How can you write an article about a man who served 53 years in the legislature and not name the party?
Stipe was an old time corruptocrat whose empire extended over most of SE Oklahoma, a/k/a Little Dixie. An abstractor by trade, he somehow ended up with an interest in just about every well in eastern OK.
“Known as the dean of state lawmakers, Stipe had little competition for the unofficial title during his last two decades. By the time he left in 2003, he had won more than 25 elections and served 53 years in the Oklahoma Legislature — a record that still stands.
“Stipe’s political career was derailed by a federal investigation into allegations that he funneled illegal money into the unsuccessful 1998 congressional campaign of his one-time political protegee Walt Roberts.
“Pleading guilty for both his leading role in the scheme and lying to federal investigators about his involvement, Stipe resigned from the state Senate in 2003 and gave up his law license.
“His health failing, the then-77-year-old was sentenced to six months of home detention, five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service. He was also fined $735,567 — the maximum allowed and three times the amount of money that Stipe admitted providing in illegal campaign money.
“In 2007, Stipe was again indicted, this time with his brother Francis Stipe, by a federal grand jury as part of an investigation into political corruption in southeastern Oklahoma.”