In this latest Capitol Report segment – broadcast weekly on News9 the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City – journalist Patrick B. McGuigan looked at the temporary budget fix. The Legislature seems likely to advance over $100 million in spending from reserve funds of various sorts and perhaps some hikes in oil and gas taxes, “at best” getting the budget battle into February, and the opening of the next regular legislative session.
The CapitolBeatOK editor pointed out that everything now in play could have been settled months ago – “a criticism of both the Republicans and the Democrats.” McGuigan faulted the state House for trying again the allow dice and roulette games at casinos, a move that would benefit the larger tribes at the expense of smaller tribes and do little to help state government. He characterized gambling expansion as part of the onling “land grab” benefiting big Native American tribes and leaving everyone else behind.
In his exchange with News9’s Alex Cameron, McGuigan sighed, noting there would not be time to discuss the dramatic finance crisis at the state Department of Health. The discussion turned to recent dramatic national news.
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign financed the controversial “dossier” that triggered Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigaiton into alleged collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government. Mueller’s first indictments dealt with Mueller’s dealings with foreign governments before joining last year’s campaign, not with the campaign itself. McGuigan noted that conservative columnist David French had a pithy comment about the situation – Trump promised to “drain the swamp” in the nation’s capital, but in bringing Manafort on board, “he hired the swamp.”