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Monday, August 27, 2007 

Loveless to Walk 45 Miles for Senate District 45

Candidate Braves Heat to Walk from Mustang to Moore Oklahoma City, OK – Businessman and Oklahoma State Senate Republican candidate Kyle D. Loveless will be making an unusual trip in his grassroots campaign by literally walking from one end of the district to the other in midst of the August heat. “I have already knocked on the doors of over 4,000 voters all across the district. I’m spending evenings and Saturdays after work talking and listening to people to find out what they want in their next Senator and what they want from the State Capitol,” said Loveless. In the hottest month of the year, Loveless believes that the time spent will be well worth it to get to know the people and the businesses along the route. “What better month than August to walk from Mustang to Moore? Oklahomans and the voters of Senate District 45 don’t want a fat-cat, do-nothing Senator. They want a Senator willing to work hard to get things done. They want someone who won’t shirk from the challenges or tough fights. Walking 45 miles in the heat of an Oklahoma August won’t be easy, but it will be exciting.” “Voters want to know that the person they elect is willing to work for the job. Whether managing our family business, Loveless Shoes, or walking in 100 degree heat, I’m no stranger to challenges, I am sure there will be plenty of hot air, just like down on 23rd and Lincoln. People will know that I will work for them as hard as I work at this campaign,” said Loveless. Loveless will begin his walk in Canadian County on August 28th at I-40 and Mustang Road and will conclude the walk in Cleveland County, the next day August 29th. Along the way, Loveless will be making stops at the Mustang Town Center for a community meeting, the Moore Rotary lunch, and will be walking the old downtown of Moore. He will be available to the media through his cell phone, 405-640-0740. He also welcomes any member of the press to would like to walk a portion of the route with him.

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Posted at 8/27/2007 05:47:00 PM |

Wilson Research Strategies (WRS) to become part of Rodriguez-Wilson-Tarrance (RWT) Strategies

Lance Tarrance and Carlos Rodriguez are proud to announce that as of September 1, 2007 they are joining with Chris Wilson, CEO and Founder of Wilson Research Strategies, to form Rodriguez-Wilson-Tarrance (RWT) Strategies. Tarrance is one of the most respected pollsters in America, and named one of the 150 people in the country influencing government by National Journal. Rodriguez is a veteran campaign consultant and public affairs expert with more than 25 years experience at the local, state and national levels. Related Wilson Research Strategies has released its early August 2007 edition of the National Political Environment Assessment. This edition focuses on global warming, infrastructure and the Kentucky and Louisiana gubernatorial races.


Posted at 8/27/2007 05:19:00 PM |

Claunch vs Johnson Debate

Oklahoma City University Hosts A Town Hall Meeting Candidates For Oklahoma County Commissioner Forrest Claunch (R) Willa Johnson (D) Will Respond to Questions from the Public Monday, August 27th ~ 7:00 PM Meinders School of Business Kerr-McGee Auditorium~1st Floor Directions Meinders School of Business is located on McKinley Avenue Between NW 25th and NW 27th Streets Parking is available on the north & south side of the building Moderators for the Event: OCU Professors Richard Johnson & Andy Spiropoulos
Posted at 8/27/2007 03:21:00 PM |

Where has Drew been?

Message from Chairman Jones This week, convicted felon and former Senator Gene Stipe will appear before a federal judge in Muskogee facing the possibility of having his payroll revoked and going to prison. After many decades of alleged wrong doing, Stipe was convicted and removed from office in 2003, was given a suspended sentence, and has been on probation since that conviction. We are now reading daily reports about another ongoing scandal involving Stipe, Stipe’s partner, former Democrat lawmakers, and several current high ranking elected Oklahoma Democrats including Attorney General Drew Edmondson, State Auditor Jeff McMahan and even Governor Brad Henry. The FBI met with our very own State Auditor for the third time last Thursday. You have to wonder how a scandal this widespread could go on right under the noses of those officials who Oklahoma voters elected to keep it from happening. And second, why our state officials aren’t investigating the matter. It’s actually pretty simple. The officials that could look into this mess are too closely tied to those responsible, and therefore they can’t see the forest because of the trees. Attorney General Drew Edmondson and State Auditor Jeff McMahan (along with others) have accepted tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions from Stipe and his associates. Yet they will not remove themselves from the investigation. When the governor was asked to name an independent agent to do the investigation, Edmondson responded that the request was political. Absolutely, Mr. Edmondson…this is political. It involves large illegal political contributions to your campaign and that of the state auditor. It is political Mr. Edmondson, because the campaign consultant for both you and the auditor has been named as a recipient of state funds, which were illegally funneled through the Rural Development Foundation. It is political Mr. Edmondson, and that is exactly why you should remove yourself and demand the state auditor be removed as well

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Posted at 8/27/2007 03:13:00 PM |

Sen. Inhofe Statement on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe today made the following statement on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ resignation: “While Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and I have disagreed on a few matters, including making English the national language of the United States, I appreciate his service to the country and wish him and his family the best in their future,” Senator Inhofe said. “Though he is a man of strong character and has served faithfully at the behest of the President, Alberto Gonzales’ effectiveness as Attorney General has been compromised by intense partisanship and the ongoing controversy surrounding the firing of the U.S. attorneys.”


Posted at 8/27/2007 02:57:00 PM |

Who Woulda Thunk it!

"President" Obama on who he would like to work with in the Congress: "I would also seek out people like Tom Coburn, who is probably the most conservative member of the U.S. Senate. He has become a friend of mine.'' Sen. Barak Obama

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Posted at 8/27/2007 02:47:00 PM |

Mandatory Deportation Has Illegals on the Run

"This isn't about whether you are for or against immigration, or for or against immigrants. It doesn't matter what your skin color is or if you speak with an accent. What matters is if you are in the country legally or illegally. The only people threatened by House Bill 1804 are those who choose to break the law." Rep. Randy Terrill (R) Moore Thousands of Hispanics have fled the Tulsa, Okla., area in the shadow of a looming state law that limits benefits and mandates deportation for illegal aliens, according to a report from KTUL television in Tulsa. The state of Oklahoma recently approved a new law that requires deportation for illegal aliens who are arrested, and limits benefits and jobs to those individuals. The report said in East Tulsa, where a community of Hispanics has grown over recent years, there's been a sudden drop in population. Business owner Simon Navarro has been in business there 11 years, and said the tough law has chased away 30 percent of the state's Hispanic population. "Two months ago I heard 25,000 Hispanics have left Oklahoma," he told the station. "They are leaving. A lot have already left. "People are leaving," he said. "They're scared of the sheriff." Read more...

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Posted at 8/27/2007 02:26:00 PM |

Sonics Employee Leaks Details of Employee Meeting with Clay Bennett

Graphic courtesy of From ESPN: Over the weekend, several different TrueHoop readers sent me a link to the same article, by Erik D. Williams and Frank Hughes in the News Tribune. It's an article based on information supplied by an anonymous Sonic employee who was part of meetings last week with team chairman Clay Bennett, who represents the Oklahoma City-based group that bought the Sonics and Storm last year. In the meeting, Bennett reportedly outlined some things Oklahoma City was prepared to do to entice the Sonics to move. That would reportedly include paying a long list of expensive things: legal fees associated with breaking the arena lease, settlement costs to the lease holders, moving expenses for Sonic employees, relocation fees due the NBA, a renovation of the existing arena in Oklahoma City, and eventually a new arena there too. (If this is really the city's offer to the Sonics, wow. That's a lot of money! None of those things are cheap and these days arenas are $500 million or more. Meanwhile, an article published just last Friday says 16 of Oklahoma City's schools are failing to meet basic federal education standards.) Williams and Hughes explain the circumstances of the discussions, and Bennett's reaction to the leaked information: Read more...


Posted at 8/27/2007 02:14:00 PM |
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 

House Leaders Begin Hearings on Teacher Performance Pay: Univ. of Arkansas Expert Testifies on Successful Programs in Other States

University of Arkansas Professor Gary Ritter testifies before the Oklahoma House Education Committee on Teacher Performance Pay. (AUDIO) CLICK TO LISTEN OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 21, 2007) – Performance pay programs in other states resulted in better results for students and a better work environment for teachers, according to testimony by an expert on Tuesday in the first round of hearings to develop a comprehensive performance pay plan for Oklahoma's teachers. "This is a promising strategy. It's worth trying and evaluating rigorously," said Gary Ritter, an associate professor and endowed chair in education policy at the University of Arkansas' Department of Education Reform. "The one component we know improves student performance is the effectiveness of a teacher." Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah, said Ritter's balanced and thorough testimony began to debunk many of the myths surrounding performance pay -- including a common charge by opponents that performance pay creates so-called "negative competition" or hurts collaboration among teachers. "It was exciting to learn that performance pay plans across the country are encouraging collaboration, team work and higher performance among teachers," said Cargill. "While we should take into account a variety of factors when developing a performance pay plan, defenders of the status quo may never run out of reasons why they oppose reforms. Once one set of concerns is addressed they will likely move the ball by coming up with new concerns. But for most Oklahomans, performance pay makes perfect sense because it rewards teachers for success." (Hear more) "Performance pay has never been given serious consideration in Oklahoma," Cargill continued. "We've basically had the same teacher compensation system for a hundred years. Some opponents are so stuck in the past that they can't possibly move this state forward. But now is the time for bold reform." Ritter testified that under current "single salary" systems such as that used for Oklahoma teachers, rewards for teaching excellence decline over time. By contrast, he said, performance pay plans can be an effective tool to recruit and retain good teachers. In one example, Ritter examined a pilot project in Little Rock, Ark. schools called Achievement Challenge Pilot Project (ACPP), and found that it boosted student test scores. The program did not hurt teacher collaboration and encouraged a positive school environment. Ritter also testified that "lump sum", across-the-board pay raises for teachers have not generated increased student achievements where such raises have been implemented across the country. "Whatever performance pay system we develop in Oklahoma, it's clear that the days of one-size-fits-all pay raises are over," said Cargill. "We should be rewarding success, not punishing it by encouraging mediocrity." Tuesday's hearing was the first in a series of five hearings that will run through Oct. 9. The next is scheduled for Sept. 11, and will hear from school officials and teacher organizations. House Education Committee Chairman Tad Jones, who chaired Tuesday's hearing, said it was a good start. Jones has championed such reforms as the Academic Achievement Awards in Oklahoma, a program that provides cash bonuses to teachers in high-performing or greatly improved schools. "We've taken some positive first steps over the past few years. With these hearings we're simply trying to develop a plan that pays teachers as professionals," said Jones, R-Claremore. "We should be doing everything we can to keep good teachers in the classroom where they can make a difference in children's lives." Rep. Earl Sears, who is helping Jones facilitate the hearings, said that during his years as a school principal a performance pay plan similar to those discussed at Tuesday's hearing would have made a positive difference. "Having a performance pay system in place would have allowed teachers in my school to do a better job with their students," said Sears, R-Bartlesville, who served as principal of Central Middle School in Bartlesville for 24 years. Cargill and House Republican lawmakers first signaled they would pursue a comprehensive performance-based pay system for Oklahoma teachers after lawmakers completed a $4,800 pay raise commitment for teachers over the past three years. Part of this year’s state budget agreement included an additional $400 on top of an already-agreed to $600 pay raise – with the additional funds weighted toward veteran teachers or those with advanced degrees.

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Posted at 8/22/2007 04:01:00 PM |

Wrong Priorities?

AMERICA’s MOST BEAUTIFUL: Mayor Kathy Taylor and George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) Chairman and Tulsa Beautification Foundation (TBF) President Phil Lakin announced a $5 million pledge from GKFF to help beautify Tulsa-area gateways, highways and thoroughfares. The first TBF project completed was beautifying Tulsa International Airport by painting the Virgin Street bridge, replacing crumbling sidewalks and medians under the bridge, new irrigation systems and extensive landscaping. MIRANDA ENZOR for GTR Newspapers From BubbaWorld dot Net: Tulsa’s Mean Streets Tulsan Doug Lawson found out just how bad “Tulsa’s Mean Streets” have become recently while out on his can collecting route early Thursday morning. Lawson was robbed, struck in the head and shot in the leg by a couple of punks when he lied and told them he had no money or keys to his truck parked nearby. Was Lawson wrong to try to escape with his $25 and his truck? I wasn’t there and therefore can not say. But I do know that Mr. Lawson was lucky to escape with his life, as many Tulsans have not these past few years. Read more...


Posted at 8/22/2007 03:43:00 PM |

Rep. Boren a "Bush Dog?"

"I'm hearing more and more frequently a sense of rage with the Democratic leadership in Congress. From failing to stop the war to expanding Bush's wiretapping authority, the swing vote of conservative Democrats in the House are forming an effective conservative majority that is enabling Bush to govern as he wishes." "Bush's Dogs" Jason Altmire, PA-04 John Barrow, GA-12 Melissa Bean, IL-18 Dan Boren, OK-02 Leonard Boswell, IA-03 Alan Boyd, FL-02 Chris Carney, PA-10 Ben Chandler, KY-06 Jim Cooper, TN-05 Jim Costa, CA-20 Bud Cramer, AL-05 Henry Cuellar, TX-28 Lamar Davis, TN-04 Joe Donnelly, IN-02 Chet Edwards, TX-17 Brad Ellsworth, IN-08 Bob Etheridge, NC-02 Bart Gordon, TN-06 Stephanie Herseth, SD Baron Hill, IN-09 Nick Lampson, TX-22 Dan Lipinski, IL-03 Jim Marshall, GA-08 Jim Matheson, UT-02 Mike McIntyre, NC-07 Charlie Melancon, LA-03 Colin Peterson, MN-07 Earl Pomeroy, ND Ciro Rodriguez, TX-23 Mike Ross, AR-04 John Salazar, CO-03 Heath Shuler, NC-11 Vic Snyder, AR-02 Zack Space, OH-18 John Tanner, TN-08 Gene Taylor, MS-04 Tim Walz, MN-01 Charlie Wilson, OH-06 Read more...

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Posted at 8/22/2007 01:44:00 PM |

Fallin Iraq Interview

Ray and Bob interview Representative Mary Fallin about her trip to Iraq and the latest developments in Congress. Listen to the interview here.
Related Oklahoma Women's Network Blog: "Oklahoma Women's Groups meet with Rep Mary Fallin"

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Posted at 8/22/2007 01:27:00 PM |

3,720 Marriages vs. 3,335 Divorces

By Alice Collinsworth The Edmond Sun EDMOND — This is the first of a three-part series exploring the problem of Oklahoma’s high divorce rate in Oklahoma and its effect on our state’s residents. Part two on Monday will highlight the generational impact of divorce; part three on Tuesday outlines one woman’s plan to help families avoid the financial pitfalls of divorce. The state of marriage in Oklahoma is not well. It’s an accepted fact that about 50 percent of American marriages end in divorce; among the states, Oklahoma traditionally ranks high. It has become more difficult to compare state divorce statistics, said Kendy Cox, director of services for the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, but in 1999, researchers ranked Oklahoma anywhere from No. 1 to No. 5 on the list of failed marriages. “Based on everything I’ve read and seen and researched, Oklahoma does rank right up there in the number of divorces,” said Oklahoma County Court Clerk Patricia Presley. At the same time, applications for marriage licenses are on a decline during the past two decades. In Oklahoma County, 6,309 applications were made in 2006. The year 2005 was the lowest since 1987, with 6,288. Read more...


Posted at 8/22/2007 01:05:00 PM |

Senate Earmark Battle Turns Very Personal

From The Hill: By Daphne Retter A battle between the offices of Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) over a controversial earmark intensified earlier this month, displaying how debates on Capitol Hill sometimes can turn personal. The senators had been at odds over the matter for much of the summer, but it would reach a new level when John Hart, communications director for Coburn, forwarded a news article detailing his boss’s request for an investigation of a defense contractor. The target of the would-be investigation, 21st Century Systems Inc. (21CSI), employs Patrick Nelson, the son of the centrist senator. Sen. Nelson had requested an earmark for 21CSI, triggering a heated battle between the senators that has raged for weeks. “This will shut that f---er up,” Hart stated in an Aug. 1 e-mail sent from his Senate account to several of his colleagues. “I can’t wait to send an In Case You Missed It to Nebraska press that will be forwarded to a--face.” Read more... Related Huffington Post: "Nasty E-mails Fly As Senate Earmark Battle Gets Personal"

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Posted at 8/22/2007 12:29:00 PM |

Interim Studies & Students

Legislative Work Continues with Interim Studies By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant While the 2008 session of the Legislature is still more than five months away, legislative committees are beginning to work on issues that will be before us next year. This process is called “interim studies,” and is the time we in the Legislature use to look at issues without the enormous time pressure of the regular four-month session. The idea is to gather as much information as possible. That way, when crunch-time arrives in February, we will be better prepared to make decisions in the best interest of the people we represent. As the Democratic chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, my co-chair and I are in the process of looking at study requests assigned to our committee. Jointly, we will decide how to conduct the investigation. Five studies have been assigned to the Energy Committee; in addition, the committee – along with the House Energy Committee – will serve as a statutory task force to examine regulation of the state’s electric utilities. All of that will lead to a number of meetings during the fall and early winter. The list of studies assigned to the Energy and Environment Committee includes: Read more... Giving Oklahoma Students A Chance By Rep. Jason Murphey One of the most exciting and encouraging events of my first year in the legislature occurred this week as I was privileged to visit the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and meet with KIPP principle Tracy McDaniel. KIPP is an inner city charter school located on the second floor of the F.D. Moon Academy at 13th and Martin Luther King Blvd. in Oklahoma City. A few years ago, I visited the F.D. Middle School to speak to the students. I remember thinking how deplorable the conditions of the school were and observed the lack of discipline in the students. The school was the lowest-performing in the state. Principle McDaniel explained that in the past, the school was handicapped by inadequate staff, making it difficult to achieve success. He indicated that of approximately 50 teachers, he believed 45 were simply not up to the task of providing a quality education. As a result, F.D. Moon remained one of the lowest performing schools in the state. That is when McDaniel took action. He spent a year out of state in training with the KIPP program and then returned to Oklahoma and the F.D. Moon school, where he now runs the KIPP Charter School. Read more...

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Posted at 8/22/2007 12:08:00 PM |
Monday, August 20, 2007 

Dumb, Dumber and the Ad Agency

The Oklahoma Political News Service is looking into an incredible report that two of Oklahoma's dueling energy titans are using the same Oklahoma-based advertising/public relations firm. If true, the two companies would be guilty of "gross political stupidity" according to one source contacted by OKPNS. The advertising firm mentioned is one of the region's most respected ad agencies, but seldom mentioned in terms of political acumen. "How do you start to explain how politically foolish it is to have your bitter foe receiving advice and counsel from the same people you pay to do the same. I cannot believe we have business leaders that naive." Another insider says he doubts the rumor is true, but says the if the ad agency can get away with it, it's the fault of the companies paying them. "I doubt the veracity of this report, but if the agency can con these two companies into this unwise arrangement, then power to them. If it is true, it's the political bone-head play of the year." Developing! Posted at 8/20/2007 03:36:00 PM |

Coburn Considering Run for President?

From Transworld News: Does Tom Coburn Have a Snowball's Chance? There has been no paperwork filed and his name does not appear on the USA Election Polls website, but one republican who is still mulling over a run for the presidency is the junior senator from the state of Oklahoma, Tom Coburn. He has the dubious distinction of being Newt Gingrich's nemesis, in part owing to Coburn's estimation that Gingrich is a symptom of what ails the Republican Party: a gradual drifting to the left. Furthermore failing to make friends with the more moderate conservatives by calling for the dismissal of embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, he is considering a run for the White House on his conservative values. While in theory there is a substantial number of conservatives who will welcome this back to basics approach Mr. Coburn embraces, the more realistically minded constituents admit that his candidacy – should he declare it – does not have a snowball's chance of taking off, suggesting that Coburn has alienated too many moderate republicans he will be unable to garner the nod of the party. Read more...

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Posted at 8/20/2007 02:36:00 PM |

River’s Future to be Decided October 9

“As a conservative Republican it is very difficult for me to ask for a tax increase, but I think the benefits will come back 10-fold. The effects will go way beyond my lifetime. It will help Tulsa compete for jobs, conventions and young professionals. Our kids and grandkids will look back and see how important this was for the whole area.” - Tulsa County Commission Chairman Randi Miller By David Jones Is the timing right to vote on a tax package to develop the Arkansas River corridor in Tulsa County? Tulsa County Commission Chairman Randi Miller is confident that when the proposed .4-cent sales tax is presented to the people it will be resoundingly accepted. Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor also thinks the time is right. “We have been working on and planning this project for years,” she says. “It’s time to stop studying and do something.” As for the decision of the County Commission to have a vote Oct. 9 Taylor said, “The election is totally at the discretion of the County Commission. This is a project that is truly a regional project. The biggest concern we have to get an educated workforce to move to the area is the quality of life. With the Bank of Oklahoma Center and the development of the river, this area will be ready to take off.” “Polls taken toward the end of June showed a narrow victory for the proposal,” Miller says. A poll recently published in the Tulsa World disagrees, showing a majority of voters opposing the project. Read more...

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Posted at 8/20/2007 02:21:00 PM |

In Oklahoma, a Patriotic Silence

The Conservative Democrat Dan Boren The Washington Post has been following four members of Congress as they grapple with what to do about the Iraq war in the coming months. The focus during Congress's August recess is on what these lawmakers are hearing from voters in their home districts. Future installments will feature Rep. Jan Schakowksy (D-Ill.) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). By Jonathan Weisman HUGO, Okla. R ep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) was settling into his chair in the snug broadcast booth at K95.5 Country as the station's Jo Ann Matthews sing-songed her way through the subjects she wanted him to touch on. There was the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Of course, talk about federal livestock assistance, she went on. Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) meets with constituents in Hugo, Okla. At more than a dozen town hall meetings in the past two weeks, Boren has heard the subject of Iraq come up voluntarily only once. (By Jerry Ward For The Washington Post) "And I know the war is a big issue on everybody's mind, but," she said haltingly, her sweetly twanged voice tailing off to silence. Then, "I'm real impressed with the work you're doing on cancer," she finished. If lawmakers in most parts of the country are being accosted with questions about the September showdown on Iraq, here, in the sleepy southeastern corner of Oklahoma, the war is the subject that almost cannot be discussed. The McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Boren's district supplies virtually all of the war's munitions. The hamlets and small towns, such as Antlers and Hugo, Miami and Nowata, have sent their sons and daughters to fight. About 3,200 Oklahomans are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan; 18,428 have served since the wars began, from a state of 3 1/2 million. Most of the parents of those warriors split their tickets and voted for President Bush as they voted for Boren. Read more... Related: Sooner Thought: "DINO Dan Boren Takes the Heat for Supporting Bush" "Man Up, Grow A Pair And Stop Sniveling"


Posted at 8/20/2007 02:06:00 PM |
Friday, August 17, 2007 

ODP Loves the Veterans Now?

A little damage control maybe? From Okbluenotes: Oklahoma Democratic Party & Veterans Committee to Host “Support the Troops” Event Oklahomans Deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan to Receive Care Packages Oklahoma City - The Oklahoma Democratic Party is sponsoring a ‘Support the Troops’ campaign by gathering items from the ‘most wanted’ list that have been requested by our Oklahoma Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who: Democratic Veterans, family members, elected official and Oklahomans who support our military What: Event to pack care boxes for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan Where: George Krumme Center, Oklahoma Democratic Party Headquarters, 4100 N. Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 When: Tuesday, August 21st from 6:30p.m. to 8:00p.m. Ron Wasson, Vietnam Marine Corps veteran and Dr. Katherine Scheirman, retired Air Force Colonel, are co-chairs of the Oklahoma Democratic Veteran's Committee, which is devoted to political and social justice issues that affect our country's veterans. They have organized the event to let members of our armed forces know we salute their patriotism and courage. The event will include speakers from the Veterans Committee along with State Rep Richard Morrissette, Iraq war veteran Mike Waggoner and State Party Chair Ivan Holmes. Refreshments will be served and everyone is invited to participate in this important event. Read more...

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Posted at 8/17/2007 03:37:00 PM |
Thursday, August 16, 2007 

100 Ideas Reaches Idea #2007!

In commemoration of Oklahoma's centennial year, 100 Ideas recently showcased the 2007th idea which was posted this week on their blog. The idea was submitted by Bobby Cleveland of Norman. Here is an excerpt: "Golf courses can provide critical elements of habitat for amphibians, fish, mammals, birds, and insects. The use of better management practices, including buffer strips, natural growth and wetlands on golf courses, helps protect wildlife for future generations. Oklahoma should encourage the development of greener golf courses to improve our environment and protect wildlife."


Posted at 8/16/2007 07:33:00 PM |

Interpreting HB 1804: A Guide to Understanding Oklahoma's New Immigration Bill

A new issue brief from Community Action Project (CAP) examines Oklahoma's new immigration bill, HB 1804, which is slated to take effect November 1st. The brief offers a section-by-section analysis of the bill and explores how its provisions relate to current law and practice in such areas as public benefits, identity cards, employment and law enforcement. It is designed to assist public and private stakeholders in the immigration issue understand how the bill applies to them. Among the issue brief's key findings: Many sections of HB 1804 may either duplicate or mirror what is already in state or federal law or simply put into statute what is already occurring in practice in Oklahoma. The bill does not challenge the constitutionally-guaranteed right of all children to attend school and receive all educational services, regardless of legal status. While the bill requires verification of legal status for those applying for "public benefits", the established definition of public benefits in state and federal law is limited to certain well-defined government programs, which already are unavailable to unauthorized immigrants. Read entire brief here.

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Posted at 8/16/2007 07:24:00 PM |
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 

OK County GOP to Hold GOTV Seminar

To GOP Activists, Oklahoma County GOP invites you to a grassroots Get-Out-The-Vote training seminar to be held Saturday August 25th 10:00 am to noon at the GOP headquarters 4031 N Lincoln Blvd, OKC. We will be focusing on upcoming elections, especially the District 1 OK County Commissioner's race. Former GOP State Representative Forrest Claunch will be facing Democrat OKC Councilwoman Willa Johnson on September 11th 2007. We must take full advantage of this tremendous opportunity to elect a strong conservative to this open seat. This race will be a test of our preparedness and dedication for the upcoming election cycle. I strongly encourage each of you to attend this training session and help our County GOP make a tremendous impact in this special election. I will be out of town for the next week so please RSVP to Jay Mandraccia at so we may get a count of the number of attendees. Please bring your Republican friend and let's get excited about the opportunities awaiting the GOP in Oklahoma! Pam Pollard Chair , Oklahoma County GOP Posted at 8/15/2007 05:37:00 PM |

10th Circuit Appeals Court Upholds Lower Court Ruling Declaring Anti-Gay Adoption Law Unconstitutional

Need further proof the world's going to hell in a hand basket? This piece is from the Dallas Voice, "The Community Newspaper for Gay & Lesbian Dallas." "State Rep. Thad Balkman, the instigator of the measure, claimed — apparently in error — that the law would prevent Oklahoma children from being adopted by gay couples from out of state, and opined that “children are better off with two parents — a mother and a father, not two mothers or two fathers.” By Ann Rostow News Analyst The U.S Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has struck down one of the most extraordinary anti-gay laws in the nation — Oklahoma’s ban on recognizing legal gay adoptive parents from out of state. Passed in 2004, the law was unique in the country and breathtaking in its scope. A lower federal court ruled the law unconstitutional last year, and last Friday, Aug. 3, the three-judge federal appellate panel put the final nail in its coffin, handing the GLBT legal community a nice precedent in the process. Critics of the law say it’s hard to believe that an elected group of lawmakers, even in the reddest state, could conceive of passing this kind of legislation in the first place. Imagine adopting a couple of children at birth, moving to Oklahoma years later, and discovering that you are no longer legally related to your teenage son or daughter, they say. How did it happen? It happened in a kind of gay panic, brought on by the plight of two gay fathers in 2003. Read more...

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Posted at 8/15/2007 05:09:00 PM |

Oklahoma, Other States Can’t Afford to Ignore Illegal Immigration.

From USA Today: By Randy Terrill With Congress gridlocked over immigration issues, Oklahoma and a few other states are leading the way on real reform — and rightfully so. After all, the tremendous economic burden created by illegal immigration is felt most at the state and local level — particularly when it comes to education, health care, welfare and corrections. In Oklahoma alone, the direct cost of illegal immigration is more than $200 million a year. The indirect cost is far higher, and this is a relatively small state. But even if you ignore the costs, states still have good reason to act. States are separate sovereigns in our federal system. They have the inherent legal right and a constitutional responsibility to provide internal domestic security, as well as to protect our citizens from waste, fraud and abuse. In Oklahoma, we have taken that responsibility seriously by enacting a carefully calibrated, common-sense, real immigration reform measure that many have called the toughest in the nation. Read more... Related: Enid News & Eagle: "Republican women host rally, speakers"

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Posted at 8/15/2007 04:47:00 PM |
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 

Opponents Lose SC Skirmish, Face Defeat Over OK Coal Power Plant

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Supreme Court has given a controversial $1.8 billion coal-fired power plant in Noble County the green light. But environmental groups claim the proposed Red Rock plant, despite assurances to the contrary from its developers, will be anything but green. The Supreme Court decided last week to dismiss a lawsuit filed last month by Red Rock's opponents. The suit argued that state-conducted hearings on the new plant were unconstitutional, LNL reported. Plaintiffs claimed the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) did not have judicial power to conduct hearings that pre-approve new power plants. Red Rock's most prominent opponent is nearby Oklahoma-City-based gas producer Chesapeake Energy, the county's third-largest independent pumper. Read more...


Posted at 8/14/2007 04:49:00 PM |

Democratic Activist Questions Own Party

Courtesy of Oklahomo Demcorats(sp) want these people:

But not these:

Related: ODP Chooses Homosexuals Over Veterans?

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Posted at 8/14/2007 03:50:00 PM |

Immigration & Crime

Tough on Crime; Smart on Crime By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant Hello again, everybody! A constant we face is the responsibility to keep law-abiding Oklahoma families safe from those who would harm them. If you have read or heard the news recently, you know we again are facing a prison crisis. A crisis occurs when the Corrections Department does not have the resources to lock up all the criminals our state laws say deserve to be in prison. Oklahoma is locking up new criminals faster than existing convicts are completing their sentences. Our prison system has reached 98 percent of its capacity. The director of the Corrections Department calls the situation “the most critical point in three decades” because there are so few options. Read more... Courts To Decide Illegal Immigration Issue By Rep. Jason Murphey Perhaps the bill approved during this legislative session with some of the most far reaching consequences was House Bill 1804. House Bill 1804 is reportedly the most stringent immigration reform bill in the nation and takes a number of dramatic steps to crack down on the illegal immigration problem. HB 1804 is designed to stop illegals from getting both jobs and public benefits. It also contains a requirements that local law enforcement enforce federal immigration law and includes punishments for people who knowingly harbor or transport undocumented aliens. The passage of House Bill 1804 represented the culmination of two years of work by State Representative Randy Terrill (R-Moore). The bill passed a number of hurdles including a last minute public decision by Governor Brad Henry to not veto the law. Now, the law faces what may be it's toughest challenge yet. A group known as "The United Front Task Force" has formed as a response to House Bill 1804 and kicked off their opposition to bill by launching a public-awareness campaign, including a billboard going up in the Tulsa area. The billboard asks the question "Is if Ok ... for Oklahoma to have a law that promotes hate among people?" Perhaps the group's most effective tool against the law is their plan to file a lawsuit before the law takes effect. Read more...

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Posted at 8/14/2007 03:01:00 PM |

Chris Casteel: Chief Propagandist for Jim Inhofe?

The first line of this piece destroys any credibility it may have had! From Daily Kos: Chris Casteel, chief propagandist for U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, published an article in The Daily Oklahoman on Sunday that obviously tries to rehabilitate the senator’s image. Inhofe, despised throughout the world for his ignorant and outrageous comments about scientific and lifestyle issues, suddenly feels concern for the country’s dilapidated infrastructure, according to the disingenuous article. Read more...

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Posted at 8/14/2007 02:29:00 PM |

The People Speak: What’s Good For One Should Be Good for All

Letter to the Editor: Apparently it is time for my annual response to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and other so-called experts in the field of what is best for teachers. There seems to be two main points this year: merit pay and the number of days that teachers work. It is true that Oklahoma teachers work 180 days per year. I will guarantee, though, that teachers work more minutes per day than any other profession. From the time the first bell rings until the last bell, teachers are working every single minute of the day. Studies have shown that the average blue-collar worker actually spends only 5.4 hours of every day in productive work, and white-collar workers (the ones who keep writing letters about how little teachers work) spend an average of 4.3 hours daily being productive. The most recent column states that teachers make 2 percent more per hour than the average professional wage, but we work almost 100 percent more in that hour. Now let’s talk about merit pay. House Speaker Lance Cargill has proposed that the only raises teachers should receive in the future should be merit based. What happened to the promise the Legislature made two years ago to raise teacher pay to the regional average? Read more...


Posted at 8/14/2007 02:16:00 PM |

My (Unpublished) Letter to the Editor

Mickey Hepner is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Central Oklahoma. He regularly writes and comments on policy issues. Mickey's Musings: A few weeks ago U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin wrote a guest column for The Oklahoman criticizing House Democrats for their budget proposal (I mentioned this here). At the time I also drafted this letter to the editor and hoped The Oklahoman would publish it. Since it has been 2 1/2 weeks since submission, I think it is safe to assume that it won't be published. So, I thought I would post it here: Read more...

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Posted at 8/14/2007 02:06:00 PM |
Friday, August 10, 2007 OKPNS "Highest Rated Blog"

Mike McCarville reported earlier this week about a new "blog agregater" that compiles the feeds of top bloggers in Oklahoma to "create new content and information." The founders of this ambitious project are duplicating their efforts in over thirty states. Upon closer inspection of the site, "Pseudo" consultant Ron Black's website is rated......The Oklahoma Political News Service will need to do further investigation to find it. Thank You Readers!


Posted at 8/10/2007 02:38:00 PM |

Surprises in Stipe v. Phipps

By James Beaty Senior Editor Immunity for straw donors who made illegal campaign contributions in 2004? That’s one of things Steve Phipps testified to during a hearing at the Pittsburg County Courthouse on Thursday. Phipps was called as a witness in connection with a motion filed by his wife, Brenda Phipps, to dissolve Phipps Enterprises Inc. The company was owned by former District 7 state Sen. Gene Stipe and by Steve and Brenda Phipps, until last March, according to testimony from Brenda Phipps. She said her husband, Steve Phipps, signed his interest over to her in March as part of “estate planning” as he prepared to plead guilty to a charge in federal court. Federal agents have served search warrants on property owned by Stipe and Steve Phipps as part of an investigation into corruption and related criminal activity in Eastern Oklahoma. Read more...

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Posted at 8/10/2007 01:45:00 PM |

Oklahoma House Speaker Cargill Unveils Capitol Blog

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 10, 2007) – House Speaker Lance Cargill unveiled his new blog Friday, saying he hoped it would provide Oklahomans with candid commentary on state government and regular updates on reforms brought by conservative state lawmakers. Anyone with Internet access can read the blog for free at “My goal with this project is to give Oklahomans a fresh viewpoint on what’s going on at their state Capitol,” said Cargill, R-Harrah. “A good blog can provide people with alternative viewpoints on topics they’re interested in, and that’s what I hope to do here.” A blog, also known as a “web log,” is essentially an online journal that an individual can use to share news and commentary on any range of topics. As online journalism continues to grow, blogs are becoming an increasingly valuable source of information. Cargill said he plans to post entries to the blog at least two or three times a week, and invited Oklahomans to subscribe to the blog to stay in touch with new developments from the Capitol. The Speaker also said he has already made several posts to his blog on topics including performance pay for teachers, new economic development for Oklahoma through European partnerships, and the currently ongoing performance review of Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections


Posted at 8/10/2007 01:30:00 PM |

ODP Chooses Homosexuals Over Veterans?

According to, veterans were promised their new organization would be considered a federation instead a club within the ODP. Apparently, federation status would give them representation on the Central Committee. Seems at the last minute there was a change of heart from the powers that be: "Unfortunately there was a bit of confusion concernign (sp) the actual federation, which puts a representative on the Central Committee. After conferring with several people more experienced than Ivan and myself, we discovered that the approval of by-laws will give you officials club status, but not make you a federation." One veteran contacted us and said he can't believe his party would "outright" lie to veterans like this. "They'd rather give federation status to a bunch of gays, instead of to real men who fought for their country. Incredible!" Read more...

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Posted at 8/10/2007 01:12:00 PM |
Thursday, August 09, 2007 

Hillary Gets Pandering Lesson from Chairman Jones

OKLAHOMA CITY (August 8, 2007) With Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton visiting Oklahoma this upcoming Saturday evening, Gary Jones and the State Republican Party have created a handy “Pandering Guide” for her convenience. “Hillary has a long and painful history of pandering to people she knows nothing about,” said Jones. “So for her visit to Oklahoma, we thought it would be a nice gesture to provide her some pandering guidelines for our great state.”

Oklahoma Pandering Guide 101: Number 1: Don’t wear our crimson and cream or orange, black and white You may have gotten away with wearing a Yankees hat when you campaigned in New York, but it’s not going to work here in Oklahoma. Stick with what you know: liberal east coast elitistism. Number 2: Please don’t try the southern drawl again Your southern drawl that you pulled out on your stop in Selma, Alabama was more than a little embarrassing. Oklahomans can tell real quick if you aren’t from around here. So you probably should keep that in your back pant suit pocket. Number 3: Speaking of pant suits You’ve been criticized on the campaign trail for some of your pretentious pant suit ensembles. Let me stop you before you even think about entering Oklahoma in a pair of Wranglers and a cowboy hat. Number 4: Your love for tax increases We know you want to raise taxes on everything from businesses to personal income. However, that stance isn’t going to score you any points in Oklahoma. We want our tax burden to be lower, not higher. That’s why all 77 counties in Oklahoma went for George W. Bush in 2004, and why even Oklahoma’s lone Democrat Congressman Dan Boren predicted you won’t win Oklahoma. Number 5: Last, but certainly not least, socialized healthcare We’ve heard you are still pursuing a step-by-step plan to achieve nationalized Health Care. As always, you and your liberal colleagues are advocating another government boondoggle, not a private enterprise solution, and we don’t want the government in our doctor’s offices. So steer clear of discussing this dangerous policy. “We feel if you stick to our guidelines you may just get out of Oklahoma unscathed. As far as the election, however, I’m afraid you won’t be so lucky,” concluded Jones.

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Posted at 8/09/2007 08:16:00 AM |
Wednesday, August 08, 2007 

Rumor Has It…Top OK Repub Caught with Pants Down

The Oklahoma Political News Service has heard this same rumor - and the name that allegedly goes with that rumor. OKPNS will continue to investigate. From Sooner Thought: Word on the street is that a top “family values” Repub was caught in flagrante delicto in his office with an aide. Wheels turning? (Hmmm…that’s a tough one…trying to single out the “family values” Repub who would have the debauched nerve to cheat on his wife—at work???) Stay tuned.


Posted at 8/08/2007 02:15:00 PM |

Stipe Wants Contact With "Best Friend"

After the trials, maybe they can be cellmates or have adjoining cells! By James Beaty Lawyers for former District 7 state Sen. Gene Stipe, of McAlester, say he should be allowed to continue to associate with Steve Covington — a man referred to as the convicted felon’s “best friend.” They also want claims that Stipe violated his probation by associating with Covington tossed out of court. Stipe’s attorneys filed papers with the requests at the Eastern District of Oklahoma U.S. Courthouse in Muskogee, where Stipe faces an Aug. 28 court date. Covington not only worked as Stipe’s personal pilot for 20 years, but he also managed some of Stipe’s properties and served as a caregiver for Stipe and for Stipe’s first wife, Agnes, according to Stipe’s lawyers. Read more...

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Posted at 8/08/2007 01:27:00 PM |

Coburn On Lobbying Reform

"Republicans faced a time for choosing last week, when Senate Democrats brought to the floor an ethics "reform" bill that may make it easier for Congress to dole out pork-barrel spending. In the words of GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, the bill "not only failed to drain the swamp, but gave the alligators new rights." Read more...


Posted at 8/08/2007 01:15:00 PM |
Tuesday, August 07, 2007 

Taxpayers Should Not Be Funding Child Abusers

By Rep. Jason Murphey Last Thursday the House Human Services committee held a public hearing as part of an interim study looking into procedures by which the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) licenses child care centers. In all of the committee meetings I have attended as a member, I have never been part of one that produced the level of public interest as this one has. Our committee room was filled to capacity as interested parties sought to view the hearing. The interest was due to the proposal of reforms to the system by which child care centers are licensed. These reforms are in response to a tragic incident which occurred in May at a Tulsa area home day care center. Read more...

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Posted at 8/07/2007 10:53:00 PM |

A Quality Education for Every Child

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant Hello again, everybody! Across Oklahoma, schools are about to start for the year, and children are preparing for another year of learning. The annual battles over the future of public education are beginning to take shape. No battle we fight at the State Capitol is more important than the one over educating our children. The one institution committed to that goal is public education, which – by law – must provide a quality education for every child. For me, the battles over public education are all based on the premise of lifting up every child and truly leaving no child behind. Read more...

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Posted at 8/07/2007 04:35:00 PM |
Monday, August 06, 2007 

Sandy Garrett is Wrong, Again.

By Kyle D. Loveless Indulge me and let me give you an example. Everyone like me needs to lose a little weight. So I decide to go to a gym and the gym offers a personal trainer. I am excited, I have never had a personal trainer, I could use one, so I sign up. For months, I pay my dues to the gym, but then on top I pay extra for the personal trainer. Months go by, I do everything the trainer asks, but somehow I see no results, my weight is still the same. At the end of my contract for six months, the trainer comes to me and says, “You just need to expand your regime to keep up with the others that are training more than you. I need more money and you need to train more.” Would you go back to the same trainer if after months you put money into them, and after no results, they not only asked for more money, but for you to come in more? I know I would not, but somehow, Sandy Garrett keeps coming back for more. It seems that every few years, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett changes the goal line. When the US Chamber of Commerce give Oklahoma schools an F, she does not accept responsibility and try to improve, she complains that the tests were skewed. Even the Moore American’s own Scott Carter jumped on the bandwagon of the idea of expanding the school year. What I would like to see is accountability and responsibility and results, and more importantly above all else, I would like to see our children get the best education. Funding is at record levels, teachers are paid more now than ever before, and we now have the biggest education coup, the education lottery. So why are there still problems with public education in Oklahoma? First, we need a transfusion of competition in our education system. Schools within districts need to compete for funding, with good schools being rewarded and underperforming schools held accountable. School vouchers, tax credits for homeschoolers, magnet schools, whatever it takes to jump start our system, on behalf of the education of our children. Second, just as competition will rise the level of excellence in our system, those quality teachers should be rewarded. There should be a multi factor test in whether or not a teacher is a good one or not. Peer review, principle input, parental input even student input and scores should be taken into factor in determining who deserves raises based on merit and those that should not. Finally, there is one area that is the most effective but is the most difficult to monitor or accomplish. Most parents want and become involved in their children’s education, but the most important factor in a child’s education is parental involvement. This is my opinion, but it also backed up by Harvard studies. I am not opposed to longer school days and longer school years, I just think we both as taxpayers and parents are not getting our monies worth. We should demand more from our government at all levels and we should view our children’s future as the consumers of a defective product that is our public education system and we need radical change for our children’s education. I have never had a personal trainer, but I know that if I was not getting results from someone, I would go somewhere else with my business. We should expect results. Oklahoma City businessman Kyle Loveless is a Republican candidate for State Senate District 45. Campaign website

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Posted at 8/06/2007 02:50:00 PM |

Does Bush Listen to GOP Lawmakers on Vetoes?

By John Gizzi One case in point that was cited to me was the President’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which is an authorization rather than a spending measure. In taking the action he did, the President did not talk to Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe (Okla.), former chairman of the Senate Environment Committee and now its ranking Republican. Mr. Bush’s apparent refusal to talk to Inhofe before the veto was something I brought up at yesterday’s press briefing at the White House. I also asked Press Secretary Tony Snow whether the President consults with ranking Members of any Senate committees before he issues a veto. “Well, how do you know he didn't consult Senator Inhofe?” Snow retorted. I replied: "Senator Inhofe told me.” Read more... Related: Muskogee Phoenix Editorial: "Spend Senate time judiciously"

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Posted at 8/06/2007 02:07:00 PM |

Antiwar Profiteering?

Former 5th district Congressman and Heritage Foundation scholar Ernest Istook offers this editorial in the Washington Times today. Some of the politicians who propose withdrawing our troops from Iraq have an ulterior motive. They want to stop spending money on the military so they can start spending it on social programs. If they succeed, an army of social workers may prove the only force in the world capable of beating America's military. Funding that "army" is a revival of the "peace dividend" doctrine that brought us a hollowed-out military during the Clinton administration. Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, has claimed first dibs on the money to create a new $6-billion-a-year program against urban poverty "funded by savings from ending the Iraq war." Fellow presidential candidate John Edwards certainly will want a chunk, considering that his central theme is a mega-billion-dollar expansion of the "War on Poverty." Congress is already on a spending spree. During the first six months of the new majority, the House and the Senate approved almost $200 billion in new spending, mostly to be financed with tax increases, with a little left over to lower the deficit. But raising taxes carries political risks, so tapping a "peace dividend" is an alternative justification for higher spending. It's a tempting target, because the five-year cost of our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is officially calculated at $758 billion. Read more...

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Posted at 8/06/2007 01:57:00 PM |

Tom Cole on Reclaiming the House

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) interviewed by Sean Lengell, Washington Times & David Drucker, Roll Call.

CSPAN Video Related: U.S. News & World Report's "Washington Whispers": "Know Thy Enemy" Is the GOP Motto Rising House Democratic leader Rep. Rahm Emanuel is one tough political battler, and now the Republican leading the charge to return the GOP to power in the House wants his side to know just how formidable the opposition can be. We hear that Rep. Tom Cole, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has purchased a couple dozen copies of the Chicago Tribune bio on Emanuel: The Thumpin<': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution. The reason is simple. Cole wants his staff to learn about the guy who orchestrated the 2006 House Democratic takeover. Read more...


Posted at 8/06/2007 01:36:00 PM |
Friday, August 03, 2007 

Foshee: "Voice of the People" Has Laryngitis?

Disclaimer: The following post is NOT a personal attack. We have been accused by Foshee supporters (all three of them - which includes "pseudo" consultant Ron Black, Foshee himself, and his wife) of waging personal attacks when we examine their fledgling campaign and their amateurish campaign tactics. Foshee, the self described "voice of the people" seems to be experiencing chronic laryngitis. Although Foshee and his declared opponent Kyle Loveless are neck and neck in the money race - with Loveless enjoying a small cash on hand advantage, recently filed campaign reports show Loveless raised his funds through a pool of fourteen donors. Foshee's total raised funds comes entirely from personal loans to himself. You don't have to be a Dick Morris or Karl Rove to know that this is not good news for a campaign - no matter how well "The Gorilla" will attempt to spin it. The Oklahoma Political News Service will continue to investigate.

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Posted at 8/03/2007 04:53:00 PM |

City Worker Bound Over In Missing Trailer Case

Court documents mention that Jason McMahan was read his rights on November 2nd and questioned about the theft. It also reports that McMahan admitted to owning a pickup that fit the description of the one seen pulling the trailer away at 2am in the morning when it was stolen. Tecumseh Countywide News & Shawnee Sun: A City of Tecumseh employee was bound over for arraignment and trial Tuesday morning in connection with the theft of a campaign trailer almost a year ago. Justin Lewis of Macomb faces up to five years in prison if convicted of knowingly concealing stolen property, in this case a trailer which belonged to a supporter of Gary Jones, a candidate for state auditor & inspector in last year’s election against incumbent Jeff McMahan of Tecumseh. Jones, now chairman of the state Republican Party, offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever stole the trailer, but to date no one has been charged with the theft. Jones was in the courtroom for Tuesday’s hearing. Special District Judge David Cawthon found sufficient evidence to hear the case after a preliminary hearing Tuesday. Among the witnesses were Tecumseh Police Detective J.R. Kidney and Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Patten. Kidney testified that he and another deputy found the trailer on property belonging to Lewis on Nov. 2, six weeks after it disappeared in Tecumseh. Read more...

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Posted at 8/03/2007 02:21:00 PM |

Budget Update: State Revenue Growth Showing Early Signs of Slowdown

Another doom and gloom economic forecast from the Community Action Project. By David Blatt Director of Public Policy, Community Action Project Oklahoma enters a new fiscal year amidst signs that state revenue collections may be entering a slowdown. As legislators grapple to address new responsibilities, rising costs and unmet needs, this revenue slowdown sends a signal of budget challenges on the imminent horizon. I. Revenue Trends The most recent state fiscal year, FY ‘07, marked the fourth consecutive year of revenue growth in Oklahoma. General Revenue (GR) tax collections, which represent approximately 72% of all state tax revenues, increased by 4.2% in FY ‘07 compared to FY ‘06. Since emerging from the steep downturn of 2002-2004, GR has grown at a robust annual rate of 9.2%. Also for the fourth consecutive year, actual GR collections came in well above certified estimates, allowing for a substantial end-of-year deposit to the state’s Rainy Day Fund, which has now reached $571.6 million. Read more...

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Posted at 8/03/2007 01:53:00 PM |

Istook: "SCHIP: No Child Left Off Welfare"


Inhofe Praises Tim Degiusti's Senate Confirmation

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today made the following statement praising the Senate confirmation of Tim DeGiusti to be the district judge for the Western District of Oklahoma: “I am pleased to announce that in the final moments before the Senate adjourned for August recess, Tim DeGiusti was confirmed as U.S. federal district court judge for the Western District of Oklahoma,” Senator Inhofe said. “Tim DeGiusti has led a life of excellence and is no stranger to public service. He is a native Oklahoman and has served his country as trial counsel for the United States Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps and in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserves as a military lawyer. “His resume demonstrates a wide range of legal experience including commercial litigation, business torts, military law, tribal court litigation and employment law. He was listed among the ‘Best Lawyers in America’ in 2007 and has received the American Bar Association’s highest rating of ‘well-qualified’. I have every expectation that Tim DeGiusti will be a first-rate federal judge and will serve our nation and Oklahoma well.”


Posted at 8/03/2007 01:15:00 PM |
Wednesday, August 01, 2007 

Wilson Research Strategies Releases Political Environment Assessment

Leading national Republican research and consulting firm Wilson Research Strategies, has released its early August 2007 edition of the National Political Environment Assessment. This edition focuses on the war in Iraq and its impact on the current political climate. WRS says the data presented in the report has been collected from reputable news and academic polling organizations, with analysis and interpretation by WRS.

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Posted at 8/01/2007 01:24:00 PM |

Taking Our Money

By Rep. Jason Murphey Last week controversy broke out when it was claimed that the executive director of the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) failed to notify his governing board that he had authorized a $48,000-a-year lobbying contract with the a prominent capitol lobbyist. As you may be aware the OML represents municipal governments. When you pay your sales tax by buying an item at the store part of that tax goes to city government. Your city government uses that money to pay membership dues in the OML. The OML can use the money to buy the best lobbyist to insure the legislature makes laws that favor city governments. Government has actually gotten so big that one arm of government is taxing us to pay lobbyists to lobby another arm of government. Worse yet, the OML actually has eight people registered to lobby for them. OML has also entered into an agreement calling for the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) to pay the OML $49,500 a year. In exchange, OML agrees to distribute the Grand River Dam Authority's promotional materials to its members and cooperate in securing the support of other entities of state government for GRDA's programs. The Grand River Dam Authority is also a wing of of government as it is quasi-state agency/trust that oversees hydroelectric power generation in northeastern Oklahoma. Putting this as simply as possible, one government entity (the GRDA) is paying a collective of government entities (the OML) a fee to promote its interests. Read more...

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Posted at 8/01/2007 11:50:00 AM |

Poll: Oklahomans Want to Expand Term Limits

Yes on Term Limits Finds Voters Support New Limits On Statewide Offices OKLAHOMA CITY--A new statewide poll shows Oklahomans overwhelmingly in favor of the term limits laws currently in place for the governor and state legislators, and indicates that voters would likewise support a new initiative to expand term limits to cover other statewide officials. “Polling shows that Oklahomans choose term limits, and we want to expand this tool for responsible government as soon as we can,” says Yes on Term Limits Board Member Jack Dake of Oklahoma City. Yes on Term Limits sponsored the poll, which was conducted July 18, 2007 by Pulse Opinion Research. The poll surveyed 1,000 voters and has a margin of error of +/-3 percent. Yes on Term Limits, an Oklahoma ballot committee, was formed last month to pursue expanding term limits to secondary state offices: Attorney General, Lt. Governor, State Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of Labor, Insurance Commissioner, and Corporations Commissioner. Dake says the poll numbers, gathered by one of America’s most reliable pollsters, are quite stunning. “We suspected good support, but not by the overwhelming numbers the Pulse Opinion Research reveals. Oklahomans are ready to hold statewide officeholders to the same standard they placed on legislators if they are only given the chance.” Oklahoma voters passed term limits for their legislators in 1990. “Incredibly, nearly 80% of Oklahomans want term limits on statewide elected officials,” Dake stated. “These numbers indicate they believe strongly that new ideas and new people need to be brought into the process. The current system of what is essentially ‘tenure’ for statewide elected officials needs to be ended immediately.” Besides Dake, officers for Yes on Term Limits include Chairman James Dunn of Oklahoma City and Board Member Dr. Michael Ritze of Tulsa. For more information about the poll or to schedule an interview with a leader of Yes on Term Limits, call (405) 947-2462, ext. 112. Contacts Yes on Term Limits Scott Mitchell, 405-947-2462, ext. 112


Posted at 8/01/2007 09:00:00 AM |

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