Archive for the ‘Brad Henry’ Category

Will Brad Engage? Or Will He Fiddle While Largely African American N.E. OKC Goes Down the Tubes?

June 1, 2008

While officials like Shelton, Congresswoman Mary Fallin, Mayor Mick Cornett and County Commissioner Ray Vaughan are aggressively publicly opposing the casino, at least two officials are conspicuous in their silence: Gov. Brad Henry and County Commissioner Willa Johnson.

The controversy surrounding the proposed Shawnee Tribe’s casino in northeast Oklahoma City is heating up.

It’s rumored that there will be a Tuesday night town meeting of citizens whose homes and businesses in the area surrounding Remington Park will be harmed if construction of the casino is allowed to move forward. Remington Park, who most observers believe will go bankrupt if the casino begins operation, sits in State Rep. Mike Shelton’s house district 97. Shelton is publicly calling on citizens to voice their concerns to the BIA before the Friday deadline.

While officials like Shelton, Congresswoman Mary Fallin, Mayor Mick Cornett and County Commissioner Ray Vaughan are aggressively publicly opposing the casino, at least two officials are conspicuous in their silence: Gov. Brad Henry and County Commissioner Willa Johnson.

Henry is rumored to be meeting with agricultural interests regarding the track this week. When the casino becomes operational, the subsequent bankruptcy of Remington Park will kill the horse breeding industry in Oklahoma according to a report filed by News9’s Rusty Surrette Friday. The race track says 25,000 Oklahoma jobs will be lost.

The BIA’s 30-day comment period closes Friday, and Henry’s painfully slow reaction to take a position, given his chummy relationship with a key Shawnee Tribe official, has given rise to speculation the governor will either sit this issue out or intervene on behalf of the tribe, which will enrage Oklahomans and elected officials from both parties. If Henry were to go on record in opposition to the casino, it would carry great weight with the BIA, and insiders tell OKPNS that business leaders and other officials are steamed at the governor, who always goes to great lengths to avoid taking positions on tough issues.



The Casino and Mr. Chicken

The Casino and Mr. Chicken

May 25, 2008

While Oklahoma City’s Mayor and, according to reports, all of the state’s congressional delegation, are aggressively opposing a proposal by promoters to put a tribal casino in Oklahoma City fronted by a tribe located 200 miles away, Oklahoma’s timid governor is attempting to run and hide on the issue.

This time, Gov. Brad Henry, is attempting to avoid involvement on the casino project that most observers say would put Oklahoma City’s Remington Park into bankruptcy.

The Shawnee tribe, which is located in Miami, Oklahoma, has been “reservation shopping” and has selected a parcel of land less than two miles from Oklahoma City’s “Adventure district,” putting many businesses at a distinct disadvantage.

While Mayor Mick Cornett, Congresswoman Mary Fallin and other members of the congressional delegation have courageously and publicly opposed this outrageous distortion of tribal gaming statutes, the faint-hearted Henry, who has privately voiced his opposition to the casino, is publicly ducking for cover, primarily since he is buddies with the Shawnee Tribe’s economic development chairman, Greg Pitcher.

One insider sums up the governor’s lack of backbone this way: “He’s gutless. He knows the proposal is wrong, but he’s spent six years avoiding this kind of controversy, so why would we think he’d engaged now?”

Henry’s name is being drawn in the controversy because the Bureau of Indian Affairs is seeking public comment on the proposal until June 9th. Most believe the governor’s opposition would carry considerable weight with the BIA.

Observers tell OKPNS the whole deal is very suspect, and that today’s story by Oklahoman reporter Tony Thornton just scratches the surface of the proposed stinky deal.

Developing…. Video: Greg Pitcher, chairman of the Shawnee Tribe’s economic development arm

Who’s to Blame for Monday’s "Prison Disturbance" (Riot)

May 21, 2008

The media has joined the fracas surrounding Monday’s prison riot. Editorials at the Oklahoman and the Tulsa World are fanning the flames regarding prison issues today. Prison issues took a backseat at the legislature this year, until the final week.

Now it will be interesting to see how Democrats and Republicans react. So it appears that candidates will be scrambling to revisit this issue this summer and fall. Undoubtedly, with the session still underway, several legislators will be weighing in on the issue. Here’s last night’s News9 story about this re-emerging campaign issue.

OKPNS FLASHBACK: March 27, 2007

GOP Leaders: What is Henry Trying to Hide with Veto of Audit Funds?
Republican leaders questioned today Gov. Brad Henry’s line-item veto of funding for an independent performance audit of the Department of Corrections – which the governor described as his “first” line-item veto of HB 1234, the bipartisan general appropriations bill overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature last week.

“What is the governor trying to hide with this veto? Is Gov. Henry afraid that an independent performance audit might uncover his mismanagement of a critical public safety agency? Independent performance audits at public school districts have proven very effective at improving efficiency and saving taxpayers’ money. We believe independent performance audits can have the same positive impact on the Department of Corrections and other state agencies,” stated Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. Read more…


News9 Video: Prison Riot Raises Questions at the Capitol Only a couple inmates killed

Video: Henry Exposes Barack Obama’s Super Delegate Hypocrisy

May 1, 2008

According to the Obama campaign, aren’t all super delegates supposed to vote according to their constituency? Henry last week on CNN’s “Situation Room”

Hat tip: jcjcd

Gov. Henry 0 for 2?

April 25, 2008

Gov. Henry Approves Emergency Education Funds and the Corporation Commission

April 7, 2008

On Friday, Governor Brad Henry approved $11.5 million in emergency funding for Oklahoma public schools, but added that K-12 education will need additional supplemental funding to help address a funding shortfall this fiscal year:

As I said last week, this is only a first step to addressing the immediate funding needs of our public schools. There is no question that K-12 education needs additional money, and I will be working with legislative leaders to provide that as quickly as possible.

The governor and state lawmakers are trying to fill a revenue shortfall in the House Bill 1017 fund, an account that supplements the K-12 schools’ budget.

Senate Bill 1354 by Sen. Mike Johnson and Rep. Ken Miller provides $10 million to cover part of the shortfall and another $1.5 million to address needs in the Academic Achievement Award program.

The emergency funding ensures that schools will receive their full funding allocation for the month of April, but additional appropriations will be needed for the remaining two months of the fiscal year.

When Gov. Henry and legislative leaders agreed to the $11.5 million appropriation last week, they made clear their commitment to provide additional supplemental funding to schools to fill the rest of the 1017 fund shortfall. State officials are awaiting final revenue collection numbers to determine how large an appropriation is necessary. Governor Henry:

We will keep the commitment we made to fill the education shortfall. The schools need this money to end their school year in an orderly manner.

On Friday, Gov. Henry also signed Senate Bill 1294 by Sen. Mike Johnson and Rep. Ken Miller. The legislation provides $3.1 million to the Corporation Commission to address delayed federal funding.

Oklahoma not Buying Real ID

April 4, 2008

Oklahoma requested a compliance extension on the 2005 RealID legislation effective March 31st. Judd Morse of the Ada Evening News, quotes Paul Sund, communications director for Paul Sund:

The compliance from Oklahoma was authorized to ensure that no sanctions would be made against Oklahomans, said Paul Sund, Henry’s communications director. “We still have concerns about the act, and we have not promised to comply.

But we thought it was going to be best for Oklahoma, particularly those people that travel a lot, businesses and so forth, to get an extension.” Sund said Henry’s office still plans to protest the Act, and that the extension was made in order to ensure that Oklahomans would not fall victim to any restrictions in May.

Oklahoma Drop-Out Rate Soaring

April 4, 2008

Wasn’t the lottery supposed to fix our education system?

The Tulsa World reported earlier this week:

Tulsa has been ranked the 12th-worst among the country’s 50 largest cities in the disparity of graduation rates between its inner-city school district and suburban counterparts…[and] Oklahoma City ranked as the 10th-worst in the graduation rate gap.

The dissatisfaction among education officials, according to the report is over the method used to calculate the drop-out rate, rather than on the fact that we have so many ninth-graders that are unlikely to finish high school.

The Muskogee Phoenix quotes Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, founding chair of America’s Promise Alliance, an organization dedicated to preparing students for college and the work force:

When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it’s more than a problem, it’s a catastrophe.

Oklahoma Education may Soon be More like China’s

March 24, 2008

Superindendent Sandy Garrett and Governor Brad Henry are conspiring to ruin the summer vacations of students all across Oklahoma..bwahahahaah!!

No, not really, but they are seeking to bring the attendance up to the national average of 180 days, rather than the current 175 days per school year. The cost of adding these five days to the school year would be approximately $90M, according to a report in yesterday’s Joplin Globe.

Legislators promoting the change cite the need for students to be able to compete the global economy. The inspiration for wanting to increase the amount of time the government monopolizes of our children’s days? Communist China. Rep. Tad Jones (R-Claremore) said:

If we’re trying to compete with China, then we have to deal with a large-scale expansion of time…But we’ve got to make sure it’s a quality education, not just a quantity.

The Norman Transcript added the Jones wants to actually lengthen the school day, and have children attend school on only four days per week, to save the state money. No word on where those kids would go on the their days off from school while their parents are at work.

Kaw, Otoe-Missouria Tribes Sue Brad Henry

March 11, 2008

KSWO in Lawton is reporting that the Kaw and Otoe-Missouria tribes are suing Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry for improperly terminated their tobacco compacts, and are alleging that the governor’s office wants a higher cut from the sales.

The Tulsa World writes,

Filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, the suits say the tribes received notice of the compact termination a few days later than required. The 10-year compacts were signed in 1998 and require either side to give at least six months’ notice of termination.

Each tribe’s compact gave the state 25 percent of all applicable taxes, but Gerald Adams, Henry’s chief of staff, terminated the contracts in order to renegotiate a higher percentage.

Brad Henry is waiting until an audit can be completed to comment.