An interested reader alerted me that Pat Campbell on Tulsa’s KFAQ 1170 was interviewing Oklahoma State Senator Brian Bingman about the attempt to disarm
visiting state Sheriffs inside the Oklahoma Senate gallery. I believe just before I tuned in, Bingman said he did not request the Sheriffs be disarmed AND he did not know who did. This leaves the unidentified Sgt. of Arms responsible. Campbell asked if he should interview the Sgt. of Arms and Bingman’s answer was a quick ‘no.’ The show went to break and when it resumed, Campbell said the ‘head of the Sgt. of Arms is Bob Craig, right?,’ Bingman said ‘yes.’ My interpretation from Bingman is that the Sgt. of Arms, Bob Craig, was solely responsible for asking the Sheriffs to leave or stash their loaded weapons outside the Senate door. Senate leadership had nothing to do with it. We all know that is not a reasonable conclusion. Craig is under the bus.
After break Campbell asked if it wasn’t foolish [my interpretation] to ask 40 Sheriffs to leave loaded weapons outside the Senate gallery door, with people, including visitors, roaming the halls. Bingman’s answer was revealing.
We would like to have a place down in the basement for weapons, but we would prefer to have them come inside with their arms to honor them. ~ Brian Bingman, note that this is paraphrased but very close to exactly what Bingman said
It’s as though he gave himself away, realized it, and then quickly tried to change direction.
Close to the beginning of the interview, Campbell asked how the Senate has tried to reconcile things with the Sheriffs. Bingman said he or someone had talked with, or tried to talk with the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association (OSA). Campbell said ‘you need to be talking to Wagner County Sheriff Bob Colbert,’ who walked out of the Senate and left the building with others. Sheriff Colbert has said Senate “leadership” made the request but has not identified a particular member of leadership.
I agree with Bingman talking to Colbert, but I would like some questions answered by the Sheriffs Association. In the earlier conversations I had with the Oklahoma State Senate Communications Director Malia Bennett. Bennett laid blame on the OSA, which she says was responsible for making all arrangements for the Sheriff and their weapons. Questions:
1) Has the OSA ever made special arrangements for Sheriffs and their service weapons to be in the gallery? Ever?
2) Did they make those arrangements this time?
3) Were they aware they should have made those arrangements, if indeed they should have?
4) Does the House require the same? Apparently not, as the Sheriffs visited the House gallery with no incidents.
5) If the Sgt. of Arms falls under the supervision of the Chief-of-Staff, what does the Chief-of-Staff have to do with this incident?
6) How many sheriffs left with Colbert, who those sheriffs are, and will they speak out, please?
Later in the show Pat Campbell perfectly characterized how Oklahomans feel about this treatment of our Sheriffs: Do we have a “Republican weasel” in our House of Representatives (and do we have more than one)? Campbell said Bingman “tapdanced” thoughout the interview (my assessment as well).
The conversation continued to Common Core:
and the Senate Education Committee’s passage of HB 3399 to repeal it. The vote was 11-0, but three Democrats walked out of the committee before the vote was held. Nothing like that kind of heroism!
Bingman and one or two others (sorry, I did not get who or exactly how many) not on the committee showed-up for the vote. That’s unusual. Bingman said something like ‘better to be safe than sorry.’ Bingman could have voted if necessary. There are 12 members of the committee, three walked out so two others had to vote, although I cannot confirm that was the conclusion from today’s conversation. I believe Bingman said he did not need to vote.
After the call, Campbell’s Common Core commentary went something like this (paraphrased):
Never before has Bingman visited the Education Committee. Part of the reason he did this time was for damage control, to wrap himself around the “trendy Common Core” repeal effort in the state. He knew how the Committee would vote. (again, paraphrase alert!)
On Common Core, the bottom line of the conversation is that there will be an amendment cycle before the full Senate votes on repeal. Once passed, and Bingman is “confident” it will pass, it will go back to the House for a vote on whatever amendments are attached. He believes the Senate will vote as early as next Tuesday, April 1.
When asked if the repeal will be veto-proof, Bingman said Governor Mary Fallin worked with the Education Committee on the bill and he is confident that she will continue to support it.
The first step is repeal and then we have to clean-up whatever damage to our children that becomes parasitically residual from Common Core in the passed legislation. The legislation is not “perfect,” “lots of problems.” Here they hit on my focus on Common Core: textbooks ARE the issue. We must provide excellent textbooks to our children and teachers. Read more about that here in response to an Oklahoma teacher who said with Common Core gone, “the chaos will be great,” as teachers will no longer know how to teach. Shameful!
I will try to listen to the podcast and update this story, but this is a busy day for me, so can’t make any promises. You can listen-in here.
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