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  • On Throwback Thursday: Sen. Tom Coburn and the Bridge to Nowhere

    Chris Casteel | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau For an upcoming piece I’m doing on departing Sen. Tom Coburn, The Oklahoman’s awesome archivist and researcher Linda Lynn pulled this 2005 story (below) on Coburn’s floor fight with his colleagues over pork barrel projects, including the Bridge to Nowhere. Look...

  • Oklahoma's U.S. House members split on spending bill

    Chris Casteel | Published: Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    In the cliff-hanger vote late Thursday night to fund most of the government through September, three of Oklahoma’s House members backed the Republican bill and two opposed it. The bill passed 219-206 and is now before the Senate. Voting for it were Reps. Tom Cole, R-Moore; Frank Lucas,...

  • Sen. John McCain pays tribute to Departing Sen. Tom Coburn

    Chris Casteel | Published: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, paid tribute Wednesday afternoon to departing Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, in a speech on the Senate floor. Coburn and McCain worked closely together on several issues, including the elimination of pork barrel projects. Coburn made several campaign appearances for...

  • Sen. Tom Coburn criticizes federal tax giveaways in new report

    Chris Casteel | Published: Tue, Dec 9, 2014

    In his last report on government waste before leaving Congress, Sen. Tom Coburn on Tuesday detailed hundreds of billions of dollars in federal tax giveaways, including ones for some of the nation’s richest corporations and individuals. Coburn, R-Muskogee, even took on tax breaks for the oil and...

  • High court rejects case of Tulsa police officer who refused to attend Islamic event

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Mon, Dec 1, 2014

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a Tulsa police officer who sued the city after a controversy over attending an event held by an Islamic group. Without comment, the high court declined to review the case of Paul Campbell Fields, who refused to attend or assign others to...

  • Sen. Jim Inhofe, Rep. Tom Cole respond to Hagel resignation

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

    Sen. Jim Inhofe,  of Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Monday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is being made a “scapegoat” by the Obama administration. Inhofe strongly opposed Hagel’s nomination last year and worked hard against it. But in a statement...

  • Oklahoma County's shocking — or at least surprising — vote results

    Chris Casteel | Published: Thu, Nov 6, 2014

    Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who is expected to run for governor in four years, had a good night on Tuesday. He won every county and  had a better winning percentage (68.5) than any other Republican on the statewide ballot. Pat McFerron, Republican pollster, consultant and expert on nuts-and-bolts...

  • Rep. Markwayne Mullin fixes campaign report glitch

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    Freshman Rep. Markwayne Mullin filed an amended campaign finance report Thursday afternoon after a software glitch led many of the contribution and expenditure numbers to be erroneously inflated. A report filed by Mullin’s campaign on Wednesday, covering the period from July 1 through September...

  • Inhofe, Fallin point fingers as Ebola scare turns political

    Chris Casteel | Published: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, criticized the White House on Thursday as the national scare over Ebola began to take a political turn. Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for a travel ban from West African countries that have...

  • Same-sex couples and the front page of The Oklahoman

    Chris Casteel | Published: Tue, Oct 7, 2014

    This morning, looking at the front page of The Oklahoman and the picture of the same-sex couple getting a marriage license in Oklahoma County I thought of a front page from The Sunday Oklahoman in the spring of 1983, when I was working in the Norman bureau of The Oklahoman and Times.   I...

  • High court rejects Oklahoma, other same-sex marriage cases

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Mon, Oct 6, 2014

    WASHINGTON _ The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review same-sex marriage cases from Oklahoma, Utah and three other states, possibly paving the way for marriages to begin immediately in those states and many others. Without comment, the justices left intact decisions from federal appeals...

  • Federal judge sides with Pruitt in Obamacare lawsuit

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    A U.S. district judge in Muskogee has sided with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt against the U.S. government in the state’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. Pruitt’s suit, like similar ones in other states and the District of Columbia, claimed the IRS improperly allowed subsidies...



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