Friday, August 22, 2014

The Oklahoma Right Wing: Felons, Hypocrites, and Drug Fiends

It hasn't been the best of weeks for some of the local GOP and tea party Glitterati.

First out of the chute, so to speak, was big Al Gerhart. Over the course of the past couple of years he has gone from founder of the Sooner Tea Party, political terrorist, and bully, to convicted felon. In May a jury found him guilty of trying to blackmail former state senator Cliff Branan and violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.

Earlier this week an Oklahoma County judge refused to throw out the conviction and confirmed Brother Gerhart will have to pay his $1,000 fine, plus $90 to a victims fund. Gerhart, who, in the last few months has tried to transition from bellicose tough guy into an Oklahoma version of Joan d'Arc, promised the local media he will appeal the decision.

The Oklahoman's Nolan Clay quoted him as saying, "I'm a felon now for speaking my mind in a political manner. If I don't (appeal) every single person in the state can be done the same way I've been done. It is wrong. It is wrong."

Actually none of us will be "done the same way" so long as we don't email a state senator and tell him, "...get that bill heard, or I will make sure you regret not doing it. I will make you the laughing stock of the Senate if I don't hear that this bill will be heard and passed. We will dig into your past, yoru (sic) family, your associates and once we start there will be no end to it. This is a promise." In addition Gerhart publicly questioned whether Branan's wife and family, "were under control" and said he would go to Branan's church to make sure the congregation knew what he was up to. Finally, he claimed the "scuttlebutt" in the senate was Branan was having an affair with a staffer.

Gerhart admitted to Clay he was "rough" on Branan, because, in his mind, he had to be since the Senator was corrupt and it was the only way to make him listen. He then claimed his Sooner Tea Party was the reason Branan lost in the republican primary when he ran for a seat on the Corporation Commission.


Yesterday, The Oklahoman published a story by Warren Vieth about Governor Mary Fallin. Veith quoted Fallin as recently saying of the Affordable Care Act, "Every month we learn a new lesson about why the state of Oklahoma should stay as far away from Obamacare as possible."

The headline above the story read, "Gov. Fallin applies for Obamacare grant."


According to Vieth on July 18th Fallin requested a $3 million grant to "develop an Oklahoma State Innovation Model based on health system innovation that makes good business sense." The grant is only available through the Affordable Care Act. He also quoted Fallin's communications director, Alex Weintz as saying, "I wouldn't label this an Obamacare grant. I think that classification is confusing to people."

Well you have to say something don't you, besides it is best to keep it simple for all those tea party types out there carrying pitchforks and torches. Vieth writes the application for the grant became public only after a group called Oklahoma Watch got a copy of it from a confidential source.

Fallin's hypocrisy shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. While running for governor four years ago she rather ham-handedly hinted her democratic opponent, Jeri Askins, who has never been married, was unfit by claiming you needed to have a family to effectively represent the people of Oklahoma.

Yes, there is nothing quite like those conservative Oklahoma style family values. In a recent post on the blog, "The Lost Ogle," it was revealed Fallin's first husband, Joe proposed to her while they were attending a party thrown by Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. Needless to say it isn't a place where you would expect a social conservative to show up at, because, after all, Hef, not only loves to have naked women running around all over the place, but unabashed coitus with just about anyone who shows up. Mary Fallin's marriage to Joe ended in divorce while she was serving as Lt. Governor. Not long after the split a highway patrol officer who was her security was reassigned because of an alleged inappropriate relationship with her.

Then we come to Chad Alexander. He is one of those murky money types the republicans are infested with. He was a political consultant and the organizer of a pac called, Oklahomans for a Conservative Future. Earlier this year the OCF was happily funding ads in support of people like T.W. Shannon, a U.S. Senate candidate and Joy Hofmeister, who was running for Superintendent of State Schools. Unfortunately Alexander had to resign from the pac in May when he was accused by the police of being a drug fiend.

On the 13th of that month Mr. Alexander was charged with both possession of cocaine and illegal prescription pain meds. He was also accused of obstructing a police officer in the performance of his duties.

Today things got worse for him.

In a story written by Nolan Clay, The Oklahoman revealed there is an ongoing investigation by Oklahoma County DA, David Prater into possible collusion between the political action committee and both candidates.

According to Clay, the DA's investigator is looking into an accusation Hofmeister's campaign solicited Alexander's pac to run attack ads against incumbent republican, Janet Barresi during the primary race. In theory any such communication and, or coordination between a candidate and a super pac is illegal. Both are supposed to remain completely separate.

Clay writes that the Barresi campaign found an April email from Hofmeister which talked about her meeting with a representative of AH Strategies and later that day with Alexander, who, in her words was, "probably a better fit for the independent campaign."

In a text message uncovered by the DA's office, AH Strategies rep, Fount Holland, who was by then, directly involved in Hofmeister's campaign, reportedly asked Alexander if University of Oklahoma President David Boren would be upset if his pac ran independent expenditures against Barresi. Alexander answered by saying he'd use, "a different 527." At the time Alexander was also working as a lobbyist for OU.

So there we have it. When it comes to Oklahoma republicans, felons, morally questionable hypocrites, and drug addicts running corrupt political enterprises seem to be the rule. In fact, at this point the only thing missing from the local GOP resume is a post concert hot tub orgy with Ted Nugent and his band, although given their track record that debauchery might already be on any number of day calenders.

Hey, if these clowns are going to incessantly talk the talk, you'd think they would at least make some sort of effort to walk the walk.

Luckily for the rest of us, the bar is open.


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