October 25, 2007

Update On Paul Jacob, TNR Stories

What you may have missed in the Heading Right Radio show today ...

Earlier today, I wrote about the prosecution of Paul Jacob by Oklahoma for his involvement in circulating petitions for a ballot initiative. The law in question forbids anyone except Oklahoma residents from seeking signatures on political petitions. Because Jacob, as a backer of tax reform, helped organize the Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiative in Oklahoma and the petition circulators didn't meet the residency requirements (more on that in a moment), the Oklahoma AG charged Jacob and two others with a single count of conspiracy to break that law -- which carries a potential 10-year sentence.

We knew that from this morning. What we didn't know, and what we found out during our interview with Jacob, is that none of the circulators have been charged with a crime. Why? It seems that residency requirements are so nebulous as to be unprosecutable. People can register to vote in Oklahoma with no requirement to establish a lengthy residency first, and they can get drivers' licenses immediately.

In other words, the state of Oklahoma will prosecute Jacob for conspiring to commit supposed crimes for which they cannot and/or will not prosecute the actual alleged criminals. It's absurd, and Jacob's case needs much more visibility.

On the TNR/Scott Beauchamp controversy, we spoke to Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard about the developments in the case this week. The other major force behind the effort to hold The New Republic accountable, Bob Owens, has a lengthy column at Pajamas Media. Michael and Bob both warn that more documents will come out soon -- and that TNR's position will only grow worse.

Well, fortunately, you haven't missed anything. Click on the player on the sidebar to listen to today's show!

UPDATE: I'd also like to update the Clarence Thomas story by linking to the website for his memoirs, My Grandfather's Son. The site has links to all sorts of media coverage of the book, including a few links back to this blog and to my Heading Right Radio show.


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Comments (4)

Posted by Carol Herman | October 25, 2007 9:11 PM

I tuned in. And, it was wonderful. Because I just kept sitting, here, at my computer.

ON the topic of Jacobs; all I could think of was how people stand outside of Wal-Marts, earning 50-cents, or so, every time they stop someone to get them to sign a petition. (In California.)

Most of the time, the person will stop you by asking you if you're interested to sign on a particular petition. And, then, if you say "yes," ... you're then asked to sign on for other subjects.

I've never even have had to draw out my wallet, to show my driver's license. So it seems it's a system that has the loopholes right there?

The biggest petition drive in California? The one done in the 1970's, for Prop 13. Where caps were set in place on what sorts of tax bills you'd get ... which had climbed to the point, poor people were facing $20,000 ... in tax assessor bills. And, were being forced to sell their homes, because of it.

Also, (again, I'm not sure). But I think Jacobs said that another court has rules the opposite way, as well. And, the AG is still proceeding; as if he can have the law "both ways."

Doesn't this have SUPREME COURT written all over it?

Aren't politicians terrified at the powers of petition drives?

It seems, (and I think Jacobs said this) ... recall of word streams is not my forte. But our government officials are looking to remove voters rights. (Something about term limits?) Is that the other Oklahoma case?

We've got problems, is of all things not streamlined ... our laws seem more burdensome than they have to be.

But I'm reading Eric Lane's THE GENIUS OF AMERICA. It's about our US Contitution. And, I'm drawn to the idea that our Founding Fathers wanted to put as much handicaps in the way of "change" ... and meeting public protests ... as possible.

Again. Your show was WONDDERFUL! You look like a kid! Not a grandpa! You must have started very early in life. Which is, in fact, the way people used to make families. You're certainly not a man in your 50's! Gosh. You really looked young on the screen.

What a treat! Thanks.

Posted by Brian Epps | October 26, 2007 2:37 AM

Another prosecution for conspiracy to obey the law. Campaigning While Right-wing is fast becoming a crime in some parts of the country.

This is ugly, and it may get uglier still. A lot of paranoid militia-movement types in OK, with arsenals. If Jacob goes to prison for having the law change after the fact, some of those folks might get the idea their own rights aren't safe and that "action" is called for.

The SC had better grant cert FAST if Jacob is convicted, or there may be serious trouble in OK.

Posted by Dishman [TypeKey Profile Page] | October 26, 2007 4:17 AM

I don't see how you can get to a conspiracy charge on a done deed without having a charge on the deed itself.

For that matter, I don't see how a "conspiracy to commit a crime" charge can stand if they indeed sought legal counsel in advance and truly believed that their actions were lawful. Conspiracy requires intent, and it's actually easy to demonstrate that their intent was to act within the law.

Posted by Cousin Dave | October 26, 2007 9:28 AM

This case is a defense attorney's dream. Selective prosecution, unconstitutionally vague statute, First Amendment violations... heck, even I could beat this rap! And the publicity will be terrific.

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