With just one month to go before the Oklahoma Supreme Court holds historic oral arguments in the multitude of legal challenges regarding the legislative assault on the constitution; AG Mike Hunter (a Fallin appointee) is spending our state tax dollars to assemble a legal team to help him make a case against the state constitution.
What is at stake is the constitutional protections which the voters put in place 25 years ago. Our own state government proved to be untrustworthy when they abused their tax-raising powers. So voters organized a in initiative petition to require a general election vote of the people before revenue-raising bills could be implemented.
But in the final days of the 2017 regular session, the leaders of both legislative houses, along with the governor's office; conspired to undermine this article of the state constitution.
Hunter was never elected to the high post he now occupies. He was a fellow member ofthe Oklahoma House, along with Mary Fallin, back in the 80s.
Fallin appointed Hunter to replace Scott Pruitt, when Pruitt was sworn in as the EPA Administrator for President Trump's administration.
In any other reasonable scenario, the AG would be committing political 'suicide' by trying to make the argument Hunter is advancing.
A. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. The Senate may propose amendments to revenue bills.
B. No revenue bill shall be passed during the five last days of the session.
C. Any revenue bill originating in the House of Representatives shall not become effective until it has been referred to the people of the state at the next general election held throughout the state and shall become effective and be in force when it has been approved by a majority of the votes cast on the measure at such election and not otherwise, except as otherwise provided in subsection D of this section.
D. Any revenue bill originating in the House of Representatives may become law without being submitted to a vote of the people of the state if such bill receives the approval of three-fourths (3/4) of the membership of the House of Representatives and three-fourths (3/4) of the membership of the Senate and is submitted to the Governor for appropriate action. Any such revenue bill shall not be subject to the emergency measure provision authorized in Section 58 of this Article and shall not become effective and be in force until ninety days after it has been approved by the Legislature, and acted on by the Governor.
- Electric & hybrid vehicles got hit with a new fee.
- All autos got a duplicate tax on sales.
- Income taxes got applied to poverty income, and
- retailers lost their compensation for collecting & filing sales taxes.
Wikipedia lists the following history of Michael Hunter:
After leaving the Oklahoma Legislature, Hunter returned to private practice until 1993. From 1993 to 1994, Hunter served as the General Counsel of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the state's regulatory authority for public utilities, oil and gas, transportation and pipelines companies.
In 1994, Hunter was the Republican nominee for Attorney General of Oklahoma. Hunter would lose the election to Democratic Muskogee County District Attorney Drew Edmondson.
Following the election of J. C. Watts as the Congressman for Oklahoma's 4th congressional district, Hunter was appointed as Watts' chief of staff in 1995, serving until 1999. As Watts' chief of staff, Hunter managed his offices in Washington, D.C., Norman, Oklahoma and Lawton, Oklahoma. He also served as legal counsel to Congressman Watts in his work on the National Security and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.
In 1998, incumbent Republican Governor of Oklahoma Frank Keating was reelected to second four-year term. Keating's first Secretary of State Tom Cole stepped down to return to the private sector. On March 16, 1999, Keating appointed Hunter to serve as the 29th Oklahoma Secretary of State. In addition to his duties as Secretary of State, Hunter served as Governor Keating’s chief liaison to the Oklahoma Legislature and to the state’s federal delegation in Washington, D. C.
Hunter resigned as Secretary of State in October 2002 to become the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Council of Life Insurers under president and CEO Frank Keating. He managed the organization’s $47 million budget and 135 member staff. The ACLI is the advocacy, legal and research arm of the life insurance industry.
In 2011, after serving as Secretary of the Commissioners of the Oklahoma Land Office, Hunter was named chief operating officer of the American Bankers Association, serving again under Keating as president and CEO. Hunter oversees the ABA's government relations, public policy, legal, and communications activities.
Return to Oklahoma 2009-10 and 2015
In August 2009, Democratic Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry appointed Hunter the 47th Secretary of the Commissioners of the Land Office. The Commissioners of the Land Office is charged with managing the lands the U.S. Congress granted to Oklahoma at statehood to help benefit public education. The office also administers the trust funds and proceeds derived from selling and renting the public lands. Hunter resigned from the Land Office effective September 1, 2010. Douglas Allen, the Assistant Secretary of the Commissioners of the Land Office under Hunter, was appointed interim Secretary, and later Secretary, by the Commissioners.
In June 2015, Hunter was appointed First Assistant Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma by Attorney General Scott Pruitt.