Archive for the ‘Don Cain’ Category

Cain’s Pain

February 14, 2008

“In order for Oklahoma to prosper, grow and attract new businesses, the state must continually review and establish laws and regulations that encourage business growth and formation. The areas of focus for the State Chamber this year will center on improvement in Oklahoma’s public education system, various business tax issues, lawsuit reform, adjustment to the workers’ compensation system and the challenge of finding employees under the new state immigration law.” AT&T Oklahoma president Don Cain

Right after our blockbuster Tuesday story about double-dealing Oklahoma corporations getting caught in political hanky-panky regarding the upcoming arena tax vote and immigration reform, activity at the capitol picked up remarkably.

Traffic to the Oklahoma Political News Service web site was enormous: by Noon, hits were running ten times more than usual.

Then nervous lobbyists went to work: witnesses say telecommunication industry lobbyists milled about all day in the vicinity of the office of House Revenue and Tax Chairman Randy Terrill. Terrill, the author of HB 1804, the popular-with-the-voters immigration and reform bill, holds the fate of several millions of dollars of cell tower tax credits AT&T is seeking, and the OKPNS story outed AT&T President Don Cain’s alleged role in overturning Terrill’s bill. The telecommunications and energy lobby, also seeking tax credits from Terrill, are still holding their breath after revelations some members of those industries are attempting to double-cross the Chairman.
Other house members we’ve spoken to say chamber of commerce workers are busy denying any effort to repeal the bill, but rather they now contend they are instead relying on a federal lawsuit to overturn the bill in the courts. It’s a remarkable about-face by the chamber crowd, but the insiders say they are fanning out and delivering the message for any legislator to hear.
Regardless, it is believed AT&T will attempt to get their corporate welfare removed from Terrill’s committee and moved to a more friendly committee. We at OKPNS will watch for that. Insiders believe Cain’s bungling will focus new and unwanted attention on the company by legislators and perhaps Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony, an AT&T critic. Some experts we’ve visited with say Oklahoma has the highest telephone rates in the nation, an allegation that might receive a little more attention now than before Cain’s misstep.
Whispers persist that Cain, who political experts privately concede is an expert regulator but has poor political instincts, really had no interest in the repeal of 1804, but mouthed-off to many political folks about his imagined ‘clout’ at the capitol on the issue as chairman of the chamber. “Cain wanted to be a big shot. His mouth got him his 15 minutes, didn’t it?” one insider laughed.

Secondly, and predictably, the capitol-based media has, as we predicted, helped the corporate bunglers mistakes to a minimum by ignoring the story.