Monday, July 22, 2019

And then there were two: rural Dem legislator won’t seek reelection

One of the last remaining rural Democratic state legislators is bowing out of the Legislature, announcing today that he will not seek reelection.

State Rep. David Perryman was the only rural Democrat west of I-35 (or US 69, for that matter) the only rural Democrat south of I-40, and one of just three Democrat legislators outside of the Tulsa/OKC metros or the city of Stillwater.

His official press release is below:

Perryman Announces He Won’t Seek Reelection

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma House Minority Floor Leader David Perryman (D-Chickasha) has announced that he does not plan to seek a fifth term as House District 56’s state representative.

Perryman was elected to the Oklahoma House in 2012 and has served as Minority Floor Leader since 2016. Prior to serving as the floor leader for the Democrats, Perryman served one term as secretary of the caucus and has served on a number of House committees, including Agriculture, Banking, Pensions, County and Municipal Government as well as Judiciary and a number of Appropriation and Budget subcommittees.

“After much consideration, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020,” Perryman said. “I am so thankful for my wife, Jo, and my children who have supported me during my terms in the legislature and who have covered so many personal obligations that have allowed me to faithfully and diligently serve the people of District 56.”

Known for his grasp of parliamentary procedure, Perryman has been one of the most respected representatives in the Oklahoma House.

“David has been a great resource for not only our caucus but the entire body,” Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) said. “He has dedicated himself to understanding how the House works so that he can best serve his constituents and the state of Oklahoma. By doing so, he has made himself an invaluable leader in our caucus.”

Perryman has used his time as floor leader to mentor caucus freshmen on the nuances of legislative procedure. In addition to day-to-day duties of a floor leader, Perryman’s caucus presentations include in-depth analysis of legislative language and how to advance the purpose and message of the minority party and still comply with the House Rules that are imposed by the majority party.

“David’s service in the legislature has been a great inspiration to me,” said freshman legislator Rep. John Waldron (D-Tulsa). “He is a true son of Oklahoma.”

“David will leave a huge hole in the legislature,” said Rep. Trish Ranson (D-Stillwater). “He will be missed.”

“David is a gifted and very capable leader,” said Rep. Andy Fugate (D-Midwest City). I am glad that I was able to serve a term with him and have him ‘teach me the ropes’.”

“Leader Perryman is a tireless worker who will be impossible to replace,” said Rep. Shane Stone (D-OKC). “He is to be thanked for all that he has done for our caucus. I was already going to miss him, but now I know the rest of the caucus will too.”

Perryman’s service has focused on public education, rural economic development, rural infrastructure and the quality of life in rural Oklahoma. He has tirelessly devoted his service to the youth of the district in an attempt to give students the same opportunities that were available to him growing up.

“Sometimes it is an elementary teacher or a principal or an agriculture instructor that help open doors to leadership opportunities for young Oklahomans,” Perryman said. I see that as a part of my role as a State Legislator and believe that I have been successful in assisting to prepare tomorrow’s leaders today.

“I am very appreciative of both former Minority Leader Scott Inman and current Minority Leader Emily Virgin for allowing me to serve as their Floor Leader through both the 56th and 57th Oklahoma Legislatures. There have been wins and losses and I believe that many of our accomplishments, including restoring revenue for increased funding for education, will reverberate for years to come.

“Politics is all about timing,” Perryman said. “I see more youth and vigor and ability in our caucus than I have in a long time, and because of that optimism, I feel like it is time for me to move over and find a different way to apply myself. I look forward to continuing to mentor for the rest of my current term and am anxious to see how members of our caucus can effect positive change over the coming years and I plan to help them do so anyway that I can.”

Although Perryman is leaving the caucus early, he still plans to be involved in his community, resume his full-time law practice in Chickasha and to continue to advocate for Oklahoma families across our state.

“It has been a true honor to serve the people of District 56 for the past seven years, particularly since the district is where my great grandparents settled in 1902 and has been home to six generations of my family,” Perryman said.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

LOFT oversight committee to hold first meeting July 30

LOFT oversight committee to hold first meeting July 30

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) oversight committee will meet for the first time later this month at the Oklahoma Capitol.

LOFT is legislative office created this year in a bill by House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat. LOFT will provide the public and policymakers with independent, objective research and data on state spending and program evaluation and performance.

The Speaker and President Pro Tempore appointed a bipartisan group of legislators to serve on the committee that will oversee and guide the work of LOFT. The oversight committee will meet at 3:30 pm Tuesday, July 30, in Room 419-C at the Oklahoma Capitol.

“LOFT will be a game-changer because it will enhance and expand transparency and accountability in state spending by providing independent, objective data on state spending and program performance,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “I’m confident the oversight committee will do a great job guiding LOFT. I’m excited to see the progress made in the coming weeks as LOFT begins to take shape.”

“I am excited for the LOFT Committee to meet and begin the process of getting implemented,” said McCall, R-Atoka. “LOFT is a much-needed resource for the Legislature that, frankly, should have been created long ago. We have members that are ready to roll their sleeves up and solve problems, but it is difficult to do without timely and accurate information about agency spending and programs. LOFT will provide the House and Senate the information and analysis we need to make good, informed decisions on behalf of Oklahoma’s citizens.”

Treat appointed Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah and Senate Appropriations Committee chair, to serve as the co-chair of the oversight committee, while McCall named Representative Kevin Wallace to serve as co-chair.

“LOFT is a tremendous concept that will serve the Legislature and the public by increasing transparency and accountability in the expenditure of our tax dollars. We’ve already been at work behind the scenes and I’m looking forward to our first oversight committee meeting. We’re going to hit the ground running and set LOFT up for great success moving forward,” Thompson said.

“It is the Legislature’s job to ensure agencies are spending taxpayer dollars wisely and without waste, and LOFT will help us do that more effectively,” said House Appropriations and Budget Committee Chairman Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston. “LOFT will ensure that lawmakers from both chambers are working off the same information, and it will get that information to us prior to agency budget requests so we are making decisions based off of what we know rather than just trusting what agency leaders tell us. I believe LOFT will drastically improve our budgeting process and help us work more efficiently for our citizens.”

LOFT Oversight Committee members:

  • Kevin Wallace, co-chair
  • Kyle Hilbert, R-Bristow
  • Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City
  • Mike Osburn, R-Edmond
  • Jeff Boatman, R-Tulsa
  • Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City
  • Meloyde Blancett, D-Tulsa
  • Senator Roger Thompson, co-chair
  • Senator Kim David, R-Porter
  • Senator Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee
  • Senator Frank Simpson, R-Springer
  • Senator Chuck Hall, R-Guthrie
  • Senator Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City
  • Senator Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City.

State Election Board Urges Voters to Respond to Address Confirmation Notice

State Election Board Urges Voters to Respond to Address Confirmation Notice

(Oklahoma City) – This past spring, more than 181,000 Address Confirmation Notices were mailed to certain Oklahoma voters, as required by law. Nearly two months later, more than 134,000 notices remain outstanding, state election officials said today. Voters who do not respond to the Address Confirmation Notice by July 27 will be declared “inactive.” State election officials urge any voter who has not responded to the notice, to do so as soon as possible.

State Election Board spokesperson, Misha Mohr, said voters can respond to the Address Confirmation Notice by mail or online at

“An Address Confirmation Notice has to be signed and dated by the voter in order for election officials to confirm or make changes to a voter registration. Those who respond online will be asked to take an oath. It’s one of the many safeguards we have in place to protect the integrity of our election system,” said Mohr.

State and federal law require that Address Confirmation Notices be mailed to certain voters every two years. Voters who do not respond by the deadline will automatically be designated as “inactive” voters. “Inactive” voters are still registered voters who are eligible to vote, and can automatically change their status to “active” by voting or updating their registration during the next two General Election cycles.

Mohr reminds Oklahomans that voters who are designated “inactive” this year and remain “inactive” following the 2022 General Election are required by law to be removed from the voter rolls.

Next-of-kin who need to cancel the registration of a deceased relative or those who have moved out of state can complete a Request to Cancel Voter Registration form which can be found on the State Election Board website at

To learn more about the address confirmation and voter list maintenance process, see 26 O.S.§ 4-120.

For more information, contact State Election Board Public Information Officer, Misha Mohr, at: or by phone at (405) 522-6624.

Friday, July 19, 2019

OCPA column: Putting politics ahead of children’s learning

Putting politics ahead of children’s learning
by Jonathan Small

At a gathering of educators/union members, you might expect improving schools and addressing labor issues would be dominant topics. But, based on “new business” items at the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly this month, you’d be wrong. And those actions were taken with the full participation of the NEA’s Oklahoma members.

Union delegates considered 160 “new business” items and passed many, including measures that focused on ways to promote and support abortion, open borders, reparations for slavery, transgender issues, and more. Any focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic appeared an afterthought, at best.

Delegates approved a resolution declaring the union “vigorously opposes all attacks on the right to choose and stands on the fundamental right to abortion under Roe v. Wade.” They approved a proposal committing the NEA and its state affiliates, like the Oklahoma Education Association, to “organize and mobilize in support of the Equality Act,” a proposed law that would require Oklahoma schools to allow biological males to use the girl’s bathroom or participate in girl’s athletics – so long as the biological male claims to identify as female.

Another resolution said the NEA “will create space” on its name tags and IDs “for the individuals’ pronouns.”

Attendees called on the U.S. government “to accept responsibility for the destabilization of Central American countries” and claimed U.S. actions are “a root cause of the recent increase of asylum seekers in the United States.” Another resolution committed union members to “push reparations for descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States.” NEA members also adopted a resolution to “incorporate the concept of ‘White Fragility’ into NEA trainings/staff development ...”

Admittedly, some proposals were related to children’s learning. One resolution declared the union would “re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America by putting a renewed emphasis on quality education.” Another resolution called for teacher preparation programs and trainings to be focused on “commitment to students and their learning.”

The only problem: Those last two proposals were rejected by NEA attendees.

The NEA Representative Assembly shows the union’s goals for schools nationwide, including Oklahoma, involve a lot more political indoctrination than academic learning. Some will respond, “That’s the NEA, not Oklahoma teachers.” But the OEA reports around 60 Oklahoma educators participated in the assembly. Membership in the OEA requires membership in the NEA, and OEA ships approximately 40 percent of educators’ union dues to the NEA. A member of OEA’s board of directors even served on the committee that developed the proposals voted on by delegates.

Put simply, there’s no sign of friction between OEA and its national parent. The NEA’s agenda is the OEA’s agenda. Parents should take note.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Stitt, Hofmeister call for investigative audit of Epic Charter School


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (July 19, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister today called for an investigative audit of Epic Charter School and all related entities in a letter submitted by Gov. Stitt to State Auditor Cindy Byrd. The audit request will involve a three-year look back on all previously issued audits of Epic, to include any federal audits.

“Oklahoma is investing in public education at the highest levels in our state’s history, while also modernizing and developing new solutions for the delivery of education that ensures the best outcomes for Oklahoma’s children,” said Gov. Stitt. “As we progress towards becoming a Top Ten state, we must be equally committed to accountability and transparency across the public education spectrum. This is why we are requesting for the State Auditor to engage with an investigative audit of Epic Charter School and its related entities.”

“As every public education dollar is precious, it is critical that there be full transparency and accountability for how those dollars are spent. I commend Gov. Stitt In calling for this audit to help shed light on the matter,” said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

A copy of Gov. Stitt’s letter to State Auditor Byrd is available by clicking here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Neese hits Horn for flip-flop on "corporate PAC" money


Oklahoma City, OK – Terry Neese, conservative Republican candidate for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District, blasted Kendra Horn today for breaking an important campaign promise by accepting nearly $100,000 in corporate PAC money in the second quarter. During the 2018 election cycle, Horn routinely attacked her opponent through ads, on Twitter and in speeches for taking corporate PAC money. Neese released the following statement:

"We are deeply disappointed in Kendra Horn for breaking yet another campaign promise," said Terry Neese. "We need a representative who will not only work with President Trump to secure the border, lower taxes and stand up against socialism, but someone who will keep their word when they make a commitment to voters. It's clear that Kendra Horn, like many of her socialist colleagues, will say and do anything to get elected and stay in office, even if that means lying or breaking campaign promises."

For more information on Terry Neese or her campaign, please visit

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

ODOT seeks input for next 25-year long range plan, invite public to take survey

ODOT seeks input for the next 25 years, public invited to take survey today

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is developing its 2020-2045 Long Range Transportation Plan and is inviting the public to get involved in the year-long process.

The federally required plan will establish transportation policies and priorities for the next 25 years for various modes of travel and commercial freight movement in the state including highway; passenger and freight rail; public transit; bicycle and pedestrian; ports and waterways and airport access. The plan doesn’t focus on specific projects like ODOT’s Eight-year Construction Work Plan, but rather encompasses overall transportation priorities and goals.

“There is a lot of interest in infrastructure right now nationwide and it’s critical for ODOT to get input from every community in the state to help update Oklahoma’s transportation plan for the future,” ODOT Deputy Director Dawn Sullivan said.

Oklahomans can visit to find out more about the plan’s development, view past plans and sign up to receive more information throughout the process. The department is also using an interactive, online engagement tool called MetroQuest to gather feedback using realistic transportation situations. The first opportunity to provide input via a MetroQuest survey at is available until Aug. 12. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and allows users to encourage fellow Oklahomans to participate through email and social media.

The agency will use the public’s input to document the condition of the existing system, analyze future needs and trends, evaluate how to meet those needs and develop related strategies and policies for the next 25 years. The department will come back to the public for additional input when Draft Plan recommendations are ready – expected to be in late spring 2020 – with an overall goal for the plan to be considered for adoption by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission in summer 2020. Following completion, the Long Range Transportation Plan will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Music Monday: Bach's "Little" Fugue in G Minor

This week's Music Monday is Fugue in G minor, BWV 578, also know as the "Little" Fugue in G Minor, by the great classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach.


See below for all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to suggest for a future Music Monday? Email me at

July 8th, 2019: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
July 1st, 2019: Medley of Sousa Marches
June 24th, 2019: Seventy-Six Trombones
June 17th, 2019: I Want To Be That Man
June 3rd, 2019: "Les Toreadors" from 'Carmen'
May 20th, 2019: Lonesome Road
May 13th, 2019: Mr. Mom
April 29th, 2019: Have Faith in God (Muskogee's hymn)
April 15th, 2019: The Government Can
March 25th, 2019: Transcendental Étude No. 4, "Mazeppa"
March 18th, 2019: St. Patrick's Day in the Morning
March 11th, 2019: What Wondrous Love is This
March 4th, 2019: Scandinavian Waltz
February 18th, 2019: Adagio for Strings
February 11th, 2019: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 4th, 2019: Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
January 7th, 2019: Loch Lomond
December 31st, 2018: Auld Lang Syne
December 24th, 2018: Remember O, thou Man
December 17th, 2018: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 10th, 2018: Carol of the Bells (medley)
December 3rd, 2018: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 26th, 2018: Happy Birthday
November 19th, 2018: My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness
November 12th, 2018: Hymn to the Fallen
October 29th, 2018: A Mighty Fortress is Our God
October 22nd, 2018: Hymn to Red October
October 15th, 2018:  Indian Reservation ("Cherokee People")
October 8th, 2018: Wagner's 'Columbus Overture'
October 1st, 2018: Danny Boy
September 24th, 2018: Dvorak's 'From The New World' Symphony, 4th Movement
September 17th, 2018: Deep River
September 10th, 2018: Muleskinner Blues
September 3rd, 2018: Boomer Sooner
August 20th, 2018: Psalm 23
August 13th, 2018: Ashokan Farewell
August 6, 2018: How the West Was Won
July 23rd, 2018: I Just Can't Wait to Be King
July 16th, 2018: 'Jupiter' from 'The Planets'
July 9th, 2018: Hail to the Spirit of Liberty
July 2nd, 2018: Turn The Tide
June 25th, 2018: Good Guys Win
June 18th, 2018: Watching You
June 11th, 2018: Adoration
June 4th, 2018: March from 'A Moorside Suite'
May 28th, 2018: Taps
May 21st, 2018: Listz's La Campanella
May 14th, 2018: Handful of Weeds
May 7th, 2018: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
April 30th, 2018: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 ("Heroic")
April 23rd, 2018: Blow Ye The Trumpet
April 16th, 2018: Asturias (Leyenda)
April 9th, 2018: Old Mountain Dew
April 2nd, 2018: His Life For Mine
March 19th, 2018: See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!
March 12th, 2018: Choctaw Nation
March 5th, 2018: Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal
February 19th, 2018: The Olympic Spirit
February 12th, 2018: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
January 29th, 2018: Hail to the Chief
January 23rd, 2018: Waltz in A-Flat Major, Op. 39 No. 15
January 15th, 2018: Bleed The Same
January 8th, 2018: Saint-Saëns' Symphony No.3 'Organ' (Maestoso)
December 25th, 2017: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 18th, 2017: I Saw Three Ships (The Piano Guys)
December 11th, 2017:Who Is He In Yonder Stall
December 4th, 2017: Carol of the Bells (Mannheim Steamroller)
November 27th, 2017: Joy to the World!
November 20th, 2017: We Gather Together
November 13th, 2017: Mansions of the Lord
November 6th, 2017: Träumerei
October 30th: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 23rd, 2017: In Christ Alone
October 16th, 2017: When I'm Knee Deep In Bluegrass
October 9th, 2017: I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb
October 2nd, 2017: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (Brahms)
September 25th, 2017: Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in C minor ('Pathétique')
September 11th, 2017: Have You Forgotten?
September 4th, 2017: Bach's Double Violin Concerto
August 28th, 2017: Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
August 21st, 2017: The Heavens Are Telling The Glory of God
August 14th, 2017: Beethoven's 5th Symphony
August 7th, 2017: 'Lift High The Name Of Jesus' medley
July 31st, 2017: Fanfare for the Common Man
July 24th, 2017: Variations on 'Happy Birthday'
July 10th, 2017: Summer (Presto) from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
July 3rd, 2017: Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame
June 26th, 2017: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
June 19th, 2017: A Christian Home
June 12th, 2017: Ol' Man River
June 5th, 2017: Choctaw Cowboy
May 29th, 2017: Armed Forces Salute
May 22nd, 2017: Double Bass Concerto No.2 in B minor
May 15th, 2017: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major
May 8th, 2017: The Army Goes Rolling Along
April 17th, 2017: He Is Alive
April 10th, 2017: Surely He Hath Borne/And With His Stripes/All We Like Sheep
April 3rd, 2017: Here Comes Carolina
March 27th, 2017: 'Spring' from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'
March 20th, 2017: Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") Finale
March 13th, 2017: The Pigeon on the Gate
March 6th, 2017: Finlandia
February 27th, 2017: When I Can Read My Title Clear
February 20th, 2017: William Tell Overture - Finale
February 13th, 2017: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 6th, 2017: White Winter Hymnal
January 30th, 2017: Hail, Columbia
January 23rd, 2017: Hail to the Chief
January 16th, 2017: Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
January 2nd, 2017: Auld Lang Syne
December 26th, 2016: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
December 19th, 2016: I Wonder as I Wander
December 12th, 2016: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 5th, 2016: A Christmas Festival
November 28th, 2016: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 21st: Beethoven's 'Hymn of Thanksgiving'
November 14th: Hymn to the Fallen
November 7th: This World Is Not My Home
October 31st, 2016: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 24th, 2016: 'Mars', from 'The Planets'
October 17th, 2016: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
October 10th, 2016: Spain
October 3rd, 2016: International Harvester
September 26th, 2016: 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars
September 19th, 2016: Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound
September 12th, 2016: Before the Throne of God Above
September 5th, 2016: The Hunt
August 29th, 2016: Liberty
August 22nd, 2016: Summon the Heroes
August 15th, 2016: Bugler's Dream
August 8th, 2016: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
August 1st, 2016: 'Prelude' and 'Parade of the Charioteers' from Ben-Hur
July 25th, 2016: How The West Was Won
July 18th, 2016: Six Studies in English Folk Song
July 11th, 2016: From Everlasting To Everlasting
July 4th, 2016: The Stars and Stripes Forever
June 27th, 2016: Rule, Britannia!
June 20st, 2016: Bugler's Holiday
June 13th, 2016: Ride of the Valkyries
June 6th, 2016: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54, Allegro Vivace
May 30th, 2016: Armed Forces Salute
May 23rd, 2016: Paid in Full (Through Jesus, Amen)
May 16th, 2016: Overture from 'Carmen'
May 9th, 2016: L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 - Prelude
May 2nd, 2016: My God Is a Rock
April 25th, 2016: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
April 18th, 2016: Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A Minor
April 11th, 2016: Fantasia on a 17th Century Tune
April 4th, 2016: Hark The Sound/I'm a Tarheel Born
March 28th, 2016: Rustle of Spring
March 21st, 2016: 'Ode to Joy' sung by a 10,000-voice choir
March 14th, 2016: Hard Times Come Again No More
March 7th, 2016: 'The Suite' from Downton Abbey
February 29th, 2016: Moonlight Sonata
February 22nd, 2016: Liebestraum No. 3
February 15th, 2016: Help Is On The Way
February 8th, 2016: God of Grace and God of Glory
February 1st, 2016: 'My Story'
January 25th, 2016: Israeli Concertino
January 18th, 2016: What Grace is Mine
January 11th, 2016: "Meditation" from Thaïs
January 4th, 2016: Praeludium and Allegro
December 28th, 2015: Appalachian Carol
December 21st, 2015: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 14th, 2015: O Holy Night
December 7th, 2015: Christmas Fantasy
November 23rd, 2015: Simple Gifts
November 16th, 2015: Preacher Tell Me Like It Is
November 9th, 2015: Armed Forces Salute
November 2nd, 2015: Amazing Grace
October 26th, 2015: The Harmonious Blacksmith
October 19th, 2015: Liberty Fanfare
October 12th, 2015: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
October 5th, 2015: Elgar's 'Enigma' Finale
September 28th, 2015: Stayed on Jesus
September 21st, 2015: Great Gate of Kiev
September 14th, 2015: Nearer, My God, To Thee

Bice reports $180k raised in first fundraising quarter in 5th District race

Stephanie Bice for Congress Posts Strong First Fundraising Quarter

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 15, 2019)  - Just a few months after announcing her candidacy, Stephanie Bice has raised more than $180,000 for her congressional campaign.

Bice, who announced her bid for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District on April 24, raised $181,210 for the fundraising period ending June 30.

More than 90 percent of Bice’s contributions came from Oklahomans, and the total includes no loans from the candidate.

In the five weeks after the conclusion of Oklahoma’s 57th Legislative Session on May 24, Bice was able to raise more than $150,000.

As chair of the State Senate Finance Committee, this session Bice was instrumental in passage of legislation to provide a tax deduction for Oklahomans providing foster care services. She also helped expand the Affordable Housing Tax Credit to all Oklahoma communities and secured a sales tax exempt status to the American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.

In addition, Bice worked with Governor Kevin Stitt to author landmark criminal justice reform legislation. The measure eases prison overcrowding by applying citizen-approved State Question 780 retroactively. It also creates a streamlined process to have SQ 780 crimes expunged from the record of those impacted by the legislation.

Governor Stitt signed Bice’s criminal justice legislation into law in May.

Bice said the early fundraising success is a direct result of her legislative efforts to improve the state for all Oklahomans.

“I’m grateful for this early outpouring of support for my Congressional race,” Bice said. “I’ve heard from voters all over the state that they are ready for new Republican leadership in the 5th district. I’m proud to say that most of these donations are from everyday Oklahomans – individuals who have put their trust in me and share my goal of returning our conservative, Oklahoma values to Washington.”

Tribal council advances measure to reject pay raises for elected officials


(TAHLEQUAH, OK) - By a landslide 9-6 vote in Monday's meeting, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council rules committee passed "The No Pay Raise for Elected Officials Act of 2019" that was proposed by Councilors David Walkingstick, Shawn Crittenden, and Dick Lay to block the massive pay increases for elected officials that was proposed by the Cherokee Nation Compensation Committee.

A packed house of Cherokee citizens looked on as Walkingstick, Crittenden, and Lay were joined by fellow Councilors Mary Baker Shaw, Joe Byrd, Buel Anglen, Keith Austin, Harley Buzzard, and Mike Dobbins to defeat the proposed pay hikes. Voting in support of the pay raises were Councilors E.O. Smith, Victoria Vasquez, Canaan Duncan, Rex Jordan, Mike Shambaugh, and Deputy Chief-elect Bryan Warner, whose salary as Deputy Chief stood to be increased by 104% should the raises have gone through. Councilor Wanda Hatfield abstained from the vote and Councilor Janees Taylor was not present.

Councilor Crittenden began the discussion on the legislation by referring to constituents in his districts who have desperate needs but have been turned down for help by the Cherokee Nation due to a lack of funding. The audience roared in laughter when Councilor Mike Shambaugh defended the proposed pay raises, stating that he spoke with the head of finance for the tribe, who told him that the proposed raises would not any impact on funding for tribal services.

In a scathing argument in support of blocking the pay raises, Councilor Walkingstick pointed out a number of conflicts of interest held by members of the Cherokee Nation Compensation Committee who unanimously voted to propose the raises. Walkingstick said, "three out of the five committee members maxed out to (Principal Chief-elect) Chuck Hoskin and Bryan Warner, and one of them was the attorney for one of our sitting council members right now. I see conflicts of interest."

Following the passage of "The No Pay Raise for Elected Officials Act of 2019", Walkingstick released the following statement:

"I am thankful and relieved that the rules committee voted today to strike down the massive pay raises for the incoming administration and tribal council. Because of the advocacy of thousands of Cherokee citizens who came together to take a stand on this issue, our legislation to block the raises has gone on to the next step in the process. Tonight at 6:00 pm, the Tribal Council will meet again to discuss and vote on this legislation in the full chamber. I invite all concerned Cherokees to come to this public meeting on such an important issue and make your voices heard.

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council will meet publicly at 6:00 pm on Monday, July 15th at the W. W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah to discuss and vote on the "No Pay Raise for Elected Officials Act of 2019" before the full council. Following passage by the Tribal Council, Principal Chief Bill John Baker will have the opportunity to sign or veto this legislation.