Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Archive for Oklahoma Politics – Page 28

About our open records battle with the Governor’s Office (Updated)

Back in December, we announced that we were taking a ride on the Mary Fallin Open Records Bandwagon. We, like other media organizations, simply wanted to view emails (a.k.a. public information) from the Governor’s office that would shed some light on Mary Fallin’s decision to not accept federal healthcare funding; emails the Governor’s office refused to release.

In my post, I highlighted five reasons why we filed the request. These were the final three:

3. “Wait a second. You all don’t even claim to be ‘real’ journalists. Why are you  doing all this?” Because someone has to. Some of the larger media outlets in our state, especially ones with conservative agendas like the Oklahoman and News 9, probably have too much to lose by taking on the Governor’s office in the courts. For smaller outlets, suing the Governor’s office to release the information may be cost prohibitive. Since we have a) nothing to lose and b) the legal backing of the ACLU, we’re the ideal outlet for this type of action.

4. Hopefully, though, it doesn’t get to that point. Once again, if any of our requests are denied, we’re taking this to the courts. And according to just about every lawyer or media law expert out there, we’re likely going to win. The Governor’s office can save everyone a bunch of time and hassle by releasing the records.

5. Like that’s going to happen. Logic and reason have never been Mary Fallin’s strong point.

Since that post was published, a lot of people have asked me for an update. “Have you got the records yet?” “Are you going to sue her?” “Has your hair turned pink?” Unless I was speaking to a drunk girl at the bar, I couldn’t really tell them anything. And if it was a drunk girl, I’d just lie about sneaking into the Governor’s Mansion and breaking into the open records vault like a spy and dodging laser beams and all that stuff. That’s because there was really nothing to report. We were getting the runaround. Dealing with the Governor on this thing has been more frustrating than collecting Fantasy Football money. We’d call. They’d say it would be a few weeks. We’d call. They’d send us to voicemail, etc. It was like they were hoping we’d forget the whole thing.

Well, we haven’t. In fact, we’re almost to the point of taking legal action. Here’s a press release that was issued yesterday by our legal team at the Oklahoma ACLU. They’ve done a lot of work on this and have guided us through this complicated and tiring process. Plus, they’ve actually found the Governor’s office to be in violation of other areas of open records law:

Mary Fallin gave a speech at Harvard and is apparently a 2016 presidential candidate…

fallin open toe shoes governors association

Mary Fallin delivered a speech at Harvard last night. Yes, THE Harvard University. Not Harvard on May or that road in Tulsa. The prestigious American university that’s produced eight presidents, 21 US supreme court justices and the Winklevoss twins.

The speech wasn’t publicized. In fact, the local media didn’t report it until yesterday afternoon. From The Tulsa World via the AP:

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is heading to Boston to deliver the keynote address at Harvard University’s conference on education and workforce development.

Fallin will be among the speakers Monday during the conference titled “Creating Pathways to Prosperity.”

The governor says she plans to focus on recent education reforms in Oklahoma and the strength of the state’s career and technology centers.

The Creating Pathways to Prosperity conference features national business, government and education leaders.

At first I was going to question why we’re just now hearing about this, but I guess you can’t blame the Governor’s handlers for keeping the trip secret. For one, Mary Fallin takes a lot of flack for her travel schedule. And two, they probably find the entire idea to be just as ridiculous and silly as we do. Mary Fallin and Harvard go together like cats and dogs, oil and vinegar, and KFOR and award winning journalism. To make it even better, she apparently talked about the “strengths” of Oklahoma’s “career and technology centers.” Basically, our Governor flew to Harvard to promote vo-techs (and probably tour Fenway Park and other touristy things). That’s very fitting and very sad.

Also, when did Mary Fallin become a national expert on “Creating Pathways to Prosperity?” Her biggest accomplishment since becoming Governor is blocking healthcare funding for the poor. Hell, she hasn’t even been able to lower state income taxes for the rich. It seems like the only thing Mary Fallin knows about prosperity is marrying an eccentric dentist and/or wealthy workmans comp attorney. Also, can she share with us some of the education reforms that have worked out so well? Don’t we rank in the bottom half of everything? I’d like to hear about them.

Anyway, I tried to dig up more information about her speech but my Google search came up dry. I did, however, stumble across this list of 16 women who might run for president in 2016. Mary Fallin was one of them:

Via the Huffington Post:

The Oklahoma Legislature wants to use welfare money to promote traditional marriage…

TW Shannon Family

See that picture? No, it’s not cheesy clip art of an African-American household for a banking ad. It’s actually Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon and his family. If he looks happy in that picture, well, he should be. He has a hot wife, cute kids and nice sweaters. He also gets to prance around while wearing shoes with no socks. What a joy that must be. I’m conscious and self-aware, so I’d feel like a disgusting tool doing something unsanitary like that, but it would be fun to do it for a day and not worry about people judging and mocking you.

Anyway, T.W. thinks all people should be happy and married like he at least pretends to be. He’s introduced legislation that would take money away from welfare entitlement programs and fund a pro-marriage public service campaign instead.

Via News 9:

Senator Clark Jolley and a screwball doctor want to take away your birth control pills

800px-Opened_Oral_Birth_Control

Oklahoma ladies, you’re whoring days are coming to a close. And those days where you could actually control your body, career, and economic situation? They’re ending as well. It’s time to live up to your destiny, you know. Stop suppressing who you were meant to be. Give up your birth control pills. You’ve had your fun but now Senator Clark Jolley wants you to know that a friend of his thinks it’s poison so it’s totally not okay to take it. Yes, you read that correctly. A politician knows an irrelevant dude who makes false claims regarding women’s health, a variation on a popular theme.

From the Tulsa World:

Surprise: Lawmakers who receive $12,000 from tobacco lobbyists like to help protect the tobacco industry

senatorrobjohnson

The guy pictured above with the Affliction shirt and velvet sports jacket is not some dork trying to fit in at Rok Bar or Twin Peaks on a Friday Night. It’s actually State Senator Rob Johnson (R – Yukon). Since 2006, he’s received nearly $12,000 from tobacco lobbyists. That’s more than any other Oklahoma elected official. Knowing that, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that Senator Smokey helped kill legislation that would have given Oklahoma cities and towns the right to enact their own anti-tobacco laws.

Via the Tulsa World:

A Senate panel killed a bill Monday that would allow cities and towns to pass ordinances more stringent than state laws governing tobacco use.

Opponents of Senate Bill 36 said they were reluctant to tell local businesses what they could and could not do.

“This is not about local control,” said Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Yukon. “It is about infringing on business people’s rights.”

 

First of all, let me clarify two things:

1. Yes, this legislation could have possibly infringed on business people’s rights to allow toxic, cancer-causing smoke to be inhaled and consumed on their premises. Crazy, huh? Hopefully Senator Johnson can protect us from over-reaching asbestos regulations, too.

2. Senator Johnson does probably try to get into Rok Bar or Twin Peaks on a Friday Night. Just look at that trying too hard loser. I bet he still watches MTV. He looks like his middle name is Roofie.

Anyway, the decision by Johnson, who once again received $12,000 from the tobacco lobby, to kill the legislation is so backwards that even Mary Fallin’s against it. She is leading an effort to get the law put on the ballot as a state question. Check out what her spokesman Alex Weintz said: