Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pruitt hails victory in Obamacare lawsuit

Oklahoma's fantastic Attorney General hits another homer:

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt hailed the state’s victory in its lawsuit challenging the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In September 2012, Oklahoma was the first to challenge the legality of an IRS rule that caused billions in illegal subsidies to be paid out, despite Congress having never authorized those payments. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ronald White ruled in favor of the state’s lawsuit challenging that IRS rule.

“Today’s ruling is a consequential victory for the rule of law. The administration and its bureaucrats in the IRS handed out billions in illegal tax credits and subsidies and vastly expanded the reach of the health care law because they didn’t like the way Congress wrote the Affordable Care Act. That’s not how our system of government works,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “The Obama administration created this problem and rather than having an agency like the IRS rewrite a law it didn’t like, the administration should have done the right thing and worked with Congress to amend the law. Oklahoma was the first to challenge the administration's actions and today's ruling vindicates what we recognized early on and that is the administration can't rewrite the Affordable Care Act by executive fiat.”

Oklahoma’s lawsuit challenges an IRS rule from May 2012 that called for 1) tax subsidies to be issued in states like Oklahoma without a state-based health care exchange and 2) assessed “large employer” penalties in states that did not establish state health care exchanges. Both parts of the rule contradict the language of the ACA, which plainly states that tax subsidies can only be issued and tax penalties are only to be assessed in states that established state-based health care exchanges.

The ruling in the Eastern District of Oklahoma can be appealed by the Department of Justice to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Click here for a copy of the judge's order.

“Today’s ruling is a huge win for Oklahoma, but it’s just a first step. Since Oklahoma filed the first lawsuit in 2012, others have followed our lead and made similar claims in other jurisdictions. It’s likely this issue will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. We look forward to making our case and continuing the effort to hold federal agencies accountable to their duty to enforce the laws passed by Congress,” Attorney General Pruitt said.

Attorney General Pruitt expressed thanks to the attorneys in the AG’s Office who worked on this case.

“I want to thank Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick and the attorneys in our federalism unit for their dedication and outstanding legal work on this important case,” General Pruitt said.

Desperation: Democrats printing fake Barresi signs

A fake Barresi sign in Muskogee

It appears that Oklahoma Democrats have reached a new low in their desperation to turn the tide on their years-long losing streak. Their latest stunt? Printing fake Janet Barresi signs and placing them next to other Republican signs in an effort to tie those candidates to the unpopular State Superintendent, who lost in the June GOP Primary.

Last week, these signs started popping up in the Muskogee area, and may be an indication of a broader Democratic strategy, prompting the Oklahoma Republican Party to send out an email about the issue (re-posted below from TheOkie):

Friday, September 19, 2014

AG Pruitt Comments on Victory in Ten Commandments Monument Lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Friday commented on Oklahoma’s victory in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU challenging a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

“Today’s ruling is a clear message that the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public grounds like the Oklahoma Capitol because of the historical role the text has played in the founding of our nation. The Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds is constitutional because of its historical value. The U.S. Supreme Court found constitutional a nearly identical monument in Texas. We were confident in the state’s case from the start and appreciate the court’s thoughtful consideration and ruling in the state’s favor,” Attorney General Pruitt said.

An Oklahoma County judge Friday granted Oklahoma’s motion for summary judgment and ruled the monument was constitutional.

In Van Orden v. Perry, the U.S. Supreme Court found constitutional a nearly identical Ten Commandments monument in Texas based on the historical value of the text on the monument. The Oklahoma Ten Commandments monument was based on the Texas monument.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fallin campaign launches new ad

The Fallin for Governor Campaign today released a new ad, titled “Independent,” to run on network television in markets across Oklahoma.

The ad showcases Oklahoma’s conservative, independent spirit, and how Governor Mary Fallin has worked to protect the state’s independence from the federal government.

“Independent” Script:

Oklahoma’s a pretty special place. 
We have a strong connection to the land, a fierce independent spirit and a deep faith that sustains us through difficult times.
So when Washington gets in the way, Oklahomans push back. 
It's why I refused to go along with Obamacare and stood up to an out of control EPA.
Whether it’s Washington bureaucrats or even the President, I’ll take the fight to them.
Because no one care more about Oklahoma. 
No one.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

An Ironic Contribution

I stumbled across a very ironic campaign contribution this evening, as I was glancing through some reports from the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. Sometimes, a candidate will loan their campaign money, which can be paid back at a future date. In some cases, it takes several years to 'retire' campaign debt.

Take State Auditor Gary Jones. In his 2010 race, Gary loaned his campaign $60,000. During the course of that race, he was outspent by the Democrat incumbent $806,000 to $134,000. 

State Auditor isn't a glamorous position, and tends to get the little attention from political donors. Gary still has debt from his previous race, and is raising money to pay it off. Which brings me to the ironic contribution...

(click image to enlarge)

In case you've forgotten...

... Steve Burrage was the sitting State Auditor in 2010 when Gary Jones defeated him.

Steve Burrage donated to Gary Jones to help retire debt incurred beating himself!

I think it's safe to say there's no hard feelings about that race!