Cleveland County Democrats open campaign office

The Cleveland County Democratic Party will launch its new office with a grand opening Tuesday. All area Democrats, candidates, elected office holders and state party officials are invited to the gathering from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 402 W Main in Norman.

"This will be a great opportunity for local Democrats to meet legislative, local and even statewide candidates," said Carter Merkle, chair of the county party.

"We felt it was important," Merkle added, "that the local party provide a central meeting place and a location for all candidates to distribute signs and literature."

Office hours currently run 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. Monday through Friday so that voters can drop in at their convenience to pick up information on the candidates and campaign materials.

The grand opening begins a series of party activities that include a booth at the Norman and Moore Independence Day celebrations and an ice cream social set for 6-9 p.m. July 13 in Andrews Park in Norman.

More information is available by calling 447-3366 or emailing

Meet the candidates at July 6 GOP lunch

Two GOP gubernatorial candidates will speak at the July 6 Cleveland County Republican Club luncheon.

State Representative Paul Wesselh?ft will be the emcee. Speakers will be U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook and Senator James Williamson. Also on the agenda is Howard G. Barnett candidate for State Treasurer., Wayne Maxwell candidate for State Senate Dist 16 and Scott Martin, candidate for State House Dist 46

The luncheon is 11:20 a.m. July 6 at Coach's Restaurant in downtown Norman. Cost is $12 which includes tax, tip and dues.

OEA endorses Hobson in Lt. Governor Race

The state's largest teachers' union has overwhelmingly voted to recommend Senator Cal Hobson for Lieutenant Governor.

The Oklahoma Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education (OEA FCPE) had to make their choice from many top-quality candidates in the 2006 primary.

"Senator Hobson has consistently been the voice of education in the state Senate," said Roy Bishop, OEA president. "He has never been afraid to stand up against legislation that is harmful to our teachers, students or education system."

H45 Democrats on lunch agenda

The Tyner Corn Bread and Beans will hear from the two Democrat candidates for House District 45 at its June 30 meeting at Step Brothers, 423 S. Webster.

Former Rep. Wallace Collins and Estelle Cash will be on the ballot July 25.

The beans will be served at 11:30 and speakers program will start at noon. The cost is $3.50 which includes beans and a drink. Guests can also order off the menu.

Wesselh?ft unveils Skunk-Master Award

A bill giving judges and statewide elected officials a huge pay raise has earned the ire of State Rep. Paul Wesselh?ft and become the first recipient of his newly formed Skunk-Master Awards for the worst (smelliest) legislation of the year.

Wesselh?ft, R-Oklahoma City, said House Bill 1155, by state Rep. Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, and state Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, D-Ardmore, is this year's Skunk-Master Award winner because, "it exhibits the pugnacious, stagnant smell of governmental greed."

The bill authorizes a 21-percent pay raise for all judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals, and District Court Judges, as well as all statewide elected office holders such as the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.

"In light of the Legislature's unwillingness to give state employees any more than a 5-percent pay increase, of which the legislature will only fund half, and its unwillingness to raise the minimum wage by a buck, my colleagues in the House nevertheless passed a bill that will fully fund a bloated pay increase for judges and elected officials," he said.

Terrill: County will receive disaster funds

House District 53 will receive more than $500,000 in disaster assistance funds as part of the state budget agreement, state Rep. Randy Terrill said recently.

Six entities, including the City of Moore and Cleveland County, will receive $550,735, mostly reimbursement for emergency services provided after tornados in 1999 and 2003.

"Last week, the Legislature agreed to provide $15 million through the 2007 state budget to cities and towns for unpaid disaster assistance," he said.?

-- Transcript Staff

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