- Phillip Danner
- Paul Tay, currently jailed in Tulsa County, filed a challenge to State Question 807.
On the final day of the challenge period for proposed State Question 807, a handwritten petition was filed with the court clerk for the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
The challenge was authored by Paul Tay, who also is the author of proposed State Question 808. It was filed Jan. 17 and names Ryan Kiesel and Michelle Tilley, the proponents of SQ807.
The challenge is written by hand, as Tay is currently incarcerated in the Tulsa County jail.
“Petitioner/protestant Paul Tay invokes Article I, Section I of the Oklahoma Constitution, establishing the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and all other administrative rules as established by federal agencies to be the Supreme Laws of the land. Article one, section One Oklahoma Constitution refers to the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which states primarily that no State Articles of Constitution, statutes or court rulings may usurp the supremacy of federal law. State Question 807, Petition Number 423 would do just that, usurping the supremacy of the Controlled Substances Act and IRS Rule 280E,” the challenge states.
Tay writes that the Controlled Substances Act prohibits the cultivation, processing, possession and consumption of cannabis, while IRS Rule 280E prohibits banks from conducting business with cannabis business entities.
“State Question 807 would create a state-sponsored agency specifically to engage in criminal felony RICO money laundering by excise sales taxing cannabis purchases, and creating a trust fund to funnel excise sales tax receipts to other agencies and private non-profit entities,” Tay wrote.
Tay then invokes all of the previous to “humbly beseech the Oklahoma Supreme Court to declare State Question 807, Petition Number 423, unconstitutional, void, to be stricken from consideration in all of its forms by the people of Oklahoma,” the challenge states.
It is signed Jan. 13 and lists Tay’s address as the Tulsa County jail.
Along with the challenge, Tay also filed a handwritten entry of appearance in the Oklahoma Supreme Court as well as a pauper’s affidavit. In the affidavit, Tay states that he is incarcerated and unable to pay the $200 filing fee with the court for the challenge, nor was he able to properly serve Kiesel and Tilley, the secretary of state and the attorney general. He also writes that he was denied access to the law library needed to submit a properly typed and cited copy of his challenge and entry of appearance.
“I hope and pray this affidavit, entry of appearance and brief of protest reaches the court and that the court accepts the protest, serve notice to respondents, Secretary of State and Attorney General as required by law,” the affidavit states.
While each of the handwritten versions is stamped by the Supreme Court Clerk, no date has been set with the court to hear the petition.
Tilley, who is a signed proponent of SQ807, is also its campaign manager. She said she was aware that the challenge had been filed but that she and Kiesel had not been served.
Tay filed SQ808, another ballot initiative petition aimed at legalizing cannabis for adult use, or recreational purposes, in response to SQ807. SQ808 was filed the same day as SQ807 and was not challenged in court, though the status of the petition-gathering drive for the measure is unknown, as Tay filed it on his own behalf and not as part of any organized cannabis activism organization.
Tay appeared at a roundtable session in Oklahoma City on Jan. 3 to read his petition to a group gathered there. He also hinted at his challenge for SQ807 at the event, referring to it as his “cannabis nuclear option.” And he alluded to his upcoming trial, which was set to start the following week.
- A jury chose nine months in jail as a sentence for outraging public decency in Tulsa County.
After a trial on Jan. 8, the jury convicted Tay and chose 9 months in jail along with a $500 fine as a sentence, court records show.
The incident is just the latest in a string of events for which Tay has become infamous. A perennial candidate for office, Tay has run several times for both mayor and city council in Tulsa.
In perhaps his most well-known stunt, Tay rushed onto the stage of a televised debate between mayoral candidates Dewey Bartlett and G.T. Bynum in June 2016.
As the moderator was preparing to turn over the floor for closing remarks to the candidates, Tay walked onto the live debate on Rogers State University TV wearing his signature cowboy hat.
“Hi. My name is Paul Tay, and I’m also running for mayor,” he said before television crew came on stage.
He refused to leave at first, screaming that he also deserved his time and that he felt he had been unfairly blocked from participating in debates and he was “tired of it.” He was then shepherded from the stage. The video, which is still available on YouTube, has been viewed more than 222,000 times.
Last April, Tulsa City councillor Tara Joy McKee was granted a protective order against Tay. On a Facebook thread involving both McKee and Tay, he wrote several threatening messages. One read in part, “If you don’t do EXACTLY what I tell you to do, I WILL do EVERYTHING I can in 2020 to make you work to death for your fucking job, get it? One more thing, I vote, so I have the RIGHT to harass you or any other elected officials I like, whenever I like. You signed up for it, right? You are sooooooo AROGANT to think you are above voter harassment.”
Another message threatened physical violence against McKee, who was pregnant at the time.
“Disappoint me, and I will cause electoral problems and stress for you. If you go back to look at Council decisions, I ALWAYS get my way, eventually. How would you like to spend some quality time with your baby in NICU? #GlovesOff.”
Court records show that Tay, who remains in Tulsa County jail with an appeal bond set at $50,000, has also been charged with several counts this fall, including violation of a protective order, possession of a stolen vehicle and grand larceny.
Records show that Tay’s next court date is March 20 on his appeal for outraging public decency.