John R. Houk, Editor
Posted May 24, 2018
I live in Oklahoma. Every so every I like to highlight the politics going on in my State. I get a newsletter from Oklahoma’s Sooner Tea Party. I like the Sooner Tea Party because they are committed to Conservative principles rather than a political party such as the GOP or the Leftist Dems.
This Newsletter looks at:
o Oklahoma tax reform
o The apparent cover-up of an audit revealing the last three State Attorney Generals (all GOP) – including the present Mike Hunter – not acting on criminality revealed in the audit.
o Announcement of Konawa Tea Party speaker engagement (which I’m omitting because the announced date was May 22).
o House and Senate Platform Indexes Now Online.
o Soft on Crime Story of the Week
And now, the Newsletter
Sent May 20, 2018, 9:22:54 PM CDT
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May 20th 2018 Newsletter
Simply the Most Important Thing You Can Do For Conservative Values
One of the more common excuses that people give for not getting involved in the fight is that they are powerless, that a single person can do nothing against the liberal/RINO machine that is grinding away our freedom and stealing our hard earned income. That is so wrong on so many levels but no one can argue this; your one voice coupled with 40,999 others damn sure can get something done.
Forty one thousand signatures is all that is needed to set the largest tax increase in Oklahoma history on a upcoming statewide ballot. If that can't be accomplished then there is no hope of ever holding the line against the RINOs and liberals simply because our people wouldn't deserve the line to be held. It is one thing to come to the front and lead, it is another thing to fight for others while they sit on their asses whining and crying that they are helpless.
The minute that the signatures are counted and approved the teacher taxes are stopped butt cold, frozen in place, until the outcome of the vote. Your signature and support for this effort will send a loud message to the union thugs that we call teachers, it sends a message to the union thugs in other states that are threatening to strike for higher pay, it sends a message to the legislature and every politician in the state. And that message is; Cut the waste before raising our taxes.
If you smoke, use gasoline or diesel, or purchase items that require the use of fuel to get them to the store or to your home, you are impacted by these massive taxes. If you are a middle class taxpayer your deductions have been slashed. If you are a working class or working poor taxpayer your deductions have been slashed. If you are wealthy your deductions have been slashed. If you are on social security or disability the economy that pays for your benefits is being impacted by these taxes and ultimately you will be impacted.
Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite has a website up with a list of locations that are hosting a petition. You as a business can ask to be added to the list or you as a private individual can ask to host a petition. Get involved, get a petition and ask others to sign it. Be one of 2050 people that manage to get 20 friends, family, or neighbors to sign the petition. Petition signers need to be registered voters in the State of Oklahoma and the person hosting the petition needs to have the petition page notarized once it is filled.
Their website: Click here
A list of signing places: Click here
Their email: Oklahomataxpayersunite@gmail.com
Their phone number: (405) 470-9990
Some of the Faces of Corruption in Oklahoma [Drew Edmondson, Scott Pruitt & Mike Hunter]
We have been following the Tar Creek Audit for years and with the release of the two audits thanks to pressure on the AG office by a lawsuit, everything that was alleged years ago has turned out to be completely true. David Van with Sooner Politics ran a story on the release of the audit last week and we read both audits and there is no doubt that this was corrupt.
Three Attorney Generals fought to hide this corruption. Drew Edmondson, Scott Pruitt, and the current weasel Mike Hunter. No doubt the corruption was protected thanks to campaign donations or political power from those that profited. What should have been a $600,000 project to clean up some old houses at Tar Creek turned into over $3,000,000 in taxpayer dollars wasted.
Current AG Mike Hunter made sure that the theft and corruption went unpunished by holding off the release of the audits till one day after the seven years statute of limitations had expired. Investigators in his office colluded by claiming that there were no prosecutable crimes committed despite the audits clear results and clear statements that the bids were rigged and favoritism was shown. Even the bidders on the project did their part by suing and halting the process, shining a bright light on the bidding process yet they were so brazen as to steal the taxpayer money anyway.
Imagine, a carpet cleaning company with zero experience beats out three other experienced demolition contractors, some of which had handled tens of millions of dollars in such demolition work. The carpet cleaning company is able to obtain a bond and magically comes up with a quality control document/plan that matches word for word what the original project engineer submitted despite state and federal law that prohibits the sharing of bid information. The experienced demolition contractors score 1's on the scoring process set up by the project engineer and board members while the carpet cleaning company scores a 10.
An alternate contract that is put in place in case the local EPA landfill or the local state dumping site can't be used suddenly is approved despite only 15% of the debris being hauled to the Kansas dump site. What should have been a $150,000 payment for the extra miles and dumping fees turns into over one million dollars windfall for the contractor/carpet cleaning company.
Thousands of dollars were billed for non existent structures on empty lots, allegedly paying for asbestos abatement and demolition of the homes and the hauling away of hundreds of yards of debris despite photo showing the empty lots before the work began.
Micky Mantle's home was sold to a neighboring town and hauled away at their expense, yet the carpet cleaning contractor billed thousands of dollars for demolition and debris hauling and disposal. That same home still exists and is on display in the neighboring town.
Initial bids on the entire project were under one million dollars, with the lowest being just under $600,000. The state realized that the Davis Bacon law didn't have to be followed so they rebid the contracts, expecting to save money for the taxpayers. Indeed, that lowest bid came back $41,000 cheaper than the original bid. But somehow the project was given to the highest bidder for ultimately $3.4 million dollars based upon the carpet cleaning company having a better quality control plan than the other three experienced demolition contractors.
Here is part of the summary of the 2nd audit:
“This report describes various problems with the LICRAT Property Improvement Clearance Project that was bid and awarded through the Department of Central Services(DCS) in December 2010. Although our investigation did not provide direct evidence fora conspiracy against the state, it did provide considerable circumstantial evidence that a conspiracy may have existed.
We observed that the DC$ bid process resulted in this contract being awarded to the same vendor implicated in our report for Objective I, CWF Enterprises, Inc., despite the fact that the March 2010 bid process contained significant violations of the Title 61, Public Competitive Bidding Act and was voided by an Ottawa County District Court on an Open Meeting Act violation.
Every change, modification, or re-interpretation of this second demolition contract served only to increase the eventual payout to the contractor and increased the appearance of favoritism directed to the benefit of CWF Enterprises (CWF). As a consequence of highly questionable change orders and extremely lax contract administration of the December 2010 contract, the payments to CWF, under this second bid award/contract, totaled $3,050,785.93.
This amount, along with a payment to CWf of $366,282.56 under the March 2010 contract, brought the total payments to CWF for the Property Improvement Clearance Project to $3,417,068.49. Contrast this total amount with the original bid received on the project in October 2009, of $599,988.00.
To attribute the following sequence of events surrounding the December 2010 contract to simple coincidence or merely poor management, it would have to be “reasonable” to believe:
• That a restoration-cleaning company with no heavy equipment and little experience in actual demolition work would receive a perfect “10” across the board in the DCS pre-bid qualification process led by Jack Dalrymple, the LICRAT project manager.
• That this same pre-bid qualification process would attempt to disqualify all three other demolition companies by rating them near across-the-board “l’s” on a scale of 1to 10, although two of the three initially disqualified companies provided examples of prior experience of major and more complex demolition contracts totaling tens of millions of dollars.
• That all parties signed a contract omitting the Alternate bid as unnecessary, only to subsequently add the $1.3 million Alternate two months later using “clerical error” as the ostensible justification for increasing the contract award by nearly 78%.
• That adding the $1.3 million Alternate bid as a “clerical error” change order was reasonable and appropriate, although state law prohibits cumulative “change orders or addenda” from exceeding 10% on contracts exceeding $1 million.
• That it was acceptable to invoke the Alternate bid for additional costs to haul debris to a fee-based Kansas landfill when non-fee based facilities were still receiving debris.
• Finally, after invoking the Alternate bid, that it could be presumed legitimate for the contractor to charge LICRAT on a “lump sum” basis for the entire $1.3 million Alternate, even though billing documentation reported only approximately 15% of project debris was hauled to the fee-based Kansas landfill, resulting in a “windfall” to the contractor of over $1 million. We do not believe that the above events can be explained away as poor management or “clerical error.” We believe the above provides sufficient circumstantial evidence for additional investigation into a potential conspiracy against the state.”
Five years after the initial audits were done this gets released, again a few days after the statute of limitations runs out. The two audits even disagree on a few points, as well as disagreeing with a 2013 EPA investigation, showing that political pressure was brought to bear on the auditor who is running for Governor.. Hunter claims he found “found prosecutable evidence of criminal activity.”, well if you wait till the statute of limitations expires that might be the case. Yet the original audit found evidence of violations of the cometitive bidding act, bidder choosing, collusion among bidders, unlawful disclosure of information prior to bidding, conspiracy against the state, open meetings act violations, violations of contractor and bidding bonds, and illegal federal award payments used to pay legal fees for violating the law. Yet somehow these same findings were changed and watered down in the second audit by Gary Jones.
Dalrymple was hired as the project engineer and managed to get the contract language changed allowing him to approve changes in the contract instead of the Trust Board. He stood to profit as he was to be paid 10% on top of the winning bids for the work, so the higher the bids the higher his paycheck. Ten percent of $600,000 is lower than ten percent of $3,400,000 and that was his motivation for rigging the bids according to the audits. The bid inspection and awarding was not done in an open meeting and the awarding of the bid to the highest bidder was never explained as required by law. Why a $599,000 bid was turned down for demolition work and a $2,100,000 bid was accepted has never been explained. Time lines were jumbled, bids were awarded weeks after emails from the principles showed that the bid had been decided upon. Emails proving collusion between parties involved were ignored by prosecutors.
The fraud and collusion is plain to see yet three Attorney Generals fought long and hard to prevent this audit from being done and once done they fought to prevent it being released. Drew Edmondson, Scott Pruitt, and Mike Hunter all protected this corruption and whether they did so because of personal gain or because they were paying off political debts is of no matter, it stunk, it still stinks, and all three men ought to be in front of a grand jury explaining their actions.
House and Senate Platform Indexes Now Online
You can find and download the actual index spreadsheets for the House and Senate at these links:
Soft on Crime Story of the Week
Meet Roderick Scallion, career criminal that loves the current soft on crime legislature. Scallion started his adult criminal career in Hobart in 2003 just after his 20th birthday, CF-2003-00060 possession of drugs, paraphernalia, and having an open beer in his vehicle. He pleaded guilty and was released due to time served in the local jail of 120 days and ordered to pay his court and incarceration costs. Which never happened so a warrant was issued for his arrest on failure to pay. A few years later he had been caught, his suspended sentence revoked, and sent to local jail for sixty days. A year later Scallion is out and still refusing to pay so he is arrested again on a second motion to revoke the suspended sentence. This time they send him to Lexington for two years but of course he is released months later as three years means a few months in actual prison. By 2007 he is still refusing to pay fines and fees and his suspended sentence is revoked again. By 2010 the state still hasn't managed to get a dime from Scallion and once again a warrant is issued for failing to appear to explain why he is not following his agreed payment plan each month. In 2011 he agrees to pay around $800 in arrears and then pay $100 per month but doesn't and it is 2014 before they catch up with Scallion again. Scallion once again agrees to pay and disappears once again with a warrant out for his arrest. Repeat in 2015 and 2016 with zero payment made on the original fines and fees.
Of course this 2003 was just his first adult arrest. The next was in 2005, CF-2005-00063 , escape from detention or arrest. He is let out of jail for time served and the costs waived, agreeing to move to Kansas it seems. By 2006 the dance begins anew with a motion to revoke this suspended sentence and a warrant for Scallion's arrest. 2007 ends with a new payment plan at $100 per month with no payments shown on the court record.
Third arrest in 2006, escaping detention and possession of drugs, CF-2006-00021 . Plead guilty to suspended sentence and probation, ordered to pay fines and fees but no record on the docket showing any was ever paid.
Next arrest was in 2010, petty larceny. Scallion pleads guilty, sentenced to time served and fees, doesn't pay.
March of 2010, Tulsa County, CF-2010-822 , assault and battery on a police officer, possession of drugs with intention to distribute, driving without a license, and escaping detention. This case winds on for years, multiple bondsmen, multiple attorneys of public defender, multiple failure to appears, warrants, and re arrests. By May of 2014 Scallion pleads guilty and receives suspended sentences, some time served, some community service, and of course agrees to pay fines and fees that he will never pay. By September of 2014 he isn't paying or appearing and another warrant is issued. By September the suspended sentences are revoked. Scallion once again cuts a deal and the suspension of the sentences stays in place but by early 2015 he is refusing to pay and appear once again and another warrant is issued and once again the suspended sentences are revoked. Around this same time Scallion has time and money to get married.
Next arrest in Kiowa County was late 2014, breaking and entering and escaping detention again. Plead guilty, sentenced to the 135 days of time served awaiting trial, and fines of course which were not paid.
By 2015 Scallion still isn't paying but the notes on the file show he did call in to the court clerk.....
2015, obstructing an officer, CM-2014-00373. Plead guilty because he isn't gonna pay anyway, doesn't show up again. On this one case Scallion has around $5000 in incarceration costs alone plus another thousand or so of court costs and fees.
September 2016 and Scallion has moved this business to Oklahoma County, arrested on CF-2016-7405 for assault and battery on a police officer, no doubt in trying to escape capture for one of his warrants. By May of 2017 Scallion has been through several attorneys, most likely not paying their bill, The case is still pending and scheduled to be heard August 2018, three years after the crime was committed.
September 2016 and Scallion has committed another series of crimes, CF-2016-7407 another assault and battery on a police officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, and concealing stolen property. Set for Jury trial in March of 2018 but continued to August of 2018.
A few days after committing the crimes above Scallion committed another felony, CF-2016-7519 , using a stolen credit card it seems. By May 20176 he has jumped bail and is on the run again. Scallion posts bond a few weeks later after being caught but jumps bail again a few weeks later. He pleads guilty in September of 2017 and gets a three year suspended sentence with 120 days credit for time served while awaiting trial. But Scallion once again breaks his deal and the case is set for jury trial again in August of 2018.
September 2016 another set of charges have been filed, CF-2016-7542 , committing felonies in two or more counties and Burglary first degree, and five counts of having and using a stolen credit card. Set for trial in March of 2018 but continued till August of 2018, nearly two years after the crime was committed.
Thirteen years of crime after crime after crime. The legal system choked with hearings and trials for a man that always pleads guilty after exhausting the delays, promises to pay and then disappears or simply doesn't pay any of the tens of thousands of dollars in court costs or incarceration fees. And time after time a judge gives Scallion another chance and kicks the can down the road.
People say we lock up too many people. The fact is you have to work really, really, hard to get sent to prison and you are there about one quarter to one third of the time sentenced if your victim is lucky.
Intro to 5/20/18 Sooner Tea Party Newsletter
John R. Houk, Editor
Posted May 24, 2018
Newsletter Title - Some of the Faces of Corruption