Archive for March, 2007

Tulsa World a "Republican Outfit"

March 31, 2007

Below is a quote from Daily Kos, the most popular and influential left wing blog on the Internet. The site averages over half a million hits a day. Today they gave their assessment of the Democrats chances of picking up additional Senate Seats in ’08. Senator Inhofe’s re-election is in the “could get interesting” category.

“Races that are or might be interesting by Election Day 2008. The first thing that surprises is that out of 33 races this cycle, a full 20 have the potential of turning into real races. Given that 14 of those are Republicans, it’s a great map for Democrats.

If ridiculously popular Gov. Brad Henry runs, this is a race….2010 presents a better chance for him when crazy Tom Coburn faces his first reelection battle. A January Tulsa World poll (essentially a Republican outfit) gave Inhofe ratings of 56/27, and George Bush 47/47.”

The Tulsa World a “Republican outfit?” PLEASE!!

RELATED: Tulsa World Endorses Henry. What????

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Laster Leaves Everyone But Meacham Laughing

March 31, 2007

From the Tecumseh Countywide News & Shawnee Sun:

By Wayne Trotter

State Sen. Charlie Laster has been a strong supporter of Gov. Brad Henry but that didn’t keep him from sending the governor an unmistakable message last week – don’t mess around with the Senate on this budget issue.

“I love Brad and he’s my No. 1 guy in state government, I assure you,” Laster told a legislative breakfast in Tecumseh Friday morning.

“But he will not get any sympathy in the Senate for having not been so involved in the budget deal,” said Laster, like Henry a Shawnee Democrat. “He will just have to decide if he wants to line-item veto some of the things in the bill, then sit back and watch and see if there’s an override.

“That’ll be fun,” Laster said. “I look forward to that.” Read more…

Do Job Without Whining

March 31, 2007

Gov. Brad Henry has a beef with state legislators over their proposed budget, and his beef appears petty and misdirected.

Henry vetoed Wednesday $6.8 billion of the Legislature’s $6.9 billion general appropriations bill, calling its formation “flawed.” Henry has complained for the last few days that he did not have input into the bill, and that it’s too early in the session to come up with a spending budget.

Did the governor wake up this past week and suddenly discover that the Legislature has been meeting for two months? If the governor wanted to negotiate state spending, why didn’t he have his advisers meeting with legislators? And if they were shut out, why didn’t he say something sooner? Read more…

Henry In Favor of 90% of Budget He Vetoed

March 30, 2007

Speaker Cargill mentioned at his weekly press conference this afternoon that the governor’s chief spokesman on matters of policy and finance, Scott Meacham, has said that they are in favor of 90 percent of the bipartisan budget that the governor vetoed yesterday. Meacham made his comments yesterday on the News9 Morning Show:

NEWS9 MORNING SHOW REPORTER DOUG WARNER: No one is suggesting this morning that the governor is waking up this morning shoving the budget in a paper shredder or anything, but uh, are there any parts that you guys have looked at that you actually like, and think, hey, this was a good move, this was a good decision?

STATE TREASURER SCOTT MEACHAM: “I think a lot of the budget is – probably 90 percent of it, maybe a little less than that – is okay.”

Insiders are scratching their heads and are asking: Why would the governor veto a budget deal, he’s 90% in agreement with?

OKPNS Celebrates 1,000th Post!

March 30, 2007

Since today the Oklahoma Political News Service celebrates its 1,000th post, I decided it was time to write a brief history of how this site came to be; how I became its founder and editor, and reinstate our philosophy one more time for those of you who may be new readers.

I first learned of this website in May of last year when I saw it for sale on Craigslist.org. The seller was an Oklahoma political consultant who purchased the name (URL) but never did anything with it due to time limitations with his regular work.

After agreeing on a price, I bought it and on Memorial Day 2006, I published the first story and began making it accessible to anyone interested in Oklahoma politics. The rest as they say is history!

Regular OKPNS readers know we report the news with a particular slant – just like the mainstream Oklahoma press. We make no apologies for it because frankly, we tell you upfront – unlike other media outlets whose arguments of objectivity strain credulity.

As our readers – and certain party chairmen know – we always offer those who feel offended ample space for rebuttal. Our experience has shown us that some in the public eye have way too thin skins for the positions they hold and/or aspire to. Much of what we do is parody along with the news and commentary. Relax everybody! No harm no foul.

Yes, we do solicit tips and inside information from our readers for stories to post on our website, but that information is vetted and is weighed for its credibility. As we’ve mentioned numerous times to a nameless critic at a competing website with an unhealthy Simian fetish; please point out to us one post that OKPNS has posted that is untrue. As of the writing of this post; we are still waiting.

At the bottom of our website, there is a disclaimer that declares the following:

Content disclaimer: Oklahoma Political News Service content posted by users does not represent the opinion of Oklahoma Political News Service. OKPNS makes no representations as to the accuracy or validity of this third-party content and is not liable in any way for the use of or reliance upon such content. Whenever possible, such information is marked with the name of the source. No content herein has been authorized by any candidate or political party.

Third party content also includes videos. The Oklahoma Political News Service has never produced a video(s) or authorized a video(s) to be made on its behalf. Like other information we post, we obtain videos from public websites such as youtube.com and others.

Washington D.C’s respected Roll Call Newspaper called us a “new Web log for political junkies in Oklahoma” at our founding. We hope we have lived up to that billing. We will always continue to strive to be informative, provocative, and most important, accurate.

Christopher R. Arps
Editor/Founder

Is Time (Finally) Running Out For Jeff McMahan?

March 29, 2007

State auditor took trips with target of probe

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan says he took three trips in recent years with the owner of an abstract company who’s now being investigated by a federal grand jury.

Two of those trips he took with Steve Phipps were paid for by Phipps.

McMahan’s office regulates the abstract industry and state Ethics Commission officials say McMahan isn’t allowed to take anything of value from a person or entity he regulates.

McMahan spokeswoman Terri Watkins says Phipps paid for a fishing trip to Lake Texoma for McMahan and former Auditor Clifton Scott. She says he also paid for a trip to Biloxi, Mississippi, where McMahan held an educational course for Phipps’ abstractors.

The two also traveled to New Orleans but Watkins says McMahan paid for his expenses.

Phipps and former state Senator Gene Stipe are under investigation by a grand jury in Muskogee which is looking into several abstract companies the men co-own and possible illegal campaign contributions.

Rep. Worthen Call for Dems to Sign Pledge Cards

March 29, 2007

“Divisiveness destroys success, and too much is at stake for us to surrender to the pitfalls of partisanship. There is no glory in gridlock, but the rewards of working together – of joining forces on behalf of our fellow Oklahomans – are truly without limit.”

Gov. Brad Henry – 2007 State of the State Address

It seems Governor Henry’s Democratic colleagues in the legislature heeded his words until he bribed them Monday with a $100,000 fundraiser. Henry today used his line-item veto to strike down $6.8 billion in new state spending, saying legislative leaders employed a “flawed, closed-door process to craft a flawed budget product that did not represent the best interests of Oklahoma taxpayers.”

The governor is employing curious logic to say a bi-partisan budget agreement doesn’t “represent the best interests of the people,” especially in light of the current political climate where bi-partisanship is as rare as bull with udders! One would think 149 legislators would have some idea of what is in the best interest of the people. The governor’s chutzpah continues:

“I do not use my veto authority lightly…I had no other choice but to strike down the spending bill.”

Rep. Trebor Worthen (R-Oklahoma City), asked House Democrats yesterday to sign pledge cards committing their votes to uphold the agreement.

“House Democrats have formed their own gridlock gang to keep this responsible state budget package from becoming law. They need to quit playing games and throwing temper tantrums and commit to uphold this agreement.

The majority of House Democrats voted for this measure when it originally passed the House last week. Then they stood behind the governor today at his press conference, as if to say that they’re now against the agreement. The taxpayers of this state expect them to stand up for responsible government and not play partisan games.”

On Tuesday, the governor distributed his own pledge cards to House Democrats in an effort to gauge support for his efforts. Worthen said that by voting for HB 1234 originally, only to later threaten to help the governor veto it later, House Democrats are being dishonest and appear to just want to have the limelight thrust their way.

“Instead of offering constructive criticisms and trying to help find solutions to budgetquestions, House Democrats are standing in the way of a responsible state budget, just because they don’t feel like they had enough say in the process.

The worst part of it is, they are preventing state government from meeting the April 1 Fund Education First deadline. When we passed this budget bill last week, we met the deadline, but by vetoing this measure now, the governor and his gridlock gang of House Democrats are holding up funding for teachers and education.”

DAY 6: Where’d You Go On Your Vacation Governor?

March 29, 2007

“Most of us in this chamber are here because our constituents sent us here. They placed their trust in us, and in return we must pledge to them a government of complete openness and transparency.” Gov. Brad Henry2007 State of the State Address

“Henry spokesman Paul Sund says the location of first family outings are kept secret to avoid interruptions from people who want to talk or perhaps have dinner with the governor.

Sund says the governor’s office will reveal the location when the governor returns…” (AP) March 23, 2007

DAY 6: Where’d You Go On Your Vacation Governor?

March 29, 2007

“Most of us in this chamber are here because our constituents sent us here. They placed their trust in us, and in return we must pledge to them a government of complete openness and transparency.” Gov. Brad Henry2007 State of the State Address

“Henry spokesman Paul Sund says the location of first family outings are kept secret to avoid interruptions from people who want to talk or perhaps have dinner with the governor.

Sund says the governor’s office will reveal the location when the governor returns…” (AP) March 23, 2007

Jesse L Jackson Coming to Oklahoma This Week

March 28, 2007

Jesses roadshowFrom OK Blue Notes:

Rev. Jesse Jackson will be the guest speaker for the Ninth Episcopal District Spring Convocation. The event will take place at the Sheration Midwest City Reed Conference Center, Wednesday, March 28-Saturday, March 31, 2007. 5800 Will Rogers Road Midwest City, OK . The theme for the occassion is; “From Good to Great – The Jesus Challenge: Building Leaders for Today and Tomorrow”