Thursday, January 31, 2008
DEVELOPING: Chris Benge New Speaker?
Tipline: Williams Seeking OKGOP Chair?
Sources are telling the Oklahoma Political News Service that OKGOP Vice Chair Cheryl Williams was introduced by Senator Clark Jolly at last night's precinct meetings as the "next OKGOP Chairman."
The source says to count current party chairman Gary Jones as one of those who is wary of Williams. His distrust of her has created a relationship that can be described as "icy at best."
Readers will recall Williams embarrassed Oklahoma at the National Convention in 2000 when she was ejected from the RNC Platform Committee by Governor Ridge. The media trumpeted her behavior as proof of "Dissension" within the ranks of the Party faithful.
OKPNS will continue to investigate.Posted at 1/31/2008 06:46:00 AM |
Murphy Says She's "Best Choice for Corporation Commission"
(Edmond, OK) As another candidate tosses his hat into the Corporation Commissioner race, Edmond oil and gas attorney and longtime Republican political activist Dana Murphy says Oklahomans need to remember to select the best choice for Corporation Commission.
"Right now we need the best qualified people serving Oklahoma," says Murphy. "Oklahoma needs a person with proven experience and skills in the areas served by the Corporation Commission."
"I am an oil and gas attorney who served nearly six years as an administrative law judge at the Commission, spent 10 years in the field as a geologist, appeared before the Commission representing my clients, and gave testimony before the Commission as an expert witness.
"No other candidate has the experience I have when it comes to working at and with the Corporation Commission. Compare our records and experience; I am confident you'll find that I have unmatched qualifications.
"In this critical time for the energy industry and our state, we don't need to send someone to the Commission who needs significant on-the-job training. I have the education, the experience and the knowledge of the Commission and the issues to hit the ground running, working for Oklahomans from day one.
"I have spent my entire adult career preparing for this job. I have no aspirations of higher political office, no dreams of political glory. As a fifth generation Oklahoman, I want to use my talents and abilities to serve the state that has done so much for me and my family by serving as a Corporation Commissioner."
Related:Posted at 1/30/2008 04:51:00 PM |
"John Boy" Drops Out
"John Boy" Edwards - or the "Breck Girl" as he's affectionately called by Rush Limbaugh - dropped out of the Democratic presidential sweepstakes today.
The "two America's" populist rhetoric, from a guy who owns a 26,000 square foot mansion and gets $400 haircuts, just wasn't playing too well this year.
For you loyal Edwards Democrats missing his twangy drawl and nauseating populism, below is a video of a campaign appearance Edwards made in Oklahoma City on January 18th.
Labels: Decision '08Posted at 1/30/2008 01:55:00 PM |
EXCLUSIVE: Dewitt & Winchester Strike Deal?
Sources tell the Oklahoma Political News Service that the "establishment" wing of the Republican House caucus - those that had once supported Lance Cargill - have coalesced around Rep. Gus Blackwell, the current Speaker Pro Tem.
Speculation is that former Speaker Cargill is not the only member with potential ethical skeletons in their closets, thus the belief that one of their own won't push for investigations or further reforms.
As for the members of the caucus that opposed the Cargill group, sources also indicate a “deal” between Rep. Dale Dewitt, Braman, who is being supported by agricultural and rural interests, and Rep. Susan Winchester, Chickasha. The terms of the “deal” are that the anti-Cargill element will advance one candidate against Blackwell, and that at this moment DeWitt and Winchester lead the pack. They’ll compete to see who makes the runoff against Blackwell.
Our sources say the “corporate welfare crowd” has jumped in to advance a Winchester candidacy but that DeWitt is slightly ahead at this time. Regardless, it appears that the loser of the DeWitt and Winchester contest will support the winner in their quest to lead the insurgents.
OKPNS will continue to investigate
Labels: OK HousePosted at 1/30/2008 09:58:00 AM |
Challenges Will Make for an Interesting Session
By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant
This very well could be the most important “State of the State” address Governor Henry has given. This set of challenges is so different when compared to any we have faced since I became your senator. The governor has an incredible opportunity to blaze a new trail for our state. We all will be listening carefully to his address.
Another shift in the political landscape occurred this week when House Speaker Lance Cargill resigned as Speaker amid a variety of ethical and legal charges; there will be a new leader in the House of Representatives. We also have the potential for impeachment proceedings against State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan following his federal indictment.
Posted at 1/30/2008 09:50:00 AM |
"The Oklahoma 3" Rally with Paul Jacob, Sen. Randy Brogdon
Posted at 1/30/2008 07:14:00 AM |Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Rep. Dorman's Thoughts on Cargill & The Speaker Position
By Rep. Joe Dorman
The office of Speaker used to be the most powerful political position in the state of Oklahoma. After the ouster of Jim Barker in 1989 and the passage of term limits, many younger members with no institutional memory and a great deal of ambition have been elected which has diminished the authority of the office of the Speaker. I have some of the longest-tenured knowledge of the House due to my years as a staff member before being elected, so I've seen many of the changes occur. Most of them have not been good since they have been politically driven due to no successful campaign finance or ethics reform.
Posted at 1/29/2008 03:21:00 PM |One thing I will say is that I'm optimistic. Lance Cargill was known to be divisive and much like Tom Delay in Washington when it came to campaign finance scrutiny. Whoever succeeds him in this position has the chance to undo much of the harm that has been caused over the last year to the institution and work to bring about serious reforms in our first year of the second century. I promise you that I will do my part to help the new Speaker move Oklahoma towards a better future. Read more...
Reining in Free "Unadulterated Entertainment" for Legislators!
By Rep. Jason Murphey
There is some very good news to report about the effort to level the playing field between the paid special interests groups and the people.
During the first six months of 2007, paid lobbyists reported giving legislators $137,000 in personal gifts, such as expensive dinners or sporting events tickets. This spending power basically bought access to the legislators on behalf of the spenders. This is the type of access that the average person (whom the legislators are supposed to be representing) simply cannot compete with.
I feel that the special interests' influence problem has in large part been created by the massive size of government. Because state government has become so engorged with billions of our tax dollars, and because there are so many different government regulations and laws, a cottage industry has sprung up that is populated by those who seek to benefit their specific field of interest. Because there are millions of dollars at stake, these special interests will see an investment in personal gifts or political contributions to lawmakers as being a small price to pay, compared to the possible benefits. Read more...Posted at 1/29/2008 01:53:00 PM |
Paul Jacob's Not Giving Up!
By Jenn Sierra
The arraignment of the "Oklahoma 3" (Paul Jacob, Susan Johnson, and Rick Carpenter) was held yesterday, with the scheduling-hearing scheduled for March 13th. While Johnson and Carpenter, at the advice of their attorneys, are keeping relatively low profiles, Paul Jacob is determined to make the most of this next year or so, to fight for the ballot initiative process.
Jacob says his motivation is his children. He wants his children and their children to have the right (as citizens throughout Oklahoma history have had) to petition their government, and begin citizen initiatives.
Jacob said that he has "never heard of a prosecutor, other than maybe Nifong, to play it as political as Drew Edmondson," is in his current case - which is a dispute over whether or not he, Johnson and Carpenter fulfilled Oklahoma's residency requirements prior to collecting signatures for a ballot initiative which did not become law.
The "left," he said, isn't the only detriment to the initiatives process. He's also had to oppose those on the "right," who were addicted to "daddy welfare." He warns that the precedent set by the type of retaliation that is happening right now in Oklahoma is not only "legal" precent, but also psyhological, in that when the government goes after citizens who create initiatives (as well as their petition signers, their volunteers, and sometimes even their donors), others are discouraged from starting citizen initiatives in the future.
Citizens wishing to assist the Oklahoma 3, he said, should spread awareness of the case (talk to their neighbors), and contact the the governor's office and their legislators. He was more concerned, however, that Oklahomans become and continue to be involved in initiatives.
He specifically encouraged Oklahoma citizens to learn about and support Randy Brogdon's Senate Bill 1982 (and joint resolution #23) and the House Bill counterpart being formed by Randy Terrell. He mentioned some of the changes currently under discussion in the Oklahoma initiative process are:
Ft. Hard Knox: Paul Jacob Kicks Off the "Save the Initiative Blog Tour"
The Journal Record: Three indicted TABOR petitioners make their 1st court appearancePosted at 1/29/2008 01:41:00 PM |
Podcast: Mary Fallin Expresses Support for Bush Speech
After President Bush’s State of the Union Address, Mary Fallin (R5-OK) details how she supports each of the reforms the President calls for.Monday, January 28, 2008
Labels: Rep. FallinPosted at 1/29/2008 01:17:00 PM |
Cargill Resigns As Speaker
A statement from House Speaker Lance Cargill
OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 28, 2008) – “I have decided to step aside today as speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. I want nothing more than to have good ideas to move forward without the burden of being weighed down by personal stories about me. I have always said my leadership has been about good ideas, and this move will allow those ideas to flourish as they should.
“For several weeks, our policies heading into the session have been buried in the newspapers, while personal stories have remained on the front pages. I take full responsibility for that, and hope that a new speaker can shift the focus back to the future of this great state.
“This decision came after I spoke with most of my colleagues over the weekend. I am humbled and honored by the outpouring of support the caucus has shown me and their continued endorsement in my leadership. But, one of the responsibilities of a leader is putting the needs of the whole before the needs of my own.
“For the future I will, with more inspiration than ever, fervently pursue my ideas from a chair at the back of the chamber. I remain confident that we can still make 2008 a year of solutions.
“This has been a remarkable journey. Many of you know that I was raised in the small town of Harrah. My dad was a fork-lift driver and mom was a stay-at-home mother. My parents worked hard, lived right, and taught my brother and me about faith, family and community. I have to say it was my upbringing, and the inspiration of my family, that allowed me to be the first in my immediate family to graduate from college and to attend Vanderbilt law school.
“I came home to Oklahoma because I this is where I want to live, these are the people that I love, and because I aspired to be a servant of the people and an agent for change. I have spent the past five years tearing down the walls of the old-guard that left Oklahoma stuck in the past, unable to inspire and incapable of moving forward. So for me, this is both a time of reflection and to celebrate our accomplishments.
“Tomorrow for me is a brand new day as I will unveil the 100 Ideas book, which we spent the past year writing. It was truly a bi-partisan initiative and we have together written a book full of innovative ideas. I hope that it's time to put those ideas on the front pages of our newspapers, so that we can have a genuine and open debate about the best way to move Oklahoma into the second century.
“I know there are a lot of questions about how this move will impact the upcoming session and our caucus is working out the details and we will have more answers in the coming days.”
Labels: Spkr. CargillPosted at 1/28/2008 03:31:00 PM |
Video: Rep Reynolds Call for State Auditor's Impeachment
Paul Jacob’s Arraignment Is @1:30 PM CST Tomorrow
From Ft. Hard Knox:
By Jenn Sierra
Paul Jacob’s arraignment is at 1:30 pm CST tomorrow (Today). He’s been reindicted for on charges that he and two others violated residency requirements for petition signature gatherers. Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma’s Attorney General, keeps, in effect, “moving the goal post,” on these signature requirements, retroactively, to try to assure that his legal action against the “Oklahoma 3″ is finally taken seriously.
His actions have been quite bizarre, not to mention inappropriate. Once you have an opportunity to research the facts of this case for yourself (there are several links following to get you started), please consider calling the attorney general’s office in Oklahoma to let him know how you feel about this re-indictment. Remember to be respectful and polite, and to objectively state your opinion (personal attacks are never appropriate). The phone # is 405-521-3921. Read more... Related:
Labels: Paul Jacob TABORPosted at 1/28/2008 01:30:00 PM |
J.C. WATTS: With Success In Iraq, Democrats Must Find New Outlet For Anger
It seems like only yesterday. In 1990, I first entered politics in Oklahoma. I ran for a seat on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the agency tasked with regulating public utilities and our oil and gas industry.
The voters of Oklahoma apparently agreed with me, and I won by 9 points in a three-way race. I felt then that it was the right position, and I never regretted my stand.
In early 1991, President George H.W. Bush had a 91 percent approval rating a year before the 1992 campaign got under way. It seemed nothing could stop America or our leader. Americans were pleased with his handling of the Persian Gulf War.
Sonics Fan Tossed For Heckling Clay Bennett
Clay Bennett with Sonics legend Lenny Wilkins
A Sonics fan says he was ejected from last night's game after shouting a few choice words up at Clay Bennett, who was watching the action from his luxury box. Here's the fan's transcript, prefaced with the caveat that he may have been "a few beers deep."
Sam: Clay, you're a thief!
Clay: shrugs, smirks and blows me a kiss (I swear to God this is no lie)
Sam: I've been a season ticket holder since age 10. Don't steal my team!!!
Clay: makes a face of mock pity
Sam: You are overweight and ugly! Sell the Sonics!!!
Clay: walks to the back of the suite, never to reappear.Read more...
The Seattle Times Sonics Blog: Fan given the boot?
Labels: Supersonics Clay BennettPosted at 1/28/2008 12:53:00 PM |
Tip Line: Why Was Gary Jones in Muskogee?
OKGOP activists inquire on the Chairman's recent travel itinerary:
In an example of true grassroots leadership, OKGOP Chairman Gary Jones spent Friday in federal court watching his nemesis, Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan, plead not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and state bribery. In fact, Jones did not attend last night's Helen Cole Republican of the Year dinner in the GOP stronghold of Cleveland County, because he overnighted in Tulsa to be closer to Muskogee, the location of today's court proceedings. Not sure the Republican faithful in Cleveland County would appreciate his reasoning, but such is the motivation and focus of Gary Jones.
This unusual step was just the latest installment of Jones's "I told you so" campaign of gloating and chest-thumping. Not sure exactly how Jones's presence in federal court today helps the Republican party as it approaches the November elections, but it seems more and more obvious Jones views his position as OKGOP chairman as nothing more than a stepping stone to another campaign for state auditor.
Labels: Gary JonesPosted at 1/25/2008 03:20:00 PM |
WRS Conducts Family Research Council Poll
Posted at 1/23/2008 07:10:00 PM |
New Poll: Americans Oppose Abortion Coverage in "Universal Health Care Plans"
FRC Action, the legislative action arm of Family Research Council, has released the results of a commissioned national survey showing that a clear majority of voters would be less likely to support a candidate who proposes a national health care plan that includes universal abortion coverage. The scientific survey by Wilson Research Strategies asked the following question of 801 likely voters: “If a candidate for the Presidency proposed a national health care plan with universal coverage of abortion at taxpayer expense, would you be more or less likely to vote for that candidate?”
A clear majority of voters (56%) signaled that they would be “less likely” to vote for a presidential candidate proposing universal abortion coverage compared to (31%) who would be “more likely” to support such a candidate. Intensity runs strongest among those opposed to the idea, with 45% indicating they would be “much less likely” to vote in favor of a candidate whose plan forced taxpayers to pay for abortion, compared to 19% who would be “much more likely” to endorse such a candidate. Opposition to universal abortion coverage crossed nearly every demographic including sex, race, region, and age.
Some of the poll’s most interesting findings include the following: Read more...
"Dark Horse Candidate" Set to Announce Entry Into Presidential Race
Retired Major General Jerry R. Curry has been invited to Announce his entry into the Presidential Race at the Annual Helen Cole/ Republican of the Year Banquet
Who: Major General Jerry Curry
What: Media Availability prior to banquet in which Gen. Curry will speak with the media and answer questions.
Where: J.D McCarty Center, 2002 E Robinson, Norman, OK
Why: Curry has chosen Oklahoma as the state in which to announce his candidacy and launch his campaign because the people of Oklahoma have already responded so favorably to him. As the heartland of the country, Gen. Curry feels Oklahoma is a proving ground for his message, believing that if it resonates in this state, it will resonate with the American people everywhere. He also feels a fond attachment to Oklahoma because he was posted at Fort Sill during the 1950’s, and it is the place his oldest daughter—Charlie—was born.
Contact: For more information contact the National Campaign Spokesperson, Scot Small at email@example.com or 703-969-6183. www.CurryForAmerica.com.
Labels: Decision '08Posted at 1/22/2008 03:44:00 PM |
John McCain's 2008 Campaign Announces Oklahoma Coordinators
ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today announced new additions to its Oklahoma Leadership Team. Chad Alexander and State Representative Trebor Worthen will lead the growing grassroots organization on behalf of John McCain’s candidacy leading up to Oklahoma’s February 5th Primary. Alexander and Worthen join State Chairman, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn and Honorary State Chairman, Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating.
"There is no greater champion of fiscal responsibility and government reform than John McCain,” said Alexander. "John McCain's conservative convictions and principled leadership are what our nation needs right now, and that’s why I am proud to back him for the Republican nomination.”
“I am honored to work for a man like Senator McCain whose integrity and character is unmatched. Oklahomans, like all Americans, will choose a President who has the experience to lead on day one, and John McCain is that man,” said Representative Worthen. Read more...Posted at 1/22/2008 11:45:00 AM |
Quote of the Day: "Uhh, Maybe I Was a Little Off..."
From the Election Advantage blog:
"While the Sooner Poll which put Inhofe ahead by 40 points last month may be a little too generous to the Senator, it does make me think I may have overstated Inhofe's vulnerability. State Sen. Andrew Rice (D) is a game challenger, and his fundraising has been very good, but now he has to deal with a primary opponent in State Sen. Joe Sweeden." Read more predictions???! :D
Related: Democrats ready to throw "progressive under the bus?
Okiedoke.com: Oklahoma needs a fair fightPosted at 1/22/2008 09:09:00 AM |
If You Have Ever Seen the Movie...
Graphic courtesy of okiedoke.com
If you have ever seen the movie Major League? You know the situation. A jerk owns a professional sports team and wants to move them so they can make big money. However, the only way the team can be moved is if it is run into the ground. In Seattle this is going on right now. Here is an update as to what the Clay Bennett is doing in an attempt to move the team to Oklahoma.
Clay started off by alienating the City Counsel in Seattle making enemies of the board members, who are now completely against even working with him.
He then proceeded to demand that the county build him a brand new state of the art stadium. (In the case of most county owned arenas teams lease the arena for games, Bennett wants the county to give him the stadium.)
Bennett's next genius move was to present to the Washington State legislature to get money for the arena. However, instead of getting someone with experience to do this he got Lenny Wilkins, who is a Sonics hero, but has no idea how to work in politics. Needles to say this failed miserably (the legislature would not even give Lenny a chance to present). Read more...
Labels: Supersonics Clay BennettPosted at 1/22/2008 08:58:00 AM |
Boss Hog Needs a HOG Act
From The Weblog For Mr. GOP:
We all remember Boss Hog (or was it Hogg) from “The Dukes of Hazzard” Boss was a corrupt little man eager to get the arm of the law fully enforced on any minor (or supposed) infraction. At the same time he used his power to secure that he would never have any negative implications reflected on his own nefarious activities.
To the surprise of very few, Oklahoma has its own “Boss Hog”. What may not be known is the degree to which he has empowered himself to act with impunity while politically and legally persecuting those who dare to disagree with him. It will also be of no surprise to suggest that our own Attorney General Drew Edmondson is Oklahoma’s version of the overstuffed, height challenged, self-important hick from the back woods. Read more...
The News Star (Monroe, LA): In Oklahoma, freedom's not OKPosted at 1/22/2008 08:05:00 AM |
Democrat Hypocrisy On Full Display; OK Press Silent
"In 1994, Democrat Governor David Walters reluctantly opted not to run for re-election after a grand jury recommended impeachment. Walters eventually pled guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance violation." Read more... (Hat tip: Fair and Biased)
"The past is history.
The future is now.
A time for change starts today." (Quote from fundraising email for Gov. Henry)
You would think that the editors (owner) of the Tulsa World would want to sell a few more newspapers by at least mentioning the hypocrisy of Democrat complaints of who attend Republican fundraisers. It seems The World has a case of convenient amnesia when it comes to former Governor Walter's past transgressions. Rep. Lieberman, doing the media's job, sent out a press release yesterday saying he was "sadly not surprised by this Democratic behavior and hypocrisy." Below is an excerpt from the release:
OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 21, 2008) – House Democrats are playing in the big leagues of political hypocrisy, said Rep. Guy Liebmann, who called on Democrats to apply the same standards to themselves that they claim to want applied to Republicans.
Reports show that former Gov. David Walters is hosting a political fundraiser for Democrats Tuesday. An invitation has been sent to capitol lobbyists asking them to attend and donate.
In 1993, Walters became the first governor in the state to be indicted when he was accused of eight felonies, including conspiracy and perjury. Walters pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor for violating state campaign law in a plea agreement.
Now, Democrats are using him to host a fundraiser for themselves. Last week, House Minority Leader Danny Morgan criticized Republicans for simply attending a fundraiser at the home of an individual who has never even been charged, much less convicted, of election law violations. Furthermore, the fundraiser was for a presidential candidate and not themselves.
“Clearly their finger-pointing was only a diversionary tactic to avoid drawing attention to their own fundraiser,” said Liebmann, R-Oklahoma City. “Last week, Morgan said he was “floored” to hear of House Republicans attending a presidential fundraiser.Posted at 1/22/2008 08:00:00 AM |
"Oklahoma 3" Rally Set for January 28th
The arraignment of the Oklahoma 3, regarding the new indictment issued through Attorney General Edmondson’s office, has been scheduled for Monday, January 28.
Supporters of the Oklahoma 3 have scheduled a noon news conference outside the courthouse, just prior to the 1:30 pm arraignment.
If you live close to Oklahoma City, we hope you will try to come out and show your support at the news conference, to let the Oklahoma 3 know that we’re behind them (and to let AG Edmondson know that we’re not behind him!).
Oklahoma County Courthouse
321 Park Ave.
Monday, January 28
News Conference: Noon
Arraignment: 1:30 pmPosted at 1/21/2008 11:01:00 AM |
Sunday Extra: Commentary on Oklahoma's Bonny & Clyde
Only an absolute moron would take a picture like this, while at the same time, allegedly engaging in bribery and other illicit schemes
Posted at 1/20/2008 10:18:00 AM |
Here's one example of their stupidity and greed. Lori McMahan allegedly received a pair of $500 earring as a gift from Stipe. Now, instead of getting rid of the earrings - that you can never wear in public again - she stashes them at her sister's house! If she wasn't so greedy, that one less count could have knocked a few years off that long prison term she's facing.
BREAKING: McMahan & Wife Indicted; OKPNS Predicted It Monday
"Reliable sources tell the Oklahoma Political News Service there will be two more indictments handed down this Friday from a Federal Grand Jury." (1/14/08)
Statement from Oklahoma GOP Chair Gary Jones:
"Today is a disappointing day for Oklahoma with the nine count federal indictment of State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan and his wife. The office of State Auditor is one that requires a person that will conduct themselves in a manner that is above reproach. I agree with Governor Henry the Auditor should step down immediately until this situation is resolved. "
Tulsa Today: (1/2/08) McMahan brother accused of political felony
OKPNS FLASHBACK: Jeff McMahan's "Other" Scandal
Labels: Jeff McMahanPosted at 1/18/2008 01:38:00 PM |
We can't afford Congress any more
By Ernest Istook
We can't afford Congress. It's driving America's cost-of-living through the roof.
Any tax cut or "economic stimulus" we might get this spring is peanuts compared to how Washington keeps jacking up the price of everything that's important.
By itself, last month's energy bill will make food, cars, gasoline and even light bulbs more expensive. Washington is also the culprit behind high medical bills and health insurance, washing machines that have doubled in price, and our wonderful, more-expensive "lo-flo" toilets that don't flush right.
All this is on top of what red tape already costs us. A 2004 government report admitted that federal regulations cost our economy at least $1.1 trillion each year. That's $3,666 per person, so multiply that by the number of people in your household. And remember that's before the 2007 energy bill. And in addition to taxes.
The new energy laws are a leftist's dream and a supply-sider's nightmare. As 2008 starts, we're paying $3 (often more) for a gallon of gasoline. That's up about a fourth (64 cents) from a year ago. The Heritage Foundation calculates the new energy bill will boost gas prices over $5 a gallon by 2016. Yet rather than let us produce more oil domestically, Congress keeps areas off-limits from drilling that could raise supply and lower prices. Read more...Posted at 1/18/2008 09:05:00 AM |
Cargill Discusses Teacher Pay & Immigration at OKC Chamber Meeting
Posted at 1/18/2008 08:41:00 AM |
From The Journal Record:
OKLAHOMA CITY – The chairman of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber didn’t waste any time Thursday morning before addressing what is perhaps the most divisive topic in the state. The issue pins many legislators into a position where they must choose to incur the displeasure of the business community, the anger of some rather vocal citizen groups within their districts, or even the ire of members of their own political party.
House Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah, speaks on teacher pay and education Thursday at the 2008 Legislative Breakfast in Oklahoma City. (Photo by James Keathley)
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber unanimously supports the repeal of the immigration law, part of which went into effect Nov. 1. Additional provisions designed to deter businesses from hiring people who live in the U.S. without the proper documentation are slated to go into effect July 1.
Nichols said the Tulsa Metro Chamber and The State Chamber also support repealing the law. Read more...
Statement from Speaker Cargill
OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 17, 2008) – “Opposing reforms like charter schools and performance pay is not ‘standing’ for children. It is protecting the status quo, which is exactly what Oklahomans wanted to get rid of when they threw the Democratic majority out of office three years ago,” House Speaker Lance Cargill said.
“House Republicans have put forward record investments in education, raising the Department of Education’s budget to an all-time high of $2.5 billion in the current fiscal year. We led the entire country in teacher pay raises on a percentage basis over the last three years. It was 80 years of Democratic leadership that resulted in teacher pay being near the bottom of the barrel. We can’t fix it overnight, but in the three years since Republicans have had the majority in the House, we have done more than any other state to improve teacher pay. They can just keep wasting everyone’s time with inaccurate, deceptive, partisan releases; we are going to keep moving the state forward,” said Cargill, R-Harrah.
“It is absurd to imply that we think our public school teachers are ‘inferior’ and ‘inept’. We have so many great teachers in this state and that is why we want to create a program to reward that excellence,” said House Education Committee Chairman Tad Jones, R-Claremore.
OU student Wins 100 Ideas Scholarship
Oklahoma ’s 100 Ideas Initiative officials presented yesterday a $12,500 scholarship to a University of Oklahoma student for a bold idea she submitted to improve education. Speaker Lance Cargill and University of Oklahoma President David Boren presented the winner of the program’s essay contest with her scholarship award in a check presentation ceremony at OU’s Alma Wilson Room in the Student Union.
Chosen from 130 contest entries, OU student Maggie Cochrane received the scholarship for her essay, “ Greener Schools , Greater Schools, Grander State .” In addition, Cochrane’s idea on how to improve the state will be published in the 100 Ideas Initiative book along with her profile.
Cochrane’s idea suggests the state combine the challenges of financing public education with those of preserving the environment. Through money-saving green projects and decreased energy usage, schools can redirect financing to educational programs and teachers’ salaries while students simultaneously learn about biology and conservation.
“By positioning itself at the forefront of the environmental awareness and the public education initiatives,” her essay reads, “ Oklahoma will become a model for other states in terms of its unmatched commitment to the nation’s children and the nation’s future.”
More than 3,400 citizens from across Oklahoma submitted their ideas for state transformation since the initiative launched in January 2007. The result will be a book of 100 of the best ideas. The book will be unveiled to the public on Jan. 29.Posted at 1/18/2008 08:21:00 AM |
Quote of the Day: "Thompson's Presidential Campaign is Fading Fast"
From Alternative Tulsa:
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's presidential campaign is fading fast....Despite these continuing troubles, Thompson is a favorite of many Oklahoma Republicans, including Sen. Jim Inhofe. Oklahoma City political writer Mike McCarville and Tulsa blogger Michael Bates have also been pushing Thompson. Read more...
Labels: Decision '08Posted at 1/18/2008 07:46:00 AM |
The Odd Couple: McCain & Coburn
By John Tabin
SPEAKING OF DISCONTINUITY, John McCain's endorsement by conservative stalwart Senator Tom Coburn should be comforting to those on McCain's right -- but at a town hall event in Sumter yesterday, it served instead to put McCain's squishiness in starker relief.
Coburn showed up for this event only because his flight was canceled, but ended up doing a lot of talking during the Q&A. Coburn, who is a doctor, knows a whole lot about health care policy, and there were several questions about health care that McCain asked Coburn to chime in on.
The discussion got remarkably wonky, as Coburn got into the specifics of how the Ryan White Act funds HIV/AIDS treatment, how various reforms could control costs by encouraging preventative care, and why USAID isn't as effective as it should be at fighting disease in the third world.
McCain and Coburn had an especially telling exchange with a young woman who asked why poor people in the third world shouldn't have access to cheap generic drugs that American drug companies have patents on when those companies have their research and development subsidized by the government. Read more...Posted at 1/18/2008 07:39:00 AM |
Truly Leave Behind No Child, Period