Archive for the ‘Sen. Mike Morgan’ Category

Official English Bill’s Supporters Disappointed by Senate Democrats’ Obstruction

May 7, 2008

Press release from Senate Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward

Supporters of the bill to make English the official language are disappointed that Senate Democrats utilized a rarely-used procedural maneuver to block an up-or-down vote on the bill by sending it to a conference committee.

The bill’s author, Senate Republican Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, said the Democrats’ obstruction likely kills Senate Bill 163 for the 2008 session.

“Making English the official language of our state is an issue whose time has come in Oklahoma. I am very disappointed that Senate Democrats voted in lock-step to block an up-or-down vote on this important issue,” stated Laughlin, R-Woodward. “Senator Morgan sent a pretty strong signal on the floor that the Democrat leadership plans to kill this bill in conference.”

Other supporters of SB 163 also expressed their concerns about the Senate Democrats’ action.

“Republicans have made the Official English proposal a priority for many years. We believe the people overwhelmingly agree that English should be our official language. I am sorry that the Senate Democrats have continued to block the people’s right to vote on this important issue,” stated Sen. James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa.

“I’m disappointed but not surprised by the Senate Democrats’ actions. Instead of allowing the people of Oklahoma to vote on this critical issue, they maneuvered it into a conference committee where they can gut and kill the Official English bill,” said Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso.

“The Senate Democrats’ substitute language is just a piece of paper that does not change the status quo. It still requires the state to expend funds to provide unnecessary translations for government services. Our version would have stopped the silly lawsuits that seek to force our state to provide services in any number of foreign languages,” said Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore.

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Bully Pulpit Gone Wrong

December 19, 2007

The Illegal Immigration lobby is at it again attacking a man who stood up for America and Oklahoma to stop ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Apparently Senator Morgan does not believe in following the law. If Mr. Massey is running a tight ship, a performance audit shouldn’t be a problem. However, most lawmakers who do their homework know just the opposite.

From Demookie.com

By State Sen. Mike Morgan


We have a new bully in town in state Rep. Randy Terrill, propped up only by publicity and talk show attention. He is primarily driven by his single-minded, over-the-top rhetoric about illegal immigration. All the publicity and talk show attention has gone straight to his head, so much so he lambastes anyone who dares to criticize his ideas on the subject, including members of his own party and prominent business leaders.

Continuing his ego trip and bullying ways, Terrill recently moved on to lashing out at a volunteer member of the state Regents for Higher Education for discussing changes made to the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program. He threatened to use a performance audit to silence the objections Regent John Massey voiced over recent legislative changes to the program. I authored the bill, which provided a dedicated funding source for Oklahoma’s Promise as well as the legislative changes with which Massey disagrees. I welcome any comments, criticisms and suggestions he or anyone else might have over the bill.

Reasonable debate and discussion is what makes our democratic process strong and what our Founding Fathers envisioned for a strong, secure and free nation. But for reasons I do not comprehend, Terrill attacked John Massey’s critical review of the legislation and even threatened Massey’s “griping” would lead the regents right into a performance audit. Does Terrill not understand Oklahoma has laws governing how audits are initiated and conducted? He apparently intends to warp an audit into his own instrument of retaliation. This will not happen.

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Quote of the Day

November 20, 2007

The Stillwater NewsPress asked a few legislators this question last week. “What would be the biggest challenge if you were a legislator 100 years ago?’ Sen. Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater brought us this gem which is our quote of the day.

“Thinking about my ancestors, it was adjusting to wearing shoes.”

Anatomy of a Scandal

July 29, 2007

By Gary Jones
OKGOP Chairman

1) Larry Witt and Steve Phipps conspired to funnel corporate contributions into the 2002 State Auditor campaign of Jeff McMahan. FBI affidavits and witnesses have testified that such money was paid to them for the purpose making said contributions. Estimated totals range from $75,000-$100,000. These funds made up a large portion of McMahan’s total contributions and had a significant impact on the election results.

2) Steve Phipps met on numerous occasions in the office of the State Auditor with legislators including Mike Mass to discuss and arrange for state funds to be funneled into a scam non-profit foundation, Rural Development Foundation, located in an abstract company owned by Phipps and Gene Stripe in Antlers, Oklahoma. Both Mass and Phipps have pleaded guilty to federal charges and are now waiting sentencing to connection to the scheme.

3) After denying for months McMahan admitted to going on fishing and gambling trips paid for by Phipps. Such trips would constitute something of value received by an individual regulated by McMahan and his office and may be grounds for removal from office.

4) Duane Smith from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board has reported that he was called into a meeting with the State Auditor Jeff McMahan, Mike Mass and Steve Phipps. During the meeting Smith said he was advised that Mass had put wording in the agency appropriation bill to funnel funds to a trust authority setup by Phipps to aid in selling water from Lake Eufaula. McMahan advised Smith to help get that done and he would make the audit look clean. In 2006 McMahan asked the governor to perform an audit on OFRW. The audit failed to reveal the connection between McMahan and Phipps the principle person being audited and also failed to disclose items which should have been reported and in effect provided the cover-up McMahan had promised.

5) Larry Witt (Ry-son Oil) is seeking to purchase shares in several abstract companies owned by Steve Phipps. The sale of Phipps’ shares can not take place without approval of Jeff McMahan, State Auditor.

6) Witt was named in the university housing bond scandal involving Senate president Pro-Temp Mike Morgan. Morgan is also said to responsible for funneling state funds to but Stipe and Phipps’ train that is sitting and rusting in Guthrie.

Jeff McMahan and his office should be removed from the approval process as there exist a clear conflict of interest by McMahan in this matter.

A cause of action should be filed against Phipps, Stipe and Witt to recover state funds illegally obtained. The corporate assets of Phipps Enterprises and Corporate Finance Group should be frozen until such action has been litigated.

Related:

ObserverBlog: “The Education of Jeff McMahan”

OKGOP Chairman: "Special Prosecutor Needed to Probe Campaign Contributions"

June 25, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gary Jones
June 25, 2007 405-528-3501

This Wednesday Steve Phipps is scheduled to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement with the United States Government in connection with an FBI investigation of political corruption in Southeast Oklahoma. His estranged business partner, former Democratic State Senator Gene Stipe, will be back in court Thursday for a probation revocation hearing. Stipe, who is in the midst of a 5 year-probation sentence for illegal campaign activities, appears to be facing the judge in connection to similar charges of illegally funneling contributions to Congressman Dan Boren’s 2004 congressional campaign.

The federal investigation into the corrupt political shenanigans of Gene Stipe has sparked a grassfire of additional illegal activities and has grown to include a number of high level Democrats. While the federal government is doing its job, the same can not be said of the State of Oklahoma. While federal prosecutors are handing out indictments for federal crimes, justice will not be served without a state investigation and charges sought at that level. The feds have filed charges in connection with donations to Boren, but what about more than a hundred thousand dollars in contributions to State Auditor Jeff McMahan, Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Governor Brad Henry? To add insult to injury it appears that it was our own state tax dollars illegally funneled into these campaigns.

The Oklahoma officials normally responsible for investigating and prosecuting state related crimes have been implicated and may very well be involved themselves. It is imperative that Governor Brad Henry name a special prosecutor to pursue charges in this corruption ring. Attorney General Drew Edmondson has made comments that state charges may be pursued. However, he himself has been caught up in the straw donor scam along with the state auditor, not to mention the Democrat Leader of the Oklahoma Senate, Mike Morgan.

It’s time for an independent state investigation. It’s time for Governor Henry to show leadership and name a special prosecutor. We need someone to investigate these crimes and stop those who are abusing our state and our citizens. Sadly, political corruption has been a part of our past hundred years. It need not be tolerated in our future.

Related

BUBBAWORLD dot NET:Big Week for Gene Stipe”

OK GOP E-News: Week of 6-4-07

June 4, 2007

Well one thing we can say about new/old OKGOP Chairman Gary Jones, the weekly email has gotten a hell of a lot better. We actually look forward to receiving it now. Before, it was about as entertaining as watchng paint dry! The commentary is more insightful and this week, Jones even adds a little humor.

Gene “Bosshog” Stipe Legacy Keeps Growing

The federal investigation into Gene Stipe and his alleged corruption in SE Oklahoma just keeps growing, with Senate Co-President Pro-Tem Mike Morgan now coming under fire.

A Sunday story by the Oklahoman shows some Oklahoma colleges used non-traditional private financing to build housing projects, and students at several Oklahoma colleges are paying higher housing costs because of it.

Morgan, who’s a Stillwater attorney, was paid more than $230,000 as the acting attorney on some of the projects…all in his Senate district. Reporters Tony Thornton and Randy Ellis also report that huge sums were paid to a title company co-owned by—you guessed it—former State Senator Gene Stipe.

The shady funding method, called off-balance-sheet or no-recourse financing, results in higher interest rates and higher fees paid to underwriters, banks and various attorneys, because the schools bypass competitive-bidding to streamline construction projects. The Oklahoman confirmed that the schools’ financing method is drawing FBI scrutiny.

We’ve made the point here before that the arrogance of power, the corruption that follows and the unquenchable thirst to spend taxpayer dollars has been the trademark of Oklahoma Democrats during their time in the majority, and it’s the mark Stipe has left on the Democratic Party.

With Mike Morgan term-limited, it is uncertain if he will simply slip off into the shadows or if these charges will be pursued further. What is more clear however, is that this cloud of corruption may damage Morgan’s popularity in his own Senate district and could hurt the Democratic nominee who will look to replace Morgan next November.

Governor, Legislative Leaders Announce State Budget Agreement

May 16, 2007

Oklahoma City – One day after the enactment of a bipartisan tax relief package, legislative leaders and the governor on Tuesday announced the outlines of a $7.1 billion state budget agreement that speeds up tax cuts for working Oklahomans, boosts teacher pay and includes important funds for critical state services such as public safety and state prisons.

“This budget agreement is the result of hard work and bipartisan cooperation, and I thank legislative leaders of both parties for finding consensus on important issues. It hasn’t always been an easy process, but lawmakers ultimately came together to do significant things for Oklahoma, such as strengthening higher education, establishing a state bioenergy center and increasing teacher pay. This bipartisan budget addresses a number of other priorities, as well as ensuring tax relief. In all, it marks a win-win for Oklahoma,” stated Governor Brad Henry

“We said very early on that the hallmark of this legislative session would be fiscal restraint and restored accountability from government. This is the first time ever in the history of our state that a Legislature cut government spending when there was the opportunity to spend more,” said Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah. “We delivered a responsible state budget that makes record investments in core services while putting in place reforms that make clear we expect in return quality performance and results. At the same time, we have achieved real tax relief for Oklahoma’s working families – the very people whose productivity has helped fuel our economic growth. Important reforms include taking a first step toward a merit-based pay system for Oklahoma teachers and motivating our OHLAP scholars to earn better grades while in college. And for the first time, we will take a major step toward fixing our state’s prison problem by conducting a top-to-bottom review of the Department of Corrections.”

“This budget agreement focuses on protecting middle class families and provides a fiscally-responsible framework for Oklahoma’s future by opening the door to educational opportunities for the next generation. It includes important funding to keep tuition increases to a minimum at our colleges and universities and establishes a permanent funding source to ensure the long-term stability of the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship Program,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater.

“This fiscally-responsible agreement builds on the bipartisan budget and tax relief plan passed by the Legislature earlier this session, and represents a common sense compromise that Oklahomans can all be proud of – especially the tax cuts for working families and the long-term fix for the Teacher Retirement System,” stated Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “The Senate’s power-sharing agreement has resulted in a spirit of cooperation in the Legislature’s upper chamber, and this bipartisanship is evident in today’s agreement. The stage is now set for an orderly and on-time adjournment of the 2007 legislative session.”

Leaders Send Letter to Henry

April 2, 2007

Dear Governor Henry,

Thank you for your letter inviting us to discuss the Fiscal Year 2008 budget. Before such a meeting is scheduled, please provide us with a copy of your comprehensive, detailed alternative to the Legislature’s bipartisan budget plan. We look forward to meeting with you once we have received your alternative proposal and compared it to the Legislature’s bipartisan budget plan. The bipartisan budget in HB 1234 has been open to the public for two weeks. We presume your alternative plan will be similarly open and detailed.

The budget adopted by the Legislature through HB 1234 is a constitutionally-mandated balanced budget based on revised revenue estimates adopted by the Board of Equalization in February. Inasmuch as your Executive Budget was prepared using revenue estimates that are no longer valid, we would like to see your alternative plan reflecting the revised revenue estimates.

Sincerely,

Mike Morgan
Senate President Pro Tempore

Glenn Coffee
Senate Co-President Pro Tempore

Lance Cargill
Speaker of the House

Freedmen Descendants Hold Rally, March

March 28, 2007

Oklahoma Black Caucus lends support to movement to get Freedmen back on Cherokee rolls

By Jaclyn Houghton
CNHI News Service

Vicki Baker never used the benefits of being a member of the Cherokee Nation – health care, education and discounted car tags.

But a March 3 vote to oust those who cannot trace lineage to one member on the Cherokee Nation’s base roll, known as the Dawes Roll, is personal.

“They keep yelling ‘sovereignty, sovereignty.’ It has nothing to do with sovereignty,” said Baker, of Chelsea, Okla. “It has to do with the treaty.”

Baker’s great-great-grandmother was an eighth Cherokee and was switched to the Freedmen rolls, which mainly consisted of former tribal-held slaves. She was not a slave.

Several legislative members of Oklahoma’s Black Caucus joined the fight Tuesday to overturn the Cherokee Nation’s recent vote, and also joined members of the Descendants of Freedmen Association to protest a fundraiser for Cherokee Principal Chief Chad Smith.

Several state elected officials including Gov. Brad Henry, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, State Treasurer Scott Meacham, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett, Commissioner of Insurance Kim Holland and Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan were expected to host the fundraiser. Read more…