Cal’s Corner: Senate Leader Trashes Tradition to Defy Sen. Hicks

Ah, to be a senator today in Oklahoma, especially of the Republican brand.

They total 39 — all powerful members of a cozy, conservative club chosen by the proletariat to make policy decisions both large and small; to also write a multi-billion dollar annual budget; and, among other things, to carefully consider the qualifications of hundreds of their constituents nominated by Gov. Kevin Stitt for service on important boards, commissions and agencies.

Mind numbing responsibilities indeed, for mere mortals, and all must be accomplished in a compressed four-month period, while also answering mail, phone calls, texts and being available for endless rubber chicken dinners, receptions, events, votes and even cattle calls back in their districts that sometimes include real cattle to be milked, eaten or purchased…probably with lobbyists’ money.

Busy, busy, busy. But above all, when you are an esteemed and preening senator, the rules, traditions, decorum, courtesies and precedents of that august body must be observed, honored and cherished at all times — except, apparently, when it would be inconvenient to do so. Especially for the man selected by his colleagues to enforce them.

That’s right. Rule maker, rule keeper, score keeper, decorum decorator and precedent pooh bah Pro Tempore Greg Treat has opted for expediency, over generations of senatorial courtesy that historically glorifies the upper body above the rabble rousing, hot and empty heads posited in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. As embarrassing as the Oklahoma Senate may occasionally be  — think Ralph ‘wanna get to know me better’ Shortey or Paul ‘The Prankster’ Scott — it usually can count on the philanders, fools, cutups and clowns in the lower body to keep it off page-one or not serve as the lead on the 6 p.m. news.

So, just what high crime or misdemeanor has Tricky Treat committed against one of his colleagues, who happens to be not only a freshman member but a woman as well?

Democratic Sen. Carri Hicks refused to confirm two of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s appointments to the State Board of Education. She does so based on her well-known philosophical differences with them. Normally, usually, ACTUALLY ALWAYS IN RECORDED HISTORY — that is the end of the story — and Stitt, therefore, SHOULD SUBMIT TWO OTHER PERSONS that can be confirmed courtesy of a different senator who represents them. However, no alternative substitutes have been proffered. Apparently it matters not a whit to Stitt that Hicks has been the most cooperative of all 48 senators, having confirmed for him 14 other residents from her northwest Oklahoma City district to important positions in his executive branch.

But, as you may have heard, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Therefore, in an ornate senate conference room, one of the most cherished and important of treasured traditions will soon be trashed by Garbage Man Greg as HE moves the nominations of Hick’s constituents. Temper tantrum throwing Treat will be thoughtlessly aided and abetted by memory-deficient and spineless elephants, who will gladly trample on the rights of a defenseless donkey. Simultaneously, seasoned capitol observers, pundits, lobbyists, staffers and agency heads will rightly know nothings for what they really are – empty suits, skirts or slacks, enjoying the perks and pleasantries of being called ‘Senator’ when in fact they are anything but.

There are only two things of value at the capitol. They are: (1) Your word and (2) Knowledge.

As for Treat on the first count, his is worthless, since he promised Sen. Hicks they would meet to discuss the nominees. No such discussion has occurred. As to Leader Treat’s clear disregard for upper chamber tradition, his behavior is disgusting and embarrassing for the hundreds who proceeded him in the once-hallowed halls, offices and chamber of the senate over the preceding 112 years.

And finally, I recognize some readers are thinking “who cares?” Well, you should. If Treat will treat one of his colleagues like this — in public, before rolling cameras, while watched by scores of ashamed but silent citizens — imagine what he does daily, behind closed doors to you, you and yes, even you?

It’s even worse than that.

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30 Responses

  1. You tell them, Calvin. It’s about time someone did, after all the BULLSTITT!

  2. I, for one, have no inkling, iota, or consciousness of the intended subject matter located herein. When the efficacious quality of ones argument is lost in the wilderness of overt verbosity… that can be hypothesised to border on machinations of the egotistical… one must —and it cannot be stressed enough— remember that a quality of wit does, indeed, carry with it the burden of brevity itself. But I digress. What is a rubber chicken dinner?

    1. Thank you Dude. Hope the following is responsive to your thoughtful inquiries.

      (1) Webster’s definition of a ‘rubber chicken dinner’: Something to be avoided even more than STDs.

      (2) Webster’s definition of the ‘burden of brevity itself’: To cut shor…….

      (3 Webster’s definition of the ‘intended subject matter located herein’: Screw job by most powerful politician in the capitol, by name Treat, directed at one of the politically weakest, by name Hicks, after she had cooperated fully on 99% of what the other powerful politician, by name Stitt, had requested of her.

      (4) Her new motto is: No good deeds by me have gone unpunished by them.

      (5) Moral of the story: It will take awhile but what goes around comes around.

      1. Still bringing it, Cal. Thanks.

  3. Sounds like Treat is taking plays from the Newt Gingrich,Tom Delay dirty tricks manifesto.

    1. And let’s not forget Mitch McConnell, current dirtiest trickster in the nation.

      1. Mitch is just carrying water for the CFSG.

        Senate decorum, rules and oaths of office have become a laughingstock in Washington and Oklahoma legislatures.

        Note; democrats were never perfect when in charge, just never to the extremes we see now. It’s an all out power = money grab. To quote Trump when faced with questioning about the ballooning Federal deficit which will really explode in the mid 2020’5. “I won’t be here”. Don’t give me the “fake news” shit; it’s on multiple sources. He said it. Same for voting rights, climate change, healthcare. Get yours before all the “invading brown rapists and murderers” steal your sweet jobs in migrant agriculture and slaughterhouses.

    2. I guess in this case the real memo comes from The State Policy Network via: The Guardian::

  4. Question – Since we are incensed over points of decorum here; what, traditionally, have been grounds for denial? I would assume that the #1 question posed by the Sen. Hicks should be, “are they qualified”? In this case the obvious answer is yes. Also, since Sen. Hicks is member of the opposition party, a differing of opinion on policy would be a logical assumption. As far as I can tell, the only problem Sen. Hicks has with the nominees is that she doesn’t like their position on charter schools and vouchers. I believe it’s worth noting that State Board of Education really has no part in crafting school policy (although admittedly their position might carry some weight in a debate), only enforcing policy passed by the legislature. So, in theory, the Gov. could allow Sen. Hicks to pick the nominees herself, and unless they legislature passed and the Gov. signed legislation to alter policy, it would make no difference. So it would seem that the Sen. is simply jousting at windmills, in attempt to make a political point.
    As we were once all lectured so eloquently – “Elections have consequences.” – Barack Obama

    1. And this next one will have a bunch. Hope the feds have plenty of open cells for the Dumps & cronies!!

      1. Suggest you take a look at Oklahoma History prior to 2004. The Dems ran the state for nearly 100 yrs, many of those with near unanimity in both houses. During that time they wrote the book on graft, corruption and cronyism. I suggest you google such names as Jim Barker, David Walters, David Hall, John Rogers, Mike Morgan and of course, the godfather of McAlester, Gene Stipe. Then there’s the largest public corruption case in US history, the Oklahoma County Commissioner Scandal, 230 convictions, nearly all Dems.

        1. So since Dems were corrupt for a century, it’s the GOP’s turn, according to Von H.

        2. Well said. The democrats hold no moral high ground. Crocodile tears Cal?

    2. Sure, elections have consequences, Cal’s point: do we throw out all traditions and norms for political expediency? As past Pres Pro Tempore, he speaks from personal knowledge.

      1. And you seemed to skip over the vast majority of the post to focus on the last line. Is Sen. Hicks conforming to past traditions & norms in her objection or is it simply a case of, “yeah, I don’t like them because they support vouchers and charters”? A valid question.

        1. You site two good reasons. Wow, you defeated your own argument. Twice!

          So why troll here and not head back to Al Gerhart’s place or back to your Koch Bros cublice?

    3. Dear vonH,

      The tradition has always been, for at least the last 70 plus years, that without the support of the senator who represents the nominee the nomination of said person is dead, end of story.

      It is important because if you carry Treat’s behavior to the extreme he would be the only senator to clear/approve/carry every nomination and, conversely, he could stop every nomination. The simple point I was trying to make is a larger one……….absolute power corrupts absolutely and that is why what Treat will do tomorrow morning in the Education Committee is easy to ignore in the short run but destructive of democracy in the long run. If that’s OK with you von, fine but it is not with me.

  5. Cal is as pure as the wind driven snow!

  6. Cal is from the time a few elected officials actually read the US and State Constitution and understood and followed them. We had several good people in times past. Cal, Opio Toure, Mike Synar, Bernest Cain, Dick Wilkerson, Hannah Atkins — and even some good republicans like Henry Belmon and Dewey Bartlett. I see our new gov. as just another trump clone. State and Federal governments cannot be run like private companies but they will never be convinced of that.

    Hang in there, Cal. You should run for old Jim Inhofe’s seat when he lands that plane for the final time on the wrong runway.

    1. Man, I always liked Bernest. More than that, I always respected him. Good listener.

  7. Yep, Cal is as pure as the wind driven snow.

    1. Yeah, and I’ll just add the Nancy Pelosi is the only official in the Feds that represents the popular vote.

      It doesn’t belong here but has the virtue of being true.

    2. according to Cal

    3. Hi Mike, Nope not pure just driven to see our state get out of the bottom 10 in everything and at least into the top 30 in some things, now apparently Governor Stitt’s new magic number which COULD be obtained in health care if he would extract head and accept medicaid expansion money, a 9 to 1 match. Every beginner or wanna be business person understands that bargain. Why can’t he if he’s so damn smart? Answer: Because the dummies running our legislature are all Coburn clones and he, Stitt, is minus a spine when it comes to standing up to them. Further proof is he will sign SB1 the giveaway to Pro Temp Treat and if you don’t know what that legislation does… should.

  8. I hate to say I told ya so but…..

  9. The voters of the Sooner state decided they would rather have a crooked businessman as governor as opposed to a crooked politician. Go figure.

    1. High five! You nailed it!

  10. You forgot to add Bryce” I want to kiss you all over ” Marlatt to the growing list of former legislators gone wrong.

  11. I don’t like these nominees and I don’t care for our senate right now, but I can’t agree with the article. You seem to argue that a single senator should have veto power over any nominee from their district.

    1. Hi Matt. Look at it the other way. When Treat determined to take from Hicks the traditional power of nomination authority in effect only one senator, the Pro Tempore, has approval or veto power over ALL nominations, hundreds of them, if he chooses to.

      However, each individual senator, when turning down a governor’s nominee who lives in his/her district, has to live with the political consequences of doing that internally in the district.

      You make a good point but if the tradition of the senate that has stood since statehood is going to be trashed perhaps senate rules should be amended to reflect it. Thanks.

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