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It's an ugly business

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: June 13, 2013 at 6:11 pm •  Published: February 23, 2012
FILE - In this Thursday, June 15, 2006 file photo, former Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City. An indictment made public late Wednesday, March 30, 2011 alleges that Morgan conspired with lobbyist William Skeith and attorney N. Martin Stringer to influence legislation on behalf of two of the companies, The Oklahoman reported. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - In this Thursday, June 15, 2006 file photo, former Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City. An indictment made public late Wednesday, March 30, 2011 alleges that Morgan conspired with lobbyist William Skeith and attorney N. Martin Stringer to influence legislation on behalf of two of the companies, The Oklahoman reported. (AP Photo/File)

Testimony in the corruption trial for the former head of the Oklahoma Senate shed some light on the way business gets done at the Capitol. Simply put: It can be smarmy. Lobbyist Dave Herbert testified that he agreed to look the other way during the 2007 session when then-Sen. Mike Morgan placed into a bill language that Herbert otherwise would have opposed on behalf of his clients. “The discussion we had was: ‘When are you going to run it? And where are you going to hide it?’” Herbert said. The answers: in the closing days of the session, tucked into a bill. Herbert’s reference to “hiding” the language, and Morgan’s alleged interest in taking advantage of the hectic final days, should come as no surprise — this has long been standard operating procedure at NE 23 and Lincoln. Thank goodness efforts have been made in recent years to curb the practice. The less of those last-minute shenanigans, the better.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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