Monday, October 3, 2011

WILL CORP COMMISSION DOUBLE OUR UNIVERSAL SERVICE TAX? ++ REYNOLDS SPECULATES ON OK TAX DOLLARS GOING TO SOLYNDRA?

++ AGENDA FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETING
++ ANNOUNCEMENTS
++ FUTURE EVENTS
++ WILL CORP COMMISSION DOUBLE OUR UNIVERSAL SERVICE TAX?
++ REYNOLDS SPECULATES ON OK TAX DOLLARS GOING TO SOLYNDRA?

++ AGENDA FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETING

Our 12 noon luncheon for Wednesday, October 5th will be held at
Italiano’s restaurant, 4801 North Lincoln in OKC. Our primary speaker
this Wednesday, will be Peter LaBarbera, Executive Director of
American’s for Truth About Homosexuality. I believe Mr. LaBarbera is
headquartered out of Chicago. He is probably the nations foremost
authority on the homosexual agenda and how that agenda threatens the
Biblical model of a family as well as its destructive implications to
our society. Mr. LaBarbera is considered public enemy number ONE to
the militant homosexual community in America. While the church is
slowly winning the abortion and creation battles, it is losing the
homosexual issue. Come find out why. Also, I am trying to contact Dana
Murphy, Chairman of the Corporation Commission to ask her to come and
explain the reasons for a possible doubling of the Oklahoma universal
user tax that we pay on our phone bills. More on that later in this e-
mail.

++ ANNOUNCEMENTS

* THURSDAY EVENING - BLANCHARD AREA - The Oklahoma Liberty Tea
Party Meeting will be held on Thursday evening, October 6th at 7:00
p.m. The location is the American Legion Building, 103 South Main
street in downtown Blanchard. I will be speaking that evening and
encourage folks in the area who are not a member of this local tea
party to attend to get to know other activists in your area. I will
talk briefly about the positive changes in Oklahoma over the past 20
years as Oklahoma has changed from being a blue state to one of the
reddest states in America. I will then discuss what needs to be done
going forward.

* SATURDAY EVENING - CHICKASHA AREA - The Grady County TEA Party
will have TEA with the Duke, Saturday, October 8th at the Grady County
Fairgrounds in Chickasha. “The Duke” is a John Wayne impersonator who
looks like, talks, like and walks like John Wayne. He will present a
patriotic program. There will be food, the Duke and a western dance.
Tickets are $15, for more information contact Mark at (405) 314-4730
or Joyce at (405) 320-0028.

++ FUTURE EVENTS

* Our good friend John Michener wanted me to announce the upcoming
training sessions associated with the organization Justice For All.
John is a regional director for JFA and is doing an excellent job. He
describes the mission of JFA as to train thousands to make abortion
unthinkable for millions, one person at a time. The JFA training
includes:

- The problem and opportunity for Christians surrounding abortion.
- How to be wise ambassadors for Christ with Knowledge, Wisdom &
Humility
- Making the biological and philosophical cases for life
- Tackling the hard questions (rape, life & health of the mother)
- Seeing the opportunity for evangelism in every conversation

Following are the training opportunities:

October 16th, Baptist Collegiate Ministry, 400 East Main street in
Edmond. Lunch at 12:30 p.m. seminar from 1 - 5:30 p.m.

October 23rd, Eagle Heights Baptist Church, 2617 North Jardot Road,
Stillwater. Lunch at 12:30 p.m. seminar from 1 - 5:30 p.m.

The corresponding outreach days are:

University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, on Tuesday and Wednesday,
October 18th and 19th.

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, on Thursday and Friday, October
27th and 28th.

If you want to do more than wring your hands or just pray about the
abortion tragedy, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn how to
engage pro-choice people and be able to turn the hearts of some away
from the slaughter of the unborn. JFA is being very effective on
college campuses across America. For more information, contact John
Michener at john.Michener@alumni.oc.edu.

* Our meeting for November 2nd will feature the Vice President of
Samaritan Ministries. While this is not an insurance company, this is
a Christian health cost sharing ministry. Hopefully Obama Care will be
repealed either through the courts or by Congress after next year’s
elections. If not, ministries such as this are actually exempted in
the legislation. Not only does this program provide help to families
for major medical expenses, it costs less per month than insurance.
This is also a free market alternative to Medicare, which of course is
nearing bankruptcy and will only get worse with time. Mark this date
on your calendar and tell your friends, you owe it to yourself to
check this out.

++ WILL CORP COMMISSION DOUBLE OUR UNIVERSAL SERVICE TAX?

Just this past week, Corporation Commissioners Dana Murphy and Jeff
Cloud (Bob Anthony wasn’t at the meeting) voted to consider this
coming Tuesday (October 4th), a day to vote to nearly double the
Oklahoma Universal Service Fund tax. If it passes, it is estimated to
raise close to $50 million annually in additional revenues. There are
a couple of issues at stake, but the most important to understand, is
that the proposal would raise the tax on wireless phone users with the
proceeds being used to subsidize the service for people with land
lines.

I have an idea, if a rate increase is really needed, then why not
raise the rates ONLY on the folks using land lines and leave the
wireless phone service customers with no greater burden than they
currently have to bare?

This process needs to be slowed down, to determine if the need is
real, if AT&T is behind this at the expense of its competitors and why
wireless phone users should be asked to bare the cost for others? If
you agree, please call Dana Murphy’s office at (405) 521-2267, Jeff
Cloud (405) 521-2264 and Bob Anthony at (405) 521-2261. Your calls
need to be made today, Monday, or we may be had before we know what
has hit us!

Are these commissioners acting like limited government Republicans,
holding companies to efficiency and free market principles, or are
they acting like big government Democrats helping out a powerful
special interest buddy? Please make your calls today.

++ REYNOLDS SPECULATES ON OK TAX DOLLARS GOING TO SOLYNDRA?

In less you live in a cave and are devoid of news information, you
know by now of the growing potential scandal involving one of
President Obama’s pet green projects, the solar energy company called
Solyndra.

Not only did the federal government back the company with $539 million
in federal loan guarantees, but private investors sunk around a
billion dollars into the company. The largest among the private
investors was the family foundation of Oklahoma’s wealthiest man,
George Kaiser. Mr. Kaiser is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Bank
of Oklahoma and the principle owner of Kaiser-Francis Oil Company out
of Tulsa.

A little over 2 weeks ago State Representative Mike Reynolds issued a
press release that to my knowledge the Tulsa Beacon Newspaper was the
only one to run it. They actually turned it into a front page story in
last week’s paper. I thought I would re-publish the press release in
its entirety:

“OKLAHOMA CITY - Even as the FBI investigates the now-bankrupt
Solyndra, state Rep. Mike Reynolds is concerned Oklahoma tax credits
may have benefited the controversial failed solar-power company, based
on state records.

Touted by the Obama administration as a model of green energy
enterprise, California-based Solyndra was a high-profile recipient of
a $539 million federal loan guarantee. Today, only two years after its
start-up, the company is the center of law-enforcement scrutiny,
ethics concerns and congressional oversight demands.

Reynolds noted that Argonaut Ventures (identified as Oklahoman George
Kaiser’s firm by ABC News), has been named as the largest shareholder
in Solyndra in news reports.

At the same time, Kaiser is a recipient of state tax credits in
Oklahoma. Public records show Kaiser received nearly $30 million in
tax credits in 2007 and 2008 for venture capital investment.

Unfortunately, lawmakers cannot learn what specific ventures benefited
from those tax policies.

An examination of reports about venture capital tax credit usage from
the Oklahoma Tax Commission reveals a business entity with a name
similar to Argonaut Ventures. Reynolds said it is reasonable to
question whether tax credits available to that entity were somehow
involved in the transactions with Solyndra.

‘There is very little transparency in the oversight of state tax
credit programs and, as a result, we cannot learn all specific
investments supported by those tax credits, we can only learn who
received the tax credit,’ said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. ’However,
since Argonaut Ventures had been identified as a major investor in
Solyndra, it is fair to ask if any Oklahoma tax credits were used to
support Solyndra either directly or indirectly. Oklahoma taxpayers
have the right to know if their money was used to support an out-of-
state business that is now the center of legal and ethical concerns.’

Members of the Task Force on State Tax Credits and Economic Incentives
have been reviewing Oklahoma’s tax credit programs this summer to
determine if they need to be revised or even abolished. The group
recently learned that millions of dollars in investments supported by
Oklahoma tax credits have benefited out-of-state companies in spite of
the fact that the programs were meant to fund job creation in
Oklahoma.

Task force members have also been troubled by the lack of transparency
in many programs, noting companies receiving millions in tax credits
do not have to provide significant information on those transactions
to the taxpayers who fund them.”

We should thank Reynolds for his efforts to bring this to light,
though we may never be able to find out if Oklahoma tax payer dollars
went to support this California based company. This just goes to show
how important transparency is for good government. State
Representative David Dank has been diligently searching for answers
regarding tax credits. My only problem with Governor Fallin and
Representative Dank’s approach to these tax credits is the desire to
determine which ones work and which ones don’t. They want to keep the
former and dump the later.

The true free market approach would be to dump them all and the money
saved could then translate to a reduction or elimination in Oklahoma’s
corporate and or personal income taxes. Doing so would cause us to
eliminate one form of business incentive, but by reducing or
eliminating these taxes, that becomes a business incentive in and of
themselves. I believe it unlikely a tax credit program can exist
without having some level of corruption or “good ole boy” cronyism.

It may take a long time to unravel the many schemes politicians in
both political parties have crafted over the years to take care of
their favored constituents, special interests or perhaps big donors.
Free market conservatives must continually press for reforms that will
rid our state of crony capitalism.

I look forward to seeing everyone this Wednesday.

Charlie Meadows
Charliemeadows7@gmail.com

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