OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

May 3, 2011

Twelve Truths About Legislation

OK-SAFE, Inc. was created in late 2006 by 13 concerned Oklahomans with the express purpose of stopping the Trans-Texas Corridor coming into the state of Oklahoma.  Since then, we’ve both expanded our efforts and fine-tuned them to address specific issues such as objecting to the collection of personal biometric information, the growing surveillance society, and the continued expansion of the reach and scope of state government.

Networking with other grassroots groups, we’ve learned from the bottom up how to research an issue, how the legislative process works, how to lobby, and how to read and track legislation. We educate others on how to do the same.

Seekers of the truth, we’ve also learned how to discern political doublespeak.  We’ve come to understand that the legislative process in Oklahoma has been corrupted not only through perversion of words, but by special interests. The process is agenda-driven.  Only certain types of bills get a hearing and are allowed to advance through the legislative process.  Other bills, although sound in principle and policy, are either ignored or introduced to pacify constituents, their author knowing full well the bill will go nowhere.

Bad language, stopped one year, is slipped into a different bill later on, or held for a new, unsuspecting legislator to run.

Legislators ignore the people’s concerns and pass liberty-killing legislation anyway, pooh-poohing their research and warnings. They add “claw back provisions” as false comfort to prevent abuse of some newly created give-away scheme, directing taxpayers money to most-favored businesses.

Apparently this pattern of abuse has been noted elsewhere – listed below are Twelve Truths About Legislation from Freedom Keys.

  1. Any law the electorate sees as being open to being perverted from its original intent will be perverted in a manner that exceeds the manner of perversion seen at the time.
  2. Any law that is so difficult to pass it requires the citizens be assured it will not be a stepping stone to worse laws will in fact be a stepping stone to worse laws.
  3. Any law that requires the citizens be assured the law does not mean what the citizens fear, means exactly what the citizens fear.
  4. Any law passed in a good cause will be interpreted to apply to causes against the wishes of the people.
  5. Any law enacted to help any one group will be applied to harm people not in that group.
  6. Everything the government says will never happen will happen.
  7. What the government says it could not foresee the government planned for.
  8. When there is a budget shortfall to cover non-essential government services the citizen will be given the choice between higher taxes or the loss of essential government services.
  9. Should the citizens mount a successful effort to stop a piece of legislation, the same legislation will be passed under a different name.
  10. All deprivations of freedom and choice will be increased rather than reversed.
  11. Any government that has to build safeguards into a law so that it will not be abused is providing guidelines for abusing the law without violating it.
  12. Any legislator up for re-election will vote against a bad law if and only if there are enough other votes to pass it.

Whoever wrote this list must have been watching what happens in the Oklahoma legislature.

We can only conclude with these words – Never believe a politician.

OK-SAFE, Inc.

October 23, 2010

OK-SAFE State Question Summary for Nov. 2, 2010 Ballot

There is tremendous interest about the upcoming November 2, 2010 election in Oklahoma.  In addition to all the state-wide races, there are 11 state questions to be decided.  Some of these questions, like SQ 744 on Education Funding, have gotten a lot of attention and have been discussed in depth by other groups.  (We like to refer people to the ROPE website for the best summary of what is wrong with SQ 744). Like ROPE and many other groups we recommend a  NO vote on SQ 744.

Other questions, just as important, have gotten a lot less attention.

Below is a summary of OK-SAFE’s positions on 10 of the 11 state questions on the upcoming November 2, 2010 Ballot.  We have no recommendation on SQ 752, the Judicial Nominating Commission, deciding this needed more research to understand the full impact of this proposed change.

This summary is available as either a one-page printable pdf or a 5-page expanded version which includes the actual ballot wording, links to the originating legislation, and links to supporting documentation for our some of our positions.

To view these printable summaries go to the OK-SAFE website at www.ok-safe.com, and click on the Non-Partisan Oklahoma Voter Guide link.

The state questions:

State Question 744 – Education Funding – OK-SAFE Recommends a NO vote on SQ 744

Note:  “SQ 744 is a proposal by the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) that would force the state to spend nearly a billion dollars more on education by cutting all other state agencies or raise your taxes by the same amount.” [Source: www.stop744.com]  Further, it violates local control of education principles.

State Question 746 – Voter ID – OK-SAFE Recommends a NO Vote on SQ 746

Due to concerns that this measure is part of the incremental steps being taken towards the creation of a national/international ID card. NOTE: Mexico has created a National Biometric Identification card (fingerprints, photo, and iris scan) which is set to replace their current voter ID card.

State Question 747 – Term Limits for Statewide Elected Officials – OK-SAFE Recommends a YES Vote on SQ 747

State Question 748 – Apportionment – OK-SAFE  Recommends a NO on SQ 748

Due to the continued concentration of powers being given to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Pro-Tempore, (paving the way for conflict of interest), this ballot measure raises some concerns, namely the issue of powers of appointment which removes accountability to the public versus commission members who are elected in general elections and who can ultimately be held accountable at election time.

State Question 750 – Ballot Access – OK-SAFE  Recommends a YES Vote on SQ 750

Note:  The rationale behind the changing of the election used is because of the massive shifts in voter turnout. The Presidential General Election usually has a higher turnout. Thus, the measure would generally have a lowering effect on the number of required signatures.

State Question 751 – English Language for Official Actions- OK-SAFE  Recommends a YES Vote on SQ 751. 

State Question 752 – Judicial Nominating Commission – OK-SAFE takes no position on SQ 752

[Observation: Given the current trend of the OK legislature, and the support of the State Chamber for this ballot question, the most likely appointees would be from the private sector with connections to special interest groups.]

State Question 754 – State Appropriations – OK-SAFE  Recommends a NO Vote on SQ 754

Although in agreement with the initial intent of this legislation, there are serious concerns with limiting the power of future legislatures to amend the state’s Constitution; additionally, there are concerns about possible unintended consequences of undoing beneficial existing and/or future Constitutional formulas. (Heads up: the State Chamber of Commerce supports this bill)

State Question 755 – State Courts and Law- OK-SAFE  Suggests a tentative YES on SQ 755

There are still concerns with consulting other states’ laws, i.e. states that recognize homosexual marriage, being considered in OK courts. One lawyer we consulted did not think this would be an issue, but his was an “opinion” only and not a point of fact.

State Question 756 – Health Insurance- OK-SAFE  recommends a YES Vote on SQ 756

Even though this is the weaker of the two bills introduced in 2010 opposing the federal healthcare bill, it is the only option on the November 2, 2010 Ballot addressing this issue.

 State Question 757 – Rainy Day Fund – OK-SAFE Recommends a NO Vote on SQ 757

Since the reserve money (our money) ends up in a Reserve Fund that the Legislature has demonstrated it will tap into for virtually any reason under the sun, we cannot support increasing this surplus revenue amount by 50%. 

 For further information and the actual ballot wording please see the OK-SAFE website.

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