Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations file Federal Lawsuit to end Compact Renewal Dispute

Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations file Federal Lawsuit to end Compact Renewal Dispute

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 31, 2019) – The Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations filed a Federal lawsuit today to bring an end to the uncertainty Oklahoma Governor J. Kevin Stitt has attempted to cast over Tribal gaming operations. The suit names Governor Stitt in his official capacity and seeks a judicial declaration that the gaming compacts renew in accord with their express terms, effective January 1, 2020. The Nations provided a copy of the Federal complaint to Governor Stitt, along with a letter explaining their reasons for filing it. Counsel for the Nations, former United States Circuit Judge Robert Henry, provided a companion letter and copy of the complaint to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

While revenue-share rates have generated significant public interest, the Nations’ lawsuit does not address those matters. It instead calls for the court to declare the legal effect of the compact’s Part 15.B., which states—

This Compact shall have a term which will expire on January 1, 2020, and at that time, if organization licensees or others are authorized to conduct electronic gaming in any form other than pari-mutuel wagering on live horse racing pursuant to any governmental action of the state or court order following the effective date of this Compact, the Compact shall automatically renew for successive additional fifteen-year terms.

(Emphasis added.) As the Nations emphasized in their letter to Governor Stitt, “the dispute—like the lawsuit—is about renewal, not rates.”

The Nations have publicly offered statements and analyses that support their position on renewal, including a legal opinion from former Solicitor General of the United States Seth Waxman that concluded: 
The renewal provision in the Tribes’ gaming compacts with Oklahoma is not ambiguous. Under that provision’s plain language, the compacts will renew automatically when they expire on January 1, because the provision’s sole condition precedent for automatic renewal is unquestionably satisfied. Each of the contrary arguments I have seen to date simply cannot be squared with fundamental principles of contract interpretation.
Without offering support or analysis for his position, Governor Stitt has repeatedly and publicly rejected renewal, instead choosing to criticize Tribes for not working on a new compact with him and insisting the current compacts terminate and falsely declaring Tribal gaming unlawful in 2020.

Regarding the Nations’ lawsuit, Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said, “We have a solemn duty to protect the sovereign rights of our Tribal Nations as well as the interests of our citizens. While we prefer negotiation to litigation, the Federal court is now the only reasonable alternative to bring legal certainty to this issue. We remain hopeful we will continue to have a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with the State of Oklahoma once we have resolved this issue.”

Choctaw Nation Chief Batton made the following statement.

“The Governor’s stance on the gaming compact has created uncertainty and has been seen as a threat to our employees and our business partners. We see this legal action as the most viable option to restore the clarity and stability the Tribes and Oklahoma both deserve by obtaining a resolution that our compact does automatically renew. As elected leaders, it is our responsibility to uphold the compact, honor the will of the Oklahomans who approved State Question 712 and the Federal law that defines our relationship with the State on these matters.”

Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. made the following statement.

"The Cherokee Nation is committed to being a good partner in our community and with the State of Oklahoma as we have done across two centuries and will continue to do as a peaceful, sovereign nation. Governor Stitt has made comments about “uncertainty that exists” regarding Class III gaming after January 1, threats to our casino vendors and their livelihoods and demands for redundant audits. We have little choice but to ask a Federal judge to confirm the compact’s automatic renewal on Jan. 1.”

While the Seminole Nation was not a party to the lawsuit on filing, Chief Greg Chilcoat said Governor Stitt’s public position had triggered concerns among vendors and others who work with Oklahoma Tribal governments, causing some to worry about instability in the State’s economy. “Rather than respectfully engage with the Tribes and seek an amicable resolution, Governor Stitt has continued to insist on our compact’s termination,” Chief Chilcoat said. “While his position is completely at odds with our compact’s language, he has succeeded in causing uncertainty that has an economic consequence. His inconsistent approach has been unfortunate and unnecessary.”

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief James Floyd made the following statement. “The Muscogee (Creek) Nation stands united with our fellow Nations and supports the legal action taken by these three Tribes today. These efforts are necessary to bring about a swift resolution to the question posed by Governor Stitt.”

Matthew L. Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, made the following statement:

“The Tribes remain firmly united on the automatic renewal of the compacts. We have communicated our position to Governor Stitt on numerous occasions in hopes of finding a practical path forward benefitting both the State and Tribes. That said, as leaders of sovereign nations, the Tribal leaders must honor the compacts and will continue to do so on January 1, 2020, as they’ve done the past 15 years. Tribal leaders have the right as well as the responsibility to protect their citizens. Tribal leaders applaud the action taken today by the Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations to seek certainty on the matter of automatic renew through the Federal court.”

State extends hunting and fishing compacts with Cherokee and Choctaw nations


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (December 31, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt announced today that the State of Oklahoma has signed a one-year extension with Choctaw Nation on the hunting and fishing compact that was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019. Earlier today, the governor announced a similar extension with the Cherokee Nation.

“This compact extends a partnership between the state of Oklahoma and the Choctaw Nation to capture federal funds for conservation efforts across our great state while promoting hunting and fishing opportunities for members of the Choctaw Nation that are also Oklahoma residents,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt.

The compact gives statewide hunting and fishing rights to all Choctaw Nation citizens who are also Oklahoma residents. Under the compact, the Choctaw Nation must purchase and issue a minimum of 50,000 compact licenses to its Oklahoma residents between the ages of 16 and 65 years old at a fee of $2 a license. Each compact license encompasses the rights and regulatory requirements of an annual Oklahoma hunting license, an annual Oklahoma fishing license, and additional privileges.

The compacts between the State and the Choctaw Nation first went into effect on January 1, 2017, under the Fallin administration. The original compact included a termination date of Dec. 31, 2019.


Governor Kevin Stitt announced today that the State of Oklahoma has agreed to a one-year extension with Cherokee Nation on the hunting and fishing compact that was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019.

“I appreciate the Cherokee Nation working in good faith with my office and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation on a one-year Hunting and Fishing compact extension,” said Gov. Stitt. “This compact creates a partnership between the state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation to capture federal funds for conservation efforts across our great state while promoting hunting and fishing opportunities for members of the Cherokee Nation that are also Oklahoma residents.”

The compact gives statewide hunting and fishing rights to all Cherokee Nation citizens who are also Oklahoma residents. Under the compact, the Cherokee Nation must purchase and issue a minimum of 150,000 compact licenses to its Oklahoma residents between the ages of 16 and 65 years old at a fee of $2 a license. Each compact license encompasses the rights and regulatory requirements of an annual Oklahoma hunting license, an annual Oklahoma fishing license, and a single deer license and a single turkey license per calendar year.

The compact between the State and Cherokee Nation first went into effect on January 1, 2016 under the Fallin administration. The original compact included a termination date of Dec. 31, 2018, and was given a one-year extension by the previous administration.

The Stitt administration has also been in discussions with the Choctaw Nation about extending for one year the Nation’s similar hunting and fishing compact set to expire today.

Governor announces two tribes sign 8-month gaming extension, responds to federal lawsuit by Chickasaw, Cherokee and Choctaw


Oklahoma City, Okla. (Dec. 31, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt today announced two tribes, the Kialegee Tribal Town (“Tribe”) and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, have entered into an eight-month extension with the State of Oklahoma on the Model Gaming Compact. Governor Stitt today also responded to the federal lawsuit filed by the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Cherokee Nations in regard to the Model Gaming Compact expiring on Jan. 1, 2020.

“I appreciate the honesty and boldness of the Kialegee Tribal Town and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians who recognize the Jan. 1, 2020 expiration in the Model Gaming Compact and have signed on to the eight-month extension generously offered by the State. These extensions will enable the parties to negotiate a compact that better accounts for the differing needs of tribes throughout the state and the State’s interests in preserving the substantial exclusivity without a cloud of legal uncertainty. The State of Oklahoma offered an extension, with no strings attached, to all tribes that operate casinos in the state, and my door continues to be open for more tribes to join who are worried about impending uncertainty,” said Gov. Stitt.

A copy of the Kialegee Tribal Town extension is available here, and a copy of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee extension is available here.

Gov. Stitt continued, “I am disappointed that a number of Oklahoma tribes, led by the Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Choctaw Nations, did not accept the State’s offer on Oct. 28 for a three-person arbitration panel to resolve our dispute outside of court. This was a capstone action to their numerous refusals to meet with State and begin negotiations on the Model Gaming Compact to ensure a win-win for all parties by the end of this year. I was elected to represent all 4 million Oklahomans, and I will continue to be laser focused on an outcome that achieves a fair deal and is in the best interest of the state and its citizens.”

The gaming compacts were entered into by the State of Oklahoma and 35 tribes beginning in 2005. Between July 3 – July 8, 2019, Governor Stitt requested that tribal leaders work with the State to renegotiate terms in the gaming compacts—"within 180 days of the expiration of this Compact or any renewal thereof,” as set forth in Part 15.B of the compacts.

The State of Oklahoma made four official requests for tribal leaders to come together to discuss and negotiate the terms of the gaming compacts. All requests were turned down by the tribes. The State then proposed arbitration to resolve the legal dispute regarding the compacts’ expiration date. This offer was categorically rejected. On Dec. 18, 2019, Governor Stitt offered to extend the compacts for eight months to permit the parties time to negotiate in good faith. This offer was also turned down. The tribes have now filed a lawsuit after repeatedly being offered all avenues available to resolve the matter without litigation. The timeline of events is available by clicking here.

LtGov Pinnell invites Okies to participate in State Parks First Day Hikes

Lt. Governor Pinnell Encourages Oklahomans to Participate in State Parks First Day Hikes

(Oklahoma City, OK) – Lt. Governor Pinnell is encouraging fellow Oklahomans to kick off 2020 by participating in the nationwide State Parks First Day Hikes program. The initiative takes place at State Parks in all fifty states on New Year’s Day. Oklahoma has twenty State Parks participating across the state.

“As we enter 2020, I’m asking Oklahomans to join us in taking a First Day Hike at an area State Park,” said Lt. Governor Pinnell, who also serves as Secretary of Tourism and Branding. “This is a great opportunity to see the beauty of one of our great State Parks, and begin the New Year with a healthy, outdoor activity.”

Participants are encouraged to dress warm and wear appropriate footwear. A list of participating First Day Hikes is below. For more information, visit the TravelOK website.

Alabaster Caverns State Park - Freedom

  • Time: 10am
  • Meeting location: Park Office
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages welcome, parent participation required for those under eight years.
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: Half-mile.
  • Things to bring: Water, binoculars, camera, hiking stick.
  • Cancelation information: Check 580-621-3381

Boiling Springs State Park - Woodward

  • Time: 2pm
  • Meeting location: Scout Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages welcome. Children must be accompanied by parent.
  • Pets on leash allowed: No
  • Length of trail: one mile
  • Things to bring: Water, binoculars, camera, hiking stick, snacks.
  • Cancellation information: Check 580-256-7664

Roman Nose State Park - Watonga

  • Time: 12pm
  • Meeting location: Lodge
  • Name of trail: Inspiration Point
  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: 10
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: three miles
  • Things to bring: Water bottle, camera, hiking stick, closed-toed shoes/boots, medications, sunscreen.
  • Cancellation information: Check 800-892-8690 or Roman Nose State Park's Facebook account.

Bernice Area at Grand Lake State Park - Bernice

  • Time: 11am
  • Meeting location: Bernice Nature Center
  • Name of trail: Heart Healthy Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy, paved trail
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: One mile
  • Things to bring: Camera, binoculars, water, appropriate shoes and clothes for cold weather.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-257-8330

Grand Cherokee Golf Course at Grand Lake - Langley

  • Time: 2pm
  • Meeting location: Pro Shop
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: 2.2 miles
  • Things to bring: Camera, water bottle, hiking stick.
  • Cancelation information: Check 918-435-8727
  • Other information: Complimentary hot chocolate and coffee will be available.

Greenleaf State Park - Braggs

  • Time: 10am
  • Meeting location: Park Office
  • Name of trail: Family Fun Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: One mile
  • Things to bring: Water bottle, binoculars, camera, hiking stick.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-487-5196

Keystone State Park - Sand Springs

  • Time: 12:01am and 10:30am
  • Meeting location: General Store/Park Office
  • Name of trail: Rangers Pass Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: 1.25 mile
  • Things to bring: Water bottle, binoculars, camera, hiking stick, weather-appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-865-4991
  • Other information: Complimentary hot chocolate and coffee will be available.

Lake Eufaula State Park - Checotah

  • Time: 10am
  • Meeting location: Visitor Center
  • Name of trail: Chinkapin Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: 1.5 miles.
  • Things to bring: Binoculars, camera, water, weather-appropriate clothing.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-689-5311 or Lake Eufaula State Park's Facebook page.

Osage Hills State Park - Pawhuska

  • Time: 12am and 1pm
  • Meeting location: Ball field in the park
  • Name of trail: Creek Loop Trail/Lake Loop Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy for 12am hike and moderate for 1pm hike.
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: Three-fourths of a mile for 12am hike and one mile for 1pm hike.
  • Things to bring: Water and weather-appropriate clothing and shoes.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-336-5635

Sequoyah State Park - Hulbert

  • Time: 11:30am and 1:30pm
  • Meeting location: Three Forks Nature Center
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy for 11:30am hike and Moderate for 1:30pm hike.
  • Minimum age for kids: Age six for hike, but all ages welcome in the Nature Center.
  • Pets on leash allowed: No
  • Length of trail: One mile for 11:30am hike and two miles for 1:30pm hike.
  • Things to bring: Water bottle and mug for hot drinks. Wear sturdy shoes.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-772-2108 and check Sequoyah State Park's Facebook page.
  • Additional information: Warm beverages will be available at Three Forks Nature Center after the hike. Bring your own mug to help reduce waste!

Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park - Canadian

  • Time: 10am
  • Meeting location: Arrowhead Park Office
  • Name of trail: Trivia Trail
  • Degree of Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: Half-mile
  • Things to bring: Water bottle, binocular, camera, hiking stick.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-339-2204 or check the Arrowhead State Park and Golf Course's Facebook page.

Beavers Bend State Park - Broken Bow

  • Time: 11am
  • Meeting location: Forest Heritage Center
  • Name of trail: Tree Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages welcome. Children must be accompanied by parent.
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: One mile
  • Things to bring: Water, snacks, binoculars, camera.
  • Cancellation information: Check 580-494-6556
  • Additional information: Following the hike, meet at the pavilion fireplace next to the Heritage Center for hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks. A hay ride will occur after lunch as well. Dress appropriately for weather conditions.

Lake Wister State Park - Wister

  • Time: 1pm
  • Meeting location: Wards Landing Campground
  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: One mile
  • Things to bring: Water bottle, camera, binoculars, weather-appropriate clothing.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-655-7212

McGee Creek State Park - Atoka

  • Time: 1pm
  • Meeting location: Potapo Campground at T-Hill
  • Name of trail: T-Hill Loop
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: 1.4 miles.
  • Cancellation information: Check 580-889-5822
  • Other information: Water, hot chocolate, coffee and snacks will be served before and after hike.

Robbers Cave State Park - Wilburton

  • Time: 9:30am (both hikes)
  • Meeting location: Community Room 1
  • Degree of difficulty: Hike one is easy, hike two is strenuous.
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: Hike one is one mile, hike two is three miles.
  • Things to bring: Binoculars, camera, hiking stick.
  • Cancellation information: Check 918-465-2565
  • Other information: Food and refreshments will be provided. 

South Central
Lake Murray State Park - Ardmore

  • Time: 11am
  • Meeting location: Lake Murray Nature Center at Tucker Tower
  • Name of trail: Nature Center Loop
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Minimum age of kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: 1.5 miles.
  • Things to bring: Water bottle, camera, binoculars.
  • Cancellation information: Check 580-223-4044
  • Other information: Make sure clothes and shoes are weather-appropriate.

Fort Cobb State Park - Fort Cobb

  • Time: January 4, 9:30am
  • Meeting location: Eagle's Nest Pavilion
  • Name of trail: Western Oaks Heart Healthy Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: Three-mile loop
  • Things to bring: Comfortable hiking shoes, binoculars, water, camera.
  • Cancellation information: Check 405-643-2249 or Fort Cobb State Park's Facebook page.
  • Other information: Guests might see eagles, deer, turkey, water fowl and other wildlife!

Foss State Park - Foss

  • Time: 2pm
  • Meeting location: Enclosed Cedar Point shelter above the marina.
  • Name of trail: Great Western Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: Two miles
  • Things to bring: Water bottle, binoculars, camera, hiking stick.
  • Cancellation information: Check 580-592-4433 and Foss State Park's Facebook page.

Great Plains State Park - Mountain Park

  • Time: 10am
  • Meeting location: Park Office
  • Name of trail: Healthy Heart and Nature Trail
  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age for kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trail: Five miles
  • Things to bring: Comfortable hiking shoes, binoculars, water, camera.
  • Cancellation information: Check 580-569-2032

Lake Thunderbird State Park - Norman

  • Time: 11am
  • Meeting locations: Discovery Cove Nature Center & South Dam Pavilion.
  • Name of trails: Fawns Rest Accessible Trail, the Dam and Nature Center Trail. 
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Minimum age of kids: All ages
  • Pets on leash allowed: Yes
  • Length of trails: Fawns Rest Accessible Trail is a half-mile, the Dam is one mile and Nature Center Trail is two miles.
  • Things to bring: Weather-appropriate clothing.
  • Cancellation information: Check 405-360-3572 
  • Additional information: Coffee, hot chocolate, bottled water and healthy snacks will be available after hikes.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

OCPA column: Problem gambling must be part of compact debate

Problem gambling must be part of compact debate
By Jonathan Small

The debate over renegotiating state-tribal gaming compacts, which confer monopoly rights to casinos, has focused mostly on dollars and cents. But the debate should also focus on the societal fallout of casinos: the ripple effects of problem gamblers.

The reality of problem gambling is now constant in Oklahoma, as individuals are constantly being sent to prison for embezzlement and theft driven by gambling addiction. Those sent to prison include everyone from school officials to state government leaders.

And gambling doesn’t have to lead to prison to ruin someone’s life. For example, a study of members of Gamblers Anonymous found 26 percent had gambling-related divorces or separations.

Yet, of the paltry $139 million in casino exclusivity fees collected by Oklahoma government in 2018, in exchange for the monopoly given to current casino operators, just $250,000 went to treatment of problem gambling, or roughly one-tenth of 1 percent. (Another $750,000 for treatment comes from lottery proceeds.)

That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the size of the casino industry and the size of the addiction problem.

The Council on Casinos, an organization comprised primarily of academics at major universities, examined the impact of casinos in a 2013 report. That report remains one of the best resources on this topic.

The report highlights why problem gambling will be more widespread in Oklahoma than in other states.

The council found regional casinos, like those in Oklahoma, “attract the great majority of their customers from nearby communities,” and a typical patron lives within 70 miles of a casino.

Since Oklahoma has over 100 tribal casinos (operating with geographic monopolies), and proximity is associated with higher rates of problem gambling, it’s obvious problem gambling is a major issue in Oklahoma.

The council found the features that cause players to gamble longer and lose more money at slot machines also contribute to addictive behaviors. The council found nearly “half of individuals sitting in front of gambling devices at any one time exhibit ‘problematic’ gambling behaviors.”

Financially, casinos depend upon problem gamblers for much of their revenue—40 percent to 60 percent of slot machine revenue comes from that group, according to studies cited by the council. Casual players who don’t have addiction issues provide little money. The council cited one study in Canada that found casual players comprised 75 percent of players, but just 4 percent of net gambling revenue.

Put simply, the eighth-largest industry in Oklahoma was built primarily on the backs of a group of problem gamblers, but this group is virtually ignored in coverage of the gaming-compact debate. That neglect does not happen when we were talking about the tobacco, opioid, alcohol or marijuana industries. Rather than avert our eyes, Oklahoma needs to face the reality of gambling addiction.

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

Friday, December 27, 2019

OK State Education Dep't promotes progressive activism masquerading as civics

Oklahoma education agency promotes progressive activism masquerading as civics

The nonprofit organization Generation Citizen has been busy in Oklahoma these last few years. The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) blandly announced this month that Generation Citizen “offers training and support to bring action civics into the classroom” and that it “works with 25 schools in 10 cities throughout the state.” OSDE quotes a middle-school teacher who says enthusiastically, “‘It’s the future of social studies education and curriculum.’” OSDE provides a link “to find out how to bring Generation Citizen to your school.”

Generation Citizen makes the casual observer think it’s nonpartisan: “Through student-driven projects, youth learn how to effect policy change by engaging with local government and leaders to solve community problems.”

In truth, Generation Citizen smuggles propaganda and vocational training for progressive activism into K-12 schools and calls it “action civics.”

Generation Citizen is part of the larger New Civics movement, which has infiltrated both K-12 schools and our universities. New Civics in turn is one component of Social Justice Education, the larger movement to turn all American education into propaganda and vocational training for social justice activism. Social Justice Education uses “experiential learning”—time spent out of the classroom for which you get class credit—as vocational training in the nuts and bolts of left-wing activism. Experiential learning is also called “service learning” and “civic engagement.” Young students get comfortable being organized and older students learn how to organize. When you graduate, you’re ready to enlist as a professional organizer for progressive political activism.

Generation Citizen grooms students for Social Justice Education by training them in action civics and “participatory action research.” Generation Citizen trains students to use influential radical Saul Alinsky’s technique of “power mapping” to bring about revolutionary change. That’s what Generation Citizen does: “We promote political engagement, which we define as interaction with power, and specifically, governmental institutions.” And Generation Citizen specifies that political engagement is more radical than civic engagement or service-learning: “It is the difference between volunteering at a soup kitchen and promoting policy solutions.”

Generation Citizen also promotes “youth organizing”—a youth development strategy that focuses on training young people in community organizing and advocacy.”

Generation Citizen also “educates for democracy”—and that means education which assumes progressive political beliefs and works to support bring about progressive policy:

Underpinning all of these challenges is persistent and growing economic, political, social, and cultural inequality. … deepening racial inequalities, the rise of mass incarceration, over-policing, unjust disciplinary policies in schools, the resegregation of public education, and inequality of opportunity by race and gender.

Generation Citizen works by “building critical consciousness”:

Critical consciousness is an understanding of the systemic, institutional, and historical injustices that cause the pervasive inequities in resources and opportunities for certain groups. Enhancing critical consciousness among youth from underserved communities is a vital step to building efficacy as it entails understanding an individual’s relationship to a broader system. … Youth organizing and youth-led participatory action research are examples of activities that effectively build critical consciousness among young people.

Generation Citizen’s “action civics” brainwashes students into believing progressive propaganda.

Unsurprisingly, the avowedly nonpartisan Generation Citizen overwhelmingly supports progressive causes—rent subsidies (“affordable housing”) rather than taxpayers’ rights, gun control rather than gun rights, restorative justice rather than stricter school discipline or prison laws. It stigmatizes civic concern with vote integrity and vote fraud as “voter suppression.”

What sort of “youth activism” does it praise? “The recent #BlackLivesMatter activism and the Movement for Black Lives, in response to the wave of police brutality cases, is an illustration of promising youth activism, as are the DREAMers, undocumented students who have positively influenced the Obama Administration on issues of immigrant rights.”

Dig into Generation Citizen’s teacher’s curriculum, and you’ll find a host of progressive distortions. The curriculum’s list of American protest movements includes Occupy (Wall Street), Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo, but it doesn’t include Phyllis Schlafly’s STOP ERA campaign, the prolife movement, or the Tea Party. It teaches that the essence of American democracy is the protest movement: “From the conflicts leading to American independence in 1776 to youth demands for climate change action today, young people have played a pivotal role in political and social change in the United States from the start.”

The entire framework of Generation Citizen works against individual self-reliance. It educates for collective activism. It educates for protest—which always demands more government spending and more exercises of coercive governmental power. Generation Citizen’s justification is “that young people are a demographic without official economic, political, or social power—they require effective proxies (e.g., government and its institutions, their families, community organizations, and/or other adult actors) to make effective decisions on their behalf.” But Generation Citizen favors policies that increase the government’s power to act “on behalf of” adults. Generation Citizen stages temper-tantrums by students to justify the extension of the nanny state.

Generation Citizen has a canny sense of how to make “action civics” required: “it must become a core element of the public school system,” both by more funding and by making action civics “a core part of mandatory student assessments.” Generation Citizen wants every school and every teacher to require left-wing activism, as part of the regulations set by the state Department of Education. In Oklahoma, “As a member of the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Social Studies Drafting Committee, we revised state standards to include civics as a core strand and recommended practices that align with key components of Action Civics.”

Generation Citizen is a social justice organization using civics education as a Trojan Horse to take over Oklahoma’s K-12 school system. It can, should, and must be banished from Oklahoma’s schools—and so should all “civic engagement,” “experiential learning,” and “social justice education.” Oklahoma policymakers and citizens should take these five concrete steps:

  1. Prohibit class credit at both the K-12 and the university level for “experiential learning,” with narrowly tailored exceptions for courses such as an engineering internship.
  2. Increase the factual, classroom requirements for civics and history, both to increase students’ civic knowledge and to decrease the classroom time available for progressive activism.
  3. Prohibit the use of state education money for any class whose activity includes lobbying, whether to advocate for the educational activity itself or for any other public policy.
  4. Require rigorous factual civics and history requirements for teacher licensure, to weed out the “action civics” cadres who know nothing but how to organize protests.
  5. Encourage Oklahoma philanthropists to fund rival organizations devoted to real civics education, to give Oklahoma schools a superior alternative to Generation Citizen.

Real civic engagement by Oklahomans will drive Generation Citizen out of their schools.

David Randall is the research director of the National Association of Scholars. He earned a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University, an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University, a master’s degree in library science from the Palmer School at Long Island University, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College. Prior to working at NAS he was the sole librarian at the John McEnroe Library at New York Studio School.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Have a very merry Christmas!

The account of the birth of Jesus Christ, from Luke 2:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

I hope that you have a very happy and safe holiday!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Are You Smarter than a Congressman? Take the Quiz and find out!

From Pursuit:

Congress just quickly passed a pair of massive spending bills that package what are supposed to be 12 separate spending bills into two giant omnibuses. Our entire discretionary budget is funded by these two bills (as opposed to programs such as Social Security, Medicare and interest payments that are mandatory). But there’s a whole lot more going on. 

Take our quiz to find out more about what’s in these bills. Once you’re done, you’ll likely know more about it then your Congressman!

Some of the questions featured:

  • How many pages are in the 2 spending bills?
  • How long did the House of Representative have to review before voting?
  • How much spending is included in the two omnibus bills?
  • How much military equipment did the spending bill include that was not in the Pentagon’s budget request?
  • The administration requested a total of $10.5 million for three regional economic development agencies (the Denali Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, and the Northern Border Regional Commission). How much did Congress give them?

AG Hunter applauds Congress for passing legislation to reduce spam calls

Attorney General Hunter Applauds Congress for Passing Legislation to Cut Down on Robocalls

OKLAHOMA CITY (December 20, 2019) – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following statement, applauding members of both Congressional chambers for passing legislation that will cut down on robocalls.

The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act requires service providers to verify incoming calls are legitimate before reaching consumers, and gives the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) more ability to impose and collect fines for illegal calls. Violators could be fined up to $10,000.

The legislation is expected to be signed by the president.

Attorney General Hunter said he is encouraged to see this important piece of legislation pass with bipartisan support.

“I commend members of the House of Representatives and the Senate for working together in getting the TRACED Act to the president’s desk,” Attorney General Hunter said. “One of the biggest consumer complaints I hear from Oklahomans is about the volume of robocalls they receive. This meaningful legislation will have a tremendous impact in reversing that trend and will better protect consumers. I look forward to continued partnership with the FCC once the bill is signed into law.”

Read details of the TRACED Act, here: https://bit.ly/2EQIxVP.

Part of the legislation requires attorneys general to partner with the FCC to form an interagency task force to study government prosecution of robocall violation.

The task force will determine how federal law and budgetary constraints inhibit enforcement of the robocall violations; identify existing and additional policies and programs to increase coordination between federal departments and agencies and the states for enforcing and preventing violations of the robocall violations; and identify existing and potential international policies and programs to improve coordination between countries in enforcing robocall violations and similar laws.

Attorney General Hunter has taken several significant steps over the last year to combat robocalls, including working across state lines with his attorneys general colleagues, meetings with federal officials, including FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and issuing consumer alerts when robocalls target specific areas of the state, among other things.

 According to the call blocking company YouMail, last month alone Oklahomans received 59.3 million robocalls, which is a rate of over 82,000 per hour.

Music Monday: Angels We Have Heard on High

This week's Music Monday is the Christmas carol Angels We Have Heard on High, performed here by the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers.


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 JamisonFaught@MuskogeePolitico.com.

December 16th, 2019: I Wonder As I Wander
December 9th, 2019: O Come, All Ye Faithful
December 2nd, 2019: I Saw Three Ships
November 25th, 2019: Count Your Blessings
November 18th, 2019: Poor Wayfaring Stranger
November 11th, 2019: Over There
November 4th, 2019: Great Speckled Bird
October 28th, 2019: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 14th, 2019: Batman Theme
September 30th, 2019: These Are My People (Johnny Cash)
September 23rd, 2019: Pictures at an Exhibition (Great Gate of Kiev)
September 16th, 2019: The Streets of Laredo (Piano Puzzler)
September 9th, 2019: I'm Ready To Go
August 26th, 2019: It Is Not Death To Die
August 5th, 2019: 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
July 29th, 2019: Let It Be Said Of Us
July 15th, 2019: Bach's "Little" Fugue in G Minor
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

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Small: Time for lawsuit reform to benefit teaching profession

Time for lawsuit reform to benefit teaching profession
By Jonathan Small

If listening to someone whack a bell at Christmas dinner “to pierce the silence in the face of all forms of oppression including racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, misogyny, and homophobia” sounds like your idea of a good time, then membership in the Oklahoma Education Association may be for you.

But if you think such political performance art sounds like a root canal minus any end-result benefits, then you’re among a likely strong majority of Oklahomans—including many good Oklahoma teachers. The problem for those good teachers is that current Oklahoma law prods them to financially support teachers’ unions that advocate political positions out of line with the views of many state teachers.

Here’s why: As part of its membership package, teachers’ unions typically provide insurance coverage that protects members from lawsuits. While Oklahoma law technically protects teachers from personal liability for actions taken in the normal course of employment, many educators are still at risk.

For example, when a teacher breaks up a fight, many schools will refuse to back the teacher’s action, which leaves him or her personally liable if someone decides to sue. Ask around, and you’ll quickly find that lack of administrative support is a common teacher complaint.

As a result, many Oklahoma teachers retain their OEA membership to have insurance coverage even though they disagree with much of what the OEA does.

Rather than drive teachers into the union, it’s time Oklahoma gave them an alternative.

Under legislation that could receive final approval in the 2020 legislative session, the state would provide teachers with up to $2 million in liability insurance coverage as an add-on to their payment package.

In addition to providing coverage, lawmakers should also strengthen legal protections for teachers so they can defend themselves and their students in the classroom. If teachers are not allowed to maintain classroom discipline, how are they supposed to improve educational outcomes?

Doing those two things would protect good teachers from financial ruin and also allow them to sever ties with unions, because for many teachers the only appeal of union membership is the liability insurance coverage. The politics of the union often run far from the views of typical Oklahoma teachers.

Recall that last summer dozens of OEA members attended a National Education Association Representative Assembly where attendees declared support for “the fundamental right to abortion,” called on the U.S. government “to accept responsibility for the destabilization of Central American countries,” vowed to partner with organizations “doing the work to push reparations for descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States,” and more.

And my earlier quote about the piercing bell comes from holiday recommendations put out by NEA EdJustice.

Oklahoma teachers should have the right to maintain classroom discipline without fear. And they definitely deserve the chance to teach without having to financially support political extremists.

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

Friday, December 20, 2019

Governor, Senate leaders comment on FY2021 Budget certification figures


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (December 20, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt today issued the following statement after the state Board of Equalization certified an estimate indicating lawmakers will have $8.3 billion to build a budget for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2020.

“Oklahoma’s state revenues are beginning to plateau after losing more than 60% of oil and gas drilling activity since this time last year. The fiscal discipline displayed in the FY’20 budget, by setting aside an extra $200 million to achieve $1 billion in savings, is already proving its value in protecting core public services and strengthening the state’s credit rating. Despite these changes in revenue collections, the State of Oklahoma remains on strong footing. It is critical we protect it by demonstrating fiscal restraint and efficiency in the FY’21 budget process and by continuing to advance policies that encourage job creation and economic diversity.”

During the meeting, Stitt gave attention to a one-time cash source of $310 million as part of the spending authority estimate. Without this one time source, the revenue projection for FY’21 would be 3.7 percent less than FY’20.

The Board of Equalization will return in February to certify a final estimate on how much lawmakers will have to build a budget during the upcoming legislative session.

Senate Pro Tem, Appropriations chair comment on revenue certification

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Senate Republican leadership commented Friday on the state Board of Equalization’s preliminary revenue certification.

“Overall, we are cautiously optimistic about the revenue outlook for next year. While there is concern in the decline in gross production taxes collected on natural gas, other sectors of the economy are performing well and helping to fill in that revenue gap. Additionally, steps taken by the Legislature in recent years to shore up our financial standing are working. The Senate will resume its work on budget hearings and examining agency budget requests as we await the final certification numbers due in February upon which the Legislature will write the budget,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

The Board of Equalization certified more than $8.3 billion for Fiscal Year 2021, a $9.3 million (0.1 percent) increase from Fiscal Year 2020.

“Any growth in a budget is good, but we have to be cautious in our outlook and continue to monitor economic conditions as we prepare the budget. And before the first drop of ink is spilled in writing the state budget, we already have nearly $200 million in obligations for things like the ad valorem reimbursements to schools, the bond debt on the Capitol, and increased costs for teacher health care benefits. The Senate appropriators have already held budget hearings, and we’ll keep doing our work and crunching the numbers to ensure we maximize every tax dollar as we write next year’s budget,” said Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah and Senate Appropriations Committee chair.

The state Board of Equalization was established in 1907 in the state Constitution. The board issues an official estimate of the revenue available for the Oklahoma Legislature to spend in the coming budget year. The board members include the governor, lieutenant governor, state auditor and inspector, state treasurer, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and the president of the board of agriculture.

The board will meet again in February to issue the final revenue certification upon which the Legislature will write the next budget.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

OKGOP comments on Dems and Kendra Horn's impeachment vote

From the Oklahoma Republican Party:
Yesterday, Oklahoma's fifth District US Congresswoman Kendra Horn joined Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in a partisan vote to impeach President Donald Trump. In so doing, she rejected her own district and state, who overwhelmingly supported President Trump for the presidency. Instead of representing her home district, she went to Washington DC and developed a record as an obstructionist who allowed personal emotions and partisan allies direct decisions instead of following the US Constitution and the will of the people.

Elections have consequences. We now are seeing in plain sight what the narrow victory that Congresswoman Horn, funded by now Democrat candidate for President, New York's Michael Bloomberg did to our state with his $400,000 invested in her campaign last minute. We must raise funds to defeat Horn and stop out of state liberal interests from controlling our Oklahoma votes in the future.

Last evening, after her vote, she was caught on video avoiding cameras and refusing to answer questions on why she voted as she did. Why? Because she only answers to her out of state liberal friends. Not Oklahomans.

Congresswoman Horn must be defeated. We need American Patriots who will work together to #TakeBackthe5th for America, for our State, for our President, and for our nation to preserve our liberty.

David McLain, Chairman
Oklahoma Republican Party