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Thursday, January 31, 2008 

DEVELOPING: Chris Benge New Speaker?

More details to follow....

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Posted at 1/31/2008 06:26:00 PM |
 

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."
Many insiders believe that after State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan's multi count indictment, a third Gary Jones' candidacy is an eventuality. Insiders believe Williams is finally making her true intentions public after many months of quiet speculation among those who are in the party know.
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.

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Posted at 1/31/2008 06:46:00 AM |
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 

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:
TMRO: As Expected, Rob Johnson Joins Dana Murphy In Corporation Commission Race

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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.

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Posted 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

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Posted 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.
These challenges – along with the looming 2008 General Election – will make for an interesting session that will test our ability to find common ground. The road ahead is uncertain, but I am sure of one thing: You have placed in me your trust and given me the responsibility to fight for those things that matter most to you. Read more...

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Posted at 1/30/2008 09:50:00 AM |
 

"The Oklahoma 3" Rally with Paul Jacob, Sen. Randy Brogdon

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.
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...

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Posted at 1/29/2008 03:21:00 PM |
 

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...

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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:
  • Eliminate the requirement to notarize petition signatures, and copy (by hand) all signatures from the front of the petition to the back of the petition
  • Reduce the number of signatures required to get a petition on the ballot
  • Increase the amount of time signature-gatherers have to get the required number of signatures from 90 days to one year
Related:
Ft. Hard Knox: Paul Jacob Kicks Off the "Save the Initiative Blog Tour"
The Journal Record: Three indicted TABOR petitioners make their 1st court appearance
Posted 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.

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Posted at 1/29/2008 01:17:00 PM |
Monday, January 28, 2008 

Cargill Resigns As Speaker

Newsok.com
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.”

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Posted 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:

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Posted 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 nine-year incumbent against whom I was running gave me an issue that was like a gift from Santa Claus. One of our major utilities had overcharged ratepayers to the tune of almost $30 million, and he had voted to let the offending public utility keep the windfall to upgrade its infrastructure. I felt the ratepayers deserved their money back, whether it was $50 or 50 cents.

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.
Read more...

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Posted at 1/28/2008 01:16:00 PM |
 

Sonics Fan Tossed For Heckling Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett with Sonics legend Lenny Wilkins
This excerpt is from a Seattle Sports fan's blog:
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...
Related:
The Seattle Times Sonics Blog: Fan given the boot?

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Posted at 1/28/2008 12:53:00 PM |
Friday, January 25, 2008 

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.

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Posted at 1/25/2008 03:20:00 PM |
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 

WRS Conducts Family Research Council Poll

New Poll: Americans Oppose Abortion Coverage in "Universal Health Care Plans"
From frcblog.com:
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...

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Posted at 1/23/2008 07:10:00 PM |
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 

"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

When: Thursday, January 24, 2008

5:45 pm

What: Media Availability prior to banquet in which Gen. Curry will speak with the media and answer questions.

Detailed Media Release to follow

Where: J.D McCarty Center, 2002 E Robinson, Norman, OK

5:45 pm

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 scots@curryforamerica.com or 703-969-6183. www.CurryForAmerica.com
.

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Posted 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...

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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 fight

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Posted at 1/22/2008 09:09:00 AM |
 

If You Have Ever Seen the Movie...

Graphic courtesy of okiedoke.com
From Protrade.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...

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Posted at 1/22/2008 08:58:00 AM |
 

Boss Hog Needs a HOG Act

W.A.D. Edmondson
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...
Related:
The News Star (Monroe, LA): In Oklahoma, freedom's not OK

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Posted 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.

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Posted at 1/22/2008 08:00:00 AM |
Monday, January 21, 2008 

"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!).
Where:
Oklahoma County Courthouse
321 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City
When:
Monday, January 28
News Conference: Noon
Arraignment: 1:30 pm

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Posted at 1/21/2008 11:01:00 AM |
Sunday, January 20, 2008 

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

An event that was as inevitable as the sun rising in the east occurred last Friday. Jeff McMahan and his wife Lori were FINALLY indicted on conspiracy and bribery charges. McMahan, who claimed he didn't know shyster Steve Phipps - accepted gifts, in addition to, hunting and gambling trips from him. It makes you wonder? Are these people just that stupid, cocky, or both? How could you not think that people weren't going to notice your alleged illegal dealings?

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.

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Posted at 1/20/2008 10:18:00 AM |
Friday, January 18, 2008 

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)
Read more:
Tulsa World
Oklahoman
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

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Posted 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...

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Posted at 1/18/2008 09:05:00 AM |
 

Cargill Discusses Teacher Pay & Immigration at OKC Chamber Meeting

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)
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...
Related:
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.

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Posted at 1/18/2008 08:41:00 AM |
 

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.

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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...

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Posted 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...

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Posted at 1/18/2008 07:39:00 AM |
 

Truly Leave Behind No Child, Period

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant

Hello again, everybody! With three weeks until the 2008 session, we are beginning to see the issues that will take center stage when lawmakers return to the Capitol.

As I continue to work to improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans, I am guided by one of my favorite political quotes. It is from former Vice President Hubert Humphrey who said that the moral test of government is how it treats those in the dawn of life, the children; those in the twilight of life, the elderly; and, those in the shadows of life, the sick.

Some children in the dawn of life suffer in the shadows of life. A bill I have introduced for 2008 would shine new light into those lives. Senate Bill 1537 would mandate health insurance policies to cover treatment for a disorder affecting nearly one in every 150 children. Read more...
video

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Posted at 1/18/2008 07:25:00 AM |
Thursday, January 17, 2008 

Meacham-Cargill Race in the Works

State House Speaker Lance Cargill and State Treasurer Scott Meacham are often mentioned as candidates for the 2010 Oklahoma governor's race. Both are far from making such an announcement but the handwriting is beginning to appear on the Capitol walls.
Mr. Meacham, who also serves as the state's finance director, says it appears the available growth revenue amounts to about $32 million. Mr. Cargill told a Tulsa audience the figure is closer to $300 million but didn't provide specifics as to how he arrived at that total. Read more...

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Posted at 1/17/2008 08:58:00 AM |
 

Video: OKC Diet Campaign & Ellen

 

Fallin Votes to Regulate Internet; OKPNS Potential Domestic Terrorist?

899B. FINDINGS. (3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
From Irons in the Fire:
Just bloody wonderful. Especially since I found out my Rep. Mary Fallin voted for it. I had to find that out at GovTrack(which I now have bookmarked). I also found this:
Oct 23, 2007: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. The totals were 404 Ayes, 6 Nays, 22 Present/Not Voting.
When the congresscritters 'suspend rules' to cut debate like this, it's usually not a good thing for us. And yes, I'm telling her what I think of it. Read more...
Related:
Rep. Fallin "never ever wants to fight the war on terror in America."

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Posted at 1/17/2008 08:14:00 AM |
 

Gray Matters: Anonymous Packet Started Hill's Review

*Throughout the article, Ms Middleton misnames Rep. Terrill by repeatedly calling him Rep. Moore. Terrill is from Moore, Oklahoma.
By Victoria Middleton
Managing Editor
Anonymously.
That is how the investigation of Oveta Hill of the Newcastle Tag Agency was initiated, The Pacer has learned.
According to Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, he anonymously received a packet of information in a "giant" manila envelope that he did not know the origin of or how it was delivered to his State Capitol office.
Inside, Rep. Moore said there were numerous documents containing information on Hill and her husband concerning their homestead exemption, mortgages and voting registrations.
After reviewing the documents, Moore said he felt a "legal obligation" as the chairman of the Revenue and Taxation Committee to forward the matter on to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
"I don't know Mrs. Hill from the man in the moon. I am sure she is a nice lady, but the law is the law," Moore said.
Rep. Moore, whose profession is an attorney, had his staff review the items he was provided and compiled a list of five exhibits to present to the OTC.
Those exhibits were: Read more...

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Posted at 1/17/2008 07:44:00 AM |
 

Picture(s) of the Day: Coburn & McCain in S. Carolina

EPA/ERIK S. LESSER
Related:
Muskogee Phoenix:
“I am very proud to endorse my friend and colleague Senator John McCain for President of the United States,” Coburn said. “John McCain and I have stood side-by-side on many issues, and I’d like to speak to two of them today: fiscal responsibility and ensuring the sanctity of human life.”
Coburn said McCain is the “one true reformer” he has met since 1995.
The Shot: DeMint Slaps Coburn

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Posted at 1/17/2008 07:30:00 AM |
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 

Video: WRS CEO Chris Wilson on Glenn Beck Show

 

OK Legislators' Blog: "The Big Issue Of The Year"

By Rep. Jason Murphey
It is starting to appear that one of the biggest debated issues this year will be whether or not the Legislature will approve a proposal to lessen the burden on Oklahoma's hardworking families by reducing the state income tax.
This year's state government will have millions of dollars of extra growth money to spend. While previous legislative commitments may obligate some of that money, it is important to realize that Oklahoma taxpayers have, in effect, been overcharged for government services.
Republican leadership in both the House and the Senate have made it clear that tax cuts are on the table for the upcoming session.
The majority of the debate surrounding tax relief will probably focus on returning some of the growth revenue to the people through incremental income tax reductions.
While I support this effort, it is important for the Legislature to consider massive reductions in the amount of money that the government spends, and to accompany this spending reform with significant tax relief. Read more...

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Posted at 1/15/2008 12:29:00 PM |
 

Video: Brent Rinehart Claims "I Had No Idea"

Excerpts from Brent Rinehart's press conference from Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008.

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Posted at 1/15/2008 12:12:00 PM |
 

W. A. Drew Edmondson Re-Indicts "Oklahoma 3"

W. A. D. Edmondson
From FreePaulJacob.com:
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. Read more...

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Posted at 1/15/2008 12:02:00 PM |
 

"Obscure Blog" OKPNS Mentioned in National Review Online

Thompson-Watts in 2008? (UPDATED)
Here's your wild rumor of the day: "OKPNS also received a telephone call from a source close to former Congressman J.C. Watts and the talk of him being a V.P candidate is even more rampant throughout the Beltway and Thompson campaign."
UPDATE: One of the Thompson Associates, who says he has never talked to Richelieu, that anonymous wise man on another campaign blog, writes in:
"While the energy the Thompson campaign is experiencing right now in South Carolina is, well, energizing, no one is putting the cart before the horse re: running mate chatter. Who knew that “Richelieu” was posting on obscure blogs in Oklahoma too?" Read more... (4th story)

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Posted at 1/15/2008 11:16:00 AM |
Monday, January 14, 2008 

OKGOP Chairman Offers OKPNS E-Mail Explanation

The Okie Campaigns blog is having a little difficulty believing OKGOP Chairman Gary Jones explanation that he wasn't aware that he was attending a fundraiser at a controversial Dallas businessman's home last month. Below is an email Chairman Jones sent to us last Friday:
Chris
I saw the story on me. I have attended events for Romney, Guiliani, Brownback, Tancredo and now Huckabee.
I was invited to the event in Dallas because when I asked the Huckabee campaign about seeing Huckabee and seeing if he could come to Oklahoma I was invited to the Dallas event. So I took them up on the offer.
I drove there myself at my own expense. It was very nice event. I had a chance to visit with Governor Huckabee which I had met before last year when he came to Oklahoma to help the state party and some of the OKGOP candidates and one other time at the Southern Republican leadership conference in 2006 in Memphis.
I have not endorsed any candidate nor have I contributed money any yet. I don't plan on committing to a candidate until after our February 5th primary.
Gary Jones, Chairman
Oklahoma Republican Party

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Posted at 1/14/2008 05:21:00 PM |
 

Wilson Research Strategies Releases National Political Environment Assessment

Wilson Research Strategies released today its January 2008 edition of the National Political Environment Assessment. This edition focuses on framing the War in Iraq:
"Don't ignore the war but don't dwell on either. It's still the most important issue to voters of both parties and independents,but voters are fatigued over hearing the "should we go or should we stay" debate. Some Democrats may try to make the campaign a referendum on the war, but increasing concerns about the economy and jobs provide other issues closer to home with which to attract votes not in favor of the war - an opportunity that was not available to Republicans in 2006."

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Posted at 1/14/2008 04:35:00 PM |
 

Video: Sen. Gumm Pre-files Bill Mandating Autism Insurance Coverage

 

Illinois River Advocate Supports W.A.D. Edmondson Poultry Suit

Courtesy of Conium
We're often accused here at the Oklahoma Political News Service of being one sided in our coverage of Oklahoma's political news. Believe it or not, even "Scrooge" Edmondson has garnered sympathy from our readers' because of our sometimes unflattering coverage of him. This excerpt from the Muskogee Phoenix should pacify our critics for a bit. This one's for you W.A.D.!
The Poultry Community Council and the poultry companies no doubt appreciate Rick Stubblefield’s "insight" (Dec. 7) as he is a vocal supporter of the poultry industry and denigrates the efforts of Oklahoma’s Attorney General Drew Edmondson to protect our environment.
Both Stubblefield and Jackie Cunningham, director of community relations Poultry Community Council, conveniently overlook the fact that the only real progress and efforts made by the poultry industry to work on correcting the damage to the Illinois River watershed occurred after the lawsuit was filed by Edmondson. Read more...

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Posted at 1/14/2008 11:53:00 AM |
 

Quote of the Day: J.C. Watts on Fred Thompson

"I define Fred Thompson as AC, what's AC? All class. He's a great guy and understands how intense and important this war is."

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Posted at 1/14/2008 11:31:00 AM |
 

TipLine: Jeff McMahan & Randal Erwin Close to Indictment?

Reliable sources tell the Oklahoma Political News Service there will be two more indictments handed down this Friday from a Federal Grand Jury.
Embattled State Auditor & Inspector Jeff McMahan and former lawmaker Randal Erwin are said to be under investigation by the FBI for numerous alleged misdeeds. OKPNS will continue to investigate and pass along any information we receive.

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Posted at 1/14/2008 09:20:00 AM |
Sunday, January 13, 2008 

Oklahoma’s Boss Tweed: Drew Edmondson

The Chicago Daily Observer ranked W. A. D. Edmondson's indictment of Paul Jacob - along with two others - as one of their "Seven Most Underreported Stories of 2007." As we all know, all seven of those slots could have legitimately contained stories from Oklahoma. Luckily for W.A.D., he has the bought and paid for, lazy Oklahoma press, to protect him.
From the Chicago Daily Observer:
"An actual local Civil Rights activist was arrested and brought in chains before an Oklahoma court charged with circulating petitions as non residents of the state. Paul Jacob, a fellow at Chicago’s Sam Adams Alliance faces 10 years in prison for practicing the 1st amendment, in a prominent case in the eyes of the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine, yet totally ignored by the Chicago Media." Read more...
Related:
Doug Bandow: Oklahoma’s Boss Tweed: Drew Edmondson

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Posted at 1/13/2008 03:05:00 PM |
 

Boren Faces Barrage of Questions at Town Hall Meeting

What about the dog fighting vote?
By James Beaty Senior Editor
A town hall meeting held in McAlester by District 2 U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, got off to a booming start when an Arpelar man blasted Boren over House Resolution 2640 — the most recent gun control bill in Washington.
Boren then faced a barrage of questions concerning health care, with McAlester-area residents at the meeting obviously ready to let him know what’s on their minds.
Rod Eastgate called HR 2640 “the Veterans Disarmament Act” and criticized Boren’s vote in favor of the measure and the fact that it passed out of the House into the Senate.
“How did this happen?” Eastgate asked Boren in front of a standing-room-only crowd on the second floor of Chef Billy’s during Boren’s town hall meeting Friday in downtown McAlester.
HR 2640, or the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvements Act of 2007, came about as a result of the shootings at Virginia Tech last year.
A portion of the measure calls for states to forward to the U.S. Justice Department information on individuals prohibited from possessing firearms, including those who may have had mental problems at some time.
Eastgate said he’s a former Marine and he has serious concerns that the measure will be used to prevent veterans who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from owning guns.
Boren first responded to Eastgate by quickly drawing his gun-toting credentials.
“I’m a lifetime member of the NRA,” Boren said. “I’ve been a strong member of the NRA.”
Boren said U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who had similar concerns, held up the bill in the Senate until “the bill got worked out.”
That answer didn’t satisfy Eastgate.
“How did it get through the House? How come you didn’t get it worked out in the House?” he asked.
“Sometimes it’s just not perfect,” Boren said.
“That’s what you’re there for, to make it perfect,” Eastgate responded.
“After Sen. Coburn had fixed it, we got another look at it,” said Boren, who noted the National Rifle Association had signed on in favor of the measure.
“What I’m saying is your problem got worked out,” Boren said. Read more...

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Posted at 1/13/2008 02:55:00 PM |


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