Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Caucus Calls for Apology from Keating over Remarks

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Caucus Calls for Apology from Keating over Remarks

Article excerpt

Gov. Frank Keating should apologize for racially charged remarks he made about the Legislative Black Caucus, the Senate leadership and Sen. Angela Monson, D-Oklahoma City, who blocked appointment of black conservative publisher Russell Perry, Edmond, to the post of commerce secretary, caucus members said Friday.

If he is not confirmed before session adjourns next week, Perry cannot be reappointed to the commerce post. At one time, state law allowed reappointment of unconfirmed individuals, but this was changed several years ago. Perry could be nominated to other state positions, however.

Keating accused the Democratic Senate leadership of being racist for failing to move Perry's confirmation. He also termed Monson, who is also black, a "surrogate for the Democratic leadership." Monson chairs the Senate Finance Committee, where Perry's nomination is stalled.

Monson said that the governor, whose office notified the press in advance, came to her office when she was not there, ostensibly to discuss the Perry nomination, then held a news conference criticizing her actions. She said she was aware that Keating wanted to speak with her, but was not notified that he was coming to see her Thursday morning.

"The press was notified," Monson said. "I was not."

"I want an apology to Senator Monson, because I think what the governor did and what the governor said is not only rude but it=s racist and sexist," Rep. Opio Toure, D-Oklahoma City, said of Keating's statements about Monson. "I say that as a black man, that a black woman, who is elected ... to say that she cannot exercise independent judgment without being told to do so by a white senator offends me highly."

Monson agreed.

"That's the comment that I find most offensive that the governor has made, to assert that I am simply a surrogate or a pawn of a Senate leadership that's placed two black females in leadership roles, that have been extremely supportive of our issues . …

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