Archive for the ‘Cong. Dan Boren’ Category

Tom Price Wants to Show Oklahomans "A Better Way"

March 6, 2008

We said that after maps for millionaires passes, the anti 1804 forces (chambers of commerce) would spring to life, and they have.

OKPNS also reported that the U.S. and State Chambers were suing to repeal HB 1804, Oklahoma’s immigration reform bill.

Tom Price, of Chesapeake Energy, according to The Oklahoman, “is forming a nonprofit group called A Better Way Oklahoma to more humanely and responsibly address the state’s immigration woes. As part of that process, the group will conduct town hall meetings throughout the state to assess citizen input and concerns.”

The McCarville Report writes:

A group calling itself “A Better Way Oklahoma” appears ready to launch an all-out attack on the state’s new immigration law that began life as Rep. Randy Terrill’s House Bill 1804.

Word of the group’s formation came today in an interview in The Oklahoman in which Tom Price Jr., senior vice president of corporate development for Chesapeake Energy, discusses the new law. The thrust of the article is that Leadership Oklahoma City alumni invited Terrill and others to a Wednesday debate on the bill, but none “were able to participate.”

[…]

Price said the group will sponsor town hall meetings across the state to “assess citizen input and concerns.”

According to The Oklahoman:

Price said there’s an expected exodus of 250,000 Hispanics from Oklahoma in the coming years as a result of HB 1804. He said as he started to understand broader economic implications, he brought those concerns to several state legislators who supported the bill. He said he was told not to worry about the bill because “we didn’t allocate any enforcement dollars.”

The group is apparently not convinced by U.S. Representative Dan Boren’s (D-OK) opinion that the legislation will be irrelevant after the presidential elections in November, or that the expected mass exodus simply isn’t happening.

Back in February, we hinted the Oklahoma press corps would largely ignore the story, and we were right. But little did we know that the state’s out-of-touch and ineffective business lobby would spring their double cross so soon after the vote.

Furthering the irony, United States Senator James Inhofe has been quoted in today’s McCarville Report gently telling the group, in essence, to pipe down. Poll after poll shows the public overwhelmingly approve of the measure, and even the misguided business group’s own internal polling shows no education campaign, regardless of the amount spent, will dissuade the voters from their position.

Why would business groups pursue an effort that will anger voters and ultimately fail? One insider says lobbyists and con men will make big bucks on the effort:

Price is just an employee. If he screws up, they can cut their losses. As usual lobbyists, lawyers and ‘public affairs specialists’ have talked these naive business leaders into dropping big bucks on this, which will end up in the con artists’ pocket. Con artists are just part of the landscape at the state capitol when it comes to anything dubbed ‘reform,’ such a ‘tort reform and ‘workers’ compensation reform.’

While the states’ leading newspapers continue to ignore the obvious, we’ll keep on following this explosive developing story.

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Dan Boren Says OK Immigration Bill will be Irrelevant after November

March 6, 2008

OKPNS recently observed that HB 1804, aimed at penalizing employers and landlords that hire and rent to illegal aliens isn’t quite having the anticipated effect, because it is not being enforced.

Perhaps, as we suggested, it is because Oklahoma business owners have been intimidated by the threat of being sued at the Federal level for discrimination if they try to obey the law at the local level. Or, perhaps business owners have been listening to Dan Boren:

After the presidential election, I think we’re more likely to have federal legislation that will pre-empt a lot of what’s going on at the state and local level…I think we’re going to see some type of bill like [the one proposed by President Bush]. I think it’ll pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president…It’s going to be very contentious. I’d like to get this off the table as an issue so we can go forward.

And why not? There are three leading contenders for President of the United States now…two Democrats, and one who is technically a Republican who wants to be a Democrat.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY):

I neither support illegal immigration nor the enactment of fruitless schemes that would penalize churches and hospitals for helping the truly needy. That will not fix the mess we are in.

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL):

Millions of undocumented immigrants live and work here without our knowing their identity or their background. We need to strike a workable bargain with them. They have to acknowledge that breaking our immigration laws was wrong. They must pay a penalty, and abide by all of our laws going forward. They must earn the right to stay over a 6-year period, and then they must wait another 5 years as legal permanent residents before they become citizens.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform Bill of 2005:

A nonimmigrant alien…shall not be denied any right or any remedy under Federal, State, or local labor or employment law that would be applicable to a United States worker employed in a similar position with the employer because of the alien’s status as a nonimmigrant worker…An employer shall provide nonimmigrants issued a visa under this section with the same wages, benefits, and working conditions that are provided by the employer to United States workers similarly employed in the same occupation and the same place of employment.

Even Oklahoma’s Randy Terrill (R-Moore) who wrote OK HB 1804 is now saying that he won’t pursue the expansion of the immigration reform, because after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed suit, questioning the constitutionality of the bill, support for expanding the reforms is weak in the Oklahoma legislature.

Tom Cole: Change to Indian Gaming – A Solution in Search of a Problem

February 21, 2008

On Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee, led by Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), held an oversight field hearing on “Oklahoma Indian Issues: Proposed Regulations Governing Economic Development.”

Links to Audio Clips of the hearing are available on Indianz.com.

The National and Oklahoma Indian Gaming Commissions were represented, as were the Choctaw, Quawpaw, Peoria, Cherokee, Osage, and Chickasaw tribes, as well as the city of Miami, Ottawa County, and the Miami Community and Economic Development Department.

Tony Thornton NewsOK.com gives some background:

The National Indian Gaming Commission, which regulates the industry, wants to clarify the difference between Class II, or bingo-based electronic machines, and Class III slot machines such as those found in Las Vegas. Technology developed over the last two decades has blurred that distinction, regulators say.

Most experts agree the proposed changes would make existing Class II games illegal, forcing tribes to pay states a share of profits in return for the right to offer Class III games.

That’s already happening in Oklahoma, thanks to voters’ approval of tribal gaming compacts in late 2004.

Dan Boren (D-OK)and Tom Cole (R-OK), a Chickasaw, also attended, and supported the tribal chiefs in their opposition to the changes, according to the Tulsa World:

“The (proposed) regulations are a solution in search of a problem,” Cole said. “It will cripple economic development in Indian Country, not promote it.”

[…]

“We don’t want the equilibrium disturbed,” said Cherokee Principal Chief Chad Smith. “I find it quite interesting that the state and state officials have not complained about these changes.”

The changes being discussed would require bingo machines to be classified as slot machines and bring in extra revenue to the state governemnts, at the expense of the tribes.

Indianz.com explains:

In the case of Oklahoma, tribes have to share revenues with the state for Class III machines. Though tribes make less money on Class II machines, they depend on them to generate revenues at their casinos.

If enacted, the NIGC’s regulations would turn some Class II machines into Class III ones. A study predicted a loss of $1 billion across the nation.

Boren Faces Barrage of Questions at Town Hall Meeting

January 13, 2008

What about the dog fighting vote?

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

A town hall meeting held in McAlester by District 2 U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, got off to a booming start when an Arpelar man blasted Boren over House Resolution 2640 — the most recent gun control bill in Washington.

Boren then faced a barrage of questions concerning health care, with McAlester-area residents at the meeting obviously ready to let him know what’s on their minds.

Rod Eastgate called HR 2640 “the Veterans Disarmament Act” and criticized Boren’s vote in favor of the measure and the fact that it passed out of the House into the Senate.

“How did this happen?” Eastgate asked Boren in front of a standing-room-only crowd on the second floor of Chef Billy’s during Boren’s town hall meeting Friday in downtown McAlester.

HR 2640, or the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvements Act of 2007, came about as a result of the shootings at Virginia Tech last year.

A portion of the measure calls for states to forward to the U.S. Justice Department information on individuals prohibited from possessing firearms, including those who may have had mental problems at some time.

Eastgate said he’s a former Marine and he has serious concerns that the measure will be used to prevent veterans who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from owning guns.

Boren first responded to Eastgate by quickly drawing his gun-toting credentials.

“I’m a lifetime member of the NRA,” Boren said. “I’ve been a strong member of the NRA.”

Boren said U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who had similar concerns, held up the bill in the Senate until “the bill got worked out.”

That answer didn’t satisfy Eastgate.

“How did it get through the House? How come you didn’t get it worked out in the House?” he asked.

“Sometimes it’s just not perfect,” Boren said.

“That’s what you’re there for, to make it perfect,” Eastgate responded.

“After Sen. Coburn had fixed it, we got another look at it,” said Boren, who noted the National Rifle Association had signed on in favor of the measure.

“What I’m saying is your problem got worked out,” Boren said. Read more…


Flip-Flopping Is Very Contagious

October 22, 2007

Flip-Flopping: In a style reminiscent of John Kerry’s back-and-forth vote on the Iraq War, U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., changed his vote on the controversial SCHIP bill last week. The House fell 13 votes short of overriding President Bush’s veto of the $35 billion spending increase for health insurance for low-income children. Boren voted initially against the increase, but evidently changed his mind and voted to override the veto.

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Congratulations Congressman Boren!!!

October 11, 2007
Washington – U.S. Rep. Dan Boren and his wife, Andrea Boren, announced the birth of their first child on Tuesday. Janna Lou Boren was born just before 11 a.m. at a Tulsa hospital. She weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces.

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Area tribes will receive $5.5 million in tribal grants

October 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Dan Boren announced Thursday the award of $5,546,943 in community development grants to seven tribes in eastern Oklahoma. The Indian Community Development Block Grants (ICDBG) are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma each will receive $800,000.

The funding will be used for the development of viable Native American communities, including decent housing, a suitable living environment and economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income families.

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Locals Boo SCHIP Veto

October 4, 2007

by Alice Collinsworth

EDMOND President Bush’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program has prompted a group of Oklahomans to plan a rally today in support of the program and call upon Oklahoma members of Congress to override the veto.

A Rally in Support of SCHIP will be in downtown Oklahoma City at 5 p.m. Thursday in front of Rep. Mary Fallin’s Oklahoma City office, 101 N. Broadway.

Fallin is one of the leaders who voted against this bill, which would ensure that up to 127,000 Oklahoma children who currently have no health insurance would have health coverage.

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Boren Bill Would Mandate Colon Cancer Screenings

September 28, 2007
WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, on Tuesday began promoting a bill that would mandate insurance pay for colon cancer screenings.

Boren cited his family history as a reason for legislation expanding coverage to 28 states that do not require insurance companies to pay for the screenings.

He was accompanied at a Capitol news conference by his sister Carrie Boren, missioner for evangelism at the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas.

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OK Rep delays Cherokee cuts

September 17, 2007

U.S. Rep. Dan Boren did the correct thing in convincing the House to hold off cutting Cherokee Nation funds until freedmen lawsuits are resolved.

Earlier this month, the U.S. House voted to eliminate the federal funding to Cherokees that normally would be included in the housing assistance bill. But Boren pushed through an amendment allowing the funding to continue while federal courts hear the freedmen suits.

The Cherokee housing funding amounts to about $30 million, 10 percent of the annual federal funding for the Cherokee Nation.

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