We had decided to stay clear of the Cleveland County Court Clerk race as we had supporters on both sides but then someone just had to start throwing lies and dirt and few things are more troubling than seeing a lying politician elected to office.
The first thing we looked at was the donor list for the candidate and counted five businesses, fewer than that retired people, and the rest were almost ALL Cleveland County Court Clerk employees, bail bondsmen, or attorneys. The vast majority of them are also Democrats and this is a Republican Primary runoff. And who benefits by having a Court Clerk in their debt? Employees of the office of County Clerk, bondsmen, and attorneys benefit from having access or better pay if the candidate wins the election.
Marylyn Williams is running for Cleveland County Court Clerk against former Rep. Mike Reynolds, and she authorized and paid for some really, really deceiving mailers this weekend. The first attack was a claim that Reynolds received thousands of dollars in illegal mileage for travel to the Capital. The truth is that ALL legislators receive this mileage as it is state law. Those legislators that live more than a few hours travel do receive per diem pay in addition to their mileage pay so Mrs. Williams is counting on confusing enough voters to carry the run off election. Reynolds has never received such per diem pay as he lives within the boundary.
Next Mrs. Williams claims that Reynolds illegally transferred tens of thousands of dollars from his campaign funds into his personal use. In fact, Reynolds has always filed his ethics reports to the state Ethics Commission and any illegal transfers would have been used against him long ago by his liberal political enemies. But Mrs. Williams delayed filing her ethics reports in an effort to hide the liberal Democrat donors that were funding her campaign.
The next lie concerns Reynolds's business which has the best campaign voter lists in the state. Williams claims that Reynolds provided campaign services to Democrats and worked to defeat Republicans that were "more conservative" than Reynolds was herself. First off, it would be illegal to refuse to sell a service to someone based upon their race or ideological leanings. I suppose Williams would support her right to refuse to serve blacks if she leaned that way. Second, political parties have their own voter data bases and there is no doubt that a few conservative Democrats wanted better lists and they paid good money for them. Secondly, a Republican more conservative than Mike Reynolds? One that he attacked and worked to defeat? That is an outrageous bald faced lie. Mike's last House voting index had him at a solid 80 points out of 100, a result of one "bad" vote on lobbyists and two missed votes that he would have surely voted correctly on. Reynolds has always been one of the lions of the conservative resistance in the state, to say otherwise is beyond repugnant.
The next set of lies is concerning state contracts and a vote against a "road and bridge building bill". Williams claims that Reynolds "illegally" bid on state contracts. The problem with that is many legislators have businesses that hold state contracts; it is not an illegal act, they just recused themselves if a bill comes up that might be a conflict of interests. And Reynolds has never held ANY state contracts or bid on any state contracts in the 18 years he has been an elected official. The charge of voting against the road and bridge bill is actually correct because that bill gave money to counties that had no valid projects according to the law! The bill passed and as a result Greer County build a multimillion dollar bridge with a dirt road on either side while the Purcell/Lexington bridge state highway bridge repair was delayed because of lack of funding. The closing of that bridge put thousands of people to driving a hundred miles per day in extra commute including emergency vehicles trying to respond to an incident a mile away from the cities.
Another mail piece claimed that Reynolds REID scores declined while admitting that the REID was State Chamber of Commerce supported. High REID scores means you support corporate welfare and rent seeking, the passing of laws restricting competition or increasing the profits of a private business with no compensating rise in benefit to the public at large. A high REID score is a mark of shame for a conservative legislator.
The next bald faced lie is that Reynolds's software company has been suspended four times due to failure to pay state taxes and they quote the State Secretary of State. In fact the company has never been suspended or failed to pay state taxes, in fact, the Secretary of State data base is often used to attack conservatives that had old corporations that were shut down and thus had the state franchise taxes unpaid. But these franchise taxes are always paid in advance so if the corporation is shut down there is no tax owed. And companies with valuations less than $200,000 pay no tax anyway and it isn't likely that a software company with one employee has that kind of investment.
The next lie was that Reynolds didn't pay or was late paying property taxes. A search of Reynolds's property tax records turned up two late payments due to stop payments on lost checks, one for under $8.00 and another with no fine as it was a few days before the payment was replaced.
Up next was allegations of illegal campaign donations back in 2008. The fact is that Reynolds has never had an ethics complaint filed against him and if you look at conservative legislator's donation reports they are one tenth to one twentieth the amount of donations that the RINO and liberals receive. Fat chance of getting many donations much less illegal donations.
The next attack was over a 2005 vote on SJR 5, where Williams claimed that Reynolds voted against stripping legislators of salaries if convicted of felonies. Reynolds is a Constitution loving sort of guy and the legislation would have required tracking and reducing legislature pay if one of them was caught without his license late at night even if the next day proved he had a valid license. Reynolds would have supported such a bill that required conviction before reducing or stripping the salary from the legislator. And for some strange reason the bill wouldn't apply to other state elected officials like the Governor, Lt Governor, Treasurer, county officials, county commissioners or Mrs. Williams herself should she be elected to Court Clerk. Meanwhile we have Senator Gen Stipe, Rick Brinkley, Bryce Marlatt, Cal Hobson, and Mike Morgan convicted yet no one is clamoring for their pay to be reimbursed while in office when they committed their felonies or when arrested for drunken driving or APC.
Worse, the author of SJR 5 was Jay Paul Gumm, recently arrested and pled guilty for embezzling $24,000 from a Mississippi Development Company.
Next was a lie told about Reynolds's vote on SJR 61 in 2010 which was unconstitutional as the law contained multiple subjects and it levied a tax upon all Oklahoma businesses without the required super majority vote or a vote of the people. Williams claims that this was "one of the largest state tax increase in history" and that Reynolds didn't support SJR 61. Well yeah, as it was a tax increase he should have not supported it. Basically Williams is lying about the purpose of SJR 61, something easily verified online. It was a NEW tax of $25.00 on businesses designed to keep revenue flowing in as an old tax had been knocked down legally. Williams also brought up a vote against SB 1436 which was a companion bill to SJR 61, a bill that would have kept the reporting requirement after the tax itself had been declared illegal and unconstitutional! That tax was being repealed, of what use was it to continue to force businesses to file the reports? Yes Reynolds voted against that bill!
The next insane claim is HB 1742 where Williams claimed Reynolds voted to double the fees. In fact, that bill would have doubled the time for the validity of the carry permit from 5 years to 10 years if the applicant wanted to do so. That would have cut the other costs including what is paid to the sheriff for processing and background checks to once in ten years and double the valid permit longevity means double the fee is quite a good idea.
The last attack was really a strange one, accusing Reynolds of running for County Commissioner in 2014 as if that is somehow an illegal or immoral act.
People wonder why bad politicians are so common. It is because the best way to get there is immoral acts and lies during the campaign. Mrs. Williams fits the bill on this as she shows little integrity or respect for the people in her district. Yes, she will be found out, but not before she is elected and her skin is thick enough to stay in place till the furor dies down. But do you really want such a person handling money and court cases? The election is on Tuesday. Please contact everyone you know in Cleveland County and spread the word.