Sen. Jim Inhofe

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe Andrew Harnik/Associated Press file

Inhofe upset: Housing conditions at Tinker Air Force Base continued to vex U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe last week.

Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, became further frustrated with Air Force brass and contractor Balfour Beatty when it became known that all 292 duplex units built by Balfour Beatty require repairs and that many do not meet fire code standards.

“My biggest disappointment was discovering new problems like the lack of firewall protections between newly built housing units and mold problems that persist because the root causes were never addressed,” Inhofe said in a written statement. “I have to ask, ‘What other undiscovered problems exist?’ ”

Inhofe noted that Balfour Beatty executives testified before his committee seven months ago and promised to “move quickly” to fix the problems at Tinker and elsewhere.

“They have not,” Inhofe said. “We put them on notice then, and now they have been put on notice by the Air Force that they have 90 days to fix these problems.

Disconnected: Second District Congressman Markwayne Mullin plugged his legislation to extend rural broadband access. It’s a particular issue in Mullin’s district, which he said is the only one in the U.S. in which less than 50 percent of the residents have high-speed internet access.

“Our rural areas and schools are too often left without the services they need to deliver educational opportunities essential to our children’s future success,” Mullin said in his weekly newsletter.

“This problem follows students out of school, as their families, neighbors, towns, farms, and local businesses need better wireless networks to be competitive in the global market.”

Mullin’s bill, H.R. 2929, was introduced in May and has not yet made it out of committee.

Drawing lines: Slate reported Cleta Mitchell, a former Democratic lawmaker in Oklahoma who has become a high-powered Republican lawyer and strategist, was one of the speakers at a closed-door session on gerrymandering during an August American Legislative Exchange Council conference.

Citing a secret recording of the presentation, Slate said Mitchell told the attendees they should expect to be sued and assume all their notes on redistricting, including those from the meeting, would be subject to discovery in a lawsuit.

“My advice to you is ... you don’t want it turned over in discovery, you probably ought to get rid of (them) before you go home.”

Dots and dashes: Congress is in recess this week. ... U.S. Sen. James Lankford explained the benefit of the weekly congressional prayer breakfast by telling Roll Call: “It’s much harder to stab someone in the back after you prayed for them in the morning.”


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Randy has been with the Tulsa World since 1979. He is a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Krehbiel primarily covers government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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