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Tuesday, April 29, 2008 

Video: Jim Inhofe and Frank Keating on John McCain

Monday, April 28, 2008 

Video: Lt. Gov. Jari Askins Sighting!

 

Quote of the Day: "I Do Think [Obama's] Got Such a Special Sauce"

Can I get fries with that? What a strange quote!

“You can see Democratic establishments having a very difficult time dealing with Barack Obama. I do think he’s got such a special sauce, I do think it’s going to be even more challenging for Republicans to figure out how to deal with him. I do think that John McCain – I said this a year ago – John McCain does give Republicans a chance to win.” J.C. Watts

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Posted at 4/28/2008 02:35:00 PM |
 

OKPNS Told You First; Maughan Announces Campaign Against Rinehart

NewsOK.com: Maughan announces campaign against Rinehart

4/24/08

Maughan Close to Announcing Challenge to Indicted Brent Rinehart Reliable sources tell the Oklahoma Political News Service that Republican activist and former AT&T consultant Brian Maughan, is close to announcing his candidacy for Oklahoma County commissioner -District 2.

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Posted at 4/28/2008 01:45:00 PM |
 

Failing To Provide New Hope

By Rep. Jason Murphey

One of the most heartbreaking votes took place last week as the House rejected an important reform that had already received approval of the Senate. The proposal, named the "New Hope Scholarship Program," would have provided tax incentives to those willing to donate to a scholarship fund so students who were trapped in failing inner city schools in Oklahoma City and Tulsa could attend private schools.

The Senate author of this bill, Senator James Williamson, described it as "a two-for-one deal. Two dollars of education for low-income students for every one dollar of effect on the sate budget."

As I have mentioned in my previous updates, as a member of the Human Services Committee, I see firsthand that there are now 19,000 children in state custody. As a member of the Corrections Committee, I know that Oklahoma prisons are filled to capacity. There are no easy solutions to these problems because the massive cost falls upon the taxpayers; but these challenges, if left unchecked, will eventually be too large for the government to handle and will continue to usurp more and more of your taxpayer dollars. Read more...

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Posted at 4/28/2008 01:34:00 PM |
Friday, April 25, 2008 

Loveless Gets Acclaim by Speaker of House and Moore Representative

Moore – Yesterday, Senate Candidate Kyle D. Loveless, (R-OKC) received a citation of acclamation from both the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and State Representative Randy Terrill (R-Moore).

“I was honored at the citation I received as part of my graduation ceremony of the Leadership Moore program”, said Kyle Loveless. He went on to say, “When I decided to run for the state Senate, I promised my future constituents that I would immerse myself in the communities that encompass the district, and I have and will continue to keep my word. Moore, Mustang, and South Oklahoma City are all growing, and the one common denominator is a true sense of community. I did not just move into the district, my roots in this district run deep. My family has been in business serving Oklahoma for 60 years. My wife and I were raised in Moore and South Oklahoma City, and that is where we are going to raise our family”.

The citation reads – “Kyle Loveless has expanded his leadership by increasing his knowledge of Moore and the critical issues facing his community through his interaction with community leaders.”

“Kyle Loveless through his diligence in working with community leaders, has gained key organizational skills and has acquainted himself with the problems and needs of his community, and has committed to serve in a role inherent to a leader.”

“Kyle Loveless prompted by his desire to be better prepared to serve his community, has completed Leadership Moore, a program designed to identify, motivate, and place emerging leaders through development of their leadership by stimulating an interest in the quality of life in Moore and providing a common meeting ground of shared concerns among leaders throughout the community.”

Signed, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chris Benge Signed, State Representative Randy Terrill

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Posted at 4/25/2008 10:30:00 AM |
 

Gov. Henry 0 for 2?

 

Rep. Fallin to Present Medals During Memorial Day Ceremony

Rep. Mary Fallin has a post today on The Hill Newspaper's Congressional Blog reminding us that one of America's most solemn holidays is almost upon us. Fallin writes:

"As our Memorial Day weekend approaches, I believe it is important to pay tribute and honor to the men and women in the military who have served our country...It will be our great honor to present medals to our deserving military veterans in a special ceremony May 23rd at the Oklahoma History Center."
Memorial Day has always had special meaning for me. I was born on May 30th, the original day that was set aside for the holiday. As a child, my parents always reminded me on my birthday that I was enjoying my presents and freedom that day, because someone else gave their life in defense of this country. Rep. Fallin reminds us what Memorial Day is really all about.

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Posted at 4/25/2008 09:43:00 AM |
 

Video: Shawnee Residents Voice Opposition to Sex Offenders Classes in their Neighborhood

Thursday, April 24, 2008 

Maughan Close to Announcing Challenge to Indicted Brent Rinehart

Reliable sources tell the Oklahoma Political News Service that Republican activist and former AT&T consultant Brian Maughan, is close to announcing his candidacy for Oklahoma County commissioner -District 2.

Maughan will be seeking to unseat current District 2 Commissioner Brent Rinehart, who has been indicted on 9 felony counts and is scheduled to go to trial in September.

OKPNS will continue to investigate.

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Posted at 4/24/2008 06:49:00 PM |
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 

SCREW-ing Old People and Charities Act Advances

UPDATE: Oklahoman Editorial: Turning treasures into trash

Originally Posted 4/22/08

As rank-and-file Republicans look on in amazement, yet another corporate welfare scheme is advancing through the Oklahoma House of Representatives, once again being pushed by the Republican leadership.

Despite some negative media attention last week, Big SCREW (Selfish Companies Reaping Excessive Windfalls) remains on general order this week in the house. State Rep. Ron Peterson, already in hot water with the public over his awkward handling of an autism-related insurance matter, is pushing hard for SB 1980, a Trojan horse bill that purports to eliminate so-called Stranger Originated Life Insurance (STOLI) scams, but according to knowledgeable observers is actually a back-door way to eliminate ‘life settlements,” an investing tool that gives Oklahoma Seniors and charitable institutions options for estate planning purposes.

Ironically, the STOLI bill, which purports to stop one type of scam, is a swindle itself. “There is no STOLI problem in Oklahoma,” another insider tells OKPNS. “Over 60% of life insurance policies lapse, so this is just a way to keep from paying claims. It will hurt senior citizens and Oklahoma charities, and the backers of this fraud should be ashamed, VERY ashamed. If they want to stop STOLI, a short amendment would suffice. It wouldn’t take a massive esoteric bill to end STOLI, but let’s be real: stopping STOLI is not what this is all about,” she says. Regular OKPNS readers will recognize the gang that is advancing the Big SCREW. The primary proponent is the American Council of Life Insurance (ACLI) in Washington, headed by former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating. Keating, also a member of the Chesapeake Energy Board of Directors, has hired the Fried lobbying bunch to pull the wool over legislators’ eyes. Also lobbying hard for the bill is the insurance industry’s toady, insurance commissioner Kim Holland, and the Senate author Sean Burrage.

Under the pretext of ending STOLI, the 88-page bill includes cynical clauses, including on that mandates that life insurance policy holders cannot receive less than 50% of the face value of the policy, which effectively kills the practice. Life settlements enable financially-strapped seniors to realize some yield from their investments if they are sick or in need of some financial assistance. Further, seniors who violate that aspect of the bill will be guilty of a FELONY, an excessive and immoral element. The bill is especially ironic when considering that Ronald Reagan is believed to have sold some policies in his last years.

Under SB 1980, “Big Insurance” wins, and Oklahoma seniors and charities lose. This bill will seriously and dramatically affect those citizens who buy life insurance policies for estate planning purposes and negatively affect the net worth of Oklahoma seniors. It is a scandalous bill rooted in the desire of Big Insurance to take every last nickel from their policy holders, regardless of morals and fairness. This bill would have jailed Ronald Reagan, and at some point people will find out what has happened, and for legislators who support this abomination, it could be THE campaign issue of the year.

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Posted at 4/23/2008 01:29:00 PM |
 

Drew Edmondson: Poster Child for Term Limits

Courtesy of one of our "Capitol reporters"

Drew Edmondson and his entourage filed into the House gallery on Thursday of last week to personally hear the debate and watch the vote on the state-wide elected official term limits bill (SB 1987). Edmondson was seen hastily walking out of the chamber in disgust of passage of the measure. Reportedly, Edmondson spent the rest of the morning arguing with fellow Democrat and lobbyist Pat Hall about this legislation passing the Senate and going to a vote of the people.

Edmondson is targeting Sen. Nancy Riley and Sen. Susan Paddack to change their orginal YES vote for term limits to a NO vote in the coming weeks. Seems Drew doesn't want to leave his office anytime soon...

From freepauljacob.com:

Yes, it’s true. Drew Edmondson, the four-time incumbent attorney general of Oklahoma, notorious for abusing the power of his office to prosecute honest supporters of Oklahomans’ citizen initiative rights, has publicly stated his opposition to a bill that would limit his tenure as well as that of other state officials. Read more...

GetRightOK.com: The fight of the session: Term Limits v. Entrenched Incumbent

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Posted at 4/23/2008 11:25:00 AM |
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 

EXCLUSIVE: Capitol Police Say Surveillance Video Reveals No Office Break In; Sen Coates "Mishandled Own Emails"

Related:

Video: Sen Harry Coates - "It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to."

Hat tip: okiecampaigns

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Posted at 4/22/2008 08:20:00 PM |
 

J.C. Watts Principle in "Black Television News Channel "

Black Television (www.btnc.tv) News Channel (BTNC), the nation's only African-American news network, scheduled to launch in 2009, today announced a multi-year carriage agreement with Comcast, the country's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. Under the agreement, BTNC expects that it will be added to Comcast systems in the following key African American markets: Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Baltimore.

BTNC will be a 24/7 cable news network that provides original news programming with a distinctly African-American perspective, and therefore helps fill a major gap in today's media. BTNC is the endeavor of J.C. Watts, Jr., former U.S. congressman from Oklahoma and celebrated athlete, and broadcast and cable news veterans.

"Our unique and vast content partnerships with African American newsmakers will provide our viewers LIVE access to the stories and people in whom our viewers have a special interest," said Watts. "With this agreement, Comcast continues to demonstrate its commitment to working with independent programmers with diverse points of view."

BTNC will construct the first coast-to-coast all high-definition television newsgathering infrastructure with its network operations center located in Washington, DC.

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Posted at 4/22/2008 01:25:00 PM |
 

Expanding the Scope of Term Limits

By Rep. Jason Murphey
A key figure in the ongoing federal trial for former State Senator Gene Stipe pled guilty this week to crimes related to the abuse of your taxpayer dollars. Because of the ongoing criminal case, past abuses of Oklahoma’s old guard politicians are becoming less and less of a secret.

I believe one of the key reasons for the exposure of these past abuses has been the dramatic shift in power in Oklahoma politics brought on by term limits. Those of us who are fighting to put an end to the abuses of the past face an increased likelihood of success, due in part to the fact that there are many new elected officials who have taken office in the past few years. Many of these individuals have not been corrupted by the political process. Unlike some of their predecessors, they are not career politicians. Oklahoma’s term limit law allows all representatives and senators to serve only twelve years in the Legislature. After that, they are under a lifetime ban from holding office in the Legislature again. I believe this new generation of representatives and senators is fulfilling one of the important visions of our nation’s founding fathers - the vision in which an average citizen dedicates a few years of his or her life to representing the people as a citizen-statesman. At the end of the term of office, the legislator returns to the normal world to live under the very laws he or she helped to create. This helps to ensure that legislators will be more representative of the people instead of becoming a class of the political elite.

As a result of the term limits law, the Legislature is very different from just a few years ago. Gone are many of the old guard power bosses who tightly maintained the status quo. These politicians could have stayed in office almost indefinitely and they held powerful committee chairmanships where they would bottle up reform-minded legislation. They have been replaced by a group of energetic professionals, many of whom wish to enact pro-growth policies (i.e. cutting taxes) to change Oklahoma for the better. And, should some succumb to the temptation to become part of the status quo, they will inevitably be replaced because of term limits. Read more...

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Posted at 4/22/2008 11:37:00 AM |
Thursday, April 17, 2008 

Hepner Says "OPNS (sic) Gets Facts Wrong"

"Left leaning" and "Liberal professor" Mickey Hepner responds to our post today on his coordination with anti 1804 forces:
Mickey Hepner
From Mickey's Musings:

Today the Oklahoma Political News Service website posts a charge that I have been coordinating with State Sen. Harry Coates on efforts to repeal HB 1804....

I don't mind that OPNS called me "left-leaning" or a "liberal professor". As I have said before my conservative friends think I'm too liberal, and my liberal friends think I'm too conservative. I think I am a little of both. But before OPNS states something as fact, they should at least get the facts straight. In this case, it is clear that OPNS did not. Read more...

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Posted at 4/17/2008 06:12:00 PM |
 

Term Limits Issue One Step Away From Ballot

Oklahomans are just one legislative vote away from being able to vote this November on enacting term limits for statewide office holders, Oklahomans for Responsible Government (OFRG) said today.

By a 56-44 vote, the House approved Senate Bill 1987. The bill, which would allow voters this fall to decide whether to enact 12-year term limits for secondary statewide offices such as attorney general, state auditor and state schools superintendent, now goes to the full Senate for final consideration.

"Term limits ended the 'good old boy' system in the Oklahoma Legislature and allowed a new group of Republican and Democratic leaders to come to power. Those leaders ushered in much-needed reforms and policies that have helped to move the state forward," said state Rep. Trebor Worthen (R-OKC), House sponsor of SB 1987. "I hope my colleagues in the Senate will give Oklahomans the chance to vote on this important issue. I thank OFRG for their hard work and dedication to seeing SB 1987 passed."

OFRG Executive Director Curt Price said, "Today's outcome is a victory for Oklahoma voters. This issue is overwhelmingly popular with voters. OFRG encourages the state Senate to follow the example of their House colleagues by giving Oklahoma voters a chance to express their voice on this important issue."

Previously, SB 1987 passed the Senate 31-17, with seven Democrats joining their Republican colleagues in support of the bill. "With this important bill one step away from being on the November ballot, it is important senators don't waiver in their support for SB 1987 the second time around. OFRG will continue to work to ensure that SB 1987 makes it to the ballot," Price said.

A July 2007 Pulse Opinion Research survey of 1,000 likely voters found 77 percent of those surveyed would vote for a measure setting term limits for executive offices. A December 2007 poll by the Tulsa World and KOTV found 73 percent of those surveyed supported the idea of term limits for executive offices.

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Posted at 4/17/2008 05:07:00 PM |
 

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 4): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Oklahoma Bankers Association Study is a Farce

McSpadden & Associates Lobbyist Jami Longacre with - an American citizen!

"Here is a draft release that the EIG economist may be sending out. I think it would be a great idea for you to touch bases with KyleDean."- Jami Longacre (Click here to read entire emails.)

Last week, the worst newspaper in the nation ran a snippy, childish editorial that took a less than courageous shot at HB 1804 author Randy Terrill, D-Moore. The editorial, which more resembled a child’s tantrum than a real discussion, quoted from a study commissioned by the Oklahoma Bankers Association. The study, the kids at the America’s worst proffered, “could cut the state's economic output by $1.8 billion in the first year by driving away foreign-born workers.” It then went on the quote now disgraced state senator Dirty Harry Coates, for heaven only knows why given Coates’ recent meltdown and public humiliation. The problem is the study is a phony prop engineered to advance the now-dead effort to repeal HB 1804 as we demonstrated through Coates’ own notes and e-mails last week.

Today, the Oklahoma Political News Service reveals more documents that show the “spin” from the study was rigged by left-leaning University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) economics professor Mickey Hepner in coordination with Dirty Harry. Coates was provided an advance copy of the ‘spin’ when the study came under fire by the indefatigable Terrill. Banking lobbyist Jamie Longacre, who represents ‘Republicrat’ banker Kell Kelley of Spirit Bank, was the conduit on this errand. Coates’ scribblings give a clue to the frantic nature of the anti-1804 gang, as the e-mail notes show Coates editing the final draft.

(Click below sentence to see coordination)

Another set of e-mails show Hepner briefing Coates as the liberal professor stacks a so-called forum aimed at agricultural leaders with anti-1804 proponents, yet another example of the deceit and dishonesty that the anti-1804 cabal appears to specialize in delivering to Oklahomans.

The now-discredited study was the rock on which the left-leaning editorial staff based its crybaby editorial. We at OKPNS are as embarrassed for them as they must be now.

Related:

EXCLUSIVE: Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Ambush Planned for Rep. Terrill

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 2): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Is Sen. Coates Working for the People or Chesapeake Energy?

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 3): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Regarding Dirty Harry’s Notes

Mark Shannon: CHAMBER, OKLAHOMAN:"SELL YOUR SOUL OKLAHOMA"

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Posted at 4/17/2008 11:37:00 AM |
 

Bode: Natural Gas Holds Promise As Motor Fuel

"The natural gas industry needs to “elbow our way into the debate on energy.” - Denise Bode

Great move by Chesapeake to hire Bode! Who is better at throwing elbows than Denise Bode? We wonder if this "uniquely American Industry" will start employing more American workers in the future?

From the Times Record News: (Wichita Falls, TX)

Bode, former Oklahoma Corporation commissioner who is now CEO of the American Clean Skies Foundation, told about 1,100 oil and gas producers at a Texas Alliance of Energy Producers’ luncheon Wednesday that the natural gas industry needs to “elbow our way into the debate on energy.”

With Americans paying $3.30 a gallon or more for gasoline, “The public is listening like never before,” she said.

She called natural gas a “uniquely American” industry that’s still in its infancy.

Her organization, whose mission she said was to educate and communicate rather than lobby, is launching an extensive public awareness campaign comprised of national newspaper and television ads and a news Web site. Read more...

Related:

Dumb, Dumber and the Ad Agency

Dumb and Dumber Part 2

Dumb and Dumber Part 3

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Posted at 4/17/2008 10:36:00 AM |
 

OSU Employee Phone Policy Violates Open Records Law, Experts Say

Hargis uses his private BlackBerry to conduct university business, but he says the related text messages, e-mails and numbers dialed are not records open to the public.

However, advocates for government openness, along with a judge and attorneys general in other states, say records of public business should be open, regardless of whether the device that the created the record is privately owned.

Hargis said he elected not to receive reimbursement for his cell phone though his job requires him to be available 24 hours a day, making him eligible for a university-financed phone. Thus, records of his cell phone are not open to the public, university attorneys say.

Hargis’ phone is not the only cellular device outside of the scope of public inspection, according to OSU policy. The same holds true for the 493 employee cell phones on record at the human resource department, as well as an unknown number of other employee phones not documented at that office. Read more...

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Posted at 4/17/2008 10:21:00 AM |
 

The Coconut Road Affair - How To Investigate A Crooked Earmark

"Somewhere along the way, something changed. Nobody knows for sure who did what."- Sen. Tom Coburn

From ABC News:

Someone - before Congress mandated that earmarks enacted into law be made public, so we're not sure who - someone changed language in the conference report to the 2006 transportation bill that redirected $10 million that had been designated to widen parts of I-75 to instead create the off-ramp.

Problem is the residents of Lee County in Naples, Florida didn't want the off-ramp. The local government didn't want the off-ramp and the local Congressman, Republican Connie Mack, says he didn't request the off-ramp.

It was requested by a local business man - conveniently a political patron of Rep. Don Young, the powerful Alaska Republican that tried so hard to bring you the "Bridge to Nowhere" boondoggle that same year, and the lawmaker who wrote the bill.

Young has not directly admitted requesting the earmark, and despite Mack maintaining he didn't request it either, offering he even worked to have the earmark reversed, there exists a letter from 2006 indicating Mack supported an off-ramp in that location.

Lawmakers put 6,300 earmarks worth $24 billion into what was ultimately signed by President George W. Bush. But only Coconut Road is still causing problems on Capitol Hill.

Republican anti-earmark crusader Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, wants to appoint a bipartisan, bicameral panel with subpoena power to investigate the matter and he's holding up action on the Senate floor demanding a vote on the proposal.

Senators have spent all week considering a "technical corrections" to the 2005 transportation bill. "Technical corrections" are supposed to dot i's and cross t's overlooked when the bill was originally passed, but Coburn says there should be a full accounting of the taxpayer money that was overlooked too.

Read more..

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Posted at 4/17/2008 09:18:00 AM |
 

Video: Istook's Five Standards for Solving the Mortgage Madness

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 

Podcast: Tulsa Lawmakers Author Language to Close Loophole in State Rape Law

To Listen to the Podcast, Click Here

Sen. James A. Williamson (R-Tulsa) and Rep. Pam Peterson (R-OKC) have unveiled language to close a loophole in Oklahoma criminal statutes. The Tulsa Republicans crafted the measure after a Tulsa County judge was forced to reduce charges against an accused rapist from first-degree rape to second-degree rape. Williamson:

There’s a case in Tulsa County right now where a male nurse is accused of raping a patient who was sedated. The nurse was initially charged with first-degree rape, but the judge said under current law, a victim who has been drugged or is unconscious at the time of the assault can only be charged with second-degree rape. It is tragic a crime had to occur before this problem came to light, but now it is our responsibility to amend this law to allow the strongest punishment possible.

Williamson said he had approached Sen. Jonathan Nichols (R-Norman), about amending one of his bills to include the language clarifying the definition of first-degree rape. Nichols said he would support such an amendment

As a former prosecutor, and father of two daughters, I am thankful that Senator Williamson has identified and is closing this terrible loophole in the laws against rape. Rape committed by use of sedatives or any such drugs should absolutely be first-degree rape and carry the maximum punishment.

Peterson said she was stunned to learn that an assault on someone who had been drugged could only result in a charge of second-degree rape:

If you’ve been given an intoxicating narcotic or anesthetic, there is no way you can consent to sex. It seems obvious to any lay person the charge should be first-degree rape, but the way the law is currently written, it isn’t. I contend it shouldn’t matter that the victim was drugged at the time. Rape is rape.

Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris said the difference is a maximum penalty of 15 years for second-degree rape versus up to life in prison for first-degree rape. He applauded the lawmakers for their efforts to correct the language in current law that prevents the charge of first-degree rape from being pursued:

It is frustrating to find an oversight in state law that thwarts justice, but I am very pleased to have been able to work with Senator Williamson and Representative Peterson to fix this law. I think it is important for the safety of Oklahoma citizens everywhere.

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Posted at 4/16/2008 09:49:00 AM |
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 

OK Voter I.D. Reform Advances

Legislation preventing voter fraud or identity theft at the ballot box passed out of the House yesterday.

Senate Bill 1150 would require voters to show one of several options of identification before casting a ballot, including a free, state-issued voter identification card. Rep. Sue Tibbs (R-Tulsa), author of the bill, said the bill would ensure only those eligible are voting.

We have made it easier to vote over the years, and that has not increased turnout but instead has led to a lack of confidence in the voting process. The number one way to increase interest in the voting process is to give Oklahomans the assurance that their vote will count...Everyone who is eligible to vote will be able to under this legislation.

If a voter does not have a photo ID when they show up to vote, the legislation allows them to cast a ballot if they sign a sworn statement swearing or affirming that they are the person identified on the official precinct registry.

The bill will now return to the Senate for consideration

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Posted at 4/15/2008 08:29:00 AM |
 

McCain May get the Native American Vote

Speaking in Missoula Montana on April 5th, Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama promised "to appoint a high-level adviser on American Indian issues if elected president."

This may be too little too late, however, as John Ruberry of the Marathon Pundit writes:

John McCain has been doing that for over twenty years. Who is the one 'reaching across the aisle' to build a consensus? As for Indians, it appears to be McCain.

Ruberry also points out that the only Native American currently serving in Congress is Tom Cole, a Chickasaw, is Republican.

American Indian activist Kayln Free is quoted by The Oklahoman:

Sen. McCain [a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs] has a record with Indian country. He has carried a lot of water for tribes over the years. I think it is a grave mistake for the Democratic nominee or these two candidates to think that Indian Country will be there for them just because they are the Democratic nominee.

[...]

Tribal leaders have a different standing. We are sovereign nations and there is a government-to-government relationship. The Democratic candidates vying for our support should meet with tribal leaders and hear our concerns...Republicans are reaching out to tribal leaders because of the new economic power that the wield. Tribes are playing at a different level than they were even a decade ago.

"UnitedNative," a senior member on the Indianz.com discussion forum, points out that although Native Americans largely have a problem with the policies of the Republican Party, John McCain has stood up to member of his own party to defend Indian rights:

As president, John McCain would be the eight hundred-pound political gorilla against anti Native American groups.

Also see:

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Posted at 4/15/2008 07:46:00 AM |
 

Old Guard of GOP is Getting Worried...?

...received via the confidential tip line:

The GOP Establishment has been able to keep movement conservatives out of positions of power since the Reagan Revolution – until now. This weekend a meeting of Ron Paul grassroots leaders and leaders of conservative causes has joined forces to create the Liberty Values Coalition.

It looks like the majority of delegates of the state convention are part of the new group of activists, the question is – will they show up and stand together. If they do, it means that the old guard is going to lose control of the state GOP.

Gary Jones has taken time out from watching the McMahan impeachment to make sure McCain is not embarrassed by the Oklahoma delegation. The GOP establishment has been changing the rules of the national delegate selection process to insure that only those with “inside information” will be able to meet the eligibility requirements.

Case and point – the new rule that requires every delegate to submit a packet to the executive committee before they can be nominated from the floor at the convention. Why? The party elites like to nominate their own slate of delegates to the national convention, so they have a committee screen candidates and they send their recommendations to the state convention. In years past, if you didn’t like the slate or one of the members, you could amend the slate and insert another person. Not this year.

Why the new rules and concerns? Could it be the new group of activists from the Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee campaigns that have suddenly started attending GOP meetings? According to some insiders, Ron Paul supporters dominated three of the 5 congressional district meetings and managed to get their people elected as delegates to the national GOP convention. Without the rule changes, more of the national delegates would have been Liberty Values Coalition supporters.

What do these new activists want? All indications are that they want the GOP to actually stand for something. The limited government message that these activists have put into the platform actually sounds like Reagan in 1976, but because of McCain’s voting record and the reckless spending of the last six years by Bush and congress this message may be embarrassing to some GOP leaders who prefer not to be reminded just how big government has gotten lately.

What could really make the split between the Liberty Values Coalition and the GOP establishments even bigger are the Friday night pre-convention activities. Rumors persist that Rep. Ron Paul himself will be in Tulsa on Friday night to rally the troops. At the same time, the establishment will be meeting with V. President Dick Cheney. Both sides should be pumped for the Saturday convention.

The Liberty Values Coalition is historic in that it brings together libertarians with conservative/traditional values Republicans to effectively take over the party. If this coalition holds together in Tulsa on May 3 at the Oklahoma GOP Convention, it could become a new model for supporters of limited government to begin to make change.

Also see: Ron Paul's Missouri supporters take charge of weekend county caucuses

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Posted at 4/15/2008 07:35:00 AM |
Monday, April 14, 2008 

An Analysis: Don’t Look at the Man Behind the Curtain!

Oklahoma Media's motto: "Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil."

We’ve made sport of the slow-moving and seemingly curiosity-challenged capitol press corps in Oklahoma City. But the press’s feeble performance since our blockbuster series began one week ago has baffled many.

First, the press swallowed hook, line, sinker, rod, reel and even the boat when they bought Sen. Harry Coates’ claim that the documents were ‘stolen,’ although no evidence was presented. Normally, reporters are skeptical of such sensational and easily-disproved claims, but not the Oklahoma capitol corps. That whirring sound you may hear is Richard Nixon spinning in his grave, thinking what might have been if only Oklahoma’s capitol gang had been covering Watergate instead of Woodward and Bernstein.

Is this one of the reasons why the Capitol press corp are lapdogs?
Click picture too enlarge
Attorney General Drew Edmondson is apparently very popular with Oklahoma's lazy media. Our continuing investigation into the media's appalling silence in the "poultrygate" scandal has turned up another interesting development.

World publishing Chairman Richard E. Lorton donated $2,000 to the Edmondson re-election effort last year. Coincidentally, Edmondson also won the World's endorsement.
The AG's republican opponent James Dunn was outraised and outspent almost three to one in the race and was soundly defeated in a landslide. (61% -39%) Read more...
Privately, some law enforcement officials familiar with the case say there is no basis for Coates’ claim of theft, and that in fact the whole situation suggests the Senator is demonstrating some “erratic” behavior. It will be interesting to see how Coates’ and the press play it if no villain is apprehended when the approximately two weeks it takes to investigate Coates’ bizarre claims passes.

Second, the press corps apparently ignored more curious partisan developments. Dirty Harry was accompanied by Democratic House Minority Leader Danny Morgan, and other members of the house minority party. Virtually all of Coates’ plotting has been in concert with Democrat lobbyists and liberal Republicans. The press corps missed Coates’ cryptic threats to “turn the Senate upside down,” but we didn’t. Expect the beleaguered Senator to at the very least publicly threaten to switch parties before the session is up if he doesn’t get his way.

KSWO (Lawton) owner & station manager each gave contributions to Drew Edmondson in 2006 - on Valentine's Day.

Recent campaign reports for the Attorney General show contributions from the station's owner Bill Drewry and the station manager Larry Patton. Mr. Patton even uses KSWO's P. O. Box as his "address for the contributor." Read more...

Thirdly, while the press corps obsessed about how OKPNS came to have the documents, they completely ignored what was IN the documents. If the cure for cancer and a map to the whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa were contained in the notes, Oklahomans wouldn’t have known. Nobody asked Coates about his insulting and unintelligent notes about Oklahoma business leaders and especially his threats against fellow Republican Senator Glenn Coffee, the Co-President Pro Tem.

Frankly, we can reasonably conclude that the press corps is sympathetic to Coates’ plight and that they oppose HB 1804, so don’t expect any tough questions aimed at Senator Coates or any other of the dull-witted conspirators of the anti-1804 gaggle, as evidenced from the Daily Oklahoman’s boneheaded and boorish editorial yesterday.

But don’t worry: we at OKPNS will bring you the truth, focusing on the important issues that the Oklahoma press and their cronies DON’T want you to know. Posted at 4/14/2008 11:58:00 AM |
 

Video: "Rally for Sally" Kern at Oklahoma Capitol

 

Things that make you go "hmmm..."

Democrats in Oklahoma are decrying the growing disparity between the richest and the poorest families in the nation, and especially in Oklahoma. They are citing a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which reports that nationally,

For very high-income families — the richest 5 percent — income growth since the late 1990s has been especially dramatic, and much faster than among the poorest fifth of families

and in Oklahoma,

The richest 20 percent of families have average incomes 7.3 times as large as the poorest 20 percent of families.

The purpose of the Center, of course, is not to accurately report the status of the nationa or state-level economic conditions, but instead:

The Center conducts research and analysis to inform public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that the needs of low-income families and individuals are considered in these debates. We also develop policy options to alleviate poverty.

So what has caused the growth in recent years of this "inequality" between the rich and the poor? Could it be that the United States has been importing poor people for the past two decades by the millions? Actually, yes, as the Center unwittingly addresses the problem issue it has raised, on the "About Us" page:

Part of the Center’s work on means-tested programs involves seeking to improve the access of low-income legal immigrants to these programs, both by expanding eligibility and by removing barriers that prevent already-eligible immigrants from obtaining benefits. The Center is relied on as a source of analysis and innovative policy options by a variety of organizations that work on immigrant issues, as well as by federal and state policymakers.

Hmmm....

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Posted at 4/14/2008 08:03:00 AM |
 

Gumm Says "Come Home to Oklahoma" Proposal Means Higher Taxes for Current Oklahomans

A rural leader with a successful background in economic development says a tax break for newcomers is a “backwards way” to grow rural Oklahoma.

Senator Jay Paul Gumm (D-Durant), said proposed amendments to the bill intended to help bring the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City would create a “grossly unfair” tax scheme in which current residents of the state pay more income tax than newcomers.

The proposal, advocated by some rural legislators, is called the “Come Home to Oklahoma” bill, and would give a five-year income tax exemption to people who move into some rural areas from another state and buy or build a home there. Under the proposal, individuals who already live in Oklahoma would continue to pay their full income tax bills:

I do not know how any leader can look his or her constituents in the eye and tell them they should pay more tax than someone who just arrived in Oklahoma. We ought to call this the ‘Oklahomans Pay More Taxes’ bill. It is unfair, potentially unconstitutional, and nothing short of a ‘deal-breaker’ for me.

Gumm is the former executive director of the Durant chamber of commerce. According to records from the last five years, Durant has attracted a higher percentage of new jobs than any community in Oklahoma. The experience of his hometown, he said, shows the newcomers’ tax break does not make sense from an economic development standpoint. He added:

While we need an adequate workforce to attract business and industry, jobs rarely follow people; people follow jobs. If we attract residents to these areas before there are jobs for them, then the problem this idea attempts to solve is made even worse.

Gumm said a better way to encourage rural legislators to support the “Sonics” bill is to make a significant investment in rural Oklahoma’s infrastructure. One way to do that would be through the Rural Economic Action Program, which provides grant money to small communities for economic development and infrastructure improvements:

It is woefully under funded at only $15 million annually. Pumping an additional $20 or $30 million into REAP, spread across the state to deserving communities, stands a better chance of growing small town economies.

It doesn’t matter how many people move to rural Oklahoma if the infrastructure is not adequate and there are no jobs. Build the infrastructure, create the jobs and the people will come.

In a recent edition of Gumm’s regular column to his constituents, the lawmaker wrote the idea behind the “Come Home to Oklahoma Act” was noble, but that proposal is “as patently unfair” as any bill he has ever seen. Gumm

Tax policy says who we are and who we value. This wrong-headed proposal says we value newcomers more than we do the people who have already invested in our state. I cannot and will not support any plan to puts lesser value and higher taxes on the people I represent.

Also see: Come Home to Oklahoma (Please? We'll Give you a Tax Break)

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Posted at 4/14/2008 08:02:00 AM |
 

Six Oklahoma Legislators Receive "Spirit of Enterprise Award"

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) last week received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of Enterprise Award” for his support of pro-growth legislation during the 110th Congress. Accepting the award, Inhofe said:

I am honored to receive the ‘Spirit of Enterprise Award’ from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This organization provides an invaluable service to businesses nationwide. I will continue to fight for legislation that helps grow our nation’s economy, keeping America’s businesses the most competitive in the world.

Dan Boren, the only Democrat in the entire House of Representatives to receive the award, said:

I am honored to receive this award. The small business community, energy industry, and other manufacturers are an integral part of Oklahoma’s economy. I am committed to doing everything I can in Congress to help them grow our economy and create additional jobs in Oklahoma.

Tom Donohue, Chamber president and CEO, stated:

Senator Inhofe has proven to be an effective ally to the business community, supporting legislation that helps grow the economy and creates new jobs for hardworking Americans. The Chamber is grateful for Jim’s commitment to these important issues and is proud to present him with this award.

[...]

Representative Boren has proven to be an effective ally to the business community, supporting legislation that helps grow the economy and creates new jobs for hardworking Americans. The Chamber is grateful for Dan’s commitment to these important issues and is proud to present him with this award.

The Oklahomans who were honored were:

  • Sen. James Inhofe
  • Rep. John A. Sullivan (OK-1)
  • Rep. Dan Boren (OK-2)
  • Rep. Frank D. Lucas (OK-3)
  • Rep. Tom Cole (OK-4)
  • Rep. Mary Fallin (OK-5)

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses of every size, sector, and region. A complete list of the 2007 Spirit of Enterprise recipients is here.

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Posted at 4/14/2008 08:00:00 AM |
Friday, April 11, 2008 

Weekend Poll: Is HB 1804 Good for Oklahoma?

OKPNS has been covering Oklahoma's immigration reform bill, HB 1804 extensively since it was first authored, and there have been some interesting developments this week, as opponents of the legislation plot with our state's energy companies, regents for higher education, treasurer's office and others to have the bill repealed.

We would like to know if our readers think HB 1804 is good or bad for Oklahoma. Please give us your opinion, below.

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Posted at 4/11/2008 09:16:00 AM |
 

The Democrats' New Direction

 

Senate Rejects Coburn/McCain Amendments to Restrain Spending; Protect Private Property Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today expressed disappointment that the Senate rejected four amendments to a public lands bill, S. 2739 the “Consolidated Natural Resources Act,” that would have protected private property rights and forced Congress to pay for new spending in the bill with spending cuts elsewhere. U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) co-sponsored each amendment:

Across America, families are tightening their belts. Yet, despite a sluggish economy, Congress continues to believe it’s entitled to spend as much as it desires without making choices about spending. The Senate’s refusal to pay for any the new costs of this without any belt-tightening of its own is one reason why Congress’ approval ratings are at an all-time low.

“Our nation was built on a tradition of service and sacrifice in which one generation sacrifices for the next. Yet, Congress has become a parochial body that puts the short-term desires of politicians and special interests ahead of the national interest. For instance, the National Park Service (NPS) faces a $9 billion maintenance backlog yet Congress just voted to spend $380 million on new projects that will help politicians look good in the next election. I appreciate my colleagues who recognize that we are on unsustainable fiscal course and are willing to challenge the status quo in Washington.

With our nation nearly $10 trillion in debt and our troops serving in harm’s way overseas, Congress today voted to borrow more money to pay for these new priorities in S. 2739:

  • “Such sums as are necessary” (CBO estimates $250,000) for the federal government to initiate a three year study of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Labor Movement, to determine if relevant sites should be recognized and preserved.
  • $9 million over five years for the Northern Mariana Islands to send a delegate to Congress. The delegate will have a full House staff, and the expected cost just next year is $1 million. The island has 60,000 residents. The average House district is around 650,000 people.
  • $2 million to create a commission to celebrate “the 200th anniversary of the voyage of Robert Fulton in the Clermont, and the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Henry Hudson in the Half Moon.”
  • $2 million to create a commission to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Samuel de Champlain
  • “Such sums as are necessary” (a blank check) for the establishment of the Piedras Blancas Historic Light Station Outstanding Natural Area (near the world famous Hearst Castle in California).
  • A $12 million earmark to help the Eastern Municipal Water District in California in the design, planning, and construction of permanent facilities needed to establish operational pressure zones that will be used to provide recycled water in the district.”

The Senate considered the following Coburn/McCain amendments. Complete background on the amendments is here.

Amendment 4522 requiring an annual report detailing the amount of property the federal government owns and the cost of government land ownership to taxpayers was defeated by a vote of 30 to 63.

Amendment 4521 requiring citizens’ approval and periodic renewal by referendum of any taking of property by the Departments of Interior, Energy or Agriculture was defeated by a vote of 19 to 76.

Amendment 4520 requiring that citizens within a National Heritage Area are informed of the designation, and that government officials must receive permission to enter private property, was defeated by a margin of 27 to 67.

Amendment 4519 that would have set aside one percent of any spending appropriated to carry out the new authorizations within the bill to be used to pay for the disposal of excess, unused and unneeded Federal property to offset some of the costs of the bill was defeated by a vote of 22 to 73.

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Posted at 4/11/2008 08:00:00 AM |
 

Coburn to U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: Do your Jobs! (Updated)

Updated 4/11/08, from Curt Levy of the Committee for Justice: Seven GOP senators took to the Senate floor this morning to denounce the obstruction of judicial nominees by their Democratic colleagues and to put the Democrats on notice of the price they will pay if the obstruction continues. After "Republicans slammed Leahy at a committee meeting last week," today’s "threat marked the next phase in the growing election-year battle over the judiciary, an issue that Republicans hope will energize conservatives eager to see more of Bush’s nominees confirmed to the bench," reported The Hill...Here are excerpts of the GOP senators’ remarks:

Sen. Arlen Specter:

There is a growing movement in the Republican caucus to hold up legislation if we cannot move in any other way to get justice on the confirmation of these judges.

Sen. Sam Brownback:

I think you're going to see people start to jam the body down and say that, unless we start approving some circuit court judges, business isn't going to happen around here.

It may come to a complete standstill if we don't start getting some judges. … The majority party can choose to go that route. … We are really going to have a big debate then across the country on that. Meanwhile, the whole nation just wants us to get the work done and we're not getting it done because judges aren't being approved.

Sen. John Cornyn:

This immediate need for judicial confirmations is especially true for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. … The Fourth Circuit is currently operating without a third of its judges. The Washington Post observed that ‘the Senate should act in good faith to fill vacancies – not as a favor to the president but out of respect for the residents, businesses, defendants and victims of crime in the region the 4th Circuit covers.’

Sen. Orrin Hatch:

The majority has stalled judicial confirmation votes longer this year than in any presidential election year since 1848. … The last time the Senate waited this long in a presidential election year to confirm federal judges, James Polk, the 11th President, was in the White House.

Since I was first elected, there have been seven Congresses like this one that included a presidential election year. During each of these presidential election Congresses, the Judiciary Committee held hearings for an average of 25 appeals court nominees. But today, more than fifteen months into the 110th Congress, the Judiciary Committee has held a hearing for only five appeals court nominees.

The current Judiciary Committee chairman in the past often insisted that 1992 provides the standard for judicial confirmation progress. Like today, his party controlled the Senate and a President Bush was in the White House. By this time that year, by April 10, 1992, the Senate had already confirmed 25 nominees to the federal bench. It does not look like the Senate will confirm 25 judicial nominees for the entire rest of the year.

Sen. Mitch McConnell:

The Judiciary Committee has held only one hearing on one circuit court nominee since last September. … It’s not as if the Committee has been otherwise occupied. This is another week in which the Committee could have held a hearing, for example, on the qualified nominees to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, but it again chose not to do so. These nominees meet the Chairman’s own criteria for prompt consideration. Nevertheless, they have been inexplicably languishing in the Committee for hundreds of days without a hearing while the Fourth Circuit is one-third vacant.

We were told that having the support of home-state senators ‘means a great deal and points toward the kind of qualified consensus nominee that can be quickly confirmed.’ But it’s beginning to look like this criterion is being selectively applied: it’s readily used as a reason not to move a nominee – coincidentally, when the nominee is from a state with a Democratic Senator – but it’s ignored when the nominee has the support of two Republican Senators.

Sen. Tom Coburn (including his written statement and remarks on the floor):

The Chairman’s unwillingness to even hold hearings on numerous judicial nominees is a gross dereliction of duty. It is disappointing that the committee is putting election year partisan politics ahead of its constitutional duty to give ‘advice and consent’ to the president’s judicial nominees.

If Senators can find time to attend fundraisers, process thousands of earmark requests and be guests on talk shows they can find time to do the job they were elected to do, and are required to do under our Constitution.

I'm reminded of the fact that the majority had problems with four of President Bush's nominees starting in January [2007]...In a gesture of good will, he withdrew four nominees that … although they were well-qualified, they weren't acceptable [to Democrats] … It's time for the Senate to make good on promises. It's time for it to reciprocate on what President Bush did in terms of withdrawing the four nominees.

Chairman Leahy’s treatment of Fourth Circuit nominee Robert Conrad, who has been pending for more than 250 days, is a case study in mindless partisanship and baseless obstruction. Last week, when I asked Chairman Leahy why this nominee has been delayed he accused Judge Conrad of making ‘anti-Catholic’ statements. Chairman Leahy’s stunning accusation against a nominee who happens to be Catholic underscores the urgency of giving Judge Conrad the courtesy of a prompt hearing and fair vote. … If Senator Leahy has concerns about Judge Conrad’s qualifications he should present those in the context of a confirmation hearing, where the nominee will have an opportunity to respond.

Senator Jon Kyl:

The judicial conference says that many of these [vacancies] are judicial emergencies, meaning that we have vacancies in the circuit that need to be filled because there aren't enough judges to do the people's business. I mean, we should do it because we should do it; it's our responsibility. But even if you only look at it from a political standpoint, the reality is that if this tradition is broken of 15, 16, 17 judges in the last two years of an administration, then, clearly, we're going to devolve into a situation where, for political purposes, the party in power decides not to … even having votes on the nominees of the President. And that is a very, very bad thing.

Peter Keisler, who has been pending the longest. He's been pending for almost two years. In fact he was nominated to the District of Columbia circuit court in June of 2006 and received a hearing in August of that year. He is widely regarded as well-qualified, fair-minded, and has received support from all over the political spectrum. … The American Bar Association has rated him unanimously well-qualified. You cannot get a higher rating than that. The Washington Post – no particular friend of this administration – editorialized in favor of Keisler describing him as a highly qualified nominee who certainly warrants confirmation.


Original Article, 4/10/08: U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s abysmal record of providing “advice and consent” on judicial nominees in the 110th Congress:

The Chairman’s unwillingness to even hold hearings on numerous judicial nominees is a gross dereliction of duty. It is disappointing that the committee is putting election year partisan politics ahead of its constitutional duty to give ‘advice and consent’ to the president’s judicial nominees. These delays are a transparent and political attempt to run out the clock on President Bush’s term.

Chairman Leahy’s treatment of Fourth Circuit nominee Robert Conrad, who has been pending for more than 250 days, is a case study in mindless partisanship and baseless obstruction. Last week, when I asked Chairman Leahy why this nominee has been delayed he accused Judge Conrad of making ‘anti-Catholic’ statements. Chairman Leahy’s stunning accusation against a nominee who happens to be Catholic underscores the urgency of giving Judge Conrad the courtesy of a prompt hearing and fair vote.

Moreover, Judge Conrad has the support of both of his home state senators. He has been rated unanimously well-qualified by the American Bar Association, and he was previously confirmed as a district judge after voice vote approval by both the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. Also, the Fourth Circuit seat to which he has been nominated has been deemed a judicial emergency. If Senator Leahy has concerns about Judge Conrad’s qualifications he should present those in the context of a confirmation hearing, where the nominee will have an opportunity to respond.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has no excuse for its delays. The Senate has ample time to consider these nominations. We are in session only three and a half days a week. We spend much of our time in procedural quorum calls rather than debating legislation. In short, if Senators can find time to attend fundraisers, process thousands of earmark requests and be guests on talk shows they can find time to do the job they were elected to do, and are required to do under our Constitution.

Some facts on judicial confirmations:

  • A Republican Senate confirmed 15 circuit court judges and 57 district court judges in President Clinton’s final two years.
  • Thus far in this Congress, the Senate has confirmed only 6 of President Bush’s circuit court nominees and 34 district court nominees.
  • The Committee has held only one hearing for one circuit court nominee since September 25, 2007, over six months ago. And, the Committee has only held two hearings that included a total of 6 district court nominees since November 1, 2007, over five months ago.
  • Further, the Committee held hearings for only four circuit court nominees in all of last year.
  • Last week, Judiciary Committee Republicans made the case for judicial nominees during the weekly Executive Business Meeting. Yet, this week’s schedule contains no full-Committee hearings, nor does it contain an Executive Business Meeting.

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Posted at 4/11/2008 07:45:00 AM |
Thursday, April 10, 2008 

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 3): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Regarding Dirty Harry’s Notes

"One client is adamant that they want the guest worker -visiting worker -program as an option to raise immediate revenue."

"We need to put our stuff in a bill with a friendly bill author."

"If you need me to write any materials for you to use on this issue, please let me know."

-Lobbyist Vickie Rankin

Click here to read entire emails.

"We can 'play nice' for a short while but we will soon have to decide if we wish to continue this tactic or just 'go-for-broke' and turn the Senate upside down. If Coffee does not change his attitude about this, that's exactly what will have to be done. I don't know what else we can use for leverage if all else fails. He is going to look really silly if he continues to fight with Tom."

"I think we have to just bring everyone in and say "folks, this is what's coming down the tracks and it won't be possible for you to just sit on the fence any longer."

-Sen "Dirty Harry" Coates

"Well, this is a lot of fun, sort of." - Lobbyist Otie Ann Fried

Click here to read entire emails

AN ANALYSIS

More insight for OKPNS readers today into the minds of the of the anti-1804 cabal, also known as "the gang who couldn’t shred straight."

Out latest offering from the tip line provides more insight into the precise strategy of the anti-1804 campaign, and demonstrates just how deceptive the effort has been. Taken as a whole, it is clear to see that the so-called 1804 education effort, advanced by the pompous and self-important Chesapeake employee Tom Price, was nothing more than a bluff aimed at HB 1804 author Randy Terrill. Instead, the documents show that delaying implementation of some aspects of HB 1804 is where the anti-1804 campaign had placed all their eggs, as demonstrated by our revelations about the March 30th Flashpoint program.

More examination reveals some of the leading players in the inept and deceptive repeal campaign, and hand-written notes level some petty and nasty comments about other players in the failing effort. Lobbyist Jamie Longacre, who represents Spirit Bank CEO Kell Kelly, a very public 1804 foe, is seen to emerge as a major architect of the delay tactics.

Further, the documents reveal the recent Oklahoma Banker’s Association study, presented as an independent gauge of the alleged harm to the Oklahoma economy, was rather a public relations stunt staged in coordination with the anti-1804 campaign.

The notations in the margins provide much comic relief. For instance, the state chamber of commerce is ripped by the writer, who types “if they had done their job last year we wouldn’t be in this fight. Enough said”. The author then appears to misspell the word ‘looser” in the margin next to chamber boss Dick Rush’s name. Several other hand-written notes regarding the chamber appear all across the strategy document.

The author holds others out for contempt in varying degrees in typed and hand-written notes, including lobbyists and some organizations such as the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. But the most interesting aspect of this particular document is the attention given to Senate Co Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee. At one point the document’s author writes, “go to Glenn….see what it takes,” apparently in reference to Coffee. Later, the writer notes that Coffee is against delaying full implementation of 1804, and begins to script a campaign plan.

Other interesting items in typewritten text:
"The other question that comes to mind is whether I go to Glenn to see what his intentions are. If he plans to move forward with 'English Only' and will not commit to supporting the effective date delay and Task Force, then more drastic measure[s] may be considered. That will cause a real 'fire-storm' but if all else fails, I don't see too many other options."
Next, an examination of the handwriting just below that paragraph: "Glenn does not want to delay implementation." Then, in the handwriting, the strategy and message are identified, which centers on using release of the banker's study as leverage for a delay and subsequently a phony ‘task force.’

For those not reeling from the hilarious and inept planning musings, comic relief is just around the corner when you examine the comments about the state chamber, Agriculture Commissioner Terry Peach (“he said he will get out front on this”); the governor (“He needs to take a stand on something of substance, this is the right issue”); the Indian Affairs Commission (“it amazes me that they keep quiet on this when they were treated so poorly by the "first immigrants"). Further, the writer pens some unflattering remarks from what appears to be Dirty Harry include Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins (“not want to rock the boat”),

The writer also implicates more co-conspirators: including the Regents for Higher Education, (“Burns Hargis ... is in agreement with our effort”), and state treasurer Scott Meacham (“Amy Sparks who is the Chief of Staff offered her help last week”).

Another e-mail exchange between Dirty Harry and lobbyist Jami Longacre clearly shows that Longacre is in charge of coordinating the messages.

Today’s latest post also shows more coordination of strategy and messages with lobbyist Vicki Rankin and healthcare advisors, lobbyist Otie Ann Fried and a senate staff mole, Lewis LeNaire.

One item we’ve uncovered discloses the existence of television commercials, which the anti-1804 group had scheduled to begin on April 2nd or 3rd.

But perhaps most disgusting is Dirty Harry’s comment about his fellow Republican, Coffee. "We can 'play nice' for a short while but we will soon have to decide if we wish to continue this tactic or just 'go-for-broke' and turn the Senate upside down. If Coffee does not change his attitude about this, that's exactly what will have to be done. I don't know what else we can use for leverage if all else fails. He is going to look really silly if he continues to fight with Tom."

Unfortunately for the gang that couldn’t shred straight, there is someone looking silly, and it isn’t Senator Coffee. Clearly, the inept and treacherous gang of incompetents that constitutes the anti-1804 repeal gang didn’t take the original Dirty Harry’s advice, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Related:

AP: Missing e-mails lead to Senate Probe

Mike "Follow the Money" McCarville: Harry Coates: Senate Investigation Underway Into Disappearance Of File From His Office (3 Posts in one day! Glad you could make it Mike!)

Mark Shannon:

"Interesting to note, TOM PRICE was never identified as Sr. VP for Chesapeake at any time during the show, according to a report on the OKPNS....Seems to me to be just another attempt to try and demonize the millions of Oklahomans who support 1804 and are glad to see the ILLEGALS forced out of the state, and the businesses who hire illegals held accountable for supporting them while they are here." Read more...

EXCLUSIVE: Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Ambush Planned for Rep. Terrill

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 2): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Is Sen. Coates Working for the People or Chesapeake Energy?

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Posted at 4/10/2008 06:27:00 PM |
 

Podcast: Pro-Life Legislation Passes Senate

Click here to listen to Sen. Lamb urge members to support SB 1878

An omnibus pro-life bill passed the Oklahoma State Senate Wednesday with a bipartisan vote.

Senate Bill 1878 by Senator Todd Lamb (R-Edmond), and Representative Pam Peterson (R-Tulsa), contains several pro-life initiatives, passing the Senate with a vote of 38-10.

By combining various pieces of legislation from Senator Lamb and members of the House of Representatives, Senate Bill 1878 now does the following:

  • Creates the Freedom of Conscience Act which protects the rights of healthcare providers to refuse to take part in the destruction of human life (SB 1878—Sen. Lamb, Rep. Peterson)
  • Regulates the use of the dangerous chemical pill RU-486, used when the unborn child is about two months old (HB 2181—Rep. McNiel)
  • Ensures the mother’s consent to abort is truly voluntary, and protects against coerced abortions (HB 3059—Sen. Williamson, Rep. Hamilton)
  • Provides a woman with an ultrasound of her unborn child which she can view prior to undergoing the abortion (HB 3144—Sen. Lamb, Rep. Billy)
  • Cultivates respect for disabled children by banning the wrongful-life lawsuits that claim a baby would have been better off aborted (HB 2814—Sen. Crain, Rep. Sullivan)

Senator Lamb:

The provisions spelled out in this legislation are critical pro-life advances. Working with pro-life members of the House and Senate to protect the sanctity of life and develop this comprehensive bill has been an honor. I am encouraged by the bipartisan support to protect innocent life today in the Senate.

Representative Peterson:

I appreciate the Senate’s swift action and hope Governor Henry will quickly sign the bill into law. The legislation enacts several common-sense reforms respecting the sanctity of life that have been embraced by members of both political parties...[Noting that four women serving in the Legislature authored provisions of Senate Bill 1878] This legislation is pro-woman, pro-child and pro-life. The more information a woman can have before making this life-altering decision, the better. I hope Governor Henry will do the right thing this year and sign this legislation into law.

Last year, Henry vetoed pro-life legislation that would have prevented taxpayer funds from being used for elective abortions. When the measure was revived and approved by veto-proof margins, the governor let the bill become law without his signature.

The next stop for Senate Bill 1878 will be the Governor’s desk for his signature.

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Posted at 4/10/2008 11:33:00 AM |
 

Collateral Damage in the War on the War on Drugs

PhotobucketWhile our nation is still fighting Ronald Reagan's "War on Drugs," it seems the Tulsa legal system is waging a war on that war on drugs.

KOTV's Lori Fullbright recently interviewed Tulsa Police Officer Tim O'Keefe, who has had to learn how to walk again after a brutal attack by a suspect high on PCP. The report details how his attacker has been arrested and released after serving a fraction of his sentence six times, just since the incident nine years ago...all of the arrests involved drugs:

O'Keefe has never once been notified when Taylor was released, as victims are supposed to be and has finally had enough.

"I kept quiet, thought it's part of the system, part of the game, what I signed up for, but to see this on and on, see him committing more crimes, put him in jail again and again and again. There's got to be a stop to it," said Tulsa Police Officer Tim O'Keefe.

(hat-tip, TPD blog)

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Posted at 4/10/2008 10:50:00 AM |
 

Cole: 'I hope the Dems don't turn victory into defeat.'

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) shared on The Hill's Congress Blog this morning:

It would take a willing suspension of belief to ignore the progress that has been made as a result of the surge. The consequences of failure as well as the benefits of victory were laid out brilliantly in compelling testimony from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.

By every objective measure security in Iraq is better, political progress has occurred and we have positive as opposed to negative momentum. I just hope my Democratic colleagues do not manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Posted at 4/10/2008 10:38:00 AM |
Wednesday, April 09, 2008 

While Rome Burns, Sen. Coates Hides In His Office

CALL SENATOR COATES AND ASK HIM WHO HE WORKS FOR

Eyewitnesses tell the Oklahoma Political News Service tonight that Sen. Harry Coates, (R)- Sell Out, literally hid out in his office today after our exclusive disclosure of this confidential email citing a list of potential supporters for the repeal of 1804. The list included top state officials Lt. Governor Jari Askins, Treasurer Scott Meacham, and Governor Brad Henry as potential supporters.

Sources say local media "camped out" in front of Sen. Coates office for an hour to no avail this afternoon. To encourage the press to go away, Coates told the waiting press he would hold a press conference tomorrow morning. As of this post, Sen Coates still has not sent out a press release giving the reason for the hastily called news conference.

Developing....

UPDATE: From Mike "Follow the Money" McCarville: (His 1st post on the three day controversy!)

Coates To Address Leaked Emails, Hate Calls

"Senator Harry Coates said tonight he will meet with members of the press to discuss the leaking of private communications and hate calls to his office and family members because of his opposition to the state's new immigration law." Read more...

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Posted at 4/09/2008 07:32:00 PM |
 

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 2): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Is Sen. Coates Working for the People or Chesapeake Energy?

Since billion dollar Chesapeake Energy Company is too cheap to hire Americans and would rather hire unskilled - and probably illegal - workers from Mexico, we suggest the above cost effective shredder for their future document destruction needs. And it's American made!

With all the time Sen. Coates is putting in to the scheme to repeal 1804, we wonder what time does he have to address his constituents concerns?

Below are a few choice excerpts from the Coate's email. We're sure after reading our story today, a few of these folks will be leaving Sen. Coates off their Christmas card lists this year.

Sen. Harry Coates (R) Sell Out

Indian Affairs Commission - "It amazes me they keep quiet on this when they were treated so poorly by the first immigrants!"

Regents for Higher Education -
"Have discussed it with Burns Hargis and he is in agreement with our effort, don't know if he would go on record though."

Treasurer's Office -"Amy Sparks who is chief of staff offered to help."

State Chamber - "If they [Dick Rush or Mike Seney] had done their job last year, we would not be in this fight, enough said."

Secretary of State - I have heard she [Susan Savage] is support (sic) but that may be as far as it goes, may not take a public position.

Governor's Office -"[Brad Henry] needs to take a stand on something of substance, this is the right issue."

Click here to read entire email.

There’s little wonder why Oklahomans are turning to the OKPNS tipline to pull back the cloak of deceit surrounding the campaign to repeal Oklahoma’s immigration reform law: OKPNS has time and time again been the only organization with the guts to take on the powerful and corrupt. And time after time the Oklahoma media has ignored the evidence presented by OKPNS.

Now, OKPNS is revealing the blueprints of the campaign, the players, the research and those engaging in outright deception, and we’d like to help the Oklahoma media as well. If you’re in the Oklahoma media, we’ll post a special section for journalists so they can peruse the findings of our special report. With today’s revelations, the media can ignore the truth no more and we’re glad to help the weak and vacillating Oklahoma media grow up!

Related:

EXCLUSIVE: Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Ambush Planned for Rep. Terrill

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Posted at 4/09/2008 11:12:00 AM |


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