Archive for February, 2007

Murphey Legislative Update

February 28, 2007

Murphey Legislative Update
2/28/2007

One of the biggest concerns District 31 residents have communicated to me is the belief that there is a need for reform in human services. I was so impressed by the heartfelt nature of these concerns that I asked to be assigned to the Human Services Committee. In my capacity as a member of that committee, I have had the opportunity to vote on several reform-minded pieces of legislation, ranging from grandparents’ rights to requiring a more effective drug testing program.

I have also observed what appears to be a disturbing trend towards regionalized government. I believe this form of governance deprives Oklahomans of the ability to have an effective voice about regulations which govern various aspects of their lives. One effort deals with the interstate placement of foster children. The document that governs such placements is known as the Interstate Child Placement Compact. This compact clearly specifies a number of regulations we have to abide by regarding the placement of Oklahoma foster children into other states or the placement of foster children from other states into Oklahoma.

However, there is an attempt to void the current compact and enact a new one. The new compact does not spell out the regulations that we have agreed to follow but creates an Interstate Commission which will develop their own set of rules. The new compact provides the following description of the Commission’s powers. “Rules promulgated by the Interstate Commission shall have the force and effect of statutory law and shall supersede any state law, rule or regulation to the extent of any conflict.”

In effect, by approving this new agreement, the legislature is delegating their law-making ability to a super legislative body. This reduces the ability of the average person to have a voice in how the laws are made. Those making the laws will not be elected officials available and accountable to the people, but an unelected board, functioning on a nationwide level.

While this proposal applies specifically to the interstate placement of foster children, it is my concern that similiar types of agreements will become increasingly prevalent when it comes to interstate activities, and thus move us toward regionalized government.

This week marks the fourth week of the legislative session. Already I have had the opportunity to cast more than 250 votes from the floor of the House, taking into consideration the advice and concerns of House District 31 constituents. If you feel strongly about a particular issue or would like to know the status of a specific piece of legislation, please visit www.HouseDistrict31.com or call (405) 557-7350.

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Sen. Gumm Seeking Leadership Post

February 28, 2007

Tulsa World:

Gumm said he has been encouraged by a number of people to look at the job, a position he said involves enormous responsibility. He called the post daunting, adding that whoever is selected must put his or her heart and soul into it.

He said the job is one of service and not power.

“I have approached members about committing to me,” said Gumm, who would need to secure 13 votes. Read more…

Houses Approves "Celebrate Freedom Week" Over Opposition from 18 House Democrats

February 28, 2007

House Republican leaders expressed disappointment in 18 of their Democrat colleagues who opposed a measure on Tuesday to designate a special week celebrating America’s freedom in Oklahoma schools.

House Bill 1874 by Rep. Dennis Johnson (R-Duncan) would designate “Celebrate Freedom Week” for Oklahoma schools the same week that Veteran’s Day is marked in November. The week would be used to instruct students in the importance of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and other foundingdocuments and historical American figures.

“This bill is one way to expand our children’s knowledge about our nation’s basic foundations,” said Rep. Johnson. “Some things should absolutely be taught in school, and the core principles of our nation’s freedom must be emphasized so they can be passed on to future generations.”

The bill passed by a vote of 80 to 18 on the House floor Tuesday. It now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

“People-Who-Enjoy-Eating-M&M’s Week’ sounds good too,” said Rep. McCarter (D-Marlow), in comments against the bill.

Those voting against the measure included: Rep. John Auffet (D-Stilwell); Rep. Scott BigHorse (D-Pawhuska), Rep. Ed Cannaday (D-Porum), Rep. Wallace Collins (D-Norman), Rep. James Covey (D-Custer City), Rep. Darrel Gilbert (D-Tulsa), Rep. Larry Glenn (D-Miami), Rep.Chuck Hoskin (D-Vinita), Rep. Ryan Kiesel (D-Seminole), Rep. Al Lindley (D-Oklahoma City), Rep. Ray McCarter (D-Marlow), Rep. Ryan McMullen (D-Burns Flat), Rep. Jerry McPeak (D-Warner), Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-Oklahoma City), Rep. Bill Nations (D-Norman), Rep. Mike Shelton (D-Oklahoma City), Rep. Ben Sherrer (D-Chouteau), Rep. Dale Turner(D-Holdenville).

Inhofe Honored With Taxpayers’ Friend Award

February 28, 2007

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today received the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) for his continued efforts to protect and support the taxpayers of Oklahoma and the nation. Sen. Inhofe was ranked 4th among senators and was the highest ranked member of the Oklahoma congressional delegation for the year 2006 for his commitment to reducing federal spending, taxes, and debt. Sen. Inhofe was one of only 61 members in both the House and the Senate to receive the NTU’s “Taxpayers’ Friend” award this year.

“I wish to thank the National Taxpayers Union for this award,” Inhofe said. “No other group in America needs more support and representation than the American taxpayer, and the National Taxpayers Union continues to provide an invaluable service. I look forward to continuing to work for lower taxes, a strong economy, and keeping the federal budget out of the family budget.”

John Berthoud, President of the National Taxpayers Union, stated, “While many Members of Congress talk about reducing the size of government, Senator Inhofe backed up those words with votes. His pro-taxpayer score is one of the best in the entire Senate, and proves that he is a consistent and effective ally in the battle to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington.

Legislation Protecting Student-Age Victims of Sexual Violence Headed to

February 28, 2007

HB 1051 Part of House GOP “Safe Families Platform”

A key portion of the House Republican Safe Families Platform passed out of committee today and is now headed to the House floor.

House Bill 1051, by House Speaker Lance Cargill, prevents student-aged sex offenders from attending the same school as their victims. The measure was approved by the House Education Committee.

“No victim of a violent crime, particularly a child, should have to face their attacker on a daily basis,” said Cargill (R-Harrah). “Often, the student victim will change schools or in some cases, the entire family will move so that their child will not have to endure this. This bill will put the burden of starting over in a different school on the attacker.”

Cargill introduced a similar measure last year after being contacted by a female student from his district who was raped by a classmate. Her attacker was allowed to return to the same school. However, Cargill’s 2006 bill died in the State Senate.

The “Safe Families Platform” is part of the 2007 House Republican “Year of Ideas Agenda”.

Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic

February 27, 2007

ODP Chair Lisa Pryor wrote yesterday on OKBluenotes that if you can read her post on HB 1935, the “Honesty in Funding Education Act,” you should “thank a teacher.”

It is ironic to us that a day later, one of the most poorly written pieces we’ve ever seen on the site was submitted on behalf of Black History Month. In between the run on sentences, poor punctuation, and words that simply don’t belong in context to the sentences, try and interpret this:

BLACK WALL STREET”
“A Dream Lost”

“A little- known chapter of African-American history in Oklahoma as told to Ronald E. Childs. If anyone truly believes that Columbine High School massacre or the on the Federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was the most tragic bombing ever to take place on United States soil as the media has been widely reporting, they’re wrong plain and simple. That’s because an even deadlier bomb occurred in the same state to forget that it ever happened…”

We praised them last week for waiting 14 days to race bait and pander to African American Oklahomans during Black History Month. We guess they wanted to get one more race baiting post on the site before the end of the month.

Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic

February 27, 2007

ODP Chair Lisa Pryor wrote yesterday on OKBluenotes that if you can read her post on HB 1935, the “Honesty in Funding Education Act,” you should “thank a teacher.”

It is ironic to us that a day later, one of the most poorly written pieces we’ve ever seen on the site was submitted on behalf of Black History Month. In between the run on sentences, poor punctuation, and words that simply don’t belong in context to the sentences, try and interpret this:

BLACK WALL STREET”
“A Dream Lost”

“A little- known chapter of African-American history in Oklahoma as told to Ronald E. Childs. If anyone truly believes that Columbine High School massacre or the on the Federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was the most tragic bombing ever to take place on United States soil as the media has been widely reporting, they’re wrong plain and simple. That’s because an even deadlier bomb occurred in the same state to forget that it ever happened…”

We praised them last week for waiting 14 days to race bait and pander to African American Oklahomans during Black History Month. We guess they wanted to get one more race baiting post on the site before the end of the month.

HYPOCRISY WATCH: Prater Calls Parts of Sex Offender Law "Almost Unenforceable"

February 27, 2007

“A hundred registered sex offenders live closer to schools than the law allows. Lane does nothing, despite repeated complaints from police.”From 2006 Prater campaign commercial, “Ask a Police Officer”

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater says language in the state’s current sex-offender law make parts of it “almost unenforceable.”

Prater says the law — which prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school, park or day-care center — requires prosecutors to prove that an offender knowingly moved into a restricted area.

That’s something he says is “incredibly difficult” and it has kept Oklahoma County prosecutors from charging anyone under that section of the law.

Has State GOP Lost Its Mojo?

February 27, 2007

From Okiefunk:

The state GOP, despite its majority in the Oklahoma House and rising fortunes in the Senate, continues to misfire by supporting needless ideological legislation and engaging in petty, sometimes secret, bipartisan politics.

The questions are these: Where are the big plans from Republicans to help move the state forward and help its residents? Where is all the promised reform of good ol’ boy politics, the actions of what its mouthpiece, The Daily Oklahoman, always refers to as the “usual suspects? Has the conservative juggernaut here lost its mojo?

Here’s what sticks out about the GOP in the 2007 legislature so far. Read more…

Former Mexican President Speaks at OU

February 27, 2007


NORMAN, Okla.(AP) Former Mexican President Vicente Fox urges the respect of human and labor rights and says constructing a wall between the two nations is a waste of time and money.

Fox’s comments came today as he addressed an academic convocation at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Fox served as Mexico’s president from 2000 to 2006. He touted his country’s economic improvement in recent years, but said much work remains to be done to provide more educational opportunities for its citizens.

He drew loud applause from the mostly students in the audience when he called for a greater United Nations presence in Iraq and urged the United States to exit the country.

O-U President David Boren praised Fox for breaking seven decades of one-party rule in Mexico and for bringing stability to the country’s economy.