Tom Price Wants to Show Oklahomans "A Better Way"

We said that after maps for millionaires passes, the anti 1804 forces (chambers of commerce) would spring to life, and they have.

OKPNS also reported that the U.S. and State Chambers were suing to repeal HB 1804, Oklahoma’s immigration reform bill.

Tom Price, of Chesapeake Energy, according to The Oklahoman, “is forming a nonprofit group called A Better Way Oklahoma to more humanely and responsibly address the state’s immigration woes. As part of that process, the group will conduct town hall meetings throughout the state to assess citizen input and concerns.”

The McCarville Report writes:

A group calling itself “A Better Way Oklahoma” appears ready to launch an all-out attack on the state’s new immigration law that began life as Rep. Randy Terrill’s House Bill 1804.

Word of the group’s formation came today in an interview in The Oklahoman in which Tom Price Jr., senior vice president of corporate development for Chesapeake Energy, discusses the new law. The thrust of the article is that Leadership Oklahoma City alumni invited Terrill and others to a Wednesday debate on the bill, but none “were able to participate.”


Price said the group will sponsor town hall meetings across the state to “assess citizen input and concerns.”

According to The Oklahoman:

Price said there’s an expected exodus of 250,000 Hispanics from Oklahoma in the coming years as a result of HB 1804. He said as he started to understand broader economic implications, he brought those concerns to several state legislators who supported the bill. He said he was told not to worry about the bill because “we didn’t allocate any enforcement dollars.”

The group is apparently not convinced by U.S. Representative Dan Boren’s (D-OK) opinion that the legislation will be irrelevant after the presidential elections in November, or that the expected mass exodus simply isn’t happening.

Back in February, we hinted the Oklahoma press corps would largely ignore the story, and we were right. But little did we know that the state’s out-of-touch and ineffective business lobby would spring their double cross so soon after the vote.

Furthering the irony, United States Senator James Inhofe has been quoted in today’s McCarville Report gently telling the group, in essence, to pipe down. Poll after poll shows the public overwhelmingly approve of the measure, and even the misguided business group’s own internal polling shows no education campaign, regardless of the amount spent, will dissuade the voters from their position.

Why would business groups pursue an effort that will anger voters and ultimately fail? One insider says lobbyists and con men will make big bucks on the effort:

Price is just an employee. If he screws up, they can cut their losses. As usual lobbyists, lawyers and ‘public affairs specialists’ have talked these naive business leaders into dropping big bucks on this, which will end up in the con artists’ pocket. Con artists are just part of the landscape at the state capitol when it comes to anything dubbed ‘reform,’ such a ‘tort reform and ‘workers’ compensation reform.’

While the states’ leading newspapers continue to ignore the obvious, we’ll keep on following this explosive developing story.

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