Archive for the ‘V. Burns Hargis’ Category

OSU Employee Phone Policy Violates Open Records Law, Experts Say

April 17, 2008

Hargis uses his private BlackBerry to conduct university business, but he says the related text messages, e-mails and numbers dialed are not records open to the public.

However, advocates for government openness, along with a judge and attorneys general in other states, say records of public business should be open, regardless of whether the device that the created the record is privately owned.

Hargis said he elected not to receive reimbursement for his cell phone though his job requires him to be available 24 hours a day, making him eligible for a university-financed phone. Thus, records of his cell phone are not open to the public, university attorneys say.

Hargis’ phone is not the only cellular device outside of the scope of public inspection, according to OSU policy. The same holds true for the 493 employee cell phones on record at the human resource department, as well as an unknown number of other employee phones not documented at that office. Read more…

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 3): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Regarding Dirty Harry’s Notes

April 10, 2008

“One client is adamant that they want the guest worker -visiting worker -program as an option to raise immediate revenue.”

“We need to put our stuff in a bill with a friendly bill author.”

“If you need me to write any materials for you to use on this issue, please let me know.”

-Lobbyist Vickie Rankin

Click here to read entire emails.

“We can ‘play nice’ for a short while but we will soon have to decide if we wish to continue this tactic or just ‘go-for-broke’ and turn the Senate upside down. If Coffee does not change his attitude about this, that’s exactly what will have to be done. I don’t know what else we can use for leverage if all else fails. He is going to look really silly if he continues to fight with Tom.

“I think we have to just bring everyone in and say “folks, this is what’s coming down the tracks and it won’t be possible for you to just sit on the fence any longer.”

-Sen “Dirty Harry” Coates

“Well, this is a lot of fun, sort of.” – Lobbyist Otie Ann Fried

Click here to read entire emails


More insight for OKPNS readers today into the minds of the of the anti-1804 cabal, also known as “the gang who couldn’t shred straight.”

Out latest offering from the tip line provides more insight into the precise strategy of the anti-1804 campaign, and demonstrates just how deceptive the effort has been. Taken as a whole, it is clear to see that the so-called 1804 education effort, advanced by the pompous and self-important Chesapeake employee Tom Price, was nothing more than a bluff aimed at HB 1804 author Randy Terrill. Instead, the documents show that delaying implementation of some aspects of HB 1804 is where the anti-1804 campaign had placed all their eggs, as demonstrated by our revelations about the March 30th Flashpoint program.

More examination reveals some of the leading players in the inept and deceptive repeal campaign, and hand-written notes level some petty and nasty comments about other players in the failing effort. Lobbyist Jamie Longacre, who represents Spirit Bank CEO Kell Kelly, a very public 1804 foe, is seen to emerge as a major architect of the delay tactics.

Further, the documents reveal the recent Oklahoma Banker’s Association study, presented as an independent gauge of the alleged harm to the Oklahoma economy, was rather a public relations stunt staged in coordination with the anti-1804 campaign.

The notations in the margins provide much comic relief. For instance, the state chamber of commerce is ripped by the writer, who types “if they had done their job last year we wouldn’t be in this fight. Enough said”. The author then appears to misspell the word ‘looser” in the margin next to chamber boss Dick Rush’s name. Several other hand-written notes regarding the chamber appear all across the strategy document.

The author holds others out for contempt in varying degrees in typed and hand-written notes, including lobbyists and some organizations such as the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. But the most interesting aspect of this particular document is the attention given to Senate Co Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee. At one point the document’s author writes, “go to Glenn….see what it takes,” apparently in reference to Coffee. Later, the writer notes that Coffee is against delaying full implementation of 1804, and begins to script a campaign plan.

Other interesting items in typewritten text:

“The other question that comes to mind is whether I go to Glenn to see what his intentions are. If he plans to move forward with ‘English Only’ and will not commit to supporting the effective date delay and Task Force, then more drastic measure[s] may be considered. That will cause a real ‘fire-storm’ but if all else fails, I don’t see too many other options.”

Next, an examination of the handwriting just below that paragraph: “Glenn does not want to delay implementation.” Then, in the handwriting, the strategy and message are identified, which centers on using release of the banker’s study as leverage for a delay and subsequently a phony ‘task force.’

For those not reeling from the hilarious and inept planning musings, comic relief is just around the corner when you examine the comments about the state chamber, Agriculture Commissioner Terry Peach (“he said he will get out front on this”); the governor (“He needs to take a stand on something of substance, this is the right issue”); the Indian Affairs Commission (“it amazes me that they keep quiet on this when they were treated so poorly by the “first immigrants”). Further, the writer pens some unflattering remarks from what appears to be Dirty Harry include Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins (“not want to rock the boat”),

The writer also implicates more co-conspirators: including the Regents for Higher Education, (“Burns Hargis … is in agreement with our effort”), and state treasurer Scott Meacham (“Amy Sparks who is the Chief of Staff offered her help last week”).

Another e-mail exchange between Dirty Harry and lobbyist Jami Longacre clearly shows that Longacre is in charge of coordinating the messages.

Today’s latest post also shows more coordination of strategy and messages with lobbyist Vicki Rankin and healthcare advisors, lobbyist Otie Ann Fried and a senate staff mole, Lewis LeNaire.

One item we’ve uncovered discloses the existence of television commercials, which the anti-1804 group had scheduled to begin on April 2nd or 3rd.

But perhaps most disgusting is Dirty Harry’s comment about his fellow Republican, Coffee. “We can ‘play nice’ for a short while but we will soon have to decide if we wish to continue this tactic or just ‘go-for-broke’ and turn the Senate upside down. If Coffee does not change his attitude about this, that’s exactly what will have to be done. I don’t know what else we can use for leverage if all else fails. He is going to look really silly if he continues to fight with Tom.”

Unfortunately for the gang that couldn’t shred straight, there is someone looking silly, and it isn’t Senator Coffee. Clearly, the inept and treacherous gang of incompetents that constitutes the anti-1804 repeal gang didn’t take the original Dirty Harry’s advice, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”


AP: Missing e-mails lead to Senate Probe

Mike “Follow the Money” McCarville:
Harry Coates: Senate Investigation Underway Into Disappearance Of File From His Office (3 Posts in one day! Glad you could make it Mike!)

Mark Shannon:

“Interesting to note, TOM PRICE was never identified as Sr. VP for Chesapeake at any time during the show, according to a report on the OKPNS….Seems to me to be just another attempt to try and demonize the millions of Oklahomans who support 1804 and are glad to see the ILLEGALS forced out of the state, and the businesses who hire illegals held accountable for supporting them while they are here.” Read more…

EXCLUSIVE: Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Ambush Planned for Rep. Terrill

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 2): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Is Sen. Coates Working for the People or Chesapeake Energy?

EXCLUSIVE (Pt 2): Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Is Sen. Coates Working for the People or Chesapeake Energy?

April 9, 2008

Since billion dollar Chesapeake Energy Company is too cheap to hire Americans and would rather hire unskilled – and probably illegal – workers from Mexico, we suggest the above cost effective shredder for their future document destruction needs. And it’s American made!

With all the time Sen. Coates is putting in to the scheme to repeal 1804, we wonder what time does he have to address his constituents concerns?

Below are a few choice excerpts from the Coate’s email. We’re sure after reading our story today, a few of these folks will be leaving Sen. Coates off their Christmas card lists this year.

Sen. Harry Coates (R) Sell Out

Indian Affairs Commission“It amazes me they keep quiet on this when they were treated so poorly by the first immigrants!”

Regents for Higher Education – “Have discussed it with Burns Hargis and he is in agreement with our effort, don’t know if he would go on record though.”

Treasurer’s Office –“Amy Sparks who is chief of staff offered to help.”

State Chamber – “If they [Dick Rush or Mike Seney] had done their job last year, we would not be in this fight, enough said.”

Secretary of State – I have heard she [Susan Savage] is support (sic) but that may be as far as it goes, may not take a public position.

Governor’s Office –“[Brad Henry] needs to take a stand on something of substance, this is the right issue.”

Click here to read entire email.

There’s little wonder why Oklahomans are turning to the OKPNS tipline to pull back the cloak of deceit surrounding the campaign to repeal Oklahoma’s immigration reform law: OKPNS has time and time again been the only organization with the guts to take on the powerful and corrupt. And time after time the Oklahoma media has ignored the evidence presented by OKPNS.

Now, OKPNS is revealing the blueprints of the campaign, the players, the research and those engaging in outright deception, and we’d like to help the Oklahoma media as well. If you’re in the Oklahoma media, we’ll post a special section for journalists so they can peruse the findings of our special report. With today’s revelations, the media can ignore the truth no more and we’re glad to help the weak and vacillating Oklahoma media grow up!


EXCLUSIVE: Candid Emails Reveal Depths of 1804 Repeal Conspiracy; Ambush Planned for Rep. Terrill

Crutchfield and Johnson Successfully Make OK Higher Ed a "Gun Free Zone": Burns Hargis and Boren Rejoice!

April 1, 2008

Law enforcement in Oklahoma recently interrupted (alleged) plans for a gruesome massacre on Rogers State University. While attorneys for Tywone Dion Parks argue his Constitutional First Amendment “free speech” rights to threaten to cut off and freeze a woman’s head, kill another man and shoot eight people, students accross Oklahoma were lobbying legislators for their Constitutional Second Amendment rights to defend themselves.

That won’t be necessary, however, because together with the presidents of OU and OSU, educators across the state say their campuses are a “culture of safety,” and there is no need for guns there. They have successfully convinced Senators Mike Johnson (R-Kingfisher) and Johnnie Crutchfield (D-Ardmore)to shelve the bill that the House recently passed – before the senate had an opportunity to vote on it.

Some recently pointed out that we have students who are active military and veterans who have G.I. weapons and government training in how to use them; there are other students who have taken time to attend classes to obtain concealed-carry permits. Why SHOULDN’T those students be allowed to use their weapons and skills to protect themselves and other students in case someone like Tywone Dion Parks actually follows through with his (alleged) plans?

Because, say V.Burns Hargis and David Boren:

University of Oklahoma President David Boren said the bill would hurt recruiting of students and faculty. He said it would pose a dilemma for police trying to determine if a person wielding a weapon is a “deranged gunman or someone who thinks he is doing good vigilante work.”

Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis said mass murderers [and military veterans] Timothy McVeigh and Charles Whitman would qualify to carry guns on campus under terms of the legislation.

McVeigh and Whitman were also not law-abiding citizens, and do not represent the majority of Oklahoma military veterans. This bill would not have made it legal for either McVeigh or Whitman to commit mass murder.

For those who agree with Oklahoma’s higher education elite that the mere presence of a gun in a classroom would distract teachers from teaching and students from learning, this is a happy day. The rest of us apparently need to be more creative in our thinking, so here’s a video from FoxNews to get us started.

Oklahoma Students Access to the Visual Arts By Randy McDaniel

March 25, 2008

…by OK Rep. Randy McDaniel

Oklahoma City – March 24, 2008 – The arts are a vital part of a well-rounded education and vibrant state. Oklahoma has enjoyed more than its fair share of creative and innovative artists. From worldwide singers and entertainers to outstanding visual artists, Oklahomans have dreamed big and been on the forefront of creativity.

The Oklahoma Creativity Project, headed by OSU President Burns Hargis, strives to make Oklahoma a recognized hub of creativity and ingenuity. I strongly endorse his efforts and want to contribute to the initiative.

Recently, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill I authored, House Bill 2699, which was named the “Traveling Arts Bill”. This bill provides Oklahoma students in schools that do not have existing visual arts programs access to the arts. As schools focus increasingly on teaching for the next standardized test, art and creativity have been pushed aside. In fact, in many schools with limited resources, art classes have been completely eliminated.

The Oklahoma Art Council is in charge of awarding grants to qualified organizations willing to travel the state and teach art in schools without full-time visual arts teachers.

Suzanne Tate, the new executive director of the Oklahoma Arts Council, said this bill is important for Oklahoma schools because it brings arts back into the classroom in a sustainable way, giving every student the opportunity to be exposed to it. She also added that art helps kids learn by opening up the world and exposing them to new cultures and new types of art. Many students are visual learners and art helps them with the learning process making it easier for them to achieve and do well in other academic areas like math and science.

Once all schools are able to offer quality art programs, teachers can also take advantage of the great educational opportunities found across the state. From City Arts, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art to the Philbrook and Gilcrease Museums, Oklahoma offers outstanding attractions that will enhance students’ art-educational experiences.

Oklahoma is also a host to many arts festivals, including the annual Oklahoma City Arts Festival held in April. This week-long festival provides students another opportunity to gain exposure to professional artists and all types of outstanding art, including sculpture, painting, photography, and pottery.

Arts education provides students an advantage as they begin to compete for jobs and careers in the 21st century economy. Art education helps enhance critical thinking skills and creativity. Thus, when students have access to the arts, it ignites their intellectual curiosity and development preparing them for our rapidly changing society.

See also: The OKPNS State of Creativity Archive

Correction: Burns Hargis Does NOT Support Bill Allowing Students to Defend Themselves

March 12, 2008

Last updated 3/12/08

Questions have arisen lately about why only criminals and former students who’ve gone off their meds should be allowed to carry guns on our University campuses. New Oklahoma State University president, V. Burns Hargis, does NOT think the law-abiding students should be able to defend themselves against an attack.

The Elizabeth Nichols, of the Daily O’Collegian, is reporting,

President Burns Hargis said he supports the Faculty Council’s vote Tuesday to send a resolution to the Oklahoma Legislature promoting “a culture of safety” and denouncing House Bill 2513, which would allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Although the bill would allow students to carry weapons, it does not allow faculty to carry them. Burns Hargis said, “That’ll give you real incentive not to fail anybody.”

The Tulsa World is reporting that some educators would like to amend the bill to include the right of faculty and staff to carry weapons.

V. Burns Hargis, OSU’s New President Today, $350K Salary

March 10, 2008

PhotobucketFormer board member V. Burns Hargis recently was successful in changing Oklahoma law to accomodate the desires of Oklahoma State University, so that he could start to work in March 2008 rather than July 2008.

Previous law, as Burns Hargis said, was in place to keep Boards from hiring themselves.

KSWO in Lawton writes:

Hargis will earn $350,000 plus a $20,000 automobile allowance each year under the contract approved Friday.

Hargis calls his new job both exciting and daunting, and says his first task will be to get acquainted with students, faculty and staff.

The Tulsa World explains that the contract is a three-year contract, and:

Regent Doug Burns said discussions are ongoing about a supplemental retirement plan for Hargis and that decision will be made by the board.

Hargis, who was hired for OSU from his job as vice chairman of the Bank of Oklahoma, said the salary is “plenty — it’s a very nice package.”

Regent Burns said, “After looking at what we’ve paid in the past, what’s paid throughout the Big 12 and after negotiation on the subject matter, this is a figure that both sides (the board and Hargis) deemed reasonable.”

V. Burns Hargis: "The purpose of the law is so that boards don’t hire themselves."

February 29, 2008

V. Burns Hargis and his supporters have been successful in changing Oklahoma law to facilitate expediency at Oklahoma State University. V. Burns Hargis was officially hired as the new president of OSU in December, but because he’d served as a regent at the school until he resigned to run for the office of president of the school, he had to wait a year from his board resignation date to begin serving as president.

New Oklahoma requirements, signed into law yesterday by Brad Henry shorten the wait time to six months, allowing Burns Hargis to start immediately, rather than waiting until July. Regarding the change in the law, Burns Hargis told the Oklahoman he thought the spirit of the law has been preserved:

…but I think it’s been made more practical. The purpose of the law is so that boards don’t hire themselves. reports that one of Burns Hargis’ “first priorities will be increasing private investment in the school in Stillwater.”

The Oklahoman also reports that one of Hargis’ “first duties will be spending time at the state Capitol talking with legislators,

‘…Because the majority of the money that OSU has to operate on, as well as any other higher institution, is state money. Obviously what happens here at the Capitol the next three months or so is critical to next year’s budget.’

“He also wants to beef up private donations, he said, as the state’s share of the university’s budget has decreased in recent years.”

V. Burns Hargis: "Creative" Solutions to Overcoming Legal Obstacles

February 22, 2008

HB 2297 which removes the restriction on colleges from hiring someone who has been on their board of regents in the last year, was approved by the OK House of Representative yesterday, and moves to the Senate.

If approved by the Senate, V. Burns Hargis may be able to get to work at OSU as its new president before July.

As part of his educational career, Burns Hargis has been very involved with the Oklahoma Creativity Project, which is a comprehensive approach to changing the thinking of Oklahomans:

Creativity is not merely the act of producing a creative work. Creativity is the language we use, the way we think, and our ability to solve the problems that need solving.

In the following video (click here or on the image below to view) on the State of Creativity Website, Burns Hargis explains how he is teaching his grandson about his hero, Theodore Roosevelt (leader of the progressive movement and the Progressive Party in the United States), and what Teddy Roosevelt stood for.

Burns Hargis May Not Wait until July

February 18, 2008

Updated 2/19/08.

House Bill 2297 would allow V. Burns Hargis to get to work right away instead of waiting until July. NewsOK reports:

State law prohibits a higher education regent from becoming president of an institution until the person has been off the board for a year. That means Hargis is unable to start as OSU president until July.

A committee amendment to House Bill 2297 reduces to six months the time a former regent hired by a university of college would have to wait to start employment.

The Daily O’Collegian reports that Benge, who sponsored the bill is enthusiastic:

House Speaker Chris Benge sponsored the amendment.

Benge, R-Tulsa, said if the committee’s response to the amendment is indicative of the House’s, the bill should pass easily.

“OSU has been without a president for so long that we feel like it’s important to get someone on board,” Benge said. “The president-elect, I know, is ready. We’re just trying to get him on board as soon as possible.”

His affiliation with one of the state’s major universities is helpful to one of Burns Hargis’ important projects, the participation in a world-wide endeavor known locally as the Oklahoma Creativity Project. Here is Burns Hargis discussing the project with The Oklahoman’s Ed Kelly: