Archive for the ‘Frances Stipe’ Category

Follow The Money: Stipe, Phipps Business Details Raise Questions

July 27, 2007

From the McAlester News-Capital:

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

A court-appointed receiver in the lawsuit between former District 7 state Sen. Gene Stipe and his estranged business partner, Steve Phipps, has demanded that National Pet Products pay $310,000 in delinquent accounts to Phipps Enterprises, Inc.

“The deadline for a response has passed and lawsuits are being prepared to recover such substantial funds,” receiver Kraettli Q. Epperson said in documents filed at the Pittsburg County Courthouse.

National Pet Products is the dog food plant on the north side of McAlester built on property sold by Stipe, according to court documents and other records.

In his report, Epperson said Phipps Enterprises Inc. also owes a substantial amount of taxes.

Phipps Enterprises, Inc., is identified in court documents as the company owned by Stipe, of McAlester, and Phipps, who is from the Kiowa area. Read more…

Advertisements

Stipe’s Personal Photographer Called By Grand Jury

April 12, 2007

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) The personal photographer of former state Senator Gene Stipe says he’s been called to testify before a federal grand jury.

Allen Cherry of McAlester says the subpoena also tells him to bring every photo he’s taken of Stipe during the past five years. Cherry says he’ll be taking about 150 photos with him to the federal courthouse in Muskogee.

The grand jury initially looked into a McAlester dog food plant built on land owned by Stipe. The investigation now includes allegations of kickbacks to three former lawmakers and possible illegal campaign contributions.

Stipe resigned from the state Senate in 2003 and pleaded guilty to a straw donor scheme involving the 1998 congressional campaign of Walt Roberts.

RELATED:

Political observers are scratching their heads. Why would a man who was given a great deal after being convicted of paying straw donors, turn around and allegedly commit the same crime again? This 1998 interview by the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, regarding President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewsinsky, may give us insight into Stipes‘ thinking.

GENE STIPE, Oklahoma State Senator: There’s always a temptation to jump on somebody on somebody that’s down.

KWAME HOLMAN: Sitting in the office of his successful law practice in McAllister, Oklahoma, Democrat Gene Stipe reflected on the rough and tumble world of politics, of which he’s uniquely qualified to do. Stipe, an Oklahoma state senator, has served 50 years in the legislature, longer than any other state legislator in America. Considered one of the last of the old political deal makers, Stipe is also as much a legend in Oklahoma as Carl Albert, himself. When we asked him about President Clinton’s trouble, Stipe blamed it on the tabloid-minded media.

GENE STIPE: It’s no different than it’s always been, except that the exploitation of the media of problems that used to be ignored because they were private, that no longer exists. No one has any privacy.

KWAME HOLMAN: But Stipe said President Clinton shouldn’t be counted out yet.

GENE STIPE: The first year I was elected I rode the train with Harry Truman-if you thought of the national press, he didn’t have a chance-we were all wasting our time riding around with him because he had no future-but he won the presidency and became one of the greatest presidents in a long time in my opinion. I still think there’s hope for Bill Clinton.

Stipe’s Personal Photographer Called By Grand Jury

April 12, 2007

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) The personal photographer of former state Senator Gene Stipe says he’s been called to testify before a federal grand jury.

Allen Cherry of McAlester says the subpoena also tells him to bring every photo he’s taken of Stipe during the past five years. Cherry says he’ll be taking about 150 photos with him to the federal courthouse in Muskogee.

The grand jury initially looked into a McAlester dog food plant built on land owned by Stipe. The investigation now includes allegations of kickbacks to three former lawmakers and possible illegal campaign contributions.

Stipe resigned from the state Senate in 2003 and pleaded guilty to a straw donor scheme involving the 1998 congressional campaign of Walt Roberts.

RELATED:

Political observers are scratching their heads. Why would a man who was given a great deal after being convicted of paying straw donors, turn around and allegedly commit the same crime again? This 1998 interview by the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, regarding President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewsinsky, may give us insight into Stipes‘ thinking.

GENE STIPE, Oklahoma State Senator: There’s always a temptation to jump on somebody on somebody that’s down.

KWAME HOLMAN: Sitting in the office of his successful law practice in McAllister, Oklahoma, Democrat Gene Stipe reflected on the rough and tumble world of politics, of which he’s uniquely qualified to do. Stipe, an Oklahoma state senator, has served 50 years in the legislature, longer than any other state legislator in America. Considered one of the last of the old political deal makers, Stipe is also as much a legend in Oklahoma as Carl Albert, himself. When we asked him about President Clinton’s trouble, Stipe blamed it on the tabloid-minded media.

GENE STIPE: It’s no different than it’s always been, except that the exploitation of the media of problems that used to be ignored because they were private, that no longer exists. No one has any privacy.

KWAME HOLMAN: But Stipe said President Clinton shouldn’t be counted out yet.

GENE STIPE: The first year I was elected I rode the train with Harry Truman-if you thought of the national press, he didn’t have a chance-we were all wasting our time riding around with him because he had no future-but he won the presidency and became one of the greatest presidents in a long time in my opinion. I still think there’s hope for Bill Clinton.

Criminal Continues Political Corruption

March 12, 2007

From Tulsa Today: (excerpt)

Gary Jones, a Republican who narrowly lost two elections to Democrat State Auditor Jeff McMahan in 2002 and 2006, told Tulsa Today that it was the trail of campaign contributions from Gene Stipe, Steve Phipps and their employees to McMahan’s 2002 campaign that led to the discovery of the scheme to funnel millions in tax dollars to Stipe, Phipps, and former Democrat State Reps. Mass, Erwin and Hefner.

State Auditor & Inspector Jeff McMahanAfter losing the 2002 election, Jones said he had suspected a Stipe-McMahan connection since 2003, after reading the list of straw donors to Walt Robert’s 1998 campaign. “What really threw up a red flag was the article in the Oklahoman in 2004 about the now-famous National Pet Products, the dog food factory in McAlester. The article listed Gene Stipe, Stipe’s brother Francis, his partner Steve Phipps, along with Karen Carper and Roy Hattridge. What else did these people have in common? They were all major contributors to Jeff McMahan’s campaign,” Jones told Tulsa Today.

While Jones was serving as Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, he said people sent him information claiming meetings were being held in the State Auditor’s basement conference room involving Reps. Mike Mass and Randall Erwin, and Stipe’s partner, Steve Phipps.

“Supposedly, the topic of discussion was how they could all benefit from the expanded gambling laws, and one person told me that Mass was heard bragging that if they got this through, they would never have to work another day in their lives,” Jones said.

“The Internet is an amazing tool,” Jones said. “It allows you to do research and find things in minutes that might take years to do manually – or go undiscovered otherwise. I did a Google search of Steve Phipps, and the first thing that popped up was a press release from the Oklahoma House of Representatives about a newly formed organization called the Rural Development Foundation being awarded a water permit for 25 billion gallons of water from Lake Eufaula – and Steve Phipps was listed as their consultant. Searching further on the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s Web site for Rural Development, it revealed that RDF office was located in Antler’s – at the same address as an abstract company owned by Gene Stipe and Steve Phipps.”

Jones shared that information with an Oklahoma state representative, whose further research found that RDF had received a $350,000 line item appropriation in the Department of Commerce’s funding bill. He called back later to say that they received another $350,000 as a line item in the appropriation bill for the Department of Agriculture.

Jones said his continued Internet searches led him to a Web site called
http://www.followthemoney.org/, where he discovered that the board members of RDF had also contributed to McMahan’s campaign. When Jones entered their names into a Google search, it brought up the Oklahoma State auditor’s Web site and listing employees of all the abstract companies in Oklahoma by county. McMahan’s office regulates all Oklahoma abstract companies. Stipe and Phipps’s biggest venture together are numerous jointly owned abstract companies.

This latest search by Tulsa Today shows that several board members of RDF were also employees of abstract companies owned by Stipe and Phipps, and that dozen of other Stipe and Phipps employees were also McMahan contributors. Read more…

Click here to view contributions to McMahan from Stipe, Phipps, and employees.