passed the House and simply was not heard yet in the Senate, it is still an active bill. (OK Legislative Sessions span 2 years. i.e. 2011-12.)

Diligence will be needed by all those with concerns about the “Obama Care” health insurance exchanges – there will be several attempts by this legislature to establish one.

Training/Working Session Dates and Locations

 

Tulsa –

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Location: HQ building, 1008-B N. Hickory Ave., Broken Arrow, OK

Note: Co-sponsored by Tulsa 912 Project

 

Oklahoma City –

Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012

Time: 1 pm to 5 pm

Location: The Village Library, 10307 N. Pennsylvania Ave., north Oklahoma City, OK

 

Norman, OK –

Date: Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time: 9:30 am to 1:00 pm

Location: First Assembly of God Church in Norman, 2500 E. Lindsey, Norman, OK

Note: Host is Norman Tea Party.

 

Agenda:

1st Hour –

  • Introductory – The basics of citizen involvement in the legislative process.  1) Overview of the Legislative Process in OK; 2) Identifying your legislator, 3) Entering contact information in cell phones and contact list; 4) How to write an email to a legislator; 5) Making the OK Legislature/OSCN your home pages.

2nd Hour –

  • Intermediate – Builds on Hour 1. 1) The OK legislative process, i.e. interim studies, bills introduced, bill committee assignments; 2) The committee process, and when to advocate for a bill; 3) Creating group email lists for both House and Senate Committee members, 4) Understanding the role of Speaker, Pro-Temp, Floor leader, and Whips.

3rd Hour –

  • Advanced -Builds on Hours 1 & 2. 1) Understanding political doublespeak, i.e. smaller, smarter government; economic development; knowledge-based economy; 2) How to read a bill with understanding and find the titles of law; 3) Understanding Health Care Reform and the OHIET Trust: 4) Federal grants and who benefits from the passage of legislation.

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Oklahoma: House passes bill to prevent political violence

Kaye Beach

April 28, 2011

Senate Bill 287  passed the House Tuesday 69 to 23.

See House  votes

The Broken Arrow Ledger reports:

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation that would make it a felony to willfully and knowingly enter a restricted area where state officials are being provided protection by the Department of Public Safety has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 285, by state Sen. Kim David and state Rep. Mike Ritze, would also make it a felony to enter a restricted area to engage in violence or disorderly conduct and specifically mentions the Governor’s Mansion.

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The bill says it ” shall be unlawful” to

1.  Willfully and knowingly enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds where the Governor, any member of the immediate family of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, or other state official being provided protection by the Department of Public Safety is or will be temporarily visiting;

2.  Willfully and knowingly enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds the use of which is restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national or state significance

Also unlawful would be to  “Willfully and knowingly, enter with the intent to impede or to disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions in or within close proximity to any building or grounds” or to “or to engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct in or within close proximity to any building or grounds”

SB285 version, votes, amendment etc.

Reading this bill, I would be afraid to get any where near the Governor! And this is likely, exactly the point. If  you want to make sure you don’t get into  trouble, stay the heck away from the Governor!  Nice. .

So much for access, but hey!  there’s always e-Government.  It is safe sanitary and makes those annoying citizens ever so easy to ignore.  Just hit “delete” and Buh Bye.. 

“I think it is important in light of the Arizona shooting of a U.S. Congresswoman to ensure the safety of public officials,” Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, said

The Arizona shooting  prompted a variety of  legislative proposals for the purpose of better  safeguarding officials.

Less than 24 hours after the Arizona shooting that killed 6 and critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords  Rep Robert Brady from Pennsylvania was promising to introduce legislation “making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.” according to CNN

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Video interview with Rep. Brady here.

Some legislators like Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, reacted by  focusing on language that they perceived as threatening;

A good place to start a more civil dialog would be for my Republican colleagues in the House to change the name of the bill they have introduced to repeal health care reform. The bill, titled the “Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act,” was set to come up for a vote this week, but in the wake of Gabby’s shooting, it has been postponed at least until next week.

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One South Carolina legislator wanted to require Universities to turn over the records of “disruptive” or “threatening” students that drop out of school.  The article doesn’t say who the records would be turned over to but presumably it would be the police.

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Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in Congress, said Sunday the deadly shooting in Arizona should get the country thinking about what’s acceptable to say publicly and when people should keep their mouths shut.

The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use ‘better judgment.’

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Other reactions were more predictable:

Carolyn McCarthy readies gun control bill

Arizona Shooting Prompts Bloomberg to Renew Battle Against Illegal Guns

Republicans too

Peter King, a GOP Congressman from New York, announced new anti-gun legislation in the wake of the Arizona shooting:

“Congressman Peter King today also announced that he will introduce legislation that will make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within 1,000 feet of the President, Vice President, Members of Congress or judges of the Federal Judiciary. In the United States, it is illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. Passing a similar law for government officials would give federal, state, and local law enforcement a better chance to intercept would-be shooters before they pull the trigger.”

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