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Sooner Tea Party offices ransacked, records stolen

Associated Press
Al Gerhart heads the Sooner Tea Party
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Sometime over the long weekend burglars battered down a steel side door into my shop and ransacked the office.   Few items were taken, a window air conditioner, a laptop with business records, two small donation checks to STP, some blank business checks, a cheap inkjet printer,  and the checkbooks for the three organizations. 

But what was really strange was the theft of stacks of records for the Sooner Tea Party and the Oklahoma Tea Party PAC along with a Rolodex and all the business card files. The responding officer for the police report said that records and business contact info are never taken in normal burglaries.

Given that there was a huge shop filled with very expensive tooling and tools that went untouched, it is obvious that the thieves were mainly after the records.  The entry took some time and was very loud, they beat the door with a sledge hammer till it bent enough to pry the long surface deadbolts past their sockets, ripping the thick steel jamb on the lower deadbolt. The thieves were unusually determined to get inside yet they left the most valuable property untouched.

Another coincidence perhaps was the lead story in Tuesday's Oklahoman, a story on the process at the capitol that approves legislation.  The story was front page, above the fold, the most prime real estate in a newspaper.   On page 4a the story continued with three RINO legislators explaining that the system isn't broken, then Bingman and Steele explain that committee chairs are picked for their willingness match the state's "priorities".

Rep. Charles Key was given about one quarter of a page to present our side of the issue, and the Oklahoman was unusually decent in the editing of this story, they usually take an underhanded swipe at Key.  The other interesting part was that the story had a Tulsa World source.   A known liberal-leaning paper writes a story that another progressive paper prints...

Another thing to consider.   Why print this now after the session has ended?

Here is my take on this.  The Tulsa World realized that few Democrat bills made it to a committee vote this session.  They also realized that this issue is going to have legs with the general public, it is patently undemocratic to disenfranchise tens of thousands of people by refusing to allow their legislators to get a bill heard.  The Oklahoman is beginning to understand this is not only not going away,  but that it is a hammer that the grassroots can use to cause serious damage to the progressive cause between now and the 2012 elections.

The story doesn't mention the discharge petition battle the last week of the session, the story about Rep. Don Armes screaming at the two ladies, nor the massive amounts of robocalls that went into the RINO House Districts, nor is there a peep about who is behind it all, the Sooner Tea Party.  They dare not give us credit for forcing the legislature to address the issue nor that we managed to something even better than a recorded vote on the issue, we got a cold, hard, refusal to support representative government with a signature on that discharge petition for HR 1004 and HJR 1004.

In my opinion, the story was very carefully crafted by the Tulsa World to lay out  the reasons why the establishment doesn't want to hear all the bills:

  • Not enough time supposedly to hear the bills
  • Moving the legislative deadline wouldn't work
  • Bills may not follow the legislature's agenda

Basically this article was a preemptive strike on the issue of allowing bills to be heard in committee, used by the Tulsa World to prepare their more liberal base for the controversy and used by the Oklahoman to prepare their more progressive Republican base..

Bottom line is very simple.   We forced the two largest papers in the state to talk about our issue in order to inoculate their supporters for what is to come this summer.  The House and Senate leadership participated fully in this charade.

They fear us.  I can smell the stench of fear in this. 

They fear us enough that they found someone to break into our offices in order to quantify the magnitude of our reach by finding out how much money we are raising and how we are spending it.

What do we do when they squeal?  We increase the pressure on them.

What do we do when they attack us?   We increase the pressure on them even more.

We changed the bank accounts for all three organizations given the theft of the blank checks.   It would be a good idea for those that have donated in the past to the Sooner Tea Party or to the Oklahoma Tea Party PAC to keep an eye on their checking accounts and to watch out for unusual requests for donations.  If you donated to the Sooner Tea Party by check in the last few weeks, please watch for that check to clear your bank and let us know if it wasn't deposited with the Sooner Tea Party..

Copyright 2011 Sooner Tea Party

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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