Sunday, January 13, 2019

Guthrie & OKC Play 'Capture the Flag'

  The story was that Oklahoma's first post-territorial governor stole the state seal in the dead of night, drove from Guthrie to Oklahoma City, stashed the seal under his hotel bed and collapsed from exhaustion.
  The temporary Capitol was in Guthrie, OK. But the plan for a permanent Capitol Building brought with it a fight between the republicans in the West, and the Democrats in the East. they originally sought to create 2 states (Oklahoma & Sequoyah), but Roosevelt didn't want another Democrat state(Sequoyah), so he supported a 1-state solution and hoped the Western republicans would prevail.

The New Jerusalem 

   William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray proposed buying a township for the capital. He proposed selling lots around the capitol building and said the chosen place should have "good drainage and a picturesque grandeur. " This and similar plans became known as the "new Jerusalem" approach to the capital - creating an entirely new city on the prairie with construction of the Capitol funded by the platting and selling of lots.

  On Nov. 3, 1908, an election was held on a state question calling for the acquisition of a capital site and the selling of lots to finance construction of the Capitol. Although more voters than not approved the measure, it did not pass by the necessary majority.

  Oklahoma City sent out trainloads of boosters to canvass the state on June 5. The following Saturday, 160,000 voters - all of them male - went to the polls. Oklahoma City won handily. Guthrie was second and Shawnee a distant third.

Capture The Flag

  Legends surround the removal of the seal in 1910, and the truth - not nearly as colorful - has been washed by the passage of time.  So nobody really knows exactly how Oklahoma City became the state capital a bit earlier, shall we say, than expected.  Dirty laundry is how one source says it happened. Dirty tricks is how Guthrie partisans saw it.

Stolen Seal Finds Home

  The trip north had actually taken longer because of a flat tire at Seward. Back in Oklahoma City by 7 a.m., Anthony met Gov. Haskell, who arrived that Sunday morning by train from his home in Muskogee.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Land Run

  The famous Land Run of 1889 was itself a form of fraud, as were later runs. The original Indian removal promised land to the Indians "in perpetuity." But the runs, in opening the territory to large-scale settlement by whites, effectively scuttled the basic idea of Indian Territory as Indian land. White settlers were delighted, and the runs have been widely celebrated. Yet for the Indians the runs meant that whites were again breaking solemn promises made to them.

  Fraud also occurred in the practices of Texas cattlemen who drove their herds across the Indian Territory on the way to market. They were supposed to get the permission of the Indians and pay them fair value. But the Indians lived in tribal communities and knew little about private property and market value. The resulting transactions were apt to be to the disadvantage of the Indian landowners.
 Harry Holloway, of the Oklahoma Historical Society said.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Scandalous Behavior: Trail Of Tears

  Political corruption is not easily defined. The legal definition is clear but unsatisfactory, because the press often refers to ill-defined scandals that cannot be completely ignored. Therefore, it is better to use a broad definition encompassing scandalous behavior by officials who abuse the public trust for reasons not only of personal gain, but also for other reasons that may have serious negative consequences for public affairs. At the outset it merits mention that Oklahoma does not rank as the most corrupt of states. That dubious distinction typically goes to Louisiana. Still, Oklahoma has had outstanding cases of scandal reaching into the highest levels of state government, including the state's Supreme Court and the chief executive.
  As for the historical record, Oklahoma began as Indian Territory in the early 1800s, and much of the nineteenth century was laced with fraud perpetuated against American Indians. The infamous Trail of Tears of the 1830s began in a scheme by federal officials to transfer Indians from their tribal holdings on the east coast, which white settlers sought, to what was then a distant western wilderness. Removal of the Indians was supposed to be voluntary. But voluntary compliance broke down, and officials resorted to force. The resulting forced march by the Indians through winter weather killed men, women, and children by the thousands. This abuse of the public trust by officials surely ranks as one of the most shameful chapters in both national and state history.
 Harry Holloway, of the Oklahoma Historical Society said;

Sunday, December 30, 2018

At Least We're Not Louisiana

Harry Holloway, of the Oklahoma Historical Society said;

In retrospect, several points stand out. The first is that Oklahoma does not deserve a reputation as the most corrupt of states, since Louisiana typically stands out as most deserving of that designation. Second, the state has known some spectacular cases of corruption reaching into the Supreme Court, the governorship, the House speakership, and the whole system of county commissioner government. Third, again and again it has been federal officials who attacked corruption and forced reform. Fourth, there have been some notable recent exceptions to the primacy of federal intervention, one being the case of Gov. David Walters and the other being the school bond scam. Fifth is that in both instances of state action, investigative reporting by the Daily Oklahoman deserves credit as a significant counterweight to the limitations of state and local officials.

The Tulsa World wanted to say;

Dishonorable mention: For those who are counting, we've already listed dozens, but here's one more for good measure. Some will be remembered for improprieties that caused a big to-do at the time but did not result in more than embarrassment. Oklahoma gained some notoriety during a U.S. House check-writing scandal in the early 1990s when representatives were accused of bouncing checks on the House bank. Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards was named as one of the worst offenders with 386 overdrafts. Edwards received a letter, he said, in 1992 informing him that no wrongdoing was found in his case. But voters booted him out of office in 1992. After leaving office, Edwards taught for many years at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Senator Ralph Shortey Resigns Amid Charges of Drugs & Solicitation Of A Teen Boy

  Senator Ralph Shortey had been a strong proponent of a 'get tough' criminal justice policy. In fact, when the voters of Oklahoma passed a referendum to reduce simple drug possession from a felony, to a misdemeanor, Shortey led the charge to convince the legislature to nullify that act during the 2017 session. That endeavor failed in a dramatic way.
  With spring break approaching, Ralph was approached by a teen male whom he had developed a relationship. Shortey had been volunteering at  a local youth program, in Moore, OK; and had many such contacts. The boy wanted some spending money and Ralph texted back, inquiring if he was open to "sex stuff".

  The text was intercepted by the boy's girlfriend, who alerted the boy's parents. They found Senator Shortey and the boy at a local hotel, and police eventually convinced Shortey to come out.  Police reports indicate that the room's air was strong with the stench of marijuana smoke.
  Multiple charges were filed within days and the Senate revoked all of Shortey's privileges.
Shortey resigned his seat and began preparations for a criminal trial.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Dan Kirby Resigns Amid Sex Scandals

Fourkiller & Kirby pose with the woman
who ended Kirby's political career.
In the final days of the Jeff Hickman speakership, A payout was made to settle a sexual harassment complaint. the item was discovered by media outlets and the matter turned into a major sex scandal & multiple investigations.
When it was over, Rep. Dan Kirby (R-Tulsa) had resigned to avoid a first-ever expulsion vote. Rep. Will Fourkiller (D-Tahlequah) had been ordered to stay away from minor female pages.
The sexual harassment complaint came from a young woman legislative assistant who had been reassigned to Kirby when she was rumored to be having an affair with her previous assignment, Randy Grau. Rep Grau left the legislature and averted a divorce with his wife.
  But it was a 2nd legislative assistant who provided the most damning evidence. She provided evidence of a pattern of Kirby's pressure toward her, to provide sexually explicit sexting photos of herself. She further described how Kirby provided strippers for the assistant, at a nude dance hall.
  Fourkiller was repremanded for his inappropriate conduct with minor girls who were assigned to the state legislature, as an educational program.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Dan Sullivan Disgrace & Golden Hammock

The Red Dirt Report shared the following..
During an interview With OKC radio host, Scott Mitchell; Randy Terrill talked about “reprehensible conduct” taking place at the capitol involving House members having sex with staffers and House members working on the House floor while drinking vodka and impaired voting.
“More than half-a-dozen members partake of a drink in late night sessions. Some have come back impaired after a late dinner – something that is specifically prohibited by House rules. Those found guilty of habitual drunkenness can be impeached,” noted Terrill. “How about House members? Our majority floor leader Dan Sullivan who had sex, an extra-marital affair with his chief judiciary staffer, his chief attorney when he was chair of the judiciary committee before he became the majority floor leader and then subsequently arranged for her to have a job, ultimately on the state payroll regulating insurance companies.”
Terrill would later confirm with Red Dirt Report that the staffer who allegedly benefitted was a Tulsa attorney named Melanie Pouncey. Pouncey, explained Terrill, was chief legal counsel to the judiciary committee when Sullivan was chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Terrill said Sullivan then moved off the Judiciary Committee and became chair of the Economic Development Committee, all the while he was allegedly having the affair.
Dan Sullivan and Janet Sullivan have since divorced and he is now reportedly married to Pouncey, who had become pregnant. After the House leadership caught wind of Sullivan’s behavior, then-Speaker Chris Benge made sure that fraternization with a staff member was a big no-no. So, technically, Sullivan didn’t break any rules and the story was never picked up by the media.
Eventually, Speaker Kris Steele & his team were leveraged out of power. Dan Sullivan sought an opening to lead the Grand River Dam Authority, and was eventually named to that post. He spent the next several years in that cushy appointment.
Read more, here..