Archive for the ‘OK Senate’ Category

John Kerry and Dirty Harry Wreck Another Political Career

May 8, 2008

Sen. “Dirty Harry” Coates

Sen. Patrick Anderson

Yesterday, embattled Sen. Dirty Harry Coates sided with all the Democratic senators to scuttle the official English bill, which some polls say is supported by nearly 90% of the Oklahoma public. The bill has been sent to conference committee, where by design it will be difficult to resurrect this session.

In the process, Coates severely damaged the re-election chances of Republican Senator Patrick Anderson of Enid. Anderson was foolish enough to fall under Coates’ sway just long enough to get caught distributing anti-official English propaganda and engaging in other anti-official English activities before regaining his senses and voting with his party. In other words, he was against official English before he was for official English.

Taking cues from John F. Kerry and Dirty Harry Coates is deadly for a re-election campaign in a strong Republican district, Sen. Anderson. After yesterday’s stunt, Anderson will face a tough re-election battle if he draws a primary opponent. For his actions, Anderson unanimously wins the bonehead political play of the week and probably just dealt himself a fatal political blow because of the demographics of his senate district.

Video: News 9’s Kelly Ogle’s "Two Cents" on English as the Official State Language

May 7, 2008

Kelly Ogle gives his 2 Cents on whether making English as the official state language would be good for the Sooner State.

Related: Bid fails to pass official English bill

OK Senate: Progressive Measures Toward Socialized Medicine

February 22, 2008

Brain Tumor Buzz, reports that yesterday a Senate committee passed legislation that would require insurance companies to pay for experimental treatments:

Sen. Andrew Rice, the bill’s author, said it was a matter of fairness. He said Medicaid and Medicare patients can go through clinical trials and still have their routine care compensated.

The bill is called Steffanie’s Law, and according to the Oklahoman:

The legislation is named for Steffanie Collings, a Noble teenager who has been battling a brain tumor.

Monty Collings, her father, said the bill will not help Steffanie or the family, which has amassed more than $400,000 in medical bills that their insurance provider will not cover.

“The sole reason I’m putting so much effort in this is so other families won’t be put through this,” Collings said.

He said his daughter, who will be 19 next month, is in the final stages of her illness. She’s been undergoing care using a new treatment that is part of a clinical trial.

The Hays Daily News quoted Sen. Rice:

“Families in Oklahoma should not have to decide between potential lifesaving treatments and personal financial ruin,” Rice said after Thursday’s vote. “There is little evidence that routine health care costs for clinical trial patients are any higher than costs for patients who are not enrolled in trials.”

He labeled as bogus insurance industry claims that the mandate will raise premiums in Oklahoma.

“Clinical trials that are frequently paid for by drug companies and treatment facilities can actually reduce critical health care costs down the road when they prove successful,” Rice said.

Also in the Senate on Wednesday, the Tulsa World is reporting that the Appropriations Committe passed SB 1709, which would combine the Medical Examiner’s Office with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI). Together with SB 1689, and SB 1865, the Criminal Justice Resource Center would also be merged into the OSBI, and a new Office of Accountability and Innovation would be set up within the Legislative Service Bureau.

This whole “streamlining” process will cost the Oklahoma taxpayers about a $1,000,000 according to Senate Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee (R-OKC). reports that opponents to the new measures have expressed concerns about accountability and integrity issues with having all of these agencies merged into one.

Both bills now go to the full OK Senate.

Oklahoma Politician Who Authored Video Game Law is Now ESRB’s Pal

December 5, 2007


We’ll say it again:

Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Yesterday, an ESRB press release trumpeted yet another partnership with a state-level politician. This time it is State Senator Glenn Coffee (R) who is teaming up with the video game industry’s content rating board on a parental awareness program.

In partnering with the ESRB Coffee follows in the footsteps of the governor of Washington as well as the attorneys general of Utah, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Idaho.

The fascinating thing about Coffee’s new friendship with the ESRB is that he was one of the sponsors of Oklahoma’s 2006 video game law, a measure bitterly opposed by the industry. Coffee’s version passed the Oklahoma Senate 47-0 enroute to approval by Gov. Brad Henry. The law was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court judge.

What a difference a year – and a losing court battle – makes. Coffee is quoted in yesterday’s ESRB press release: Read more…

Costs & Benefits of a Tied Senate

June 15, 2007

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant

Hello again, everybody! It has been an interesting process learning how to work in a Senate divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans.That split has a financial cost. Because things were shared evenly by both parties, it cost the Senate more than $600,000 to level the playing field between both parties. That money ensured that the Democrats and Republicans have equal staff working for them and equal space in which to do the people’s business. Read more…

Laster Leaves Everyone But Meacham Laughing

March 31, 2007

From the Tecumseh Countywide News & Shawnee Sun:

By Wayne Trotter

State Sen. Charlie Laster has been a strong supporter of Gov. Brad Henry but that didn’t keep him from sending the governor an unmistakable message last week – don’t mess around with the Senate on this budget issue.

“I love Brad and he’s my No. 1 guy in state government, I assure you,” Laster told a legislative breakfast in Tecumseh Friday morning.

“But he will not get any sympathy in the Senate for having not been so involved in the budget deal,” said Laster, like Henry a Shawnee Democrat. “He will just have to decide if he wants to line-item veto some of the things in the bill, then sit back and watch and see if there’s an override.

“That’ll be fun,” Laster said. “I look forward to that.” Read more…

Sen. Gumm Seeking Leadership Post

February 28, 2007

Tulsa World:

Gumm said he has been encouraged by a number of people to look at the job, a position he said involves enormous responsibility. He called the post daunting, adding that whoever is selected must put his or her heart and soul into it.

He said the job is one of service and not power.

“I have approached members about committing to me,” said Gumm, who would need to secure 13 votes. Read more…