GOP chair blasts Democratic counterpart

Thursday, August 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma City-AP-- The chairman of the state Republican party is blasting his Democratic counterpart for statements he made about Governor Keating's veto of a hate crime bill.

Democratic Representative Mike Mass had said Governor Keating's veto of a 1999 hate crimes bill has deprived Tulsa authorities of a tool to prosecute two men in connection with vandalism of Jewish gravestones.

G-O-P Chairman Steve Edwards says Mass' claims are quote "absurd" because prosecutors are charging the men under the state's existing hate crime statute.

Keating vetoed a bill that would have created a hate crimes unit in the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office. Keating said people accused of hate crimes could be prosecuted under existing state laws.

Edwards accused Mass of trying to score quote "cheap political points."