Thursday, January 20, 2022

State Rep. Russ files bill to give Counties more say in Marijuana Applications

Russ Files Bill to Give Counties More Say in Marijuana Applications

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, has filed legislation for the upcoming session that will give county voters the say over who is licensed to grow marijuana within their counties.

House Bill 2989 would require applications to grow marijuana to be filed by June 30 each year in the county where the grow facility is to be located. County Commissioners would then set a date for a vote to be held every other year for applications to be approved or denied. If denied, an applicant would not be able to reapply for five years within that county. If growers operate in multiple counties, they would have to apply and be approved by voters in each county where they do business.

"Many of our rural voters did not approve the state question that resulted in the legalization of medical marijuana in our state," Russ said. "Yet they are saddled with the ill consequences. And they are facing the possibility that petitioners will place a question on a future state ballot to legalize recreational marijuana."

Since Oklahomans approved medical marijuana in 2018 with very loose regulations the number of licensed cannabis growers in the state has ballooned to more than 7,000. This far exceeds the number of licenses issued in other states such as Colorado, California or Oregon. It has taxed rural water supplies and electricity usage as well as local law enforcement, county tax assessors and others, Russ said.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Annual report from State Election Board shows increase in voter registration

Annual Report Released by State Election Board Shows Increase in Voter Registration

(Oklahoma City) – The Oklahoma State Election Board released its annual voter registration report today showing 2,218,374 Oklahomans are registered to vote. Oklahoma’s official voter registration statistics are counted every year on January 15.

According to Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax, the largest number of Oklahoma's voters are Republicans, who make up 50.6% of registered voters. Dem

Hefner announces endorsements from multiple conservative groups in OKC mayoral race


Oklahoma City, OK-- Today, community leader and candidate for Mayor of Oklahoma City Carol Hefner announced she has been endorsed by multiple Conservative groups and organizations, including Oklahomans For Health & Parental Rights, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC), Veterans of Foreign Wars Oklahoma County, Ignite Liberty, and the Oklahoma County GOP.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Cody Maynard announces candidacy for House District 21, opening campaign HQ in Durant

Republican Cody Maynard Announces Candidacy for State Representative, District 21

DURANT, OK – With the final lines of districts drawn, Conservative Republican Cody Maynard, a CPA, announces that his campaign is underway to serve Oklahomans in the State House of Representatives, District 21, which will cover parts of Bryan and Marshall counties. After a strong fundraising quarter, his team is slated to open his campaign headquarters on January 22nd on First Street in Durant. 

“I am running to represent District 21 because my wife, Crystal, and I want to ensure that Oklahoma remains a beacon of freedom and a place to see dreams realized for generations to come. Serving as a legislator is an opportunity to ensure that Oklahoma is a state embodying pro-family policies, including but not limited to: protecting the pre-born, honoring the sanctity of life, advocating for parental and guardian rights, and promoting policies that reduce poverty and champion excellence in education.”

Meet the candidate running for U.S. Senate in Oklahoma and Kansas -- at the same time

The 2022 campaign for U.S. Senate here in Oklahoma figures to be a lively one, featuring a well-known incumbent, two upstart challengers (one fringe newbie, the other a multiterm conservative legislator), and... someone who's giving it a shot in two states "hoping to get into office in at least one of them!"

No joke.

Meet Joan Farr, candidate for United States Senate in the states of Oklahoma and Kansas.

She's certainly got a colorful campaign pitch, detailed on her website. Here are some highlights from her website:

Monday, January 17, 2022

Small: Time for Joy Hofmeister's job review

Time for a politician’s job review
By Jonathan Small

Just like workers in the private sector undergo routine job reviews, it’s important citizens take time to review the records of officeholders.

Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister is now beginning her eighth and final year in that office, so it’s worth considering what results she has generated. It’s a record few citizens would give a passing grade.

Since student learning is the most basic metric for a state head of schools, we should begin there. And what state tests show is steep decline. Statewide in all districts and grades, fewer students are performing at grade level or better. Many are doing much, much worse. Those scoring “below basic,” the category for children more than a year behind in a subject, comprised 40 percent of all students statewide in 2021. Just 30 percent were in that category in spring 2019.

That decline can’t be blamed on funding. During Hofmeister’s tenure, state school spending has increased 25 percent, rising from about $2.4 billion in her first year in office to roughly $3 billion this year. Schools districts actually carried over $1 billion this year, an increase of more than 50 percent in savings compared to five years prior.

Lankford, Scott, colleagues want to stop Congress from overspending when inflation soars

Okay, first of all, I think the last three words ("when inflation soars") should be left out of their chosen headline and effort.

Republicans absolutely looooove to talk about government overspending -- when they're out of power. I've lost count of the times they failed to remember that when they controlled the purse strings.

Anyway, maybe one day they'll get that right.

Lankford, Scott, Colleagues Want to Stop Congress from Overspending When Inflation Soars

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and John Thune (R-SD), and eight of their colleagues to introduce the Inflation Prevention Act (IPA) to help combat inflationary spending. Due to record government spending over the last two years, many Americans face rapidly rising costs of consumer goods. This bill would bar legislation estimated to increase inflation until the year-over-year inflation rate drops below 4.5 percent. Lankford, Scott, and Thune are joined on the bill by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Rick Scott (R-FL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Todd Young (R-IN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Steve Daines (R-MT).

“It’s clear that Democrats’ reckless spending approach to the pandemic has created the inflation crisis Oklahomans now face, especially after inflation hit a devastating seven percent in December,” said Lankford. “I have warned about the impact of out-of-control spending on our economy for years. Our proposal protects against federal over spending that makes inflation worse, helps make sure future emergency spending only moves forward when absolutely needed, and reins it in when the federal pork barrel buffet starts to roll toward inflation.”

“American families cannot continue to endure the burden of skyrocketing costs of everyday goods brought on by reckless spending in Washington,” said Tim Scott. “A sound financial future requires wise financial action now.”

“Our country is facing the highest level of inflation in nearly 40 years, and South Dakotans are paying more for food, utilities, and gas,” said Thune. “I’m proud to join Sen. Scott in the fight to stop the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending spree, which would significantly worsen the already damaging inflation crisis.”

Oklahoma joins multistate coalition fight to end Facebook's monopoly

Oklahoma Joins Multistate Coalition in Continuing Fight to End Facebook's Illegal Monopoly

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor today joined a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general from around the nation in continuing to fight to end Facebook’s illegal efforts to stifle competition and protect its monopoly power. Today, the coalition — led by New York Attorney General Letitia James — filed an appeal brief arguing that the district court’s ruling dismissing the states’ case was in error. The coalition argues that the court was wrong to dismiss their case as time-barred, and made additional legal and factual errors. Over the last decade, Facebook, now known as Meta, illegally acquired competitors in a predatory manner and cut or conditioned services to smaller threats — depriving users of the benefits of competition and reducing privacy protections and services along the way — all in an effort to boost its bottom line through increased advertising revenue.

“We are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to allow this lawsuit to proceed to hold Facebook accountable for its anticompetitive conduct and to ensure that Oklahomans have a choice in the marketplace,” said Attorney General John O’Connor.

In December 2020, the coalition filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct. The company filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted by the court last summer. Today’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asks the court to allow the coalition of attorneys general to move forward with their suit.

Friday, January 14, 2022

State leaders react to SCOTUS blocking vaccine mandate for private businesses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's blocking of the Biden vaccine mandate for businesses of 100 or more employees, many Oklahoma elected officials have weighed in with their reactions. 

Below are press release from Attorney General John O'Connor, Governor Kevin Stitt, U.S. Senator James Lankford, U.S. Representatives Kevin Hern and Frank Lucas, State Senate President Greg Treat, and State Rep. Sean Roberts:

Gov. Stitt endorses Kish for Mayor of Norman


Norman — Governor Kevin Stitt has endorsed Dr. Nicole Kish for Mayor of Norman.

In a statement, Governor Stitt said:

“Dr. Nicole Kish is the right candidate for this unique time in history to lead Norman as its next mayor. Dr. Kish is a political outsider that will bring her successful business record to prioritize resources towards keeping our communities safe and thriving. I am proud my parents raised me in the Norman community and in Norman public schools. This city needs bold, common-sense leadership to help capitalize on the momentum the rest of Oklahoma is experiencing with booming economic growth, and Dr. Kish has the grit and will to make it happen. She is passionate about protecting freedom, supporting our public safety professionals, and making Norman the most competitive city for new jobs. Help me elect Dr. Kish on February 8.”

Dr. Kish is a co-founder of Unite Norman, the grassroots organization who recalled city council members last year for their defunding of police. She is a Small Business Owner and Doctor who has practiced in Norman for 22 years, serving 100,000 patients. She is also a Veteran of the Oklahoma Air National Guard during 9/11.