Politics and Government

It's All Politics
5:59 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Showdown At The UT Corral

University of Texas, Austin President Bill Powers (center) speaks with the media following a December 2013 regents meeting in Austin.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:54 pm

Like any ugly, long-running confrontation between a husband and wife or next-door neighbors — or between anybody, really — it's hard to know exactly when the dispute between University of Texas President Bill Powers and Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry truly began.

But in the end, when the dust settled, one thing was clear: When powerful university presidents and powerful governors tangle, the politician usually ends up on top.

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Politics and Government
4:21 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Crumbling Capitol Needs Repairs To Start

Credit bungasagadue / Flickr.com

State officials say they will authorize preliminary design work for repairs to Oklahoma's nearly century-old state Capitol before millions of dollars in bond money authorized by the Legislature becomes available.

John Estus, spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said Monday that authorities are discussing using a few hundred thousand dollars in available construction funds to pay for an investigation of the building's exterior to determine what repairs are needed. The information would be required before the state requested bids on the project.

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All Tech Considered
12:16 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right) and Facebook lobbyist Joel Kaplan are part of the Internet Association, which filed comments in support of net neutrality Monday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:49 pm

It's not just comedian John Oliver coming out against cable companies to support net neutrality. The world's largest Internet companies — Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others — have officially chimed in, filing comments Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees Internet traffic.

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The Oklahoma Tornado Project
9:45 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Auditing the Storm: Disaster 4117 - The Long Road

The Moore Medical Center immediately after the May 2013 tornados.
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mark Hybers

In 2007, Oklahoma was blitzed by a series of deadly storms, including an ice storm in January that engulfed most of central and eastern Oklahoma and killed 32 people.

Nearly seven years later, three of those federally declared disasters remain on active status. A handful of projects and audits have yet to be completed.

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Race
5:37 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Why Did Black Voters Flee The Republican Party In The 1960s?

Barry Goldwater greets an Indianapolis crowd during a campaign tour in Oct. 1964.
AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:43 pm

If you'd walked into a gathering of older black folks 100 years ago, you'd have found that most of them would have been Republican.

Wait... what?

Yep. Republican. Party of Lincoln. Party of the Emancipation. Party that pushed not only black votes but black politicians during that post-bellum period known as Reconstruction.

Today, it's almost the exact opposite. That migration of black voters away from the GOP reached its last phase 50 years ago this week.

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Politics and Government
10:43 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Bridenstine Tours Immigrant Children's Shelter At Fort Sill

U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
Credit Congressman Jim Bridenstine / Facebook

As hundreds of immigrant children stay at a temporary shelter at the Fort Sill Army Post near Lawton, some Oklahoma leaders says they are concerned a broad agreement on the nation's immigration policy won't be reached this year.

Oklahoma's Fort Sill has become a temporary home for unaccompanied Central American children flowing into the country. The immediate crisis is prompting President Barack Obama to push for $3.7 billion in emergency funding, a request that has gotten a cool reception from Oklahoma's all-Republican delegation.

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cole says he doesn't see the current situation serving as an impetus for broader immigration reform and is joining a growing GOP call for faster deportation.

Representative Jim Bridenstine toured the Fort Sill temporary shelter on Saturday with Representative Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee.

Bridenstine said in a statement he was pleased with the care provided to the children but the influx of undocumented children was a result of President Obama’s immigration policies.

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Politics
8:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

What Will Become Of Obama's Request For Immigration Relief Funds?

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 12:09 pm

NPR's Arun Rath talks to political correspondent Mara Liasson about the chances of a political agreement over how to handle the migration of thousands of Central American children.

Business
4:19 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Congress' Latest Death Match Involves A Bank You've Never Heard Of

A worker stacks traffic safety poles at Pexco's manufacturing center in Fife, Wash. The small company ships products all over the world, with the help of federal insurance from the Export-Import Bank.
Drew Perine MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 12:39 pm

It sits in an imposing building just across Lafayette Square from the White House. Yet the Export-Import Bank, which has been offering credit to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods for 80 years, could start shutting down operations within a matter of weeks.

"There's about a 50-50 chance," says Dan Ikenson, who directs a trade policy center at the Cato Institute.

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Public Hearing August 15
6:52 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Ethics Commission To Consider Amendments To Rules That Take Effect In January 2015

Cathy Stocker, Chair of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission
Credit Oklahoma Ethics Commission

The Ethics Commission will consider a series of proposed amendments to its new rules during upcoming meetings that will be submitted to the Legislature for consideration in 2015. 

The commission held a series of public meetings in 2013 before submitting a completely rewritten version of its rules to the Legislature at the start of the 2014 session. Those rules were adopted when the Legislature did not take action to disapprove or amend them before adjourning sine die. These new rules, largely, do not take effect until Jan. 1, 2015, to allow the current election cycle to be completed under one consistent set of guidelines.

"I think we are going to need to consider some amendments to those rules to be considered in 2015," Ethics Commissioner Executive Director Lee Slater told the commissioners during their meeting Friday.

Slater said several specific issues had been brought to his attention, including the treatment of political parties, the commission's abilities to assess fees and possible punishments for those who commit mid-level rules infractions.

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Politics
6:38 am
Sat July 12, 2014

What Could $100 Million Buy You — Besides Campaign Ads In Kentucky?

Campaign spending in the Kentucky Senate race between GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes could reach $100 million.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 11:14 pm

For the amount of money that's expected to be spent in the Kentucky race for U.S. Senate this year, you could buy a bottle of the state's own Maker's Mark whiskey for nearly every man, woman and child in the state.

Some observers say the election could end up as the most expensive Senate race in history, with spending topping $100 million. And why wouldn't it be? It's at the heart of the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

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