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Anti-Immigrant Oklahoma State Rep Accused of Threatening Speaker

By Heidi Beirich on March 16, 2011 - 4:25 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Oklahoma State Rep. Randy Terrill is in the press again, this time for reportedly cursing and threatening Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele, a fellow Republican. Terrill, who is rabidly anti-immigrant and a prominent member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), the main organization behind efforts to undermine the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship, is also under investigation for bribery.

Tulsa Today reports that an affidavit signed last week by an unidentified eyewitness says that on March 10, Terrill entered the office of Majority Floor Leader Dan Sullivan and “stated, in approximately the following words, that he ‘knew he needed Senate authors on two of his bills, but that it didn’t matter because the fucking retard Speaker wasn’t going to hear them anyway – or so that’s what the Floor Leader is telling everybody.'” The affidavit also says Terrill said, “in approximately the following words that ‘He thinks he’s got one bad leg now, wait until I break his other Goddamned leg.'” Steele was crippled in a childhood accident.

Terrill was reprimanded on Tuesday for his behavior by his fellow legislators. During the debate, Terrill proclaimed his innocence and, according to Tulsa Today, “attacked other members of the House, alleging sexual and other misbehavior, and claiming he was being unfairly targeted by Republican leaders.” The vote on Terrill’s reprimand was 34-30, with 29 of the House’s 31 Democrats and several Republicans voting to abstain. Republicans outnumber Democrats 70-31 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Terrill is one of the most anti-immigrant legislators in the country. He filed his first immigration bill in 2006, but it was considered too harsh and was rejected. His fortunes changed the following year when he put forward Oklahoma’s H.B. 1804, one of the harshest state level anti-immigrant bills to become law. The law subjects employers to penalties for discrimination if they fire a legal resident but retain an undocumented worker in a similar position. An appeals court in early 2010 ruled that Oklahoma cannot enforce certain parts of the law.

Later, Terrill co-sponsored a successful bill to place on the 2010 ballot a state constitutional amendment outlawing the use of shariah, or Islamic religious law, in Oklahoma courts. The amendment passed that November with 70% voter approval, even though it has no practical legal impact: Judges have never had the power to rely on shariah or any other legal code to override U.S. law. Four weeks later, a federal judge stayed the amendment after opponents argued that it was an unconstitutional imposition on religious freedom.

  • TheAntiV

    I don’t know if I’m missing something here but how is he “anti-immigrant” when he’s a member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration?

  • Mitch Beales

    Alex do you not know what “subject to the jurisdiction” means? If undocumented immigrants are not subject to the jurisdiction of the USA then they are not in violation of anything!

    I suggest you postpone action until you make a little progress in the understanding department.

  • Alex

    The 14 Amendment states that “…born or naturalized in the US and SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION thereof, are citizens of the US.”
    Illegals are in violation of the jurisdiction of the US, and their children are NOT citizens of the US, according to the 14th Amendment of the US.
    Our corporate elite has used this general misreading of the 14th to destroy our Middle-Class, and fill our nation with people who’s identity is not based on the principals of citizenship, but of material consumption. They are “consumers,” not citizens. They are consumers of a Corporate Fascist State, not a democratic republic.

    It is far past the time to get our definitions straight. Now is the time for action.

  • skinnyminny

    Okay, now I think we are gaining an understanding of both sides. Now, let’s look at this further, first, we are tired of the pitting of one group against another in our neighborhoods. We live in these neighborhoods – we have enough problems to deal with as it is. It’s not like we retreat, we just learn to accept because we are all in this together, and it’s up to us to not allow people that don’t live in our ‘hood to cause problems.

    I think you will see an election in 2012 for the dems that will surpass the election of 2009. The GOP stand to lose more of their own due to their campaign of targeting their own voters – social security, unions, medicare, while supporting interests of big corps. GOP wants to defund and/or take away the voices of non-GOP while saying nothing to the numerous Neo-Nazi rallies targeting ‘illegal’ immigrants, rallies/protests against Muslims. A big question is, how can the GOP say their cities/counties/states are broke, yet, allow Neo-Nazi rallies which they know costs money for police protection of the Neo-Nazis. On Saturday, there was a rally in Claremont, Califas – a small college town, and may I add a very upscale little city (meaning well-to-do and a little bit of wealth), this is where the Claremont Colleges are – Claremont-McKenna, Scripps, Pomona…the city requested neighboring cities to help.

    I talked about throwing people under the bus, the GOP censured former Califas Gov. Schwarzenegger for helping another member-although blatantly illegal of what he did, he stood with his party.

    As far as speaking out against Muslims, did you know that you can’t look at a person to determine if they are Muslim-there are Muslims in every country. Anti-amnesty, did you know that it’s the corporations that are paying recruiters to bring workers here? Here’s a tip for that, in New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina, a lot of workers from India replaced the oil pipeline workers. In Florida, there are workers from Central America that are working/living in conditions where they are not allowed to leave – google the information about the guy from Pakistan-they (employer) took his passport and a host of other problems…these people are being promised a nice apartment, but get here and are being house with up to 20 men in a trailer, locked in on the grounds of their employment. I don’t think it’s fear, I think people don’t want to get involved with all of the controversies the GOP end up in. Because, in the end, although people were not initially involved, the GOP tends to blame others for their faults.

  • ModerateMike


    I hope you are right. Maybe my problem is that I have come to misinterpret the Democrats in general because I live in an area where Democrats don’t even bother to campaign, and where friends and aquaintances have warned me not to speak out against the anti-amnesty and anti-Muslim voices in my community. Fear has definitely cowed some people in my town.

  • skinnyminny

    I think there is a big difference between backbone and knowing how to pick and choose your battles. Have you ever thought that sometimes when people are messy (such as what appears to be most of the GOP) people would like to keep their distance, as in 50-feet! Or, when people behave such as the GOP (as in people hate to see you coming) they prefer not to get involved for fear of being thrown under the bus – which is a common behavior of the GOP!

    As for 2012, please don’t kid yourself! I think people had enough time to sit and observe what’s happening. Did you see Alonzo Bodden’s comedy special – he said that Palin is like the Paris Hilton of politics, and that not one or two of her sentences go together – hehehe. Actually, I would vote for Hilton before Palin, at lease Hilton is well-spoken.

  • ModerateMike

    One thing that particularly bothers me is that almost all of the Democrats voted to abstain on the reprimand. That they were afraid to speak out against such a blatantly inappropriate outburst attests to the timidity that seems to have infected the Democrats since the 2010 elections. How can they earn the respect of the voters if they don’t show any backbone?
    I have heard it said that much of the success of the extreme-right in the last elections had as much to do with who stayed home as with who voted, but I can’t imagine that the reticence of Oklahoma’s Democrats will improve the turnout of moderates and progressives in 2012.

  • Jordan

    I agree that our elections system needs work but “down the road to fascism” we are not. Voting fraud is something to be worried about but not anything to panic over, in the past our country was far less of a democracy then it is today. Consider this: up until 1913 Senators were appointed by state legislatures, not elected; the president to this day is chosen by “electors”, which is partly based on the germanic system of electing the Emporer of the Holy Roman Empire; voting was restricted throughout most of the United State’s history, in fact from the signing of the Constitution until 1812 the U.S. was basically an aristocracy in which only white, male landowners with sufficient wealth to pay the ballot taxes could vote.

  • Emma

    I find it surprising, amazing, unbelievable, that these people have actually won elections.
    When NC voting machines can ‘lose’ 4000 votes in an election, i have to wonder if we are barking up the wrong trees. Let’s buy european voting apparatus. Over there, there are no secret codes in the modules the elections officials have to put in the machinery. And so, they can check on the validity of the voting outcomes……. I think we need to dig down to the root of these election results and find out if this country is actually as far down the road to fascism as it looks from my viewpoint.

  • Randy L Benson

    During the debate, Terrill proclaimed his innocence and, according to Tulsa Today, “attacked other members of the House, alleging sexual and other misbehavior, and claiming he was being unfairly targeted by Republican leaders.”

    This boy’s a spoiled brat.

  • just joe

    anyone can get elected at the state and local level, ie. arizona, oklahoma, kentucky, miissisppi, etc. but they (republicans) will not win at the national level for generations to come. they have lost touch with reality in their blind hatred of all things of color. next thing you know they will want to ban the color spectrum and just use white for everything. yes folks this is not you grandfathers white political home anymore, they have come out of the closet and have damned themselves to political exile. the people of this country want nothing to do with extremists like this. would you like a skinhead living next door? morris dees for president.

  • Sam Molloy

    In Kentucky, a guy planning to run for governor introduced the anti-immigration bill. I don’t think even he expected it to pass, but it excites ignorant people looking for somebody to blame for their problems.

  • skinnyminny

    I agree with you. Last night, the city of Costa Mesa, in Califas handed out pink slips to city workers (fire, maintenance, jail workers…) so that they can outsource these jobs – well, with this, a 29-year-old maintenance worker leaped off the top of the city hall building to his death. What’s sad about this also, it was reported that this guy was taking care of his parents.

  • http://yahoo ruben

    i am completely blown away by the fact that die hard haters like this loser continue to be elected into public office…it kind of reminds you of what a lot of white right america really feels like behind closed doors although they claim that hate is not part of their agenda….yeah right!…. i have said before that racism is a mental disorder and this nut just proves my point…..but don’t worry with a resume like his the tea party recruiters and fox news will soon come to his rescue.

  • Douglas

    Ok yall be nice. This falks that live there and i have some Kin falks there. And ok i cant keep protecting this D A okl

  • Mike Best

    Marisa, you have just successfully described Kentucky in your commentary. I have a hard time discussing this very aspect of life in our community, but the rampant racism and anti-intellectual bias are palpable. My wife has told me to keep my mouth shut, as she doesn’t want our house burned down, and I fear for my job as a school bus driver should I ever exercise my right of free speech.

  • P

    … “‘He thinks he’s got one bad leg now, wait until I break his other Goddamned leg.’ Steele was crippled in a childhood accident.” Sounds as if Terrill’s childhood was much more crippling — the guy has no compassion left.

  • Reynardine

    In regards to “Shariah law” or any other law from a foreign jurisdiction, a court can look to it in civil cases to, say, determine the intent of a will or contract, but it cannot override criminal laws or even civil statutes or precedents that are directly on point, nor can it be used to abridge Constitutional guarantees. This is a settled principle of legal construction. Aiming a prohibition against a specific body of law doing so implies that another body of law could, and where the bodies of law in question are religiously based, it raises an issue of disparative treatment of religions in violation of the First Amendment. Just thought I’d let ya know.

  • Todd

    The article says anti immigrant. Is the man against legal immigrants?

  • Jeff

    It is curious, your comment that the amendment has “no pratical legal effect” yet a Federal Court said the law was an unconstitutional infringment on religion. In light of the Court’s ruling, a muslim, who acted inconformity with shariah law could raise that as a defense and an individual judge would be required to allow it at least to go to the jury because the failure to do so would be an “unconstitutional imposition” on religious freedom.

  • skinnyminny

    This doesn’t surprise me! I wrote a comment here, I think it was last year, that this was going to happen. I wrote that these type of racist would be running for election and making the people think they were on their side – who knows, maybe people thought I was talking out the side of my neck.

    There’s allegations that rep Virgil Peck, Kansas, says to use hunting helicopters and shoot illegal immigrants like ‘feral hogs.’

    Interesting these guys think they have a chance in 2012 – oh, and the picture of Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney and Scott Walker of Wisconsin – priceless!

  • Snorlax

    I’m a lot more worried about radical Christians in this country. They want to scrap the Constitution and all US laws and replace them with Mosaic law and the Decalogue.

  • Reyn

    I certainly disagree with the man’s attitude, and I haven’t voted for a Republican in well over a decade – but…. seriously… I do not see how having a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit something already impossible in any way infringes on religious freedom. I find the stay almost as disturbing as the man’s actions. I honestly think that any sort of religious takeover in any way, ever, of the law is quite a bit more dangerous than even the most conservative Secularists.

  • Marisa

    What would anyone expect? This is OKLAHOMA we’re talking about. You know….a state full of working people who consistently vote against things that would actually HELP working people. These two ignoramuses are typical – typical REPUBLICANS – and not only anti-working people, but RACISTS, to boot. Oklahoma went to the dogs (sorry, canines, I hate to insult you!!!) years ago.

  • Courtney

    Oklahoma, wake up and clean house. This is completely unacceptable. This is not who you want to represent you.

  • CM

    Terrill’s official Oklahoma House of Representatives web bio lists his profession as “Professor of Government History and Law at Hillsdale College in Moore,
    self-employed business and legal consultant.” It’s interesting that he’s not giving the full name of his employer: Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. I wonder what the folks there think about his language and demeanor in this incident.

  • Linnea

    Oh, good God. This guy is a real loose cannon, and I wonder how long he’ll last in the Oklahoma House. Things can get heated in legislative bodies, but you can’t (shouldn’t!) get away with threatening language in that context.