Archive for October, 2007

Getting LOST

October 31, 2007

by Senator Jim Inhofe

What if I were to tell you that at this very moment in the halls of the Senate, legislation is being considered that will govern 70 percent of the earth’s surface, threaten the very sovereignty of our country and, worse, without the efforts of a select few, would have become law years ago? What if I added that our enemies are waiting in the wings for us to make this historic blunder by accepting legislation that effectively cedes our autonomy to international organizations such as the United Nations?

If you are of the small percentage of Americans who has heard of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, or simply the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), I congratulate you on being ahead of the curve. If you have not heard of LOST, you soon will, as we are gearing up in the Senate for a fight against one of the most far-reaching international challenges to American sovereignty we have ever faced.

LOST was conceived in the late 1970s as a way of governing all activities that occur on and beneath the surface of the world’s oceans. The treaty’s central aims, those of defining the corridors of water surrounding a country and standardizing the rules of navigation through these corridors, are innocent enough and are probably needed to govern and safeguard the ever-increasing use of the high seas.

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Taxpayers Go Trick Or Treating

October 31, 2007

Much scarier than the prospect of being haunted by the undead is the prospect of being spooked by a record $8.6 trillion national debt. In the Halloween spirit, Citizens Against Government Waste provides a list of who deserves taxpayer tricks and treats.

Treat: To Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and the grassroots Internet campaign that unmasked Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) as the secret holders who had been preventing the consideration of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (S. 2590). The bipartisan legislation, signed into law by the President, requires the Office of Management and Budget to create a public website listing the individuals and groups receiving federal grants and contracts.

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Oklahoma Companies Confused Over H.B. 1804

October 31, 2007

The attorney general’s office filed a motion Monday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging House Bill 1804, which goes into effect on Thursday, November 1. The law bars illegal immigrants from getting jobs and state benefits and makes it a felony to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. While the new law has received a great deal of attention, there is still some confusion over what effect it will have. The News On 6 has received several e-mails from private business owners, asking what they have to do this week to comply with the new law. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports the simple answer is nothing, for now.

“Well confusion is rampant for sure, people really don’t understand the law,” said Homebuilders Association President Glen Shaw.

As head of the Homebuilders Association, Glen Shaw has received plenty of calls from local contractors about House Bill 1804. He says many are not sure what changes, if any, they need to make before the November 1 deadline.

“Technically it won’t have an effect on us this week, but it’s had an effect on us for several months now,” Shaw said.

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OK Republican Party Exposes Rice’s Web

October 31, 2007

State Republican Chairman Gary Jones announced a new web site today detailing the extreme liberal positions of State Senator Andrew Rice, the only announced opponent to Republican Senator Jim Inhofe.

Using a Halloween theme, Jones started calling Rice’s liberal connections “the spookiest fright of this Halloween.”

Fright Night: Rice’s Spooky Web of Liberal Connections

(OKLAHOMA CITY) State Senator Andrew Rice, the lone announced opponent to U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, has spent a lifetime weaving a tangled web of left-wing political connections, as evidenced by a new website released today. highlights Rice’s work as the standard bearer for fringe liberal groups in Oklahoma.

“When Andrew Rice dresses up as an extremist liberal, it isn’t just for Halloween,” said Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Gary Jones. “It’s who he really is.”

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The Sky is Not Falling – Senator Gumm’s "Senate Minute"

October 31, 2007

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant

Hello again, everybody! As children, we all read the fable of Chicken Little, a frightened little bird who ran around yelling, “The sky is falling!”

While a children’s fable, it fits modern politics; it is easier to cause panic with wild charges than to engage in thoughtful discussion of an issue. Chicken Little jumped to mind when I read a column by the president of the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) in a recent issue of “The Daily Oklahoman.”

The OML president wrote my proposal to end the grocery tax would harm cities and counties. He asserted that because local sales tax ordinances are tied to state law, cities and counties can only charge sales taxes on those items the state taxes. He said if the state stops collecting the grocery tax, they would have to as well.

That is no more accurate than Chicken Little saying, “The sky is falling.” My proposal allows local jurisdictions to continue collecting their grocery tax. At most, they would have to make minor changes to ordinances to keep taxing groceries.

That brings me back to Chicken Little. For years, OML opposed the back-to-school sales tax holiday. Their claim was that it would devastate city governments by reducing the tax revenue cities collect and use to provide services to their residents.

Even the fact that every state which passed the back-to-school sales tax holiday actually enjoyed increased revenues could not convince the OML. Their Chicken Little-like lobbying helped scuttle the sales tax holiday for years, until the grassroots support from people like you finally created enough pressure to get the bill passed.

The results of our back-to-school holiday could not have been better. Oklahomans got a real tax cut that made a difference for families, and – despite OML’s claims – revenues increased for the state – and cities and counties.

OML is apparently again going to oppose an important tax cut for families. As wrong as they were on the sales tax holiday, one has to wonder why anyone would listen to them on the grocery tax. The truth is that cutting the state’s grocery tax will give cities and counties a boost – just like the sales tax holiday.

First, they get to keep their grocery tax money. Then, cutting the state grocery tax will put more money back into the hands of families who will spend it on taxable items, giving cities and counties more tax revenue. That is what happened with the back-to-school sales tax holiday; it will happen again when we end the state grocery tax.

The sky is not falling, and Oklahomans know it. Despite all the reasons some may give to keep taxing food you buy for your families, I am committed to this battle. It is a fight for families, and I don’t believe you can honestly talk about “family values” if you oppose those policies that value families.

Thanks again for reading the “Senate Minute,” have a great week, and may God bless you all.

Murphey Update

October 31, 2007

Prior to being on the general election ballot as a candidate for State Representative, I developed a position that if elected, I would institute a constituent contact program that excelled at representing the citizens of House District 31.

The program includes an organized system for not only processing incoming constituent casework, but reaching out and generating opportunities for constituent concerns to be addressed. It also includes a network of constituent advisory committees, a weekly legislative update, an end of session report, a post-session door to door tour of the district, and targeting growth areas for new voter registration.

I have enjoyed implementing this program. It has allowed me to make a great number of new contacts, and most importantly, has kept me in contact with citizens. I feel that one of the ways special interest lobbyists have been able to have such a strong voice in state government has been because of a strong disconnect between the people and the “state capitol” environment. I think the proper focus for a state representative should be in his or her district, with the people, as opposed to lobbyist hosted events in Oklahoma City.

One of the most exciting aspects of the program is a series of town hall meetings I have scheduled in order to communicate with local residents on a number of issues. Other state and local officials plan to be present also. I encourage all who are interested to attend.

In September, the Guthrie Lions Club graciously hosted the first such meeting in Guthrie with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lance Cargill. This meeting allowed attendees to share with Cargill their ideas for how Oklahoma government should look in the next century. These ideas are now posted online at

On November 6th, at 7:00 pm, the second forum will be held at the Philadelphia Church of God field house at Bryant and Simmons Roads. The meeting will focus on road related issues and property tax reform. Attendees will include State Senator Patrick Anderson, Logan County Commissioner Mark Sharpton and Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director Casey Shell.

On December 4th, at 7:00 pm, the third forum will occur at Woodcrest Fire Station at Douglas and Charter Oak Roads. This meeting will also focus on road related issues. County Commissioner Kevin Leech will be attending.

On January 15th, at 7:00 pm, the fourth forum will be be held at Pioneer Telephone in Crescent. The meeting will focus on the upcoming legislative session and all issues of relevance to Northern Logan County residents. State Senator Patrick Anderson will be in attendance. County Commissioner Monty Piercy may also be present.

On January 22nd, at 7:00 pm, the fifth forum will occur at Waterloo Road Baptist Church. The meeting will focus on tax reform issues. Attending will be Representative Randy Terrill, who as Chairman of the House Revenue and Tax Committee, is a leader in the fight for tax reform.

I look forward to these meetings and the opportunity to communicate with Logan and Oklahoma County residents on the issues important to them.

Here We Go Again: Anti-Incumbent Wave Next Year?

October 30, 2007

by Stuart Rothenberg

Some story lines never go away.

This year, once again, there is buzz that 2008 might be an anti-incumbent election that will sweep out sitting House Members of both parties. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) has been making that case for months, and more than a few journalists and talking heads have picked it up as well.

A little more than a year ago in this space (“An Anti-Incumbent Election? This Year? Of Course Not,” Sept. 14, 2006), I argued that 2006 would be an anti-Republican, not an anti-incumbent, year. I never thought that we’d be hearing the same anti-incumbent argument so soon. It’s like a bad penny that keeps turning up.

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Healthy Americans Act Not Freedom Says Tom Coburn

October 30, 2007

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, says the Healthy Americans Act’s mandate for insurance “is not freedom.”

Coburn has his own plan, which he is sponsoring with North Carolina GOP Sen. Richard Burr, which would change the tax code to give every person the refundable tax credit for health care. They could purchase insurance through their employer or go out and get it on their own. States could create a blanket plan to cover those who don’t sign up on their own. Those who fell into this default plan wouldn’t be penalized, but they would have a high deductible, making them responsible for a sizable chunk of the final bill.

Both of these proposals would provide financial incentives for people to get preventive health care.

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Hanging tough in Oklahoma

October 30, 2007

by Diana West

Something downright incendiary is happening in Oklahoma. First one, then 17, and now 24 state lawmakers have declined a copy of the Koran offered to all 149 members of the legislature by an official Muslim advisory group to Oklahoma’s governor. State Representative Rex Duncan, Republican, explained his rejection of the Koran this way: “Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology.”

That’s one way. Or I could start it this way:

Something downright incendiary is happening in Oklahoma. Gov. Brad Henry’s Muslim advisory council is offering personalized Korans to lawmakers to mark the state’s centennial, with each copy to be embossed with the Oklahoma state seal and the recipient lawmaker’s name. The all-Muslim group — plain-vanilla-named the American Ethnic Advisory Council — asked lawmakers to notify it if they didn’t want a Koran, which the group described as “the record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad.” So far, 24 have declined.

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Randy Terrill for President

October 30, 2007

In just days HB 1804 will take effect and we have one fearless man to thank, Rep. Randy Terrill. He is by far one of the tax payers best friends that Oklahoma has. Critics have hurled the race card and it has bounced off of him like bullets on Superman’s chest. The best part was when he told a group of lawyers, “ “Not all of them are putting roofs on your houses, I assure you,”.

After visiting this website he was right, not all of them want to put roofs on your house and cut your 14 acre plot of land for $20.00.

OKPNS would like to thank Rep. Terrill for standing up for Oklahomans and Americans by being proactive and not waiting on the Federal government to do its job.

Related: Tough New Immigration Law Coming