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Thursday, August 31, 2006 

TABOR Opposition Groups Applaud Supreme Court Decision

Group to remain vigilant in opposing failed TABOR idea Oklahomans for Responsible Government, the ballot campaign representing over 70 prominent Oklahoma business, social and community groups, strongly praised today’s Supreme Court order rejecting State Question 726, the so-called Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR. “This is an important victory for Oklahoma democracy,” said Kell Kelly, CEO of SpiritBank and spokesperson for the Oklahomans for Responsible Government committee. “The SQ 726 petition drive was conducted by out of state operatives that engaged in fraudulent and deceptive signature-gathering processes that threatened to make a mockery of our laws.” Kelly was among the two-dozen business and civic leaders that filed a lawsuit challenging SQ 726 that the court upheld today. Oklahomans for Responsible Government vowed to remain vigilant in opposing in what the group calls the "flawed and dangerous ideas behind the TABOR proposal." The organization’s chairs, Ike Glass [CEO of Glass Trucking and Chairman of The State Chamber], Steve Turnbo [Chair of Schnake Turnbo Frank, Inc and Chair of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce], and Kirk Humphreys [CEO of Humphreys Real Estate Investments, LLC and Board of Directors Member for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce], stated: “We want to send a clear message that TABOR is not a solution for Oklahoma. TABOR has already been tried in Colorado and it took them may years and millions of dollars to undo the damage.” They continued, “as Oklahomans, we are fully able to develop our own fiscally responsible ideas that will allow for adequate support for vital public services. We do not to recycle a failed bill of goods passing itself off as a bill of rights.” Coalition members of the organization were encouraged by today’s Supreme Court decision, and expressed their "resolve to oppose future attempts that would seek to impose this failed policy in Oklahoma." Posted at 8/31/2006 03:53:00 PM |

Oklahoma Supreme Court Throws Out TABOR

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Supreme Court Thursday threw out the proposed "taxpayer bill of rights" petition to reduce growth in government spending. The court ruled the petition lacked sufficient valid signatures to send it to the ballot. The proposal was aimed at limiting increases in state government spending to the growth of inflation and population. The order indicated the justices agreed with a referee's report that tens of thousands of signatures were gathered illegally by out-of-state circulators. State Senator Randy Brogdon said the court opinion disenfranchises 300,000 people who signed the petition. He says backers will continue to work to get it on the ballot, even if it means they must collect new signatures. Posted at 8/31/2006 01:16:00 PM |

Daily Oklahoman & Tulsa World Biased?

One of the age old arguments in journalism is the perception of bias in the reporting of events and of public figures. Similar to two people viewing an auto accident and giving entirely different accounts of the same event, you can have two folks of different political persuasions read or watch a particular news story and nine times out of ten they'll disagree on its alleged slant. We are all human and have our distinct preferences and dislikes, and most of us can appreciate that. The problems arise when the media puts on the facade of neutrality when its obvious they have an agenda. The immense popularity of the "right wing media" and the "blogosphere" is due simply to the fact that they don't attempt to hide they lean towards a certain perspective. You know what your going to get and your free to accept or reject it. The Tulsa World and the Daily Oklahoman are no exceptions to the charge of bias in their reporting. Since proving bias is often a subjective exercise, poignant examples of alleged bias should be presented to readers so they can decide for themselves. This is what we'll attempt in this article. Our fellow blogger Michael Bates at has exhaustively chronicled The Tulsa World's alleged bias and their unconstitutional attempts to silence him. Below is an excerpt from an August 17th blog post regarding alleged bias in reporting a joint townhall meeting Senator Coburn had with Rep. Dan Boren: Tom Coburn, passed along correspondence concerning several attempts by Coburn's office to correct errors appearing in the Tulsa Whirled. I was shocked that your paper reported that I had "barred (my) office from answering questions on the meeting" I am holding jointly with U.S. Representative Dan Boren when I have no such blanket policy of not discussing this meeting and when no such policy had been communicated to your paper from my office. Your paper also reported that my office had not weighed in with FEMA on behalf of Oklahoma when our state was ravaged by wildfires when we had, in fact, weighed in with FEMA officials. No one should have to remind any newspaper that manufacturing facts and indirect quotations is highly unethical and unprofessional and a serious offense to subscribers and readers. No provision in our Constitution grants news organizations the right to invent facts or quotations. Bates along with Chris Medlock of Medblogged have both received cease and desist orders from the paper to immediately stop "infringing" on the World's copyright by "reproducing articles in whole or in part and by linking to World's articles without authorization." The Oklahoma Political News Service received a cease and desist email from the Daily Oklahoman at the beginning of this venture in June. Admittedly, we did reproduce some of their articles in whole and in part, only because other Oklahoma bloggers were doing the exact same thing. In fact, still are. We wonder why they haven't received cease and desist orders as well? In the January/February 1999 Columbia Journalism Review, The Daily Oklahoman was cited as one of the worst papers in the nation. Below is an excerpt of part of the reason they came to that conclusion: Former staffers say it wasn't long ago that the complexion of the front page, not just the newsroom, was influenced by race. "When I was on the city desk in the late seventies," says former city editor Splaingard, "the rule was you didn't run pictures of blacks on the front page." And while everyone says the "rule" is long dead, it's not always easy to tell. In two months selected at random, January and August 1998, the paper ran 187 front-page photos, featuring nearly 200 individuals. Only ten photos had blacks identified in the cutline, and only four of those actually accompanied stories featuring blacks. Even more recently, says former Oklahoman reporter Charolette Aiken, "the Oklahoman put black faces on the front only if they were athletes, a black Republican, or a bad guy." Observer editor Troy once wrote of the paper's plantation mentality: "The paper has been quietly and effectively racist in all its long history." Gaylord refused requests from cjr for an interview, but in a brief phone conversation from his home the publisher reacted testily when asked if putting blacks on the front page ever displeased him: "Oh, come on, you're crazy," he drawled. "Quit bothering me. Go on home." Then he hung up." For those of you not aware, the editor of the Oklahoma Political News Service is an African American. Maybe it's just a coincidence. We'll let you decide. Posted at 8/31/2006 07:00:00 AM |

Daily Herald Seeks Questions For Rep.Istook

By MIRANDA GILBERT Staff Writer What matters to local voters most in regards to choosing who should be the next Oklahoma Governor? U.S. Congressman Ernest Istook (R), gubernatorial candidate running against Democratic incumbant Gov. Brad Henry, will be visitng the Guymon Daily Herald on Friday to discuss such conservative issues as taxes, spending, and the economy, life, family and culture, illegal immigration, guns and education and home schooling. In our effort to report what matters most to locals, we are excepting questions for Istook's interview until Thursday at 5 p.m. Questions may be dropped off in the office or by submitted by email to with the subject line of “questions for Istook.” Interview questions and answers will be printed in this weekend's edition of the Guymon Daily Herald. Posted at 8/31/2006 06:30:00 AM |

Representatives Campaign to OU's College Republicans

The Norman Transcript By Althea Peterson Even for incumbents, two Republican representatives encouraged students not to take elections for granted. U.S. Congressman Tom Cole, R-Moore, and Oklahoma state Rep. Thad Balkman, R-Norman, spoke to the University of Oklahoma College Republicans Wednesday at Oklahoma Memorial Union. Both representatives said state and federal elections will be very competitive. Cole said at a federal and a local level, the sixth year of an eight-year election cycle is one of the most difficult election years. “When any party is in the White House, it is a tough year of politics,” Cole said. “There are no safe seats and there are no safe elections. It’s like prevent defense in football — it’s a bad idea. We intend to campaign very hard.” Cole said the key to winning elections is not about spending the most money on advertisements. “The most important thing you can do is to go door to door and encourage people, especially Republicans, to vote,” Cole said. “You can have all the TV ads and mailings in the world, but you cannot replace personal contact at the door.” Cole said there is a good chance Republicans can maintain majorities at a federal level, as well as in the state House. However, he said there is also a chance that the majorities could change. “I like campaigning when there is a lot on the line. In my opinion, this is one of those elections,” Cole said. “These are the elections that make the difference. I think the Democrats have a chance of taking the House and the Senate.” Balkman said it is important for voters to educate themselves, because the issues decided at the Capitol directly affect them. He cited Governor Brad Henry’s recent veto of a bill that would allow legislators to control college tuition rates as an example. “That shows you how important it is who represents you,” Balkman said. “That would have been a great tool to keep (tuition) low. “The state Senate is still in the hands of liberal Democrats. We have a good opportunity to take it back.” Cole will face Democratic challenger Hal Spake of Norman, while Balkman will face Democrat Wallace Collins, who is also from Norman, in the Nov. 7 general election. The OU College Republicans will host lieutenant governor candidate Todd Hiett of Kellyville and Republican state Senate District 16 candidate Ron Davis of Purcell in two weeks. Posted at 8/31/2006 06:15:00 AM |

Hobson Predicts Dems Will Take Control of Senate

The Norman Transcript By M. Scott Carter Democrats will turn back a GOP drive to take control of the state Senate this fall, the Senate’s former leader predicted this week. Lexington Senator Cal Hobson — who served as Senate president pro tempore from 2002 to 2005 — said Republican efforts to take control the Oklahoma Senate for the first time since statehood will not only fail, but also cost the GOP a seat in the effort. “We’re going to hold all our seats and even pick up an additional one,” Hobson said Wednesday. “We’ve got a good chance to get rid of Randy Brogdon. We came within two percentage points last time. This cycle, I believe we’ll do it.” Hobson said Brogdon, of Owasso, was politically weak because he was “more interested in the TABOR initiative” than in serving his district. “And that could be his undoing.” With their slim, 26-22 margin, Senate Democrats have been on the defensive all year. But Hobson said GOP Senator Nancy Riley’s late summer switch lifted spirits and changed the face of the election. “Picking up Senator Riley’s seat was huge. It was an incredible boost to morale, and a major PR victory.” However, before Democrats can plan victory celebrations, they must hold several key seats, including:" Read more... Posted at 8/31/2006 06:03:00 AM |
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 

"400lb Gorilla" Ron Black Offers Advice

Serve me or serve the devil. Yeah, right. I have been checking out some of the Republican blogs of late and I am absolutely amazed at the garbage being strewn about. There is this undergirding of hatred for Brad Henry so deep that supporters of Ernest Istook are going so far as to leave the impression that if you have policy differences, any concerns whatsoever with Istook, you are "aiding Henry." I posed the question, "So, if you don't forsake all and follow him, you're aiding Henry?" I admit that it is a trick question because the premise of the question is ridiculous on its face. And the theological symbology isn't an accident either. We have seen this strategy rear its ugly head before, and it is the same type of rhetoric that has ensured a defeat for other political candidates. It is not a coincidence that this tactic is being used again - the players are the same. Let me roll up my sleeves here for a moment and tell it like it is: The Istook campaign is not helping Istook by any stretch of the imagination. His people need a great big dose of STFU, and Istook needs to take charge over there. I consider myself to be a fan of Istook, a friend if you will, and to date, he has listened to no one but those who are steering him down the wrong path. Read more... Posted at 8/30/2006 02:25:00 PM |

"On The Move" Tour Hits Another Pothole

Governor Henry's "on the move" rv tour has hit another pot hole. Commenting to reporters on why he's embarking on this trip, Governor Henry replied: "Oklahoma is on the move, and I want to tell people how we can build on our accomplishments and meet the challenges of the future." We reported Tuesday the dismal turnout for the first stop of the tour. The turnout was so abysmal that campaign workers resorted to handing out Henry t-shirts to "working" construction crews. According to the Community Action Project, the average Oklahoman's economic fortunes are also "on the move" but not in the direction the governor would like. OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A Tulsa-based anti-poverty agency says the average Oklahoman is being left out of the current economic boom and the state's poverty rate is rising. The Community Action Project says it's conclusion is based on an analysis of U-S Census Bureau data. A Census Bureau survey released today shows the median household income of Oklahomans fell to 39-thousand-292 dollars during 2004 and 2005. That's down from 39-thousand-519 dollars for the two previous years. The survey also found the poverty rate in Oklahoma increased from eleven-point-eight percent in 2003-2004 to 13-point-two percent in '04 and '05. David Blatt of the Community Action Project says the numbers show the average Oklahoma household and those at the bottom are being left out of the state's overall economic growth. *The McCarville Report Online posts today on Henry's small crowds. Posted at 8/30/2006 10:58:00 AM |

"Almost 100 Excited Voters?"

OKPNS wonders if Governor Henry's advance team is handing out rose colored glasses and purple Kool-Aid with those t-shirts? From Henry Big Hit In Norman Governor Brad Henry's RV tour of Oklahoma started in Norman today and a crowd of almost 100 excited voters was on hand to welcome him and First Lady Kim Henry. My job was simply to get everyone's attention, and then introduce the man who will lead our ticket to victory in November! After some great remarks, a pizza lunch was served, and the First Couple spent thirty minutes talking with college students and Norman residents. If one theme was present in the Governor's remarks, it was how much he will miss the presence of Cal Hobson next session at the was good to see my former law partner, Col. Bill J. English, in the crowd, and to talk to Senate 16 nominee John Sparks. Posted at 8/30/2006 10:45:00 AM |

Oklahoma Working Families Not Sharing In Economic Boom

By Marie Price The Journal Record OKLAHOMA CITY – The number of Oklahomans living in poverty rose over the last two years while state median income fell slightly, according to an anti-poverty organization’s analysis of data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. David Blatt, public policy director for the Tulsa Community Action Project, said that overall Oklahoma is experiencing a general period of prosperity. “These numbers should sound the alarm that we are experiencing a very uneven recovery, where the average household, as well as those at the bottom of the economic ladder, are being left out of the state’s overall economic growth,” Blatt said. “It has not spread itself to the lower rung of the economy.” According to the census bureau’s Current Population Survey, the state’s median household income dropped a bit, from a two-year average of $39,519 in 2003-2004 to $39,292 for 2004-2005. The data show a slight increase over the previous 12 months for both Oklahoma men and women, however, with women earning about 74.8 percent as much as men, an increase of 1.5 percent. This was during a period when overall state personal income rose 6 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The state’s unemployment rate is fairly low, Blatt said, but wages have not risen appreciably. He said most of the recovery has been concentrated at the top level of the income spectrum. The number of families living below the poverty level increased from 11.8 percent to 13.2 percent for the same two-year period. For 2005 alone, the figures show 16.5 percent of Oklahomans living in poverty, an increase of 0.5 percent for the 12 months. “A growing number of people have failed to make it to the poverty line,” Blatt said. CAP said this represents about 50,000 additional Oklahomans living below the poverty line. In 2005, the federal poverty line was just below $20,000 for a family of four. These are the same families wrestling with higher costs for fuel, heating, health care, housing and education, he added. “We hope this evidence of Oklahoma’s uneven recovery will encourage policymakers to use available revenues to pursue an active agenda that focuses on bolstering assistance and expanding opportunities for low- and moderate-income families,” Blatt said. Census data also show that the number of Oklahomans without health insurance dropped by 1 percentage point during the most recent two-year period, down to 19 percent. The national rate is 15.7 percent. Blatt said the slight dip is encouraging. At the same time, Oklahoma ranked fourth highest among the states for the number of uninsured. States ranking higher were Florida, New Mexico and Texas, which has an uninsured rate close to 25 percent according to the census figures. “Being without health insurance leaves families one medical emergency away from falling into poverty,” Blatt said. “Even with this slight improvement in the numbers of uninsured, it’s obvious that there is an ongoing health insurance crisis in this state that requires the continued attention of policymakers, employers and health care providers. Posted at 8/30/2006 10:30:00 AM |

Too Much Time On Their Hands

This was recently sent to us from the tipline. We assume its from a politically active teacher, who without a doubt, couldn't wait for the new school year to begin. (Click images to enlarge) Posted at 8/30/2006 10:09:00 AM |
Tuesday, August 29, 2006 

Enid News: Cargill Wants To Keep House Party Going Strong

By Cindy Allen Managing Editor Lance Cargill’s main priority until the next legislative session is keeping a Republican majority in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Cargill was elected House speaker-designate by his colleagues in the House of Representatives last year, and if predictions hold that Republicans will maintain their majority, he will replace Todd Hiett in the 2007 Legislature. Cargill, from Harrah, represents District 96, which is mostly rural area but also part of Edmond. Read more... Posted at 8/29/2006 04:32:00 PM |

Brogdon Rips Henry On Budget Claim

From The McCarville Report Online State Senator Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, says today that claims by Governor Brad Henry, Democrat seeking reelection, that he replenished the Rainy Day Fund and improved the state budget don't match the facts. Brogdon said, "overspending by Brad Henry sent the state spiraling downward" in years past. He said the Rainy Day Fund ran dry "because big spending politicians like then-Senator Henry spent hundreds of millions" and thus, set the state up for budgetary problems. Henry's first television commercial of the general election campaign is based on his claims that he met the financial crisis the state faced in his first year in office and that he presented a balanced budget and filled the once-depleted Rainy Day Fund. Full text of press release from Sen. Brogdon's office: NEWS RELEASE For immediate release – August 29, 2006 SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: “Brad Henry’s Spending Spree Drained the Rainy Day Fund” Oklahoma City– State Senator Randy Brogdon says over-spending led by Brad Henry sent our state spiraling downward during what Henry now describes as the “biggest budget crisis in our state’s history”. “Governor Henry points out that when he first took office as governor, the ‘Rainy Day Fund’ ran dry during our most recent budget crisis,” Brogdon noted. “But he doesn’t point out that the fund ran dry because big spending politicians like then-Senator Henry spent hundreds of millions of dollars from the fund when revenue was strong in the late 1990s and no emergency existed.” Brogdon, R-Owasso, continued, “When our state faced what the Governor calls the ‘greatest budget crisis in our young state’s history’ it was because he and other big spenders could not keep their hands out of the cookie jar. They spent every dime they could grab.” Brogdon said it is unbelievable that Governor Henry now wants to expand the reserve fund so there will be even more taxpayer dollars at risk. Last year he even suggested spending $30 million from the Rainy Day Fund to celebrate the state’s centennial birthday. In contrast, Brogdon says a constitutional amendment to limit spending and create a new emergency fund with stronger controls on how and when the money is spent is needed to keep the legislature and the governor from over-spending. “Increasing the rainy day fund as proposed by some will only give the politicians more taxpayer’s dollars to spend on their wish list. History has proved that robbing the rainy day fund causes deeper budget cuts in an economic downturn,” he said. The Owasso Senator says that a constitutional amendment creating an emergency fund would ensure better spending practices by the legislature. Brogdon characterized the current setup of state emergency reserve funds as little more than a slush fund, used to top off big state spending sprees. “We currently allow the governor and the legislature to spend a percentage of the Rainy Day Fund at anytime, for any reason. That is bad government and it has to stop,” said Brogdon. “The better choice for Oklahoma is for the legislature and the governor to stop over-spending, and to provide for a secure, constitutional emergency fund that will benefit taxpayers, not pork barrel spenders,” said Brogdon. According to Brogdon, a proposed new constitutional emergency fund will provide safeguards for taxpayers so that money designated for emergencies will only be used in emergency situations. Additionally, this will stop other wasteful spending and ensure fiscal responsibility. Brogdon contends that eliminating the Rainy Day Fund and replacing it with a true emergency fund will stabilize the budget, put an end to massive budget cuts due to revenue shortfalls, and ensure Oklahoma will be able to meet its obligations to its citizens for future generations. Posted at 8/29/2006 01:22:00 PM |

From the Tipline: Henry's Kickoff Event Fails to Turnout Democratic Activists

Despite all the hype, Brad Henry's re-election campaign began yesterday with barely a whimper. Belying widespread rumors of disatisfaction among Democratic activists camps, today's low turnout seems to reflect the general belief that Governor Brad Henry does not inspire much goodwill or intensity among the public. Only a few volunteers actually turned up for his RV kickoff today. In desperation, Henry's staff had to resort to asking nearby construction workers to wear t-shirts. Posted at 8/29/2006 11:59:00 AM |

Fallin: Profiled in Hometown Newspaper

Mary Fallin, a Tecumseh product who made history 12 years ago by becoming the first woman and the first Republican elected lieutenant governor in Oklahoma, is one more election night away from becoming the state's second congresswoman. As the GOP nominee, the three-term lieutenant governor will go into the November election as the favorite. Republicans took over the Oklahoma City area congressional seat when Mickey Edwards won the 1976 election and have held it ever since under Edwards and Ernest Istook. Istook is now the GOP nominee for governor against Democrat Brad Henry of Shawnee. Read more... Posted at 8/29/2006 11:35:00 AM |

If Wishing Could Make It So...

By Walter Jenny Jr., an Edmond resident, is secretary of the Oklahoma Democratic Party and chairman of the Edmond Democrats. From The Edmond Sun: Fallin needs a strong fourth quarter to keep 5th district Last Tuesday saw the selection of the final candidates for lieutenant governor for both the Democrats and Republicans. The only other major race on the ballot was the Republican shootout for the 5th District Congressional nomination between Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Fallin won the congressional runoff 26,744 to 15,665, picking up 63 percent of the vote. She led in the primary with 16,691 votes to Cornett’s 11,718, a 10 percentage-point spread. But in a field of six candidates dividing 48,287 votes, she failed to pick up the majority necessary to win the primary outright, forcing her into an expensive runoff. If that seems like too many numbers to digest, that’s unfortunate, because politics is a game of numbers. Rule No. 1 in politics is you have to get more votes than your opponent. Denise Bode spent $1 million in the primary and came in a distant third with less than 10,000 votes. All the money in the world can’t buy you love, and everybody seems to love Mary Fallin. Fallin has served in the lieutenant governor’s post since 1994, and was in the Legislature for four years before that. She is now the second-longest serving lieutenant governor in the United States. But the numbers in this 5th District race will be interesting. Democrats outnumber Republicans 170,601 to 161,446 in the district, which includes Seminole, Pottawatomie and most of Oklahoma County. There are 46,509 Independents in the district meaning neither party has a clear majority. In a state where more folks registered as Democrats than Republicans in the past year, this congressional seat will be up for grabs. That’s a change from previous years. When Ernest Istook won the runoff against Bill Price in 1992 after incumbent Mickey Edwards came in third in the primary, Istook came within 100 votes of the exact same figure Mary Fallin received. But only 47,338 votes were cast in the runoff, compared to 42,409 in last week’s runoff. Compare that to the Democratic primary between Edmond’s Dr. David Hunter and Oklahoma City teacher Bert Smith. Voters cast 39,015 ballots in a lukewarm campaign in which the candidates spent only a fraction of what the Republicans spent. Hunter picked up 24,660 votes, far more than Mary Fallin’s 16,691 in the primary and almost as many as Fallin received in her hotly contested runoff. Read more... Posted at 8/29/2006 10:51:00 AM |

Boren, Istook, Henry: Six Degrees Of Something-Or-Other?

By Marie Price The Journal Record OKLAHOMA CITY – They may not exactly prove the “six degrees of separation” hypothesis, but David Boren, Ernest Istook and Brad Henry have more in common than just owing key political wins in their lives to Oklahoma’s runoff election system – and wanting to be governor. The “six degrees” concept was first posited in 1929 by Karinthy Frigyes, a Hungarian writer. The idea is that anyone can be connected to any other person through a chain of acquaintances, with only five linking individuals. At each level, supposedly, the number of acquaintances grows exponentially, until at the top, the “circle of friends” includes everyone on Earth. In 1974, David Boren came in second to U.S. Rep. Clem McSpadden in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, with scandal-beleaguered Gov. David Hall coming in third. In 1992, state Rep. Ernest Istook took second in a congressional primary against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mickey Edwards with Bill Price finishing first. In 2002, Henry garnered 28.5 percent of the vote to Vince Orza’s 44 percent at the Democratic gubernatorial primary. All three went on to win runoffs and their respective general elections. However, way back in October 1977, then-governor Boren tapped Istook, who passed the bar exam that April, to direct the old Alcoholic Beverage Laws Control Board. Board members agreed to Boren’s recommendation. The state Senate had a different idea, and never confirmed Istook’s appointment. At the time, some said the appointment was rejected over a probe by Istook of the liquor industry. Others said opposition centered on Istook’s non-drinking Mormon background. In April 1978, Istook joined Boren’s staff as a legal assistant, where Istook investigated allegations of misuse of Comprehensive Employment and Training Act federal funds. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the private practice of law with a firm that included one-time Boren attorney Robert Mitchell. The ABC Board is now the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission. A few years later, Istook ran successfully for the state House, serving from 1986 to 1992, when he came from behind to take the 5th Congressional District seat. As Istook was moving on up and leaving the Legislature, Henry was moving into it. Henry was first elected to the state Senate in 1992, where he served until his primary second-place finish in the 2002 governor’s race turned into a general election win. Now president of the University of Oklahoma and a former U.S. senator, Boren started his political life as a state representative from Seminole, about 21 miles down the road from Shawnee, Brad Henry’s hometown. Boren was also a professor at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee. Henry’s cousin, 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Henry, is also a former state representative and attorney general. Brad Henry’s father, Charles, was a judge and state representative. Boren’s father, Lyle, was a congressman from Oklahoma. His son, Dan, is finishing up his first term in Congress, having also served in the state House. Posted at 8/29/2006 10:18:00 AM |

Picture Of The Day

District 2 Tulsa County Commissioner Randi Miller
From: Pimp This Town Vote Paul Tay "My goodness, Randi, isn't the chicken sh*t in Tulsa's water system enough? Ya really don't need to go looking for more poopy water." Posted at 8/29/2006 08:43:00 AM |

SOSU Chooses New Fight Song

DURANT, Okla. (AP) Southeastern Oklahoma State University has a new fight song. A classical music composer from Dallas is the winner of a one-thousand dollar prize for writing the music and lyrics of the new song. The new fight song was needed to go with the university's new logo and new nickname _ the Savage Storm. It was written by Jeff Lankov and was chosen by university President Glen Johnson after Johnson listened to the university band play the three finalists. Southeastern changed its nickname earlier this year from the Savages to the Savage Storm because of a new N-C-A-A rule against mascots and nicknames considered hostile to American Indians and other ethnic groups. Posted at 8/29/2006 06:03:00 AM |
Monday, August 28, 2006 

EXCLUSIVE: House, Senate GOP Dumps Daxon Over “Victory ‘06”

Oklahoma Political News Service has learned that both the state House and Senate GOP leadership have split from Oklahoma Republican Party and Chairman Tom Daxon over stalemates over “Victory 2006” efforts. The legislative efforts to turn out the Republican vote will be separate from state party efforts (dubbed “Victory 2006”) in an unprecedented move, according to sources who spoke with OKPNS on the condition of anonymity. “We are nearly two months out from Election Day and Daxon is like a deer in the headlights,” said a source familiar with the situation. “Effectively, Republican legislative leaders are setting up their own party through Oklahoma County GOP. They’ll do it on their own and they’ll get the job done.” Despite what appear to be setbacks, an insider familiar with the split with Daxon described the election outlook as very optimistic. “House leaders are confident in their majority, and in the Senate the sense is that a Republican majority is truly within reach if the state party doesn’t become a road block. As a result, they’ve switched to a different road.” OKPNS will continue to monitor this situation and bring you updates as this story develops. Posted at 8/28/2006 07:00:00 PM |

Coburn: "Google Government" To Fight Pork

The Senate has yet to vote on the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590), introduced by Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.). The "Google government" bill, as Sen. Coburn calls it, requires the Office of Management and Budget to run a single public website listing the names and locations of all individuals and groups receiving federal grants and contracts. Such a database would be an invaluable resource for watchdog groups, the media, and bloggers to expose wasteful spending, conflicts of interest, and other shenanigans. The bill has 29 co-sponsors and has been endorsed by groups from across the political spectrum. Posted at 8/28/2006 06:25:00 PM |

Dems Bash Bush, Hiett at Fundraiser

From the Sapulapa Daily Herald Troy was the first of several speakers who made a point to single out Hiett, and President George W. Bush and his administration also did not escape the critics at the fundraiser held at Freddie’s Steak House and Barbecue Saturday evening. The feisty political reporter said Hiett, who has served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives the past two years, took the credit for getting the teachers the $2,500 pay raise. Posted at 8/28/2006 06:17:00 PM |

Henry Hits Road In RV

Too bad they're aren't any college football games on the 17 city tour. I'm sure the Governor would have rather used the state airplane. OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Governor Brad Henry leaves Oklahoma City today to begin a four-day campaign trip through southern and eastern Oklahoma using a recreational vehicle. The R-V campaign swing is similar to two campaign trips Henry made in 2002 when he won the governor's race. The current tour lists 17 cities as campaign stops. A second R-V tour of western Oklahoma is planned for later in the campaign. Henry faces Republican Congressman Ernest Istook in his re-election bid. Posted at 8/28/2006 10:57:00 AM |

Group Calls For John Sparks To Apologize For Campaign Tactics

A group calling itself "Citizens for Campaign Integrity" have taken out an ad in the Norman Transcript, decrying the final days campaign tactics of John Sparks. Sparks won a contentious battle with his Democratic opponent Tim Emrich. You can view one of Spark's mailings here. With the headline declaring "We protest the politics of personal destruction", the group accuses Sparks of being responsible for "one of the dirtiest local campaigns in recent memory." They cite examples of push polling in order to "enhance whisper campaigns against Emrich." They warn that these "Karl Rove-style tactics", may cost him votes with voters he has "deeply offended". In order to correct his wrongs they insist Sparks: ° Publicly acknowledge and apologize to the voters of District 16 for his role in his offensive runoff campaign, ° Fire Carrier Marshall & Associates, the political consulting company that crafted his campaign and that is infamous for its smear tactics, ° Run a clean general election campaign that focuses on the serious issues facing the voters of Oklahoma Senate District 16. Mary Maggi, Chair Suzette McDowell Eric S. Anderson Ellen Frank Tom Fredgren Hester Baer Ryan Long Carolyn and Mack Paul Toni and Joseph Henning Dee Crockett Bette Mafucci Jack Cohn Karin Schutjer Norma Sapp Marybeth Langer Cynthia Kerfoot Joe Peters Vickie Michener Chris Suit Jack and Jane Stansell Kim Cory Dale Wares Michael Winston Posted at 8/28/2006 10:01:00 AM |
Sunday, August 27, 2006 

Tulsa World: Statewide vote shows split

Scott Pruitt won overwhelmingly in Tulsa County but both Todd Hiett and Jari Askins did well in rural areas. OKLAHOMA CITY -- State Sen. Scott Pruitt swamped House Speaker Todd Hiett in Tulsa County voting in Tuesday's Republican runoff for lieutenant governor but still narrowly lost in the statewide contest for the GOP nomination. Pruitt, of Broken Arrow, captured 65 percent of the Republican vote in Tulsa County -- 15,480 to 8,477 -- but lost the race by about 2,400 votes. Hiett now faces Democratic runoff winner Jari Askins and independent candidate E.Z. Million of Norman in the November general election. Hiett outpaced Pruitt in Oklahoma County by nearly 2,000 votes and received much of the rest of his support from dozens of rural counties. Hiett's advertisements repeatedly stated that he had been a dairy farmer and still farmed near Kellyville. Hiett received nearly 1,300 more votes than Pruitt in his home Creek County. Read more... Posted at 8/27/2006 02:04:00 PM |

Inhofe has consistent message for chamber group

By Randall Turk Transcript Business Editor James Inhofe, Oklahoma’s senior U.S. senator, says he devoted many years to the “real world” of business before beginning his Congressional career 20 years ago. “I spent 30 years making companies and losing companies, making money and losing money,” the scrappy Inhofe said at a Norman Chamber of Commerce gathering Wednesday. “The chief obstacle was the government,” he said. “I ran for Congress to save America and the free enterprise system.” Read more... Posted at 8/27/2006 02:02:00 PM |

Fallin Sets Sights On History

By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau Her goal is to be state's second woman in Congress OKLAHOMA CITY -- Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin is on the cusp of becoming the second woman to represent Oklahoma in Congress. She defeated Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett last week for the Republican nomination to represent the 5th Congressional District, which includes Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties. U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook, also a Republican, is giving up that seat to run for governor. Fallin got slightly more than 63 percent of the vote Tuesday. Cornett took nearly 37 percent. The three-term lieutenant governor now faces David Hunter, a Democrat, and Matthew Horton Woodson, an independent candidate, in the Nov. 7 general election. Both men are from Oklahoma City. Oklahoma's only woman in Congress was Alice Mary Robertson, a Republican who held the office from 1921 to 1923. "It would be a great honor if I have the opportunity to be selected the second woman," Fallin said. "I take those honors very seriously. I try to be a good example for other women to follow and a good role model for other women." Read more... Keith Gaddie at looks inside the depth of Fallin's win. Posted at 8/27/2006 12:31:00 PM |

ODP Chair Lisa Pryor Rumored To Resign

From Lisa Pryor will resign as the ODP chair Between now and the general election Lisa Pryor will resign as the ODP chair. As I have repeatedly posted here she was in the state chair position to maneuver into an elected office. She used the party and it’s contributors to better her efforts to get into an elected office. Can't wait for Mac Miller to say this isn't so. Developing… Posted at 8/27/2006 12:13:00 PM |

Picher Mayor's Land Purchases Under Scrutiny

By OMER GILLHAM World Staff Writer PICHER -- Sam Freeman is either in trouble or one of the shrewdest men in town. Freeman, 61, is the mayor of Picher, a small mining town at the center of the Tar Creek Superfund site in Ottawa County. He is being investigated by the state auditor and inspector for purchasing devalued land that could be sold to the government as part of a federal buyout in Tar Creek. State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan wants to know whether Freeman used his position as the mayor to buy Superfund land cheap in hope of selling it for a profit. Freeman and dozens of other Tar Creek residents benefited from the authority's sale of about 400 lots of abandoned mining land, primarily in Picher, records show. The average lot is 25 feet by 120 feet with a sale price of 3 cents a square foot, or $90 per lot. Freeman's son, Harold G. Freeman, bought three lots from the development authority, records show. Read more... Posted at 8/27/2006 11:42:00 AM |

Picture Of The Day

From Chris Medlock's blog Medblogged: If a picture says a thousand words, then this photograph I took Thursday, pretty much sums up the current condition of my elective political career. The photo is from the Creek County Landfill. Posted at 8/27/2006 11:09:00 AM |

Ground Broken For New Air Training Center

Istook secures $13 million dollars for border patrol training center at Will Rogers World Airport OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Ground was broken in Oklahoma City today for a new training center for U-S Customs and Border Protection pilots. A 20 (m) million dollar contract was awarded last month for construction of a permanent hangar to support the National Air Training Center, a flight training and maintenance facility. The new air training center will be located at Will Rogers World Airport. Republican Congressman Ernest Istook -- who's running for governor -- obtained a total of 13 (m) million dollars for the project. Istook says the new facility will be able to hold enough aircraft and people to meet the growing needs of Customs and Border Patrol. The 67-thousand-500 square foot facility is scheduled to open in October 2007. Posted at 8/27/2006 02:59:00 AM |

Records Show Taxpayers Paid For Six Henry Trips

Four trips included OU football games OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Taxpayers paid for six out-of-state trips taken last year by Governor Brad Henry, including one to a Las Vegas convention for an Oklahoma-based legal firm. The Oklahoman's investigation of state records indicated that taxpayers spent more than 46-thousand-dollars as Henry traveled to four University of Oklahoma football games, a show in Washington and the convention in October for Ada-based Pre-Paid Legal Services. Records show Pre-Paid Legal had contributed almost 100-thousand-dollars to Henry's re-election campaign. Henry, a Democrat, defended the cost of the trips, saying he was, quote, "going to work." He says the trips were in his official capacity as governor of the state. Henry's football trips last year were to O-U games against Southern California in the Orange Bowl, Texas, Nebraska and Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. The four trips cost taxpayers about 31-thousand-dollars. He says he tries to conduct business when he travels outside Oklahoma for games. *Out of state travel costs for Gov. Brad Henry between August 2003 to December 2004 totaled $14,702. Posted at 8/27/2006 02:22:00 AM |

2006 Democratic Dream Team?

From OK Blue Notes (Click image to enlarge) Posted at 8/27/2006 02:01:00 AM |
Saturday, August 26, 2006 

Veterans Against Steve Gallo

Veterans Against Steve Gallo are obviously not too pleased with House District 23 candidate Steve Gallo. Maybe this is why: From 7/24/06 "I hear a police report is being filed at Uniform Division East against Mac-Daddy (Jason McIntosh) for stealing large 2'x4' Connie Dodson signs. He was spotted in the act last night and later his car was found parked at Steve Gallo's home with Dodson signs in the outdoor trash bin. Photos were taken of J-Mac's car in the driveway and the signs in the trash bin and a report was filed with police, channel 2 and the Tulsa County Democratic Party.." Posted at 8/26/2006 06:26:00 PM |

State Legislature Freshmen Recall "Culture Shock"

By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer The job had some surprises in store, say first-termers Sen. Brian Crain and Rep. Jeannie McDaniel. Freshmen in college and freshmen in the Oklahoma Legislature have at least one thing in common. They find out, and pretty quickly, that they don't know as much as they thought. Two first-term Tulsa legislators, Republican Sen. Brian Crain and Democratic Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, talked about their own learning curves Friday during a lunch presentation at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Schusterman Center. Rodger Randle, a former Tulsa mayor who served for 17 years in the Legislature, prefaced McDaniel's and Crain's remarks by saying, "For everyone who goes to the Legislature, there is some form of culture shock." For Crain, the biggest surprise was how few issues broke along party lines. He said he expected all Republicans to agree with him and all Democrats to disagree. "You can find yourself having opponents in your own party, and you can find you have friends across the aisle," he said. "Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma are not that far apart on day-to-day things. There are issues that will separate people . . . workers comp reform, tort reform, pro-life issues. Those can be very divisive, but those are very rare." Read more... Posted at 8/26/2006 05:51:00 PM |
Thursday, August 24, 2006 

NAT: Summit Focuses On Getting Out The Vote

Istook, Barnett slated to speak TULSA OK -- Officials from the National Congress of American Indians will be in Tulsa for a three-day stretch starting on August 30 to discuss the upcoming elections and how to increase the political power of Native Americans. The series of speeches and discussion groups, taking place at the downtown Doubletree Hotel, will be “the most diverse informative meetings held of tribal leaders in a long time,” according to Osage Nation chief Jim Gray. Figures from the NCAI say their main goal is to increase voter turnout among Oklahoma tribal members. Training topics will include: voter registration, get out the vote efforts, voting rights and campaign finance. The NCAI is hoping to capitalize on the 2004 elections, which saw the largest voter turnout ever among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Read more... Posted at 8/24/2006 05:06:00 PM |

Ballot Committee Holds Capitol Press Conference

"Oklahomans for Responsible Government" press release: Oklahoma Business, Labor, Civic, Advocacy, Healthcare, Education, and Community Leaders join together Oklahoma City – Today, faced with a possible vote on State Question 726, known as TABOR, leaders from across the state joined together to announce the “Oklahomans for Responsible Government” ballot committee. The committee is focused on defeating the failed, misguided TABOR initiative promoted by out-of-state interests. “While we are hopeful that the court will strike down SQ 726, we understand that we need to be ready as a precaution,” stated Campaign Co-chair Marlin (Ike) Glass, Jr. “The formation of this committee is a clear statement that Oklahomans are coming together united to defeat this issue,” said Glass. The outcome of the pending legal challenges against SQ 726 before the State Supreme Court remains uncertain. The creation of the ballot committee is an effort to launch an effective campaign against the TABOR initiative. In addition to Glass, CEO of Glass Wholesale & Trucking and Chairman of The State Chamber, Oklahomans for Responsible Government will be chaired by Steve Turnbo, Chair of Schnake Turnbo Frank, Inc and Chair of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce, as well as Kirk Humphreys, CEO of Humphreys Real Estate Investments, LLC and Board of Directors Member for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. The organization’s executive committee includes leaders representing Oklahoma labor, civic, advocacy, education, healthcare, and municipal government associations. The committee will oversee the potential campaign to defeat SQ 726 and coordinate the grassroots efforts of over 70 prominent organizations throughout the state that have joined together in opposition to TABOR. The legal challenge to SQ 726 exposed fraudulent and deceptive tactics by out-of-state operatives to secure the proposition’s place on the state’s ballot. Speaking for the organization and as one of the protestants in the legal challenge against SQ 726, Kell Kelly, CEO of SpiritBank, stated, “the findings are clear, the proponents of TABOR used lies, deception, and fraud to advance this petition to the people, and we are joined together to fight this issue.” About the legal challenges, Kelly commented, “with the support of the state’s Attorney General and the Supreme Court referee, we feel that we have presented multiple compelling arguments to the Supreme Court.” “This out-of-state driven petition will weaken our state, not make us stronger as we move into our second century of statehood,” said Steve Turnbo. He continued, “with the sort of tactics used by the proponents of TABOR, it is clear that they are not interested in protecting the future of Oklahoma or its rule of law.” SQ 726 amends the Oklahoma State Constitution by imposing a complicated, restrictive budget formula limiting public expenditures to the rate of inflation and population. David Blatt, Community Action Project Public Policy Director stated that, “the citizens are being sold a bill of goods.” Blatt explained, “TABOR ties the hands of government with an unrealistic, flawed formula that does not deliver on its promise to make government more efficient and effective. The inevitable result of TABOR would be to squeeze the budget for the vital state services that Oklahomans count on in education, health care, transportation, and public safety.” Further, the group warned that limiting public investments would have a negative impact to our state’s economy. “We believe in controlling government spending and ensuring the rights of the taxpayer,” said Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Chairman Fred J. Hall, “but State Question 726 is not the way to do that.” If TABOR passes in Oklahoma, Hall cautioned, its imposed spending caps would mean that major initiatives such as road and bridge maintenance, bioscience research and development, common and higher education, and state services like the needed Medicaid match would not be adequately funded. Colorado adopted a similar measure in 1992. Under TABOR, Colorado fell drastically behind in the quality of their higher education, schools, transportation, and health care. The problems became so bad that a very large, broad and bipartisan coalition, led by the Colorado business community, successfully passed a statewide referendum to suspend the law. “While the proponents of TABOR claim to have fixed the flaws of Colorado’s law, SQ 726 has the same risky constitutional restrictions that put government on autopilot,” stated Rodney Ray, Owasso City Manager and Oklahoma Municipal League leader. “State budgets need to be evaluated each year by our legislators; this is the reason they are elected. Our legislators currently have the authority they need to act with due diligence. Unreasonable restraints take away flexibility to deal with emergency situations affecting Oklahoma communities and their residents. “With TABOR, the devil is in the details,” said Bob Bristow, AARP Oklahoma State resident. He remarked that, “Oklahoma families and seniors have enough trouble struggling with rising fuel and heating costs and access to essential medical care. Oklahomans don’t need the additional burden of having services gutted by the outcomes we’ve already seen from TABOR in Colorado.” Similar opposition was voiced by the leadership of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. “The hospital community has serious concerns about the effect TABOR would have on the health of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Craig W. Jones, president, Oklahoma Hospital Association. “We now have nearly 700,000 uninsured citizens in our state and Colorado’s experience has shown us that these numbers will likely grow under TABOR. As these costs are passed on, premiums will continue to rise. We cannot risk the negative effects TABOR would have on quality and access to health care.” Posted at 8/24/2006 02:32:00 PM |

NAT: Notch Another Victory For The Native Candidates

Cherokee man latest to win, now advances to general election Sam Lewin 8/24/2006 Call it a sweep for the Indian candidates as a member of the Cherokee Nation wins by only 76 votes a run-off contest to advance to this fall’s general election. John Sparks tallied 3,172 votes to fellow Democrat Tim Emrich’s 3,096 in the August 22 race. Sparks will now face Republican Ron Davis in November to fill Senate District 16, a position recently vacated by longtime legislator Cal Hobson. Sparks’ win is a turnaround from the June primary, which saw Emrich receive 2,432 votes to Sparks’ 2,332. Tensions between Sparks and Emrich were heightened in recent weeks with Emrich charging that his opponent was running a “smear campaign.” Sparks, an attorney in Norman, responded that Emrich started slinging the mud when he accused Sparks of being a “pawn” for the insurance industry. Sparks, 37, raised the most money during the election, swelling his campaign coffers to $216,981. Sparks, a married father of two, is a graduate of Sulpher High School and the University of Oklahoma. His interests in college involved the American Indian Law Review, according to his campaign website. Political issues he is concerned with include increasing the minimum wage, improving public schools and streamlining state services. Sparks’ candidacy was pushed by INDN’s List, a group dedicated to electing Native American Democrats to public office. “Our success is in our candidates and their vision. They are proving that voters recognize and affirm the bold, positive vision that Indian candidates and the Democratic Party have put forward in states across the nation,” said INDN’s List founder and president Kalyn Free. Read more... . Posted at 8/24/2006 12:59:00 PM |

Disappointed Pruitt Vows Support For Hiett In General Election

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)-- State Senator Scott Pruitt today vowed to support House Speaker Todd Hiett in the race for lieutenant governor. Pruitt says he's disappointed about losing the Republican runoff for the seat to Hiett by a mere 24-hundred votes last night. But he's vowing to support the G-O-P nominee and says he may seek another political office in the future. Pruitt -- of Broken Arrow -- gave up the Senate seat he has held for eight years to run for lieutenant governor. Hiett will face state House Minority Leader Jari Askins of Duncan, winner of the Democratic runoff for lieutenant governor, and independent E-Z Million in the November 7th general election. Hiett says Pruitt performed well in Tulsa County and that his support is important to his campaign. Posted at 8/24/2006 07:10:00 AM |


From Ahem. My predictions on yesterday's Oklahoma runoff's may have been a little off. I did bat .500 on the races however. For my loyal Soonerfan! readers, here is a recap (and my usual commentary): *GOVERNOR'S UPDATE* Rumors swirled around Oklahoma City that Brad Henry awoke on the 23rd with a start. "Did I win?" he was purported to cry out. "You weren't on the ballot sir," an aide replied after runshing into the room. "I didn't run for re-election?" the governor moped. "I really had meant to. Now what will I do? They said I had a chance, you know." "No, Governor, it was a runoff yesterday." "I didn't make the runoff?" "Here's your coffee, Governor, I'll explain later, sir." "I think I should have at least made the runoff." (I'm not saying this is how the day started off yesterday inside the Governor's Mansion. I'm only passing along what I heard might have happened. You can all judge for yourselves if you believe that's the Brad Henry you know. It doesn't seem that far out of the realm of possibility, if you ask me.) *LT. GOVERNOR'S UPDATE* While State House Speaker Todd Hiett did indeed win, as your crack staff at Soonerfan! predicted he would, the race was not the 60%-40% split we'd said it would be. 51% to 49% was the final. Congratulations and good luck in November, Todd. Speaker Hiett now faces State House Minority Leader Jari Askins in what will likely be a spirited general election. *FIFTH CD UPDATE* One of the emails I received today was from a friend offering condolences for my poor prognostication in this district and contest. Congratulations go out to the Republican nominee, Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin, who won quite handily in very high turnout for a runoff, with 63% of the vote to Cornett's 37%. Now, I've gotten quite a bit of email suggesting I've been a little hard on the Lieutenant Governor, so I'm hereby endorsing her right now. Why? First, she's the Republican nominee. Second, she's pro-life. Third, the Democrat is a nutty doctor who I was just told today might just be crazy enough to drop a million of his own into the race and Fallin needs our support to make sure this state stays in our (read: Republican) hands. Fourth, she campaigned non-stop for 10 months, surviving a cranky state corporation commissioner with a million dollars and an uber-popular mayor who'd helped create a million jobs (well, that's an exaggeration). Needless to say, she impressed a lot of people. So hats off to her, and let any cracks in the party from this divisive primary heal and unite behind their new nominee. It shall be up to us to guide her, so let us join her in this latest phase in her career in public service. Posted at 8/24/2006 06:48:00 AM |

Hunter Doesn't See Himself As Underdog To Fallin

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Democratic nominee David Hunter said he doesn't consider himself an underdog in the election for Oklahoma's Fifth District seat in Congress. Hunter found out Tuesday night that he'll face Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin in the November election. Fallin beat Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in the a runoff to become the Republican nominee in the race. Hunter was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. A surgeon who formerly was chief of staff at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, Hunter admits that Fallin has better name recognition than he does. But Hunter said Democrats make up 45 percent of the central Oklahoma district, compared to 42 percent for Republicans. Independents number 13 percent. Hunter said he thinks people will be able to see the differences between him and Fallin on such issues as health care and Iraq. He says he wants a health care system that covers everyone and a strategy to get out of Iraq. Posted at 8/24/2006 06:31:00 AM |

Educators Say Initiative Petition Would Cripple Schools

OKLAHOMA CITY(AP)-- State educators say requiring that 65 percent of state school funds go to the classroom would cripple critical services to children, including free lunches and transportation. Members of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association announced today they've filed a Supreme Court lawsuit challenging the ballot language of State Question 731. The group's executive director, Keith Ballard, says the so-called 65 percent solution would hurt schools by removing local control, while not improving education. Ballard says some schools with the best test scores don't come close to meeting the criteria in the initiative petition. Supporters say Oklahoma ranks last among the states with only 56 percent of education funding reaching the classroom Posted at 8/24/2006 06:15:00 AM |

Election of Comanche Chairman Challenged

LAWTON, Okla.(AP)-- The results of a second election to determine the next chairman of the Comanche Nation is being challenged. Chairman Wallace Coffey received 52 more votes than challenger Michael Burgess in last weekend's election and Burgess is now protesting the vote. Burgess was the winner of a May 13th election for chairman but the results were thrown out after Coffey requested a recount and problems were found in the results. The Comanche Business Committee is to meet this week and determine the outcome of Burgess' protest. Posted at 8/24/2006 06:00:00 AM |
Wednesday, August 23, 2006 

Fallin's Easy Victory for OK 5th CD Sets Up Big Battle for Lt. Gov.

By Election Watchdog As expected, Lt Governor Mary Fallin easily defeated Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in tonight’s runoff for the GOP nomination to replace Republican Congressman Jim Istook in Oklahoma’s 5th CD. Falin united conservatives behind her in defeating the more moderate mayor 26,744 - 63% to 15,655 -37% with all precincts reporting. She is favored to defeat Democrat nominee and surgeon David Hunter in November. Fallin's victory set the stage for a crucial two party battle to replace Fallin as Lt. Governor. The GOP will get a big boost in taking over the slightly Democrat State Senate (26-22) if they can keep this key position. The Lt. Governor can cast a tie-breaking vote to determine control as well as presiding over the Senate. Conservative Republican House Speaker Todd Hiett was leading late Tuesday to win the GOP nomination for Lt. Governor in a race which tightened dramatically at the end. With all precincts counted, Hiet appeared to have defeated fellow conservative State Sen. Scott Pruitt by 66,217 - 51% to 63,812 - 49%. Hiett touted his record as the first Republican House Speaker in 80 years during which record tax cuts were approved and strong anti-abortion laws were passed. He supports shifting the tax burden from income taxes to consumption, or sales taxes. Hiet will face a familiar opponent, House Democratic leader Jari Askins, who won the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor by 95,087 - 54% over lobbyist and former David Boren staffer Pete Regan with 81,622 – 46%. Askins would become Oklahoma’s second woman and the first Democrat woman to hold this office. She supports establishing a children’s cabinet of child welfare advocates from throughout state government to help protect children from abuse, neglect and poverty. Posted at 8/23/2006 08:11:00 PM |

AG Completes Investigation into AJS Calls

From AG press release: Attorney General Drew Edmondson today said his office has completed its investigation into political telephone calls that targeted a Republican congressional race on the eve of July’s primary election. The focus of the probe, Americans for Job Security, Inc. (AJS) and its telemarketer, Advantage, Inc., have signed an assurance of voluntary compliance requiring them to comply with the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) when placing automated, prerecorded telephone calls to Oklahoma residents. OKPNS wonders if Denise Bode will be calling Mick Cornett to apologize. Read more... Posted at 8/23/2006 07:17:00 PM |

"Non Partisan Organization" Forms; Opposes Tabor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Robb Gray August 23, 2006 405-615-2880 WHAT: Announcement of the formation of a new non-partisan organization “Oklahomans for Responsible Government” as a ballot committee to defeat SQ 726 (TABOR), an extreme, out-of-state driven initiative that could be on the November general election ballot. WHO: Oklahomans for Responsible Government leaders, representing key state business interests, advocacy organizations, and civic groups, will discuss the creation of the committee and its purpose. WHEN: Thursday, August 24, 2006 at 10:30 am WHERE: Oklahoma State Capitol, Media Room 2300 N. Lincoln Boulevard Oklahoma City, Oklahoma ________________________________________ OKLAHOMANS FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT is a non partisan, broad-based coalition of organizations and individuals who oppose State Question 726 (TABOR). Posted at 8/23/2006 03:39:00 PM |

Ad Watch: Brad Henry

Brad Henry has unvieled his first TV ad in his bid to for re-election. The Oklahoma Political News Service will investigate all claims in the ad. Posted at 8/23/2006 02:23:00 PM |

Askin and Hiett To face Off In The General

From the Norman Transcript: With all of the state's 2,224 precincts reporting, Oklahoma state House Minority Leader Jari Askins drubbed congressional aide Pete Regan by more than 14,000 votes to secure the Democratic nomination, while House Speaker Todd Hiett slipped past state Sen. Scott Pruitt by 2,405 votes to earn the GOP nod. Posted at 8/23/2006 02:18:00 PM |

Dank Beats Keating

David Dank has won a runoff to be the Republican nominee in the central Oklahoma district his wife had held for 12 years Posted at 8/23/2006 02:16:00 PM |

Anti-Incumbent Mood in OK?

From KTEN OKLAHOMA CITY Republican state House member Dale DePue has become the first incumbent knocked off this election year Posted at 8/23/2006 11:45:00 AM |

From The Tip Line: Lt. Gov. Fallin's Communications Director Resigns

Tony Vann accepts "exciting career opportunity". Dear Colleagues: After serving Lt. Governor Fallin for three wonderful years as her communications director, I have accepted another exciting career opportunity. On September 5, 2006, I will take the reigns of the communications department as the communications manager for the city of Mesquite, Texas. This move is a great career opportunity for me and my family. It also moves us closer to our relatives in the Dallas area. After living in Oklahoma for 16 years this has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. Please stay in touch. My personal e-mail is (redacted) Posted at 8/23/2006 11:13:00 AM |
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 

Fallin Wins Republican Runoff for 5th District Nomination

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Three-term Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin has won the Republican nomination for Oklahoma's 5th District Congress seat. Fallin has received about 70 percent of the vote in each of the three counties in the district, which includes Oklahoma City. Her runoff opponent was Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Fallin advances to face Democratic nominee Doctor David Hunter in the November election. The candidates are running to fill the post that seven-term Republican Congressman Ernest Istook is giving up to run for governor. Note: The strictly unscientific OKPNS poll closely mirrors the final result. Posted at 8/22/2006 09:29:00 PM |

Bitterness Has A Name: Denise Bode

OKPNS EXCLUSIVE: “I worked for Denise because she was a good conservative. So is Mick Cornett,” went an auto-dial phone call yesterday, in part, from former Bode consultant Kyle Loveless on behalf of his new client Mick Cornett. “ROBOCALL DECEIT,” responded Bode in a tersely worded email last night. “I think [Bode] is upset she lost and isn’t still in the race,” said a state GOP elected official who asked not to be named. “This was a positive race between two candidates until Denise Bode got involved again.” OKPNS has obtained transcripts of both the Loveless phone call and the Bode email. We provide them to our readers below: The Loveless phone call reads as follows: Hi, this is former Denise Bode for Congress consultant Kyle Loveless calling to ask for your vote for Mick Cornett on Tuesday. I worked for Denise because she is a good conservative. So is Mick Cornett. And in this runoff, Mick is the conservative running. Mick has balanced the budget six consecutive times and helped lower property taxes. He’s 100% pro-life, just like Denise, and has been married for 28 years to his high school sweetheart. No one has ever questioned Mick’s conservative credentials, and that’s because he is a strong conservative, a fine Christian and a great leader. Having worked for years for Congressman Ernest Istook as his campaign manager, there is no one I’d rather see take Ernest’s place in Congress than Mick Cornett – and I hope you’ll join me in supporting Mick on Tuesday. Thank you. ANNCR: Paid for by Mick Cornett for Congress, 265-2006. The Bode Email Reads as follows: RE: ROBOCALL DECEIT Dear Friend: Once again, outrageous election eve robocalls have been launched in an effort to hurt Mary Fallin. Please join me in standing against the robocall’s deceit by voting for Mary Fallin. As I write you this e-mail, my phone has been ringing off the hook from close friends who have received robocalls today from the Cornett campaign. The calls say that they are from “a Denise Bode for Congress consultant.” I’m astonished that my name would be used in a Mick Cornett campaign advertisement. The calls refer to me no less than three times – no wonder people understood the calls to suggest that I am supporting Mick Cornett. I don’t. I’m proudly voting for Mary Fallin. MARY FALLIN IS MORE RELIABLE CONSERVATIVE, AN ETHICAL CAMPAIGNER. (sic) Oklahomans are people of integrity. The key to representing Oklahoma in Congress should not be cleverly-worded deceits. We can and should do much better. We can and should elect Mary Fallin to Congress. Please vote tomorrow, Tuesday, August 22. God bless. Denise A. Bode Posted at 8/22/2006 09:28:00 PM |

Forbes names OKC ninth-best city to find a job

by Janice Francis-Smith The Journal Record 8/22/2006 OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City ranked ninth in Forbes magazine’s list of the top 10 best U.S. cities to find a job. Using U.S. government data supplied by Moody’s, Forbes ranked the 100 largest metropolitan areas according to unemployment rates, cost of living, median household income, job growth and income growth. The magazine praised Oklahoma City, “a former oil town,” for diversifying its economic base, and it noted that the state has attracted call centers for technology companies like Dell as well as new manufacturing businesses. Oklahoma City performed best in the cost-of-living arena, coming in at 11th nationwide. The city also ranked 12th in income growth, 44th in job growth, 21st in unemployment, and 61st in median household income. Many large cities suffered in the ranking not only in the cost of living, but in job growth. The study used a five-year average for job and income growth, and cities that were home to a lot of dot-com companies in 2001 lost a lot of jobs when many of those businesses went under. The magazine noted a trend of more businesses and workers leaving Northern cities for the South, attracted by warmer climates and a lower cost of living. The magazine’s top 10 best cities for finding a job were, in order, Washington, D.C.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla.; Bethesda, Md.; Richmond, Va.; Raleigh, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Oklahoma City and Virginia Beach, Va Posted at 8/22/2006 01:13:00 PM |

Former Lawmaker Challenges Multicounty Grand Jury Process

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A former state lawmaker whose political activities are the focus of a lawsuit filed by the attorney general's office has filed a lawsuit of his own challenging the state's multicounty grand jury process. Former Rep. Tim Pope, now a political consultant, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Aug. 16 that calls the multicounty grand jury an "instrument of politics" rather than a true investigative body. Pope's lawsuit accuses the grand jury, presiding judge Bryan Dixon, Attorney General Drew Edmondson and an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent investigating a 2004 Oklahoma County commissioner race of violating his constitutional rights with secrecy requirements not allowed by law. Pope's attorney, Stephen Jones of Enid, said state law requires a hearing before gag orders are issued, but that doesn't happen when grand jury subpoenas are issued. "That's blatantly unconstitutional," he said. Edmondson dismissed Jones' claims, noting similar issues have been raised before and rejected by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Pope, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Assembly, faces a February trial in federal court in Oklahoma City on accusations he violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in January when he paid for 20,000 prerecorded telephone calls regarding Oklahoma County Commissioner Jim Roth. Pope, who could be fined as much as $500 for each call for a total of $10 million, has maintained he did nothing wrong. Pope thinks the complaint and an ongoing OSBI investigation of Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart's 2004 campaign are politically motivated, according to his lawsuit, because Roth and Edmondson are facing re-election fights. Pope is a consultant for Roth's opponent, David Mehlhaff, and campaign manager for James Dunn, a Republican running against Edmondson.

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Posted at 8/22/2006 10:18:00 AM |

High Turnout Expected in Cleveland County

Officials and politicos are predicting a low turnout for today's runoff elections, except in Cleveland County. Two local sales tax propositions, and the highly contested Senate race between Tim Emrich and John Sparks is fueling the speculation for a higher than normal turnout there. We've recently chronicled this race and the controversy Spark's mailings have stirred, suggesting Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee is "licking his chops" in anticipation of a Emrich victory. Spark's last mailing - which he mailed last weekend - is a negative comparison piece, rehashing allegations he's made throughout the campaign. With control of the Senate in play, OKPNS will be watching this race very closely. Posted at 8/22/2006 09:40:00 AM |

NAT: Coffey Re-elected As Head of Comanche Nation

Fifty-two votes proved to be the margin of victory as Wallace Coffey has been reelected as chairman of the Comanche Nation. Coffey received 1,188 votes-just over 51-percent of the total-to challenger Michael Burgess’ 1,136 votes-a tad under 49-percent-the tribe’s elections office reports. Burgess is the Comanche’s current tribal administrator. In the race for vice-chairman of the tribe the margin was even tighter as incumbent Darrell Bread garnered 1,175 votes- 50.87%-to Willie Nelson’s 1,135 votes. Only 40 votes separated the two. Coffey’s victory is a turnaround for a man that initially appeared not to even advance in the first rounds of the Comanche’s political process. In May, Comanche officials reported that Coffey failed to qualify for a run-off in an eight-person contest, leaving the top two vote getters, Burgess and former tribal chairman Johnny Wauqua, positioned to face each other. The scenario changed when it was discovered a “mathematical miscalculation” during the vote tallying process necessitated the need for a new election. The problem stemmed from ballots cast for Burgess in Lawton, apparently skewing the entire race. Posted at 8/22/2006 09:38:00 AM |

On Welfare Reform 10 Years Later

By David Blatt Ten years ago this month, Congress approved a major overhaul of the nation's welfare laws, acting on President Clinton's famous pledge to "end welfare as we know it." The law replaced the old Aid to Families With Dependent Children program with a new program known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. TANF imposed lifetime term limits on cash assistance, created work participation requirements as a condition of assistance, and transformed an individual entitlement into a block grant that states could use to fund a wide range of work-related programs and services. In at least some crucial respects, Clinton's pledge has been fulfilled. Under TANF, the number of families receiving monthly cash assistance payments plummeted. In Oklahoma, the welfare caseload fell from a peak of some 48,000 families in 1994 to just more than 14,000 families in 2001, and has fallen slightly further since. Yet the point of welfare reform was never simply to reduce caseloads but rather to transform a system seen as trapping too many single-parent families in a cycle of welfare dependence into one that could help raise families, through employment, toward self-sufficiency. Against this standard of assisting our neediest families succeed, the record of welfare reform is more mixed. In the first five years following passage of the welfare reform law, declining caseloads were accompanied by significant increases in the number of single parents in the work force and sharp drops in child poverty rates, especially for minority children. Low-income families were boosted by a strong labor market and by various public policies aimed at making work pay, including increases in the minimum wage, expansion of public health insurance coverage and increased funding for child care assistance. Yet even early on, the harsher rules left some families floundering. Once the economy cooled down, the limits of welfare reform became more apparent. Since 2001, single-parent employment has fallen, poverty has grown, and the number of very poor families who are neither working nor getting help from basic assistance programs has soared. The impact has been felt by homeless shelters, food pantries and other community institutions that provide charity care to those unserved by public programs. Congress last year passed a welfare reauthorization bill that focuses on increasing work participation rates among welfare recipients. Unfortunately, the new law provides few new resources to allow states to help those remaining cases that often have the greatest barriers to employment, including serious physical and mental health problems for which little help is available. Faced with the threat of federal financial penalties for failing to increase work participation rates, states will have a strong incentive to find still more ways to keep poor families off the rolls rather than engaging in the difficult -- and costly -- work of helping poor parents prepare for and find employment. If the promise of welfare reform is to be fulfilled, we must renew our efforts not only to end welfare as a way of life but to create the opportunities for those at the bottom of the economic ladder that will make welfare unnecessary. Blatt is director of public policy for Community Action Project, an anti-poverty agency in Tulsa. Posted at 8/22/2006 09:35:00 AM |

Welcome to Oklahoma State: Vote Republican

Justin Akers Daily O'Collegiam Opinion Columnist This semester will be an eventful one. For some of you, that means lots of sex and drugs in the new dorms. For those of us who have chosen the straight and narrow, it means an election in November, an ongoing conflict between Israel and Lebanon and the war in Iraq. I’m not here to tell you the news — that’s what Fox News is for. I’m not here to tell you who to vote for — that’s what Republican Party chairman Ken Mehlman is for. What I am here to tell you is that the Democratic Party is beyond redemption, and if you just turned 18 and you’re ready to get out and rock the vote, I suggest you stay home this November, unless you plan on voting Republican. If you live in the new dorms you probably won’t have time to vote anyway, what with all the promiscuous sex and drugs. Read more... Posted at 8/22/2006 09:34:00 AM |

Garfield County Republicans Upset By Jeff Davis Mailing

By Robert Barron Staff Writer Garfield County Republicans are angered about a mailing they received Monday from District 41 GOP candidate Jeff Davis. The mailer is a fairly typical campaign publication saying Garfield County voters support Davis. On the reverse side it supports both Davis and Lt. Governor candidate Todd Hiett. The Garfield County Republican Party has not endorsed any candidate, said Lyle Roggow, party chairman. “It’s a distortion of facts. Gar-field County Republicans have not endorsed a candidate in the District 41 race,” Roggow said. State Republican Chairman Tom Daxon asked parties not to endorse any candidate in the runoff election. However, county Republicans are encouraging people to vote and trying to make sure there is a good turnout among Republicans. Hiett said the ad is not authorized by him. “It was not anything that I authorized. I am very concerned about it. I don’t know Jeff Davis. I have visited with him, but I am not involved in that race,” Hiett said. Drummond area resident Mar-lene Dierksen called the News & Eagle Monday upset about the mailing. She said the ad made her believe Todd Hiett supported Davis. “I thought it was rotten to send it out at the very last minute. I think it will confuse people making them think he is supporting Jeff Davis,” Dierksen said. Another Drummond area resident, Evangeline Hane, also told the newspaper Monday she was upset by the ad. John Enns, Davis’ opponent in the race, received one of the mailings in his Enid mailbox Monday, and called it “underhanded.” “Obviously putting Todd Hiett’s name on it without authorization is an attempt to confuse people. That’s the way some people are,” he said. Roggow made an official statement Monday afternoon stating the Garfield County Republican viewpoint. “The Garfield County Republican Party has not endorsed the opponent of John Enns. Enns has a high level of integrity and will represent us well. We could not stand by and allow Davis to distort the facts. It isn’t fair to the voters,” Roggow said. Roggow also said even though Hiett did not approve the ad, his integrity is on the line. He called Davis’ mailing a “last-minute desperate attack.” Read more... Posted at 8/22/2006 08:38:00 AM |
Monday, August 21, 2006 

OKLAHOMA UPDATE: August 22, 2006!

Soonerfan at gives his predictions for tomorrow's runoff elections. Friends, Sooners, Countrymen: Tomorrow is Runoff Election Day here in the great Sooner State and what better time than the present to offer final predictions and notes on the races? None, of course. *GOVERNOR'S UPDATE* You will find no reputable pollster, other than, perhaps, Brad Henry's own, who has polling data showing the vaunted (but often daunted) governor pulling in over 50% of the vote in a head to head matchup. In fact, it's usually in the mid-40's. If you've worked in DC for any length of time, you've probably had the opportunity to go to a BIPAC (Business-Industry Political Action Committee) conference and heard the dean of DC political scientists, Bernadette Budde, say the following when analysing political polls: "Incumbents get what they get and they don't get any more." What Ms. Budde means, of course, is that everyone knows incumbents and so voters have had the chance already to make up their minds about them. Undecideds typically don't break for incumbents. So an incumbent getting 44% is generally in what one might describe as a "heap 'o trouble." This is why when polls say Henry 44% - Istook 40%, there is just cause for extreme optimism among the Istook crowd, the RNC crowd, the Republican Governors Association crowd, etc., etc., etc. And if I were Brad Henry, I'd either be looking or a cure for cancer right about now or I'd be spending time chatting up senior partners at the bigger law firms in whatever town I wanted to live in come January. NOTE: Brad, it's probably not too late to see if the Borens could legally adopt you (referring back to an earlier quote that the only way a Democrat could win in a 2-person race at the top of the ticket in Oklahoma these days were if his last name was Boren). *5TH CONGRESSIONAL UPDATE* They said it would get ugly. They said it would get nasty. They were wrong. This was the snooze-fest of all time, but in some ways, it was nice. I've admitted it before, so I'll admit it again: I've endorsed Mick Cornett. He got my support when he was the ONLY one of the six candidates in the primary to endorse Ernest Istook for governor. Well, that's actually just one reason. Here are several others... -->Mary Fallin voted for a tragic piece of "early release" legislation that led to the release of convicted drug dealer LaMont Fields who, within a week of his release, brutally murdered his girlfriend and her parents right in front of her two small children. Fields had served just 14 months of a 15 YEAR sentence. Here's a clue to any legislators or would be legislators out there: some people are in prison for a reason. Build more cells if you need to. Don't mess with jury decisions by thinking you know better than the citizens who put criminals behind bars. -->Mary Fallin voted to spend $61.8 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund. Ernest Istook was in the Legislature at the same time. He voted against raiding the fund and said the state should cut spending instead. Which one sounds like a conservative to you? Sure, after the whole "early release of a drug dealer" thing, this one doesn't sound so bad, but it's still a big deal. -->Mary Fallin voted to create new agencies, buy airplanes the state didn't need, raise college tuition on students who couldn't afford it, and all the while took pay raises and increased her own office budget. -->Not to mention that she broke up her marriage and the marriage of a state trooper because neither of them could keep their hands to themselves. "We only kissed." Right. We've heard that one before. "I did not have sex with that woman, with Miss Lewinsky." The question was asked earlier today how does one predict a race in which one candidate started out with a big lead but did not campaign, while the other candidate started out with a big deficit but worked his b*tt off? Runoff elections are all about turnout. For this race and the LG's race. I stand by my earlier predictions of victors, but here are my updated percentages: ISTOOK..........53% (November) HENRY...........47% HIETT...........60% (Tomorrow) PRUITT..........40% CORNETT.........52% (Tomorrow) FALLIN..........48% Posted at 8/21/2006 01:06:00 PM |

Cornett Brings Campaign To Pottawatomie County

By Wayne Trotter Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett brought his congressional campaign to his No. 1 opponent's hometown last week and promised that if elected, he'll make representing this end of the district a priority. “I know it's the image I'm going to have,” he commented, “the big city mayor who's trying to represent a smaller community. “I have made a career out of exceeding expectations. I'm going to assume that this community's expectations are based on what Congressman Istook has already established Š that's kind of the baseline. If I don't exceed that, I will not exceed expectations. “I will intend to exceed whatever level Congressman Istook has already established here.” Read more... Posted at 8/21/2006 11:26:00 AM |

Pete Regan’s Paper Trail Provides Real Honesty

By JOHN M. WYLIE II, Publisher Copyright 2006, Oologah Lake Leader, LLC Memo to Pete Regan: Facts have a life of their own. They can make you look really silly when you ignore them. Like demanding “sweeping ethics reforms” last April but later enriching your campaign by using the same loopholes you identified and promised to end. Like surreptitiously pumping huge amounts of your own money into your campaign, the same thing you criticized your opponent for doing in the light of day. Like taking a bunch of last minute Republican-tainted money to try to win a closed Democratic primary, hoping your fellow Democrats would never notice. Like touting your ethics and honesty after paying a court fine with a company check. It all shows what we’ve said all along. You’re too green to serve in statewide office. Before you can be lieutenant governor, it helps to at least have a handle on your own court and campaign finance records. You either don’t—which is bad—or you think you can hoodwink the voters—which is worse. Read more... Posted at 8/21/2006 11:23:00 AM |

Cost of Medicaid For Illegal Aliens Almost $10 million

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The cost of emergency medical services for individuals deemed "illegal aliens" has more than doubled since 2003. In the year ending June 30th, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority paid nine-point-seven (m) million dollars to treat individuals who entered the U-S without documentation. That's an increase of 154 percent over the three-point-eight (m) million dollars the authority paid to treat illegal aliens in 2003. Charles Brodt is deputy director of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. He says the sharp increase is a result of rising Medicaid reimbursement rates for health care providers and health care providers doing a better job getting information from patients to file Medicaid claims. Federal law requires Medicaid to reimburse health care providers who provide emergency treatment for illegal immigrants with acute symptoms. Posted at 8/21/2006 10:54:00 AM |

An Oologah Lake Leader Special Report

Hoskin, Cherokee chief trade claims of ‘illegal’ acts By JOHN M. WYLIE II, Publisher Copyright 2006, Oologah Lake Leader, LLC The current controversy Hoskin and six other Cherokee Council members launched a federal lawsuit June 23 against Chief Smith and Cherokee Nation Industries executives Benjamin Dixon and James Majewski. The plaintiffs claim they are acting on behalf of the Cherokee Nation in the $5 million suit which filed June 23 in the U.S. District Court in Muskogee. It alleges fraud and breach of fiduciary duty as well as mismanagement and waste of tribal assets. Hoskin and the other councilors claim that Smith, Dixon and Majewski duped honest tribal leaders and lured the nation into a disastrous economic development deal to acquire the controlling interest in a company called Global Energy Group. Chief Smith notes that only a minority of “dissident” members of the 15-member council are participating in the lawsuit. Council Speaker Meredith Frailey calls the court action unconstitutional. Smith, Frailey and others point out that it is illegal for individual councilors to take action on behalf of the Nation. It also is illegal to hold a council meeting without an advance agenda, a quorum, and a recorded vote. Hoskin said his attorney has told him not to discuss why he felt the lawsuit was needed, how the decision to file it was made, or any other details of the court action. He said he would discuss the case further with his attorney today (Thursday) and might have additional comment after the meeting. Smith said the “dissident” councilors have voted to reappoint the Cherokee Nation Industries board members after they evaluated Global and gave final approval to the acquisition last summer. Chief Smith said the “illegal” acts by Hoskin and the other councilors are part of a political vendetta that will backfire and “blacken the reputation of all tribes.” That claim is ironic since Hoskin has been endorsed by Indn’s List. The Tulsa-based group, headed by well-known Democratic political leader Kalyn Free, is the first national organization to specifically recruit and fund Indian candidates for state and national elective office. Hoskin, one of the first two candidates endorsed, was among those speaking at a major fundraiser held at the home of longtime Democratic leaders Jim and Sally Frasier in Tulsa. But Smith says Hoskin’s actions actually help the “many anti-tribal forces operating in Oklahoma as well as nationally.” Smith says the Council’s attorney “refused to file the suit on behalf of the dissident council members” after determining that they lacked authority to file anything on behalf of the Council or the Nation. The councilors then retained James Clinton Garland, James Clinton Garland III, and William Joseph Garland to file the lawsuit. All are part of the Commercial Litigation Group in Tulsa. Mike D. Miller, Cherokee Nation communications officer, said the council members signed a contract with the attorneys “but no checks have been requested or cut.” It is unclear what will happen if the councilors present a bill to the Nation for payment, officials say. Besides Hoskin, councilors joining the suit are Linda Hughes-O’Leary of Jay, S. Joe Crittenden of Stillwell, Bill John Baker of Tahlequah, Melvina Shotpouch of Jay, John F. Keener of Salina and David Thornton, Sr. of Vian. What is Global? Read More... Posted at 8/21/2006 09:47:00 AM |

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