9 February 2003
Shurden's new game
Sometimes it's hard to get a grip on Frank Shurden. For years and years he's been pushing for a measure to allow chemical castration of sex offenders, and more recently he's been trying to come up with a workaround for cockfighting proponents, who were supposedly dealt the death blow in November's election; his most recent thinking on the subject is some sort of "county option".
The tendency, therefore, is to write off the Henryetta Democrat as some kind of crank. But, the Oklahoma legislature being full of such, it's not the disadvantage you might think. So it's Frank Shurden who gets to introduce the governor's lottery scheme into the Senate, and only God and Frosty Troy know how much wheeling and dealing will go into the final package.
The OkiePundit is not inclined to cut Shurden any slack:
Like a spoiled brat, [Shurden] has tried at every turn to change the rules of the game each time he loses. Given this M.O. by Shurden, the Legislature should consider Shurden's lottery bill only as a county-option. If the lottery loses when and if it comes up for a vote of the people this year we should assume that Shurden will disregard the will of the citizens and try in 2004 to pass legislation to institute a lottery in counties that voted in favor of the lottery.
Of course, a county-option lottery wouldn't work worth a darn at best, it would increase the take from the state's fuel tax from people driving across the state to buy tickets where they could but it could be just the thing for lottery opponents, who, after a few months of so-so business, will be able to point and say "See? We told you so!" In Oklahoma, this ability is prized more highly than gold. Or natural gas, anyway.
Posted at 6:09 AM to Soonerland
» Senator Wants Boxing Gloves on Chickens from Life and Deatherage
As soon as I saw this headline on the AP national "Strange News" wire, I knew it was Oklahoma state senator Frank Shurden (D-Henryetta)....[read more]
Dear Editorial Staff:
Senator Frank Shurden - what can you say? Being from a town with an estimated functional illiteracy rate of 40% and 24% of the population has no more than an eighth grade education, Shurden has an advantage of at least being nominally literate - no wonder he his a hit around here.
Do you know that the good Senator is trying for a second time to pass a bill to get $350,000 of our state tax dollars to build a Labor and Mining Museum in Henryetta, plus funds to add an exit to the Indian Nations Turnpike for it? The bill passed once last session, then was shot down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court 8-1. In a state where we can't afford books for schools, is this money well spent? He’s even got the Oklahoma Historical Society involved, an agency that can't afford to pay staff in existing state museums. Such a museum would be devastating for future economic development in Henryetta, and would negatively impact future business investments in Oklahoma statewide. And no one is talking about how the thing would be financed once built – more state funding, without a doubt.
Here's something I'm sure that you're not aware of: Shurden's alleged half-brother, Kenneth Powders. Seems old Estol Shurden took a lot of long lunches, especially at the home of Powders' mother, Leada Livingston. Powders, the unions local enforcer, is best known around Henryetta for making death threats, and about ten years ago claimed that his hit man, Blackie McCormick, would kill anyone Powders pointed at (McCormick was killed in a bar fight by his brother in Okmulgee).
Powders was also investigated by the IRS for embezzlement from the union's retirement fund. The same Kenneth Powders is not only the President of the non-existent Labor and Mining Museum, but democratic chairman for Okmulgee County (made so after his bro fired the county election board and replaced with his relatives). But there's more about the Shurden family that would prove an excellent investigative opportunity:
* Shurden appointed Kenneth Powders' brother-in-law, David Dykes (also on the non-existent museum board) as Henryetta tag agent. A couple of years ago the tag agency safe was "robbed" with no sign of forcible entry. The police "investigation" never found a culprit, even though a key and a combination were needed to take the money. Dykes, like O.J. and just as innocent, is still looking for the real robber.
* Shurden's wife, Cathy, secretary of the non-existent museum and known to many Henryettans as the Dragon Lady, is closely related to Gene Stipe. She is being paid by the AFL-CIO as a board member of a non-profit organization. Think the IRS would be interested in that little oversight?
This museum scam should be exposed for what it is: a means for Shurden and his crooked family to suck more money from Oklahoma taxpayers!
A Concerned Taxpayer
P.S. Word on the street is that Shurden may run for Brad Carson's congressional seat. Maybe he'll try to legalize cockfighting nationwide - Oklahoma will really get national attention then!
This is in reference to the annonymous writer concerning Kathy Shurden. I took a speech class of hers' a few years ago and all I have to say is that she's one of the classiest and most intellectual individuals I've had the pleasure of meeting. As far as her being referred to as the "Dragon Lady of Henryetta", well I'm quite sure that monicker was placed on her by a few jealous malcontents. Also in reference to annonymous' remarks about Blackie McCormack, all I have to say is "get your facts straight". McCormack was NOT killed in a bar room fight with his brother. McCormack was stabbed to death by his estranged girlfriend at her home. You see, Blackie McCormack had a long history of Physical abuse of this woman. Now to many, this will make McCormack seem worse of an individual. This, however, is not the point. The point is that if "annonymous" got this quite public fact wrong, how much more of his/her information is erroneous. Don't just believe anything you read, investigate it for yourself.