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Labor commissioner asks for opinion

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau Wynn has asked the attorney general for a ruling on whether a decision that limited one of her projects in 1997 should also affect a promotion by the state treasurer advertising unclaimed property.

Wynn questioned Treasurer Robert Butkin's promotion for finding the owners of unclaimed property. She said it included a special message from him, his photograph and three mentions of his name and other items.

In 1997, the attorney general's office said Wynn could not include certain language in a minimum wage poster. The language said union members could seek a refund of union dues if they were used for political purposes.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson said the language was not required by statute and could not be included.

Wynn said it looked to her as if the treasurer's notice is contrary to the spirit of the attorney general opinion and raises the question of a double standard.

She said it concerned her that the state treasurer's name and likeness would be all over a document paid for by the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Edmondson said he couldn't predict the outcome. But he said he saw one clear distinction in the two cases. He said the minimum wage statute had to be posted, which limits the ability to put extra material in the poster. He said newspapers are not required to post the lists of unclaimed property.
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