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Sunday, September 30, 2007 

Senator Tom Coburn: The Doctor Of Truth

Friday, September 28, 2007 

Dr. Coburn Explains Hold on NICS bill

“When politicians create new ways to spend money they should be forced to do what every American family has to do and make choices between competing priorities. This bill authorizes more than $2 billion in new spending that is not paid for with reductions in other lower-priority areas of the budget. As Congress prepares to raise the debt limit once again, it is not too much to ask politicians to do the job they were elected to do and make choices. Veterans, or any other American, should not lose their Second Amendment rights if they have been unfairly tagged as having mental health concerns. The bill does not fund a process by which such individuals can regain their rights.” Click here to read the American Legion's letter of support for Dr. Coburn's position on the NICS bill.


Posted at 9/28/2007 09:37:00 PM |

Energy Group Offers Scholarship In Fallin's Name

Tecumseh Countywide News & Shawnee Sun: The Energy Advocates, a not-for-profit organization based in Oklahoma, has announced it will provide student scholarships in the name of Oklahoma Fifth District Congresswoman Mary Fallin. Fallin responded to the announcement, saying “I am deeply grateful this fine organization has chosen to honor me in such a way.” “The Energy Advocates membership is committed to raising public awareness of all aspects of the energy industry.” Read more...


Posted at 9/28/2007 03:55:00 PM |

Inhofe Statement on SCHIP Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today announced that he is a co-sponsor along with Senators Lott (R-Miss.) and Coburn (R-Okla.), among others, of the SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (S.2086), which provides an 18-month clean extension of the SCHIP program without the big-government expansions in the Democrats’ SCHIP re-authorization legislation (H.R.976). The temporary extension is consistent with the President’s plan and increases funding in accordance with CBO estimates of the costs to ensure that every state’s SCHIP program is fully funded when the current program’s authorization ends on September 30th. “I support the original intent of the SCHIP program, which provides health coverage for uninsured children in need,” Senator Inhofe said. “Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats have been playing politics with the SCHIP re-authorization bill, using it as a vehicle to advance their long-standing agenda of socializing healthcare and creating a new middle-class entitlement. “The Democrats’ legislation unnecessarily expands state-wide health insurance coverage from low-income, uninsured children to include entitlements to some upper-middle class families and adults, forcing the federal government to insure adults with funds intended for children. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that almost 2.1 million people eligible in this new bracket could drop private coverage in favor of government-run, taxpayer-funded insurance. This unprecedented expansion toward nationalized healthcare will detrimentally affect the quality of coverage available to Americans. “Congress needs to pass a clean extension of SCHIP that maintains the original intent of the program by providing health insurance for the millions of uninsured, low-income children across the country, not middle-class adults. I co-sponsored the SCHIP Extension Act to do just that – provide an 18-month extension of the SCHIP program, ensuring that children are still able to receive health insurance when the program expires this week.”


Posted at 9/28/2007 03:48:00 PM |

Believing in Oklahoma; Fighting for the Next Generation

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm of Durant Hello again, everybody! Over the next several weeks, the celebration of Oklahoma’s Centennial will be in full swing. Compared to most of our neighboring states, Oklahoma is young. In fact, most communities in my Senate district are older than Oklahoma. As young as Oklahoma is, it is remarkable what we have achieved. During my recent tour of area schools, one question almost always came up. “What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Oklahoma?” For me, the answer is simple. Our biggest challenge is simply believing in ourselves and our state. For much of our short history, Oklahomans have been convinced that our state cannot compete and win – except on the football field. Read more...

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Posted at 9/28/2007 03:38:00 PM |

News9: Oklahoma Speaker of the House Lance Cargill Remains at the Center of a Growing Controversy


Boren Bill Would Mandate Colon Cancer Screenings

WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, on Tuesday began promoting a bill that would mandate insurance pay for colon cancer screenings. Boren cited his family history as a reason for legislation expanding coverage to 28 states that do not require insurance companies to pay for the screenings. He was accompanied at a Capitol news conference by his sister Carrie Boren, missioner for evangelism at the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. Read More


Posted at 9/28/2007 09:23:00 AM |

Education Cost Studies Needed, Report Author Says

The Norman Transcript Transcript Staff Writer OKLAHOMA CITY --State leaders need a much better understanding the costs associated with meeting new education standards, the author of a controversial Oklahoma education study said this week. John Augenblick, the president of Denver-based Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, defended his firm's 2005 study of the way Oklahoma's education system is funded, saying the questing of how much it cost a state to provide education services which meet governmental standards is "a pretty new question." Augenblick's two-part study, "Calculating the Cost of an Adequate Education in Oklahoma," analyzed the "adequacy of revenues available to elementary and secondary school districts in Oklahoma" for the 2003-2004 fiscal year. Read More


Posted at 9/28/2007 09:20:00 AM |

Experts Warn that Vital Public Programs are at Risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 27, 2007 For more information contact: David Blatt, Public Policy Director Community Action Project 918.382.3228 OKLAHOMA CITY – If the fiscal policies of reducing revenue continue, state government will lack the resources necessary to properly fund vital programs on which Oklahomans rely. According to members of the Alliance for Oklahoma’s Future, dramatic funding cuts in state services such as education, public safety, and state pension programs are inevitable if further reductions in state revenue occur this coming legislative session. “Because of recent decisions enacted by the Legislature, Oklahoma’s revenue growth has slowed dramatically and we are facing long term budget shortfalls,” said David Blatt, Alliance chairman. “Costs for the state’s existing programs are increasing faster than revenues and this situation will further put the squeeze on those priorities that matter most to Oklahomans.” The Alliance was called today to speak to members of the House Revenue and Tax Committee regarding changes to Oklahoma’s tax structure. The Committee chair posed the question, “Should Oklahoma cut taxes and if so, which ones?” “With a grossly underfunded education system, increasing poverty rates among Oklahoma’s children, crumbling roads and bridges, and a crowded prison system, we believe these are the wrong questions for the committee to be asking,” said Blatt. “First and foremost, we need to guarantee that we are meeting our goals as a state to achieve an adequate tax system that provides every Oklahoman opportunity, prosperity and security.” The Alliance proposed the following recommendations to the Committee: • Take a breather from further tax cuts; • Evaluate the current tax structure’s capacity to adequately fund the state’s goals; • Develop long-term budget forecasts; • Modernize Oklahoma’s tax system; • Maintain a balanced tax structure; and • Preserve and ensure equity in the state income tax. Further testimony by Elizabeth Hudgins, Senior Policy Analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a national nonpartisan policy research organization, pointed out that Oklahoma’s taxes are already among the lowest in the nation. “Oklahomans pay among the least in the country in state and local taxes, ranking 43rd nationwide,” said Hudgins. “Policymakers should consider their state’s goals and priorities and ensure a tax system that works for all Oklahomans.”

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Posted at 9/28/2007 09:16:00 AM |

Red Cross Gives Defibrillator to "Capitol Doctor of the Day" Program as Part of Preparedness Month

Darrell Gable of the Red Cross instructs House security staff in CPR and proper operation of an Automated External Defibrillator. OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 27, 2007) – As part of National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma made a special donation Thursday to make sure Oklahoma lawmakers are prepared for the worst. At a special ceremony, Vince Hernandez, CEO of the Central Oklahoma Red Cross, presented the Capitol Doctor of the Day office with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Dana Cash with Zoll Medical, which is partnering with the Red Cross on the gift of the defibrillator, was also present for the event. “Many Oklahomans visit their state Capitol each year, and they often come to observe their state Legislature in session,” said House Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah. “Though we hope it never happens, it’s always possible that a visitor, a lawmaker, or a staffer could suffer a heart attack here in the Capitol. I appreciate the Red Cross helping us be prepared for the realities of life.” Chad Warmington, chief of staff of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, accepted the gift on behalf of the Speaker, the Doctor of the Day office, and the entire Legislature. The defibrillator will be stored in the Oklahoma Legislature’s Doctor of the Day office at the state Capitol during the legislative session. As part of the event, House security staff were also given professional instruction by the Red Cross in CPR and were taught how to operate the defibrillator.

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Posted at 9/28/2007 09:00:00 AM |
Thursday, September 27, 2007 

American Gun Law Expert Commends Senator Coburn

Gun rights expert John M. Snyder this morning commended Sen. Tom Coburn (OK) for blocking an attempt by Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) to ramrod firearms legislation through the United States Senate without full consideration of the proposal. “America’s millions of law-abiding gun owners owe Coburn their appreciation for his action,” said Snyder. “Schumer tried to bring a so-called National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) improvements bill out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and directly to the floor of the Senate without amendment by virtue of a unanimous consent agreement. Under such a procedure, a piece of legislation may be brought to the floor and acted upon unless at least one Senator objects. Fortunately, Coburn objected and that is why he now is a hero of the gun rights movement.” Read More


Posted at 9/27/2007 01:13:00 PM |

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

"People now are really frightened and scared because they don't know what's going to happen," says Juliana Stout, an editor at the newspaper El Nacional de Oklahoma. "They're selling houses. They're leaving the country."
Illegal Immigration apologist are shocked at the exodus of Illegals leaving Oklahoma in droves. Maybe if each state adopted this same strict policy we could regain our country back. Read More

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Posted at 9/27/2007 12:56:00 PM |

Press One for English? No Call Your Senators for English!

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has introduced a bill that would make English the official language of the United States of America, and would require “The Government of the United States [to] conduct its official business in English, including publications, income tax forms, and informational materials.” It would also send a message to new immigrants that the U.S. intends to preserve its linguistic unity as a nation, and that they must have a responsibility to learn English as the first step toward pursing the American dream, and full participation in American life. Read More

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Posted at 9/27/2007 12:52:00 PM |

State Rep. Randy Terrill answers questions about immigration


River Opponents React To New Incentives

Courtesy of KOTV

With the river tax vote two weeks away supporters are now courting the north side of Tulsa, where some community leaders have blasted the plan for neglecting black Tulsans. On Wednesday, Mayor Kathy Taylor held out a carrot worth millions of dollars for a yes vote. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports on the reaction to the promise of pools and playgrounds on the north side.

Many North Tulsa residents vowed to vote no, but river tax supporters are moving north to change their minds.

“I'm not surprised because divide and conquer has always been one thing used in the north side of Tulsa,” said Dr. Warren Blakney, Minister of the North Peoria Church of Christ. “If you can divide the vote than perhaps you can get what you need.”

Read More

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Posted at 9/27/2007 12:41:00 PM |
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 

Campus Security Changes Urged

In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech slaying, Oklahoma took a proactive approach to solving harmful situations before it is too late.
The Campus Life and Safety & Security Task Force is drafting recommendations to go to Gov. Brad Henry and lawmakers in January.
Bird and others said more and better-trained counselors are needed to help troubled students and those with mental health issues.

Some campuses don't have any on-site counselors and others don't have enough to meet the need. Also, the state lacks enough training programs for counselors.

Read More

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Posted at 9/26/2007 11:23:00 AM |
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 

NRCC Broke?

By Josh Kraushaar It seems every day brings more bad news for Republicans. As Politico first reported Friday, House Minority Leader John Boehner and his campaign chief, Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, are at war over campaign tactics and operations. Boehner is demanding a major shake-up at the National Republican Congressional Committee. The dust-up might be the least of the GOP’s problems. Three House Republicans in very competitive districts recently announced their retirements — and several more senior GOP members have hinted they may do the same. Put simply, Republicans lack the money to fight seriously for many of these seats. The NRCC is essentially broke, with more debt than money in the bank. “When you look at what’s going on in the House, the prospects for getting back on track are pretty dim at the moment,” said Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.). Read more...

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Posted at 9/25/2007 04:57:00 PM |

Effort Launched To Divert Lottery Money From Education

By Rep. Jason Murphey In 2002, while campaigning for Governor, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry campaigned on a platform of financing Oklahoma public education through creation of the Oklahoma lottery. The lottery concept appears to have been presented to Oklahomans as a magic bullet to cure Oklahoma's education challenges, not unlike the House Bill 1017 sales tax increase, which was also presented to Oklahoma voters as an education solution. The lottery was to provide $500 million to the education system. It is in fact generating only about $70 million per year for public education. This represents about 14% of the money originally predicted. For instance, in fiscal year 2008 lottery revenue will make up only around 2% - 3% of the amount state government gives to the local school districts in Crescent, Guthrie and Edmond. Worse still, Oklahoma politicians, in their haste to spend the money, have incurred millions of dollars of long term debt that must be paid back out of those revenues. Read More

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Posted at 9/25/2007 11:58:00 AM |

Frank Lucas Announces Agra Fire Department to receive $180,000

“I’m glad to help the Agra Fire Department earn federal dollars so that they can better protect local residents from possible fire outbreaks,” Lucas said. “The fire departments in Oklahoma are struggling to protect residents with a mostly volunteer workforce and shrinking city budgets. They need all the help the federal government can give them.” “I’m sure Lincoln County residents are pleased to learn about this as well,” Lucas said. “They deserve the peace of mind that their local fire department is prepared for the unexpected.” Read More


Posted at 9/25/2007 11:47:00 AM |

A Bridge Too Far?

Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who requested the inspector general’s report, tried to get a measure passed that would place a moratorium on earmarks until all of the nation’s deficient bridges were either repaired or replaced. It should come as no surprise that he was unsuccessful. The measure failed by a lopsided vote of 82 to 14.

“The bridge in Minnesota didn’t fail as much as Congress failed,” Coburn said. “We failed to direct dollars where they were needed most because this body is obsessed with parochial pork-barrel politics.”

The House passed a similar bill prior to the Minneapolis bridge collapse that also was packed with pork totaling $2.2 billion.

The projects include: * A museum to present and interpret the colorful and fascinating history of Las Vegas — $200,000. * A peace garden on North Dakota’s border with Canada — $450,000. * A minor-league baseball stadium in Billings, Montana — $500,000. * A mule and packers museum in Bishop (population: 3,575), Calif. — $50,000.

Read More

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Posted at 9/25/2007 11:29:00 AM |

Illegal Immigration Bill Unconstitutional?

The Latin American and Hispanic Affairs Advisory Council has questioned the constitutionality of Oklahoma's new immigration law. The issue they have with the new law is that Oklahoma is doing the Federal governments job. The late (great to some) James Brown has a song titled " I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open The Door I'll Get It Myself)" What the Advisory council fails to realize is that ILLEGAL is ILLEGAL. No matter if you come from Canada, China, Iran, Iraq, or MEXICO (where most Iraqis nationals and Chinese come through) courtesy of our un-guarded Mexican borders. I haven't heard them scream about the Constitutionality of Illegal Immigrants receiving: In state tutition, healthcare, and in some cases drivers license. Now if you want to talk about Constitutionality talk about that and then maybe we can have a debate. Until then, ILLEGAL means ILLEGAL and if you are here ILLEGALLY you should be shipped back where you come from.
More Information: How Eisenhower solved Illegal Immigration in the 50's


Posted at 9/25/2007 11:07:00 AM |
Monday, September 24, 2007 

Statement by House Speaker Lance Cargill on Dank Ethics Legislation

OKLAHOMA CITY (Monday, Sept. 24, 2007) House Speaker Lance Cargill issued a statement Monday following an announcement by state Rep. David Dank on ethics legislation: "I commend Representative Dank for coming forward with this proposal for ethics reform. For far too long in our state’s history,there have been too many problems with ethics in state government, from the Supreme Court to the Legislature to the governor's office. That’s why I was proud to author last year’s House Bill 2101, which has been described by many, including officials at the state Ethics Commission, as the most sweeping and comprehensive legislative ethics reform in years. House Bill 2102, among other things, banned contributions at the Capitol and honoraria payments to legislators. Obviously, anything we do must be constitutional, but we certainly support tough rules. I look forward to reviewing the details of Representative Dank's proposal."

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Posted at 9/24/2007 04:45:00 PM |

Tulsa Politics and Propriety in Punditry

By David Arnett, Publisher The hot local issue of Arkansas River restoration and development in Tulsa has driven Republican Party divisions to the public most recently with a personal attack by a self-aggrandizing pundit upon a private individual who is active within one of the most influential political clubs in the metropolis.
Michael D. Bates
Michael D. Bates
The perpetually defeated, angry white guy – and apparent leader of the Republican “No-Knows” – is Michael D. Bates. He has run twice for City Councilor of District 4 and was easily defeated. Bates led the opposition to Vision 2025, of which all four propositions passed by overwhelming margins. He opposed the 4-to-Fix infrastructure propositions – voters approved. He has motivated others and engaged himself in hate-speech, orchestrating continual slanderous attacks on public officials of Tulsa County, the most recent of which urged the City Council to annex the Tulsa County Fairgrounds – a disaster only postponed for the moment. Bates uses the Urban Tulsa Weekly (a free, local entertainment guide) publisher’s appetite for free content to advance his addiction to ambition with KFAQ, a fringe radio station so desperate for ratings they hired disgraced former city councilor Chris Medlock to provide political commentary.
Bates does have a style – pedagogic demagogism – and often reminds this writer of “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski: born to a good family, highly intelligent, well educated and insane. Read more...


Posted at 9/24/2007 04:19:00 PM |

Breaking News!! Lawmaker looks to change the way money is used in Oklahoma politics

In an attempt to limit the amounts of money donated to PAC's State Rep. David Dank has said that he will file legislation to curb the influence of money in politics. Among reforms called for by State Rep. Dave Dank, R-Oklahoma City, are: *Banning contributions during the legislative session; *Requiring full disclosure of consultants reported by name who are running campaigns, to ensure relatives and friends are not getting the money intended for races; *Limiting transfer of money from one political action committee to another in an effort to make sure an individual does not funnel contributions in excess of the $5,000 limit to the same candidate. Read More


Posted at 9/24/2007 01:59:00 PM |

Extremism Hits Close To Home

While the Ethics panel continues to look into the GOP Fundraising, liberals around the state are taking advantage of that opportunity to really pander to their liberal base of supporters. REDOKLAHOMA has more to report on this story. It is always good when the attention is on someone else. Who would've thought that Andrew Rice was associated with people like this? But then again he is just another liberal masquerading as a "moderate".

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Posted at 9/24/2007 10:43:00 AM |
Friday, September 21, 2007 

KWTV Follow Up Reports on GOP Ethics Probe

We have for you KWTV's Stacey Cameron's follow up reports on the continuing Ethics Commission probe. First, here is the 4:00pm "Your Vote Counts" segment discussing the investigation. Here is the 10:00pm report from last night's broadcasts.


Posted at 9/21/2007 06:00:00 PM |

WOW! With Friends Like These....

Tulsa World:
Some lawmakers, including former House Speaker Todd Hiett, said they contributed funds to the state party, but were surprised to learn the Oklahoma County party took control of the money. Hiett, who said he thought his own $5,000 contribution was going to the state, said Thursday that Cargill, who was then House caucus chairman, should have the answers. "That's a question for the PAC chairman (Cargill). He managed the finances for the Republican (House) caucus," Hiett said. "Cargill obviously felt like he was on solid ground. I honestly hope he would come forward with the legal ground that supports that action." Read more...

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Posted at 9/21/2007 05:00:00 PM |

TIME Magazine: The Senate's G.O.P. Bomb Throwers

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (L) speaks as Senator Tom Coburn look on during a news conference. Alex Wong / Getty By JAY NEWTON-SMALL Senator Tom Coburn spent a good part of last Wednesday trying to stop the federal government from building bike paths. He wanted to redirect the $12 million allotted for them to shoring up U.S. bridges following the collapse of a highway bridge in Minneapolis that killed 13 people. The amendment failed 80-18. Undeterred, Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, immediately introduced his second amendment of the day: a motion to suspend all earmarks — or pet projects often attached in secret to funding bills — until structural integrity of all U.S. bridges can be verified. There were $2 billion in earmarks in the bill, which, if passed, will fund the Transportation Department next year; the amendment failed 82-14. That same day Senator Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, added his own amendment to suspend a rule that requires the government to use unionized workers to make emergency repairs to bridges, which DeMint says raises the cost by as much as 35%. That amendment also failed, 56-37. Read more... Related: An anonymous Republican Senator, identified by Think Progress as Tom Coburn (R-OK), has placed a secret hold on a law that would restore public access to presidential records. Two other senators were initially suspects but their offices have denied involvement while Coburn’s office has refused comment. The secret hold is part of an attempt to undermine the Democratic bill nullifying Bush’s executive order of 2001 that called for many executive materials to be kept secret “in perpetuity.” (Think Progress and The Dallas Morning News) Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said Thursday he will force a roll-call vote on raising the debt limit.

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Posted at 9/21/2007 04:47:00 PM |

Lawmaker says state income tax too high

OKLAHOMA CITY While University of Oklahoma President David Boren is calling for a moratorium on further state tax cuts, the chairman of the House’s Revenue and Taxation Committee believes Boren’s request is premature. State Rep. Randy Terrill said he still believes the state’s income tax is too high but wants to gather information from a series of interim studies later this fall before deciding. “Boren’s call was premature,” Terrill, R-Moore, said. “We haven’t begun our interim studies yet. We want to look at whether or not additional tax relief is needed or necessary and, if so, what type of tax relief is preferable.” Read More


Posted at 9/21/2007 04:06:00 PM |

OKPNS - "Oklahoma's Third Most Influential Political Blog"

Oklahoma's Most Influential Political blogs 1.) TPD Blog 2.) The Lost Ogle 3.) Oklahoma Political News Service 4.) My Tulsa World Blog 5.) SoonerThought 6.) The McCarville Report Online 7.) The Red Dirt Political Report 8.) Oklahomily the Blog 9.) Living On Tulsa Time 10.) Okiedoke - Vintage Okie opinion 11.) Stan Geiger 12.) BatesLine 13.) meeciteewurkor 14.) Bounded Rationality 15.) blue oklahoma 16.) Satellite Sky 17.) Speaker Cargill's Blog 18.) MedBlogged 19.) OKLAHOMA 20.) Sidebar Blog: Law and Disorder, Okie Style


Posted at 9/21/2007 03:39:00 PM |

Payday Loans Gone Bad

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is accused of charging illegal interest rates on payday loans. By Marie Price The Journal Record Oklahoma City - A class-action lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania federal court accuses several lenders, including some tied to the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, of charging illegal interest rates on payday loans. The legal action was filed on behalf of Matthew Walp of Bensalem, Penn., who allegedly applied for and received several payday loans on Web sites operated by one or the other of the seven named and 10 “John Doe” loan companies. Read More


Posted at 9/21/2007 10:41:00 AM |
Thursday, September 20, 2007 

Oklahomans Join Nation's Protests for "Jena 6"

Photos courtesy of Jaclyn Houghton/CNHI News Service


Posted at 9/20/2007 06:53:00 PM |

KWTV Report on GOP Ethics Probe

KWTV "News 9" reporter Stacey Cameron, follows up on the story we broke last Friday on possible ethics violations by House GOP lawmakers and Oklahoma County party officials. Click here to view last night's report.


Posted at 9/20/2007 02:41:00 PM |

Race bodes well for state

As ugly and quarrelsome as political races can be, the electorate profits from them, and that certainly will be the case in the race for U.S. Senate in 2008 in Oklahoma.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe will defend his seat against at least one candidate, and the race is sure to be filled with fire.

While Inhofe’s conservative value system reflects the value system of most Oklahomans, Inhofe’s long tenure has been filled with controversy.

Read More

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Posted at 9/20/2007 12:19:00 PM |

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

Today our State Auditor Jeff McMahan's wife met with Federal Agents looking into possible political corruption. Corruption? What Corrutpion?


Posted at 9/20/2007 12:06:00 PM |

Oklahoma Corporate Commissioner Jim Roth

100 days ago Governor Brad Henry appointed me as your public servant to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. In these 100 days I have worked hard to analyze where we are as a State, a Commission and a citizenry and I am very excited about our collective future. I am grateful to my Commission colleagues Jeff Cloud and Bob Anthony for their professionalism, assistance and interest in our State’s future. The issues of American energy are far too complex to fairly address in this short column, but I am hopeful the following information will inspire you to think about a future in which YOU can better control your own future energy needs and costs. How? Energy Efficiency.
Read More


Posted at 9/20/2007 11:53:00 AM |
Wednesday, September 19, 2007 

Democrat Fact Check: Delusional Dems?

Isn't it a tad ironic that Oklahoma Democrats would insinuate the Republican Party is a party of criminals? Are they expecting us to just forget about notable Democrats such as David Walters, Gene Stipe, Carroll Fisher, and Jeff McMahan? Read more...

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Posted at 9/19/2007 04:21:00 PM |

Passing the Torch

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm of Durant Hello again, everybody! This week, as part of the celebration of Constitution Day, I again made my trip to schools across southern Oklahoma to talk with students about representative democracy. Since becoming your senator, the week of Constitution Day has been one to which I most look forward. Every year, the National Conference of State Legislatures sponsors “America’s Legislators Back to School” during the week we celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution. This week was chosen because it is when we celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. During the week, I try to visit as many schools as possible across my district, and I’ve been on the road every day traveling from one school to another. Our Constitution is nothing short of a miraculous document. It established a government that for the first time on Earth put political power in the hands of the people rather than those who govern. As I tell the students, that means you are the boss and I work for you. Read more...

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Posted at 9/19/2007 04:10:00 PM |

Don't Tread On Me

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."~ Ronald Reagan
The past couple of weeks on Capitol Hill have been interesting to say the least. But there seems to be one voice of reason in the wilderness every time. Last week it was on spending and this week it is on something so fundamental that one would be an idiot not agree with our Senator Tom Coburn. H.R 327 or the Joshua Omvig Veterans' Suicide Prevention Act has been the center of a certain amount of scrutiny by Senator Coburn ( A Doctor might I add) because he says "it preconditions health care for veterans on mental health screening." At first glance one would vote for this bill because it is sort of a feel good measure to help our veterans. With this bill even with the COMMON COLD a veteran would have to undergo comprehensive mental screening. I have heard that word comprehensive before and I didn't like it then and now it seems to be getting worse with the bills it is associated with. The Citizens Committee for the Right To Keep and Bear Arms have criticized Democrats for trying to push a back door scheme and do what Democrats do best TRY AND TAKE YOUR GUN! It is time that we stop with the feel good measures in Washington and start finding real solutions to our ever increasing problems. Senator Coburn seems to think around those terms I guess thats why the Democrats hate him so much. If you tried to impose spending limits on a group of people who don't know how not to spend, they would criticize you too. They would probably even call you a racist because being fiscally sound is racism, right?


Posted at 9/19/2007 08:05:00 AM |

Officials Testify About Performance Pay In Higher Education & Career Technology

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 18, 2007) -- Performance pay plans are already in place and working in Oklahoma colleges and CareerTech schools, according to testimony from officials at a Tuesday hearing at the state Capitol.

Tuesday's hearing was the third in a series of House Education Committee meetings to study performance pay for Oklahoma's teachers. The hearings come just as performance pay gains momentum nationwide. A story on the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post pointed out that performance pay has widespread support among parents across the country.

"Clearly, performance pay works. As we heard today, it's already working in some colleges and universities, and at Career Tech schools," said Oklahoma Speaker Lance Cargill (R-Harrah). "Performance pay promotes teacher growth and confidence, creates a climate of continuous improvement and increases student achievement. If it's working for CareerTech and at colleges, then it can work in common education too."

"The bottom line of our efforts is that good teachers deserve to be rewarded for their work," said state Rep. Tad Jones, R-Claremore, who has chaired the series of hearings. "I think we're beginning to see that a performance pay system is a realistic and necessary reform for our public schools in Oklahoma."

Lawmakers heard from several CareerTech officials who shared information about performance pay systems already in place within that system.

Lindel Fields, deputy superintendent of the Tri-County Technological Center in Bartlesville, said a performance pay plan there recognizes star performers, boosts confidence among instructors and focuses on student success.

"Teachers are proud to be rewarded for their individual performance. They want to be recognized," said Field. "When you reward them individually they stand a little bit taller, they are a little prouder. There's no reason education can't reward excellence the same as the business world does."

James Machell, dean of the University of Central Oklahoma's College of Education, testified that five of Oklahoma's regional colleges and universities have some form of performance pay.

"It has worked," said Machell. "Teachers know who the bad teachers are, and they don't want them receiving the same pay. I think the keys are multiple measurements of performance, and stakeholder involvement." Cargill said he was also encouraged by testimony from education experts that performance pay plans work when they use a variety of factors to measure teacher success.

"This was more validation for the kind of performance pay plan we seek, a model that rewards excellent teachers based on a mix of factors," said Cargill. "We're seeing a consensus emerge that performance pay works when it is done the right way." Two experts from the North Carolina Center for Teacher Quality testified about their research into the do's and don'ts of performance pay. "Not all teachers are going to excel in every dimension, but if teachers have access to a variety of avenues to show achievement then you're really going to promote excellence," said Anthony Cody, a teacher from California, who co-authored a report from the Center called "Teacher Solutions." "We know the current pay system in Oklahoma has remained essentially the same for most of our state's history, and it's doing nothing to boost teacher success and student achievement," said Cargill. "It's time to move forward with a substantial performance pay reform." In the series of hearings that began in August, lawmakers have heard from experts that studied performance pay plans demonstrating results -- as well as from teachers who support performance pay. Last week, Professional Oklahoma Educators officials shared a survey of members that showed strong support for performance pay. Nearly 70 percent of the teachers who responded to the survey prefer some form of performance pay system, said Ginger Tinney, POE Executive Director. The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25.

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Posted at 9/19/2007 07:59:00 AM |
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 

Your Chance To Help Reform Government

This week Logan County residents will have a chance to participate in an exciting centennial event. They also may be able to help shape the way Oklahoma state government operates for the next 100 years. This Thursday night, September 20, at 7:00 pm, a forum will be held at Guthrie city hall in the city council chambers. Known as the "100 Ideas Program," the forum will be constituted to raise ideas and suggestions from attendees for changes to Oklahoma government. The program is the idea of Speaker of the House Lance Cargill, from Harrah. Cargill has appointed former State Representative Thad Balkman to head the program and hold meetings all across Oklahoma in order to generate as many ideas for change as possible. Following these meetings a book will be published containing some of the ideas. The publication can then be used by the legislature for possible legislative action in the future. Read more...

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Posted at 9/18/2007 10:16:00 AM |

Oklahoma's Unconstitutional Game Law Permanently Enjoined

From By James Brightman The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) passed along the news today that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has issued a permanent injunction against Oklahoma's recent video game law that was supposed to have gone into effect on November 1, 2006. A preliminary injunction was initially issued last October.
The law sought to ban the dissemination to minors of any computer or video game that contains any depiction of "inappropriate violence," which was defined by depictions that fall into any one of nine broad categories. Violators would also have been subject to fines of up to $1,000. Unsurprisingly, the law was found to be unconstitutional, like many similar laws that have been shot down in other states. The Honorable Robin J. Cauthron said that video games are a form of creative expression entitled to protection under the First Amendment, and that there is no "substantial evidence" that video games are harmful to minors. Judge Cauthron added, "...[T]here is a complete dearth of legislative findings, scientific studies, or other rationale to support passage of the Act." Read more... Related: Entertainment Software Association Press Release


Posted at 9/18/2007 08:42:00 AM |

Smell of Okla. AG Edmondson's Stale Big Chicken Suit Will Linger Beyond 2008 Elections

Courtesy of Conium
By Rob Luke Edmondson is so intent on wringing a multi-million dollar ruling for the state and its lawyers against the country's biggest chicken producers that he's passing up a winnable shot at the U.S. Senate, we report today. Good news for the lawyers who could reap a bonanza if Edmondson's suit against 14 major chicken producers succeeds, we've already noted. Bad news for Oklahoma business. The attorney general started pursuing Arkansas-based Big Chicken-owned producers six years ago. Now, after key legal victories, he no doubt smells blood. Higher office can wait - Big Chicken, charged with polluting popular waterways in Oklahoma's northeast, looks ripe for the final kill, he appears to have decided. The suit's biggest winners so far are the lawyers Edmondson hired on a contingency basis to represent the state against Big Chicken. Miller & Keffer; Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis; and Motley Rice now stand to collect up to one-third of any financial award the state wins in the suit after a recent ruling. Read more...

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Posted at 9/18/2007 07:51:00 AM |
Monday, September 17, 2007 

OKPNS Nominated for "Best Political Blog"

The Oklahoma Political News Service is pleased and honored once again to be nominated by our peers for a 2007 Okie Blog Award in the "Best Political Blog" category. Congratulations to the Oklahoma blogs that are nominated in our category and in the other categories as well. Best Political Blog: Alternative Tulsa BatesLine Bounded Rationality Left End of the Dial MeeCiteeWurkor Militant Moderate Okie Funk Oklahoma Lefty The McCarville Report Online

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Posted at 9/17/2007 06:03:00 PM |

Ethics Probe Begins Into Ok County GOP

A fundraising effort three years ago raises eyebrows.
It is believed the Oklahoma Ethics Commission has launched an investigation into a 2004 fundraising effort by two officials of the legislature at the time and the Oklahoma County Republican Party. It's also believed that notices from the Ethics Commission have been delivered to the capitol offices of two top State House Republicans. A source confirms the report in the Oklahoma Political News Service that the Ethics Commission had started looking into alleged campaign donation irregularities. Read more...


Posted at 9/17/2007 03:09:00 PM |

The Daily O'Collegian: Regents Approve Athletic Department’s Airplane Purchase

Liz Padawer/O'Collegian
By Jenny Colton Ask and you shall receive, or so it goes in the Athletic Department. The Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents approved Friday the OSU Athletic Department’s spending of a $750,000 donation from Boone Pickens to buy fractional ownership of two aircraft. Director of Athletics Mike Holder said Pickens gave the money for the Executive Airshare aircraft as a gift to the athletic foundation a few months ago after coaches expressed the need for an aircraft to help in their recruiting efforts, Communications Director Gary Shutt said. “They obviously see a need here and have determined that this is the best way to meet that need,” Shutt said. The Athletic Department will use the aircraft primarily for flying coaches to and from Stillwater when traveling to recruit student athletes. Read more... Posted at 9/17/2007 03:00:00 PM |

OK Rep delays Cherokee cuts

U.S. Rep. Dan Boren did the correct thing in convincing the House to hold off cutting Cherokee Nation funds until freedmen lawsuits are resolved. Earlier this month, the U.S. House voted to eliminate the federal funding to Cherokees that normally would be included in the housing assistance bill. But Boren pushed through an amendment allowing the funding to continue while federal courts hear the freedmen suits. The Cherokee housing funding amounts to about $30 million, 10 percent of the annual federal funding for the Cherokee Nation. Read More

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Posted at 9/17/2007 10:09:00 AM |
Friday, September 14, 2007 

OKPNS EXCLUSIVE: House GOP PAC & Oklahoma County Republican Party Under Investigation

Sources tell the Oklahoma Political News Service that the Oklahoma Ethics Commission has begun an investigation into alleged campaign donation irregularities committed by officials with the House GOP Political Action Committee during the 2004 election cycle. In particular, the ethics commission is interested in financial transactions between the House GOP PAC and the Oklahoma County Republican Party. The sources did not indicate which officials of the House PAC were targets of the investigation, but they did tell OKPNS that some current GOP House members and Oklahoma County officials may have been served notice of the investigation. Further, the sources indicate Oklahoma City attorney Robert McCampbell, a former United States Attorney, has been retained to represent all of those who may face investigation by the ethics commission. The House GOP PAC war chest was key in the 2004 battle to wrest control of the House from Democrats, and several rank and file GOP members have been privately complaining about the methods used by House GOP Leadership since their rise to power. Developing...


Posted at 9/14/2007 09:57:00 PM |

OKGOP Chairman Gary Jones Announces "Very Aggressive" Statewide Voter Registration Drive

Thursday, September 13, 2007 

Sounds like the money is funny and the change is strange

Thanks to the Red Dirt Political Report for this hat tip. Sounds as though something is rotten in Denmark. OKLAHOMA CITY — A controversial education study — completed in 2005 but never officially released by the Oklahoma Legislature — paints a dismal picture of state education funding and calls for an influx of more than $800 million in new spending, The Transcript has learned. Commissioned in 2004, and completed at a cost of $150,230 in April of 2005, the two-part study by Colorado-based Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, was prepared for the Legislative Service Bureau — a state office controlled by the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma State Senate. The first part of the study, which cost $32,930, was released in November of 2004. That report examined the spending of school districts which successfully met state performance standards. The second report of the study — entitled “Calculating the Cost of an Adequate Education in Oklahoma,” — analyzed the “adequacy of revenues available to elementary and secondary school districts in Oklahoma” for the 2003-2004 fiscal year. Read More

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Posted at 9/13/2007 09:12:00 PM |

Sen Inhofe Against Tulsa River Tax "I called Sen Inhofe’s office I received an immediately reply: Sen. Inhofe will support the Tulsa River Tax if and only if the private donations are at least twice as much as the tax collected is. As it currently stands with the amount verbally committed from the private sector, Sen Inhofe does not support the Tulsa River Tax."

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Posted at 9/13/2007 08:35:00 PM |

Cargill: “We need good ideas from all Oklahomans to move our state forward."

Speaker Cargill seems to be on to something new in state Government, well not exactly new but it hasn't been done in a long time. Actually letting citizens govern and put forth creative ideas so that our state can move forward.
Over the past couple of months Speaker Cargill and the 100 Ideas Initiative have been busy. Started in January, the 100 Ideas Initiative is comprised of a very diverse group of Oklahomans. The O'Collegian has done a very fine write up regarding the 100 Ideas Initiative. Let's hope that the 100 Ideas Initiative goes above and beyond for Oklahomans. To RSVP for the event, call 1-888-465-2007 or e-mail For more information, visit

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Posted at 9/13/2007 08:34:00 PM |

Immigration Reform To Hurt Businesses?

The Journal Record OKLAHOMA CITY – The portions of the new Oklahoma immigration law dealing directly with private businesses won’t take effect until July 2008. But some of the law’s provisions targeted toward state agencies become effective Nov. 1. House Bill 1804, by state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Brad Henry in May. Dubbed by its author as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, the law will require state agencies to check the citizenship status of applicants for public services, such as welfare programs, starting Nov. 1. The new law will make it more difficult to obtain a state-issued identification card or a driver’s license, requiring all applicants to provide documentation of their citizenship. Employees who legally immigrated to the U.S. and who previously had been issued a state-issued identification card or driver’s license will not be able to renew those documents if their immigration documents expire. Read More

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Posted at 9/13/2007 10:50:00 AM |

Peace parks, Bicycle trails, and stadiums = Pork Chops

Senator Tom Coburn in an effort to save my money and yours too has made headlines recently for embarking on a pork chop crusade (pun intended). Let's hope that every other Senator starts this Pork Chopping crusade. "No one in America seriously believes that bike paths, peace gardens and baseball stadiums are more important national priorities than bridge and road repairs." Senator Tom Coburn Read More

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Posted at 9/13/2007 10:24:00 AM |

It's Getting Hot In Here

Hot in... so hot in herre! So hot in... hot - OH! With a little bit of, uh uh; and a little bit of, uh uh Just a little bit of.. {*beat*}; just a little bit of.. {*beat*} Just a little bit of.. {*beat*}; just a little bit of.. {*beat*} People you have just read the lyrics to a popular song by rap artist Nelly. Those lyrics represent how liberals came up with their Global Warming bologna. First you tell people its so hot in here (Duh the sun is shining), then you come up with the lies. A little bit of uh uh (lie lie) and a little bit of (lie lie). After that what do you come up with? Global Warming the biggest lie other than the one about Bush blowing up the levees in New Orleans. Well our liberal friends over at Think Progress, an oxymoron because thinking is something they obviously don't do have decided to target Sen. Inhofe for telling the truth. Senator Inhofe: "So in all of the recent science, as I`ve mentioned on your radio show, it confirms that I was right on this thing. This thing is a hoax." Read More


Posted at 9/13/2007 09:30:00 AM |

Support Teachers

Support Teachers

Merit pay a positive system for Oklahoma

We’re glad to see the idea of teacher merit pay being discussed in a constructive and reasonable manner. While we’re not surprised the state’s largest teachers’ union, the Oklahoma Education Association, has come out opposed to merit pay, we are pleased there are teachers in the state who are supportive of the idea. House Speaker Lance Cargill is hosting hearings in Oklahoma City to discuss the idea of merit pay for teachers and trying to further teacher pay increases to merit more than tenure. Read More

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Posted at 9/13/2007 09:11:00 AM |
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 

OK Legislators' Blog (9-10-07)

California's "Governator" Gets One Right By Senator Jay Paul Gumm Hello again, everybody! While I enjoyed some of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie career, I don’t much care for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s political career. His California policies really are not in step with the concerns we have here in Oklahoma. He often has been a fiercely partisan member of his political party while describing his own politics as “post-partisan.” Even so, this last week Governor Schwarzenegger gave a speech that got my attention, not only for what he said but where he said it. In a speech given to the California Republican Convention, he sent a message both parties should hear. Read more... Murphey Legislative Update By Rep. Jason Murphey On Monday of this week the board that oversees the Oklahoma Department of Transportation voted to take action on an important traffic concern facing many residents of south Logan and north Oklahoma counties. Anyone who travels Waterloo Road as it crosses under Interstate 35 around 8 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. should be able to attest to the need for a solution to the gridlock created by the increased traffic burden at this intersection. In the morning westbound traffic backs up towards Pine and commuters are forced to wait for access to the southbound on-ramp. In the evenings the I-35 off-ramp backs up and those traveling home from work are forced to wait for access onto Waterloo road. As a candidate and an office holder I have been approached by residents of this area who have indicated that the problems created by the intersection have caused serious traffic-related concerns. Those who are forced to traverse this intersection have been clear in their desire for a solution to the problem. Read more...

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Posted at 9/12/2007 01:00:00 PM |

Sooner Coalition to Challenge the Nation's Most Restrictive Election Laws:

Press Conference at Capitol Friday Sept 14th, after Filing Petition For Immediate Release: September 10th, 2007 Contact: Michael Hammer 405-714-5060 Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform will hold a press conference at 2:00 PM on Friday, Sept. 14th in the State Capitol (east side of first floor rotunda) after filing to circulate an initiative petition. The initiative will seek to reform Oklahoma’s ballot access laws, considered the most restrictive in the country. To form a new political party, Oklahoma law currently requires signatures equal to 5% of the last presidential or gubernatorial vote, which meant over 73,000 signatures for 2006. This number was TEN TIMES the per capita requirement of many neighboring states, including Texas, Missouri, and New Mexico. This initiative would return the number of signatures for recognition of political party back to 5,000, the number required in Oklahoma from 1924 until 1974. This would make Oklahoma the 30th state to require 5,000 or fewer signatures for a new political party or independent presidential candidate. The initiative would also make the requirements more reasonable for a party to demonstrate support and stay on the ballot. OBAR plans to collect approximately 90,000 signatures over 90 days. Supporters have already pledged to collect OVER HALF of the needed signatures and an anonymous donor will donate $25,000 once OBAR has raised $50,000. OBAR has already attracted attention nationwide, bringing Independent presidential candidate, Daniel Imperato, and National Libertarian Executive Director, Shane Cory, to Oklahoma City last week. Future plans include bringing former Congressman Bob Barr to Oklahoma to advocate for more voter choice. OBAR is a coalition of the Libertarian, Green, and Constitution Parties and the Oklahoma Coalition of Independents, unified with the simple goal of making laws fair for new political parties.


Posted at 9/12/2007 12:47:00 PM |

Senator Coburn takes on pork THUD Bill

This was a post from Brendan Steinhauser over at FreedomWorks.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn is offering several common-sense earmarks to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill.

Here are a couple of the best ones:

* Amdt. 2810 would prohibit spending federal transportation funds on earmarks until all structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. are repaired

* Amdt. 2813 would require that the housing needs of all Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are met before spending money to design or construct a Wetland Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Instead of prioritizing the funds to take care of the most pressing issues, Congress continues to earmark money for wasteful projects. And what will happen when the next bridge collapses or the next natural disaster occurs? The politicians will scream that they need more taxpayer money to rebuild. Talk about a disaster.

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Posted at 9/12/2007 12:16:00 PM |

What's The Big Idea?

From Graduation rates to Ethics in Elections 100 Ideas Oklahoma is covering it all. Their motto is: "Innovation for Oklahoma's Second Century" and that is very true in this case. While perusing their blog and website it gives Oklahomans the opportunity to offer up their point of view on problems facing Oklahoma.


Posted at 9/12/2007 11:35:00 AM |

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