Something that made an inquiring mind ask: ‘What’s up with that?”
Published: August 5th, 2021
Patrick B. McGuigan
Oklahoma City – There are some news stories that make a person ask: “What’s up with that?”
Here are a couple of examples.
Tres Savage of NonDoc.com, an online news service, is a fine reporter, careful in his approach to his chosen profession. During the latter years I worked from a cubby-hole office in the state Capitol newsroom, I grew to respect his seriousness and methodical approach to news about politicians and policy.
In the age of COVID caution, I’ve not seen him often — but I read his work and that of his reporters every day.
In a July 23 story about Governor Kevin Stitt’s appointment of Tulsa attorney John O’Connor as state attorney general, Savage referenced something that those who cover our government know is happening, but for the most part lack specific data to cite in our reporting.
Savage avoided sensationalism and stuck to the swirl of information, including with this nugget:
“Numerous criminal investigations involving public entities and public officials … are ongoing, and O’Connor may ultimately have to make decisions on matters of potential public corruption, although some of the cases are under investigation by federal law enforcement agencies.”
Early last year, when the state Supreme Court found unconstitutional a state law (Senate Bill 608) concerning regulations on access of distributors to name-brand liquor and wine. It was a case that pivoted on the meaning of the words “may” and “shall” – the sort of decision that delights legal eagles, and can frustrate even intelligent non-lawyers.
In that story, Savage referenced one critic of the 5-4 decision – state Representative Chris Kannady, an Oklahoma City Republican.
Savage reported (italics below):
“It’s obvious that it’s still a contentious issue since the court is divided,” Kannady said. “It’s not the first time I’ve disagreed with the court, and it probably won’t be the last.”
Asked if he thought political drama surrounding S.B. 608 had spurred the FBI to look into how political contributions are made and how legislative business is conducted in Oklahoma, Kannady said he believes the FBI was looking at proposed legislation that he was not involved with.
“I’m not going to comment on that. I’m not worried about it,” Kannady said. “And I don’t think that was the only thing that was tied to. There were other issues and bills that I had nothing to do with that were tied into that.”
Kannady is the first person to discuss the FBI’s investigation on the record. Others have discussed the matter on background with NonDoc.
As the great Paul Harvey, whom it was my pleasure to print (and occasionally edit) early in my career, used to say, “Stay tuned, for News!”
Note: This analysis first appeared in the August 2021 print edition of The City Sentinel newspaper in Oklahoma City.