( – promoted by OKWatchdog)
In a letter to the editor in The Oklahoman (“A similar fate,” Jan. 21), the American Tort Reform Association continues its assault on Oklahoma’s legal system without a shred of evidence to justify destroying our state’s image.
The letter noticeably sidesteps claims that makers of dangerous drugs, some of the nation’s most tight-fisted insurance companies and, of course, cigarette makers are large contributors to ATRA.
Let’s be absolutely clear: Fabulously wealthy, powerful corporations that abuse their customers and policyholders and stand to gain the most from corporate immunity are ATRA’s biggest backers.
This is why Darren McKinney, the group’s director of communications, refuses to address this head-on, instead calling them “jobs- and tax revenue-generating industries.”
McKinney also calls for figures to refute ATRA’s claim about lawsuits in the state. The group’s annual “Judicial Hellholes” report didn’t concern itself with pesky things like statistics and facts.
Rather than checking to see whether Oklahoma is experiencing growth in class-action lawsuits, “Hellholes” authors relied on rumors that could easily have been verified. Yet McKinney makes no mention of this and instead calls on others to disprove what the report’s authors couldn’t be bothered to check out in the first place.
Sloppiness is the rule for the annual “Hellholes” hatchet job.
If someone makes a claim about an entire state in a nationally circulated report, it’s their professional, ethical duty to check the accuracy of their assertions.
McKinney’s corporate CEO backers aren’t interested in the truth or doing what’s right. They’re interested in a narrow political agenda to further enrich them and harm ordinary Americans.
Next time you see or hear something from the ATRA and other corporate immunity supporters, ask yourself if they have ever provided numbers or evidence. As McKinney’s letter shows, they have no intention of doing so.
McKinney concludes by making the ridiculous assertion that Oklahoma will suffer the same fate as West Virginia unless corporate immunity becomes law here.
This thinly veiled threat amounts to no more than public-relations blackmail, but that’s all the “Hellholes” report has ever been about, anyway.