OWASSO – A 1980s member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives is jailed on three sex crime complaints after Owasso police completed a monthlong sting operation, authorities announced Tuesday.
Danny Bruce George, 61, is accused of soliciting a minor for prostitution, sexual battery and making lewd proposals to a child, Deputy Chief Jason Woodruff said in a release. The investigation began in July when an Owasso detective posed as an underage girl and began text messaging and chatting online with George to arrange a meeting, Woodruff said.
George, of Clinton, reportedly agreed to travel to Owasso to have sex with the underage girl and arrived at a local restaurant at 4 p.m. Tuesday, where he was confronted by members of Owasso’s Criminal Investigations Division.
George was first booked at the Owasso Municipal Jail before being booked in Tulsa County, Woodruff said.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday he would appeal a ruling that invalidated a portion of the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship program, which allows parents of children with disabilities to obtain scholarship money from the state to fund their child’s attendance at a school of their choosing.
A district court judge ruled funds from the scholarship program cannot be used to send students with disabilities to sectarian schools. The judge’s order is stayed pending appeal, which means the scholarship program remains unchanged for now.
“This scholarship program empowers parents of children with disabilities to obtain scholarship monies from the state to fund their child’s enrollment and attendance in a private school of their choosing,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “Prohibiting the use of Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship funds from being used to send students with disabilities to sectarian schools would require the state to discriminate against those schools. That is highly troublesome and why we will appeal the ruling.”
Oklahomans For Life
The Runoff Election will be held across Oklahoma tomorrow. Pro-life voters can get up-to-date information about candidates’ positions on pro-life legislation by going to our website, www.OkForLife.org, and clicking on “Candidate Surveys” at the top of the home page.
To learn your District numbers, click on “Find Your Legislators” at the top of our website home page. Enter your address and scroll down to U.S. Representative, State Senator, and State Representative. Your District number for each office appears just below “District Info.” Thank you for making the unborn child your priority when deciding for whom to vote!
Two important pro-life bills that we brought to the Oklahoma legislature this spring were passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, and were signed into law by pro-life Governor Mary Fallin.
The pro-life Perinatal Hospice Bill, HB 2685, addresses the rare but tragic circumstance where a pregnant woman is told that her unborn child has a fetal anomaly incompatible with life. Often in such cases the mother is encouraged to consider abortion the “logical” or “humane” response to such a diagnosis. Under HB 2685, the mother would receive information about public and private agencies and services which offer perinatal hospice and palliative care if, instead of abortion, she carries her baby to term.
The least we can do when a family faces the heartbreak of such a diagnosis is provide information about the positive alternative of perinatal hospice, comfort care, and family counseling – the humane, compassionate, life-affirming approach embodied in HB 2685. There is an infinite difference – emotionally, psychologically, ethically – between losing a child and killing a child.
The pro-life Medical Treatment Laws Information Act, SB 1702, also enacted this session, will ensure that health-care providers are aware of Oklahoma laws relating to the provision of life-preserving care. There is anecdotal evidence that some in the health-care community (including the medical, nursing, hospital, and nursing-home communities) are not aware of some of the provisions of Oklahoma’s protective laws in this important area. The new law protects patients from a denial of life-preserving care caused by a health-care provider’s lack of awareness of existing laws.
Both the Perinatal Hospice Bill and the Medical Treatment Laws Information Act became law because of your support and encouragement to your elected representatives! Thank you for defending the most vulnerable members of our human family!
Tony Lauinger, State Chairman
Senator Dan Newberry is one of 48 state lawmakers from across the country to be selected by the Council of State Governments (CSG) as a Henry Toll Fellow for the class of 2014.
The Toll Fellowship Program is one of the nation’s foremost leadership development programs for state officials. According to CSG, a nine-member panel of leaders reviewed a record number of applications to select this year’s class of Toll Fellows.
“The Toll Fellowship has cultivated a number of top legislative leaders, and will provide officials with the tools to encourage job growth and advance individual liberty,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “I look forward to joining officials from across the country to examine how we can be more effective leaders and public servants.”
Each year, the Toll Fellowship brings together 48 of the nation’s top rising officials from all three branches of state government for a six-day program of extensive education and training. Four current governors, four lieutenant governors and six members of Congress are Toll Fellows alumni.
“This program has a long-established record of providing its participants with the skills they need to more productively address the issues faced by their respective states,” said Newberry. “I am humbled and grateful to have been chosen for this unique opportunity.”
Senate candidate Dr. Ervin Yen has added consultant Neva Hill to his campaign.
Yen is a Republican candidate in Senate District 40. The seat is now held by Senator Cliff Branan, who is term limited.
The owner of Neva Hill and Company, Hill has been active in Republican politics for more than 30 years.
For more information about Yen and his campaign, visit www.yen4senate.com
TO critics, legislative terms limits have devastated Oklahoma’s political system by reducing institutional memory among lawmakers, generating high turnover and increasing the clout of lobbyists. New research by the Oklahoma Policy Institute undermines these claims.
In 1990, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that limited lawmakers to serving no more than 12 years in the state House and/or Senate combined. The clock started ticking in 1992, so 2004 was the first year that lawmakers were forced out of office by term limits.
OK Policy has collected and analyzed data on the years of service of Oklahoma legislators going back to 1978. Its findings will surprise many. In 1978, the average tenure for a House member was 6.89 years. In 2014, the average was 6.65 years.
And the average length of service in the House actually declined from 1978 to 1990, when term limits went before voters. By 1990, the average House tenure had fallen to 6.14 years. In other words, on average today’s House legislator has hung around NE 23 and Lincoln in Oklahoma City for a longer period of time than his 1990 counterpart.
In the Senate, the average length of service is lower today than before term limits were imposed, although the gap isn’t as dramatic as many believe. In 1978, the average experience of a state senator was 10.13 years. That figure declined to 8.38 years by 1990, and today stands at 6.54 years.
OK Policy also calculated the median experience of Oklahoma legislators and found similar trends. In 1978, half of House members had six years of experience or less. By 1990, the House median was just four years. Today, the House median is eight years.
In the Oklahoma Senate, the median experience went from eight years in 1978, to four years in 1990, to seven years today.
This data undermines the claims of supporters and critics of legislative term limits. Supporters argued term limits would lead to an infusion of fresh talent and reduce the number of legislative lifers who were too often associated with corruption. Former state Sen. Gene Stipe, D-McAlester, ultimately served 53 years in the Legislature, and was the target of law enforcement investigations throughout his career. Thus, he became the poster child for term limits. Removing individuals such as Stipe from office remains a strong selling point for term limits.
But OK Policy makes clear that Stipe and those like him were exceptions, not the rule. “Prior to term limits, there was substantial legislative turnover,” the institute notes.
The forces that drove that trend remain in place today. Ambition leads many lawmakers to seek higher office, while others simply tire of legislative service before hitting the 12-year mark. This year, just seven of 101 House lawmakers were forced out of office by term limits. But 14 other lawmakers chose not to run for re-election to House seats.
The complaints routinely voiced about the current crop of state lawmakers — that they lack political will, neglect important issues to push special-interest legislation, and don’t even read bills before voting on them — are perennials. Term limits may have changed the faces of those with Capitol offices, but term limits haven’t changed the fact that the Legislature is still filled with far more politicians than statesmen.