Politics on the menu at Marshall Co. breakfast

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

MARSHALL COUNTY, Okla. -- Politics may not be what is on everyone's minds first thing in the morning, but at the Baptist Village in Marshall County on Friday, a warm breakfast and some heated commentary was the way to start the day.

"If you love the law and you love sausage, don't watch either one of them get made because that best describes what's been going on in this session. It is an extraordinarily difficult session to get anything done."

Those were the candid words of Oklahoma State Senator Jay Paul Gumm at Friday’s breakfast in Marshall County.

That is due, in no small part, to an evenly divided senate- 24 democrats, 24 republicans. Jay Paul Gumm is the state senator from Oklahoma’s District 6. He and Representative Terry Hyman spoke briefly about issues they have been pushing this session.

And then came the topic which took center stage for the rest of the morning-- the Pointe Vista land deal.

"They have bungled, mismanaged, and goofed this thing up. I have been misled time and again when they've been in my office talking to me. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing with the CLO," Gumm said.

The CLO, also known as the "School Land Trust," is the state agency charged with selling public land to private investors.

"They've done a lousy job," Gumm added.

It is more sharp criticism for an agency which has been under fire since shutting down Lake Texoma Lodge and nearby cabins and campgrounds.

"They see themselves as above and apart the rest of us in state government. They have frankly given tourism the shortest end of the short stick that you can imagine," Gumm said.

Representative Hyman agreed, but held up the Lake Murray Lodge deal as an example of lessons learned.

"It's gone a whole lot smoother that transition has been like night and day. If that project had been like this project and both of them be in my House district I probably wouldn't even have any hair left."

Other topics on the politician's plates Friday morning were biofuels, water rights, the state grocery tax, as well as insurance companies and autism. It was a lively breakfast to say the least, and with the legislative session still going strong, there will be a lot more politics to talk about in the coming weeks.

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