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Thursday, June 28, 2007 

Inhofe Praises Immigration Bill’s Defeat

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today lauded the defeat of the 2007 Immigration Reform bill (S.1639) after a fourth cloture vote failed to pass the Senate: “Today’s defeat of the Senate Immigration Bill is a victory for the American people, the integrity of our borders and the rule of law. For the past several weeks, a small cadre of Senators have manipulated the traditional legislative processes, strangled debate, and prevented the introduction of worthwhile amendments. In doing so, they turned a deaf ear to the will of the American people and the overwhelming sentiment of their constituents. “Thankfully, Americans of all stripes weighed in on this issue, influencing Congressional opinions and helping to once again defeat this bill. “Despite its proponents’ claims to the contrary, the Senate immigration legislation was fatally flawed from day one. Since its inception, this legislation has failed to address the key issues of concern for almost all Americans: the enhancement of border security and the enforcement of current immigration laws. “From the beginning of this debate, I have stated that I would vehemently oppose any immigration legislation that guarantees amnesty for illegal immigrants, unfairly burdens taxpayers or fails to secure our borders. In the wake of this latest vote against amnesty, I sincerely hope the Senate will now turn its attention and efforts toward meaningful immigration reform. It is clear that in the future we must deal with the issue of illegal immigration by focusing first on securing our borders - without a path to amnesty.”

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Posted at 6/28/2007 12:35:00 PM |

Benefit for USS Oklahoma Memorial July 1st

A benefit concert will be held July 1st at the Crossroads Church in Oklahoma City to help raise money for the USS Oklahoma Memorial fund. Governor Henry, Congressman Cole, fmr. Congressman J.C. Watts, and many state elected officials are planning to attend. Oklahoma native Ms. Anita Bryant will be performing at 5 pm, followed by "South OKC's best fireworks show." There will also be a tiger show and inflatables for the kids, a professional BMX stunt group, and plenty to eat and drink. Along with Sen. Jim Reynolds, another organizer of the event is District 45 Senate candidate Kyle Loveless. Loveless explains his involvement in the benefit: "I was humbled that I was asked to participate in this effort. I have been supportive for years, ever since they first came to me in Congressman Istook’s office; and I was humbled that my church asked me to help." For more information, you can visit the church's website at:

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Posted at 6/28/2007 10:11:00 AM |
Wednesday, June 27, 2007 

A Video Message from Senator Inhofe

Pease watch the below video thank you from Sen Inhofe as he delivers the first batch of 70,000 petitions to Senators.

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Posted at 6/27/2007 08:15:00 PM |

OK Legislators' Blog: School Funding & Teacher Retirement

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant Hello again, everybody! Even though the Legislature is adjourned for the year, events happen that will have an affect on issues important to the people I represent. On education, there is a “good news-bad news” story for the people of rural Oklahoma and the children who attend rural public schools. The good news comes from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which struck down an initiative petition that had the potential to devastate many small school districts. The proposal, led by a failed candidate for governor, is called the “65 percent solution.” It would require 65 percent of school operational funding be spent in the classroom. On the surface that sounds like a good idea. Read more... By Rep. Jason Murphey One of the biggest road blocks to government reform is the approximate 7 billion dollar liability that exists in the Teachers' Retirement System. The problem is, these are benefits that the state does not currently have to give. We have this problem because liberal big-spending politicians have irresponsibly increased benefits without paying for them. Since 1991, the Legislature has increased the unfunded liability in the Teacher Retirement System fourteen times. The increase in the unfunded liability, due to legislation from 1991 to 2005, has been $1.3 billion. The result is that the Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System is the third most poorly funded public pension system in the country. This year liberal politicians sponsored at least ten bills to increase benefits without finding new ways to dedicate resources or reform the system. Read more...

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Posted at 6/27/2007 02:28:00 PM |

Who Drives This Van?

Photo courtesy of Comments from okdemocratcom: "Notice The Oklahoma State Tag!!!" "What does that say, "OKLAHOMA STATE COMMANDER" on the passenger door, oh my!" "Perhaps the Disabled Veterans Committee is a subsidiary of the Oklahoma State Dept. of Veterans' Affairs. It would not surprise me if that were the case. The way our Guv and Repub Legislature give away our hard-earned tax money for their pet Special Interests. It just don't seem right. Maybe Sen. Randy Brogdan's (R-Owasso) Tax Accountablility Act and TABOR Initiative are beginning to look a whole lot more fiscally responsible." Read more...
Posted at 6/27/2007 01:35:00 PM |

The Daily Byte - June 27, 2007

Oklahoma County government has seemingly been in a constant state of change or commotion since January of 2005. It was in that month that my former boss, Stan Inman, led the effort to eliminate the budget board system and give commissioners more control over the budgeting process of the county. This was a very unpopular decision with the other county officials, who believed they were being excluded from the process. From that point forward, there were numerous public disputes between the Board of County Commissioners and the other county officials – including a lawsuit against the Board – and culminating in Stan’s electoral defeat last fall. It was supposed that with a new commissioner things would quiet down at the county. However, this year we have seen charges brought against Commissioner Rinehart for campaign violations, and we are in the middle of a special election to fill the seat of Commissioner Roth, who was appointed to the Corporation Commission. So the turmoil continues. If Commissioner Rinehart is convicted (and I’m not making any assumptions one way or another), there may be another special election for his seat as well. Interestingly enough, despite all of the commotion surrounding or between county officials, the actual work of the county continues to be performed. Some have argued that this reflects the little value of having elected officials in many of these positions. In fact, Commissioner Roth was a strong advocate for changing the entire system of county government. But the drive for that kind of reform has perhaps vanished with Roth’s departure from the Board of County Commissioners. It is often our perception that whatever is happening now is the best or worst that things have ever been. In this case, people make comments like “This is the worst I have ever seen it in county government,” or “It’s never been this bad.” But the truth is, it has been at least this bad, if not worse. Three were multiple county officials indicted in both the eighties and nineties, and friction between elected officials has cost more than one commissioner their seat before. And I think the system is designed to create friction between county officials. We’ve invited Oklahoma County Treasurer Forrest “Butch” Freeman on to the program today to give us more of a historical perspective on county government, as well as to get his thoughts on the upcoming special election, the charges against Commissioner Rinehart, the as-of-yet unsolved issue of the county jail, and whether or not he believes the continued upheaval gives credence to those, like Commissioner Roth, who have argued for a change in the system f county government. Treasurer Freeman is the “Dean” of county officials in Oklahoma County, and has seen quite a lot of change since he first took office in the early 1990s. he certainly knows county government inside and out. Freeman has not only been a serious power broker (my term – not his) in county government, but he has been heavily involved in legislative issues for county governments across the state. He chaired the County Government Legislative Committee (CGLC) for a time. The CGLC is the lobbying arm for county governments across the state. Its influence is well recognized by legislators of both parties. On a personal note, Treasurer Freeman may be the most friendly and upbeat elected official at any level. I have never seen him turn away someone from his office. He usually has a big smile on his face and he enjoys visiting with people. I believe he still works his own counters from time-to-time, assisting constituents with their questions, complaints, or concerns. Posted at 6/27/2007 01:22:00 PM |

New Site Breaks "Future News"

Our Buddy Jimmie Martin over at Oklahoma Opinions has started a new blog called "Breaking Future News." It is a much needed satirical sabbatical from the daily news of murder, mayhem, and our elected officials who no longer feel they need to pay attention to us. Martin describes his new venture as "a look at present trends and individuals and a wild guess at future news events!" He even takes a shot at himself by proclaiming, "misspelings and gramatical errors are a signature literary techinque of the blogmaster." Here is a sample of what you'll find on the site. Enjoy! Marriage Declared Illegal In a close vote the Senate of the United States passed the "Marriage Annulment Act of 2012" today which prohibits future marriages and declares those presently in place annulled. The bill was sponsored by a consortium of groups including the ACLU, UN Commission on the family, Planned Parenthood, labor groups and the NEA. In a prepared statement the executive committee of the NEA, speaking for the consortium said that irreparable harm is being done to single parent children. "It is just not fair for some to have two parents and we must level the playing field so that one parent children will have the same self respect and monetary benefits that double parent members enjoy.
FEMA has been instructed to provide mobile homes to the fathers who must move out of the two parent homes. Same sex couples were exempted from the provisions of the bill.President Hillary R. Clinton favors the bill as does United Nations Secretary Bill Clinton who was the principle author.


Posted at 6/27/2007 01:04:00 PM |

Inhofe Statement on Immigration Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement in response to today’s vote to invoke cloture on the 2007 Immigration Reform Bill which passed 64-35: “I am very disappointed in the outcome of today’s vote. A vote for this motion to invoke cloture is just one step closer to a vote for amnesty. Thirty hours of debate and a limited amount of amendments will not change the underlying nature of this bill. I have long said that I will not support any measure that allows illegal immigrants to shortcut the current path to citizenship and I will continue to fight to expose the flaws in this bill, helping to defeat this egregious gift of amnesty to 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants. “It’s time for the Senate to listen to their constituents. The American public does not want this so-called immigration fix. What they want and what they deserve is for the federal government to secure the borders and enforce the rule of law – both of which can be achieved without an additional 800 pages of new legislation.”

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Posted at 6/27/2007 12:55:00 PM |
Monday, June 25, 2007 

NRSC Starts New Website: "The Cost Of Democrats.Com"

There is a perception (and it's correct) that the left has been far more effective at harnessing the power of the Internet for grassroots organizing and fundraising. They've even coined a new phrase for their activists calling them the "netroots." The technology gap was even more evident after the first quarter fundraising reports were released. Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama raised tremendous sums on the Internet, but that wasn't the underlying story. The story was that Clinton had amassed 50,000 + contributors while Obama doubled her amount with over 100,000. As has been widely reported, Obama's contributors gave in small amounts, which makes them eligible to keep giving and giving until they reach campaign finance limits. We received an email recently from the National Republican Senatorial Committee that suggests the Republican Party - specifically the Senatorial Committee -is making a serious effort to close that gap and compete with the Democrats on the Internet. We've learned the committee has an "e-press secretary" that monitors the blogs, and, they've started a new site called "Cost of" The site claims that in the first 100 days of Democratic Senate control, they have passed a "$700 billion dollar tax increase." According to the site, that would equate to an extra 2,500 on the average Oklahoman. There are other features on the site including videos and links to other blogs. The RNC has a lot of ground to make up, but this is an encouraging start.

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Posted at 6/25/2007 04:38:00 PM |

Letter From Sen. Inhofe

Hat tip: Oklahoma Opinions We reported to you last week that Sen. Inhofe was starting an online petition for Americans to voice their displeasure at the resurrection of the "Shamesty Bill" in the Senate. The above map shows the response so far. Below is a letter from Sen. Inhofe: Word is already spreading around Washington about our efforts to stop this immigration bill, and every day we're closer to victory. It is my hope I can write to you a week or two from now to celebrate the defeat of this bill and a renewed focus on border security and the enforcement of exiting immigration laws. In addition to sharing the good news, I'm writing to you today for two reasons: Our work isn't done yet. There is plenty of time for more 'closed-door' deals and the pressure on undecided Senators right now is incredible. Let's keep building on the early success of the petition by inviting five friends to join us in signing it. Click here to use our Forward to a Friend page. We've provided the invitation text; all you need to do is provide email addresses. I also want to share with you a new Secure Borders Now Blog that will keep you informed on the latest immigration bill details. I'll keep track of all upcoming votes, speeches and news, and shine a light on the bill's progress through the Senate. I'm specifically sharing the link with folks who have signed the petition because I want you to help spread the word and keep our citizens up to date with the latest information. Click here to read the Secure Borders Now Blog. Thank you again for your help in making the petition a tremendous success in such a short period of time. The word is getting out through your e-mails, word of mouth, in blogs, and in forums. It's humbling to be reminded in such a powerful way that elected officials are responsible to those who elected us. I'm proud to be able to serve Oklahomans and so many Americans across the country on this issue in the U.S. Senate. Best wishes, Jim Inhofe

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Posted at 6/25/2007 03:47:00 PM |

Rep. Terrill Quoted in Washington Post

With the Senate taking up the illegal immigration bill once again, the Washington Post reports that over 1,100 pieces of legislation were written in the state legislatures this year to address the problem. Rep. Terrill's quotes from the article are below:

"Illegal immigrants will not come to Oklahoma if there are no jobs waiting for them," said state Rep. Randy Terrill (R), who wrote his state's law, one of the most sweeping in the country. "They will not stay here if there are no government subsidies, and they certainly will not stay here if they know that if they come in contact with one of our officers, they will be physically detained until they are deported." Read more...

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Posted at 6/25/2007 03:33:00 PM |

OKGOP Chairman: "Special Prosecutor Needed to Probe Campaign Contributions"

Contact: Gary Jones June 25, 2007 405-528-3501 This Wednesday Steve Phipps is scheduled to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement with the United States Government in connection with an FBI investigation of political corruption in Southeast Oklahoma. His estranged business partner, former Democratic State Senator Gene Stipe, will be back in court Thursday for a probation revocation hearing. Stipe, who is in the midst of a 5 year-probation sentence for illegal campaign activities, appears to be facing the judge in connection to similar charges of illegally funneling contributions to Congressman Dan Boren’s 2004 congressional campaign. The federal investigation into the corrupt political shenanigans of Gene Stipe has sparked a grassfire of additional illegal activities and has grown to include a number of high level Democrats. While the federal government is doing its job, the same can not be said of the State of Oklahoma. While federal prosecutors are handing out indictments for federal crimes, justice will not be served without a state investigation and charges sought at that level. The feds have filed charges in connection with donations to Boren, but what about more than a hundred thousand dollars in contributions to State Auditor Jeff McMahan, Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Governor Brad Henry? To add insult to injury it appears that it was our own state tax dollars illegally funneled into these campaigns. The Oklahoma officials normally responsible for investigating and prosecuting state related crimes have been implicated and may very well be involved themselves. It is imperative that Governor Brad Henry name a special prosecutor to pursue charges in this corruption ring. Attorney General Drew Edmondson has made comments that state charges may be pursued. However, he himself has been caught up in the straw donor scam along with the state auditor, not to mention the Democrat Leader of the Oklahoma Senate, Mike Morgan. It's time for an independent state investigation. It’s time for Governor Henry to show leadership and name a special prosecutor. We need someone to investigate these crimes and stop those who are abusing our state and our citizens. Sadly, political corruption has been a part of our past hundred years. It need not be tolerated in our future. Related BUBBAWORLD dot NET: "Big Week for Gene Stipe"

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Posted at 6/25/2007 01:50:00 PM |
Thursday, June 21, 2007 

Should Journalists Donate to Campaigns? MSNBC Research Reveals Journalist Gave 9-1 to Democrats

Elk City News Publisher Donated $2,500 to AG Edmondson in '06

Edmondson Accepts Contributions from Tulsa World Chairman in '06; Also Receives Paper's Endorsement

Anyone who reads the Oklahoma Political News Service regularly knows that we have railed for months on the incestuous relationship between the Oklahoma Media and Oklahoma Politicians - particularly Democratic ones. We always felt it was unethical for a member or owner of the media to be contributing to a politician's campaigns.

Today, the MSNBC website has published a list of more than 140 journalists who donated to political candidates in the last three years. The network counted donations from 2004 to 2007, and listed journalists in every discipline – from public radio to online. The sample found that the journalist gave 9-1 to Democrats. Surprise, surprise!

The political reporter for the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote this today regarding her and other journalists giving money to politicians: "The Post-Dispatch has had a written policy for some time that bars or discourages (depends on staff member’s position) campaign contributions or public political activity, while also reaffirming journalists’ right to participate in the political process (voting.) Most reporters in the industry — (there’s tens of thousands) — do not donate money to political candidates, because of concerns about public perception of bias. The St. Louis chapter of the Newspaper Guild, the union which represents reporters and others at the Post-Dispatch, also has a provision in its by-laws that the chapter will make no political contributions."

Maybe the Oklahoma media could take a lesson or two here. Just a thought.


Posted at 6/21/2007 07:32:00 PM |
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 

Inhofe Launches Secure Borders Petition

Oklahoma Senior Senator Jim Inhofe recently announced the creation of an online "Secure Borders Now" petition that invites all American citizens who oppose the comprehensive immigration reform bill set to be resurrected in the Senate this week or next. Senator Inhofe, as quoted in a campaign press announcement: “Unfortunately it appears many in the Senate remain deaf to the voices of the American people, as yet another backroom deal has emerged designed to revive the fatally flawed immigration bill and its immediate path to amnesty. The ‘Secure Borders Now’ petition gives Americans an opportunity to voice their opposition. I hope my constituents and citizens from all across our country will take action, sign the petition and show how many Americans are strongly opposed to this bill.” According to a representative from the campaign, the petition has already generated thousands of signatures from across the country since its launch last Friday. The petition remains available online at Posted at 6/19/2007 02:23:00 PM |
Friday, June 15, 2007 

Tip Line: Reader Questions Foshee's Campaign Strategy

A reader sent us their opinion of this story in The Oklahoman today. Once an ambulance chaser, always an ambulance chaser? "A former city councilman, accompanied by a woman whose husband and son died in a crossover collision last month, called on the state Thursday to install median safety barriers on Interstate 44 in South Oklahoma City. But the work already is planned. Jerry Foshee said the deaths on May 17 of Michael Tiderman, 38, a firefighter, and his son Justin, 11, were preventable if safety barriers had been in place when a car crossed the median and crashed into their vehicle on I-44 near SW 119." Read more... "HMM, Interesting, since if you read the story THEY ARE ALREADY PLANNED TO GO UP. So I guess his strategy is, find out when projects are started and almost finished, hold a press conference so he can claim credit. Never mind he never bothered to contact ODOT, but conisdering his "experience" on the OKC council, I would guess he knew they were coming. If you check out also ODOT's five year plan online, they are slotted for installation in August or September of this year! What a blowhard Never mind he is using the death of a Firefighter for his political gain." The Oklahoma Politcal News Service always welcomes tips and commentary from our readers. Thanks!

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Posted at 6/15/2007 06:55:00 PM |

84 Days & Counting: Where'd You Go On Your Last Vacation Governor?

"Most of us in this chamber are here because our constituents sent us here. They placed their trust in us, and in return we must pledge to them a government of complete openness and transparency." Gov. Brad Henry - 2007 State of the State Address "Henry spokesman Paul Sund says the location of first family outings are kept secret to avoid interruptions from people who want to talk or perhaps have dinner with the governor. Sund says the governor's office will reveal the location when the governor returns..." (AP) March 23, 2007

Because we didn't post yesterday, we missed this story of Governor Henry and the First Lady's pending "church mission" trip to Ghana to distribute mosquito nets. Now it's hard to be cynical -especially when the Lord is involved - but this "church mission"/vacation comes almost three months since their mysterious vacation to Mexico. You remember, the trip the Governor promised to disclose the details of once he returned (84 days and counting)- but never did. Send us a postcard Governor, as the picture above demonstrates, Ghana is beautiful.


Posted at 6/15/2007 06:26:00 PM |

Seven Reasons Why You Should Care About the Cherokee Tribal Elections

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from The Local Crank. He is a Cherokee, a lawyer, and a Stacy Leeds supporter. You can usually catch him at his site. 1) Judge Stacy Leeds is a progressive candidate with a plan to diversify the tribal economy (ending its current dependence on Federal hand-outs and casino revenues), and to better serve the 260,000 Cherokee by forming a tribal credit union and an insurance company, pro-active uses of tribal sovereignty. She wrote the opinion the re-affirmed the Freedmen’s status as Cherokee citizens and wrote the dissent criticizing the petition drive to kick them out. 2) That petition drive was riddled with fraud, “painfully obvious” forgeries and a “conscious and deliberate…disregard for following the law.” Not to mention some of the truly ugly racist attacks that were launched against the Freedmen in the ensuing election.

3) The Tribal Council took just 35 seconds to add another Constitutional Amendment to the June 23rd election in an attempt to keep the Freedmen out, even though all absentee ballots have already been sent out and some have already been returned. 4) Chad Smith accepted a $1,500 donation from Jack Abramoff (in violation of tribal election law). Later, Cherokee Nation Enterprises paid Abramoff $120,000. Read more...


Posted at 6/15/2007 06:16:00 PM |

Former State Representative Debbie Blackburn Kicks Off Campaign for District One County Commissioner

Today former Representative Debbie Blackburn announced her candidacy for County Commissioner District One, the seat vacated by Jim Roth. Blackburn stated, "I feel I have the skills and commitment to continue the work Commissioner Roth started. Jim re-organized the District One County office and brought integrity and efficiency back to District One. I believe my work and background in civic and community projects give me unique insight into the needs of District One. Roth's legacy of high standards of governmental performance must be maintained." Representative Blackburn served twelve years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives representing District 88. While in the House Blackburn served as Chair of Appropriations for Education and Chair of Banking and Finance. Blackburn's interest in community and state improvement began prior to service in the legislature. Her grassroots public service began as President of her neighborhood association and she went on to serve as Executive Director of the Neighborhood Alliance for several years. During her tenure with this organization, she was a founder of the Paseo Redevelopment Corporation, one of the earliest sanctioned neighborhood revitalization projects in Oklahoma City. She continues to serve on the board of that corporation. Blackburn is married to Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. They have one son, Beau, who resides in San Diego, CA and is a professional photographer.


Posted at 6/15/2007 10:39:00 AM |

Costs & Benefits of a Tied Senate

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant Hello again, everybody! It has been an interesting process learning how to work in a Senate divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans.That split has a financial cost. Because things were shared evenly by both parties, it cost the Senate more than $600,000 to level the playing field between both parties. That money ensured that the Democrats and Republicans have equal staff working for them and equal space in which to do the people’s business. Read more...

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Posted at 6/15/2007 10:22:00 AM |

Ok Politics & You with Stephen Jones

Steve Byas and Gary Cooper of Oklahoma Politics & You, interview Enid attorney Stephen Jones about Attorney General Drew Edmondson's "crusades"

Related: Federal Judge Denies Some Motions To Dismiss Chicken Litter Lawsuit

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Posted at 6/15/2007 09:57:00 AM |

Judge Says No to Watercooler Restraining Order

In another victory for bloggers and the new media, a McIntosh County judge has denied a request by Steve Covington for a restraining order and a temporary injunction sought against the McAlester Watercooler. Congratulations guys! Read more...

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Posted at 6/15/2007 09:36:00 AM |
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 

Picture of the Day


Opening Up Government To The People

By Rep. Jason Murphey Last week the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 1 (SB-1). I was privileged to co-sponsor this bill and believe it to be one of the most exciting pieces of government reform legislation this year. The Governor signed the bill despite unexpected last minute resistance from the State Chamber of Commerce. As demonstrated by the pork spending in House Bill 1278 which I referenced in last week's legislative update, one of the biggest obstacles we face in trying to downsize government is finding inefficiencies, inappropriate spending and corruption. Once these are exposed, it will be hard for elected officials to continue to vote to fund unnecessary programs since the public will demand that such funding be discontinued. The problem we are forced to deal with is that state government spending (now in excess of $7,000,000,000 in state appropriations alone) is not readily exposed to the scrutiny of the people. Even many legislators rarely have direct access to the items on which taxpayer money is spent. Most of the information presented to legislators only concerns requests for new spending, with little oversight over current and past agency spending. You can only imagine the temptation for abuse of public dollars when taxpayers and their elected representatives do not have easy access to how and where money is spent. Read more...

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Posted at 6/12/2007 02:54:00 PM |

Tulsa Business Offers Citizenship Check Service

Hat Tip: meeciteewurkor USIS … the largest provider of security investigations to the U.S. government, is offering its I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Product as a cost-effective service that employers can use to verify that an employee is legally authorized to work in the United States. With I-9 Employment Eligibility employers can comply with the recently approved House Bill 1804 that requires employers to verify the legal status of all new employees through an employment verification system. Granted, I know absolutely squat about this company’s services. However, I found it very interesting to know that the service exists right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I wonder if services like this exist for police departments to check citizenship status? I mean, it’s basically the same thing, right? If you can’t work here legally, you can’t live here, right? I’m sure that it wouldn’t take much tweaking to serve our police. I wonder if something like this would fit in to the Mayor’s “clarification” of existing policy on illegal immigration? Here’s USIS website if anybody wants to go investigate to see what they’re all about. If it looks good, I suggest getting a quote from them, and sending it to the Mayor.

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Posted at 6/12/2007 02:47:00 PM |

Speaker Pelosi Loses Support as Voters See `Business as Usual'

From Bloomberg News: Pelosi has "lost some confidence on the left,'' costing "energy, money and enthusiasm,'' said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "At the same time, she's put her own members on the right, who our targets are, in a very precarious position.'' Read more...

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Posted at 6/12/2007 02:31:00 PM |

Global Warming Gets Religion

By Amanda Carpenter
Once she wrested control of the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works Committee from conservative stalwart Sen. Jim Inhofe (R.-Okla.), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) was expected to aggressively pursue legislation to combat global warming. What wasn’t expected was that she would do it with blessings from the Church.
Last Thursday, Boxer held a hearing that highlighted the growing role of religion in liberal political campaigns--particularly in the name of “environmental justice.” There, a coalition of 35 religious denominations called for an 80 percent reduction in global warming emissions by the year 2050, and bill S.309, sponsored by Boxer and avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.), calls for the same.
Sen. Inhofe, the ranking member of the committee, said using religious leaders to advocate for government intervention against global warming was a new technique Democrats were using to “divide and conquer the evangelical community and get people away from core values issues.”

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Posted at 6/12/2007 02:09:00 PM |
Monday, June 11, 2007 

Tad Jones Announced as Chair of Merit Pay Study

Interim Study will examine merit-based pay system for Oklahoma teachers House education leader Rep. Tad Jones will spearhead an interim study that will look at creating a new merit-based pay system for Oklahoma teachers, Speaker Lance Cargill announced today. "A one-size-fits-all approach to teacher pay is now in the past. We should be encouraging excellence in our schools by rewarding the best teachers," said Cargill, R-Harrah. "Over the next few months, the House will intensively study how Oklahoma can develop a comprehensive merit-pay system for teachers that ties academic results to salary levels. The days of across-the-board pay increases for teachers are over. From now on, pay increases must be tied to results." "We know there will be opposition to our efforts by the forces of the status quo, and there will be those who claim to be for merit pay while actively working against the real thing," Cargill continued. "But in the 21st century knowledge-based economy, Oklahoma's success will be directly tied to our state's intellectual capital. We must have big dreams and bold reform and move past the bog standards and limited expectations of the past." Jones, chair of the House Education Committee, said he is excited about chairing the study. "Our state is lucky to have hardworking teachers, and the best teachers deserve better pay. It's just that simple," said Jones, R-Claremore. "We've begun the process of merit pay with the Academic Achievement Awards, which rewards a team of teachers. Now it's time to start identifying the next steps."

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Posted at 6/11/2007 03:27:00 PM |

Liberal Sees Media Bias Against Coburn

We reported this story to you last month on how Sen. Coburn blocked a proclamation for an author of "Junk Science." A Coburn spokesman wrote: "Dr. Coburn believes the tremendous harm Carson’s junk science claims about DDT did to the developing world overshadow her other contributions." From News Busters: "This was a rare treat. Seeing a self-described liberal hitting the Washington Post for liberal bias. In this case the writer, one Philip Evans of Kensington, Md., sees the bias stemming from a case of lazy reporting: Regarding the May 23 Metro article "Rachel Carson Bill From Cardin on Hold": I'm a knee-jerk liberal, but sometimes I find myself sympathetic to conservatives who see bias in The Post. Does The Post lack the reportorial resources to confirm whether Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is a physician? The story reported Coburn's opposition to a resolution to honor environmentalist Carson on the 100th anniversary of her birth, and his pithy rationale, "junk science." The next paragraph began: "Coburn, whose Web site says he is a doctor specializing in family medicine, obstetrics and allergies . . . ." The Web site attribution of such an easily confirmed fact seems intended to cast doubt on the senator's medical credentials. Would you report, "Sen. Barack Obama's Web site says he attended Harvard Law School?"


Posted at 6/11/2007 02:50:00 PM |

Muskogee Phoenix: "Don’t Fall for Fear Factor"

Its difficult to know where to direct your frustrations in this editorial by the Muskogee Phoenix. The Phoenix has basically resorted to calling us xenophobes and nativists because a majority of us - both Democrat and Republican - want to know who is in our country! We also do not want to reward people who have broken our laws with a path to citizenship! If we are fearful, it is because of the security concerns we have due to our porous border with Mexico. "The illegal alien tussle in Tulsa exemplifies the need for Congress to enact immigration reform and calm Americans’ fear, much of it irrational fear, over illegal immigration. Rep. John Sullivan wanted Tulsa police to verify the legal status of everyone they come into contact with, and Sullivan received support from the Tulsa City Council, which approved that police policy about two weeks ago. Sullivan explained his motivation was to see that Tulsa received an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office and greater federal presence in eastern Oklahoma. Mayor Kathy Taylor had not signed onto the policy as of this past week. Good for her." Read more Related: Hat tip: Mike's Memo "Former State Trooper Dan Howard takes on Tulsa Oklahoma Mayor Kathy Taylor (D) and her 'Sanctuary City' Policies. He gave a 5-minute speech to the Tulsa City Council two weeks ago and looks like he dressed Rev Victor Orta down pretty well too! The strong resolution passed, but Mayor Taylor is probably going to ignore it and continue to welcome illegals. Dan is waiting for Round 2 on this issue. Citizens across the nation should be doing this."

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Posted at 6/11/2007 02:07:00 PM |

Sen. Coburn On Alberto Gonzalez's "No Confidence" Vote

"It is hypocritical for the Senate to grand stand for political purposes while ignoring its own shortcomings that threaten the solvency of Social Security and Medicare and the standard of living of future generations." The Senate has a responsibility to be good stewards and secure the future for our children and grandchildren. We must, therefore, first hold Congress accountable for its failures, before pointing fingers at the shortcomings of others, by acknowledging and accepting the lack of confidence that the public has in Congress’ unwillingness to cut wasteful spending and balance the budget."

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Posted at 6/11/2007 01:55:00 PM |
Friday, June 08, 2007 

Incredible! Alabama Republican State Senator Slugs Democrat Colleague

The legislator threw the punch after allegedly being called a "son of a bitch" by his colleague. Who do you think would make a good fight in the Oklahoma Legislature?


Posted at 6/08/2007 04:51:00 PM |

OKPNS Editor Dead Beat Dad?

Reports from this St. Louis newspaper say that Oklahoma Political News Service editor and political consultant Christopher Arps, failed to pay child suppport and was "convicted of non-support for six out of 12 months in St. Louis County in 2001." Arps, 41, is divorced with one daughter. The report stems from a tip a local liberal African American weekly received from a St. Louis blog. The blogger is a former personal acquaintance of Mr. Arps. The paper criticized a recent trip Arps made to Kansas City last month to speak on behalf of an affirmative action ballot initiative slated for next year. The initiative, supported by nationally known figure Ward Connerly, seeks to eliminate government set asides in employment and higher education. "Mr. Connerly became aware that I write a blog on African American politics, I was offered a chance to say a few remarks and I accepted," Arps said. In regards to his conviction for non-support, Arps responded: "I had a difficult time after a difficult divorce, and after changing careers after 10 years, decided to follow my dreams in politics. I unfortunately got a year behind; I'm currently making restitution. I made a mistake and I deeply regret this incident." Arps said philosophically, "What gives us pain, gives us strength." When asked will this revelation change the style of posts on the blog or the editorial content, Arps emphatically answered no. "When you post articles about public figures on their positions or personal foibles, its fair game to be a target yourself. I believe as long as the information is credible, informative, and entertaining, the messenger's personal life is irrelevant." OKPNS will continue to investigate. Posted at 6/08/2007 08:18:00 AM |
Monday, June 04, 2007 

Ballot Access Meeting Planned

Oklahomans who are interested in improving that state's ballot access laws are meeting in Oklahoma City on Saturday, June 9. For more information about the meeting, contact Jimmy Cook,, or 918-342-3108. Posted at 6/04/2007 01:33:00 PM |

Coalition Applauds Passage of Measure to Provide State Budget Forecast

The Alliance for Oklahoma’s Future today lauded as a “major step forward in promoting fiscal responsibility and sound public policy” the passage of legislation that would, for the first time, provide for a long-term state budget forecast. The Alliance is a broad-based, non-partisan coalition of nearly 40 organizations representing Oklahomans from across the state. SB 368, which passed on the last day of the recently completed legislative session, includes language instructing the Office of State Finance to develop a multi-year trend analysis of the state’s budget outlook that would take into account the best available information on economic activity, population change and others factors affecting the state budget. The forecast would be developed and published annually by November 1st. “We especially applaud Senator Jim Wilson for promoting this measure and Senator Owen Laughlin for agreeing to include the budget forecasting language in SB 368”, said David Blatt, Chair of the Alliance for Oklahoma’s Future. SB 368 also sets up a process to have the Oklahoma Tax Commission conduct dynamic estimates of the revenue impact of tax cut bills. “For too long, legislators have made budget and tax decisions that have long-term impacts in the absence of even basic information on the budget outlook beyond the next twelve months”, said Blatt. “We can hope that having access to realistic projections about long-term trends will raise awareness about approaching budget challenges and encourage prudent policy decisions that help keep revenues and spending in alignment”. “Long-term budgeting forecasting is long-term fiscal stewardship of the highest order. Future generations of Oklahomans should benefit greatly from this legislation,” stated Kent Olson, Professor of Economics at Oklahoma State University. A recent study by Prof. Olson revealed that, as a result of demographic changes, mounting spending pressures, and an outdated tax system, Oklahoma faces an approaching long-term structural deficit in which projected state expenditures will exceed projected revenues by large and accelerating amounts. This situation will force hard choices between future tax increases, spending cuts and alternative ways to pay for and ration public services. SB 368 awaits the Governor’s signature to become law.

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Posted at 6/04/2007 01:25:00 PM |

OK GOP E-News: Week of 6-4-07

Well one thing we can say about new/old OKGOP Chairman Gary Jones, the weekly email has gotten a hell of a lot better. We actually look forward to receiving it now. Before, it was about as entertaining as watchng paint dry! The commentary is more insightful and this week, Jones even adds a little humor. Gene "Bosshog" Stipe Legacy Keeps Growing The federal investigation into Gene Stipe and his alleged corruption in SE Oklahoma just keeps growing, with Senate Co-President Pro-Tem Mike Morgan now coming under fire. A Sunday story by the Oklahoman shows some Oklahoma colleges used non-traditional private financing to build housing projects, and students at several Oklahoma colleges are paying higher housing costs because of it. Morgan, who's a Stillwater attorney, was paid more than $230,000 as the acting attorney on some of the projects...all in his Senate district. Reporters Tony Thornton and Randy Ellis also report that huge sums were paid to a title company co-owned by---you guessed it---former State Senator Gene Stipe. The shady funding method, called off-balance-sheet or no-recourse financing, results in higher interest rates and higher fees paid to underwriters, banks and various attorneys, because the schools bypass competitive-bidding to streamline construction projects. The Oklahoman confirmed that the schools' financing method is drawing FBI scrutiny. We've made the point here before that the arrogance of power, the corruption that follows and the unquenchable thirst to spend taxpayer dollars has been the trademark of Oklahoma Democrats during their time in the majority, and it's the mark Stipe has left on the Democratic Party. With Mike Morgan term-limited, it is uncertain if he will simply slip off into the shadows or if these charges will be pursued further. What is more clear however, is that this cloud of corruption may damage Morgan's popularity in his own Senate district and could hurt the Democratic nominee who will look to replace Morgan next November.

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Posted at 6/04/2007 01:13:00 PM |

"A Couple of Good Things from and Interesting Session"

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant Hello again, everybody! The 2007 session of the Oklahoma Legislature has passed into history and the 149 lawmakers are returning to their families and hometowns. There was a new political dynamic – a popular Democratic governor, new leadership in the Republican House of Representatives, and a Senate divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans. The split power led many to predict fewer bills would become law than in years past. That appears to have been a solid prediction; hundreds of bills with good ideas were left by the wayside. Despite the difficult political environment, we passed some positive legislation. The biggest for me, of course, was passage of the “Back to School” sales tax holiday, a cause I have championed since I was first became your senator. Read more...

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Posted at 6/04/2007 01:05:00 PM |
Friday, June 01, 2007 

Hotline TV Discusses Sen. Coburn

Hotline TV discusses a possible Coburn presidential run.

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Posted at 6/01/2007 12:15:00 PM |

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