What was Paul Jacob thinking during all those battles to expand our freedom?
I think he was thinking that freedom is better than slavery. But the price of fighting for freedom can sometimes be pretty steep. How about ten years in prison for the “crime” of helping to organize a petition drive? That’s what Paul and two others were threatened with a few years back by Drew Edmondson, the goofball-tyrant who passes for an attorney general in Oklahoma and who now wants to be governor of the state.
That particular penalty for fighting for freedom was averted. Edmondson (who should not be entrusted with the post of meter maid, let alone governor) didn’t follow through on his persecutorial prosecuting when it became clear that none of the so-called Oklahoma Three were going to pretend to be guilty in order to cut any kind of deal with him, and that Paul was going to persist in spreading the word far and wide and loud and clear about the injustice of what the spurious defender of truth, justice and the Oklahoma Way had in store for anyone with the temerity to abet Oklahomans in exercising the citizen initiative rights spelled out in their own state constitution. It didn’t help that Edmondson’s nonsensical indictment got non-complimentary national attention from Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and others.
Eventually, the onerous and ambiguous petition law that the Oklahoma Three were wrongfully accused of violating was ruled unconstitutional. So, after a year and a half of harumphing and sucking his thumb after having filed his dunderheaded indictment, Edmondson dropped the idiotic charges against Paul and the others. It was, anyway, time to run for governor. (Yes, for governor. This guy Edmondson is running for governor of one of the states in this country. If he wins, Oklahoma will be governed by the sort of creature who believes that it’s okay to throw people in prison for ten years for running a petition drive.)
From Paul’s column at Townhall.com:
Regular readers of Common Sense [Paul’s daily radio commentary and eletter] know my more recent work in helping citizens across the country petition to put dozens of initiatives on the ballot to protect homes and small businesses from being taken through eminent domain abuse and other initiatives to enact state spending limits.
In the spirit of “no good deed goes unpunished” and in the cesspool that has become our politics, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson indicted three of us, The Oklahoma Three, for “conspiracy to defraud the state” over a 2006 initiative there.
What was I thinking?
The Oklahoma powers-that-be were scared. And they did not want us taking any limits on government spending to a public vote.
And perhaps, for a moment or two, I may have thought “I’m getting too old for this.”
We were innocent of the charge and we fought back. After more than a year and a half with a possible ten-year prison term hanging over our heads, the charges were dismissed. The AG had campaigned in the press that we were guilty, but he had repeatedly blocked our case from going before a judge for a preliminary hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to even go to a trial.
No such hearing was ever completed. Meanwhile, the state’s petition law was struck down as unconstitutional in federal court.
The AG thought he could threaten us into submission. He had offered my co-defendant Susan Johnson a deal: plead guilty and all she’d get would be a small slap on the wrist.
Like so many unsung patriots in this country, she told him to stuff it.
What was she thinking?