It's All Politics
2:06 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Republicans Face Off Over Strategy For Picking Candidates

Karl Rove and the big donors behind his Crossroads superPAC have formed a new group, the Conservative Victory Project, to vet and recruit Republican Senate candidates.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Republicans have a steep hill to climb if they want to take control of the Senate next year. The GOP would need to pick up six seats in 2014.

There are plenty of open seats and vulnerable Democrats up for re-election, but Republicans are debating the best way to win.

Last year's Senate results were disappointing for the GOP: The party ended up losing a number of seats it thought were winnable — and now it's trying to figure out what to do differently next year.

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Sweetness And Light
12:53 am
Wed March 13, 2013

School Bands Should Not Be Entertainment Adjunct For Sports

A marching band performs at halftime on the field during a high school football game.
Jani Bryson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Several years ago I gave a speech in which I mentioned that athletes tended to be the only college students who were awarded scholarships for what is an extracurricular activity.

Afterward, Myles Brand, the late president of the NCAA, told me I was wrong, that many music extracurricular scholarships were awarded at colleges.

Brand and I seldom agreed on much of anything, but I've always found him to be a gentleman. So, I expressed surprise at this claim.

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State Capitol
8:00 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

State Revenue Drops Below Expected Figures

Credit Tddy's

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's secretary of finance says state income tax refunds and a drop in natural gas production reduced general revenue fund receipts last month.

Secretary of Finance and Revenue Preston Doerflinger said Tuesday that collections totaled about $255 million in February. That's almost $29 million below collections in February 2012 and $20 million lower than the official estimate upon which this year's budget is based.

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State Capitol
7:46 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Making It Private: State Workers' Compensation

Post operative x-ray of a laminoplasty.
Credit neckandback / Flickr

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation to privatize the state's nonprofit workers' compensation agency.

The Senate passed the measure Tuesday by a vote of 36-11. It heads to the House, where a similar bill is pending.

The bill by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman of Sapulpa would convert CompSource Oklahoma from a state entity to a private company owned by its policyholders. Supporters say a state agency should not by competing with private insurers.

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State Capitol
7:08 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Native American Museum Fate Remains Uncertain

The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum remains unfinished in Oklahoma City.
Credit American Indian Cultural Center and Museum

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation that would transfer management of the unfinished American Indian Museum from the museum's board to another agency.

The Senate voted 26-20 for the measure Tuesday and sent it to the state House for consideration.

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Corrections
6:52 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Prison Worker Pay Hike Fails

Credit Kenny Breedlove / Flickr

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A bill to provide a 5 percent pay increase for Oklahoma's prison workers has stalled in a House committee.

The House Calendar Committee on Tuesday tabled the bill by Darcoma Republican Rep. Jeff Hickman. Aside from a 5 percent pay hike for all prison workers, the bill would have boosted the starting pay for correctional officers from $11.83 per hour to $14 per hour. It would have cost about $12.2 million annually and was the top request by the Department of Corrections for additional funding.

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Crime
6:32 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

First Oklahoma Execution of 2013

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma executes man for 1999 death of Tulsa-area woman that began 3-state killing spree.

State Capitol
6:20 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Abortion Restriction Bill Passes House

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A pair of bills that make it more difficult for girls younger than 18 to have an abortion without notifying their parents have easily cleared the Oklahoma House.

The House on Tuesday approved the bills that would limit the ability of teenage girls to have a judge allow them to get an abortion without parental consent.

The first bill by Democratic Rep. Rebecca Hamilton of Oklahoma City would require parental notification in all cases, except for medical emergencies or if the girl was a victim of sexual or physical abuse by a parent. It passed 80-12.

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It's All Politics
5:48 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Ryan's Budget Plan Leaves Obamacare Taxes Alone

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:23 pm

As he has said many times in recent years, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is no fan of President Obama's health care law. The Republican repeated his view again Tuesday as he laid out the House Republicans' proposed budget:

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Crime
5:32 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Anadarko Tech Company Busted for Gambling Software

Credit Frank Bonilla / Flickr

ANADARKO, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma technology company owner accused of supplying illegal gaming software to outlets in Florida has been arrested in connection with a multistate gambling scheme.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office says 37-year-old Chase Egan Burns appeared in Caddo County District Court Tuesday as a fugitive from Florida. He's charged in Florida with racketeering, conspiracy and multiple counts of the sale or possession of slot machines, conducting a lottery and keeping a gambling house.

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