Archive for the ‘Cong. Tom Cole’ Category

Boehner, Cole to Release Election Plan

May 21, 2008

The Politico:


After a week of tension and recriminations following a special election loss in Mississippi, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner and NRCC Chairman Tom Cole will unveil a series of changes Wednesday aimed at quelling criticism and positioning their party for November’s elections.

Cole is expected to add veteran Republican political operative Ed Brookover to his staff as a consultant and liaison with lawmakers, GOP insiders said. Brookover, who served as a National Republican Congressional Committee political director, has close ties to Boehner, Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam of Florida, according to one GOP aide.

A source with knowledge of the discussions between Boehner and Cole said the minority leader has insisted that Cole also give more power to an advisory committee formed after the GOP lost a special election in Louisiana earlier this month. Under the plan Boehner and Cole will announce Wednesday, that advisory committee will meet weekly with NRCC staffers to monitor operations and help coordinate fundraising and other campaign activities. It is possible that former NRCC Chairman Tom Davis of Virginia will play an expanded role in guiding the advisory committee and, through it, the NRCC.

The moves represent a modest détente between Cole and Boehner, but they might not be enough to mollify a restive party rife with fears that November 2008 will be a replay of November 2006. Read more…

Minority Leader Boehner: "Cole Staying"

May 20, 2008

After several days of speculation, Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, is giving a public vote of support to National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chair Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole.

Cole, the 4th District representative, had come under fire after yet another special election loss, the latest one last week in Mississippi.

Most observers think Cole is being set up for blame by Boehner, who has criticized Cole in the past. “I don’t know what Tom Cole is supposed to do about visionless dolts like John Boehner,” one Washington insider tells OKPNS.

From The Hill:

“Boehner’s leadership has been lacking,” a GOP lobbyist and strategist said.

Boehner last year reportedly called for staffing changes at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), but none happened after NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) refused to make them.

After the party’s devastating loss last week in a Mississippi special election, Boehner did not directly answer the question about whether Cole would stay on at the NRCC. With some of his GOP colleagues calling for quick and decisive action, Boehner lauded a 20-page strategic memo crafted by Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), a former NRCC chairman.

It wasn’t until five days after the Mississippi loss that Boehner provided clarity on whether Cole would be ousted.

“He’s staying,” Boehner said on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. “And we know the kind of changes that need to be made in order to help our members and help our candidates go out there and do their best in a very difficult environment.”

Boehner said he met with Cole late last week to discuss those changes, but the minority leader’s office declined to detail them on Monday. Read more…

House GOP Points Fingers After Loss; Cole Out As NRCC Chair?

May 15, 2008

The man tasked with retaking the House of Representatives for Republicans, Oklahoma 4th District Congressman Tom Cole, is on the hot seat after yet another special election loss, but this time after a loss Tuesday night in a Mississippi district President Bush once won by over 25%.

It’s no secret that Cole, the National Republican Campaign Committee chair, is disliked by Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, and Boehner sees Cole as the perfect fall guy in the event House Republicans lose significant ground in the November congressional elections. According to reports, the long knives are coming out.


The House Republican Conference was rife with rumors of quick fixes. According to one rumor, retiring Rep. Tom Davis (Va.) would replace Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Another had Boehner recruiting a top White House political aide to revamp the NRCC. Neither seemed likely to happen. Both underscored the desperation Republicans felt to do something, anything, to avoid the November disaster that the special election losses seem to portend.

Cole and his top staff at the NRCC were at the center of this quickly churning rumor mill, but the griping also touched Boehner, who spoke privately with his campaign chief Wednesday.

The two leaders, who sparred last fall over operations at the committee, offered contradictory messages about what changes were afoot.

Cole said speculation about his resignation or the firing of NRCC staff amounted to nothing more than a “Washington parlor game.” Boehner, hinting that a shake-up was coming, said Wednesday morning that he expected House Republican leaders would discuss the party’s problems, and what “changes” might need to be made to address them, in a meeting later in the day. Read more…

McCain May get the Native American Vote

April 15, 2008

Speaking in Missoula Montana on April 5th, Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama promised “to appoint a high-level adviser on American Indian issues if elected president.”

This may be too little too late, however, as John Ruberry of the Marathon Pundit writes:

John McCain has been doing that for over twenty years. Who is the one ‘reaching across the aisle’ to build a consensus? As for Indians, it appears to be McCain.

Ruberry also points out that the only Native American currently serving in Congress is Tom Cole, a Chickasaw, is Republican.

American Indian activist Kayln Free is quoted by The Oklahoman:

Sen. McCain [a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs] has a record with Indian country. He has carried a lot of water for tribes over the years. I think it is a grave mistake for the Democratic nominee or these two candidates to think that Indian Country will be there for them just because they are the Democratic nominee.


Tribal leaders have a different standing. We are sovereign nations and there is a government-to-government relationship. The Democratic candidates vying for our support should meet with tribal leaders and hear our concerns…Republicans are reaching out to tribal leaders because of the new economic power that the wield. Tribes are playing at a different level than they were even a decade ago.

“UnitedNative,” a senior member on the discussion forum, points out that although Native Americans largely have a problem with the policies of the Republican Party, John McCain has stood up to member of his own party to defend Indian rights:

As president, John McCain would be the eight hundred-pound political gorilla against anti Native American groups.

Also see:

Six Oklahoma Legislators Receive "Spirit of Enterprise Award"

April 14, 2008

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) last week received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of Enterprise Award” for his support of pro-growth legislation during the 110th Congress. Accepting the award, Inhofe said:

I am honored to receive the ‘Spirit of Enterprise Award’ from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This organization provides an invaluable service to businesses nationwide. I will continue to fight for legislation that helps grow our nation’s economy, keeping America’s businesses the most competitive in the world.

Dan Boren, the only Democrat in the entire House of Representatives to receive the award, said:

I am honored to receive this award. The small business community, energy industry, and other manufacturers are an integral part of Oklahoma’s economy. I am committed to doing everything I can in Congress to help them grow our economy and create additional jobs in Oklahoma.

Tom Donohue, Chamber president and CEO, stated:

Senator Inhofe has proven to be an effective ally to the business community, supporting legislation that helps grow the economy and creates new jobs for hardworking Americans. The Chamber is grateful for Jim’s commitment to these important issues and is proud to present him with this award.


Representative Boren has proven to be an effective ally to the business community, supporting legislation that helps grow the economy and creates new jobs for hardworking Americans. The Chamber is grateful for Dan’s commitment to these important issues and is proud to present him with this award.

The Oklahomans who were honored were:

  • Sen. James Inhofe
  • Rep. John A. Sullivan (OK-1)
  • Rep. Dan Boren (OK-2)
  • Rep. Frank D. Lucas (OK-3)
  • Rep. Tom Cole (OK-4)
  • Rep. Mary Fallin (OK-5)

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses of every size, sector, and region. A complete list of the 2007 Spirit of Enterprise recipients is here.

Cole: ‘I hope the Dems don’t turn victory into defeat.’

April 10, 2008

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) shared on The Hill’s Congress Blog this morning:

It would take a willing suspension of belief to ignore the progress that has been made as a result of the surge. The consequences of failure as well as the benefits of victory were laid out brilliantly in compelling testimony from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.

By every objective measure security in Iraq is better, political progress has occurred and we have positive as opposed to negative momentum. I just hope my Democratic colleagues do not manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Quote of the Day: "You Couldn’t Beat Mary Fallin With a Baseball Bat"

March 7, 2008

Probably not the best metaphor Congressman Cole could have used to describe how difficult it will be to defeat Congresswoman Fallin:

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole, chair of the NRCC, shows no concern about the Democrats’ fundraising lead. “Most of our freshmen, frankly, are not in vulnerable seats,” he says. “They won in an awful year. You couldn’t beat Mary Fallin [an Oklahoma Republican] with a baseball bat.” Read more…

Out on a Limb for a Friend

March 4, 2008

The Hill is reporting that U.S. Representive from Oklahoma, and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) is standing by his friend and colleague Rep. Rick Renzi’s (R-AZ), who has been indicted on 35 Federal charges. The two have worked closely in Congress on Native American issues.

In Tucson, KVOA News is reporting that Renzi appears in court for the first time today:

He’s accused of choreographing a deal to swap federally owned mining land for his and an ex-business partner’s benefit, including demanding that potential buyers buy his former partner’s property if they wanted Renzi’s backing on needed legislation.

He’s also accused of embezzling more than $400,000 in insurance premiums from clients of his family-owned insurance business.

The TPM Muckracker explains,

If Renzi were to bow out before May 4th, it would force a special election, but if he sticks it out past then and then resigns, the seat would remain vacant until November. In any case, Renzi himself is in no hurry to leave, and his case is unlikely to go to trial for many, many months.

US News and World Report is quoting Tom Cole:

He’s got every right to do what he thinks. I wish him well. I didn’t elect Rick Renzi.

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

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 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. 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.

Voters are tired of Baby Boomers

January 9, 2008

by Loné Beasley

Hillary Clinton’s now famous televised tears following Barack Obama’s Iowa caucus win perhaps had more appeal in New Hampshire than conservative pundits predicted. At any rate, they apparently didn’t hurt.

What may have been more important in the New York Senator’s victory last night is changing her message from one of experience to questioning Obama’s ability to bring about the change he is promising. This switch in emphasis may be critical to whether or not she gets to finish her campaign for the highest office in the land.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole visited Ada last week and had an interesting take on the subject. Cole is chairman of the National Republican Committee. In this capacity his job is to inherit whichever Republican candidate survives the fray and lead the effort to get him elected President.

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