It’s mid-January in Oklahoma, which means the wind is cold, the sky is gray and batshit crazy law proposals are starting to trickle out of the capitol.
Last night, an Ogle Mole alerted us to SB 592. Introduced by State Senator Mark Allen – one of the handful of Oklahoma lawmakers who voted against the teacher pay raise plan and still kept his job – it will require any organized group of over 100 people to post a $50,000 bond with the state before they can protest at the capitol, effectively limiting the ability of groups and individuals to stage protests.
Here’s the full bill.
First of all, I’d like to point out that Mark’s Senate bio claims he’s “a firm believer” in “the Constitution our United States was built on.” That’s good to know. I’m sure his favorite part of the First Amendment is the section that states “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the right of the people… to peaceably to assemble… if they can afford to buy a surety bond.”
Seriously, what a ridiculous idea. Instead of spending their days and nights pandering to extremists on ideological wedge issues, maybe our lawmakers should be proactive and come up with reasonable solutions to the real issues and challenges facing our state. If they did that, then citizens wouldn’t have to stage massive protests to solve problems and usher meaningful change. Problem solved!
Anyway, I guess we’ll wait and see if this gains any traction. I’m not even sure how the process would work. Let’s say the state starts screwing with SQ 788 again (which is a very real possibility). Will all the medical marijuana users have to pool money together and go to Abraham’s to buy a bond before they can protest at the Capitol? Good luck with that!
Also, shouldn’t there be a provision that exempts pro-life, pro-gun and other conservative groups from having to pay the bond? How did Senator Allen forget that? He missed a perfect opportunity to pander to the nut-jobs who voted for him. These Derplahoman lawmakers are slippin.