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Saturday, September 30, 2006 

Interns Needed

The Oklahoma Political News Service is now looking for qualified interns to help us produce well-researched, informative and entertaining content for our readers. Internship Opportunity We currently have openings for unpaid internships as staff writers and research assistants. Additional internships for applicants with technical expertise may be available. Interns will occasionally be asked to participate in conference calls, much of their work can be conducted from any location with a computer and an Internet connection. Job Description Interns for The Oklahoma Political News Service will be given research and writing assignments. The interns will work closely with the editor of the OKPNS and will be given guidance and feedback regularly. However, the positions will require significant ability to work independently. The work product of the interns will be prominently featured on the OKPNS website, with byline. Their work will be seen by leaders in Oklahoma’s top media, government, business and civic organizations. General Responsibilities
  • Generate story ideas
  • Conduct online research
  • Collect and review public records
  • Compile, analyze, and summarize data
  • (For example, examine public records and create a spreadsheet of public entities meeting certain criteria.)
  • Write opinion pieces on news events and the media’s coverage of those events
  • Monitor current news and events
  • Assist in the drafting of Sunshine Law requests
  • Occasionally attend local events, press conferences and public hearings
  • Application Procedure.

    If you are a responsible, motivated student, with an interest in media, government, politics, and public policy, email your resume to the editor at Posted at 9/30/2006 01:42:00 PM |
    Friday, September 29, 2006 

    Second Leg of Gov. Henry's "Oklahoma On The Move" Tour Starts Monday

    After intense GOP scrutiny of his record yesterday at the Capitol, Governor Henry is skipping town next week to embark upon the second leg of his "Oklahoma on the Move" RV tour. According to campaign sources, the Governor will be visiting Chickasha, Duncan, Lawton, Altus, Hobart, Cordell, Clinton, Weatherford, Elk City, Woodward, Alva, Cherokee, Enid, Kingfisher, El Reno, and Yukon over four days. As you recall, the first leg of the tour played to sparse crowds and ignited embarrassing controversy. The advance work for the tour was reminiscent of something Gomer Pyle of the old 60's sitcom would have planned. Posted at 9/29/2006 06:38:00 PM |

    Homeowner Standing In Way Of OSU Athletic Complex

    STILLWATER, Okla.(AP) -- A single, stubborn homeowner is standing in the way of a grand athletic complex being built at Oklahoma State University with a record $165 million gift from oilman alumnus T. Boone Pickens. It is an eminent-domain dispute that touches on the very origins of the 116-year-old university, originally called the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. The holdout homeowner's claim: The university has no authority to take away his land because OSU's governing body, the Board of Regents, has failed to abide by a long-forgotten requirement that at least five of its eight members be farmers. "It's like a fake cop pulling you over and writing you a ticket," said homeowner Kevin McCloskey, who once attended OSU. read more... Posted at 9/29/2006 05:39:00 PM |

    Coburn Criticizes Earmarks In Record Defense Bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn is criticizing earmarks contained in a 448 (b) billion dollar budget bill for the Pentagon. The bill passed the Senate today on a 100-to-nothing vote. It includes 70 (b) billion dollars for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and now goes to the White House for President Bush's signature. But Coburn says the bill includes two-thousand earmarks put in by Members of Congress that cost about eight (b) billion dollars and that many have nothing to do with the Defense Department. Earmarks are used by lawmakers to put spending for specific projects in their home states into legislation and Coburn has strongly criticized the practice. Posted at 9/29/2006 11:17:00 AM |

    Cherokees Reject NSU Nickname

    By S.E. RUCKMAN World Staff Writer Northeastern is under a Friday deadline to submit its position on the Redmen name change to the NCAA. TAHLEQUAH -- Cherokee Nation councilors solidified sentiment behind plans to change Northeastern State University's moniker after members turned down a measure Thursday to support the school's Redmen nickname. The resolution was solidly defeated at a committee meeting after councilors heard public input criticizing the use of the Redmen nickname. Tribal Councilor Taylor Keen said universities such as Dartmouth and Harvard had charters based on their American Indian affiliation. He said he doesn't think NSU's situation is similar in scope. "I can't look at NSU and say that they have the same commitment," he said. "I still see the ugly association with the use of Indians as mascots." Read more... Posted at 9/29/2006 09:26:00 AM |

    Hoskin Lawsuit Is "Smear," Filing Says

    Legislative hopeful drops claim of representing entire nation By JOHN M. WYLIE II Editor Copyright 2006, Oologah Lake Leader, LLC MUSKOGEE -- A federal lawsuit filed by House District 6 candidate Chuck Hoskin and six colleagues is part of a political “smear” campaign that amounts to an abuse of the courts, according to documents filed Monday (9/18) in the U.S. District Court here. Hoskin and six colleagues on the Cherokee Tribal Council filed a lawsuit in June against Cherokee Nation principal chief Chad Smith and two executives of a tribal subsidiary. The complaint alleges the three committed securities fraud when Cherokee Nation Industries bought a controlling interest in Global Energy Group. Smith contends in his new filing that the suit has no factual or legal basis, starting with the fact that those filing it represent a minority of the council. Hoskin admitted that in a statement he issued Tuesday. In addition, Smith contends that the suit makes no allegations that could even meet the loosest definition of securities fraud. “Taken together, Plaintiffs’ patent legal failures reveal the Complaint in its true colors - an inappropriate use of the federal courts for a legally insufficient political attack by a political minority to smear a political opponent in advance of an upcoming election. The Court is urged to have none of it and dismiss the action against Principal Chief Chad Smith with prejudice,” Smith’s filing contends. Read more... Posted at 9/29/2006 08:49:00 AM |

    Hoskin Answers Questions On Sept. 14 Story

    By JOHN M. WYLIE II Editor Copyright 2006 Oologah Lake Leader, LLC House District 6 candidate Chuck Hoskin did not receive a request for comment from the Leader last week until the newspaper’s deadline had passed. The Leader offered him until Tuesday to reply, and he did so Tuesday morning. The request for comment involved three questions about new developments in a lawsuit filed by Hoskin and six other Cherokee councilors against principal chief Chad Smith and two executives of Cherokee Nation Industries. The questions and Hoskins’ answers are printed here in their entirety: Q. Does the language in [Part I of a new court filing], "action by a minority number of Cherokee Tribal Council members," mean that you and the other councilors no longer claim to represent the Cherokee Nation as a whole? Please explain. A. It is a fact that the councilors that are seeking justice in this case represent one vote shy of a majority of the council. In my opinion, a majority of Cherokee Citizens support our efforts to combat the kind of fraud and abuse that is at alleged in this case. Q. If the councilors are granted the right to charge legal fees to the tribe, it will total $160,000 according to this estimate. Defense costs of $330,000 also would be paid by the Cherokee people, as I understand it, under the common business doctrine that the employer covers defense of actions taken by employees in the course of their duties. (I have not verified, but I understand that there may be CN -- specific language as well for each individual indemnifying them -- again, that is common in the business world). Do you feel it is worth spending a half million dollars of Cherokee money to settle this dispute? Explain. A. This case is about principles of good government and fair business dealings that are difficult to put a price on. The councilors involved in these proceedings were elected to fight for our constituents and each one of us takes that responsibility very seriously. We would be derelict in our duties if we did not take a stand on behalf of our constituents. When we succeed, we will, in just this case alone, protect millions of dollars for the benefit of the Cherokee people, far in excess of any investment in legal fees. Q. When we have discussed your dual role if elected, you indicated you planned to end your tribal involvement when Cherokee elections are held in June. However, the schedule set forth in the Joint Status Report [since changed, see separate story] indicates that the earliest a settlement conference would be scheduled would be in mid-June, meaning a trial date would likely go into the second year of your first term. Again, can you fairly represent H6 constituents at the same time you are involved in massive federal litigation? A. Yes. Certainly, if the litigation extends beyond the period of months left in my Cherokee Council term, it would make sense for me to withdraw as a plaintiff, as the plaintiffs consists exclusively of Cherokee Councilors with standing to take legal action. Posted at 9/29/2006 08:48:00 AM |

    FLASHBACK 2004: Another Henry Lie

    Thursday, September 28, 2006 

    EXCLUSIVE: Reporter Issues Apology to McMahan

    M. Scott Carter, a reporter for the Norman Transcript who wrote the original story we quoted in a post below about the state auditor's race, has issued an apology to the McMahan campaign. Carter inadvertently attributed a quote to Jeff McMahan that he didn't make. In an email to OKPNS, Carter wrote: "For the record, Jeff never said "My opponent went to school to learn how to throw mud; I went to school to learn accounting. He only said "my opponent went to school to learn how to throw mud." I accidentally put a quote and a question together and they were attributed to Jeff." "I take full responsibility for the mistake; it was my fault and I apologize to Jeff and his campaign. I've also contacted Jeff's office to apologize to him. Again, the error was my fault and not Mr. McMahan's." Posted at 9/28/2006 04:04:00 PM |

    OCPA Releases Education Report

    According to a new OCPA study, state policymakers have set low, undemanding standards for public school students and thus are overstating the educational progress being made in Oklahoma. Check out how the Tulsa World spins the "conservative" think tank's report. Posted at 9/28/2006 12:50:00 PM |

    GOP: Henry Taking Too Much Credit

    By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau Critics say the work touted in the governor's campaign ads was done by others. OKLAHOMA CITY — Republicans charged Wednesday that Gov. Brad Henry is taking credit in his campaign commercials for work done by others. At a news conference, state Republican Party Chairman Tom Daxon and Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, said the governor is taking credit for a bill targeting methamphetamine production and an immigration policy at the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Read more... Posted at 9/28/2006 12:39:00 PM |

    Another Henry Meth Lab Bust?

    A 64 year old Delaware County man faces drug charges after police found crystal methamphetamine inside his prosthetic leg during a search at his business. Almost an ounce of crystal meth was found in the prosthesis and two more ounces were found later. Oklahoma Political News Service wonders if Governor Henry will try and take credit for this arrest as a meth lab bust? Governor Henry has had a penchant lately for exaggeration and taking credit for other's work. Just a thought. Posted at 9/28/2006 11:57:00 AM |

    New State Law Mandates Savings Accounts For Prisoners

    When the state imprisons an individual, they naturally lose basic rights they would normally take for granted such as freedom of movement, your voting privileges, and to a certain extent, free speech. Should the state of Oklahoma have the power to allow an inmate to be unwise with their own money? A new state law that takes effect in January mandates that prisoners have savings accounts when they are paroled. The DOC will confiscate (I mean collect) 20 percent of all money sent to inmates. We see the benefits of teaching inmates the virtue of saving and the potential for the parolee to be less of a burden on society when released, in turn reducing ricidvism rates. It's the idea of the government taking an inmates money - without them having a say - seems a little draconian. This will never become an issue since there's probably not a lot of sympathy for someoone who breaks the law and is sent to prison. Almost reminds you of our current social security system. The government takes your money and "invests" it for your retirement. Posted at 9/28/2006 11:34:00 AM |

    State Auditor Candidate Challenges Opponents Credentials

    Gary Jones, Republican candidate for State Auditor, believes that his Democratic opponent Jeff McMahan is once again misleading Oklahoma voters. Jones’ assertion was made Friday in light of recent published reports in the Norman Transcript that quote McMahan as saying he “went to school to learn accounting.” In a press release, Jones said: “Fours years ago Jeff McMahan claimed to have a college degree in Physical Education. This year he lists his degree as Education. Now he claims to have gone to school to learn Accounting. I now understand why McMahan won’t debate me face-to-face. He will have to account for his misleading and inaccurate statements.” Jones said there are many questions that Jeff McMahan needs to answer. “I have offered repeatedly to meet and debate him any place, any time. I don’t believe Oklahoma voters will allow Jeff McMahan to continue to dodge open, honest forums and debates between the two of us for the next six weeks.” Jones has challenged McMahan to debate the issues, but McMahan has avoided even multi-candidate forums where the format is strictly informational about each candidate rather than interaction between candidates seeking the same office. Jones believes McMahan is consciously avoiding all forums and debates because he has something to hide. “One of the great freedoms we enjoy in this country is the open political process, and every day that Jeff McMahan avoids an honest debate, he denies the people of Oklahoma the opportunity to hear the truth. Oklahomans are a lot smarter than the incumbent gives them credit for being." Jones has been criss-crossing the state for weeks meeting with community leaders and voters from all walks of life. “I have participated in every candidate forum and parade that I could possibly fit into a 24 hour, 7 day a week schedule, and I will continue that pace until the voters go to the polls on November 7th." Posted at 9/28/2006 10:13:00 AM |

    Adkins Repays Campaign

    This story of Representative Dennis Adkins use of campaign funds to pay for a condo is getting more and more interesting by the day. He's paid back the campaign $15,000. If anyone has any further information on this story, please send your information or tip anonymously to our tip hotline. Posted at 9/28/2006 08:05:00 AM |
    Wednesday, September 27, 2006 

    Brad Henry: Next Thing You Know He'll Claim He Invented The Internet

    At a press conference today at the Capitol, Congressman Istook, Rep. Randy Terrill, and Republican Party chairman Tom Daxon discussed what is seemingly becoming a pattern for Governor Brad Henry; claiming credit for yet more work produced by other people. His latest TV ad takes credit where credit is most definitely not due by saying that his anti-meth law has become a model for the country, again grabbing the glory that belongs to another. This claim continues Governor Henry’s pattern of assuming credit for other people’s work, in this case, from Representative John Nance, the author of the anti-meth law. “Brad Henry is taking the credit for things he didn’t do, and passing the buck on his own failed initiatives,” stated Republican State Party Chairman Tom Daxon after seeing the latest TV commercial. “This is not what a leader does. This is not the Oklahoma way.” Representative John Nance (R-Bethany) , was the author of the meth bill that Brad Henry is now taking credit for, and he can’t recall the Governor having much to do with it, except for signing it. In a statement, Rep. Nance said,“Governor Henry has this new commercial claiming that his anti-meth laws are curbing the meth problem in Oklahoma. Governor Henry did nothing to push this law except sign it, which definitely does not merit a commercial bragging about it. That’s not the Oklahoma way” Likewise, Representative Kevin Calvey (R-Del City) and the Republican controlled House of Representatives were the forerunners in creating the biggest tax cut in state history that Governor Henry bragged about in his first wave of commercials. “Governor Henry only wants to take credit for the good, and pass off the bad. The fact is that he did raise taxes, which he proposed himself. Brad Henry does not want to take credit for his own work, but does want to take credit for the work of other people. That’s not the Oklahoma way.” said Representative Calvey in a statement. “Brad Henry is the biggest spender in the history of Oklahoma, increasing spending by $2 billion dollars.” said Republican Party Chairman Tom Daxon. “Yet he takes credit for replenishing the Rainy Day Fund and creating the largest tax cut in the state’s history. Brad Henry would have spent all the money the oil and gas boom are generating if it were not for the Republican controlled House. That’s not the Oklahoma way” And if all of this weren’t enough, Brad Henry is not trying to “create” a position on illegal immigration, when in fact he has made the problem worse by giving tax-payer funded benefits to illegal immigrants. “Brad Henry made the problem of illegal immigration worse by giving taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens. That is an inducement for them to come to our state,” said Representative Randy Terrill (R-Moore) “And when Governor Henry discovered that illegal immigration was a major issue he tried to phony up his position on it by claiming that he “ordered” the Highway Patrol to assist in the arrest of illegal aliens, which we now know to be false.” Representative Ron Peterson (R- Broken Arrow) mirrored these sentiments by talking about Governor Henry’s failed tobacco tax initiatives. “We won’t hear Governor Henry talk about his failed tobacco tax policy that has created the lowest cost cigarettes in the nation, cost the state millions of dollars in revenue and put many small business in ruin.” “You can’t have it both ways Governor Henry. You can’t just take credit for other peoples bills that you signed, and then not take ownership for other bills you signed. That’s not the Oklahoma way, Governor.” added Tom Daxon. Posted at 9/27/2006 03:37:00 PM |

    Freaky To Be A Christian?

    According to the Okie funk blog, this campaign literature from state senate candidate Joshua Jantz is "freaky" but the graphic to the left stating "Vote. Or be taken over by robots" is normal? Admittedly, we've never seen a candidate this open about his faith in a lit piece, but to claim its "freaky" to ask voters to pray for "any critics, opposition, or opponents" is a little over the top. It's "freaky" to ask voters to "pray for voters salvation" and for Jantz's own "personal wisdom and strength?" Posted at 9/27/2006 01:49:00 PM |

    Henry, Istook Schedule Debates

    NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Governor Brad Henry and Congressman Ernest Istook are scheduled to debate three times and make one joint public appearance in the final weeks of the election campaign. Henry and Istook will appear together at the Reed Center in Midwest City on October eleventh in an event sponsored by the State Chamber of Commerce. They'll debate October 17th at Cameron University in Lawton, October 23rd at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond and November second at Rose State College Communications Center in Midwest City. Henry is running for a second term while Istook is giving up a seat in Congress to run for governor. Election day is November seventh. Posted at 9/27/2006 12:56:00 PM |

    Anti-Tabor Group Sends Letter To Policymakers

    Oklahomans for Responsible Governement (ORG), the group formed to defeat SQ 726 or the TABOR initiative, recently sent a letter to state elected officials to "educate our policymakers and citizens about the impact of TABOR" and to "urge their opposition to the failed policies of TABOR." An excerpt from the letter reads: "As we approach our states second century of statehood, now is the time for leadership and progress. We look forward to working together to create a more prosperous and secure Oklahoma for future generations" Posted at 9/27/2006 12:33:00 PM |

    From The Tip Line: "Mary Fallin Is Ducking Debates With Dr. Hunter"

    Our Democratic friends have emailed the tip line asking why we haven't covered a report that Mary Fallin has allegedly cancelled debates with her opponent Dr. David Hunter. They sent us a link to the ODP website that chastises Fallin. "The race for the 5th District Congressional seat is getting interesting with Dr. Hunter now closing in on Mary Fallin who is ducking debates with the Democrat...Word is that she has refused to debate Dr. Hunter on a previously scheduled debate sponsored by KWTV9 and the OIPA. If she's really the frontrunner she should have no qualms about facing the good doctor". Since it's football season, a couple of football analogies are appropriate here. First, you know when the game you're watching is a blowout and the network switches you to a more interesting game? Similar situation. Dr. Hunter doesn't have a snowball's chance to defeat Fallin, so we have focused on more interesting races Second, when a team is winning in a blowout with only minutes or seconds remaining in the game, the winning team usually runs out the clock by keeping the ball on the ground or the quarterback takes a knee to stop the play. Similar situation. The major media are ignoring the race and Fallin is basically taking a knee. Why give your opponent unnecessary publicity? The Congressional Quarterly blog seems to agree that Fallin will be the next Congresswoman from the 5th district of Oklahoma. In an article titled, "On Their Way: Fallin Brings Rich Resume to Washington" they write: "If Oklahoma Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin is elected Nov. 7 to the state's 5th District, as is widely expected, she will enter the 110th Congress next January as one of its most politically seasoned freshmen. Fallin, who appears certain to succeed seven-term Republican Rep. Ernest Istook, a candidate for governor, is finishing her 12th year as Oklahoma's lieutenant governor and previously served four years in the state House." Posted at 9/27/2006 11:19:00 AM |

    Rep. Terrill Calls Henry's Ad "Exaggeration" And A "Lie"

    In a press release titled, "Highway is the Lie-way with Governor Henry," State Representative Randy Terrill (R-Moore) asserts the Governor "never ordered the highway patrol to arrest illegals" and call his ad a "gross exaggeration and likely a lie." The controversy is borne out of a campaign ad that states he instructed the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on how to detain and deal with illegal immigrants. According to Rep. Terrill, no such written order or instruction was ever received by the highway patrol. "Brad Henry is stretching truths to invent a record that doesn't exist. The governor knows illegal immigration is a hot issue, and he knows he signed Senate Bill 596 that gave in-state tuition as well as college scholarships and other financial aid to illegal immigrants. Oklahomans don't like that bill, and Henry is trying to cover his tracks by claiming he's done something “ anything" to oppose illegal immigrants." In a conversation with Representative Terrill, the Commissioner of Public Safety stated that they have never received any written instruction and the Governor's commercials were the first time he had ever heard anything about this. "He's gone so far as to make this up out of thin air. That's not what strong leaders do. If Henry supports illegal immigration he should own up to it. That we could at least respect. But, this sort of backpedaling and invention is indicative of the four years of weak leadership we've seen from Brad Henry." Representative Terrill stated that the best way to deal with illegal immigrant apprehension and detention is by using the U.S. Immigration I.C.E. program, a method that Governor Henry's gubernatorial opponent Congressman Ernest Istook helped to secure funds for. Henry outright refused to use the ICE program, citing what he called "problems" in the programs guidelines. Posted at 9/27/2006 10:16:00 AM |
    Tuesday, September 26, 2006 

    Candidate Forum Tonight In Kingfisher

    Local and state candidates will attend a forum tonight in Kingfisher. The forum will be 7 p.m. at NBC Bank. It is sponsored by Wheatbelt Toastmasters Club. “Response to the invitation came so fast in such an unexpected number that we had to rescind invitations to a pair of candidates who had not yet responded,” said Virginia Giglio, Toastmas-ters vice president. “We felt as overwhelmed as Mickey Mouse and the brooms. Giving out invitations and then taking them back is not nice and we know it, and we are sorry.” Sue Barton, a Tulsa Democrat and candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat held by U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, will attend the event and visit with audience members but will not speak. Organizers said the forum will conclude at 8:30 p.m. Among the speakers are associate district judge candidates E. A. Ard Gates and Susie Pritchett; district judge candidates Dennis Hladik and John G. Camp; state House District 41 candidates John Enns and Carol Ruth; state House District 59 candidates, Michael Hammer, Rob Johnson and Richie Oakes; and state Senate District 22 candidate Mike Johnson. Lieutenant governor candidate Todd Hiett will be represented by Beverly Hiett, and Corporation Commis-sioner Kim Holland will be represented by Emily Hall. Insurance commissioner candidate Bill Case also will speak. Posted at 9/26/2006 02:45:00 PM |

    Ark. Ads Mentioning Okla. AG Suspended

    By MURRAY EVANS Associated Press Writer © 2006 The Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY — Arkansas poultry companies that have run advertisements that reference Oklahoma's attorney general said they will suspend those ads until after Oklahoma's general election on Nov. 7. The Poultry Community Council said it was taking the action to avoid the appearance of impropriety, spokeswoman Janet Wilkerson said Monday. Read more... Posted at 9/26/2006 02:42:00 PM |

    Candidate Profile: Bill Case

    This is another in our series of profiles of candidates for office this election cycle. Today's profile is of Republican Bill Case who is running for Insurance Commissioner against appointed Democratic commissioner Kim Holland. On his website he says: "It's time we elect a Commissioner who has not only the Insurance background but also political experience to lead this office while cleaning up its image." He received a bachelor's degree in Parks and Recreation Administration with a minor in Business from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Case served on the Midwest City Council from Ward 5 from 1990 to 1994, and as mayor of Midwest City from 1993 to 1994. Case won election to the Oklahoma House of Representatives from District 95 in 1994. Case's service to the District and the State include: induction to the Child Advocate Hall of Fame, served as Chairman of the task force on After School Programs, awarded Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business, designated as a life time member of the 95th Victory Division of the US Army, Governor appointment to the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Delinquency Prevention, 2005 Legislator of the Year awarded by the Oklahoma Municipal League. He continues to be active in his community as an alumnus of Leadership Midwest City - Class of 1991, member of the Midwest City Chamber of Commerce, Executive board member of Mid-Del-Tinker 100 Club, member of the Eastern Oklahoma County Tourism Council, past president of the Midwest City Soccer Club, member of Comm-Star at Tinker Air Force Base and a member of the board of trustees at St. Matthew United Methodist Church. Organizations include the National Conference of State Legislatures and American Legislative Exchange Council. You can listen to a short interview of Case here. Posted at 9/26/2006 10:00:00 AM |

    Election Day Liquor Sales Proposed

    State question 733 will be on the ballot in November. It would repeal the ban on selling alcohol on all election days. This outdated law, probably enacted to discourage the scenes portrayed in this famous painting by Missouri painter George Caleb Bingham, of alcohol being served at the polls and drunks being literally dragged to the courthouse steps to vote. In future elections if SQ 733 passes, Democrats can give free alcohol to the homeless along with free cigarettes to vote for their candidates. Section XXVIII-6: Prohibition of sales on certain days - Penalties It shall be unlawful for any retail package store to sell, at retail, any alcoholic beverage: On the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday; On the day of any National, State, County or City Election, including primary elections, during the hours the polls are open; and On Decoration or Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Posted at 9/26/2006 09:27:00 AM |

    Cong. Istook Announces Help for Bridgestone-Firestone Employees

    Approximately 1800 will be eligible for TAA benefits Employees of the Dayton Tire plant in Oklahoma City will be eligible for federal help, Congressman Ernest Istook (R-Warr Acres) announced yesterday. Istook said the U.S. Department of Labor has approved TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) and Alternative TAA certification benefits for employees affected by the announced closure of the tire manufacturing facility at the end of the year. "This is an important ruling for these workers," said Istook. "They will have access to education and income support which will help them transition to retirement or to other employment." The Trade Act programs, Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA), assist individuals who have become unemployed as a result of increased imports from, or shifts in production to, foreign countries. The Department of Labor determined the closing of the Dayton Tire facility meets the criteria for such help. The goal is to help trade-affected workers return to suitable employment as quickly as possible. TAA certified workers may receive income support, relocation allowances, job search allowances, and a health coverage tax credit. Workers who require retraining may receive occupational training. In addition, older workers, for whom retraining may not be suitable, may be eligible for a wage subsidy if they take a lower-paying job. The decision includes not only employees of the tire facility, but also "on-site leased workers of Unicco, Wedgeco, TCMS, Janiking, Boldt Construction, Atlantic Projects, FRI Electric, Duncan Equipment and Express Personnel," for an approximate total of 1,800 workers. Posted at 9/26/2006 09:15:00 AM |
    Monday, September 25, 2006 

    The Party Of Tolerance?

    Democrats Use the “T” word against Balkman – “Taliban” The race for House District 45 has taken a decided turn for the worse. Supporters, or at the very least detractors, of incumbent Representative Thad Balkman (R-Norman) have made the decision to use the “T” word against Thad Balkman, calling him the “American Taliban.” Balkman’s signs have been destroyed and defaced, which is against the law in Oklahoma. Balkman’s opponent, Wallace Collins, denies any connection to the defacement, and told Fox 25’s Britten Follet that his campaign consists of just his family members. Balkman says that he hopes his opponent will “do the right thing and denounce this deplorable behavior.” The ODP has nothing on its website condeming the vandalism of Balkman's signs. This from the party of "tolerance" and "progressives?" Posted at 9/25/2006 07:59:00 PM |

    "Victory 2006" Chair Takes Vacation 45 Days Before Election

    Insiders have recently emailed the Oklahoma Political News Service questioning the timing of the vacation of "Victory 2006" Chair Marsha Funk. They don't deny that campaigns can be mentally and physically taxing for both the candidate and the campaign staff. Ms. Funk was an aide to the unsuccessful campaign of Corporate Commissioner Denise Bode for the CD 5 Republican nomination. Everyone deserves to take a little time off to relax and rejuvenate themselves. Insiders question taking a vacation forty five days before an election, especially when the Victory initiative has been listing along since March with no apparent plan for success. OKPNS will continue to investigate. Posted at 9/25/2006 11:39:00 AM |

    Okie Blogger Round Up

    We'd like to thank everyone for their hospitality over the weekend during the Okie Blogger Roundup. Although we didn't win in our category, it was nice to put "real" names and faces with the blogs that we read everyday. Congratulations to all the winners and a special thanks to Mike Hermes for putting the event together. Posted at 9/25/2006 11:29:00 AM |

    DA Appeals Parole To Governor

    A local District Attorney in Enid said she will be writing Gov. Brad Henry regarding the state's Pardon and Parole Board's recommendation that a violent offender be released on parole. The offender has only served six years of a thirty year sentence. Jason Frank - a career criminal with two prior burglary convictions- received his latest conviction for an home invasion of an elderly couple. This salt of the earth "gentleman" struck the 82 year old victim in the face while his accomplice held a gun to his wife's head. Their total take from the burglary - $82! According to the National Institute of Corrections, the latest statistics available (2004) report that Oklahoma's overall crime rate is 17.92% higher than the national average and the correctional supervision rate (number of offenders supervised per 100,000) is 15.79% lower than the national average. According to FBI statistics that were released in June, Oklahoma's two largest cities crime rate is rising faster than the state as a whole. Crime figures for 2005 show the number of murders in Tulsa rose by 20 percent, an increase of ten more killings from 2004 to 2005. Oklahoma City faired somewhat better at 18%, with an increase of 15 more killings. As we reported earlier this year, crime has risen dramatically during Henry's term. Oklahoma Political News Service hopes the Governor does the right thing this time and denies parole for this criminal. Posted at 9/25/2006 10:20:00 AM |

    Coburn, Phillips Continue Quest Against Earmarks

    By Janice Francis-Smith The Journal Record OKLAHOMA CITY – Before Oklahoma’s U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn challenged Congress’ spending on “earmarks” last year, political strategist Tim Phillips said he didn’t really know what earmarks were. Today, Phillips serves as president of Washington, D.C.-based Americans for Prosperity Foundation, touring the country in an effort to make members of Congress more accountable and responsible in their spending practices. “Not every project that is funded with an earmark is necessarily a waste of money, but the practice of earmarking makes it much easier for boondoggles like the $223 million ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ to slip through,” said Phillips. “Let’s end earmarks and have an open debate about how we should spend our tax dollars.” Lawmakers have increasingly engaged in the practice of earmarking, designating federal dollars for specific projects in members’ home districts. Instead of submitting their projects as budgeted items, the more powerful lawmakers will often add on funding for their “pet” projects to another bill – sometimes a bill on an unrelated subject – at the last minute, while the bill is in a conference committee. Therefore, other members of Congress and the public at large are often unaware of the new spending items contained in the bill when the final vote on the measure is taken. In 1995, Congress passed legislation containing 2,749 earmarks, said Phillips, and in 2005, Congress passed 15,877 earmarks totaling $47 billion. With a multitrillion-dollar federal deficit, a war on terrorism to fund and critical needs in health care, education and other areas of high priority for the nation, the American people must demand from Congress an accounting of how their tax dollars are being spent, Phillips said. Coburn brought the nation’s attention to the process by challenging earmarks on the Senate floor, even voting against spending items for projects in Oklahoma. Though political analysts at first thought Coburn’s actions would amount to political suicide, voters in Oklahoma and nationwide have shown their support for the effort. Other lawmakers who voted with Coburn have been re-elected in their home districts, said Phillips, and the movement is gaining ever greater momentum. Americans for Prosperity has proposed several possible solutions to the problem of earmarks, but on Friday Phillips stressed just three points. First, earmarks should be required to bear the name of the legislator who requested them in the Congressional Record, removing the anonymity that currently makes the process so attractive. Second, earmark requests should be made early in the legislative process, so that the public and other members of Congress can have the opportunity to weigh the merits of the projects proposed. Third, the legislator who requests an earmark should be required to submit an explanation of how the money should be spent, which would be available on the Internet or as part of the Congressional Record. “By definition, if you follow the budget process and have discussion on these items, they are no longer an earmark – they become honest budget items,” said Phillips. Oklahoma City was the eighth stop for the tour this week. The tour is visiting cities that have received earmarked funds. Oklahoma City has an earmark for $1 million to develop a ferry system, unrelated to the privately owned Water Taxi company that currently operates ferries on the Bricktown Canal. Posted at 9/25/2006 08:10:00 AM |
    Sunday, September 24, 2006 

    Transcript: Political playoffs

    The Norman Transcript By Althea Peterson Transcript Staff Writer For statewide candidates, there aren’t many opportunities to reach 80,000 potential voters in one location. Enter Sooner football season, which draws people from across the state to Norman. Candidates including incumbent Gov. Brad Henry, D-Shawnee, and his challenger, Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Warr Acres, personally show up to games to speak to voters. “It’s where the people are,” Henry said. “It’s a fun time on gameday.”Derek Kern, who is with the Istook campaign, said one of their gameday campaigning tactics include “Ernie the Elephant,” a campaign mascot. “He’s always a big hit with the kids,” Kern said. “Everybody loves Ernie the Elephant.” Read more... Posted at 9/24/2006 10:25:00 PM |

    Transcript: Bashing the illegal immigrants

    The Norman Transcript Before campaigns began heating up this summer, political pundits told us candidates would push the immigration fears hot button. In this case, they were right. We have hearings being held in Oklahoma and around the country on the status and cost of illegal immigrants. There do not seem to be any events, other than the Nov. 7 election, that are causing these hearings to take place now. On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted to build a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border and moved ahead on other enforcement measures designed to slow illegal entries into the country. The House voted to require Americans to show proof of citizenship in order to vote. The policy debates are necessary, but the election-eve agenda being set forth is proving to be transparent. Americans are truly concerned about the cost and implications of illegal and legal immigration, but the solutions are broader and not as simple as building a fence and checking IDs at the voting booth. Posted at 9/24/2006 10:22:00 PM |

    TW: Adkins using contributions for rent

    By MICK HINTON World Capitol Bureau 9/24/2006 OKLAHOMA CITY -- State Rep. Dennis Adkins is using campaign contributions to pay rent on a condominium that he purchased earlier this year in Oklahoma City. The Tulsa Republican, who heads the powerful House Energy and Utility Regulation Committee, has received more than $150,000 in campaign contributions the past two years from oil and gas interests, ethics records show. Yet, he hasn't had a political race since 2002 and was unopposed this year. Adkins said he believes it would be "unethical or illegal" to buy a condo with campaign funds. Read more... Posted at 9/24/2006 10:19:00 PM |
    Friday, September 22, 2006 

    Ad Watch: Henry & Meth.

    Governor Henry is on the air with a new ad touting his anti-meth law. In a curious move for a Democratic politician these days, the ad features Kingfisher's Chief of Police saying the "Bush White House called the law a model for the nation." The ad also claims that meth lab busts went from "one hundred a month to two a month." According to some experts, anti-meth laws which keep common cold medicines off the shelves have only made the problem worse. They have actually put recreational meth users into more frequent contact with smugglers and traffickers, likely sparking increases in black market violence. According to the DEA's own website, most of this country's meth comes not from garage laboratories in the Midwest, but from clandestine superlabs in California and Mexico. These labs smuggle pseudoephedrine in bulk from Mexico and Canada and use it to manufacture street methamphetamine, which they then distribute across the country. Cold and allergy medicine never enters the picture. It's almost certain that these superlabs compensate for any small dip in the meth supply caused by limiting homemade meth cook's access to pseudoephedrine. With Mexican drug lords now smuggling pseudoephedrine into the nation, Governor Henry's lax attitude toward immigration may be counteracting his "tough" anti meth law. OKPNS will continue to investigate. Posted at 9/22/2006 04:15:00 PM |

    2006 Okie Blogger Round Up

    I am in Oklahoma City this weekend for the 2006 Okie Blogger Roundup and awards ceremony. The Roundup was mentioned this week in the Oklahoma Gazette. The Oklahoma Political News Service has been nominated for the "Best Oklahoma Political blog of 2006." There is a great deal of tough competition in the category and we are humble to have been nominated by our blogging peers. If you have time Saturday, we would love to meet a few of our readers. Posted at 9/22/2006 03:57:00 PM |

    Sullivan To Donate Funds From PAC

    By WORLD WASHINGTON BUREAU WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. John Sullivan said Thursday that his campaign will donate to charity funds it received from an Ohio lawmaker who has agreed to plead guilty in an ongoing congressional scandal. After reviewing records filed with the Federal Election Commission, Sullivan, R-Okla., said the American Liberty PAC, the leadership political action committee of Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, had contributed $1,000 to his election campaign in 2002. Federal officials announced last week that Ney has agreed to plead guilty in the investigation sparked by activities of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Scheduled to enter the plea in court next month, Ney reportedly has admitted to accepting tens of thousands of dollars worth of improper trips, meals, casino chips and sports tickets while trying to win favors for Abramoff and a foreign aviation firm. He had spent months denying wrongdoing during the probe. Posted at 9/22/2006 02:38:00 PM |

    Inhofe Bill Backs Medals for Code Talkers

    By JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate has passed legislation by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., to award congressional medals to American Indians who served as code talkers during World Wars I and II. An Inhofe spokesman said Thursday that the senator hopes his bill wins approval in the House and is sent on to the president for his signature. Passed in the Senate by unanimous consent, the bill identifies by name a number of American Indians who served as code talkers, including those from Oklahoma who are no longer living. Their medals are expected to be awarded posthumously. Read more... Posted at 9/22/2006 02:03:00 PM |
    Thursday, September 21, 2006 

    NAT: Getting Ready For November

    Battle lines drawn as Native candidates look to achieve success at ballot box By Sam Lewin With November elections just over a month away, Native American candidates and their supporters are pushing to replicate the success they experienced during the primary elections. Meanwhile a Cherokee currently serving as an assistant district attorney in Sallisaw is running for judge in District 15. John Sawney’s campaign literature bills him as “an experienced prosecutor as well as having experience as a criminal defense and civil attorney.” Sawney is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, an Army veteran and a former public school teacher that sponsored several youth groups while teaching including the Indian Heritage Club. The district judge election will appear on the Nov. 7 general election ballot in Sequoyah, Adair, Cherokee, Muskogee and Wagoner counties. The race is non-partisan. Sawney has been married for 16 years and has four daughters. INDN’s List, an Oklahoma-based advocacy group pushing to elect more Native American to public office, is trumpeting a series of wins in the Pacific Northwest as three out of the four candidates they supported advanced past the primary round. The three winners are: Claudia Kauffman, Nez Perce, Don Barlow, Ottawa, and John McCoy, Tulalip. A fourth candidate, Kyle Taylor Lucas, lost. Like Barlow, Lucas is Tulalip. Unlike Barlow, she didn’t run unopposed. Read more... Posted at 9/21/2006 12:07:00 PM |

    Ten Principles for Oklahoma Fiscal Policy

    By Joseph L. Bast, Steve Stanek, Richard Vedder, and Herbert J. Walberg With the spread of term limits, more elected officials are new to the job than at any time in recent memory. But they have many sources of advice, starting with the professional staff of every legislature and including such membership organizations as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the Council of State Governments (CSG). Numerous think tanks also publish research and analysis, much of it available on their websites. Faced with a steady stream of reports and studies from government agencies and nongovernment advocacy groups, elected officials can easily lose sight of the principles and lessons that should form the foundation of what they were sent to the state capital to accomplish or protect. These principles are rooted in the American experience and attract broad bipartisan support among thoughtful elected officials. This article presents ten such fundamental principles addressing the tax and budget aspects of state government, providing the reader with an authoritative guide to the following fiscal policy issues facing Oklahoma policymakers: Read more... Posted at 9/21/2006 12:04:00 PM |

    OK "On The Move" To Higher Unemployment"

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Unemployment in Oklahoma rose in August to four percent, an increase of two-tenths of one percent over July. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says the increase was fueled by significant employment declines in motor vehicle manufacturing following the closure of the General Motors' Oklahoma City Assembly Plant earlier this year. Read more... Posted at 9/21/2006 11:51:00 AM |

    Boren Switching Parties?

    In an article titled, "When majorities are thin, the switchers can be kings," The Hill Newspaper reported that Congressman Dan Boren is a good candidate to switch parties if the Democrats fail to recapture the majority. The paper noted that Boren had only voted 59% of the time with his party. "Party switchers are often lured by offers of plum panel assignments or by a general feeling that they don’t belong in their party. Many are at the fringes of their caucus or conference, too conservative for the Democrats or too liberal for Republicans." According to the AP, Boren says there is "no chance he would ever change parties." Posted at 9/21/2006 10:51:00 AM |

    House Requires Photo ID To Vote

    The Oklahoma U.S. House delegation (except Rep. Dan Boren) voted to pass the "Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006." The measure requires that proof of citizenship, a government-issued photo ID, be presented in order to vote in federal elections. Congressman Istook said after the vote: "You need a government ID just to cash a check at the local supermarket," said Istook. "We need the same common-sense protection for the all-important right to vote. Only American citizens can legally vote, but that right isn't being protected as it should be." H.R. 4844, the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, confirms current requirements that only citizens vote in U.S. elections by providing that a recognized, government-issued photo ID be presented in order to vote. An important part of this bill is that states must provide the necessary photo ID free of charge to those who cannot afford to pay for them. The bill also authorizes funds to reimburse states for the cost of these programs. Currently, Oklahoma requires "proof of legal presence" in order to obtain a drivers license or state ID. This proof can include immigration documents such as a foreign passport or an alien registration card ( a.k.a. "green card"). To vote, on the other hand, Oklahoma does not require any proof of citizenship. In keeping with the Help America Vote Act, registration by mail must include a copy of some form of ID. According to Oklahoma requirements available on the Oklahoma State Election Board website, even a copy of a utility bill with a name and address on it is sufficient to meet this requirement. The Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 will close this loophole and require photo ID proof of citizenship from all voters in federal elections. Posted at 9/21/2006 10:30:00 AM |
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 

    Got a News Tip?

    If you have an anonymous news tip that you would like for us to pursue, please click the tip hotline button and then enter as much information as you have in the fields. We'll put one of our "bloodhounds" on it and add an article to the site if we find some good information. Posted at 9/20/2006 01:56:00 PM |

    BUSTED! Posts Edited Recording Of DA Wes Lane

    Democratic website was busted by channel nine news. The highly partisan website posted an edited recording of DA Wes Lane, seeming to give preferential treatment to a OKC Police officer because he wanted the Fraternal Order of Police's endorsement. The Oklahoma Political News Service finds this revelation disturbing and quite frankly disgusting. Although we are not journalists in the traditional sense, we do owe it to our fellow bloggers and readers - regardless of political affiliation- to be responsible and honest. Like the traditional media, blogging is very competitive, but we do not need to make up news to increase our readership. And you wonder why OKPNS doesn't post any of your articles? Shame on you Demookie! Posted at 9/20/2006 12:54:00 PM |

    Steve Gallo Breaking The Law?

    From "According to the city sign ordinance signs cannot go up before 45 days of the election. Jason and Gallo totally ignored this local law." Posted at 9/20/2006 12:43:00 PM |

    Automatically Receive OKPNS Updates To Your Computer

    They are everywhere. “Subscribe to feed”. “RSS Feed”. If you look closely, you’ll see them all over the Internet. You may even have clicked one, expecting to see a handy list of information. Instead, you get gibberish. What are they??? “RSS” stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a web page formatted in XML (eXtensible Markup Language). It allows you to combine multiple sources into a single page for easy reading. With the help of feed reader application software, you can list and arrange this information in all sorts of ways. There are dozens of well-known feed readers, but the easiest way to get started is to use an extension of a service you may already use. If you use Google or Yahoo, you can add feeds without doing anything special. Or you can subscribe through Feedburner. (Located in the bottom right portion of the website) Posted at 9/20/2006 12:30:00 PM |

    Problem of Illegal Workers Analyzed

    By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer Enforcement of workers compensation laws could be a remedy, the state Labor Commissioner is told. Aggressive enforcement of workers compensation laws could be an effective control on illegal immigrants in the construction trades, a roofing contractor and a union representative told Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau on Tuesday. "I don't know about statistics," Rogers County contractor Larry Wisdom said. "All I know is the reality I see in the workplace." Wisdom's remarks came during a Labor Department hearing on illegal immigration at the State Office Building in downtown Tulsa. Wisdom and Adrian Privett of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners said the use of illegal immigrants and other "misclassified" workers to avoid workers compensation premiums, benefits and withholding taxes puts contractors who try to follow the rules at a crippling disadvantage. "The contractors know they are abusing the law," Privett said. "When they go out and bid against a legitimate contractor, they have a 35 percent advantage." Read more... Posted at 9/20/2006 12:23:00 PM |

    Cherokee Chief Vetoes Minimum Wage

    Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith vetoed a minimum wage increase for tribal workers and businesses. The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved raising the five-dollar-and-15-cent federal minimum wage to eight dollars an hour on Sept. 11. Smith favors a "phased in" approach instead. Apparently not wanting to endorse conservative arguments that raising the minimum wage hurts small businesses and teenage workers, Chief Smith said he objected to the increase because new workers would make as much as a worker who has worked for the tribe for three years. What??? I thought the idea of increasing the minimum wage was designed to "lift people out of poverty" and "increase their dignity?" How does a two tier wage system accomplish these goals? Posted at 9/20/2006 12:13:00 PM |

    Lottery Sales Lagging

    The Oklahoma Lottery Commission announced today that sales are lagging behind projections. Instead of the 300 million dollars a year that Governor Henry campaigned on and promised in his 2003 State of the State address, the lottery will come up woefully short with revenues expected at 123 million dollars. The plan for making up the shortfall seems to be new games and the hope for mega jackpots to spur ticket sales. Posted at 9/20/2006 11:27:00 AM |
    Tuesday, September 19, 2006 

    National Right to Life Endorses Istook for Governor

    The National Right to Life Committee, called "America's leading pro-life advocacy group" endorsed Ernest Istook for Governor today. Istook has a 100% lifetime rating from the NRLC. In an email to OKPNS, the Istook campaign quotes Governor Henry's views on abortion.
  • October 27, 2002 Tulsa World "In a nutshell, I'm pro-choice It is one of the most intensely personal issues and should be decided by a woman, her doctor, her husband, if she has one, and her God. I don't believe the government should intrude in people's personal lives."
  • October 30, 1992 Daily Oklahoman Friday City Edition "Henry also said he is pro-choice on abortion and believes the decision should be made by those involved, not black and white laws."
  • August 21, 1992 The Daily Oklahoman Friday City Edition Shawnee attorney, Brad Henry, said he is pro-choice and anti-government waste.
  • August 16, 1992 The Daily Oklahoman Sunday City Edition Henry added, "I am pro-choice concerning the abortion and believe the decision should be made by those involved, not black and white laws."
  • Posted at 9/19/2006 12:36:00 PM |

    Brother (Or Sister), Can You Spare a Dime?

    The best way not to squelch rumors that you're campaign is running out of money is to solicit your opponent for a contribution. Sounds like a late night talk show joke or amateur hour at the Hiett campaign. Last Friday, according to the NormanTranscript, The Hiett campaign sent fundraising e-mails to the capitol offices of all members. This was the first mistake. If not illegal, it sure opens you to ethical questions. Second mistake was making sure that your opponent was deleted from the mass mailing. Sara Pawelka, Hiett’s campaign manager, said the e-mail wasn’t intentional. “Seriously, we don’t expect to get a contribution.” The Hiett campaign stumbled out the gate in June when campaign yard signs were distributed in a state parking lot after the legislative session ended. Posted at 9/19/2006 11:59:00 AM |

    Legislature Needs to Take Control of College Tuitions

    We don’t expect most university presidents in Oklahoma to like what they hear when they sit in on an interim legislative study on tuition increases and the fairness of fund distribution. Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, has called for the interim study, which will be conducted next week. The interim study comes in the wake of a last-minute — but unsuccessful — move by the Legislature last year to take back control over tuition increases. Both the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to give the power of tuition hikes back to the Legislature. It came in the waning days of the legislative session, and Gov. Brad Henry vetoed it because the idea didn’t really have a proper hearing. Well, it will have a hearing this legislative session, starting with these studies. Legislators must be hearing from their constituents about the meteoric rise in tuition costs since the Legislature turned tuition authority completely over to the Regents system. According to Jackson’s figures, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University have received double-digit tuition increases over the last four years. Posted at 9/19/2006 11:52:00 AM |

    The Theft That Keeps On Giving

    In what can be called a publicity gift from the political gods, State Auditor and Inspector candidate Gary Jones, is offering an additional $1,000 for information leading to the capture and conviction of those responsible for the theft of his trailer this weekend in Tecumseh. “The campaign team put in a great deal of labor in the creation of my two campaign trailers,” said Jones. “I believe in the people in Oklahoma and I am convinced that the reward money we’re offering will be an incentive to encouraging people to do the right thing.” In addition, Jones has decided that if the trailer is returned undamaged within 72-hours of this release, he will not pursue charges against the perpetrators. “In the event that it was a prank, it was wrong, but I want to give the perpetrators the opportunity to do the right thing,” he said. “If the trailer is returned to me within 72 hours undamaged, I will not pursue charges because I believe in second chances.” Jones said that once elected as State Auditor, thieves of taxpayer dollars shouldn’t expect such mercy. “When I am elected to State Auditor, don’t expect me to be merciful to those who waste taxpayer dollars,” Jones quipped. “Stealing from a campaign is a felony, stealing from taxpayers is unforgivable.” Gary Jones can be contacted at 405-245-6379. Posted at 9/19/2006 11:40:00 AM |

    Task Force Studies Costs of Illegal Immigration

    A state Senate task force, chaired by Senator Daisy Lawler and charged with studying the issue of illegal immigration, reported that hospital expenses for births of illegal immigrants costs Oklahoma an estimated 10 million dollars per year. The number of illegal immigrant births last year totaled 2,600. Senator Lawler says the statistics reflect an increase in illegal immigration in Oklahoma and she stressed how important law enforcement will be in next year's legislative session. These revelations come on the heel of comments made by Senator Randy Terrill last month that there were 420 illegal aliens in Oklahoma prisons. The state Department of Corrections says it costs more than 7 million dollars a year to keep them behind bars. Terrill also said Oklahoma spends 2.3 million dollars per year on free health care and other medical services for illegal aliens. Republican gubernatorial nominee Ernest Istook has said that illegal immigration is the Number 1 issue with Oklahomans and he accuses Governor Henry of failing to deal with it, and in fact, has made it "worse". Brad Henry has made our illegal immigration problem worse by sponsoring public benefits for illegal immigrants, such as in-state tuition for people who are here illegally." Posted at 9/19/2006 10:32:00 AM |
    Monday, September 18, 2006 

    Jari Askins New Commercial

    Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Jari Askins is on the air with a new ad. Using Bi-partisan or a derivative three times in the 30 second commercial, Askins attempts to align herself with the sitting governor by being pictured with him throughout the spot. She ends the spot by stating that the "Lt Governor needs to be his [Gov. Henry's] partner in working in a bi-partisan fashion." Posted at 9/18/2006 04:24:00 PM |

    Welcome Home To The Democratic Party?

    Ronald Reagan, when asked why he left the Democratic party, responded that he didn't leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left him. The DNC - tired of losing national elections and buoyed by the President's and the Republican led Congress' low approval ratings - have started a "welcome home to the Democratic Party" video campaign. The four videos feature a young mother with her two small daughters in front of church, a middle aged homemaker, a teenage or young adult voter, and a man hunting with his two sons. The Dems for years have been losing support from three of the four groups represented and the fourth group simply doesn't vote. The messages in the videos, simply doesn't match up with their platform. Would a young mother, after attending church with her two young daughters, really feel welcome in a party that advocates allowing her minor daughters to receive an abortion without her consent? Would she really feel welcome in a party that attempts to secularize our society under the misguided interpretation of "separation of church in state" in the constitution? Posted at 9/18/2006 02:04:00 PM |

    TIPLINE: Tulsa World, Photo-Editorializing for Brad Henry?

    There is a difference between reporting and editorializing, but the lines seem to be blurred in favor of Democrat Governor Brad Henry, according to an OKPNS reader who read this morning’s September 18th Tulsa World. (The above photos are the actual sizes shown on the Tulsa World's website.) “In the side by side photos chosen by the Tulsa World, Ernest Istook [Republican gubernatorial nominee congressman representing the Fifth District],is shown open-mouthed almost looking like an opera singer performing on stage. Democrat Brad Henry, on the other hand, is shown standing in front of an American flag, appearing serious, perhaps responding to a question from someone at a public event.” The pictures run under a caption “Flyers Ruffle Feathers.” From these pictures, readers would be likely to assume the feathers being ruffled belonged to Congressman Istook when in reality; it’s the Henry campaign complaining about their record being inaccurately portrayed to the voters. The Oklahoma Political News Service welcomes all reader submissions, especially those that catch bias in the mainstream media red-handed. Posted at 9/18/2006 01:15:00 PM |

    Fliers Ruffle Feathers: Governor's Race Evokes Campaign Tactics Fuss

    By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gov. Brad Henry's office accused U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook last week of continuing to distort the governor's record. During a recent campaign swing through southern Oklahoma, Istook's staff handed out fliers that claimed to show the differences between the Republican congressman and the Democratic governor. Istook is giving up his seat in Congress to challenge Henry in the Nov. 7 general election. "Essentially, the flier is made up of half-truths and innuendo not supported by the record," said Paul Sund, a Henry spokesman. "His approach of distorting the facts and conveniently forgetting the record may work in Washington, D.C., but Oklahoma voters will see through this for what it is." Chip Englander, Istook's campaign manager, said Istook stands by the flier and believes it is accurate. "Brad Henry is going to have to make a choice," Englander said. "He can either run for governor or run from his record. It is tough to do both." Regarding spending and taxes, Istook's flier says Henry increased state spending by 30.6 percent in the last two years. Read more... Posted at 9/18/2006 01:10:00 PM |

    Oklahoma Ethics Director Questions Poultry Ads

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The director of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission questions whether advertising paid for by Arkansas poultry companies is meant to influence the state attorney general's race. Commission director Marilyn Hughes says the advertisements she's seen on the Web site of the Poultry Community Council walk "a fine line." The ads also appear on television, radio stations, and newspapers. The advertisements don't mention Attorney General Drew Edmondson by name, but several refer in general to, quote, "the attorney general." They also don't mention the federal lawsuit filed by Edmondson against the companies. Archie Schaffer, a senior vice president for Tyson Foods -- one of the companies funding the Poultry Community Council -- says the advertising isn't meant to harm Edmondson or help his Republican opponent, James Dunn. Schaffer describes the ads as educational. Edmondson has sued the poultry companies, including Tyson Foods, alleging that poultry operations have polluted the Illinois River, which flows through Oklahoma and Arkansas. Posted at 9/18/2006 12:34:00 PM |

    Oklahoma Indian Tribes' Donations Favor Democrats

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma Ethics Commission records indicate that when the state's Indian tribes make donations to a state political candidate, the recipient is usually a Democrat. Commission records for January to August show that 15 tribes gave 302-thousand-950-dollars in campaign contributions. The largest contributor to state candidates was the Chickasaw Nation, which gave more than 90-thousand-dollars to Democrats and more than 49-thousand-dollars to Republicans. The Choctaw Nation's donations included 87-thousand-dollars given to Democrats and 12-thousand-500 dollars given to Republicans. The state's most populous tribe, the Cherokee Nation, is not listed on the Ethics Commission reports. Spokesman Mike Miller says the tribe has made no political contributions to candidates this year. All tribes that did report donations have gaming interests. But other tribes with gaming operations, including the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribe and the Comanche Nation in western Oklahoma, did not report any contributions. Posted at 9/18/2006 12:31:00 PM |

    State Auditor Candidate’s Campaign Trailer Stolen

    In a competitive election, you can expect a campaign sign or two will end up "missing" from a supporter's front yardor from the side of the road . Gary Jones, candidate for state auditor and inspector, had a CAMPAIGN TRAILER stolen from Tecumseh between 8:00 p.m. Friday and 8:00 a.m. Saturday. “I received permission to park the trailer behind a real estate office in Tecumseh last night,” said Jones. “I was actually walking in the Perry parade behind our second trailer when I received a call from a friend who had gone to Tecumseh to help with that parade. When they got to Tecumseh they discovered the trailer missing.” Jones said he reported the theft to the Tecumseh Police Department Saturday morning. “I parked it with every precaution available. The wheels were locked. I’m grateful to the Tecumseh Police Department for their efforts to locate the missing trailer,” Jones said. The former Oklahoma Republican party Chair and political veteran took the theft in stride and with humor. "Hopefully, whoever stole this one can keep driving it around populated areas across our state until election day.” Ona serious note, Jones questioned the trailer being stolen in his opponents hometown and hopes the borrowed trailer will be returned. “It’s ironic that is was stolen in the hometown of my opponent,” Jones said. “I have taken these trailers around the state and parked them at various locations and never had a problem. I borrowed this trailer from a friend. Now I have to call him and tell him his trailer is missing. These trailers cost around $4000. If we don’t find it I will have to replace it.” Posted at 9/18/2006 11:50:00 AM |
    Sunday, September 17, 2006 

    Istook takes message on the road

    From the Tulsa World: Ernest Istook and his campaign staff positioned themselves in front of an armory in Atoka on a recent Friday morning to talk about jobs. Flanked by his wife, Judy, the Republican reiterated the need for job growth and retention. He blamed the current governor, Democrat Brad Henry, for a loss in jobs and failure to attract high-paying positions. Working the campaign trail with about two months to go until the Nov. 7 general election, Istook said the oil and gas industry may be keeping the state economy afloat, but everything is not rosy -- personal income is down, poverty is up and foreclosures are on the rise. Posted at 9/17/2006 09:30:00 PM |
    Saturday, September 16, 2006 

    OKLAHOMA UPDATE: Istook Over Henry In latest + New Ads!

    From Dear Fellow Sooners & Soonerfans! We're getting into the peak of Election Season and I've got to say, I don't know what makes me happier, the fact that Ernest Istook's campaign for governor in my home Sooner State is has kicked into high gear or that my Sooner Football has found its stride. Let's start with the fun stuff... *GOVERNORS UPDATE* I know you want the poll numbers, so here they are: Among voters who have an opinion of both candidates (very likely general election voters statewide), Istook now LEADS Henry 50-41%. Istook LEADS Henry in the OKC media market 43% to 40% among ALL voters. And even the generic ballot is 40-36% R over D. But here's where this gets better: this survey is more than 20-cents old on the gas-price chart, and came out before Republicans started their big push on national security, energy and general "whoop ass" over the last week. This, by the way, hasn't gone unnoticed here in Oklahoma. Brad Henry: Same party as Jay "Iraqi Women were better off with Saddam Hussein" Rockefeller. Yeah, that'll play. Speaking of things that won't play, let's talk about Brad Henry's policy on immigration: "Welcome to Oklahoma." Free benefits, discounted tuition... It's like the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House during the Clinton years around here if you had to crawl under a fence to get here first. Suffice it to say, voters aren't buying it so much. *OTHER GOINGS ON* Read more... Posted at 9/16/2006 04:20:00 PM |

    "Raise Oklahoma's" Spending Raises Questions

    From Raise Oklahoma received $19,448 in it's 90 day existence to increase the state's minimum wage law, but spent over half the donation on "contract labor". According to the groups state Ethics Commission reports, $11,039 was paid to "contract labor" but the identity of the person or persons who received the salaries is not listed on the reports. Chris Heldenbrand, chair of the Democracy for America, group in Oklahoma City, along with Linda Gray-Murphy made up the twp-person Raise Oklahoma group. In addition to contract labor, Raise Oklahoma shelled out $1,250 for rent, which included a $250.00 rent payment on July 1, the day after Murphy announced Raise Oklahoma didn't have the necessary 117,000 signatures to place the proposal on a state-wide ballot. Posted at 9/16/2006 04:08:00 PM |
    Friday, September 15, 2006 

    Ernest Istook Releases Radio Ad

    Tongue and cheek radio ad details Henry’s taxpayer funded handouts to illegal immigrants including in-state tuition and college tuition grants After running three television commercials in the primary, Congressman Ernest Istook today released his first radio commercial of the general election. The commercial done to original western music with singing and casual satire, stresses that Ernest Istook will repeal Governor Henry’s taxpayer funded benefits for illegal immigrants including in-state tuition and tuition grants. And, Istook will make English the official language. "Judy and I have crisscrossed the entire state talking to Oklahomans and there's one issue on the tip of everyone's tongue: illegal immigration. People are furious that Brad Henry gave taxpayer funded money to illegal immigrants – including in-state tuition and tuition grants. Not one student should ever be denied a college scholarship because of illegal immigration. If elected, I will repeal Brad Henry's policies that give taxpayer money to illegal immigrants and make English the official language." Here is a transcript of the ad: Announcer: Brad Henry’s given tax-payer money and in state tuition to illegal Immigrants and he won’t make English our official language. Singer: If you sneak across the border, there's some help that you can get in a place called Oklahoma where you'll never have to fret. There a man they call Brad Henry has some gifts he'll give to you. Taxpayer money to pay for college and in-state tuition, too. If you re-elect Brad Henry, he'll never take a stand. Illegal immigration will continue in our land. He will give to them our money, thanks to lots of oil and gas. Unless we say in November, on him we take a pass. Istook: I’m Ernest Istook. In congress I fought to stop amnesty. As governor I’ll repeal state benefits for illegal immigrants. And make English our official language. Singer: I 'm confused about the language; why should I have to translate? Let's make English official in the good old Sooner State! Announcer: This message has been paid for by Friends of Ernest Istook. Posted at 9/15/2006 10:35:00 AM |

    Welcome David Tackett

    Please welcome David Tackett as a weekly commentator for the Oklahoma Political News Service. David is a Tulsa native and a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma. Tackett is a specialist in direct mail and marketing for federal, state, and local elections. He has been involved in political campaigns nationwide for the past ten years. For the past nine years he has operated under his own consulting firm, Tackett Consulting. David hopes to achieve with this column a healthy dialogue on the issues that affect us politically. He admits his statements may go against the stereotypical model of what a "conservative" is. He feels it's important to go beyond simply stating the belief, but ask why we believe them." David currently resides in Broken Arrow, OK with his wife, Allison, and their son, J.D. Posted at 9/15/2006 09:41:00 AM |

    City Council: Illegal worker concerns discussed

    By BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer Some councilors want to prevent contractors who hire illegal immigrants from getting city contracts. Tulsa city councilors began discussions Tuesday about how to ensure that construction contractors and subcontractors working on public projects do not hire illegal immigrants. "I think it is important that we as a council make sure tax dollars are not going to undocumented workers," said Councilor Bill Christiansen, who brought the issue to the council's weekly committee meetings. "We need to set the example." Public Works Director Charles Hardt said all contractors who work on city projects sign contracts that say they will abide by all federal, state and local laws. There are no municipal ordinances that specifically address the subject, but federal and state laws do, he said. If the council wanted to direct the city to keep track of construction workers on public projects, a relevant municipal law would have to be passed and money budgeted for enforcement, Hardt said. Carol Ainsworth, interim director of the city's Human Rights Department, told councilors that her staff has a compliance officer position that is responsible for making sure that contractors working on projects that include federal funding are paying federal employee taxes. That position is vacant, but even when occupied it does not watch over projects that are completely funded locally, Ainsworth said. Read more... Posted at 9/15/2006 09:29:00 AM |
    Thursday, September 14, 2006 

    Bi-partisan Candidate Forum Aims To Help "Build Bridges"

    By Jeff Shultz Managing Editor A group of Garvin County residents are trying to turn the tide when it comes to nasty political campaigns in our county and state. In a joint effort by the Garvin County Republicans and Democrats a bipartisan candidate forum will be held Saturday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. at the Pauls Valley High School Auditorium. “We have invited several of the candidates running for state offices, including governor and lieutenant governor, to participate in this forum. This will be an opportunity for voters to come and hear the candidates discuss the issues and meet the candidates after the program,” said Maureen Rude, one of the organizers of the forum. Titled “Building a Bridge: A Bipartisan Candidate Forum,” the program will be a joint effort between the two political parties in Garvin County, though it is being organized mostly by the Garvin County Republicans. “In an effort to be fair to all candidates we will be working with the Garvin County Democrats in reviewing the questions that will be asked that night,” Rude said. “Steve Jarman (Garvin County Democrat Chairman) said his party will be more than willing to help form a bipartisan question review committee.” Rude added the audience will not be able to ask questions during the forum. Read more... Posted at 9/14/2006 05:13:00 PM |

    OK House Delegation Votes For Border Fence

    Secure Fence Act adds fencing, technology to border The U.S. House of Represenatives voted this afternoon to put some teeth into U.S. border security. By a vote of 283 to 138, Members approved several measures to improve the nation's border security. The Secure Fence Act would strengthen operational control of all borders and ports through additional physical barriers and fencing and greater use of state-of-the-art technology and surveillance along the southwest border, The Act:
  • Authorizes more than 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing along the southwest border with prioritized placement at critical, highly populated areas and requiring an evaluation of infrastructure needs along the northern border.
  • Mandates that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) achieve and maintain operational control over the entire border through a "virtual fence" that deploys cameras, ground sensors, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and integrated surveillance technology.
  • Requires the Department of Homeland Security to provide all necessary authority to border personnel to disable fleeing vehicles, similar to the authority held by the United States Coast Guard for maritime vessels.
  • Requires the Department of Homeland Security to assess vulnerabilities on the northern border.
  • Congressman Istook, who has taken a leading role in the fight to secure America's borders, commented after the vote: "Some people just don't get it. Without real changes to the physical barriers at our borders, we cannot fix this problem. We're still allowing dangerous people to simply walk into the country. Today we took a big step toward solving this problem with real-world, effective measures. We still have much to do, including helping local law enforcement join in the battle. But physically securing our borders is long overdue." Posted at 9/14/2006 04:08:00 PM |

    Quote Of The Day

    Edmond Sun 9/13/06 "Oklahoma voters must wake up to the reality that there are powerful forces out there who want to deprive them of their political rights. They’re not Arab terrorists or suicide bombers. But one thing is for certain. They all call themselves Republicans." - Walter Jenny Jr., Secretary of the Oklahoma Democratic Party and chairman of the Edmond Democrats Posted at 9/14/2006 02:22:00 PM |

    Poultry Suit Stunner: Story Reveals Edmondson Poultry Deceit

    Dunn calls for a grand jury investigation after whistle blower’s allegations corroborated A shocking press report in Sunday’s Arkansas Democrat Gazette about details of official misconduct gleaned from a whistleblower’s lawsuit has Republican Attorney General nominee James Dunn calling for a grand jury investigation. The report exposed how the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office began committing serious misdeeds in 2002 and continues such to further the 2005 federal lawsuit that will result in millions of dollars in awards to Edmondson’s tobacco lawyer campaign donors if he isn’t stopped. “These are very serious allegations,” Dunn said. “The story demonstrates that the allegations in the Marie West whistleblower lawsuit are credible, and that the Attorney General’s office is directing our assistant attorney generals to spy on, steal documents from and mislead the very state officials and agencies the assistant attorney general’s are assigned to represent. If these allegations are true, the Attorney General and those employees who are assisting in the spying, theft and misleading of information from its own clients have committed criminal acts along with committing serious breaches of their ethical duties. Since there appears to be more than one person involved, we could have a criminal conspiracy that must be investigated. Frankly, something stinks here, and an independent grand jury should immediately investigate this matter,” Dunn said. Dunn says the shocking report points to an organized pattern of deceit and misconduct. According to the story, Edmondson devised a plan to undermine and mislead Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission administrator Ed Fite along with the agencies Edmondson swore a duty to represent on behalf of the State of Oklahoma. Assistant attorney generals were directed to "always divide and conquer the state agencies so they don’t thwart your power."The story also documents that Edmondson told Ed Fite to “stand down” in July or August of 2002 even though there was not a filed lawsuit for more than three years later. The Attorney General clearly has been untruthful and now he has been caught red-handed.” It is very clear that Oklahoma’s efforts to work with Arkansas were fruitful until Edmondson implemented his plan to divide and conquer. Fayetteville’s 2002 commitment to spend $125 million on sewer system improvements which discharge in the water shed was a huge accomplishment. However, it is clear that Edmondson’s plan, implemented by Kelly Hunter Burch, torpedoed a sincere effort by Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commissioner Ed Fite and the State of Arkansas to mediate the pollution being dumped into the water shed by non-agriculture activities such as municipal sewer plants. Dunn stated the story underscores why so many are suspicious of the motives of the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office regarding the poultry suit and his attack on agriculture: “The issues surrounding the water debate are serious, and the stakes are high. With these grave revelations, it is imperative that an independent grand jury become involved immediately.” Posted at 9/14/2006 12:56:00 PM |

    McMahan's Employees Pony Up For The Boss

    From the McCarville Report: Auditor & Inspector Jeff McMahan's campaign for reelection is being fueled, in part, by employees in his office. While his regular contribution list on file with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission lists numerous employees, more are found on his list of "in-kind" contributions, where 12 employees are listed as having donated to purchase "fundraiser supplies" in April, May and June. Read more... Posted at 9/14/2006 12:00:00 PM |

    Issue Brief Sounds Alarm Over Looming Fiscal “Train Wreck”

    Oklahoma faces severe long-term fiscal challenges despite its current rosy budget situation, according to a new issue brief from Community Action Project (CAP). The evidence from national and state reports is clear and compelling that Oklahoma is approaching a period where our expenditure needs will greatly exceed our revenue capacities,” said David Blatt, the report’s author. “Our state policymakers need to become more aware of the looming structural budget deficit and begin to take steps to avert a fiscal train wreck.” The issue brief surveys three recent studies by academics and policy institutes that point to the dangers ahead for Oklahoma and other states. A rapidly aging population, growing health care and pension costs, an archaic tax system, and federal policies that shift more costs to the states are among the factors identified by these studies as contributing to the impending fiscal crunch. Recently, the National Conference of State Legislatures joined the chorus of voices sounding an alarm, warning that “state spending will outpace revenue growth over the longer term”. “When revenues are soaring, it’s hard for our policymakers to look beyond the immediate fiscal year and election cycle to the problems further ahead”, Blatt noted. “Unfortunately, the actions of recent Oklahoma legislatures have worsened our long-term fiscal outlook by enacting large permanent tax cuts and missing an opportunity to put our underfunded teachers’ retirement system back on course”. The brief concludes by suggesting that improving our budget forecasting abilities and undertaking a comprehensive review of our long-term fiscal situation can help Oklahoma prepare for the coming challenges. Posted at 9/14/2006 11:56:00 AM |

    NAT: House Votes Down “Reservation Shopping” Bill

    Indian groups applaud legislation’s defeat Native American Times and Assoociated Press 9/14/2006 Not a small number of tribes-including at least one in Oklahoma- are breathing a sigh of relief after a proposal to limit the so-called practice of “reservation shopping” failed to pass in the House of Representatives. Indian gaming interest groups like the National Indian Gaming Association also opposed the move. The bill would have amended the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 to eliminate an exception that lets tribes build off-reservation with approval from the secretary of interior and the host state's governor. The measure still would have let tribes seek casino permits if they have been newly recognized by the federal government or if they have no reservation land of their own. But they would also have to reach agreements with local communities to ensure that a share of casino revenues goes to local infrastructure, public safety and other costs. The bill would also let tribes invite other tribes to build casinos on their reservation land and share profits. Passing the legislation would have very likely meant bad news for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, which is hoping to build casinos in Ohio. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Richard Pombo of California, said he had hoped the legislation would stop "reservation shopping," a growing trend. Tribal gambling has become a $22 billion-a-year industry, richer than Nevada casinos. Pombo seemed bewildered that lawmakers stuck up for tribal interests by voting against the proposal. "How this bill could be considered controversial -- outside Indian gaming circles, of course -- is beyond me," Pombo said after the vote according to the Associated Press. Citing the limits the legislation places on tribal sovereignty, Oklahoma Congressman Dan Boren voted against the bill. “This bill represents a drastic change in federal policy that violates the sovereign rights guaranteed to Indian tribes. This is an issue for states to deal with on a case-by-case basis, not an issue requiring new federal policy,” Boren said in a statement faxed to the Native American Times. “In Oklahoma our tribes work closely with our local communities and the state. H.R. 4893 stands to undermine those relationships and sets a dangerous precedent for future federal legislation.” Rep. Ernest Istook, the Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate, voted for the bill as did Reps Frank Lucas and John Sullivan. Read more... Posted at 9/14/2006 11:30:00 AM |

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