Archive for the ‘Drew Edmondson’ Category

Flashback: Turpen-Edmondson "Doing It For the Children" (and $268 million)

May 13, 2008

W. A. D. Edmondson taking a break in between cases. Is his golf club taller than he is?

Hearing that Edmondson and Turpen were again using a once-respected public affairs show to dissemble on the Oklahoma public reminds us of the fat (no pun intended) payout Turpen received as the result of his alliance with the attorney general.

Oklahoma will eventually receive $2.6 billion dollars in the national tobacco settlement. Edmondson appointed several law firms to walk off with the lottery earnings while the firms pretended to litigate on behalf of the citizens of the state. The hard working lawyers, who according to most reports spent no time in the courtroom, got $268 million in fees for their “strategic contribution.”

Six national law firms, including movie-lawyer-turned-criminal defendant Richard Scruggs, shared the winnings with among others, Riggs Abney of Tulsa. The law firms attempted to charge the taxpayers a rate of $6000 per hour, but gave the citizens a break since they are such good guys.

Scruggs has been busy these days, but Edmondson was able to bring Scruggs’ buddy Ron Motley into the poultry suit, which we’re sure he’s doing for the children and not in hopes of another obscene profit safari.

Related:

FreePaulJacob.com: Edmondson helps block term limits on himself

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House Fails to Overide Henry Veto of Lawsuit Reform

May 13, 2008

Excerpt from Speaker Benge’s press release:

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 12, 2008) –House Democrats voted in lock step with the trial lawyer lobby today when an attempt to override the governor’s veto of reasonable lawsuit reform failed on the House floor.

Gov. Brad Henry vetoed House Bill 2458 last week, claiming the bill is unconstitutional. The bill would require a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit for professional negligence to attach to the petition an affidavit attesting that a “reasonable interpretation of the facts supports a finding that the acts or omissions of the defendant….constituted professional negligence.”

Rep. Colby Schwartz, author of the bill, called the legislation a meaningful step in reducing frivolous lawsuits in Oklahoma and criticized House Democrats for locking up on a bill that passed the Senate unanimously in its current form.

“The governor of Oklahoma does not get to decide if legislation is constitutional; that job is left to our court system,” said Schwartz, R-Yukon. “This bill would have cleared the courts of frivolous lawsuits to make way for those with legitimate cases, but instead House Democrats voted today to keep our court system clogged with expensive lawsuits without merit.”

The House Democrats actions today reminded us of a website our readers should be familiar with that deals with legal extortionists: www.overlawyered.com.

A massive archive there helps you follow the major league offenders, such as Ron Motley, the Charleston-based legal pirate that Edmondson has brought in to work the poultry cases on behalf of the, ahem, taxpayers since his other buddy Dickie Scruggs has been unavoidably detained.

Paul Jacob Supporters Answer Critics

May 8, 2008

From FreePaulJacob.com

FreePaulJacob.com has already tackled the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC) and its dumb attacks on Paul Jacob in several previous blog entries (for example, here and here and here). Off-point, silly sallies seem to be all the BISC boys can muster, but for the record, here’s a rundown of charges in BISC’s kit bag as purveyed on their fraudulently named stopballotfraud.com site.

WHAT BISC SAYS: “Paul Jacob is a long-time lieutenant for ultra libertarian causes like legislative and judicial term limits, strict tax caps that bankrupt state government, and the removal of land use policies that protect the environment while allowing for growth.”

ANSWER: Uh…term limits is an “ultra-libertarian cause”? We’ll accept that over, say, “ultra-authoritarian” or “ultra-commie,” but does BISC really mean to imply that the majority of the voting public—who, after all, are the ones who pass term limits when they have the chance and who keep supporting term limits and fending off politicians’ attempts to undo term limits—are all “ultra-libertarian”?

WHAT BISC SAYS: “Jacob is also the director of Citizens in Charge, a group he uses to advocate for the expansion of ballot initiatives so he can take his ballot ideas to all 50 states.”

ANSWER: Yes, Citizens in Charge supports the initiative process—unlike BISC. Shouldn’t citizens in all 50 states have the ability to use voter initiatives to check the excesses of politicians? Why does BISC seek to undermine the initiative process? What are they afraid of? Maybe they can change their name to the Ballot Initiative Stopping Center.

WHAT BISC SAYS: “In 2007 a multi-county grand jury in Oklahoma indicted Jacob and two others for their involvement in the 2005 petition drive to put the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) initiative on the ballot. They were charged with conspiracy to defraud voters by hiring out-of-state signature gatherers, against Oklahoma state laws.”

ANSWER: Darn these brazen involvements in petition drives anyway! What a blight on the body politic, much like democracy, constitutions, constitutionally protected democracy and petition rights….

Taking their cue from Oklahoma Attorney General Edmondson, BISC hides behind a grand-jury indictment that has been dismissed, only to be replaced by a direct indictment from the very political AG. The actual charge is conspiracy to defraud the state. Read more…

Related:

Exclusive: Paul Jacob Speaks Out Today in Oklahoma City (3/13/08)

Drew Edmondson: Poster Child for Term Limits

April 23, 2008


Courtesy of one of our “Capitol reporters”

Drew Edmondson and his entourage filed into the House gallery on Thursday of last week to personally hear the debate and watch the vote on the state-wide elected official term limits bill (SB 1987). Edmondson was seen hastily walking out of the chamber in disgust of passage of the measure. Reportedly, Edmondson spent the rest of the morning arguing with fellow Democrat and lobbyist Pat Hall about this legislation passing the Senate and going to a vote of the people.

Edmondson is targeting Sen. Nancy Riley and Sen. Susan Paddack to change their orginal YES vote for term limits to a NO vote in the coming weeks. Seems Drew doesn’t want to leave his office anytime soon…

From freepauljacob.com:

Yes, it’s true. Drew Edmondson, the four-time incumbent attorney general of Oklahoma, notorious for abusing the power of his office to prosecute honest supporters of Oklahomans’ citizen initiative rights, has publicly stated his opposition to a bill that would limit his tenure as well as that of other state officials. Read more

GetRightOK.com: The fight of the session: Term Limits v. Entrenched Incumbent

Grand Jury Indicts Woodward County Sheriff

March 28, 2008

A Woodward County grand jury is calling for removal of the county sheriff on accusations including filing bogus travel claims and willful neglect of duty, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.

Woodward County Sheriff Leslie Morton is named in a 20-count indictment unsealed yesterday morning in Woodward County District Court for allegedly filing false, fictitious or fraudulent claims between July 2003 and February 2005. The grand jury alleges these false claims totaled about $10,000. The indictment includes 20 alternative counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain property by trick or deception, false statements or pretenses.

The grand jury’s accusation for removal, also unsealed yesterday, accuses Morton of corruption in office and willful neglect of duty. Morton is accused of willful neglect of duty for allegedly refusing to address costs incurred for the housing of Woodward County inmates in the Woods County Jail and for conduct “inconsistent with conduct becoming the chief law enforcement officer.” The corruption in office allegations mirror the false claims charges in the criminal indictment.

Morton was elected county sheriff in 1998. Edmondson said:

It is always regrettable when a law enforcement officer is accused of violating the laws he has sworn to uphold. A Woodward County grand jury, comprised of Woodward County citizens, found probable cause to issue the indictment and call for removal. It is now up to the courts to determine the outcome of this case.

The grand jury’s final report was also unsealed yesterday.

Also see:

This Spring, or next Spring?

March 28, 2008

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, and private attorneys have recently asked the court for an injunction against the poultry companies as part of a 2005 lawsuit, to stop the spreading of poultry litter near the Illinois River Watershed area before the “Spring Rains,” arrive.

Spring, however, arrived March 21, this year, and we’ve already had a lot of that Spring rain. Meanwhile, Attorney General Edmondson has asked the court for a four-month extension to produce expert witness reports. Spring 2008 will be a non-issue by then, of course. The court has granted a 45 day extension.

In three years of negotiations, these attorneys have not had time to gather the needed expert witness reports? Perhaps they meant Spring 2009?

Tulsa Man Sentenced in Gas Price Gouging Case

March 25, 2008

Drivers who were illegally overcharged for gasoline could see a refund after a Tulsa gas station owner pleaded no contest today to price gouging during the December ice storms, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.

Mohammed Mannan, 38, was charged Feb. 12 in Tulsa County District Court with three misdemeanor counts of violating the Oklahoma Emergency Price Stabilization Act. Mannan, owner and operator of the M&F Mart, 3025 S. Memorial in Tulsa, was accused of illegally raising the price of gasoline from $2.69 to $3.29 after a state of emergency was declared in December.

Mannan, who was ordered to serve a six-month deferred sentence, must pay refunds to consumers who paid the artificially inflated price. Consumers who think they may have been overcharged will need to complete a consumer complaint form and provide a receipt, bank or credit card statement or other proof of payment. Purchases made on Dec. 10 may be eligible for a refund. To receive a form, consumers can contact the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit at 405-521-2029 or http://www.oag.ok.gov. Mannan will also pay a $1,500 fine plus court costs.

Oklahoma’s price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a state of emergency has been declared:

No person for the duration of a declaration of emergency by the Governor of this state or by the President of the United States and for thirty (30) days thereafter shall sell, rent, or lease, or offer to sell, rent, or lease, for delivery in the emergency area, any goods, services, dwelling units, or storage space in the emergency area at a rate or price which is more than ten percent (10%) above the rate or price charged by the person for the same or similar goods, services, dwelling units, or storage spaces immediately prior to the declaration of emergency unless the increase in the rate or price is attributable only to factors unrelated to the emergency and does not include any increase in profit to the seller or owner.

But Cows Poop, Too!

March 12, 2008

So do “pigs, sheep, wild birds, deer, leaky septic tanks and city sewer plants.” This seems to be the argument from the poulty industry in response to Drew Edmondson’s arguments for stopping the disposal of chicken litter near the Illinois watershed, according to a report in the Arkansas Democrat and Gazette.

Edmondson, according to the report wasn’t impressed, and wondered if this all they’ve got:

That’s not a denial of the role they play. They’ve been saying there are other contributors. We’ve said ‘Yes, that’s true, but you are the biggest contributor.’ What separates the impact of poultry litter from cattle manure is timing. [Explaining that cow manurem for example is deposited by the cows year round, whereas poultry farmers saturate the ground with it in the Spring, at the beginning of the growing season, just as the weather is warming up and people start going to the river for recreational purposes].

People don’t canoe in those other rivers. We are willing to go where the evidence takes us. The evidence points at the poultry industry, not the cattle industry. We could be more active in fencing cattle away from streams and having setbacks from rivers, but if we want to get into the pollution of the Illinois River, the answer is in poultry.

Chicken Back-Scratching

March 11, 2008

Previously, OKPNS reported that the Poultry Industry called into question the use of private law firms on a contigency-fee basis for the state of Oklahoma in Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s case against several Arkansas poultry companies, which may not be in the best interest of Oklahomans

A motion was filed last year by Tyson foods, saying, such a practice “violates both the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions:”

The Contingency Fee Contract transgresses due process under both the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions because it inextricably commingles use of the State’s power by private attorneys with an executory obligation on the part of the State to provide these attorneys with massive private profit that varies depending on the results of the litigation.

[…]

Moreover, because the Contract commits a large percentage of any damages the State may recover to the State Contingency Lawyers in the absence of a specific legislative authorization, the Attorney General has violated the separation-of-powers provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution…

Also, we reported that there is a trend nationwide and in Oklahoma, for private law firms to financially support the campaigns of only Democrat Attorney’s General.

Now, Legal Newsline has discovered that the major law firm on Drew Edmondson’s lawsuit against the poultry industry, Riggs Abney, has been one of Drew Edmondson’s “most faithful [campaign] contributors:”

The Tulsa firm’s first public connection with Edmondson, who has been Oklahoma’s AG since 1992, appeared in the late 1990s. Riggs Abney was one of several Oklahoma firms that worked with Edmondson on the state’s tobacco settlement, which landed Oklahoma’s private attorneys $250 million from the final settlement – and Riggs Abney $30 million.

In the years since then, AG Edmondson and the Oklahoma Democratic Party have counted Riggs Abney as amongst their most faithful contributors. In the years 2001-2004, one researcher discovered, 15 attorneys at Riggs Abney donated almost $50,000 to Edmondson’s re-election campaigns.

Partners M. David Riggs and Mike Turpen were Edmondson’s largest individual donors within the firm, giving $8,600 and $8,100 respectively.

Poll – Drew Edmondson v. the Poultry Industry

March 10, 2008

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is currently suing the Poultry Industry, mostly in Arkansas, on the basis that too much fecal bacteria from the chicken farms is leeching into the Illinois watershed. For more information on OKPNS about this lawsuit click here. We’d like to know what you think.