Is banning gifts from lobbyists and lobbyist employers to Oklahoma legislators and state officials a good thing?
Lobbyists have said buying meals for legislators gives them a chance to develop relationships and to have some time talk about bills or issues.
But are some legislators abusing the process? Meals paid for by lobbyists according to their reports filed with the state Ethics Commission seem reasonable, costing between $5 to $35. But lobbyists also have reported spending anywhere from $80 to more than $200 for a dinner for a legislator.…
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Whatever you do, don’t buy any off ebay right now. They’re not even available and won’t be until sometime in January. You can get some info here.
Oklahoma’s two senators are Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe; you can call either of them to get on the list. The House members are Reps. Mary Fallin, Tom Cole, Dan Boren, John Sullivan and Frank Lucas.…
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Gov. Brad Henry says he won’t be trading in a business suit for judicial robes anytime soon.
Since the governor endorsed Barack Obama for president in April, it’s been speculated Henry may be trying to get some type of federal post if the U.S. senator from Illinois won the White House.
And when Henry accepted Obama’s invitation to watch election returns with him Tuesday night in Chicago, that speculation increased.
Henry on Thursday said he never talked with Obama about any post.…
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House Republican leader John Boehner came out today for Rep. Tom Cole’s opponent in the race to run the House GOP campaign committee.
Cole, R-Moore, is running for a second term in the leadership post. He spent much of his time dealing with financial problems he inherited from past election cycles, including a mountain of debt. After retiring that debt, he faced a tough political environment for Republicans nationwide and may see his efforts result in the loss of more than 20 seats.…
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President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of Chicago-area Congressman Rahm Emanuel may be good news for the natural gas industry, which has been promoting expanded use of the cleaner-burning fuel.
Emanuel co-sponsored legislation with Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, this year to use tax credits and mandates to get more natural gas vehicles on the road.
A powerful House Democratic leader, Emanuel included the natural gas provisions in a broad energy bill that passed the House in September. The bill didn’t get through the Senate.…
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Attorney General Drew Edmondson is sounding more like a gubernaorial candidate now that U.S. Rep. Dan Boren has announced he won’t be running for governor two years from now.
“Dan Boren would have been a formidable candidate and would make an excellent governor,” said Edmondson, who’s up for re-election in 2010.
“I’m pleased that he is continuing his valuable service in Congress,” Edmondson said.
Boren is the only Democrat among Oklahoma’s seven-member delegation (five House members and two senators) and “his influence is going to be dramatic” in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, Edmondson said.…
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Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, said in an interview today that he plans to seek another term as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
That’s the organization that works to get Republicans elected to the House. Cole won the job after the 2006 elections, when Democrats routed Republicans and took control of the House.
Expected to turn things around immediately, Cole was the subject of some withering criticism (much of it made anonymously) and palace intrigue when Republicans lost special elections in districts long held by the GOP.…
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President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. Tom Coburn were elected to the U.S. Senate at the same time, in 2004.
At the orientation meetings for incoming senators, Coburn and Obama befriended each other and, not long after, wound up working together on some legislation, including a bill to give taxpayers access on the Internet to certain categories of government spending.
Obama even mentioned Coburn in one of the debates and in televised conversation with an evangelical leader.
Here is what Sen.…
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“No matter which candidate or party won or lost a particular race, we must remember that we are all Americans and Oklahomans first,” Henry said in a statement he issued from Chicago, where he was invited by the winner of Tuesday’s presidential election, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, to watch election returns.
“We face difficult challenges ahead, and it is imperative that we work together to address those challenges and ensure the future prosperity of our state and country,” Henry said.…
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Rep. Tom Cole, the Moore Republican who is in charge of the Republican congressional campaign committee, just told reporters on a conference call that he doesn’t expect the GOP to lose as many seats as the worst-case scenarios projected. The losses won’t be in the high 20s or low 30s, he said.
“I don’t see the losses as catastrophic, let alone irreversible,” he said, adding that he thinks the worst days are behind his party.
He said he expects the Republicans, who lost the White House and seats in the House and Senate on Tuesday, will be “a loyal but principled opposition” in Washington.…
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