Monday, December 17, 2018

OCPA slams proposed Ethics Commission rule

OCPA statement on Oklahoma Ethics Commission’s proposed rule 2019-02

Responding to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission’s proposed rule 2019-02, which would classify as “indirect lobbying” even casual conversations about legislation and could require organizations to publish membership lists, Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), released the following statement:

“As an Oklahoman who happens to be black, I am appalled that the Ethics Commission is trying to do what racist government officials attempted in the 1950s.

“In the Jim Crow era, Alabama and Florida officials wanted to force the NAACP to turn over membership lists. Today, the Ethics Commission wants to force similar organizations to turn over the names, addresses, and employers of their supporters.

“People who support pro-life causes or pro-abortion causes, those who want the Legislature to pass constitutional carry and those who demand more gun restrictions—anyone who works with or supports an organization that cares about Oklahoma law would be regulated and outed by this proposed rule.

“Thankfully, the Supreme Court in 1958 and 1963 found that such actions violate the Fourteenth Amendment. Freedom of speech and association, and to petition our government, are protected by our federal and state constitutions. These freedoms include the right to do these things without having the Ethics Commission post your name, home address, and employer online.”


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