Archive for the ‘investigations’ Category

The Revenge of the Uncurious Press

October 16, 2007

As House GOP members meet in Ardmore today in the midst of a campaign finance scandal, only two reporters are covering the event. Embattled House Speaker Lance Cargill is seeking to add two more years to his current term, but only News9’s Stacey Cameron and the Gazette’s Scott Cooper are actually in Ardmore to report on the top political news story of the year.

As always, while the vast majority of the press ignores this monumental story, we will do all we are able to bring you updates as we receive them.

UPDATE: Channel 9 Story Disappears from their website minutes after we posted it this morning.

UPDATE(x2) Video Back Up!

Scott Mitchell: "Challenging a Sitting Speaker is Very Unusual"

October 11, 2007
Last night, News 9 Reporter Stacey Cameron confirmed the story we exclusively brought you six hours earlier – Speaker Cargill is being challenged by Majority Caucus Chair John Wright. News 9 political analyst and “Your Vote Counts” host Scott Mitchell offers his comments on the developing story.

THE COUP IS ON: Majority Caucus Chair to Challenge Speaker Cargill

October 10, 2007

Sources are alerting the Oklahoma Political News Service that Rep. John Wright, will challenge Rep. Lance Cargill for Speaker-Designate in a vote at the upcoming caucus retreat. Sources are also telling us that Rep. David Dank drafted a letter today asking caucus members “to stave off the vote for Speaker of the House.” We’re told these two events were not coordinated by the two legislators.

As we exclusively reported last week, reliable sources say Speaker Cargill is adamantly against postponing the vote for Speaker designate. An anonymous member says Cargill has been asked to postpone the vote multiple times and everytime “Cargill throws a fit.” OKPNS will continue to investigate.


Tulsa World: BA lawmaker seeks to unseat House speaker (10/10/2007 10:06 PM)

AP: Broken Arrow legislator wants speaker job (10/11/ 2007 1:05 AM ET) Claims Channel 9 Mystery Man Revealed

October 3, 2007 claims they have corrected the altered tape and it reveals the Channel 9 mystery man.

Email From Jessica Caswell

October 3, 2007

I am sure you saw the story last night on News 9, I thought you may be interested to know News 9 omitted my statement and never mentioned Judge Hladik’s statement which would have specifically undermined Jeff Davis’ credibility, since he recommended me to work for Judge Hladik. They have insulted my professionalism and omitted significant facts that would have challenged their story line. My statement is as follows:

“Lance Cargill is among numerous clients of mine including State Rep. Doug Cox , State District Judge Dennis Hladik, State Senator Anthony Sykes, State Rep. Randy Terrill and others for whom I’ve provided fundraising consultation. Concerning Jeff Davis, I was introduced to him and recommended to him by State Rep. Guy Liebmann, another client of mine. Unfortunately, Davis is now a disgruntled former client of mine who fired me and hired Kyle Loveless, a known political enemy of Speaker Cargill’s. I know that if you contact many of my other fundraising clients, they will assure you that I provide quality fundraising services. I would hope that any responsible news media outlet would include these positive statements about my work in any story.”
Jessica Caswell

See Judge Dennis Hladik’s response as well:

Jessica Caswell has asked me to provide you with a reference.

I met Ms. Caswell last year at the beginning of my election campaign for the position of District Judge for the 4th Judicial District. I learned of Ms. Caswell through Jeff Davis. Mr. Davis was a candidate for office and sending my mother a number of mailers which appeared to be effective and professionally prepared. Upon calling Mr. Davis, he referred me to Ms. Caswell.

After checking her references, I hired Ms. Caswell to be my campaign manager. She organized my volunteers, prepared all of our mailers, produced our radio and TV ads, and made all of the ad buys. Ms. Caswell acted professionally throughout my campaign, and my wife and I were very pleased with her services. I would not hesitate to hire her again if the need arises.

If you need additional information, feel free to contact me.

Dennis Hladik
District Judge
Garfield County Courthouse
WK 580-237-0245
Cell 580-541-3154
Home 580-237-3195

I am also aware that three lawmakers, Former Rep. Thad Balkman, Rep. Doug Cox, and Rep. Guy Liebmann also released positive statements about work I had done for them that News 9 never bothered to mention either.

Jessica Caswell

If It Ain’t One Thing….It’s Another

October 2, 2007

If It Ain’t One Thing….It’s Another

October 2, 2007

Sources Confirm: House Republican State Reps. Want Cargill to Postpone Speaker Designate Vote

October 2, 2007

Inside sources have confirmed to OKPNS, that various Republican state representatives have called on Speaker Lance Cargill to postpone the upcoming October 16th GOP Caucus election to determine the Speaker-designate for the 2009/2010 session. The embattled Cargill is seeking to become the State’s first Republican two-term Speaker of the House. The House Republicans will be meeting that weekend for an annual retreat to lay out legislative plans for the upcoming session, but the pressure fundraising controversy has put many House GOP members in a tight spot.

Cargill has reportedly denied the members’ request to postpone the election date. Cargill remains the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission for mishandling campaign funds in past election cycles, and many members privately are hoping the Speaker election date can be put off until more is known about the emerging controversy.

Insiders say the Speaker has been irate with members close to him who have suggested such a postponement. “The pressure is building, and with more bad press on the way, it appears that he’s beginning to take out his frustrations on those who are seeking to help,” says one familiar with the process.

TV Coverage Lacking in Credibility!

October 1, 2007

You can hear it all…Thru the GRAPEVINE! blog:

To: Blaise Labbe, News Director, Channel 9 TV – OKC

I am appalled at your channel’s handling of the Oklahoma Republican House Victory campaign story. I am not a journalist, but it’s common knowledge to everyone that you must cite your sources in order to have any credibility. And certainly where there is an ongoing Ethics Commission investigation, you all are being grossly unfair to Lance Cargill by only naming him when you know that as a respondent, he cannot break the confidentiality that is in
place with this or any ethics matter!

How in the world can you claim to be any kind of credible media organization when you continue to cite, “unnamed sources” and conceal the identity of the person you interview? You are acting more like a partisan blog than a TV news station! Read more…

News9: Oklahoma Speaker of the House Lance Cargill Remains at the Center of a Growing Controversy

September 28, 2007


AP: Young speaker embroiled in ethics controversy again

Fair And Biased: WILL THE MYSTERY MAN PLEASE ID HIMSELF? Fundraising probe ‘witch-hunt,’ ex-official says