Progressive News Network - 10/11/15
RWS News Director & Producer
Brook Hines, Political Commentator,
Sr. Democrat Florida House Mark Pafford
Marty Baum Indian River Keeper
Professor Mickey Huff Director Project Censored
1. Dramatic increases in exposure to toxic chemicals in the last four decades
1. Dramatic increases in exposure to toxic chemicals in the last four decades
Date:October 1, 2015
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Dramatic increases in exposure to toxic chemicals in the last four decades are threatening human reproduction and health, according to experts. Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals is linked to millions of deaths and costs billions of dollars every year, according to the authors.
Miscarriage and still birth, impaired fetal growth, congenital malformations, impaired or reduced neurodevelopment and cognitive function, and an increase in cancer, attention problems, ADHD behaviors and hyperactivity are among the list of poor health outcomes linked to chemicals such as pesticides, air pollutants, plastics, solvents and more, according to the expert opinion.
Dramatic increases in exposure to toxic chemicals in the last four decades are threatening human reproduction and health, according to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the first global reproductive health organization to take a stand on human exposure to toxic chemicals.
The opinion was written by obstetrician-gynecologists and scientists from the major global, US, UK and Canadian reproductive health professional societies, the World Health Organization and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
FIGO, which represents obstetricians from 125 countries and territories, published the opinion in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics on Oct. 1, 2015, just prior to its Oct. 4 to 9, 2015, world congress in Vancouver, BC, where more than 7,000 clinicians and scientists will explore global trends in women's health issues.
"We are drowning our world in untested and unsafe chemicals, and the price we are paying in terms of our reproductive health is of serious concern," said Gian Carlo Di Renzo, MD, PhD, Honorary Secretary of FIGO and lead author of the FIGO opinion. According to Di Renzo, reproductive health professionals "witness first-hand the increasing numbers of health problems facing their patients, and preventing exposure to toxic chemicals can reduce this burden on women, children and families around the world."
Miscarriage and still birth, impaired fetal growth, congenital malformations, impaired or reduced neurodevelopment and cognitive function, and an increase in cancer, attention problems, ADHD behaviors and hyperactivity are among the list of poor health outcomes linked to chemicals such as pesticides, air pollutants, plastics, solvents and more, according to the FIGO opinion.
"What FIGO is saying is that physicians need to do more than simply advise patients about the health risks of chemical exposure," said Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD, a co-author of the FIGO opinion and past president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which issued an opinion on chemicals and reproductive health in 2013. "We need to advocate for policies that will protect our patients and communities from the dangers of involuntary exposure to toxic chemicals."
Chemical manufacturing is expected to grow fastest in developing countries in the next five years, according to FIGO. In the U.S. alone, more than 30,000 pounds of chemicals per person are manufactured or imported, and yet the vast majority of these chemicals have not been tested. Chemicals travel the globe via international trade agreements, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. Environmental and health groups have criticized the proposed agreement for weakening controls and regulations designed to protect communities from toxic chemicals.
"Exposure to chemicals in the air, food and water supplies disproportionately affect poor people," said Linda Giudice, MD, PhD, MSc, a FIGO opinion co-author, past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and chair of the UCSF department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences. "In developing countries, lower respiratory infections are more than twice as likely to be caused by chemical exposures than in developed countries."
Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals is linked to millions of deaths and costs billions of dollars every year, according to the FIGO opinion, which cites the following examples:
• Nearly 4 million people die each year because of exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution as well as to lead.
• Pesticide poisonings of farmworkers in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to cost $66 billion between 2005-2020.
• Health care and other costs from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in Europe are estimated to be at a minimum of 157 billion Euros a year.
• The cost of childhood diseases related to environmental toxins and pollutants in air, food, water, soil and in homes and neighborhoods was calculated to be $76.6 billion in 2008 in the United States.
"Given accumulating evidence of adverse health impacts related to toxic chemicals, including the potential for inter-generational harm, FIGO has wisely proposed a series of recommendations that health professionals can adopt to reduce the burden of unsafe chemicals on patients and communities," said FIGO President Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, MBBS, who is also past president of the British Medical Association.
FIGO proposes that physicians, midwives, and other reproductive health professionals advocate for policies to prevent exposure to toxic environmental chemicals; work to ensure a healthy food system for all; make environmental health part of health care; and champion environmental justice.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The original item was written by Laura Kurtzman. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
2. The scariest Trade Deal nobody is Talking About
The Obama administration’s desire for “fast track” trade authority is not limited to passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In fact, that may be the least important of three deals currently under negotiation by the U.S. Trade Representative. The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would bind the two biggest economies in the world, the United States and the European Union. And the largest agreement is also the least heralded: the 51-nation Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
On Wednesday, WikiLeaks brought this agreement into the spotlight by releasing 17 key TiSA-related documents, including 11 full chapters under negotiation. Though the outline for this agreement has been in place for nearly a year, these documents were supposed to remain classified for five years after being signed, an example of the secrecy surrounding the agreement, which outstrips even the TPP.
TiSA has been negotiated since 2013, between the United States, the European Union, and 22 other nations, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and others scattered across South America and Asia. Overall, 12 of the G20 nations are represented, and negotiations have carefully incorporated practically every advanced economy except for the “BRICS” coalition of emerging markets (which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).
The deal would liberalize global trade of services, an expansive definition that encompasses air and maritime transport, package delivery, e-commerce, telecommunications, accountancy, engineering, consulting, health care, private education, financial services and more, covering close to 80 percent of the U.S. economy. Though member parties insist that the agreement would simply stop discrimination against foreign service providers, the text shows that TiSA would restrict how governments can manage their public laws through an effective regulatory cap. It could also dismantle and privatize state-owned enterprises, and turn those services over to the private sector. You begin to sound like the guy hanging out in front of the local food co-op passing around leaflets about One World Government when you talk about TiSA, but it really would clear the way for further corporate domination over sovereign countries and their citizens.
Reading the texts (here’s an example, the annex on air transport services) makes you realize the challenge for members of Congress or interested parties to comprehend a trade agreement while in negotiation. The “bracketed” text includes each country’s offer, merged into one document, with notations on whether the country proposed, is considering, or opposes each specific provision. You need to either be a trade lawyer or a very alert reader to know what’s going on. But between the text and a series of analyses released by WikiLeaks, you get a sense for what the countries negotiating TiSA want.
First, they want to limit regulation on service sectors, whether at the national, provincial or local level. The agreement has “standstill” clauses to freeze regulations in place and prevent future rulemaking for professional licensing and qualifications or technical standards. And a companion “ratchet” clause would make any broken trade barrier irreversible.
It may make sense to some to open service sectors up to competition. But under the agreement, governments may not be able to regulate staff to patient ratios in hospitals, or ban fracking, or tighten safety controls on airlines, or refuse accreditation to schools and universities. Foreign corporations must receive the same "national treatment" as domestic ones, and could argue that such regulations violate their ability to provide the service. Allowable regulations could not be “more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of the service,” according to TiSA’s domestic regulation annex. No restrictions could be placed on foreign investment—corporations could control entire sectors.
This would force open dozens of services, including ones where state-owned enterprises, like the national telephone company in Uruguay or the national postal service of Italy, now operate. Previously, public services would be either broken up or forced into competition with foreign service providers. While the United States and European Union assured in a joint statement that such privatization need not be permanent, they also “noted the important complementary role of the private sector in these areas” to “improve the availability and diversity of services,” which doesn’t exactly connote a hands-off policy on the public commons.
Corporations would get to comment on any new regulatory attempts, and enforce this regulatory straitjacket through a dispute mechanism similar to the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process in other trade agreements, where they could win money equal to “expected future profits” lost through violations of the regulatory cap.
For an example of how this would work, let’s look at financial services. It too has a “standstill” clause, which given the unpredictability of future crises could leave governments helpless to stop a new and dangerous financial innovation. In fact, Switzerland has proposed that all TiSA countries must allow “any new financial service” to enter their market. So-called “prudential regulations” to protect investors or depositors are theoretically allowed, but they must not act contrary to TiSA rules, rendering them somewhat irrelevant.
Most controversially, all financial services suppliers could transfer individual client data out of a TiSA country for processing, regardless of national privacy laws. This free flow of data across borders is true for the e-commerce annex as well; it breaks with thousands of years of precedent on locally kept business records, and has privacy advocates alarmed.
There’s no question that these provisions reinforce Senator Elizabeth Warren’s contention that a trade deal could undermine financial regulations like the Dodd-Frank Act. The Swiss proposal on allowances for financial services could invalidate derivatives rules, for example. And harmonizing regulations between the U.S. and EU would involve some alteration, as the EU rules are less stringent.
Member countries claim they want to simply open up trade in services between the 51 nations in the agreement. But there’s already an international deal governing these sectors through the World Trade Organization (WTO), called the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The only reason to re-write the rules is to replace GATS, which the European Union readily admits (“if enough WTO members join in, TiSA could be turned into a broader WTO agreement”).
That’s perhaps TiSA’s real goal—to pry open markets, deregulate and privatize services worldwide, even among emerging nations with no input into the agreement. U.S. corporations may benefit from such a structure, as the Chamber of Commerce suggests, but the impact on workers and citizens in America and across the globe is far less clear. Social, cultural, and even public health goals would be sidelined in favor of a regime that puts corporate profits first. It effectively nullifies the role of democratic governments to operate in the best interest of their constituents.
Unsurprisingly, this has raised far more concern globally than in the United States. But a completed TiSA would go through the same fast-track process as TPP, getting a guaranteed up-or-down vote in Congress without the possibility of amendment. Fast-track lasts six years, and negotiators for the next president may be even more willing to make the world safe for corporate hegemony. “This is as big a blow to our rights and freedom as the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Larry Cohen, president of the Communication Workers of America in a statement, “and in both cases our government’s secrecy is the key enabler.”
3. Even as lawmakers in both parties and an influential business group expressed concerns about its potential impact on private property rights, the measure passed.
The Orlando Sentinel reports:
The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 8-4 to support the measure (HB 163), filed by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, for the 2016 legislative session. It would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry firearms openly, something the state has banned since establishing conceal-carry rules in 1987.
Gaetz described his proposal as allowing citizens to be “armed with their own liberty.” We’re not sure how they weren’t ‘armed with their own liberty’ while concealing their firearms, but whatever.
His father, Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, is sponsoring the Senate version (SB 300), according to the Sentinel.
“I can say that the statements from some of the shrillest voices that oppose the Second Amendment that this will lead to the wild, wild west are unfounded based on any review of the crime data and statistics maintained by the Department of Justice,” Matt Gaetz said.
“What we’re talking about is allowing people to walk down a street with a firearm in their hand — pointed down, not pointed at anyone but pointed down — they can lawfully walk past a bank, past a bar, past a school, not encased in a holster,” said Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Lake Worth) who voted against the measure. “The right to carry a weapon irresponsibly is not a constitutionally protected right, and that is what this bill will do.”
You know who else wanted to live in an Open Carry state? Laurel Harper, the mother of the Oregon mass murderer, moved to Oregon from California in order to live in a state that allowed Open Carry, so she stockpiled firearms because she feared stricter gun laws.
Chris Harper Mercer’s mother bragged on Facebook about the number of guns and assault rifles she owned and argued in favor of laws allowing the open carrying of firearms.
Just weeks after the Texas Legislature relaxed open carry laws, a rifle-toting gunman opened fire in a posh downtown Austin hotel.
In North Carolina, an Open Carry advocate opened fire on his two young children In August. His 3 and 4-year-old sons are dead.
In December of 2014, an Open Carry activist in Texas shot and killed her husband and stepdaughter.
What we’re saying here is, Open Carry activists aren’t the most stable people. We could write a longer list of their transgressions but you get the point.
It’s like Florida lawmakers were thinking ‘There’s another mass shooting. What do we do? I know, call the NRA – they’ll tell us!’
4. Cane burning now the focus of environmental outcry
Oct 8th, 2015 · by Melissa Beltz · Comments
It’s a common sight in rural South Florida during harvest season: large plumes of black smoke penetrating an otherwise clear blue sky. Pre-harvest burning is said to be the most economical and feasible method of preparing sugarcane before it is ready for harvest, according to growers and industry leaders.
Burning the stalks before harvest easily removes cane leaves which accumulate during the growing period. In South Florida, cane burns usually begin in October and last through April.
The burns are regulated by the Florida Forest Service using rules implemented by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Growers are required to pull permits before each prescribed burn, which take into consideration the speed and direction of the wind on that specific day.
Despite these regulations, some agencies and residents still worry about the potentially detrimental effects cane burning can have on the residents who live nearby.
The Sierra Club has started a campaign, “Stop Sugar Field Burning,” to shed light on the potential health risks associated with cane burning and to help steer the industry towards alternative harvesting methods.
The Sierra Club cites studies conducted in Mexico and Brazil which have reportedly shown an increase in particle pollution from sugarcane burning and that those particles have led to cardiorespiratory diseases in rats.
Brazil, as well as Australia, have shied away from using pre-harvest burning in many areas and have moved towards green harvesting, where the leaves are cut from the stalks and left in the fields as organic matter.
But sugarcane growers contend this is not an option for South Florida because of its muck soil and tendency to reach near-freezing temperatures in the winter.
Leaving the leafy material in the fields reportedly forms a dense mat of vegetation that adds extra moisture to the already mucky soil and prevents the earth’s natural heat from radiating upward to warm new sugarcane seedlings during near-freeze events.
As for air quality, Hendry, Glades and Palm Beach counties enjoy some of the best air quality in the state, according to County Health Rankings released by the University of Wisconsin and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
According to those rankings, Hendry County comes in at number three in the state for physical environment, which includes air pollution; Glades County comes in as number two; and Palm Beach County number 24.
But the Sierra Club says chemicals produced during the burns are not monitored in these areas and, therefore, not documented.
Julia Hathaway, organizing representative with the Sierra Club in South Florida, said the organization is trying to participate in community conversation about pre-harvest burning, whether there are other methods that could be used in Florida and what those methods could be.
The club, she said, is not trying to come in as outsiders to put anyone out of business.
“We’re trying to do our homework. We’re working with consultants to see what would be in the realm of possibility for Florida. Once we’re sufficiently educated, we want to see if the growers will talk to us,” said Hathaway, though she is not convinced the growers will.
Local sugarcane growers, as well as those who work in the sugarcane industry, worry the Sierra Club and organizations like it are trying to destroy their livelihoods.
Brad Lundy, a third generation sugarcane farmer and member of the co-op Independent Harvesting, said pre-harvest burning is extremely important to all sugarcane farmers because it is the safest and most cost effective way to harvest.
“In our environment there are no other feasible methods at this time. I don’t think they [the Sierra Club] are going after just this method. I think it’s an attack on sugarcane farmers,” said Lundy.
Lundy said the agriculture industry in South Florida, especially for towns like Clewiston, is imperative for the survival of the community.
“It’s not just the jobs in the field or the jobs in the mill. It’s their spouses at the bank, the local hotel, the schools, the city marina. There’s an infrastructure from the agricultural community that makes it possible for others to have opportunities,” said Lundy. “It is discouraging when you have outsiders who don’t have roots or values in the ag industry and what it stands for who try to come in and convince families and friends that what they do is wrong, when it’s our way of life that puts food on their table.”
Hathaway says that is simply not true.
“We’re not doing what people have accused us of trying to do. That’s something the industry reps say, that we’re trying to put them out of business. I’m from here [South Florida]. I’ve done a lot of work relative to the environment in Florida. So I do understand the history and the difficulty that the past brings to the present. But if there’s away to do this better so that we don’t have to burn, so people aren’t affected by smoke, that’s something that we want to help build a path towards,” said Hathaway.
5. Assassination in Guatemala
Earlier this week, we ran a two-parter on the US, Guatemala, corruption, the CIA, genocide, torture, and more. Reader interest was considerable.
We now invite you to watch this video of a presentation made by Jennifer Harbury, an American whose late Guatemalan husband, a Mayan indigenous activist, was “disappeared” by the military. After hunger strikes and investigations, she learned thatEfraín Bámaca Velásquez had been tortured and then killed — and that the CIA knew all about it. Her story is a powerful one.
6. Congress-backed Interstate Oil Commission Call Cops When Reporter Arrives To Ask About Climate
By Steve Horn • Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 15:51
On October 1, I arrived at the Oklahoma City headquarters of theInterstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) — a congressionally-chartered collective of oil and gas producing states — hoping for an interview.
There to ask IOGCC if it believed human activity (and specifically oil and gas drilling) causes climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, my plans that day came to a screeching halt when cops from the Oklahoma City Police Department rolled up and said that they had received a 9-1-1 call reporting me and my activity as “suspicious” (listen to the audio here).
What IOGCC apparently didn't tell the cops, though, was that I had already told them via email that I would be in the area that day and would like to do an interview.
That initial email requested an opportunity to meet up in-person with IOGCC's upper-level personnel, a request coming in the immediate aftermath of its Oklahoma City-based annual meeting, which I attended. After the cops came to the scene and cleared me to leave, I sent a follow up email to IOGCC outlining the questions I would have asked if given the opportunity to do so.
Days later, IOGCC finally responded to those questions and told me its climate change stance. Well, as you'll see later, they kind of did.
Indeed, the compact had granted me a press pass to attend and cover its industry-funded extravaganza that took place in the days before. I also attended its 2014 annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio and did a 41-minute interview with Carol Booth, IOGCC's communications manager, while there.
According to the Oklahoma City Police officer who arrived and held me for about seven minutes to ask me questions and do a background check on me, IOGCC had “closed business” that day, though that was neither posted on its front door nor anywhere online. It is also not listed as a state holiday on the Oklahoma Secretary of State's website and it is not a federal holiday.
Why'd they close business, then? I asked IOGCC.
“Mike and I gave the staff a couple of days of R&R [rest and recovery] after a weekend and late nights associated with our Annual Meeting (and 80th Anniversary),” Gerry Baker, associate executive director of IOGCC, told DeSmog via email. “We'll be closed again tomorrow [Friday, October 2], but will work on a response to your questions next week.”
Late Night Parties
Baker's response makes some sense, at least in so far as late nights go.
The IOGCC meeting agenda featured an opening night reception on the 50th and top floor of the Devon Energy Center, a second night industry-funded reception at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel located two buildings away from Continental Resources' corporate headquarters and across the street from that of SandRidge Energy, and a third night secretive dinner at Café Do Brasil that went unlisted on the public agenda and I found out about by hanging out on the sidelines of the annual meeting.
Fleeing the Scene
But Baker's claim that no one was in the office seems suspect for two reasons, both centering around the two cars parked at IOGCC's office when I arrived. Both of those cars, it turns out, were owned by IOGCC staff members I had emailed before showing up.
One of them was owned by Carl Michael (“Mike”) Smith, IOGCC executive director, confirmed to me by the officer who held me temporarily.
“Mike called about you being suspicious out here,” the officer told me. “I don't have a choice about what people call 9-1-1 about.”
Smith was the assistant secretary of fossil energy for the Bush Administration Department of Energy from 2004-2006, as well as Oklahoma's former Secretary of Energy. He is also listed as a senior advisor for the lobbying firm Abraham Consulting LLC, owned and run by former Bush Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham.
The other car present was that of Carol Booth, the IOGCC communications manager. When I was held by the police officer, I overheard via his intercom system that it was her car parked in the back of IOGCC's office, which someone at the Oklahoma City Police Department's office confirmed to him by looking up her license plate in a database and reporting it back to him.
While Booth was still seemingly at the office when the officer arrived, Smith had already fled the scene in his car, doing so out of the side-door attached to his office while I stepped away from the building for a second to take a phone call before the cops arrived.
Baker told DeSmog that the cops came on their own volition and not because IOGCC called 9-1-1.
“Due to the location of the IOGCC office, which is adjacent to the Governor's Mansion property, there are sensitivities about who is in the area,” said Baker. “Oklahoma City police officers often keep track of who's using the property for obvious reasons.”
But I was told by both the officer and Oklahoma City Police Department staff members that the 9-1-1 call came from the IOGCC office address. DeSmog has requested the call log from the incident in question from the Department and will publish it here when we receive it.
IOGCC and Climate
Smith also wrote us a letter on IOGCC's climate change stance, copying the IOGCC chairwoman and co-chairmen on it, explaining that it “does not have a position on climate change” and is “not part of conversations on climate change.”
Historical records obtained by DeSmog, on the other hand, sing another tune about where IOGCC stands on climate change.
In 1998, IOGCC passed a climate change denial resolution stating that “there is continuing scientific debate as to what the impact of increasing contributions of greenhouse gases would be on the climate,” even issuing a press release after it passed.
Then in 2002, IOGCC invited prominent climate change denier Bjørn Lomborg to speak at its annual meeting and sign autographs of his then-new book “The Skeptical Environmentalist.”
But what exactly is IOGCC and why do they — and their stance on climate change — matter anyway?
Officially, IOGCC is a collective body of top-level state-level oil and gas industry regulators and permitters, not to be confused with environmental regulators. Though in the case of some states, such as North Dakota, agencies have a dual mission of permitting oil and gas drilling, as well as protecting the environment.
Chartered by Congress in 1935, IOGCC's existence has flown under the radar for 80 years by most.
Meanwhile, its meetings and the organization's existence serve as ground zero for industry influence-peddling. A case in point: 39-percent of attendees present at its Oklahoma City meeting worked for the industry, according to a roster obtained by DeSmog and the majority of its members at-large work for the industry.
IOGCC, like the more well-known American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), passes model resolutions at its annual meetings. It also brings together regulators, industry executives and lobbyists under one roof to do networking and rub elbows with one another.
At its most recent meeting, IOGCC presented two draft model resolutions, one of which would leave regulating methane emissions ensuing as a result of shale oil and gas drilling to the states as “the proper authority to encourage capture of methane emissions.” That resolution, published here for the first time, does not mention climate change a single time even though methane is a greenhouse gas 86-105 times more powerful than carbon dioxide
Its other draft resolution introduced in Oklahoma City, which calls for states to have authority over federally-controlled conservation areas in order to do oil and gas drilling, also fits within its broader “States First Initiative” push.
Shadow Lobbying Organ?
IOGCC has a rich history of serving as a key apparatus through which the oil and gas industry flexes its muscles.
It has done such a good job of doing so, in fact, that in 1978 then-U.S. Department of Justice attorney Donald Flexner — now working as a namesake of the powerful firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP — wrote and testified in front of Congress that IOGCC should no longer exist as a compact because it does “essentially lobbying work.”
Three years later in 1981, instead of heeding Flexner's counsel, Congress decided to stop reauthorizing IOGCCevery three years and instead introduced an amendment giving it de facto permanent reauthorization.
For an entity of its clout, the public knows very little about IOGCC's inner-workings. And that's not without reason.
For example, IOGCC has responded to an open records request sent by DeSmog by claiming a wholesale exemption to both state-level and federal-level open records laws because they are an interstate compact and not a government agency, even though its own by-laws claim its records are open to the public.
Interstate compacts, over 200 of which currently exist, can exist due to a clause in the U.S. constitution reading, “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Meanwhile IOGCC's own website describes it as a “multi-state government agency,” IOGCC staff members use “state.ok.us” email accounts, and its office is located on property given to them by the Oklahoma government and located adjacent to the Governor's Mansion. Current IOGCC chairwoman Mary Fallin, Oklahoma's Republican Governor, lives in said mansion.
IOGCC tried — and failed — to use the cops as its private security service. It was a maneuver symbolic of the group's propensity for secrecy when it comes under scrutiny.
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