Dark Money Multiplication – The Big Takedown - Conservative Voice of America
How to Steal a State: Season 5, Episode 4
Macabre Messaging Brings Backlash from Viewers
Repeat hit narrative #6 (Also used by Sooner State Leadership Fund): Soft-on-Crime Stitt
The group Conservative Voice of America popped on the scene with cable television commercials and a corresponding widespread and completely anonymous mailer in late 2021. Like Trebor Worthen’s Sooner State Leadership Fund (See Episode 3 of How to Steal a State), the group was relying on a “Stitt is soft on crime” narrative, though this time including gruesome content. The mailer had no envelope and no identified source or organization, yet the narrative, wording and style closely paralleled the group’s television commercial. Both the commercial and large postcard feature the case of Lawrence Anderson, who was released in error by the state parole board and committed multiple murders, including his own family members.
Though clearly not content appropriate to be shown on television or thrown on the kitchen counter with the rest of the mail where Oklahoma kids do their homework, the attack ad details how Anderson attempted to feed the organs of his neighbor and first victim to his own family and, in a distortion of the actual events, lays the responsibility for Anderson’s release and actions at Governor Stitt’s feet.
These ads were not only deceptive, but entirely inappropriate and void of compassion for Anderson’s victims and their families. Oklahomans began calling out the dark money behind the ads wherever they appeared online.
A response to Conservative Voice of America’s commercial on Youtube:
“I get sick to my stomach every time this appears on TV. Such a tasteless, demeaning and unprofessional commercial. Where’s the respect for the victim and her family. You might want to clean your own campaign up before you slander and disrespect someone else and their loved ones.”
Others took to the group’s Facebook page to express their distain for dark money lies and out-of-state interests reaching into Oklahoma’s affairs:
“Did you get the Families Permission to continuely aire their tragedy on TV to further your Left Wing Agenda. The people of Chickasha find your actions, Disgusting and Heartless.”
“Your commercial about Gov. Stitt is misleading and stinks. You are not a conservative group. Get the hell out of Oklahoma, NOW!!!”
“If this group is for conservative America, why are they just concentrating on Gov. Stitt, a conservative. Why not call out all the liberal governors!”
“The CVA put out an ad badmouthing Stitt but offered no solution. This group isn't any better than the people that put Biden in office by bad mouthing Trump!”
“Their website has zero information about who they are. LIARS is what they are. Unfortunately, there will be those who fall for these LIES. So glad to see so many comments opposing them!”
It appears Conservative Voice of America’s tasteless and insensitive lies were too much for Twitter, as well. Twitter suspended the group’s account.
The Truth About Lawrence Anderson’s Commutation
In Anderson’s case, the pardon and parole board just messed up. There’s no other way to say it. Anderson was rejected by the board for commutation in July 2019 by a 3-2 vote, which by review procedures, should have made Anderson ineligible for future consideration for commutation. In error, Anderson’s request then came before the board again just six months later, inexplicably resulting in the board recommending his commutation to the governor’s office by a flipped vote of 3-1.
The bureaucracy not only showed the inconsistency of their review process, but made a colossal and unspeakably costly mistake, with Anderson’s victims and their families bearing the crushing toll. Stitt was quick to demand answers and corrections.
The truth about Anderson’s commutation didn’t stop this dark money group from tastelessly using the tragedy to someone’s advantage. So who’s behind these lurid lies?
Who’s Funding Conservative Voice of America?
Conservative Voice of America’s website contains no obvious information about who’s behind its generic curtain. The group claims its mission to be highly conservative, but no group, firm or industry is willing to put their name to the claim.
Conservative Voice of America, Inc. has not registered in Oklahoma as a business or political entity, making this either messaging from a group outside of the state or funds from inside Oklahoma taking a long route in order to remain undetected.
The entity appears to be a revival of one first registered in Virginia in 2017 having a director named Bob Ellsworth (Alexandria, VA), former Chief Tech Officer for the Carly Fiorina for President campaign and former Senior Tech Fellow for the RNC. Ellsworth’s LinkedIn page shows him currently employed by Hive Revolution, a DC-based ad agency, though the firm no longer owns its own website address. When Conservative Voice of America was registered in Virginia, Ellsworth was involved with two direct-marketing companies related to campaigns and political advocacy, Right Strategies and FlyPaper. It appears the entity was being used to do someone else’s political dirty work at that time.
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Conservative Voice of America’s registered agent is listed as Election CFO, LLC, an election compliance service who’s website shows a “team” including attorneys Chris Marston, former assistant secretary of education to George W. Bush, and Brenda Hankins. The entity’s registered address (110 Shooters Ct, Alexandria, VA 22314) is a private residence owned by one Michelle Marston. Conservative Voice of America went inactive in Virginia at some point during 2018.
In a blatant showing of how fabricated and insincere dark money groups truly are, Conservative Voice of America as a name gets recycled within the DC-area swamp that’s created an industry for hire, specializing in misleading voters nationwide.
The entity was re-registered under the same name in Delaware on March 9th, 2021. Like the Sooner State Leadership Fund, this group chose to register through a third-party registration agency, in this case Cogency Global, in order to further conceal its true identity. Both a press release on the group’s website and the Linkedin page of a longtime lobbyist named Mike Cys show him to be the current president of Conservative Voice of America (April 2020 – present). The link to his employer on LinkedIn, however, connects to the website of Total Spectrum of Steve Gordon & Associates, a political consulting agency who’s current partners include one Dana M. Marston. Mike Cys’ resume shows he was Managing Partner at Total Spectrum from 2011 until 2012.
It seems all roads, both old and new for Conservative Voice of America, lead back to the Marston’s and Total Spectrum, a DC-based lobbying group. Total Spectrum of Steve Gordon & Associates could be renamed RINOs-R-Us.
Heavily focused in swing states, with offices in Washington DC, Georgia and Arizona, Total Spectrum is heavy in education, ‘clean’ energy (especially wind energy), health and finance industry clients, as well as politicians like Governor Brian Kemp (R) of Georgia. Kemp has been heavily criticized for masterminding his own election’s fraud in 2018 as the state’s secretary of state at the time and ignoring election fraud in the 2020-2021 elections in Georgia, as well as failing to protect workers from Covid mandates and inviting the resettlement of unvetted Afghans in Georgia.
Conservative Voice of America, Total Spectrum and Oklahoma’s Tribal Nations
A look at Total Spectrum’s current client list reveals only one exclusively Oklahoma connection, which happens to represent a group that would benefit from Stitt’s exit from the governor’s office.
Chickasaw Telephone Company (CTC) is currently utilizing Total Spectrum’s services for something.
Just this year (2022), Total Spectrum formed a team to support a line of services specifically for Native American clientele focused on expanding energy and business interests on Native lands, which would make this an understandable link for one or more of Oklahoma’s tribal nations.
What would not be so easily explained or ethical about a lobbying and economic support relationship between Oklahoma’s tribe/s and Total Spectrum is the recycling of Conservative Voice of America, which is spewing political untruths about an incumbent governor in Oklahoma in an effort to manipulate voters and install office holders the tribes can control. The ‘social welfare’ in such a relationship would be difficult to identify.
It turns out Total Spectrum has a complete squad on its Native American services team qualified and ready to do just that. Most notably is Mike Williams.
In fact, if you read the bios of Total Spectrum’s entire dream team for Native American clients and reflect on their accomplishments in promoting wind energy in states like California, Minnesota, Washington, Nevada and Arizona, you might come away with the impression that Total Spectrum has played a meaningful part in the effort to crush the oil and gas industry and in the resulting increase in energy grid failures in many of those states and others due to wind energy inconsistency.
A lot of somebodies are getting rich at and through Total Spectrum, and it’s taxpaying Oklahomans experiencing the real pain as one of their few major industries and future security is being pulled out from under them.
Strangely reminiscent of Oklahoma manipulanthropist and Obama bundler George Kaiser’s sizeable enrichment in the form of a $535 million defaulted loan plus $25 million in tax credits through the Obama Energy Department’s 2009 stimulus package for his now bankrupt Solyndra solar energy firm (see Season 3 of How to Steal a State), Oklahoman’s may need to remain buckled up as the newest green energy grift based on the current flood of infrastructure and stimulus funding does its damage, this time perhaps, with the help of the tribes.
Chickasaw Telephone Company’s client link on the Total Spectrum website leads to that of Chickasaw Holding Company. Established in 1983 as Indian Nations Fiber Optic, Chickasaw Holding Company is a telephone, cable and wifi provider and an umbrella representing eight tribal-owned communications and fiberoptics affiliates across Oklahoma. Governor Stitt’s Cherokee membership card and status as Oklahoma’s first tribally enrolled Native American governor have done nothing to keep him on the favorable side of the tribal nations, a large force within Oklahoma’s economy.
Why the Tribes Dislike Stitt: Casinos, Crime & Cannabis
The Chickasaw Nation has been at the forefront of the pushback against Stitt, which at its core, is about money. Prior to the McGirt decision, Stitt’s attempt to renegotiate the gaming compacts between the tribal nations and the state, which expired in 2019 as he was taking office, did not go well. Oklahoma is home to the most Indian Casinos and Gaming Centers in the country. As Stitt pushed to increase the state’s share and mimic the agreements reflected in other states, the tribes objected to both the terms and the timeline.
A total of 33 tribes currently operate 143 casino sites across the state, for a total annual impact of nearly $9.8 billion. This is very big money for little Oklahoma.
The idea that the any tribal money might be used to accuse anyone else of increasing crime in Oklahoma would be less than self-reflective. While the gambling industry will gladly provide data accompanied by illogical narratives to suggest a decrease in crime occurs with the introduction of casinos, the communities themselves frequently have a very different set of observations. In February of 2022, a suspected serial killer called a detective and family member from the Cherokee Casino in Tahlequah, and confessed to two murders.
An additional disagreement between Stitt and the tribes over hunting and fishing compacts furthered the divide, leaving some to believe a recent Supreme Court case, McGirt v. Oklahoma, was more about pushback related to revenue than criminal jurisdictions.
The McGirt Decision
In 2021, Stitt spoke out forcefully against the release of criminals strangely determined by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in the case McGirt v. Oklahoma to be outside of state jurisdiction and within the bounds of one of the Native tribes of Oklahoma. These lands include Tulsa and a portion of eastern Oklahoma roughly the size of South Carolina that have been bought and sold privately for generations.
If, in fact, the tribes of Oklahoma are proven to be behind the group’s attack on Stitt as soft on crime, the hypocrisy would be immeasurable given McGirt, a member of the Creek Nation, was a convicted child rapist granted a new trial based on tribal claim to the land where he was first tried.
Jimcy McGirt, regardless of his heritage, is a monster. He is a lifelong child molester with victims in multiple Oklahoma counties. McGirt, in 1989, while in his 30’s, was convicted on two counts of forcible oral sodomy involving children in Oklahoma County. In 1997, while in his 40’s, he was convicted of first degree rape by instrumentation, lewd molestation, and forcible sodomy of a then 4-year-old in Wagoner County.
While serving his two 500-year sentences and a sentence of life without parole, McGirt’s time in prison was not spent reflecting on his heinous behavior, but in filing endless grievances, legal petitions and appeals of petitions reflecting his dissatisfaction with the treatment he received while incarcerated, with all related legal fees paid by the state’s taxpayers.
Court records show more than 25 filings with McGirt as petitioner, appellant or his own attorney as he argued mistreatment related to everything from an unresolved “sinus infection complaint” to “unequal treatment” for being denied emergency leave to visit his mother in the hospital because he was accurately deemed a threat to the community.
McGirt, now 73, has only concern for his own circumstances and remains void of any remorse about his actions or compassion for the children he has harmed in such a devastating way, yet his latest, self-authored attempt to avoid the punishment he deserves was used to argue that the state did not have jurisdiction to prosecute him, as a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, because he molested the child on Indian lands, claiming Congress had never disestablished the reservation. Nearly a century and a half ago at the time of Oklahoma’s formation as a state, Native and non-Native peoples made a joint decision to abandon the reservation system to live as Oklahomans with mutual respect for the many sub-cultures within the new state.
Nevertheless, multiple tribal governments of Oklahoma supported McGirt’s latest sociopathic thinking and were more than willing to place MGirt’s victims aside, including the Seminole child he molested in Wagoner County, if it gave them more power over much of the state.
In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in McGirt’s favor, recognizing McGirt’s identity over his atrocities, and causing a tidal wave of injustice for victims across Oklahoma, as the decision was quickly determined to also include the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole Nations.
Inexplicably, yet predictably based on history and the current popularity of identity politics, the Supreme Court recognized the reservation in the McGirt case as an independent nation outside of the legal jurisdiction of the state, while somehow retaining the federal government’s right to intercede on the same land. Though specifically designed by the nation’s founding fathers not to do so, the Supreme Court has repeatedly been swayed on critical topics by the thinking of the day. In the same way the culture of the 1970’s resulted in a faulty and now overturned Roe vs. Wade ruling, the current wave of wokism has burdened all of Oklahoma with the McGirt ruling.
With only tribes and the federal government, not the state, retaining jurisdiction over major crimes involving tribal members occurring on reservation land (approximately 45% of the state), the likelihood of prosecution in these cases plummeted.
Alexander B. Gray, an expert at the American Foreign Policy Council, former Trump administration Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, fourth generation Oklahoman and recent U.S. Senate candidate, summarized the insanity of the decision:
“The consequence of this disastrous jurisprudence is hard to overstate, both practically and philosophically. Over 18,000 criminal cases have been moved to Federal jurisdiction since McGirt, overwhelming a federal court system that is completely unprepared to handle this volume of cases traditionally handled at the state level. Justice is also being undone in numerous cases, with murderers, rapists and more being let out of prison, free to commit additional crimes. The victims are Natives and non-Natives alike; too often, it is tribal citizens who are bearing the brunt of this crime wave unleashed by the nation’s Highest Court.”
The response to Gray’s expression of the facts in this case has been both emotionally based and threatening:
Native Oklahomans are Oklahomans
For those outside of Oklahoma, the perception of life in the state can often be misconstrued as two worlds, significantly separated from one another, with the tribal nations having a separate infrastructure from Oklahoma’s other towns and communities. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Native Oklahomans live and work in communities across the state, side-by-side with non-Native neighbors. They attend public schools, drive on the same roads and highways, and generally share most major aspects of daily living with their non-Native counterparts. Oklahomans are most often visually indistinguishable as belonging to one group or the another.
The lands called into new criminal jurisdiction by the McGirt decision include dozens of cities, towns and communities, such as Tulsa, McAlester and Ardmore, that have no relation to tribal governments and include millions of people of varied heritages. Governor Stitt expressed his concerns for all Oklahomans in the wake of the McGirt decision.
In contradiction to the messages of the Conservative Voice of America, the McGirt decision fallout is proving Stitt to be the champion of law and order, with the tribes choosing power, identity politics and control over protecting their own.
While federal prosecution is necessary and possible in these cases, the FBI field office in Oklahoma City reports being overwhelmed with new cases since the decision. With a typical annual caseload of around 50, the FBI office has been flooded with thousands of cases post-McGirt, causing them to select the most serious cases for prosecution and release those they do not have the manpower to pursue. Lawlessness applauds and victims are abandoned.
Tribal Governments, Identity Politics and Selective Sovereignty
While the tribes would like to pick, choose and retain veto power over which state-funded services are provided on the lands affected by the McGirt decision, Stitt sees things differently in maintaining that all Oklahomans deserve safety and protection. The tribes may be responding to that disagreement by joining the Steal Team and adding their own dark money entity to the many already gunning for Stitt.
As the conflict continues, the need for a defined authority willing to consistently arrest and prosecute criminals in eastern Oklahoma in the wake of McGirt is impossible to deny. According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s (OSBI) 2020 Uniform Crime Report (most recently released data) for the state, eastern Oklahoma continues to see more than it’s share of the state’s violent crime.
During 2020, with less than a year under the McGirt ruling, the report reveals several alarming, year-over-year changes related to crime in Oklahoma, including a 15.3% increase in murders, a 10.3% increase in aggravated assaults, and a 14.3% decrease in overall arrests.
“In 2020, law enforcement agencies reported 92,109 arrests, and of those arrests, 93.4% were adults. When comparing 2020 arrests to 2016 (five years prior), all arrests (juvenile and adult) have decreased 22.7%, and when compared to 2011, all arrests have decreased 38.5%. From 2011-2020, all arrests have decreased each year by an average of 5.2% per year, and the largest decrease (14.3%) occurred in 2020.” - OSBI 2020 Uniform Crime Report
Most alarming, given the loss of state jurisdiction over crimes involving Native Oklahomans, the report revealed a 220% increase in the number of ‘American Indians’ murdered in 2020 over 2019 (10 in 2019; 32 in 2020). The tragic effects of the McGirt decision were felt immediately and most profoundly by Native Oklahomans. Neither the tribes nor the federal government can show they’ve implemented a solid and observable strategy for quelling the violence, leaving no one responsible or accountable.
Unlike the state government, which is responsible for the maintenance of law, order and criminal prosecution where it has jurisdiction, the tribes have enjoyed a relationship with state and county courts based on options, yet ultimately not true responsibilities for tribal nations.
If the story of McGirt teaches us anything, it’s that the merging of identity politics and the criminal justice reform movement has created an illogical and dangerous pathology that leaves the innocent, particularly tribal Oklahomans and their children, to be targeted, and places all law-abiding citizens at greater risk. The internal divisiveness of identity politics is showing as tribal citizens process the changes, with many being unsupportive of blocking the state from prosecuting crimes against them.
Many are risking criticism from tribal governing bodies for speaking out. Wes Nofire, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor and recent Republican candidate for Congress (District 2), faced public backlash from fellow Councilor Candessa Tehee, a proponent of tribal sovereignty at all costs, for his comments during a radio interview acknowledging how the McGirt decision represents a risk to all Oklahoma citizens:
“Yeah, it is a big concern. It is a big threat to the way that the state has been conducting business for over 140 years. Right now, it’s definitely going to have to take someone who can sit tribal leaders and state leaders down at the table and start making real discussions about how to handle the safety right now – is the big concern – of citizens whether you’re a tribally enrolled or an Oklahoma state citizen. At the end of the day we’re all Americans. So it’s going to take congressional action to start working these things out.” - Wes Nofire
If you were unaware that “intersectionality” exists between Native Oklahomans and college elitism, Candessa Tehee will be an eye-opener. First, let’s see what she had to say at a Cherokee Nation Tribal Council monthly Rules Committee meeting in May of 2022, about Nofire’s common sensical comments :
“It has recently come to my attention that a member of this body has said that McGirt is the greatest threat to Oklahoma (not what Nofire said), which I completely disagree with. I feel like it’s completely unfounded and totally, totally unsupported. I would also say that it borders on being treasonous and traitorous to Cherokee Nation.” - Candessa Tehee
Tehee holds a Ph D and is currently an Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies. Prior to her position at Northeastern State University, she worked for the Cherokee Nation for five years. She has a website that features beautiful fingerwoven items, and she is observably intolerant of opinions that challenge her own, even labeling them “treasonous”. Opposing opinions within her own ‘marginalized’ group push her beyond intolerance to anger.
Unity involving other identities is not allowed in identity politics, even if it’s good for everyone. A more recent and related Supreme Court decision provides valuable information about who wishes to protect the most vulnerable Oklahomans from crime and who’s playing identity politics for power, control and gain, regardless of what happens to those they claim to serve.
The Case of Victor Manuel Castro-Huerta
In response to the McGirt decision, Governor Stitt, Attorney General John O’Connor and the state have filed 30 challenges related to the untenable issues involved for Oklahoma residents. The first of these cases to be heard by the Supreme Court involves a non-Native felon and inmate seeking to have his sentence vacated based on the McGirt decision. Victor Manuel Castro-Huerta, a non-Native illegal alien, was sentenced to 35 years for the severe abuse and neglect of his 5-year-old stepdaughter who is legally blind and has cerebral palsy.
“Dehydrated, emaciated and covered in lice, the child weighed only 19 pounds. An investigation revealed she had been living in a crib filled with bedbugs and cockroaches. While children her age would normally require five bottles a day, Castro-Huerta admitted he only gave his daughter between 12 and 18 bottles the previous month.”
In a baffling display of disregard for the safety of this child, the tribes have argued that the state has no jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native criminals when a native victim is involved, despite the child’s mother and the child not being members of any tribal nation in Oklahoma. Native Oklahomans are now in the same boat as all others across the state and across our country, as those in power insist on framing the criminals as victims, leaving the most vulnerable, including and especially children, without voice or protection. With the arrival of identity politics and the dilution of any shared moral agreement about how people deserve to be protected and punished across the country, Native people in Oklahoma find themselves equally abandoned by the elites within their tribal governing bodies.
Kannon Shanmugam, attorney for the state, argued:
“A State’s Indian citizens are entitled to equal protection under the law, including equal access to the resources, protection, and benefits of the State’s criminal-justice system. As the Court has instructed, a State has ‘the power of a sovereign over their persons and property’ in Indian territory within state borders as necessary to ‘preserve the peace’ and ‘protect [Indians] from imposition and intrusion.” - Kannon Shanmugan
In their argument, the tribes were willing to make their own citizens, and in particular tribal children, a target for violent crime and child abuse. Just as pedophiles seek positions that give them access to children (See Season 4 of How to Steal a State for Oklahoma teacher convictions), such deviant minds would selectively seek to abuse Oklahoma’s Native children if the tribes had prevailed in the Castro-Huerta case, knowing prosecution would be less likely.
Fortunately, the Supreme Court sided with the state of Oklahoma, allowing them, at minimum, to protect all Oklahomans from non-Native criminals on any land within the state.
Governor Stitt applauded the decision stating:
“I am encouraged that the Supreme Court has decided to address whether a state has authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian Country. The fallout of the McGirt decision has been destructive. Criminals have used this decision to commit crimes without punishment. Victims of crime, especially Native victims, have suffered by being forced to relive their worst nightmare in a second trial or having justice elude them completely.
“The reality is that the McGirt decision has hamstrung law enforcement in half of the state. Oklahoma is a law and order state, and I was elected to protect all four million Oklahomans, regardless of their race or heritage. I will not stop fighting to ensure we have one set of rules to guarantee justice and equal protection under the law for all citizens.”
McGirt, Money and Cannabis
If the tribal nations are truly behind Conversative Voice of America, as it appears they may be, their positions and continued efforts to restrict the state’s ability to prosecute criminals related to the McGirt decision would prove the group’s attack ads about crime to be insincere and purely political. However, the McGirt decision is not restricted in its impact to matters of criminal prosecution and has already moved to matters of money, including taxation, energy and water rights, turnpike fees and business regulation. In his comments about the ramifications of the McGirt decision, Alexander B. Gray continues:
“The chaos caused by McGirt now threatens to undermine Oklahoma’s economic foundations. Local businesses in the area covered by the ruling are encountering multiple tax bills, one from the state and another from the tribe whose land the Supreme Court says they are on. Uncertainty abounds as to where this will end, and whether mineral rights, critical in an oil and gas state like Oklahoma, will be subject to state or tribal law. In an era of Washington-induced regulatory confusion, this is the last thing Oklahoma’s businesses need.”
Gray was not playing worst-case-scenario with his comments. The tribes are claiming immunity from a bevy of state regulations, and, in a federal power grab, Biden quickly made a move to federalize mining rights in eastern Oklahoma based on the McGirt decision.
Stitt did not mince words about his unwillingness to allow the tribes to pick and choose what state services and resources they wish to exploit while continuing to claim complete sovereignty and unfettered use of all areas of the land in question.
“Some people say (the) reservations exist for all purposes,” Stitt said. “That’s the big question we want resolved. If it’s a reservation for all purposes, great. Let me know. That means I’m not the governor of eastern Oklahoma.”
The tribes and the cannabis industry have already identified immense opportunities for expanding cannabis growing on lands affected by the McGirt decision outside of the state’s criminal and regulatory jurisdiction, which would include a sizeable area owned by state AG candidate and BlueSky Bank majority owner Gentner Drummond.
Now technically under the jurisdiction of the federal government, who’s 2014 Wilkinson Memo declared a hands-off approach to cannabis regulation, one cannabis consulting company boldly declares on its website:
“Any cannabis operation on Native American land only requires a state-issued charter in order to get up and running. The terms of such a charter are fairly lax. Essentially, unless a government official walks in on something illegal happening, there’s nothing that the state can do about it. Furthermore, because they don’t technically operate within the United States, Native American cannabis businesses do not have to do any reporting whatsoever.”
After the McGirt decision, even the above mentioned “state-issued charter” is a questionable requirement for tribal cannabis operations. With the cannabis industry already at odds with Stitt over regulation and given what we learned in Episode 1 of this season about the cannabis industry’s efforts to oust incumbent state Attorney General John O’Connor in favor of Gentner Drummond, the next part of this story and the new hit narrative Conservative Voice of America utilized during the primary election will likely not surprise you. The tribes and big cannabis appear to be aligned in their efforts to remove Stitt as Governor, and they’ll need a new AG to fully get their way.
Beating the Tribal Drum(mond): The One-Two Punch to AG O’Connor by DA David Prater and Conservative Voice of America
New hit narrative #7: The ‘Appointed’ AG
In early June of 2022, Oklahoma County DA David Prater made it clear who he would be supporting for governor this year. In an unprecedented move for Prater, and in complete contradiction to his unexplained abandonment of felony conspiracy charges related to Hofmeister and the Steal Team’s dark money, attack ad conspiracy of 2014, Prater launched an electioneering investigation into a Governor Stitt re-election campaign ad which highlighted several of Stitt’s accomplishments, including his appointment of AG John O’Connor, to the benefit of Oklahomans.
This wasn’t a dark money ad and was fully transparent in its origins. It was a 30 second recap of Stitt’s overall accomplishments as governor which, in part, highlighted how Stitt and his appointed AG worked to defeat Biden’s vaccine mandates and allow Oklahomans to make their own medical decisions.
If you were still on the fence about who’s running Oklahoma’s legislature, this situation should provide some clarity and some insight as to how Oklahoma’s version of a deep state works. Prater claims the investigation was required due to a letter his office received from a bi-partisan group of eight state house members including Ryan Martinez (R-Edmond), Tammy West (R-Oklahoma City), Josh West (R-Grove), Nicole Miller (R-Edmond), Collin Walke (D-Oklahoma City), Andy Fugate (D-Del City), Merelyn Bell (D-Norman) and Mickey Dollens (D-Oklahoma City).
In an interview with Oklahoma Watch, party deputy general counsel Sarah Clutts explains how the ad does not meet the OEC’s four, required elements to constitute engineering, stating the ad doesn’t endorse O’Connor or identify him as a current candidate, nor does it target the statewide electorate in the attorney general’s race.
“It has to meet each and every one of those requirements in order to be considered an electioneering communication,” Clutts said. “And it just simply doesn’t.”
It seems odd that four Republican state legislators would be demanding Prater investigate an ad that clearly doesn’t meet the criteria for electioneering, as set by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission (OEC). When the Steal Team makes you, they can break you, they can tell you when to jump and they can tell you how high. It seems Representatives Ryan Martinez, Tammy West, Josh West and Nicole Miller may not be the stalwart conservatives they are campaigning for re-election as. Who are these Republican legislators?
Ryan Martinez (Edmond)
According to his LinkedIn resume, Martinez is a GR Pro alumn (Vice President of Operations), at least until he got ahead of himself and started his own political consulting firm (Alpha Public Affairs) while still working for GR Pro. As discussed back in Episode 1, GR Pro and SAGAC Public Affairs, as well as cannabis industry testing firm Integrity Testing, Inc., are owned by partners Trey (John W Richardson III) and Jeri Richardson. GR Pro specializes in dark money fundraising and campaigns, and SAGAC Public affairs not only coordinated the dark money hit on AG O’Connor through a shadowy group called Advancing Freedom, Inc., but serves as the group’s address for tax reporting purposes. Martinez never registered Alpha Public Affairs as a business entity with the state, which indicates he’s willing to skate the rules and fly by the seat of his pants. Martinez is just another self-serving, ultra-political Steal Team JV player, doing his masters’ bidding.
Tammy West (Oklahoma City)
There’s a reason Tammy West and Joy Hofmeister were both there to present a 2017 Milken Educator Award to Amanda Raupe (pictured above). West is not only a state legislator, but her Zoominfo account shows her to be the Chair at Oklahoma PLAC (Parent Legislative Action Committee), a group “committed to promoting policies that strengthen, support and protect the Oklahoma public school system” and ensure “equity” in public education. A creation, in part, of Melissa Abdo, a near physical and political doppelganger for Joy Hofmeister who also came out of the Jenks Public Schools juggernaut, the highly political group claims to be parent driven, but aligns in near totality with the education union agenda. This group was openly opposed to the recently defeated voucher bill (SB 1647) that would have allowed families in failing public schools, of which there are many in Oklahoma, to take their children and state funding with them to another educational option. West celebrated the bill’s defeat on a regular OEA (teachers’ union) podcast, reiterating the hyperbolic claim that passage of the bill “would have destroyed rural schools”. OEA’s PAC has contributed to West’s 2022 re-election campaign, along with American Fidelity and CCOSA’s executive director Pam Deering, all three groups having participated with Hofmeister in her dark money conspiracy of 2014.
Other contributors to West’s current campaign include the Cherokee Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, Citizens for Justice PAC, Powher PAC (coordinated by Jenna Worthen) and Friends of Charles McCall. House Speaker McCall was also dead set against the voucher bill (Oklahoma Empowerment Bill) and was clear that he would block the bill from being heard during the 2022 legislative session.
“I don’t plan to hear that bill this year, and I’ve communicated that…That topic is just not on the radar or the minds of our members as a priority,” McCall said. “It’s never been discussed in our caucus retreat as a priority of our members.”
West is also the State House Whip, appointed by House Speaker McCall, who as you’ll remember from Episode 3, appointed Jenna Worthen of James Martin Company to the board of directors for the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, not for any specific skills she could bring to the table, but for her fundraising efforts on behalf of his campaigns. It would not be surprising to learn that McCall’s appointment of West as House Whip was similarly not his original idea or personal selection. McCall and West appear to be puppets of the Steal Team working against families with children trapped in failing public schools.
Josh West (Grove)
West currently serves as Majority Leader in the state house and is an American hero and Purple Heart recipient. Unfortunately, he is also a political creation of the Steal Team, as AH Strategies directed his first campaign in 2016, and Fount Holland’s CAMP and Jenna Worthen’s James Martin Company handled his 2018 campaign and are behind his current re-election effort. Generous donations to his current campaign from Gentner Drummond and the Cherokee Nation also hint at why he may have attempted to undermine Stitt. Sadly, and as former Oklahoma County investigator Eastridge claimed, decent candidates reported being forced to join the Steal Team’s roster or not run at all.
Nicole Miller (Edmond)
Miller has served the 82nd district since 2018 but did not face a Republican or Democrat challenger in either the 2020 or 2022 election cycles. For someone who hasn’t had to campaign recently, Miller was quick to criticize Stitt’s campaign ad, demanding DA Prater take action. OCPA’s Legislative Scorecard, a highly recommended source for determining what your Oklahoma representatives are actually accomplishing, gives Miller a dismal lifetime score of just 63 out of 100. Perhaps the score is reflective of her habit of voting YES on nearly all bills presented, particularly those appropriating additional spending, a trend for those wishing to avoid any resistance to their own personally sponsored legislation. Miller, formerly of the Secretary of Veteran Affairs office, even voted YES on HB 2486 to increase the employer matching amounts within the already generous Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System. Miller appears to be an across-the-aisle backscratcher, which may explain her lack of competition for the seat from either party, and may not be fond of Stitt’s ongoing commitment to fiscal responsibility with taxpayer funds.
This false cry of “engineering” by the Stitt campaign shows all signs of being a Steal Team setup executed by their underlings in the state legislature. In response to DA Prater’s investigation into the Stitt ad which highlighted O’Connor’s appointment and commitment to personal freedoms, the Stitt campaign pulled the ad. The noise-making tactic worked, just as it did when Stitt prematurely cancelled the Foggy Bottom Kitchens’ contract in response to the legislature and media’s hyperbolic railings about corruption (see Episode 2). It makes one wonder how well and sincerely Stitt is being advised in his re-election campaign. Caving on the plan to run the ad has cost Oklahomans dearly.
Prater is nowhere to be found as The Oklahoma Project, Sooner State Leadership Fund, and Conservative Voice of America are spending the vast majority of their efforts and funding on attacking Governor Stitt, without even bothering to fake any social welfare efforts through their organizations as required by law, yet had ample time in early June to go after both Stitt and O’Connor.
To add insult to non-transparency, in a pre-primary media blitz during late June of 2022, Conservative Voice of America released a television attack ad against incumbent AG John O’Connor. All links to the ad have been taken down, but the group’s website brags about the ad describing O’Connor as “unethical” and “unqualified” while painting Gentner Drummond as a “war hero, rancher, and businessman”, leaving out Drummond’s role as cannabis industry financier and fortunate heir of an enormous amount of land in eastern Oklahoma.
One thing is certain, the cannabis industry, the Native tribes of Oklahoma and the Steal Team want Stitt and AG O’Connor out of their way. It also appears they would much prefer the protection of their own AG candidate to oversee their interests and actions. Could the Tribal Nations represent another interest group double-teaming and doubling down on hypocrisy in their attacks on Stitt? Could the operators of Oklahoma’s casinos be funding ads attacking Stitt on crime, using the dark money group Conservative Voice of America with the help of Total Spectrum? It appears they could be. With the Oklahoma County DA showing all signs of being on their side, the Steal Team is steamrolling this election cycle and putting all Oklahomans in harm’s way.
From Oklahoma? Please comment and tell us what you might know or think about the attempted theft of the state.
From another state? Please comment and let us know what’s happening in your state and who’s plotting to steal the place you call home.
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