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Conspiracy Against Freedom
October 4, 2007 — 12:06 am

My pal Paul Jacob is in some pretty serious hot water. It seems Oklahoma’s attorney general is prosecuting him for “conspiracy to defraud the state” — for ostensibly failing to comply with a technicality in the state’s petitioning laws.

This is a big deal — it’s a felony charge that could lead to 10 years in prison. For a technicality that Paul insists he never even violated.

So, what did Paul actually do? He helped advise a TABOR (taxpayers’ bill of rights) petition drive in Oklahoma in 2005. According to Oklahoma law, only that state’s residents can collect signatures to get a petition on the ballot. The petition’s organizers wondered whether they could get out-of-state petitioners to move to Oklahoma and declare residency in order to begin petitioning. So they asked — and they were told to go ahead. According to Paul’s statement:

I was then informed that under Oklahoma’s statutory residency requirement, people could move to Oklahoma and immediately declare residency, and thus be qualified to circulate the petition. The petition company felt enough people could be recruited to move to Oklahoma to gather enough signatures to bring the question to the ballot.

When I inquired as to whether the state officials had been asked for their guidelines on what constitutes residency, I was told that the petition company had indeed sought—and received—the advice and approval of officials in the Secretary of State’s office. Indeed, two separate individuals with National Voter Outreach spoke to government officials to determine the rules on residency. They were told that people could indeed come to Oklahoma, declare residency, and begin circulating a petition.

In good faith, the company acted on this information.

After the fact, the Oklahoma Supreme Court interpreted the state’s law to mean “that no one who moves to the state to accept a job, no matter how long the duration, is a ‘genuine’ resident unless he is committed to remaining in the state permanently.” This would prohibit the petitioners used in 2005 — even though the organizers were told at the time it was OK to use them.

So now Paul, along with two others, is being charged with a felony, for violating a technicalicy in petitioning law that wasn’t even a violation at the time it happened.

Conspiracy, indeed. Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson and his cronies are engaging in a conspiracy against freedom.

Read more at the LFB Blog, Hit & Run, Wirkman Netizen, The Washington Examiner’s blog, Ballotpedia, Chetley Zarko’s blog, The Insider, and, of course, Free Paul Jacob.

— Eric D. DixonComments (0)

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Eric D. Dixon

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