Chamber of secrets 

Credit: Brad Gregg

From Kanye West’s sex tape with some Kim Kardashian doppelgänger to Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” tape, several such recordings surfaced last month — including one featuring leaders of the State Chamber of Oklahoma.

In the recording, chamber President and CEO Fred Morgan and chamber COO Chad Warmington talk politics at a July 17 meeting on Northeastern State University’s Broken Arrow campus.

The recording was posted online by OK SAFE, also known as Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a so-called patriot group.

The recording doesn’t have anything too questionable. There are no baby-eating or “Hail Satan!” pronouncements, damn the luck. For the most part, the pair discuss lobbying at the state Capitol.

Oh, but all that tax-cut stuff the Legislature was divided over last session? Doesn’t matter.

“The Legislature spends a lot of time talking about things that just don’t matter — I mean, they want to talk about tax cuts and all that stuff,” Warmington said. “If there aren’t even jobs, why don’t we worry about getting people into the jobs first, before we worry about the tax cuts, you know?” A bit later, Warmington adds that tax cuts are important, but that the chamber needs to refocus legislators on education issues.

On the recording, he also defended the chamber’s recent move to evaluate appellate judges based on rulings that affect businesses, an idea that a few legislators assailed as an attempt to intimidate the judiciary.

“We spend all our time to recruit good business candidates, we get them elected, we get them educated, we get them to vote the right way on a bill, and then the bill goes to the [state] Supreme Court and gets struck down,” Warmington said.

“So we figured, we’ve got some work to do making sure that the business community and the
elected — and the people that vote — understand who these judges are.
... All we’re going to do is provide some criteria by which you [can
evaluate] judges. So, that’s what we’re doing there.”

Oh, so that’s what they’re doing there.

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