Thursday, October 20, 2016


During last night's presidential debate, Chris Wallace asked about Trump's recent accusation that the election is "rigged." Clinton responded:

So that is not the way our democracy works. We've been around for 240 years. We've had free and fair elections. We've accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.

Has the Gore v. Bush election of 2000 been completely forgotten? I still hear Democrats refer to it as a stolen election, or even a coup.

Al Gore recently spoke with HC at a rally in Florida. I found this in a NYT account of the event:

"Now, for those of you who are younger than 25, you might not remember the election of 2000 and what happened here in Florida,” [Gore] said, addressing students from Miami-Dade College, among others in attendance. “For those of you older than 25, I heard you murmuring just now.” 
Soon, a chant rang out: “You won!”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Nathan's Shell Game

Do you know how a "shell bill" works?  If the party in power wants to pass a bill quickly and without too much scrutiny by the voters, an existing bill that was introduced earlier in the legislative session, but never taken up, will be gutted and the smelly legislation inserted.  Often, several innocuous sounding bills will be introduced early in the session just so they'll be available later if such a need should arise.  Those are shell bills.

That was standard procedure during the many decades that the Democrats controlled the Oklahoma legislature.  Now that the Republicans are in control . . . well, standard procedure continues.  It is disappointing, but not surprising. 

What is surprising is that State Senator Nathan Dahm (R) has recently engaged in the practice.  This time, the shell bill was HB2416.  When it was originally introduced in the House in February, it merely modified the termination date of the State Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters.  Not much to see there, right?  

But Sen. Dahm proposed an amendment to the Senate version of the legislation, which seeks to remove Pawnee County from its current 14th Judicial District that it shares with Tulsa County, and moves it into the 10th Judicial District with Osage County.  It might still not seem like much to shout about, although it certainly has nothing to do with shorthand reporters, but it certainly got a rise out of the judges and members of the county bar associations in Pawnee and Osage Counties, who were not consulted before the new version of HB2416 was voted upon and passed by the State Senate. (This article in the Cleveland American provides further details, although it is incorrect when it suggests the legislation has not yet been considered by the Senate.)

To more fully appreciate the depth of the deception, follow this link to a page on the Oklahoma legislature's official website, reporting the passage of the bill in the Senate.  It shows that the bill passed by a vote of 36-10, and that the title of the bill is: "Sunset; State Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters; re-creating Board; modifying termination date." 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Computerized Finger Imaging for Voter Registration

New Oklahoma House Bill 2592, introduced by Rep. David Perryman (D), would require all new voter registrants in Oklahoma to have their fingerprints scanned and entered into database. The database can be accessed by law enforcement by "court order."  

I have not heard Perryman comment upon his bill, or explain his motivation, but it appears his bill is intended to provide a means for those without voter id to still vote. Such people already have other options, so this seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem.

This opinion piece by Rep. Perryman from 2014 provides some clues. In it, he seems to be critical of the State of Oklahoma's reluctance to comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005, while also criticizing Oklahoma's new voter id law. Maybe he just really likes government databases.