Friday, September 20, 2019

Hunter, 17 other AGs urging SCOTUS to reverse case against school choice, religious liberty


Attorney General Hunter Leads 18 States in Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Reverse Montana School Choice, Religious Liberty Case

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the justices to overturn a Montana Supreme Court decision that required the state to exclude religious school options for parents participating in a state tax credit scholarship program.

Montana’s program, enacted by its legislature in 2015, gave a tax credit to taxpayers who donated to a private scholarship organization. The organization then awarded scholarships to eligible children attending private schools. A number of states, including Oklahoma, have enacted similar school choice programs.

Attorney General Hunter was joined on the brief by Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, as well as 15 other state attorneys general and governors.

“The ruling by the Montana Supreme Court discriminates against and punishes parents who choose to send their children to religious schools,” Attorney General Hunter said. “If upheld, it has far-reaching consequences that could threaten school choice programs nationwide, depriving religious, low income and disabled children of a quality education of their choice. My colleagues and I encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse this decision for the benefit of the families across the nation who rely on these programs.”

In the brief, the coalition contends that if the ruling is not reversed, it opens the door for other state courts to interpret laws surrounding similar scholarship programs in the same discriminatory way.

Beyond the baseline statistic, religious schools are more likely than secular schools to participate in these programs, the brief explains. In Oklahoma, for example, 89% of the schools in the state’s tax-credit scholarship program are religious.

The harm also extends to other school choice and social services programs. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program provides scholarships for students with disabilities and 91% of its participating schools are religious.

Brief Points to 2017 Ruling
The brief relies on a previous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, where a church in Missouri had sought public benefits distributed to make playgrounds safer, but had been excluded from the program solely on account of religion—similar to the discrimination in the Montana case.

The court ultimately sided with Trinity Lutheran Church, ruling that the state of Missouri had violated the U.S. Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause by excluding the church from the program.

At the time, Attorney General Hunter joined a brief in the case on behalf of Trinity Lutheran.

To read the brief, click here.

Joining Oklahoma on the brief are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia, as well as the governors of Kentucky and Mississippi.

BREAKING: OK Young Republican Convention breaks down in chaos, parking lot conclusion


I'm still gathering the details, but the Oklahoma Young Republicans State Convention went through chaos and mayhem, ending up with a conclusion in the parking lot after the liberal faction vacated the convention.

Here's video of the convention outside, after the liberal wing of the YRs left, courtesy of Jarrin Jackson:

I'll update with more details as I find them.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

LtGov Pinnell opposes push for National Popular Vote

Last Thursday, I wrote about the continued years-long effort by out-of-state groups to persuade the Oklahoma Legislature to bypass the Electoral College and tie Oklahoma's electoral votes to the National Popular Vote.

Since December 2017, National Popular Vote groups have spent over $47,000 to bring 15 GOP legislators and 12 Democratic legislators to wine-and-dine events in Utah, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts, and New York City.

Members of the State Senate have been particularly targeted, with 20% of the Senate GOP caucus and nearly the entire Democratic caucus having gone on these paid-for junkets. Almost a full third of the entire Senate has been on an out-of-state IRPE trip since 2017.

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R-OKC) responded to my request for comment, confirming his past opposition to the National Popular Vote plan. I also asked Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, who holds the constitutional (and primarily ceremonial) office of President of the Senate, for his thoughts on the matter. His statement is below:
"I was opposed to the national popular vote as Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, and I remain opposed. The framers designed this system to give voters in states like Oklahoma a real say in who our president is. If we went to a national popular vote system, presidential candidates would campaign in the large cities on the coasts, and neglect states like Oklahoma. I would be opposed to any effort to go to the national popular vote." -- Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell

Pinnell has a unique background and experience on this matter, given his tenure as state GOP chairman and his time working in conjunction with the RCN and Trump 2016 campaign across the nation. Hopefully he can help counter the NPV/IRPE money and persuade Republican legislators against falling prey to the subversive National Popular Vote campaign.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

1889 Institute: Perfusionist licensing endangers patients


PERFUSIONIST LICENSING: ENDANGERING PATIENTS
A majority of states do not license perfusionists, but Oklahoma does.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (September 18, 2019) – The 1889 Institute, an Oklahoma state policy think tank, has published “Perfusionist Licensing in Oklahoma,” which calls for repealing the 23-year-old law licensing perfusionists. Perfusionists monitor and operate the machinery that regulates blood and air-flow during heart surgeries. Yet, as important as this task truly is, and despite the danger of having someone inattentive to the job in the operating room, most states do not license perfusionists.

“Fact is, the ultimate authority in the operating room, and the person in charge of finding and scheduling a qualified perfusionist, is the surgeon,” said Byron Schlomach, Director of the 1889 Institute. “Surgeons are incentivized by liability concerns to find a qualified perfusionist, and surgeons have to obtain hospital privileges, because, you guessed it, hospitals are concerned about liability as well, as they should be. Licensing boards face no such incentives, so it is highly questionable why we put such faith in them,” said Schlomach.

The 1889 Institute has previously published critiques of 11 other occupations licensed in Oklahoma, asking two simple questions: 1) Is it likely people will be significantly harmed if the occupation is not practiced properly? 2) Is there some reason markets and civil law fail to protect people? Both answers were “No” 11 times. This time, the first answer is “Yes,” but since the answer to the second is still “No,” perfusionists should not be licensed.

“The fact is that licensing just makes perfusionists scarcer than they otherwise would be, and since most perfusionist errors are made due to stress and fatigue from overwork, heart patients would be safer with more perfusionists around,” said Schlomach. “The legislature, once again, stepped directly on the Law of Unintended Consequences and added to our risk rather than making us safer,” he said.

Schlomach went on to say that he hopes the current Oklahoma Legislature will act to reverse the errors of the past so as to create an environment of greater opportunity and safety in the state.


About the 1889 Institute
The 1889 Institute is an Oklahoma think tank committed to independent, principled state policy fostering limited and responsible government, free enterprise and a robust civil society. The publication, “Perfusionist Licensing in Oklahoma” and other reports on licensing can be found on the nonprofit’s website at http://www.1889institute.org/licensing.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Gov. Stitt makes first appointment to Oklahoma Supreme Court


GOVERNOR STITT APPOINTS JUDGE KANE TO SUPREME COURT OF OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City, Okla. (Sept. 17, 2019) – Governor J. Kevin Stitt today announced the appointment of Judge M. John Kane, IV to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma. This is Governor Stitt’s first appointment to the state Supreme Court.

Judge John Kane has served Osage County as District Judge for the 10th Judicial District since 2005. During his 14 years on the bench, he has presided as a judge in tens of thousands of cases, and he has served in a number of other capacities to include as president of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference from 2013-2014, as presiding judge-elect of the Northeastern Judicial Administrative District in 2019, and as presiding judge of the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary in 2019. Kane began practicing as an attorney in 1987 at Kane, Kane & Kane Law Offices, P.C., a law firm founded by his father and grandfather in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. During this time, he also served as an administrative law judge for the Department of Human Services-Child Support Division from 1999-2005 and as an assistant district attorney from 1987 to 1989.

Kane received a B.S. in agricultural economics and accounting from Oklahoma State University in 1984 and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1987. Kane and his wife, Cynthia, have been married for 33 years and have four children.

“Judge Kane’s extensive record serving the 10th Judicial District and his broad support in the community, and from across the state, speak toward his qualifications to join the highest court in Oklahoma,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “Kane is an accomplished judge with a reputation for fairness and a passion to ensure the legal system is serving the needs of the people. I am confident Kane will serve with integrity, honor and a dedication to uphold the rule of law.”

“My great-grandfather was a framer of our State Constitution, and it is truly an honor to be selected to stand as a defender of this treasured deposit of wisdom,” said Judge M. John Kane, IV. “I appreciate the Governor’s confidence in me, and I vow to impartially and fairly conduct the business of the Court and serve the people of Oklahoma with full and undivided devotion.”

Kane’s appointment fills the vacancy for District 1 created by the retirement of John F. Reif. Kane was one of three applicants provided by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the governor’s selection.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Music Monday: The Streets of Laredo (Piano Puzzler)

This week's Music Monday is The Streets of Laredo, in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations. 

A composer, music scholar, and pianist, Adolphe re-writes a familiar tune in the style of a classical composer every week on American Public Media's Performance Today. Listeners call in to try and guess the hidden tune of the 'Piano Puzzler', and the name of the composer whose style the song is in. I enjoy catching the segment on the radio on Wednesday evenings on our way to church, attempting to decipher the tune and composer before the caller does. You can subscribe to the Piano Puzzler podcast here, or find a radio station here.

Enjoy! 


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.

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

Friday, September 13, 2019

Charlton Heston's message for Beto


During yesterday's Democratic presidential primary debate, third-tier candidate Robert Francis O'Rourke brazenly declared his plan to confiscate firearms from law-abiding Americans if elected President. Way back in 2000, Charlton Heston had a message for gun-grabbers like Beto.

Senate Pro-Tem Treat opposes National Popular Vote effort

Yesterday, I wrote about the ongoing effort by out-of-state groups to lobby the Oklahoma Legislature to ditch the Electoral College and instead hitch Oklahoma's electoral votes to the National Popular Vote, thus disenfranchising Oklahoma voters from giving their voice in presidential elections.

Since December 2017, National Popular Vote groups have spent over $47,000 to bring 15 GOP legislators and 12 Democratic legislators to wine-and-dine events in Utah, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts, and New York City.

Members of the State Senate have been particularly targeted, with 20% of the Senate GOP caucus and nearly the entire Democratic caucus having gone on these paid-for junkets. Almost a full third of the entire Senate has been on an out-of-state IRPE trip since 2017.

I asked Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R-OKC) for his position on the National Popular Vote concept, and whether he would support or oppose such a measure if advanced in the 2020 legislative session. I got a pretty quick response:


“The framers of the federal Constitution devised the electoral college to protect states like Oklahoma from being disenfranchised by voters in states with much larger populations. I previously have opposed and will continue to oppose any legislation that enables a national popular vote.” – Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City

In 2014, when a National Popular Vote bill passed the Oklahoma State Senate, Treat was one of 18 Republicans who opposed the measure. 16 Republicans and all 12 Democrats voted together to approve SB 906, which would have bound Oklahoma's vote to the winner of the "popular vote" nationwide as opposed to the candidate who won the most votes in Oklahoma. The National Popular Vote campaign has held that vote up as a trophy in the years since, even though it never received a hearing in the House.

Fortunately, Sen. Treat's position has been pretty consistent on this issue. I'm awaiting comment from Governor Stitt, Lt. Governor Pinnell, and House Speaker McCall on the topic. Stay tuned.

OCPA column: Medicaid won't reduce inflated hospital bills


Medicaid won’t reduce inflated hospital bills
By Jonathan Small

Most of us have heard of someone who received a wildly implausible bill from a hospital. Among the examples compiled by the website, thehealthy.com, were hospitals that charged $15 per Tylenol tablet, $8 for a “mucus recovery system” (better known as a box of tissues), $53 per non-sterile pair of gloves, $10 for the little plastic cup that holds a patient’s pills, and $23 per alcohol swab.

The retail cost of a Tylenol tablet runs less than 30 cents, meaning the $15 price is a markup of more than 5000 percent. If hospitals are overcharging that much on small items, one wonders how much the markup is on the big-ticket items.

Those prices are the result of a medical system with no price transparency and, therefore, little direct competition. And the lack of transparency leads to “surprise” medical bills that people struggle to pay, and then to lawsuits.

Oklahoma Watch recently reported that Oklahoma hospitals have filed at least 22,250 lawsuits against former patients over unpaid medical bills since 2016.

How did some hospital officials’ respond to that report? Just expand Medicaid.

But experts familiar with the lawsuit issue note that many people being sued are already insured, including some on Medicaid. This problem isn’t caused by lack of coverage; it’s caused by a lack of transparency. Even for routine procedures, it is extremely difficult to get an up-front estimate, and hidden costs are the norm.

However, where price transparency exists at places like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, it demonstrates conclusively that many other hospitals are dramatically overcharging patients. Comparisons have shown the Surgery Center’s prices are often one-sixth to one-eighth the amount charged elsewhere.

So why is it that the facilities charging the far-higher prices are the ones claiming to be on the verge of insolvency, and not the Surgery Center? One answer is that many of the figures touted by supposedly “broke” hospitals are as bogus as a $15 aspirin pill. Martin Makary, a professor of surgery with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recently noted that one hospital was caught charging $70,000 for a hip replacement when the commercial reference-based price was $29,000 and the Medicare-allowable amount was $20,000. That means that hospital could claim to have provided $30,000 in “uncompensated” care if it collected “just” $40,000 on a hip replacement, even though that price may represent $10,000 to $20,000 in pure profit.

Expanding Medicaid won’t suddenly cause hospitals to stop inflating bills. In fact, knowing that taxpayers are on the hook may encourage some providers to further boost their charges, and patients will continue to be sued.

If policymakers are serious about reducing health costs and protecting consumers, they need to focus on increasing up-front price transparency and competition in medicine, not expanding government welfare.

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Stitt taps Gary Cox as Commissioner of State Dep't of Health


GOV. STITT ANNOUNCES GARY COX AS COMMISSIONER OF OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Oklahoma City, Okla. (September 12, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the appointment of Gary Cox as Oklahoma Commissioner of Health, a position that requires Senate confirmation. He will begin leading the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) on Friday, Sept. 13. 

“Gary Cox is a respected and dedicated public health leader in our state who brings over 40 years of experience to his new role as the Oklahoma Commissioner of Health,” said Governor Stitt. “His guidance at the OSDH will play a critical role in our vision to improve health outcomes for all Oklahomans, and I look forward to accomplishing Top Ten results together as we work to efficiently and effectively deliver services and move the needle in this critical area.”

“I am honored to serve Governor Stitt, Secretary Loughridge and the people of Oklahoma as Commissioner of Health,” said Gary Cox. “Alongside the dedicated professionals at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, I look forward to developing innovative strategies toward improving the quality of life for all Oklahomans, which is key to Oklahoma becoming a top ten state. We have the ingredients in place, and I am committed to strengthening our ability to innovate and leverage cross-sector partnerships toward impacting Oklahoma’s most critical health-related outcomes.”

Gary Cox, JD, currently serves as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. Cox previously served as an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Tulsa College of Law and is presently serving as a visiting associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, College of Public Health. Before joining the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, Cox worked as an environmentalist for the Tulsa Health Department, where he went on to serve as Legal Counsel before eventually serving as Director for 15 years. With more than 40 years of public health experience, Cox has also served in leadership roles, to include Past President of both the Oklahoma Public Health Association (OPHA) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) who represents 2,800 Local Health Departments nationally. He also serves on the Executive Committees for various national, state and local public health efforts. Cox chaired the Governor’s Joint Commission on Public Health from 2017 to 2018, is a Fellow of US Public Health Leadership Institute and serves on the University of Central Oklahoma President’s Council of Advisors. Cox received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 1973.

Cox has dedicated his career to improving health, raising the awareness about health issues across multiple sectors, and committing to develop and leverage private and public partnerships to improve community health outcomes. He is committed to a culture of continuous quality improvement and has consistently supported transparent and accountable governance in local health departmental activities, evidenced by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s designation as one of the first local health departments to achieve National Accreditation.

“Gary Cox is an outstanding, nationally recognized public health leader. His leadership of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, and previously of the Tulsa Health Department, has enabled these departments to achieve new levels of excellence in service, health impact, and national recognition. I know he will bring the same excellent leadership to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.” – Gary E. Raskob, Ph. D., Chair, Oklahoma City County Board of Health, & Dean, Hudson College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

“Gary is a thoughtful and forward-thinking leader with a great track record of pulling together cross-sector teams of influence in order to affect change in the public health arena.  He understands the fundamental intersection between health, education and the economy and how each impacts the other. Gary’s track record clearly shows an increase of investment and resources going into the community, which directly impacts the lives of Oklahomans and makes Oklahoma an attractive place to do business in.” – Erika Lucas, Board Member, OKC-County Health Dept & Founder, StitchCrew

“The appointment of Gary Cox as the State Commissioner of Health is a great win for the people of Oklahoma.  In my fifty years of service at the Tulsa City-County Health Department I have never seen such profound leadership as he served the community, and his subsequent service at the OKC-County Health Department echoed the same sentiment of leadership.  I am thrilled at Governor Stitt’s vision to name such a great leader in the field of public health to take our state to the next level.” – James O Goodwin, JD, former Chairman, Tulsa-City-County Health Dept & Owner, Oklahoma Eagle.

Anti-Constitutional Carry drive collected 37k signatures, 23k short of target


The Oklahoma Secretary of State has concluded an initial count of the signatures submitted for the anti-Constitutional Carry initiative petition, and found that the campaign collected 37,057 signatures, nearly 23,000 fewer than needed to halt the implementation of Constitutional Carry and out the measure up for statewide vote.

Rep. Jason Lowe (D-OKC) and supporting anti-gun groups had claimed to have collected over 50,000 signatures, still short of the nearly 60,000 signatures they needed.

Nat'l Popular Vote lobby continues wine-and-dine trips for Oklahoma Legislators


In January 2018, I posted about three GOP legislators who were taken to New York City for a conference put on by the innocuous-sounding Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, a group founded to help lead the effort to ditch the Electoral College and transition presidential elections to a National Popular Vote system.

National Popular Vote (NPV) advocates managed to slip a NPV measure through the State Senate in 2014, but uproar by grassroots activists, then-OKGOP chairman Dave Weston, and former OKGOP chairman (now Lt. Governor) Matt Pinnell led to the House not taking up the bill.

In the intervening months since the early 2018 story, I forgot to check back and see if there had been further developments.

Wow. I should have looked earlier.

Let's recap: in January 2018, we found out that Reps. Rhonda Baker (R-Yukon), Avery Frix (R-Muskogee), and Kevin McDugle (R-Wagoner) had attended the IRPE/NPV junket to New York City. Frix and McDulge were given a "scholarship" of about $2,000 to attend; Baker received about $500. Baker and McDugle filed their required reports late, a fact I noted in my articles and confirmed at the time with the director of the Ethics Commission. Some days later, thanks to an interview with the El Reno Tribune, Baker revealed that Sens. Stephanie Bice (R-OKC), Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle), and then-Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang) had attended a similar seminar in Utah.

We now can look back and see that a whole host of other legislators attended IRPE/NPV events in 2018, and some in 2019 as well. This should especially concern conservatives and Republicans given the approaching 2020 presidential election.

Here is the list of those known to have attended IRPE/NPV events, with links to their legally-required disclosure forms for scholarships they received to attend, along with the dollar amount, listed with most recent at the top and Republicans in bold:
  • Rep. Marcus McEntire (R-Duncan), January 2019$2,706.95
  • Rep. Mark Lawson (R-Sapulpa), January 2019$2,695.61
  • Sen. James Leewright (R-Bristow), January 2019$2,357.32
  • Rep. Kyle Hilbert (R-Depew), January 2019$2,060.14
  • Sen. John Michael Montgomery (R-Lawton), January 2019$2,026.12
  • Rep. Josh West (R-Grove), January 2019$2,013.60
  • Rep. Forrest Bennett (D-OKC), January 2018, $1,731.44
  • [Former] Rep. Karen Gaddis (D-Tulsa), January 2018, $1,642.66
  • [Former] Rep. Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa), January 2018, $1,436
  • Sen. Kevin Matthews (D-Tulsa), January 2018, $1,287.26
  • Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman (D-Tulsa), January 2018, $1,287.26
  • Sen. J.J. Dossett (D-Owasso), January 2018, $1,287.26
  • [Former] Sen. John Sparks (D-Norman), January 2018, $1,287.26
  • [Former] Sen. Anastasia Pittman (D-OKC), January 2018, $1,287.26
  • Sen. Kay Floyd (D-OKC), January 2018, $1,287.26
  • Sen. Michael Brooks (D-OKC), January 2018, $1,287.26
  • Justin Cajindos (Senate Democratic Caucus Chief of Staff), January 2018, $1,287.26
  • Rep. Matt Meredith (D-Tahlequah), January 2018, $1,168.73
  • Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman), January 2018, no amount reported
  • Sen. Roger Thompson (R-Okemah), January 2018, $2,397.68
  • Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle), January 2018, $2,255.11
  • Sen. Adam Pugh (R-Edmond), January 2018, $1,969.57
  • [Former] Sen. A.J. Griffin (R-Guthrie), January 2018, $1,879.23
  • Sen. Stephanie Bice (R-OKC), January 2018, $1,860.21
  • Sen. Jason Smalley (R-Stroud), January 2018, $1,827.98
  • Rep. Avery Frix (R-Muskogee), December 2017, $2,063.18
  • Rep. Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow), December 2017, $2,048.17
  • Rep. Rhonda Baker (R-Yukon), December 2017, $579.75
All told, since December 2017, IRPE and the National Popular Vote effort have doled out at least $47,017.53 to bring 8 GOP Senators, 7 GOP Representatives, 7 Democratic Senators, 5 Democratic Representatives, and one Democratic legislative staff member to their conferences in Utah, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts, and New York.

That's 20% of the Senate GOP caucus, and almost a full third of the entire Senate.

IRPE spent $30,740.62 on 15 GOP legislators (an average of $2,049.37), but just $16,276.91 on the 13 Democrats (average of $1,252.07). If I were a Democrat, I'd probably be a little irked at the disparity in money spent.

Some of the members who went on IRPE/NPV junkets are in positions of leadership. Rep. Josh West is one of two House Majority Leaders. Rep. Hilbert is both the A&B Vice Chair and the JCAB Vice Chair. Sen. Roger Thompson is the Appropriations Chair. Sen. Smalley is the Senate Majority Caucus chair. Rep. Virgin is the House Minority Leader. Sen. Sparks was the Senate Minority Leader; Sen. Floyd is now.

Earlier in 2017, three Democratic legislators went to an IRPE event in California, but paid their way with campaign funds. It is unknown at this time if other legislators have likewise since used that route of funding to obscure their attendance.

I also reached out to some thought and opinion leaders in the state for their two-cents on this topic.

Trent England of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs has spoken and written extensively on the Electoral College and national popular vote in recent years, including several debates with NPV proponents. "Unlike many other lobbyist junkets, NPV usually keeps Republicans and Democrats segregated on different trips," England told me. "They do that so they tell Republicans that changing the rules will help them, and then turn around and tell Democrats the same thing." England authored op-eds this year that ran in publications as diverse as USA Today and The Resurgent, and was featured in a debate in Colorado earlier this summer.

"The legislature is very concerned about voter apathy and declining participation. I told them in 2015, that elections need to be meaningful for Oklahomans," says David Van Risseghem, editor of SoonerPolitics.org. "To give our electoral voice to major cities on the coasts, will further drive down voter turnout. But more importantly, it will limit campaign events in our state. The politicians will just focus on big cities, to a greater degree than they already do."

"It seems to me that if the arguments for a National Popular Vote were so strong it would not be necessary to wine and dine legislators in places outside of the state," said Oklahoma Constitution publisher Steve Byas in response to my request for comment. "Rather, they should be able to present their arguments for them in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Going to a National Popular Vote would transfer even more power to the federal government, away from the states." Byas is a professor of History & Government at Randall University, in Norman, Oklahoma, and has defended the merits of the Electoral College in op-eds in The New American.

I'm in communication with Governor Stitt, Lt. Governor Pinnell, Senate Pro Tem Treat, and House Speaker McCall for their comment on the National Popular Vote push, as it seems that Republicans in the Legislature continue to open the door to the idea. When I receive their statements, I'll publish them.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

18 years: Have you forgotten?

It's been 18 years now since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. I was eleven at the time, and this was by far the most momentous world event of my childhood.

I work in the kids program at church, and it's somewhat disconcerting to realize that now, basically all of the children were born after 9/11. This isn't experience for them, it's history in a book. As is our tradition, two firefighters in our church give a presentation about 9/11 for the kids on the Wednesday closest to the annihilation.

Have You Forgotten? is a poignant song by country music artist Darryl Worley about the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. This video contains images and video from that day -- reminders of what our nation suffered and experienced 18 years ago today.

May we never forget.


When I was a kid, I would periodically keep a journal. Here's my entry for 9/11/01:


Never forget.


T. Boone Pickens dead at 91

Oil tycoon, billionaire, philanthropist, and Oklahoma State University benefactor T. Boone Pickens passed away earlier today at the age of 91.



DALLAS, Texas – T. Boone Pickens, legendary energy executive and one of America’s best-known entrepreneurs, passed away today at the age of 91.

The long-time Dallas resident, who had battled back from a series of strokes and further head injuries sustained in a 2017 fall, died of natural causes surrounded by friends and family on September 11, 2019, according to spokesman Jay Rosser.

Plans for memorial services in Dallas, TX, and Stillwater, OK, are pending. Pickens, who was born in Holdenville, a small town in eastern Oklahoma, spent his adult years in Texas.

He is survived by his five children — Deborah Pickens Stovall, Pam Pickens Grace, Michael Pickens, Tom Pickens and Liz Pickens Cordia— and 11 grandchildren and an increasing number of great-grandchildren.

Pickens was a pioneer in the energy industry, a career-long champion for shareholder rights, a groundbreaking health and fitness advocate, and a generous philanthropist whose charitable donations exceeded $1 billion. In July 2008, he launched a self-funded, $100 million, grass-roots campaign aimed at reducing this country’s crippling dependence on OPEC oil. For more information on Pickens’ life, visit www.boonepickens.com.

Stitt (not the Governor) files for Inhofe's Senate seat


JJ Stitt has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, declaring a campaign for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Jim Inhofe.

This Stitt is no relation to Governor Kevin Stitt. Update: JJ Stitt emailed me and said that he and Governor Stitt "are distant cousins".

JJ Stitt, a resident of Kingfisher, gave an interview with the Kingfisher Times & Free Press two weeks ago in which he more publicly announced his campaign.

A farmer-rancher, he spent a career in law enforcement, working in sheriff's departments in southeastern Texas and, most recently, in Kingfisher County. He also owns a gun store in Kingfisher.

You can visit his campaign website here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Charter School Funding, Oversight Focus of House Interim Studies


Charter School Funding, Oversight Focus of House Interim Studies

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Reps. Zack Taylor, Lundy Kiger and Randy Randleman are hosting two interim studies this week to look at several aspects of charter school funding. A third study, hosted by Kiger and Randleman, will focus on charter school sponsor oversight responsibilities.

All studies will take place Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Room 432-A in the State Capitol before the House Common Education Committee.

A study to look at brick-and-mortar charter school funding is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. A study examining the real cost per student for virtual charter schools vs. brick-and-mortar schools will be held at 9:30 a.m. The final study on charter school sponsor oversight responsibilities is set for 10:30 a.m.

State Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, will participate in the latter two studies.

“I feel strongly that charter schools – both brick-and-mortar and virtual – have a role in the learning process for some children in our state,” said Kiger, R-Poteau. “But we must have total transparency into how they receive funding per student and how that money is spent. I don’t believe they should be receiving the same amount of funding as traditional public school that have building and maintenance costs. We also must ensure the entities charged with oversight of these schools are performing due diligence and fulfilling all requirements both to the state and the students they serve.”

Kiger said he has long been concerned over issues brought forward about the operation of virtual charter schools, from unaccounted for equipment, to the high amounts received for midyear adjustments in enrollment, to the bonuses teachers and students receive for enrollment and recruitment efforts.

Taylor, R-Seminole, said he too is interested in looking at the funding formulas for both charters and traditional public schools.

“We need to closely examine how both traditional public schools and our charter schools receive funding for their pupils,” Taylor said. “There are some differences in how they count students. There also are costs that brick-and-mortar schools incur that virtual schools do not, but at the same time there are some revenues that charter schools do not receive that traditional schools do. We want to make sure at the end of the day, that the needs of all students are adequately met and that one school system is not receiving an unfair advantage over another.”

Randleman, R-Eufaula, is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist who serves on the House Common Education Committee. He said he signed on as a study author to ensure the public is better informed about how taxpayer money is spent on all public education options.

“The vast majority of Oklahoma parents choose to send their children to traditional public schools,” Randleman said. “I believe that all children and their parents deserve to have options that may serve the need of the child, such as online vs. brick-and-mortar charters. Still, we must ensure taxpayer dollars are being used in the most responsible way – to help all students.”

Sharp, a 39-year retired public school teacher and a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, was invited to participate in the latter two studies.

“Public education in Oklahoma and funding for our schools has been scrutinized over the years. While our schools have received historic funding the last two years, we’re now faced with new problems. There is an evident lack of transparency of state fund use, proper oversight and accountability within our virtual charter school system,” Sharp said. “As legislators, it’s our job to ensure that Oklahomans’ tax dollars are spent efficiently and not wasted. The rules for traditional brick-and-mortar public schools and virtual charters are different, and it’s causing confusion and problems. Given their astronomical growth and increasing state funding, it’s imperative that we improve oversight, accountability and fiscal transparency of our virtual charter schools. We need to hold all schools, regardless of what kind, to the same high standards.”

Neese calls on Horn to support protections for abortion survivors


NEESE CALLS ON HORN TO SUPPORT PROTECTIONS FOR ABORTION SURVIVORS
Call comes as House Minority holds hearing on H.R. 962, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Oklahoma City, OK – Terry Neese, conservative Republican candidate for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District released the following statement today calling on Democratic Congresswoman Kendra Horn to support H.R. 962, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would provide long overdue protections to innocent human life left vulnerable following an attempted abortion. Neese’s statement comes as House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), and Pro-Life Caucus Chair Chris Smith (R-N.J.) host a hearing today on the critical need to bring this legislation to a vote on the House Floor.

“Despite overwhelming support and months of Republican efforts, Kendra Horn and other Democrats still refuse to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to a vote,” said Terry Neese. “Instead of fighting for Planned Parenthood and radical abortion extremists in her Party, Kendra Horn needs to start fighting for the voters of the 5th District who want to protect the unborn and innocent human life at all costs. With only 17 signatures needed to get this legislation to the House Floor, I am calling on Kendra Horn to put politics aside and protect abortion survivors by supporting this long-overdue legislation.”

While Democrats in the House have refused to support this critical pro-life legislation, there are currently 201 signatures on a discharge petition designed to bring H.R. 962 to the House Floor. Only 17 more signatures are needed – and Neese assured voters in the 5th District she would be one of them when she is elected to Congress in 2020.

Neese added: “Voters of the 5th District can rest assured – I will proudly support H.R. 962 and I will do everything in my power to protect the unborn when I am elected to Congress.”

For more information on Terry or her campaign, please visit NeeseForCongress.com.

Former State Sen., MWC Mayor Jack Fry endorses Bice for Congress


Former State Senator and Midwest City Mayor Jack Fry Endorses Stephanie Bice for Congress 

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 10, 2019) - The Bice for Congress campaign today announced that former State Senator and Midwest City Mayor Jack Fry has endorsed conservative Republican leader Stephanie Bice to become the next representative of Oklahoma’s Congressional District 5.

“I’m grateful to have earned Jack’s endorsement,” Bice said. “He epitomizes the very best of public service, both in his role as former mayor of Midwest City, as well as in the Legislature. I worked with Jack in the State Senate, and it was a privilege to stand with him then, as it is now.”

“I know Stephanie will be a bold and effective leader in Congress because she’s demonstrated a commitment to service and her community,” Fry said. “I’ve watched how hard working and focused she is in the State Senate, and I know she’ll continue that same drive as our next representative.”

“Stephanie gets results, does her homework, and is always well prepared,” Fry said. “I can’t think of anyone better to represent us.”

Bice, a two-term state Senator, is a pro-life conservative. She supports securing our nation’s borders and reforming America’s broken immigration system. Just like she has as an Oklahoma State Senator, Stephanie will focus on cutting government spending and reining in regulations that make it difficult for the private sector to create the jobs Oklahomans need.

Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District is located in the central area of the state and includes a portion of Oklahoma County, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.

Stephanie Bice is a fourth-generation Oklahoman and was elected to the State Senate representing District 22, which includes Yukon, Piedmont and parts of Northwest Oklahoma City and Edmond. She serves as the Assistant Majority Floor Leader and Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Bice has earned a reputation as one of Oklahoma’s most effective conservative leaders

Hofmeister to testify before U.S. House subcommittee on trauma-informed instruction


Hofmeister to testify before U.S. House subcommittee on trauma-informed instruction

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister will testify before the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 9:15 a.m. (Central time) in Washington, D.C.

During the hearing, entitled “The Importance of Trauma-Informed Practices in Education to Assist Students Impacted by Gun Violence and Other Adversities,” Hofmeister will discuss how Oklahoma is supporting students with trauma.

Click here to follow the testimony live.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Music Monday: I'm Ready To Go

This week's Music Monday is I'm Ready To Go, performed by Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. 

Enjoy! 


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.

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