To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, October 19, 2020

New Observercast

Money Talks

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BY ARNOLD HAMILTON

When I covered the Texas Legislature years ago, a state Senate staffer delighted in passing out cigars that bore a wrapper-slogan truism of the legislative process:

Money Talks and Bulls— Walks.

It’s still true that big money greases the lawmaking wheels. Today’s case in point: The House approved on a 92-1 vote and sent to the governor a measure [SB 313] that extends existing gross production tax rebates/exemptions until 2012.

Over the last five years, producers have collected $339 million in exemptions or rebates from the gross production tax, according to the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Coupled with $720 million in ill-advised tax cuts, it’s easy to see why Oklahoma lawmakers had to rely on federal stimulus dollars to bailout the state’s most essential services – including education – in the just-approved budget.

How bad will it be next year without Uncle Sam’s pot of gold?

The sad fact is, the vast majority of state lawmakers never met a corporate welfare scheme they wouldn’t embrace, no matter its impact on funding of essential state services.

Will we ever hear a serious public discussion about corporate goodies vs. government essentials [i.e. necessities]?

If you’re curious what kind of money is floating around the legislative process, former state Rep. Wanda Jo Stapleton offers insight. She has reviewed Oklahoma Ethics Commission reports to tally up – as one example – Chesapeake Energy’s contributions [$660,990] to sitting legislators.

Here’s what she found:

CHESAPEAKE
TO SITTING
LEGISLATORS
AS OF 12-31-2008
Legislator Date Title Amount
Tom Adelson 06/05/2007 Senator 1,000
Cliff Aldridge 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
Cliff Aldridge 07/13/2006 Senator 4,000
PatrickAnderson 09/22/2004 Senator 1,000
PatrickAnderson 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
PatrickAnderson 06/11/2007 Senator 4,000
Don Armes 01/27/2003 Rep 500
Don Armes 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Don Armes 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Don Armes 08/22/2008 Rep 500
John Auffet 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
John Auffet 07/13/2006 Rep 1,000
John Auffet 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
Dennis Bailey 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Gary Banz 08/25/2004 Rep 500
Gary Banz 06/03/2005 Rep 1,000
Gary Banz 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Don Barrington 11/14/2005 Senator 1,000
Don Barrington 05/30/2007 Senator 5,000
Randy Bass 07/16/2004 Senator 1,500
Randy Bass 02/02/2005 Senator 3,500
Randy Bass 08/02/2006 Senator 1,500
Chris Benge 06/07/2002 Rep 500
Chris Benge 08/21/2002 Rep 500
Chris Benge 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Chris Benge 07/29/2005 Rep 2,500
Chris Benge 07/13/2006 Rep 5,000 $5000 returned 8-10-06
Chris Benge 08/15/2006 Rep 2,500
Chris Benge 06/20/2008 Rep 5,000
Lisa Billy 04/19/2005 Rep 1,000
Lisa Billy 09/18/2008 Rep 5,000
Brian Bingman 08/30/2004 Senator 1,000
Brian Bingman 10/15/2005 Senator 1,000
Brian Bingman 12/20/2005 Senator 4,000
Brian Bingman 02/02/2006 Senator 5,000 $1,000 returned 4/13/06
Brian Bingman 01/18/2008 Senator 1,000
Gus Blackwell 01/27/2003 Rep 500
Gus Blackwell 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Gus Blackwell 04/19/2005 Rep 1,000
Gus Blackwell 01/28/2008 Rep 5,000
Cliff Branan 08/20/2002 Senator 1,000
Cliff Branan 05/28/2003 Senator 1,000
Cliff Branan 02/17/2005 Senator 4,000
Cliff Branan 09/07/2005 Senator 5,000 2006 campaign
Nsp ad for Branan 10/31/2006 Senator 5,240 last-minute report
Neil Brannon 02/02/2005 Rep 250
Randy Brogdon 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
Mike Brown 01/24/2005 Rep 250
Sean Burrage 01/13/2006 Senator 5,000
Ed Cannaday 10/20/2006 Rep 1,000
John Carey 08/30/2004 Rep 500
John Carey 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
John Carey 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Mike Christian 12/11/2008 Rep 2,500
Harry Coates 04/05/2005 Senator 5,000
Glenn Coffee 10/03/2002 Senator 5,000
Glenn Coffee 03/02/2005 Senator 5,000
Wallace Collins 01/11/2008 Rep 500
Wallace Collins 09/18/2008 Rep 2,000
Ann Coody 04/19/2005 Rep 1,000
Ann Coody 09/05/2006 Rep 1,000
Ann Coody 10/25/2007 Rep 1,000
M.Cooksey 08/02/2004 Rep 1,000
M.Cooksey 04/19/2005 Rep 1,000
M. Cooksey 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
M. Cooksey 09/26/2008 Rep 1,500
Kenneth Corn 08/15/2002 Senator 1,000
Kenneth Corn 02/21/2005 Senator 2,500
Doug Cox 11/09/2005 Rep 1,000
Doug Cox 09/18/2008 Rep 5,000
Brian Crain 09/08/2004 Senator 1,000
Brian Crain 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000 ck reported lost on 12/31/06 — sic
Brian Crain 05/30/2007 Senator 5,000
J.Crutchfield 02/08/2002 Senator 1,000
J.Crutchfield 07/18/2002 Senator 4,000
J.Crutchfield 02/08/2005 Senator 5,000
David Dank 10/20/2006 Rep 500
David Dank 09/12/2006 Rep 1,000
David Dank 09/18/2008 Rep 4,500
Lee Denny 07/16/2004 Rep 1,000
Lee Denny 04/19/2005 Rep 1,000
Lee Denny 06/21/2005 Rep 1,000
Lee Denny 10/20/2006 Rep 3,000
Lee Denny 09/18/2008 Rep 5,000
David Derby 10/20/2006 Rep 1,000
David Derby 01/11/2008 Rep 1,000
David Derby 07/11/2008 Rep 1,000
David Derby 07/24/2008 Rep 3,000
Dale Dewitt 01/24/2006 Rep 2,500
Joe Dorman 09/27/2002 Rep 500
Joe Dorman 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Joe Dorman 08/12/2005 Rep 1,000
Joe Dorman 10/20/2006 Rep 2,000
Joe Dorman 08/24/2007 Rep 1,000 for 2006
Rex Duncan 06/28/2005 Rep 1,000
Rex for House 09/07/2007 Rep 1,000 for 2006
Rex for House 09/18/2008 Rep 1,500
Mary Easley 08/21/2002 Senator 1,000
Mary Easley 12/06/2002 Senator 500
Mary Easley 02/11/2004 Senator 1,000
Mary Easley 01/11/2005 Senator 4,000
Mary Easley 10/12/2006 Senator 1,000
Jerry Ellis 09/26/2008 Senator 1,000
John Enns 10/20/2006 Rep 2,000
John Enns 06/30/2008 Rep 2,500
George Faught 01/11/2008 Rep 1,000
John Ford 08/02/2004 Senator 1,000
John Ford 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
John Ford 05/30/2007 Senator 5,000
Earl Garrison 08/30/2004 Senator 1,000
Earl Garrison 04/05/2005 Senator 2,500
Earl Garrison 01/24/2006 Senator 2,500
Earl Garrison 01/11/2008 Senator 2,500
Larry Glenn 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
J.Paul Gumm 07/18/2002 Senator 1,000
J.Paul Gumm 08/23/2002 Senator 1,000
J.Paul Gumm 02/23/2004 Senator 1,000
J.Paul Gumm 02/08/2005 Senator 4,000
J.Paul Gumm 01/23/2006 Senator 1,000
Jim Halligan 09/18/2008 Senator 5,000
Terry Harrison 12/19/2003 Rep 1,000
Terry Harrison 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Terry Harrison 01/11/2008 Rep 2,500
Jeffrey Hickman 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Jeffrey Hickman 09/26/2008 Rep 2,500
Wes Hilliard 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Wes Hilliard 10/15/2005 Rep 1,000
Wes Hilliard 01/11/2008 Rep 1,000
Chuck Hoskin 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Scott Inman 06/30/2008 Rep 2,500
Tom Ivester 12/13/2006 Senator 5,000
Mike Jackson 09/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Mike Jackson 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Mike Jackson 10/20/2006 Rep 1,000
Mike Jackson 12/17/2007 Rep 2,500
Shane Jett 08/25/2004 Rep 500
Shane Jett 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Shane Jett 09/26/2008 Rep 2,500
Dennis Johnson 07/13/2006 Rep 5,000
Dennis Johnson 10/03/2007 Rep 1,000
Dennis Johnson 10/17/2007 Rep 1,000
Mike Johnson 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
Clark Jolley 08/02/2004 Senator 1,000
Clark Jolley 8/2/04 (sic) Senator 4,000
Clark Jolley 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
Clark Jolley 06/11/2007 Senator 4,000
Tad Jones 07/22/2002 Rep 1,000
Tad Jones 07/27/2004 Rep 1,500
Tad Jones 10/15/2005 Rep 1,000
Tad Jones 12/17/2007 Rep 2,500
Fred Jordan 10/20/2006 Rep 2,500
Fred Jordan 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
Charlie Joyner 10/20/2006 Rep 1,000
Charlie Joyner 01/11/2008 Rep 500
Ron Justice 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
Ron Justice 05/30/2007 Senator 5,000
Sally Kern 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Sally Kern 06/21/2005 Rep 1,000
Sally Kern 09/18/2008 Rep 1,000
Charles Key 10/20/2006 Rep 1,000
Charles Key 09/18/2008 Rep 1,000
Ryan Kiesel 01/24/2005 Rep 250
Ryan Kiesel 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Ryan Kiesel 10/20/2006 Rep 1,000
Ryan Kiesel 07/07/2008 Rep 1,000
Dan Kirby 09/26/2008 Rep 5,000
Steve Kouplen 09/26/2008 Rep 5,000
Todd Lamb 05/18/2004 Senator 1,000
Todd Lamb 08/30/2004 Senator 1,000
Todd Lamb 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
Todd Lamb 05/30/2007 Senator 5,000 returned $4,000 4th qtr 2007
Lucky Lamons 09/27/2002 Rep 1,000
Lucky Lamons 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Lucky Lamons 07/11/2005 Rep 2,500
Lucky Lamons 07/12/2007 Rep 5,000 for 2008
Charlie Laster 01/28/2003 Senator 5,000
Charlie Laster 07/16/2004 Senator 2,500
Charlie Laster 01/11/2008 Senator 1,000
Debbie Leftwich 11/18/2003 Senator 1,000
Debbie Leftwich 03/16/2005 Senator 2,500
Debbie Leftwich 01/24/2006 Senator 2,500
R.Lerblance 05/01/2003 Senator 1,000
R.Lerblance 05/28/2003 Senator 1,000
R.Lerblance 01/24/2006 Senator 3,500
R.Lerblance 12/05/2007 Senator 5,000
GuyLiebmann 04/07/2004 Rep 250
GuyLiebmann 08/30/2004 Rep 750
GuyLiebmann 11/14/2005 Rep 1,000
GuyLiebmann 12/17/2007 Rep 2,500
Ken Luttrell 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Bryce Marlatt 06/13/2008 Senator 5,000
Scott Martin 07/13/2006 Rep 5,000
Scott Martin 09/19/2007 Rep 1,000 for 2008
Scott Martin 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
Scott Martin 09/18/2008 Rep 3,000
Steve Martin 04/19/2005 Rep 1,000
Steve Martin 10/20/2006 Rep 1,500
Steve Martin 09/26/2008 Rep 1,500
Mike Mazzei 08/23/2004 Senator 2,000
Mike Mazzei 10/15/2005 Senator 1,000
Mike Mazzei 06/11/2007 Senator 4,000
Al McAffrey 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Mark McCullough 01/11/2008 Rep 500
Mark McCullough 09/18/2008 Rep 2,000
Jeannie McDaniel 01/24/2005 Rep 250
Jeannie McDaniel 11/14/2005 Rep 1,000
Jeannie McDaniel 10/05/2006 Rep 1,000
Jeannie McDaniel 01/11/2008 Rep 500
Jeannie McDaniel 09/26/2008 Rep 1,500
Randy McDaniel 11/14/2005 Rep 1,000
Randy McDaniel 10/20/2006 Rep 4,000
Randy McDaniel 01/11/2008 Rep 1,000
Randy McDaniel 09/26/2008 Rep 1,500
Judy McIntyre 09/27/2002 Senator 500
Judy McIntyre 07/16/2004 Senator 2,500
Judy McIntyre 09/26/2008 Senator 1,000
Ryan McMullen 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Ryan McMullen 10/20/2006 Rep 1,000 returned 11/21/06
Skye McNiel 07/13/2006 Rep 5,000
Skye McNiel 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
Skye McNiel 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Jerry McPeak 01/24/2005 Rep 250
Jerry McPeak 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Jerry McPeak 01/18/2008 Rep 500
Jerry McPeak 01/24/2008 Rep 500
Jerry McPeak 09/26/2008 Rep 1,500
Ken Miller 09/28/2004 Rep 1,000
Ken Miller 02/04/2005 Rep 4,000
Ken Miller 01/12/2006 Rep 1,000 Returned 5/17/06
Ken Miller 11/02/2007 Rep 5,000
Lewis Moore 08/22/2008 Rep 5,000
Danny Morgan 12/18/2002 Rep 1,000
Danny Morgan 08/30/2004 Rep 2,000
Danny Morgan 09/02/2005 Rep 500
Danny Morgan 01/24/2006 Rep 2,500
Danny Morgan 10/20/2006 Rep 2,000
Danny Morgan 12/17/2007 Rep 3,000
RichardMorrissette 01/11/2008 Rep 500
David Myers 06/07/2005 Senator 500
David Myers 11/14/2005 Senator 1,000
Bill Nations 09/27/2002 Rep 1,000
Bill Nations 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Jason Nelson 09/18/2008 Rep 5,000
Dan Newberry 12/30/2008 Senator 2,500
JonathanNichols 07/16/2004 Senator 2,500
JonathanNichols 08/23/2004 Senator 2,500
JonathanNichols 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
JonathanNichols 05/23/2006 Senator 1,000
JonathanNichols 06/11/2007 Senator 3,000
Leslie Osborn 09/18/2008 Rep 5,000
Pat Ownbey 09/26/2008 Rep 5,000
Susan Paddack 08/02/2004 Senator 1,000
Susan Paddack 08/21/2004 Senator 1,000
Susan Paddack 08/27/2004 Senator 3,000
Susan Paddack 11/21/2005 Senator 5,000
Ron Peters 08/21/2002 Rep 1,000
Ron Peters 09/24/2003 Rep 1,000
Ron Peters 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Ron Peters 10/15/2005 Rep 1,000
Ron Peters 08/13/2007 Rep 1,000 for 2008
Pam Peterson 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Pam Peterson 03/16/2005 Rep 1,000
Pam Peterson 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Pam Peterson 01/11/2008 Rep 500
Anastasia Pittman 01/11/2008 Rep 1,000
Anastasia Pittman 09/18/2008 Rep 1,500
Eric Proctor 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
R.C. Pruett 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Brian Renegar 10/20/2006 Rep 500
Jim Reynolds 09/08/2003 Senator 1,000
Jim Reynolds 07/16/2004 Senator 1,500
Jim Reynolds 08/23/2004 Senator 3,500
Jim Reynolds 01/24/2006 Senator 1,000
Jim Reynolds 06/11/2007 Senator 4,000
Mike Reynolds 01/27/2003 Rep 500
Mike Reynolds 09/08/2003 Rep 1,000
Mike Reynolds 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Mike Reynolds 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Mike Reynolds 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
Andrew Rice 12/13/2006 Senator 5,000
Phil Richardson 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Phil Richardson 04/19/2005 Rep 1,000
Phil Richardson 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
Mike Ritze 09/18/2008 Rep 5,000
Paul Roan 08/15/2002 Rep 1,000
Paul Roan 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Paul Roan 01/24/2005 Rep 250
Paul Roan 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Paul Roan 10/20/2006 Rep 750
Paul Roan 01/11/2008 Rep 500
WadeRousselot 07/11/2005 Rep 1,000
WadeRousselot 01/11/2008 Rep 500
Steve Russell 06/13/2008 Senator 5,000
Mike Sanders 06/13/2008 Rep 5,000
Mike Schulz 11/01/2006 Senator 1,000
Colby Schwartz 10/20/2006 Rep 2,500
Colby Schwartz 08/08/2007 Rep 1,000 for 2008
Seneca Scott 09/26/2008 Rep 5,000
Earl Sears 07/13/2006 Rep 1,000
Earl Sears 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
T.W.Shannon 01/16/2006 Rep 5,000
T.W.Shannon 09/13/2007 Rep 1,000 for 2008
T.W.Shannon 09/10/2008 Rep 3,000
T.W.Shannon 09/18/2008 Rep 1,000
Mike Shelton 08/10/2004 Rep 500
Mike Shelton 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Ben Sherrer 11/14/2005 Rep 1,000
Ben Sherrer 11/06/2007 Rep 1,000
Jerry Shoemake 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Jerry Shoemake 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Jerry Shoemake 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Jabar Shumate 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Jabar Shumate 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Glen Smithson 01/24/2005 Rep 250
Glen Smithson 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Gary Stanislawski 09/18/2008 Senator 5,000
Kris Steele 03/17/2003 Rep 5,000
Kris Steele 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Kris Steele 01/24/2005 Rep 1,000
Kris Steele 01/24/2006 Rep 2,500
Kris Steele 09/26/2008 Rep 2,500
Daniel Sullivan 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
Daniel Sullivan 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Daniel Sullivan 01/11/2008 Rep 1,000
Joe Sweeden 08/17/2002 Senator 1,000
Joe Sweeden 08/30/2004 Senator 500
Joe Sweeden 11/14/2005 Senator 1,000
Joe Sweeden 01/12/2006 Senator 5,000
Anthony Sykes 10/09/2006 Senator 5,000
Randy Terrill 08/12/2004 Rep 500
Randy Terrill 09/30/2004 Rep 500
Randy Terrill 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Randy Terrill 10/20/2006 Rep 4,000
Todd Thomsen 08/02/2006 Rep 5,000
Todd Thomsen 09/13/2007 Rep 1,000 for 2008
Todd Thomsen 08/22/2008 Rep 4,000
MikeThompson 08/30/2004 Rep 1,000
MikeThompson 04/27/2005 Rep 1,000
Mike Thompson 11/06/2007 Rep 5,000
Sue Tibbs 07/16/2004 Rep 1,000
Sue Tibbs 09/23/2004 Rep 4,000
Sue Tibbs 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Sue Tibbs 10/20/2006 Rep 1,500
Sue Tibbs 02/03/2008 Rep 1,000
Sue Tibbs 09/18/2008 Rep 4,000
J.Trebilcock 01/27/2003 Rep 500
J.Trebilcock 10/15/2005 Rep 1,000
J.Trebilcock 06/30/2008 Rep 2,500
Purcy Walker 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Purcy Walker 01/24/2005 Rep 250
Purcy Walker 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Purcy Walker 12/17/2007 Rep 1,000
Purcy Walker 09/26/2008 Rep 1,000
Purcy Walker 08/22/2008 Rep 1,500
Weldon Watson 02/20/2006 Rep 1,000
Weldon Watson 12/17/2007 Rep 2,500
Paul Wesselhoft 08/30/2004 Rep 500
Paul Wesselhoft 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
Paul Wesselhoft 08/28/2007 Rep 500 for 2006
Cory Williams 12/11/2008 Rep 2,500
Jim Wilson 08/30/2004 Senator 1,000
Harold Wright 07/22/2008 Rep 1,000
Harold Wright 09/18/2008 Rep 4,000
John Wright 01/24/2006 Rep 1,000
John Wright 01/11/2008 Rep 1,000
Charles Wyrick 04/06/2005 Senator 2,500
Charles Wyrick 01/11/2008 Senator 1,000
Total 12-31-2008 $660,990
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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.