OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

May 11, 2010

Veto Override Fails in House 5/11/10 – Politics ‘as usual’ in OK

The attempted override of Governor Brad Henry’s veto of HB 2569 failed today in the OK House.  HB 2569, a very popular bill by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft of the House and Sen. Dan Newberry of the Senate, prohibits “the imbedding, affixing, adhering, or assigning of a radio frequency identification tag (RFID) or RFID-type ink into or onto the OK drivers license or state-issued ID cards.”

The vote, held early in Tuesday’s session, failed by a vote of 69 Yes, 19 Nay, and 13 Excused.  Due to the emergency clause attached to the bill, a 75% majority is needed for a veto override, rather than the normal 2/3 majority.

Several legislators debated for the override, with division unfortunately falling along party lines, thanks to the lobbying effort by the Governor himself to the Democrat caucus, making the override vote a political issue rather than a policy stand.

Not all Democrats followed the pied piper, however. The following took a position based on doing what is right vs. doing what is wrong – Rep. John Auffet, Rep. Dennis Bailey, Rep. Joe Dorman, Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, Rep. Eric Proctor, Rep. R.C. Pruett, Rep. Seneca Scott, and Rep. Ben Sherrer are 8 Democrats who stood on principle and who actually voted for the override.

Of the 13 ‘excused’ representatives who did not vote, by best calculations 3 were actually absent: Rep. John Carey, Rep. Chuck Hoskin (new baby), and Rep. John Trebilcock; the other 10 were somewhere in or near the chamber. 

Of these 10, Rep. Lee Denney (R-Cushing) was in the Speaker’s office and so missed the vote.  It is unclear where some of the others were. 

By more than one witness account, however, Rep. Mike Shelton, (D-Oklahoma County), was actually in the Chambers during the vote but chose to not cast a vote.  When the Chair reminded the House members that House rules state that all members present in the Chamber must cast a vote, Mike Shelton walked out.   Who else walked the vote is being checked by verifying the House attendance sheet, which is part of the official record.

Shelton, most will remember, is the same grandstanding legislator who attached an amendment to SB 2018, expanding the definition of a ‘criminal street gang’ to include:

“Criminal street gang” means any ongoing organization, association, or group of five or more persons including, but not limited to, the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Brotherhood and any independent military organization that is neither recognized nor authorized by the Commander in Chief of the Militia for the State of Oklahoma,  

This dangerous amendment, mixing the KKK and Aryan Brotherhood in with unorganized gun clubs or militias, was attached to SB 2018 on 4/22/10 which the House passed by a vote of 98-1.  (The one NO vote was Rep. Charles Key).

This nonsense passed in April in Oklahoma, during militia-madness-month which sensation-hungry MSNBC  created out of thin air to boost ratings for their April 19th ‘special’ on the Timothy McVeigh Tapes.

Thankfully, the OK Senate rejected Shelton’s stupid amendment and now  SB 2018 is pending somewhere in a conference committee process. (Link to Status of Measure: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/WebBillStatus/main.html)

Rep. Paul Wesselhoft is assessing the possibility of asking for another attempt at a veto override on this important bill.

Contact these 13 legislators who did not participate in this vote and ask for a Yes vote on any future veto override votes on HB 2569:

  1. Neil Brannon – neilbrannon@okhouse.gov  1-405-557-7413
  2. Mike Brown – mikebrown@okhouse.gov    1-405-557-7408
  3. John Carey – johncarey@okhouse.gov           1-405-557-7366
  4. Lee Denney – leedenney@okhouse.gov       1-405-557-7304  (says she will vote yes)
  5. Wes Hilliard – weshilliard@okhouse.gov    1-405-557-7412
  6. Chuck Hoskin -chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov   1-405-557-7319
  7. Scott Inman – scott.inman@okhouse.gov     1-405-557-7370
  8. Danny Morgan – dannymorgan@okhouse.gov   1-405-557-7368
  9. Richard Morrissette – richardmorrissette@okhouse.gov   1-405-557-7404
  10. Bill Nations – billnations@okhouse.gov    1-405-557-7323
  11. Mike Shelton – mikeshelton@okhouse.gov   1-405-557-7367  (walked vote)
  12. John Trebilcock – johntrebilcock@okhouse.gov   1-405-557-7362  (says he will vote yes)
  13. Purcy Walker – purcywalker@okhouse.gov   1-405-557-7311

OK House Toll Free Number: 1-800-522-8502.

Please pray for an end to politics ‘as usual’ and for principled statesmen to arise in the Oklahoma Legislature to override the veto of HB 2569. 

Thank you,

OK-SAFE, Inc.

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