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Tuesday, October 31, 2006 


The Reese Brothers and Comanche County Democratic chair "Cut & Run" Mike Weddington, are continuing to demonstrate their limitless and racist "sense of humor." This latest attempt to imply that District 62 candidate T.W. Shannon is only "qualified to be a chauffeur," was posted on on October 27th. The picture mysteriously disappeared yesterday after a self described African American woman Democrat labeled the pictures - in a post on October 29th - as "reminiscent of the Jim Crow caricatures of my youth." Equally mysterious is that the poster - "Running on Empty" - is a "new" member with only two posts. The Reese Brothers are infamous for accusing another owner of a competing chat site of using multiple screen names to hide his identity. Hmmm. She continues in her post: "Anyone sensitive to the history of African Americans in this country should find these photos deplorable or at least in poor taste." "These Shannon attack caricatures remind me of a couple of month's ago when the Weekly Standard's cover featured Al Sharpton in "Driving Miss Daisy" fashion. Democrats--including me--called the Standard's attack ad everything from racially insensitive to out-and-out racism. The fact that Mr. Sharpton is a (D) and Mr. Shannon is a (R) doesn't change the fact that the photos are in poor taste (in my humble opinion) and are racially insensitive." Read entire post It's almost hard to fathom that a Democratic county chair and Tim Reese - a delegate to the 2004 Democratic convention - would stoop to this level of race baiting to win an election. It begs the question. Does the Oklahoma Democratic Party - the self described party of "tolerance and diversity" condone this offensive behavior? The Oklahoma Political News Service emailed the above picture to Chair Lisa Pryor and called party headquarters for a statement. Our intern was met with a rude response from ODP Headquarters and no statement. We guess that about says it all. Posted at 10/31/2006 11:59:00 PM |

Bode's Money Plea Has Some Seeing Red

From The McCarville Report Online: A letter from Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode, asking recipients to help her pay herself back the balance of the $345,174 she put into her losing campaign for the 5th District seat in Congress, has some Republicans seeing red. GOP sources say the campaigns of Ernest Istook and Todd Hiett, in particular, are ticked about the letter because both their campaigns have been cash-strapped and donors will only give so much. Read more... Posted at 10/31/2006 04:45:00 PM |

Askins' Pro-Abortion Stance

Jari Askins' liberal record continues to come to light in the final days of the campaign. Following close on the heels of Jari Askins' liberal stance on gay marriage during a town hall meeting last week -- there's new information about Askins'pro-abortion stance. Askins has repeatedly tried to represent herself as a conservative. However,last week during a KFOR town hall forum debate, she avoided making a clear statement on the gay marriage issue -- now a more relevant issue than ever with last week's New Jersey Supreme Court decision. Now new information has come to light showing Askins' pro-abortion stance. Records show clearly that Askins and other House Democrats rejected an attempt to pass a partial birth abortion ban in Oklahoma in 1997. In a floor vote on HB 2175 during the 1997 legislative session, amendments were offered to ban the barbaric practice of partial birth abortions in Oklahoma. Democrats, who controlled the state House at the time, voted along party lines 59 to 41 to advance the bill without hearing the amendments. Askins was one of those Democrat votes -- effectively supporting partial birth abortions and snubbing attempts to stop this heinous procedure. Just how pro-life can Askins be when she votes like this? By contrast, Todd Hiett and House Republican leaders in just two years advanced and passed two years of pro-life reforms that Senate Democrats were forced to accept, and Governor Henry was forced to sign, including parental consent and informed consent. Posted at 10/31/2006 03:25:00 PM |

South Oklahoma City Lawmaker Under Criminal Investigation for Illegal Campaign Tactics

A state lawmaker from South Oklahoma City is under criminal investigation by local law enforcement officials for sending out illegal anonymous mail pieces to voters, attacking his opponent. State Rep. Al Lindley is running for re-election in State House District 93 against retired Oklahoma State Trooper Mike Christian. The mail pieces are illegal because they do not display who paid for them, a violation of state law. However, each piece is labeled with the same bulk rate permit number Lindley is using on mail pieces advertising his candidacy. "We've worked hard in this campaign to stick to the issues," Christian said. "But it appears my opponent has chosen to take the low road by attacking my personal life and my family, and he's twisting his own voting record to make it sound good. And since he's not saying who's paying for these attacks, he's breaking the law." According to Oklahoma statutes, it is illegal for anyone to distribute "a statement, circular, poster, or advertisement" intended to influence voters in an election without prominently displaying "the name and address of the person who paid for the communication" on the materials. If an organization paid for the communication, the name and address of at least two officers of the organization must be prominently displayed on the materials. In the past few weeks, voters in House District 93 have received at least six mail pieces attacking Christian. None of the pieces indicate who paid for them, but all of the pieces are labeled with the same bulk rate permit number as Lindley's. Some of the mail pieces were sent anonymously, while other pieces feature the names and return address of Lindley's campaign chairman and her husband. Each mail piece is labeled with the same bulk rate permit number Lindley is using on mail pieces advertising his candidacy. A bulk rate permit number is often printed on a piece of mail in place of a stamp and is used by the post office to track the piece's origin. According to postal officials, if two different pieces of mail share the same bulk rate permit number, they were sent by the same individual or company. Some of the pieces falsely speculate on Christian's marital and family history, while others attempt to defend Lindley's voting record while in office, particularly on legislation relating to immigration, education and taxes. "Mr. Lindley has not only stooped to the lowest form of gutter politics, attacking my personal life and issues involving my child, he has used illegal means to do so," said Christian. Christian filed a police report with the Oklahoma City Police Department on Monday, Oct. 30, regarding the illegal attack mailers. Posted at 10/31/2006 01:32:00 PM |

Quick Political Update

By Kyle Loveless I think the Oklahoma GOP is not going to have to weather the anti incumbent fever that is rising in different parts of the country. Bush still has a mid to high 50’s approval ratings here in Oklahoma, even though national topics are not on the ballot in Oklahoma this cycle. Every down ticket Republican is in the fight for their political lives except for Bob Anthony. His race is getting tighter with Cody Graves, but I believe Graves will come up short. I do question Graves attacking Anthony, especially after Bob Anthony received an award from the FBI regarding his integrity and his help in rooting out corruption. Graves better ask Kirk Humphreys if he wants to go negative on Anthony. The Labor Commissioners race is always tight, and for some reason the Dems think they can take Brenda Reneau out. I will have to wait and see on this one. Reneau telling Lloyd Fields to "shush" on the Verdict was not the best way to look like you know what you are doing. Yes, I agree he was out of line interrupting her. Quick note, when given the opportunity to close a debate on why you deserve another term - give reasons - not shots at your opponent. I think Kim Holland is dead. The luckiest guy in Oklahoma right now????? Bill Case. She may win, even with all of the questions surrounding her, but I think it will come down to Bill Case scraping enough money to get on TV. If he can, he wins. If not, she wins. Jeff McMahan is in hiding from Mike McCarville and the press. If Gary Jones can raise enough to buy tv in two media markets, he can win. My suggestion would be to divide his buys between cable and major tv. I hear that McMahan is up in the Lawton and Sherman / Ada markets, so we shall see if that pays off. Bill Crozier, who is running against Sandy Garrett, made a video recently on how students could use old think school books to STOP A BULLETT if a Columbine type of shooting occurred. And that is where the saying died, there is no such thing as bad publicity, sheesh. Finally, it is my prediction that all of the naysayers will be proved wrong. It seems that whenever all of the prognosticators and experts agree, it makes me think they are missing something. I think they are missing something here in Oklahoma. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every Republican will win, but I believe it will be better than most people expect. We will do pretty well overall. I predict there will be a tie in the State Senate and new Senate Pro Tem Todd Hiett will be breaking the ties. We will hold the House (lose a couple of seats) but still retain the majority. Mary Fallin will be our newly elected Congressperson. I am stil studying the others races. *Read Kyle's new OKPNS column: "Where Oklahoma Should Be? Posted at 10/31/2006 11:34:00 AM |
Monday, October 30, 2006 

Please give Denise Bode... an English lesson

In her failed congressional campaign, Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode pumped in $345,174 of her own money, according to Federal Election Commission records. The wounds haven’t healed and the mortgage payments are mounting, and now the would-be federal legislator wants her donors to ante-up once more.

“This letter went out and every oil executive within five hundred miles cringed,” said a source close to the 5th District primary campaign this year. “All of a sudden they’re going to start saying no to Oklahoma’s own Tom DeLay? She’s got four years left as Corporation Commissioner and a mortgage to pay.”

“Even funnier, though is that either a drunken fourth grader wrote this letter, or quality control has taken a dip down on Denise’s campaign team,” the OKPNS tipster who sent us the letter wrote. “Extra punctuation, paragraphs that randomly aren’t indented, words that repeat from one sentence to the next…”

For example, the letter opens, “I want to once again, thank you…” In another example, there is one sentence in between two paragraphs; six commas in a two sentence paragraph.

Here, at, OKPNS, we, always, like, to, share, with, our, readers, the, very, best, of, what, our, elected, officials, are, sending, to, the, voters. Enjoy.

Click here to read the Bode letter in its entirety. Posted at 10/30/2006 01:56:00 PM |
Saturday, October 28, 2006 

Jim Roth Picks a Petty Argument (With Me?)

From By Craig Dawkins I’m never surprised when petty bickering breaks out at Oklahoma County between elected officials. Whether it’s John Whetsel calling Brent Rinehart names or Leonard Sullivan talking trash against Rinehart, or Carolynn Caudill breaking out in a screeching episode against whomever, it’s kind of business as usual. But I must admit that I was quite surprised today when Oklahoma County Commissioner Jim Roth walked up to me today and asked me an odd and rather insulting question. First let me describe the setting. The setting was an ACCO building in Oklahoma City. ACCO stands for Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma. The purpose of the meeting today was to award full-time workers in the Oklahoma County Commissioner districts safety awards. It is my understanding that these awards are for those were accident free for the year. The people who were there from commissioner offices were there in support of their districts. So I tagged along for that purpose. I attended the event during my lunch break. After the event, Jim Roth walked up my table and asked me and another coworker a question regarding whether we were being paid today to attend the meeting. Not really understanding his question, I answered that I was being paid today. The question seemed rather odd to me. Why? Read more... (3rd article) Posted at 10/28/2006 05:37:00 PM |

Prater Fabricating Police Endorsements?

Next to money of course, endorsements are an integral component to any winning campaign. An endorsement from a credible individual or organization can literally make or break a campaign; the reason politicians work so hard to get them. Oklahoma District Attorney candidate David Prater - obviously realizes this political fact as well - as he runs an underdog campaign against current D.A. Wes Lane. Prater is airing commercials suggesting, "police organizations are working against Lane." That would be a mighty powerful endorsement for any district attorney candidate. The only problem - it's not true! Larry Grant, President of the Oklahoma County's Sheriff Office: Fraternal Order of Police, released this letter asking Prater to "respectfully..take the ad down." Mr. Grant cites in the letter "By state law, both the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation cannot endorse any candidate for public office." One would think a candidate running for district attorney would at least know the laws of Oklahoma. Prater is later admonished by Grant in the letter by describing the ad as "disingenuous" and "[plays]politics with the men and women of law enforcement". Grant writes that Wes Lane is a "man of integrity" and "cares passionately" for the citizens of Oklahoma County. Rest assured, the Oklahoma political News Service will continue to investigate this matter as it unfolds.


Posted at 10/28/2006 03:12:00 PM |
Friday, October 27, 2006 

Specialty Hospital Lobbyist Girds For Battles

By Janice Francis-Smith The Journal Record 10/26/2006 OKLAHOMA CITY – A lobbyist for specialty hospitals stands ready to do battle again in 2007. Lobbyist Patrick Gaines represents the Independent Medical Providers Action Council of Oklahoma Inc., also called IMPAC. Members include about 15 of Oklahoma’s 140 specialty hospitals, medical facilities that focus only on specific procedures, such as heart surgery. In Oklahoma and nationwide, the proliferation of specialty hospitals has raised concern among some health care officials, particularly advocates of large general hospitals. Some analysts find general hospitals increasingly lose lucrative procedures like heart surgeries to specialty hospitals. General hospitals use such revenue to offset money lost providing emergency care for people with little or no health insurance. On the other hand, specialty hospitals often rate higher in patient care and customer service surveys. A temporary federal moratorium lifted this year had prevented construction of specialty hospitals for nearly two years as health care professionals studied the impact such facilities had on the industry. With that moratorium ended, analysts foresee construction of more specialty facilities in the near future. Gains expects some industry leaders will seek both federal and state legislation to slow that growth. In past years, Oklahoma legislators failed to pass bills requiring specialty hospitals provide a mandated level of charity care for the uninsured or underinsured. The last one considered proposed both specialty and general hospitals pay into a fund to leverage federal Medicaid dollars. Specialty facilities opposed the measure on principle, said Gains, since the fund would primarily benefit general hospitals. On the federal level, some have called for reinstating the moratorium. "Congress can talk about something for years and never do anything about it,” said Gaines. “We hope it stays just talk." Posted at 10/27/2006 03:52:00 PM |

AG Takes Poultry Dispute live

By CURTIS KILLMAN World Staff Writer 10/27/2006 Drew Edmondson crashes an industry media event taking aim at his campaign ads. Attorney General Drew Edmondson crashed a press conference Thursday called by the poultry industry to criticize his campaign ads. The back-to-back press conferences, held at the downtown Tulsa Press Club, represented a live version of the media campaigns both Edmondson and the poultry industry have waged against each other during this election season. The back-and-forth nature of the event even featured a poultry industry representative quizzing Edmondson about his prior claims that the poultry industry is the chief reason for degradation of water quality in the Illinois River watershed. Read more... Posted at 10/27/2006 03:10:00 PM |

Coffee Says Tulsa World Polls "Old News"

State Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee said polls released today by the Tulsa World are "old news" and do not reflect GOP momentum in several key state Senate races. Coffee said that attack ads launched this week by the DLCC (The Democrat Legislative Campaign Committee) proves that Democrats are worried about losing their majority in the Oklahoma Senate. "These polls are old news - about 10 days old, in fact. They don't reflect the current reality on the ground, which is that Republicans have gained momentum in our key races," Coffee said. "Our plan is to win three or more seats on election day, not to be ahead in a newspaper poll taken three weeks before the election. I strongly believe that our strategy is working, and that voters in these districts are on track to make history by electing the first- ever Republican majority in the state Senate," he said. Coffee provided OKPNS a breakdown of the important Senate races this election cycle and questioned why the Tulsa World did not release polling data for Senate District 24, where one of the Democrats' most vulnerable incumbents, Daisy Lawler, is in big trouble in her race against Republican challenger Anthony Sykes. "Daisy Lawler and her liberal East Coast friends from the DLCC are already spending tens of thousands of dollars on attack ads to prop up Daisy's failing campaign. This is evidence that Daisy Lawler is in huge trouble in this conservative district, which doesn't like her liberal voting record - from giving in-state tuition and scholarships to illegal immigrants to voting to block an amendment to immediately eliminate the death tax," Coffee stated. In Senate District 18, Coffee said an attack ad launched by incumbent Mary Easley and the DLCC is backfiring. "We're seeing significant Democrat voters moving toward Republican Mark Wofford because of these misleading attacks. The Wofford campaign has already received dozens of calls of support from democrat voters who can't believe that Mary Easley is attacking Wofford and fibbing about her own liberal record on illegal immigraton," Coffee said. Coffee said that in Senate District 12, trial lawyer John Mark Young has stooped to attacking Brain Bingman's character, and is hiding from his own record as a trial lawyer of representing some of Creek County's worst criminals. "Democrats were caught off guard by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn's TV ad supporting Republican Brian Bingman, so now the Young campaign has brought in a group of Washington, DC, liberals backed by Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean to falsely attack Brian Bingman's character," Coffee said. In Senate District 2, trial Lawyer Sean Burrage is trying to hang on to a razor-thin lead that is shrinking daily, Coffee said. "Despite spending half-a-million dollars donated by power-hungry trial lawyers, Sean Burrage's campaign is gasping for air. He has spent a fortune on TV ads, yet our internal polling shows he hasn't moved an inch in weeks and is actually losing ground to Republican Ami Shaffer," Coffee said. "Ami Shaffer has soundly defeated Sean Burrage in every debate, and the average Democrat voter is shifting away from Burrage, who is the powerful politicians' choice, and moving toward the people's choice, Ami Shaffer." Coffee said there is also an indication that Republicans are picking up momentum in several other Democrat-held districts: Senate District 26, where Republican Todd Russ is facing trial lawyer Tom Ivester; Senate District 16, where Republican Ron Davis is running against liberal John Sparks; and Senate District 32, where Democrat incumbent Randy Bass is being challenged by Lt. Col. (ret.) Ed Petersen. Posted at 10/27/2006 02:43:00 PM |

More Lip Service From The "Party Of Tolerance & Diversity"

As we correctly stated recently, elections seem to always bring out Democratic politicians at African American churches and symbolic events. Governor Henry has gone a step beyond the usual pandering by signing basically meaningless legislation yesterday at the Capitol. The legislation the good governor signed, clears the way for developing an African-American Centennial Plaza on the grounds of the state Capitol. How can we say that legislation establishing an African American Centennial Plaza is symbolic and meaningless? It's meaningless because the development is estimated to cost 4 million dollars with half the costs required from private donations. Here's the rub. The legislation Henry signed forbids supporters from asking the state for money to help pay for it! How much have supporters raised so far- $30,000. According to The Oklahoman, civil rights activist Clara Luper "scolded" the Governor saying, "They should give us respect. It's not their money, we all pay taxes." Henry further patronized the African American's in attendance by saying, "I think the African-American Centennial Plaza is an extremely important project for Oklahoma." It was so important Governor - that in a year with record budget surpluses and your high approval ratings - you didn't feel it was important enough to use a little of your political capital to secure SOME funding for the project. Some things never change! *More* From Today's New York Times: Democrats Fear Disillusionment in Black Voters From the Powerline blog: "If black Americans don't feel especially motivated to vote for Democrats, as the Times fears, maybe it's because they've noticed that several decades of voting for Democrats has done them no perceptible good. Or maybe it's because the black candidates with whom voters want to identify are Republicans like Michael Steele." Posted at 10/27/2006 11:44:00 AM |

Is Desperation Breeding Stupidity?

ODP attempts to help flagging Hunter campaign with intelligence insulting press releases ODP Media Release: Hunter Supports Smart Science; Fallin Denies Life-Saving Research (Thank goodness Dr. Hunter doesn't support dumb science!) Mary Fallin Opposes Breast Cancer Research; Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre At Home Recovering (A woman with a daughter opposes breast cancer research??? Give me a break!) Posted at 10/27/2006 06:00:00 AM |
Thursday, October 26, 2006 

1st Annual "Political Tin Ear" Award

Tin Ear - An insensitivity to subtlety or appropriateness in verbal expression. ~ The Oklahoma Political News Service is pleased to announce that Comanche County Democratic Chairman Mike Weddington is the recipient of our first ever "Political Tin Ear" Award. Mr Weddington - who was called out by us and The Oklahoman recently regarding his racist email and innuendos against District 62 candidate T.W. Shannon - incredibly still doesn't get it. Weddington seems to believe that he can deflect his racist venom by rehashing his alternative strategy of now questioning Mr. Shannon's impressive educational and business credentials (Read below) Anonymous sources have told OKPNS that Weddington and the Reese Brothers have been taken to the woodshed by Oklahoma Democratic Party officials for their tactics. "The fact still remains that he has NEVER denied the questions, and furthermore, what do you think he would say if he knew that the republican party approached Janice Drewry first, and wanted her to change parties and run as their candidate? I bet he would understand why they asked him to uproot his family and move back to Lawton from his OKC metropolitan home and pretend that he has been in Lawton all along. I can only imagine the embarrassment (sic) he would feel knowing he is being played as a political operative (republican puppet). Hope he hasn't sold his other house, he may still be able to move back there on Nov 8th and resume his occupation, whatever that was." Posted at 10/26/2006 11:57:00 PM |

From The Tip Line: "Okdemocrat Huh ? ? ?"

To protect our readers anonymity when they send us information, tip e-mails arrive to us through a hotmail account we've set up with a fake name. Honestly folks, we have no idea who you are when you send tips. We received this anonymous "tip" today with the subject line: "okdemocrat huh???" Although the comment is unsigned, and if you've read yesterday's post, you'll have a pretty good idea (as we do) who probably sent it. It's pretty pathetic when those who can sling sleaze with the best of them, have thin skin when a little of their sleaze lands back on them. Readers, can the below comment be considered a threat? "I gotcha Dude . . . You can't hide . . . And the right people are watching . . . You'll never know when they're gonna expose you . . . You better hope integrity isn't a requirement for you to stay in business . . . And you'll never know when I come back as someone else . . ." **UPDATE** Our friend Tim Reese posted this today on
"There is a well known GOP operative that pulls the strings on that board. Rusty is just too stupid to figure out when he's being played by republicans. We turned down an offer to link our site to theirs. I plan on suing him after November 7."
Posted at 10/26/2006 11:56:00 PM |

Madame Askins: What Would Jesus Really Do?

Madame Askins, fresh from her recent "Wine Tasting & Art Auction" fundraiser, has learned how to be "nuanced" in her answers to controversial questions. We can't blame her for not wanting to upset her ritzy patrons, especially after they presumably wrote her thousands of dollars worth of checks - in between discussing abstract art and sipping Bordeaux. While most ordinary Oklahomans (Democrats & Republicans alike) are strongly against gay marriage and can't relate to the circles Madame Askins apparently runs in, she responded with this Clintonesque answer regarding gay marriage at the KFOR town hall debate last night. "My religion believes marriage is between a man and a woman. But my religion also is the same one that teaches me to treat other people the way I want to be treated and to show tolerance ... and that's what I intend to do." As one political observer noted to OKPNS, "She sounded like a blue state Democrat trying to split the difference -- not offend traditional Oklahoma voters, but throw a bone to gay activists in the liberal Oklahoma Democrat base." The observer also noted that this isn't the only policy area that Oklahoma Democrats have been accused of duplicity: "Oklahoma Democrats have for years told voters in districts they are pro-life, then go about quietly killing pro-life bills in committee once at the state capitol. Incidentally, only in the past two years of House Republican control did any significant pro-life bills make it to the governor's desk. Brad Henry was then forced to reverse his on-the-record pro-abortion stance and sign the bills." Posted at 10/26/2006 02:26:00 PM |

President Signs Border Fence Legislation.

Law provides vital protection for America President Bush's signed the Secure Fence Act this morning. The Act provides for more than 700 miles of border fencing in trouble spots along the southern U.S. border. It also strengthens port security through additional physical barriers and greater use of state-of-the-art technology and surveillance. In addition to securing our southern border, The Act requires the Department of Homeland Security to assess vulnerabilities on the northern border. The Oklahoma House delegation voted in favor of the bill last month. Congressman Istook, who has been one of the leaders in Congress in the fight to secure America's borders, today praised this new legislation. "America's immigration and security laws are worthless unless we have control of our borders," said Istook. "Until we have greater control over who is entering our country, we are more vulnerable to attack, more vulnerable to drug trafficking, and open to illegal aliens and criminals flooding in." Posted at 10/26/2006 01:07:00 PM |

Sooners Fund, Reap Political Advertising

By MICK HINTON AND BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau Donations to out-of-state groups are being funneled back to the state via ads for key legislative races. OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma corporations and individuals have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to out-of-state political organizations that are now spending money in the state. Two Washington, D.C.-based groups -- the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the Republican State Leadership Committee -- have begun targeting key state Senate races. Both have ties to their respective national parties and the goal of influencing local legislative races. Internal Revenue Service documents show that donations to the two groups are coming from Oklahoma corporations and individuals. Donors cannot designate where their contributions are spent. Read more... Posted at 10/26/2006 01:00:00 PM |

Chicken Poop, Money Key Ingredients In AG Race

Transcript Staff Writer OKLAHOMA CITY -- Somewhere in most modern political campaigns, the candidates accuse each other of slinging mud. In the race for Oklahoma attorney general, the substance being slung is chicken poop -- lots and lots of chicken poop. Read more... Posted at 10/26/2006 12:30:00 PM |
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 

Independent Candidates

Barrett, Inman vow to not toe their party’s lines By Caleb Soptelean, editor The Sun Candidates Scott Inman and Rex Barrett highlighted their independence Tuesday during a debate for House District 94. Inman, 28, said he is a moderate-to-conservative, i.e. “Oklahoma Democrat,” while Barrett, 30, noted some areas where he bucks the Republican Party line. Both said they would vote to throw out a law that allows some illegal immigrants to attend college at in-state tuition rates. Inman said the bill, which Gov. Brad Henry signed two years ago, “should’ve never been put forth. I support the repeal of that legislation.” Both men said they want to crack down on businesses that hire illegal immigrants, although Barrett said he wants to require identification to get a public education and state services. (The Supreme Court has ruled that schools cannot ask students about their legal status.) Read more... Posted at 10/25/2006 04:42:00 PM |

Candidates for Corporate Commission Have Experience

Matt Burckhalter Contributing Writer Punches aren’t being pulled in the race for Corporation Commission. Republican incumbent Bob Anthony is accused of being a career commissioner, and Democratic challenger Cody Graves is said to be in the pocket of lobbyists. "If you really look at the commission, two commissioners, when they can vote together, those two people have more of an impact on the economy than really any other two individuals in the state, and really not enough people understand that and it’s unfortunate," Graves said. The Corporation Commission monitors and regulates Oklahoma’s utilities, transportation, and oil and natural gas industries. Transportation and warehousing alone employs 50,821 Oklahomans, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. The three commissioners, who serve six-year terms, serve as judges, hear and mediate cases, and protect the rights of both consumers and suppliers. Voters will choose between the one-time colleagues in the general election on Nov. 7. Read more... Posted at 10/25/2006 02:38:00 PM |

DHS Worker Says He Was Punished For Reporting Illegal Immigrants

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A state Department of Human Services worker says he was punished for trying to report illegal immigrants who were applying for state benefits. Steve Thomas told the House Revenue and Taxation Committee he tried to follow a rule requiring memos be written to D-H-S superiors when they come across an applicant who's an illegal immigrant. Thomas says he was taken before D-H-S' civil rights office and accused of threatening illegal immigrants. His testimony came at the request of Representative Randy Terrill who wants the committee to study illegal immigration in Oklahoma. Read more... More OKPNS articles on Rep. Terrill's work on illegal immigration: Posted at 10/25/2006 02:15:00 PM |

Auditor’s Office Could Use Change

Gary Jones, the Republican candidate for state auditor and inspector, has a solid reputation and the background for running the auditor’s office efficiently and effectively. This state has a problem with corruption, and the latest scandal ties a legislator and two former legislators to about $3 million in state rural development funds given to an Oklahoma businessman who allegedly rewarded the legislators with an interest in one of his companies. Unfortunately, the name of the incumbent state auditor, Jeff McMahan, has come up in the investigation. McMahan was quoted in a newspapre report as saying, “I wish I’d never heard of Steve Phipps,” the businessman connected to the legislators under investigation. According to reports, Phipps, who is in the abstracting business — among other enterprises — and other state abstractors donated about $150,000 to McMahan’s campaigns. There may be nothing to the donations, but these type of ties come up too much in state politics. We also do not need any suspicion on an office whose job is to uncover corruption. Again, McMahan has been aggressive at his job, but we have some reservations. Jones has been a leader in his party and a successful businessman for years. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has earned distinction as a commissioner in Comanche County. He will work just as hard as the state auditor. Posted at 10/25/2006 01:06:00 PM |

EXCLUSIVE: OKPNS Obtains Support Letter Sent To Founders

BACK BY POULAR DEMAND. ENJOY! Since Tim Reese was an Oklahoma delegate to the 2004 DNC convention, we wonder if Lisa Pryor and the Oklahoma Democratic Party condone Mr. Reese's racist pictures of T.W. Shannon? OKPNS will continue to investigate. The Oklahoma Political News Service - through slimy and backwater channels - has obtained exclusively a congratulatory letter sent today to founders Tim & Calvin Reese. In the letter, the Reese brothers and Comanche County Democratic Chair Mike Weddington, are congratulated on the "fantastic job" they are doing disseminating racist innuendos and baseless accusations against District 62 Republican candidate, T.W. Shannon. The below pictures, stereotypically depicting Mr. Shannon as a chauffeur, were recently posted on

Posted at 10/25/2006 09:03:00 AM |
Tuesday, October 24, 2006 

Gubernatorial Debate: Health Care, Education, Public Safety: Henry, Istook Swap Barbs

By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau EDMOND -- U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook took shots at Gov. Brad Henry's record on health care, education and public safety in a televised debate Monday. Istook, a Republican who is leaving his seat as Oklahoma's 5th District congressman, faces Henry, a Democrat, in the Nov. 7 general election for governor. The pair met Monday before nearly 350 people in a 510-seat auditorium at the University of Central Oklahoma in a debate sponsored by the AARP and KOCO, channel 5. Istook criticized Henry for his 2004 decision to commute the death sentence of Osbaldo Torres, a Mexican national, to life in prison without parole possible. Read more... Posted at 10/24/2006 04:55:00 PM |

Phone Calls Cause Stir In District 12 Race

By BOB SHERRILL Herald Staff Writer Republican Brian Bingman’s campaign for the State Senate seat in Creek and Okfuskee counties has shifted gears toward a more volatile course this week, with both television ads and a telemarketing campaign. However, in an interview Monday night Bingman indicated he was not directly involved in preparing or participating in a telemarketing attack that claimed Democrat John Mark Young had criticized Bingman’s church affiliation. In the telemarketing message, the caller reportedly said Young had said that he was a more conservative Christian because he was a Baptist and Bingman was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Young, however, was quick to denounce the telemarketing effort by the Bingman camp. Read more... Posted at 10/24/2006 04:30:00 PM |

"Wine Tasting" & "Art Auction" Fundraiser Scheduled For Askins

"Rep. Jari Askins, D-Duncan, House minority leader, faulted Republicans for making funding promises before it is known how much revenue lawmakers will have to appropriate, while at the same time proposing "tax cuts for the wealthy." Seems Ms. Askins - who can be considered one of the "wealthy" - enjoys hob knobing with them when it comes to raising money for her campaign. David and Rhonda Walters are scheduled to host a wine tasting and art auction to raise money for Madame Askins with a $250 minimum at the Colonial Art Gallery today at 6 p.m. Isn't this a great example of limousine liberal hypocrisy in action? A snooty wine-tasting for a candidate who likes to pretend to be concerned about the proletariat. Posted at 10/24/2006 03:48:00 PM |

Spending By GOP Leader Bugs Democrats

By MICK HINTON World Capitol Bureau OKLAHOMA CITY -- Democratic leaders are questioning why the Republican speaker-designate, Rep. Lance Cargill of Harrah, has spent so much of his campaign funds when his re-election is all but assured. Cargill has spent $262,000. His Democratic opponent, Abe Warren of Harrah, had spent $58.50 as of Aug.10, when their last reports were filed with the State Ethics Commission. Much of Cargill's money has gone to consulting and contract labor. Cargill has reported spending $73,851 since Jan. 1 for consulting and $52,877 for contract labor. Cargill said his expenditures were in line with those of other leaders, including Sen. Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, who was re-elected in 2004 and became the head of the Senate the following spring. Read more.. ** Check out the picture The World uses for Lance Cargill. More TW photo editorializing?** Posted at 10/24/2006 02:38:00 PM |

Jari Askins Tied To Casino Scandal?

The Oklahoma Political News Service has discovered that Jari Askins and other Democrat lawmakers have some clear ties to the ongoing Mass-Erwin-Hefner casino scandal. Rep. Askins voted to give special perks for the company at the heart of the FBI investigation, now the subject of a 40-plus page affidavit involving other Democrat lawmakers. In a series of articles in The Oklahoman, reporter Tony Thornton revealed that the FBI is investigating three former Democrat lawmakers in connection with a casino machine company controlled by Steve Phipps of Kiowa. Rep. Jari Askins served on the conference committee that amended Senate Bill 1252 to benefit Steve Phipps' gaming company, Indian Nation Entertainment. Askins also voted to approve the special interest provision. As a result of the law, Phipps' company has placed machines in tribal casinos in Tahlequah, Grove and Newkirk, according to the Oklahoman. The gambling machines are at the heart of an FBI investigation involving Democrats Mike Mass, Randall Erwin and Jerry Hefner. An FBI affidavit accuses the three of profiting from so-called "special project" money given to Phipps' companies. In addition to her support of the gambling bill, Askins also voted for the legislation that funneled state tax dollars to projects such as the Phipps companies. On Feb. 9, 2004 the House approved HB 1950, which contained $12.6 million in unspecified pass-through funding, on a 60-40 vote. On Feb. 12, 2002, the House approved SB 1499, which provided over half-a-million dollars in funds for unspecified "economic and community development projects" on a 67-32 vote. Once again, Askins supported it. And in 2004, the same year Phipps was singled out for perks by Democratic lawmakers, he gave the maximum legal contribution to the Oklahoma House PAC, a PAC that Jari Askins was the head of. Phipps also donated thousands of dollars to individual candidates, including Mike Mass, according to The Institute on Money in State Politics. OKPNS will continue to investigate... Posted at 10/24/2006 02:09:00 PM |

From the Tipline: Oklahoma GOP Desperate for Cash in 11th Hour

Two weeks from Election Day, it appears state Republican party fundraising challenges have become so overwhelming that finance director David Westin is resorting to fundraising from within the party’s own leadership ranks. In a recent e-mail sent to Republican county chairmen, Weston, apparently at the request of party chairman Tom Daxon, solicits an “average of $500 per county.”

“Why would we give the state party money when we should be distributing everything we’ve got to the candidates in our counties?” an anonymous tipster asks. According to insiders, county parties invest every last dime into critical grassroots party building and local get out the vote efforts. “The state party generally distributes funds down to us, it’s not right that we’re now being asked to prop them up.”

The e-mail appeal may serve as yet another example of growing unrest among activists and party faithful over perceived leadership failures and financial mismanagement (see: “Exclusive: GOP’s Funk Raises Salary, Not Confidence”).

The Oklahoma Political News Service will continue to track this story through Election Day and beyond.

Dear County Chairman:

The November election represents an unprecedented opportunity to move our state forward by controlling the state senate for the first time ever.

We are pulling out all stops to make sure that we achieve success. Over the past 6 weeks we’ve been able to raise over $300,000 to fund Victory 2006, our Get-Out-The-Vote Program. We are really to close to reaching our goal to fully fund our plans, but to ensure success we need additional funds by next Thursday.

Our Chairman Tom Daxon has asked me to contact our county chairmen to see if we could raise an average of $500 per county for this final push. With success within our grasp I think that it is imperative that we do everything that is morally and ethically within our power to win!

If you can help, please let me know by emailing me at or by calling 405-528-3501.

Thanks in advance for your support.


David Weston, Director of Finance

Oklahoma Republican Party

Posted at 10/24/2006 11:39:00 AM |
Monday, October 23, 2006 

Does This Pass The Smell Test?

This is an e-mail Governor Henry emailed out on October 26, 2006. Try and decide if this is an official correspondence from the Governor's ofice or a campaign re-election piece: Insuring a Healthy Future "Reflecting a nationwide challenge, too many Oklahomans are without health insurance. It is a real Catch-22 for healthcare consumers: Skyrocketing healthcare costs make insurance more critical than ever, but the escalating costs are precisely why many families are unable to afford insurance premiums. My administration has made it a top priority to increase the numbers of insured citizens. In 2004, I successfully pushed for the creation of Insure Oklahoma, a bold and innovative strategy to help small businesses provide health coverage for their employees. Under this voluntary program, the state covers 60 percent of insurance costs, employers pay 25 percent and employees are asked to pay 15 percent. The program is administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and utilizes matching funds form the federal government. With more and more small businesses learning about Insure Oklahoma, I am pleased to report that we are expanding this worthwhile program. Initially, Insure Oklahoma was available for businesses with 25 or fewer employees. Recently, however, I signed emergency rules that expand eligibility to employers with up to 50 workers. The rules, which had been submitted by the OHCA, were necessitated by a bill I signed into law earlier this year. Whether you realize it or not, the numbers of uninsured Oklahomans impact us all. One in five citizens in our state has been without healthcare coverage. Invariably, the cost of medical treatment for the uninsured is passed on to other consumers in the form of rising insurance premiums. In fact, uninsured health care accounts for as much as 30 percent of the spike that we have seen in insurance premiums. Of course, the challenges involving health insurance will not be remedied by a single program. There are a host of things we must do, not the least of which is to urge healthy lifestyles. Nevertheless, Insure Oklahoma is a significant move in the right direction." Posted at 10/23/2006 05:45:00 PM |

Mud (Sleaze) From The Tip Line

In the era of "gotcha politics"; the aftermath of the Mark Foley page scandal; and with just weeks before an important election, the national Democrats' earlier warnings of "outing Republicans" has apparently ensnared one of its first victims in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Political News Service recieved a tip with this link, suggesting that Senator Coburn's Legislative Director Roland Foster is gay. We have a pretty good idea where the tip came from since the link was on this rabidly partisan Democratic site last week. The pro gay site compassionately describes Mr. Foster as a "self loathing homophobe who happens to be gay." In what can only be described as a mean spirited attempt to show hypocrisy within the Republican ranks, the "outing" actually demonstrates that the "party of tolerance" can also skillfully use a wedge issue when they see an advantage to it. The site lists the irrelevancy of Mr. Foster's Congressional salary and the email addresses of the entire Coburn staff so you can, "Tell the team at Coburn's office what you think of Roland Foster being a gay man." Posted at 10/23/2006 04:47:00 PM |
Friday, October 20, 2006 

Petersen Fundraiser A Success. Sen. Coburn Special Guest

Senate Republican leader Glenn Coffee and special guest US Senator Tom Coburn held a fundraising reception last night to honor state Senate candidate Ed Petersen. The Oklahoma Political News Service has learned that the succesful event at the Waterford Marriott Library Room, netted the campaign enough resources for a full out ad blitz in the last days of the campaign. Here are a few of the commmercials the campaign has ran so far. Posted at 10/20/2006 03:17:00 PM |

Ad Watch: Tipster Discovers Error in Askins' Attack Ad

Here is Jari Askins' negative ad against Speaker Hiett. A keen eyed reader noticed an error in Askin's commercial. On the bills Askins lists in the commercial: HB 1278 (lottery), SB 553 (Indian Gaming) and SB 2660. SB 2660 does not exist, however, HB 2660 - is in fact - the cigarette tax increase. Posted at 10/20/2006 02:58:00 PM |

Hiett Disappointed by Negative Attacks from Askins

The Hiett campaign released a press release today saying they are "disappointed" with Jari Askins because of her negative attacks on Todd Hiett. With less than three weeks before the general election vote in November, Hiett today expressed in the release his "disappointment" that his opponent Jari Askins is engaging in "negative and misleading attack ads." "We've run a positive campaign about our vision for the future of Oklahoma," said Speaker Hiett (R-Kellyville) in the stataement. "But now Jari Askins has launched negative attacks. This seems like an attempt to distract attention from her own liberalvoting record in the legislature." Hiett has capped two years of Republican control of the state House of Representatives by impressively passing the largest tax cut ever for Oklahoma taxpayers, totaling a record $750 million in tax relief every year. Numerous reports by media outlets statewide make it clear the tax relief was part of an historic bipartisan agreement between Governor Henry and Speaker Hiett. "Certainly Governor Henry and I had our disagreements, but we put aside partisan differences and worked together for the good of Oklahoma, as leaders should," said Hiett. Posted at 10/20/2006 02:28:00 PM |

Nov 7 State Questions

SQ 724 This measure amends the State Constitution to restrict State pay to legislators while in jail or prison. Affected legislators must return any State pay received for time while in jail or prison. SQ 725 This measure amends the State Constitution to allow money to be spent from the Rainy Day Fund (RDF) to help at-risk manufacturers. Payments from the RDF must be unanimously approved by the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the President Pro- Tempore of the Senate. Such spending is allowed in years when there is in excess of $80 Million in the Fund and other conditions are met. Spending is limited to $10 Million annually. The help given to a manufacturer is limited to 10% of its in-State capital investments. SQ 733 This measure amends the State Constitution to allow beverage package stores to sell alcoholic beverages on election days while the polls are open. SQ 734 This measure amends the State Constitution to allow the Oklahoma State Legislature to govern the application process for the "freeport expemption" -- a property tax exemption for goods shipped into the state, but that do not remain in the state for more than 90 days Posted at 10/20/2006 02:19:00 PM |
Thursday, October 19, 2006 

Wasteful Spending Or Contributing To The Public Good?

"Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases." ~Theodor Billroth The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) and the Center Against Government Waste (CAGW) released today the 2006 Piglet Report detailing areas of government waste. In response, the Alliance for Oklahoma's Future blasted the groups for "finding another opportunity to distort facts to denigrate our public servants, programs, and expenditures." Alliance Spokesperson Robb Gray says, "The report fails to produce a meaningful assessment of government spending and jumps to the faulty conclusion that government waste in Oklahoma is rampant. It is irresponsible to characterize spending for programs that contribute to the public good such as funding for research, quality education, access to healthcare, public safety, and programs that fuel our state's economy as wasteful." According to Gray, the CAGW data actually shows that Oklahoma is not rampant with overspending: "It is clear that Oklahoma is not a case study in rampant over- spending. Oklahoma currently ranks 48th lowest in the country in terms of the amount of "pork per capita". CAGW's data also reveals that Oklahoma has made the most significant change of any state in the country to curb the amount of "wasteful" money spent." Whom Should you believe? Posted at 10/19/2006 02:35:00 PM |

Istook Starts TV Campaign; Hits Henry Over Debates

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Republican gubernatorial candidate Ernest Istook began running his first television ad of his general election campaign on Wednesday and challenged Democratic incumbent Brad Henry to debate him in Tulsa. Istook and Henry appeared in their first debate Monday in Lawton and have two more scheduled on Oklahoma City television stations. Istook said that is not fair to voters in eastern Oklahoma. "I'll rearrange my schedule in these last three weeks to meet Brad Henry anywhere in Tulsa he likes, in front of any group, for a televised debate that gives voters a real chance to hear the important differences between us," Istook said. Read more... Posted at 10/19/2006 02:08:00 PM |

Politics Club: A Youthful Look At Elections

By ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer High schoolers knowledgeable about issues, candidates What do young people think about the upcoming midterm elections? More than you might think. Especially Grant McLoughlin and Travis Nicks, co-presidents of Booker T. Washington High School's Politics Club. Once a week, the two seniors lead 25 to 30 of their classmates in a lively discussion of political topics with a depth of knowledge well beyond their respective 18 and 17 years. Both demonstrated an acute knowledge of the issues and candidates in the Nov. 7 election during Tuesday's meeting of the Politics Club. Read more... Posted at 10/19/2006 01:30:00 PM |

Reception For Ed Petersen Tonight

Senate Republican leader Glenn Coffee and special guest US Senator Tom Coburn are holding a fundraising reception to honor state Senate candidate Ed Petersen. The event is being held tonight (October 19th) from 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Waterford Marriott Library Room. RSVP to: 580-355-7100 or Honorary hosts for the event include: Senate GOP Leader Glenn Coffee Senator Jim Reynolds Senator Owen Laughlin Senator Randy Brogdon Senator Clark Jolley Senator Ron Justice Senator Scott Pruitt Senator Mike Schultz Senator Kathleen Wilcoxson Senator Cliff Brannan Senator Jonathon Nichols Posted at 10/19/2006 12:55:00 PM |

Corrections Department: Prisoner Savings Accounts: Officials wanting to withhold less

By ANGEL RIGGS World Capitol Bureau Inmates will get the funds upon their release, but the withheld amount is too high, critics say. OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma Department of Corrections officials intend to ask lawmakers to reduce the amount of money they will be required to take from the funds inmates receive from relatives and friends. A controversial state law that is set to take effect in January will require the Corrections Department to take 20 percent of all money sent to Oklahoma inmates and deposit it into savings accounts for the prisoners. However, corrections officials said at the agency's monthly meeting Wednesday that they will ask lawmakers during the next legislative session to reduce the amount to 10 percent and to ensure that inmates will receive the interest earned from their accounts. Read more... ***Our opinion *** Posted at 10/19/2006 12:37:00 PM |

Gov. Henry Quietly Ponders White House Bid?

From "While Gov. Henry proceeds to re-election, he also is more intensively examining whether to run for president in 2012, reaching out to Democratic operatives and trying to reconcile the demands of a national campaign on his family," reports party insiders. Gov. Henry "has been having quiet conversations with colleagues and friends about a prospective White House run, but a key concern is whether his wife, Kim, would support it and whether he could manage the time away from their three young daughters." Gov. Henry compares himself to Bill Clinton and thinks he could make a good run for the White House in 2012. His US Senate bid in 2008 is now common knowledge with party insiders." Posted at 10/19/2006 10:39:00 AM |
Wednesday, October 18, 2006 

The Oklahoman Executive Editor Writes Letter To JTFA's Attorney

The Oklahoman has decided to involve itself in the Kim Holland /"Just The Facts America" controversy. For the record, The Oklahoma Political News Service believes the media's role is to report the news, not make the news; but we digress. Sue Hale, Executive Editor of The Oklahoman, has sent a letter to JTFA's attorney Ben Ginsberg complaining about the use of The Oklahoman's nameplate and story in this ad. Mr. Ginsberg writes: "It is surprising to see your newspaper - with its rich history of fighting to protect the first amendment - now attempting to squelch the public's right to hear all sides of an issue of public importance by invoking its own commercial interests in its "copyrighted nameplate and story." (Click here to read entire letter)

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Posted at 10/18/2006 07:59:00 PM |

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn Endorses Todd Hiett

Hosts Medical Community Event; Lawsuit & Healthcare Reform Top Concerns Saying that Todd Hiett represents Oklahoma's best hope for meaningful lawsuit reform, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn today hosted an event with representatives from the state's medical community to support Hiett's campaign for lieutenant governor. "There are some people in this state who would like to forget about the need for lawsuit reform, but working families deserve better access to good doctors and lower health insurance costs," said Sen. Coburn (R-Muskogee). "The old guard in the state Senate will do whatever they can to stop meaningful lawsuit reform, and they've repeatedly blocked it year after year. That's why we must have Todd Hiett in the lieutenant governor's office. There's no other conservative state leader who has done more to advance the cause of lawsuit reform and access to quality health care." Coburn noted that with the balance of control currently razor-thin in the state Senate, "powerful trial lawyers are pulling out all the stops to make sure lawsuit reform doesn't pass." Electing Todd Hiett as lieutenant governor, Coburn said, could "ensure that lawsuit reform passes as well as continuing reform to provide better access to health care." Senator Coburn, a medical doctor himself, said "Oklahoma's abusive junk lawsuit climate punishes good doctors, hikes the cost of health care and hurts our chances for attracting and keeping good jobs. It's time for real reform. It's time to finish the job." Hiett -- Oklahoma's first Republican Speaker in more than 80 years -- thanked Coburn for his support. As Speaker, Hiett repeatedly advanced lawsuit reform in the House, only to see the bills killed in the state Senate. Hiett also enacted significant health care access reforms, including health care savings accounts (HSA's) and the "Rx for Oklahoma" public-private prescription assistance program for needy Oklahomans. Posted at 10/18/2006 06:26:00 PM |

Istook Challenges Henry Over His Record

Congressman Istook and Governor Henry had their first televised debate in Lawton last night. The Congressman challenged Istook over issues such as the state of Oklahoma's economy, education, taxes, and crime. Istook warned that Oklahoma was lagging behind the rest of the country in job growth. He stressed that Oklahoma needs "growth with a purpose" to increase high paying jobs so college graduates will remain in Oklahoma after they graduate. He also said lawsuit reform is vital to bringing more jobs to Oklahoma. Congressman Istook also mentioned that he was kind of "the education father," having sent five children to public schools while in college at the same time. He said he favored a merit-based teacher pay plan over the across-the-board approach approved this year. "Everyone wants teachers to be paid, but that parent involvement and leadership are important along with instilling values in children." He also said the economy is not as strong as Henry claims asking, "Imagine where we'd be if we didn't have an energy boom going on." He also criticized Henry on the explosive growth of government under an Henry administration, saying there had been a 31 percent growth in government. Istook said he would lower taxes further including eliminating the sales tax on groceries. Asked about overcrowding in prisons, Henry said he would continue to "not only be tough on crime but smart on crime." Henry mentioned the increase in drug courts as an alternative to prison but said the state faced some "very difficult decisions on corrections." The Governor has a tough decision soon when the private prison in Hinton evicts 800 prisoners soon. He stopped short of saying he favored building new prisons but said he would work hard for a "consensus on this very difficult issue." Excuse me Governor, where else do you put prisoners? Istook said one thing Oklahoma needs to do is trust juries and blasted Henry over paroling drug dealers. Over 1,500 drug dealers have been paroled during the governor's four years in office. Posted at 10/18/2006 02:26:00 PM |

Where's Mike Mass?

By Doug Russell News Editor McAlester News Capital Did he or didn’t he? The Federal Bureau of Investigation alleges he did, but he can’t be reached to say one way or another. Or even to decline comment. The locally listed number for District 17 state Rep. Mike Mass is no longer in service and he can’t be reached at the state Capitol either. In fact, a Capitol staff member said Monday, “We only hear from him when he calls us. The numbers I have for him don’t work anymore.” No reply was received to an e-mail sent to Mass’ Capitol address, which representatives can access from anywhere there is e-mail capability. Calls to other numbers, for people listed in state documents as treasurers for two of Mass’ campaigns, were also unproductive. Mass and two other state lawmakers, former state Reps. Randall Erwin and Jerry Hefner, are accused of profiting from companies that received special project money from the state; money the lawmakers themselves had funneled to the companies. Read more... Posted at 10/18/2006 01:34:00 PM |

Open Letter To Kim Holland From A Concerned Citizen

From Questions for Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland to Answer Why is the family photo that appears on your campaign website incomplete? From the photo on your website, it looks like you are married to Jim East. Why don’t you use your married name? Where did you attend high school, and when did you graduate? Where did you attend college, and what was your degree? Why did you represent on a 1981 insurance application to the Oklahoma Insurance Department that you had eight (8) years experience when you did not? In 1996 you represented you had fifteen (15) years experience. If the 1981 application was correct, then you would have had 23 years experience, not 15. How do you reconcile these numbers? Why did you allow your Chief of Staff to be absent from the office for a weeklong trip to Maui, while submitting a timesheet signed by you that showed he was in the office? Is it true you have a gay activist as your campaign manager? When you were first appointed, why were your first hires all for political help? Don’t you think it would have been more appropriate to hire staff with insurance knowledge and experience? Why do you assign certain staff members to work on political fundraisers for your campaign while they are paid to do work for the State of Oklahoma?" Read more...


Posted at 10/18/2006 12:49:00 PM |

Kim Holland Being Sued By Former Executive Administrative Assistant

From The McCarville Report Online: Fired Insurance Department Executive Assistant Claims Holland Uses Office, Staff To Run Campaign, Altered Records To Cover It Up "The former executive administrative assistant to Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland has filed a $175,000 Tort Claims Act complaint alleging, among other things, that Holland has used the Insurance Department offices, and employees she hired, to run her election campaign and that records have been altered to cover it up. Karen Russell filed the claim on October 10th with the Office of Risk Management in the Department of Central Services. She writes that she was fired in November 2005 by Craig Knutson, Holland's chief of staff." Read more...


Posted at 10/18/2006 12:33:00 PM |
Tuesday, October 17, 2006 

Free Speech? What Free Speech?

According to our sources, last Friday Kim Holland had Richard Mildren, a lawyer with Riggs Abney, write threatening letters to "Just The Facts America" demanding that TV stations pull this ad off the air. Mildren claimed that the ads were "electioneering communications" and that they violated provisions of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission Act. "Kim Holland appreciates the unique democratic process which welcomes a vigorous campaign," Mildren stated, and then he urged the stations to "cease and desist running any political commercial from Just the Facts America." Curiously, following his client's lead, he did not deny one single allegation in the JTFA communications. Yesterday, Just the Facts America's lawyer - the esteemed constitutional lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg - responded with this letter to station managers.


Posted at 10/17/2006 01:25:00 PM |

Cherokee Nation Rejects Hike In Minimum Wage

Here's an interesting irony. One of the democratic Party's main wedge issues they bring out every election against Republicans is the minimum wage. Not understanding that the free market is the best determiner of wages not pampered and overpaid politicians in Washington, they do understand that class warfare politics appeals to their base. According to this AP article, Native Americans overwhelmingly support financially Democrats in Oklahoma. You would think that would mean they would be supporters of raising the minimum wage. Apparently not. Cherokee tribal councilors failed Monday night to override Principal Chief Chad Smith's veto of a proposed minimum wage increase. Maybe the tribe understands that, regardless of the "feel goodism" of raising the minimum wage, raising the minimum wage actually hurts employment more than it would help? Posted at 10/17/2006 12:50:00 PM |

From The Tip Line: "Sorry Cal, Not this time! , I WILL NOT BE Stamping The Rooster!"

A reader responds to Cal Hobson's call for unity For the first time in my life, I WILL NOT BE STAMPING THE ROOSTER! I live in Senate District 16 and got [a] letter in the mail about putting away my hate for John Sparks, so that Democrats can keep its majority in the senate. I DO NOT CARE IF WE LOSE THE SENATE! Because it will not [be] the fault of the voters who have every right to make their own independent decision. If we lose the Senate then just maybe it was because of bad candidates who are morally corrupt? Or because a consultant is perfectly fine with doing anything to win no matter who gets hurt in the process. IF we do not keep the senate then the blame should be place[d] squarely at the feet of the people who did something wrong. John Sparks and his band of terrorists. The voter is not to blame if we don't win. I'm really frustrated with all the pressure being placed on those of us who are not willing to sacrifice our own integrity just to get a Democrats elected - it's being made to sound like if Sparks' doesn't win it will be the fault of those of us who just can't stomach what came out of his campaign against Tim Emrich! I have also talked to many friends who say they are now being pressured to put their personal integrity and outrage aside in order to ensure that the dems keep SD16. If there is a loss, turn to Sparks - not those of us who hold integrity and honesty higher than getting any old dem elected! John Sparks was responsible for one of the dirtiest local campaigns in recent memory. A steady stream of attacks twisted the truth and smeared the character of his opponent Tim Emrich. Worst of all were the "push polls," which posed as poll-taking in order to enhance whisper campaigns against Emrich. Here are the facts, To the best of my knowledge: 1. The world is not going to end if the repubs win SD16. 2. John Sparks has not made any public statements stating that he has absolutely no knowledge of who was behind the devastating smear campaign against Tim Emrich. Nor did he do anything publicly to stop it. 3. John Sparks has not publicly responded to the ad placed in the Norman Transcript on August 27th by the Citizens for Campaign Integrity. 4. John Sparks did not sign the Clean Campaign Pledge - Tim Emrich and Derrick Ott did. 5. John Sparks has not responded to a simple 2 question e-mail sent by this author regarding his position on those issues. 6. Sparks appears to not be very concerned about proving he was NOT involve[d] in the personal attacks on Tim Emrich. Those Democrats who believe that what happened to Tim Emrich during the run-off campaign should not be so easily forgotten nor ignored should NOT be intimidated into supporting someone they feel conducted an unethical campaign! The guilt that is trying to be pushed by saying 'if Sparks' loses it will be because the Emrich supporters didn't get on board is insulting! If Sparks' loses it will be because an unethical campaign was conducted. Those Democrats who understand and care about what this has done to Tim Emrich and his family are to be applauded and more importantly respected and if they want to make a stand for intolerable campaigning tactics by withholding a vote for Sparks then let them make that choice - let them stay true to their own values and principles without being touted as disloyal to the party! Please, Cal, STOP badgering and intimidating them! I work hard for progressive causes, and I feel like the ODP have not been too helpful in getting real Democrats in to office. We all know that Tim Emrich was that candidate! Also with Sparks, family tie to Tom Cole and with his friendship to Scott Martin and with what He said to VAN in 2004, I DO NOT TRUST him! Shame on you John Sparks and shame on everyone who helped John Sparks steal an election. And now, I have hear that a "push polls" is being ran on the repub Ron Davis in Senate District 16. John Sparks refused to take responsibility for his own campaigns reprehensible tactics. I will NOT be VOTING for John Sparks! Posted at 10/17/2006 12:15:00 PM |

Hiett Campaign Sending Spam?

Here we go again. More foilbles in the Hiett campaign. IT investigating campaign e-mail Jordan Janosek-Albright Contributing Writer IT Systems Security is investigating why an e-mail from the Todd Hiett for Lieutenant Governor campaign was recently received unsolicited by students and faculty. The e-mail, with the subject “Senator Inhofe Endorses Hiett,” was received by many on Oct. 13. The e-mail raised concerns that the Oklahoma State University system was being used to promote campaign propaganda. Eric Maynard, interim security officer for IT said, “The spam filtering system quarantines an average of 1.1 million spam messages per day for the OSU community. “Approximately 86% of all inbound messages are spam.” Hiett, R-Kellyville, is the republican candidate running for Lieutenant Governor. Hiett is Speaker in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla, is one of the two Oklahoma senators in the U.S. Senate. Maynard said the investigation should be complete by this afternoon. Carrie Hulsey-Greene, associate director for OSU communications, said OSU does not have a policy of selling or providing OSU e-mail addresses to third-parties. However, as the e-mail addresses are public record and available online, anyone can add them to mailing lists. William Henley, professor and head of botany, received the e-mail. He said he considered the message spam and was frustrated he received it as he did not give out his address. He said his e-mail is used for official purposes. Sara Pawelka, Hiett’s campaign manager, said, as they are a grassroots organization, they receive e-mail lists from many sources. They receive lists from other grassroots organizations and in the e-mail itself people can sign up friends. She said, when people call or e-mail to have their addresses removed, she purges them from the list immediately. Pawelka said the campaign did not want to clutter people’s inboxes. Read more... Posted at 10/17/2006 11:59:00 AM |

Istook Criticizes Henry For Early Paroles

At a Capitol news conference yesterday, Representative Ernest Istook criticized Governor Henry for paroling more than 1,500 drug dealers. According to Istook, most of those paroled only served a third of their sentences and were repeat offenders. Crime has been rising at alarming levels under Governor Henry's administration. "That is an awfully liberal record," he said. "It puts our kids at risk when drug dealers are put back on the streets so quickly." Last week, the Department of corrections couldn't come to terms with a private prison in Hinton, so the state will have to find beds for 800 prisoners. The current Oklahoma prison capacity is 98% with 100% capacity expected early next year. Henry released this ad touting his accomplishment of reducing meth labs in Oklahoma. It seems like a mixed message when you're releasing drug dealers early from their sentences. Posted at 10/17/2006 09:56:00 AM |
Monday, October 16, 2006 

EXCLUSIVE: GOP’s Funk Raises Salary, Not Confidence

New revelations threaten to sink grassroots effort among party faithful

According to a copy of the Oklahoma Republican Victory 2006 budget obtained exclusively by the Oklahoma Political News Service, Victory Director Marsha Funk earns $5,625 per month ($67,500 per year), nearly twice the $3,161 per month ($37,932) Funk earned as manager of the failed Bode for Congress campaign earlier this year, Federal Election Commission records show. Additionally, Funk is afforded a $500 personal expense account and an additional $1,000 in staff expenses, according to the budget.

“Victory” is a biennial program of the Oklahoma Republican Party designed to turn out the Republican base on Election Day and help finance Republican candidates around the state.

In addition to questions over her salary, new evidence shows that Funk and party chairman Tom Daxon may be overstating Funk’s qualifications. Daxon introduces Funk as a former “senior manager” from IBM. According to a catalog of IBM personnel, she in fact served as one of over a dozen regional middle-managers in an IBM web sales division. Furthermore, according to a 2004 FEC contribution disclosure report, Funk herself didn’t list her IBM position as management, instead saying she worked in “Marketing.”

Prior to her appointment as Victory director, rumors of the impending announcement caused a firestorm among Republican activists and party faithful, who questioned the qualifications of Funk, a sorority sister of Denise Bode.

Funk’s appointment to lead the state GOP’s Victory efforts did nothing to quell any concerns from party leaders. With Election Day looming less than 25 days away, most say they are skeptical the ambitious timetable and expensive budget will yield any real results.

Oklahoma Political News Service could not find a single Republican candidate who said they have been beneficiaries of the program. In fact, many candidates indicated they are not relying on the program at all, and have had no contact from Funk as to how her efforts specifically aid their campaigns. Some even said they had been told outright they would not be helped. All agreed that if a detailed Victory plan existed, it had not been made available to them. This isn’t the first time activists and candidates have stepped forward to voice their concerns. The Oklahoma Political News Service has documented the ongoing Victory program challenges (see “EXCLUSIVE: House, Senate GOP Dumps Daxon Over Victory ‘06” and “Victory 2006 Chair Takes Vacation 45 Days Before Election").

The Oklahoma Political News Service will continue to track this story through Election Day and beyond.

Posted at 10/16/2006 02:01:00 PM |

Sex With Clients, Sex Ratings List, 'Light Bulb Bombs' Put Sparks In Shawnee Democrat's Campaign For The State House

From The McCarville Report Online: "Sex with law clients, a sex ratings list, domestic disturbance police reports and "light bulb bombs" in his house are providing salacious sparks in Shawnee, where lawyer Joe Freeman finds himself whispered about as he seeks to win a seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives." Read more... Posted at 10/16/2006 01:37:00 PM |

Hobson Seeking Unity In District 16

The Norman Transcript Longtime area legislator Cal Hobson stayed out of the this summer's primary and runoff contests waged by the men who sought to replace him. He had his own lieutenant governor's race to manage. Now, with the general election only weeks away, Sen. Hobson is working to elect John Sparks to the District 16 Senate seat. Sen. Hobson is trying to bring some unity to a race where the divisions run so deep many supporters of defeated runoff candidate Tim Emrich leave their yard signs up in protest. (Some have even called to get replacement signs when theirs become weathered). Read more... Posted at 10/16/2006 01:18:00 PM |

State Auditor Confirms FBI Interview/Denies He's a Target

The FBI has interviewed him about his ties to three southeast Oklahoma Democrats and an Antlers businessman under government probe, confirms State Auditor Jeff McMahan. But he denies he is a target of the probe and blames his problems on his Republican opponent. "There was (sic) two gentlemen that I visited with. But they just asked me what kind of relationship or connection that I have with the sub-state planning districts," explained McMahan. "I said none." He went on to say he explained to the agents how certain legislative funds pass through his office but are distributed equally to the planning districts. "What the deal is," said McMahan, "I took legal campaign contributions from individuals that live in the southeast part of the state. Perfectly legal contributions who get absolutely nothing in return but good government." He blames his problems on his Republican challenger Gary Jones. "He just, he just keeps trying to tie me to these individuals from southeast Oklahoma. It can't be done because we've given no favors." Read more... Posted at 10/16/2006 01:06:00 PM |

"What Happened To The News?"

The Oklahoma Political News Service has documented the biases of the state's two major newspapers. (example) Another recent example is this Norman Transcript reporter who falls all over himself to apologize to State Auditor & Inspector Jeff McMahan over a quote he inadvertently attributed to McMahan, but he does no subsequent follow up on this alleged scandal involving McMahan. They seem to forget - like the mainstream press in general - that there are now alternative sources of news and information for the public. By the time they have the story in tomorrow's edition, we and other alternative media outlets, have already posted it and have started the discussion among the electorate. There is an interesting eight minute video documentary that chronicles the downfall of the "old media." On the EPIC 2014 website it simply says this: "In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline. The fourth estate's fortunes have waned. What happened to the news?" If you're reading this blog and other blogs, you already know. More: How a Blogger Put Himself in the Middle of Mark Foley Story Posted at 10/16/2006 11:42:00 AM |

Membership Of OSU Regents Again Under Fire

By APRIL MARCISZEWSKI World Staff Writer Critics say the current lineup violates laws that say most of the appointees should be farmers. The Oklahoma Farm Bureau has argued for years to the governor and state legislators that Oklahoma State University's governing board is unconstitutional because most of its members are not farmers, the bureau's president said. The issue resurfaced recently after the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents sued a real estate investor, McCloskey Brothers Inc., to get the last piece of land OSU wants for its five-year projects in its Athletic Village, just north of its Stillwater campus. Read more... Posted at 10/16/2006 10:30:00 AM |
Sunday, October 15, 2006 

Holland Responds To "Just The Facts America" Ad

Appointed Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland responds to this ad, then asks for money. Dear Friends, This morning, a television ad attacking me ran on network television channels in Oklahoma. Hiding behind the secret funding of an illegal entity that’s not regulated by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, lies and personal attacks have been used to try to discredit me and my efforts to restore integrity to the Insurance Department. Read more... (5th post down)


Posted at 10/15/2006 03:49:00 PM |

Istook Hits Streets In Search Of Votes

SKIATOOK, Okla. (AP) _ Republican Ernest Istook, dressed in a windbreaker and khaki slacks, jaunts quickly between Mac's Barbecue and Ron's Hamburgers on a cool October day, trying to catch noontime diners to tell them why they should vote for him for governor. The veteran Republican congressman, his brown shoes scuffed from brushing street curbs, is trying to make up ground on Democratic incumbent Brad Henry the old-fashioned way with long days of personal campaigning. Read more... Posted at 10/15/2006 03:34:00 PM |

Phipps, Mass, Erwin, & Hefner Implicated


Rep. Lindley Violating Ethics Rules? - which was busted last month for knowingly posting a highly edited recording of OKC DA Wes Lane - has posted this letter attacking Mike Christian in a very personal way. Christian is challenging 10-year incumbent and liberal Democrat Al Lindley. Sources tell the Oklahoma Political News Service that polling shows him in an extremely vulnerable position. The letter attacking Mike Christian is designed to appear as if it comes from a random voter in the district, not from Al Lindley. In fact, sources have disclosed to OKPNS, that Lindley is telling voters he had no idea this was going on and disavows all knowledge of the attack. The mail piece does not bear a "paid for by" disclaimer, as is required by Oklahoma Ethics laws. Upon closer inspection, a diligent observer will notice two things: (1) the "random" voter is in fact the husband of Al Lindley's campaign treasurer Wanda Jo Stapleton (formerly the Democrat rep from HD 93, and (2) the mail piece has the same permit number as all other Al Lindley mail pieces, which can only mean it was paid for and mailed by the same account. In our opinion, Rep. Lindley has violated ethics rules by not including a "paid for by" disclaimer on a personal attack mail piece, and he is deceiving voters by lying about his actions. Posted at 10/15/2006 02:21:00 PM |

Legislative Leaders Become Top Campaign Fundraisers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Leaders of Oklahoma's House and Senate are setting the pace in campaign fund-raising for next month's general election. High-ranking state senators and representatives have amassed campaign accounts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, even when they face poorly financed opponents or none at all. Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan of Stillwater raised more than 445-thousand dollars between January 1st, 2003, and December 31st, 2004. The Senate's Democratic leader, term-limited in 2008, beat Stillwater Republican Chuck Brewer, who raised about 39-thousand dollars during the same period. Republican House speaker-designee Lance Cargill of Harrah, majority floor leader in 2005 and part of 2006, has raised at least 279-thousand dollars since January 1st, 2005. Posted at 10/15/2006 12:05:00 PM |
Friday, October 13, 2006 

"Just The Facts America" Launches Issues Education Campaign In Oklahoma

A national organization promoting the common business interests of its members has begun an informational issues education campaign in Oklahoma. Texas-based “Just the Facts America” has begun an informational issues education campaign that features television ads that direct concerned citizens to an interactive website for more details. Oklahoma is the first state in which the organization has chosen to become involved. Just the Facts America is not affiliated with any party or candidate whatsoever. “Our nation’s citizens and commerce need and require government leaders across the country to maintain ethical, professional conduct, be truthful about their policies and programs and show integrity and openness with respect to their motives in proposing certain policies and programs,” says Austin business leader Jim Cardle, a Founding Director of Just the Facts America. Interested citizens may direct their web browsers to for more about the group and campaign. Posted at 10/13/2006 03:03:00 PM |

Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland Unqualified?

From the Oklahoma Secrets website: "The Oklahoma Insurance Department requires a college degree for many staff positions, but Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland doesn't even meet the minimum qualifications to work in her own office. She has no formal education beyond high school." Read more...


Posted at 10/13/2006 03:00:00 PM |

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