December 06, 2007

Edmondson's Abusive Assault

In a letter to the editor published today in The Wall Street Journal, state Representative Mike Reynolds shines a spotlight on the unsavory behavior of Oklahoma's attorney general:
Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is not credible ("Oklahoma Prosecution is More Than OK," Letters, Nov. 24) in pretending that he simply followed the lead of a grand jury to prosecute three people over a petition drive. He sought to imprison them for up to 10 years "Oklahoma's Most Wanted," (Review & Outlook, Nov. 19). First, as anyone with a smidgen of legal acumen knows, a grand jury will indict a tuna sandwich -- if the AG pushes for it. Second, Mr. Edmondson forgot to mention that his office has dismissed the very grand jury indictment his letter used as political cover.

The AG now threatens to re-indict the so-called Oklahoma Three directly from his office, without the grand jury.

Additionally, Mr. Edmondson does not divulge that past petition sponsors accuse the state supreme court and the AG of a double standard against these petitioners, by changing the rules in the middle of the game; then actually prosecuting people who did what they were told was within the rules by state officials. Mr. Edmondson explains the residency requirement for petitioners as requiring that "a person must intend to remain in the state." But does that mean a person cannot vote in Oklahoma if they already have plans to move at some future time? Does it mean that a person relocated to the state for three or five years is not a resident and thus has no right to vote?

Mr. Edmondson is clearly motivated by politics, not the law. He has launched one of the most abusive assaults on First Amendment rights in recent memory.