Thursday, October 31, 2019

Neese slams Horn for backing Pelosi's impeachment inquiry

TERRY NEESE BLASTS KENDRA HORN FOR BACKING PELOSI’S IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

Oklahoma City, OK – Terry Neese, conservative Republican candidate for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, released the following statement today blasting liberal Congresswoman Kendra Horn for turning her back on her constituents by supporting Nancy Pelosi’s partisan-driven impeachment inquiry.

"It has been over a month since Nancy Pelosi first announced this partisan-driven impeachment inquiry, but today our Congresswoman Kendra Horn finally came out of hiding to stab her constituents in the back once again. By supporting this secretive, partisan-driven witch hunt disguised as an impeachment inquiry, Kendra Horn has made it clear to workers, families, and job creators in the 5th District that she will always put her Party politics before her country. I am appalled that our Congresswoman would stand with Nancy Pelosi over her own constituents who have directly benefited from President Trump’s agenda that has unleashed our economy, cut illegal immigration in half, and kept our nation secure. I hope Kendra Horn enjoys her remaining year in Washington because voters will not be rewarding her actions today come November 2020."

Happy Reformation Day!

Today marks 502 years since Martin Luther (according to legend) nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. His writings and preaching fanned the wildfire of Reformation across Europe that had been slowly smoldering for several hundred years.

The foundational teachings of the Protestant Reformation have been summed up in what is commonly called the Five Solas:

  • Grace Alone (Sola Gratia)
  • Faith Alone (Sola Fide)
  • Christ Alone (Solus Christus)
  • Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)
  • Glory to God Alone (Soli Deo Gloria).

The revival of these Biblical beliefs brought the Christian church out of the shadows and drew a stark contrast with the corruption of Roman Catholicism. Rather than examining their erroneous doctrines as called on by Luther and others, the Vatican has since instead embraced and developed even more perverse teachings, and anathematized and persecuted those who turned away from the Roman Catholic religion and embraced Biblical belief.

Justification by faith alone, apart from any works of man to attain or maintain, is the crux upon which true Christianity stands. Anything less, or anything more, is a perverted gospel, and thus no gospel at all.

“This one and firm rock, which we call the doctrine of justification, is the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine, which comprehends the understanding of all godliness.” - Martin Luther

It can be argued that Roman Catholicism, with its works-based doctrines, its idolatrous and blasphemous worship, has dragged more souls to Hell than any other single religion with the exception of Hinduism. Those who adhere to the teachings of Catholicism for their eternal salvation do so at the risk of eternal damnation, as they run counter to the clear teachings of the Bible.

God has always preserved a remnant of true belief throughout history. The Protestant Reformation allowed that remnant to blossom and flourish, spreading the light of the Gospel to the four corners of the earth.

Today, we celebrate the Reformation, and the reclaiming of Biblical truth that it brought. Soli Deo Gloria!


I hope this post has gotten you thinking about things. Almost everyone likes to think they're headed to to Heaven when they die. Odds are, you do as well. Do you think your good works will get you there? Are you counting on being a good church member, your family heritage, your baptism, or something else being sufficient? Do you think you're a good person?

Click here to find out the truth. The answer may surprise you.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Constitutional Carry will go into effect on Friday following ruling


Attorney General Hunter Comments on Defense of Constitutional Carry Law

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following statement after Oklahoma County District Judge Don Andrews’ ruling that denied the plaintiffs request for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the constitutional carry law from going into effect on Nov. 1.

The law will now take effect Friday, despite ongoing litigation.

 “We are pleased Judge Andrews ruled in our favor and did not grant a preliminary injunction, which will allow this law to go into effect on Nov. 1,” Attorney General Hunter said. “My office is proud to defend the constitutional carry law against a political attack by plaintiffs who were unable to succeed at the legislature, unable to persuade voters in the referendum process and now seeking to overturn a duly enacted law with meritless claims and scare tactics.”

AFP Challenges Congress to End the "Corporate Welfare Horror Show"

Rated “O” for Outrageous Waste of Money
AFP Challenges Congress to End the "Corporate Welfare Horror Show" 

October 29th, 2019 -- Americans for Prosperity today will deliver each member of Congress with a Halloween treat, a horror movie poster urging them to oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and the renewal of the so-called “tax extenders.” As part of the multimillion-dollar effort to Unrig the Economy and level the playing field for every American to succeed, the group is also launching a digital video and ads in Washington, DC and across targeted states.

As part of their on-the-ground advocacy efforts, AFP delivered a letter to Congress today, urging them to oppose the EX-IM Bank and tax extenders.


AFP's Corporate Welfare Horror Show movie trailer:


AFP-OK State Director John Tidwell issued the following statement:

“Corporate welfare is a practice that truly scares Oklahomans. With the Export-Import Bank and ‘zombie’ tax-extenders up for reauthorization, we’re encouraging our congressional delegation to lead and reject these crony, unfair programs.”

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

OU Gender Studies Department sponsors 'Abortion Access Is Love' event


From TheCollegeFix.com:

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,” according to a quote attributed to Jesus of Nazareth.

The University of Oklahoma’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies might render the second clause as “procure an abortion for his friends.”

It’s co-sponsoring an event Tuesday night titled “Fighting for Abortion Access is Love,” along with the department’s Center for Social Justice and nonprofit Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice.

The dinner will feature a visual artist’s interpretation of the titular theme and “talks from local activists and opportunities to get involved,” according to the Facebook event description:
We fight because we know that without the ability to control our reproduction we are less free. We each have something uniquely powerful to lend this battle, and that’s why we’ve gathered artists, activists and students together to learn and to plan together on how that message can change Oklahoma and ensure reproductive freedom.
As of Monday afternoon, 22 people said they were going and 144 were interested.

It’s the same night that the university’s Students for Life chapter is screening the pro-life film “Unplanned,” about the pro-life conversion of former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson.
Read more about this sickening event at this link.

Eye doctors: non-prescription Halloween-themed contact lenses can be dangerous


Eye Doctors: Non-Prescription, Halloween-Themed Contact Lenses Can Be Dangerous

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s eye doctors are warning their communities against using illegal, non-prescription color contacts as accessories in Halloween costumes. Research shows these products are often contaminated and can damage vision health.

In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration published a study revealing that a majority of unapproved, counterfeit contact lenses tested positive for the kinds of microbial contamination frequently found in hospital wastewater or spoiled food. The lenses, which are federally banned for sale by the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumer Act, are frequently obtained illegally in novelty stores, tattoo parlors, flea markets and internet marketplaces.

“Decorative lenses might seem like a cool costume addition, but the reality is they can be dangerous,” said Dr. Selina McGee, an Edmond optometrist and the president of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians. “This isn’t like wearing makeup; you are putting something in direct contact with your cornea for several hours. The lens can be contaminated, or your eyes can react poorly for any number of reasons. It is really important that anyone who believes they need contacts see an optometrist and then purchase a legitimate product that they have a prescription for.”

Oklahomans can find an optometrist near them at OAOP.org.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Gov. Stitt, AG Hunter comment after meeting with Tribes on Gaming Compacts


Attorney General Hunter, Gov. Stitt Release Statements Following Meeting with Tribal Officials to Discuss Gaming Compacts

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter and Gov. Kevin Stitt today released the following statements after the state met with tribal officials to begin discussions over gaming compacts.

“The governor and I appreciate the leaders of the tribes for coming together in the first of a series of meetings we hope to have while discussing the Oklahoma gaming compacts,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The state is committed to a positive outcome that is mutually beneficial. As we have demonstrated in past negotiations, it is vastly important that we work together through the process, no matter how complex negotiations of this magnitude may be. It is the state’s belief that we can resolve our differences quickly and in a way that achieves our shared goals.”

Governor Stitt also commented on the development of the negotiations.

“The Attorney General has been the lead negotiator for the state over the past couple months, and I appreciate his representation of the state at the meeting in Shawnee,” Governor Kevin Stitt said. “He has been a strong partner in our continued dialogue with the tribes as we reached this mutual date to begin a government-to-government discussion on the gaming compacts. When we are all working together, I am confident the state and Oklahoma’s 39 tribes can achieve a win-win for all 4 million Oklahomans.”

Music Monday: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

In honor of Reformation Day later this week, this edition of Music Monday is the great old hymn 'A Mighty Fortress Is Our God' by German reformer and theologian Martin Luther.

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.

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, October 26, 2019

Small: LeBron's Hong Kong comments would fit in at OK universities


LeBron’s comments might not stand out at OK college campus
By Jonathan Small

Many people have been understandably appalled that NBA superstar LeBron James recently defended, indirectly, the Chinese government’s persecution of protestors in Hong Kong. What should equally bother Oklahomans is that there’s reason to wonder if college students in this state are being indoctrinated in such a way that they will see nothing objectionable with James’ comments.

Here’s a quick recap.  James recently criticized Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey for a tweet in which Morey supported Hong Kong protestors. James said Americans have freedom of speech, but “there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself.” James said he believed Morey “wasn’t educated on the situation at hand.” Later, James tweeted, “My team and this league just went through a difficult week.  I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others.  And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen.  Could have waited a week to send it.”

James’ reticence on this issue is a bit surprising because he’s been vocal on many other political issues. When discussing how Donald Trump was elected president, James said, “I don’t think a lot of people was educated,” echoing his complaint that Morey is not educated. James has also called the president a “bum.”

I don’t agree with James’ views, but support the free speech rights that allow him to make such comments. But it’s still jarring to see him switch gears from vocal criticism of U.S. politics to endorsing silence when it comes to the oppression of people by a communist government overseas.

Could it be that James is the one who is not educated enough to understand reality—that the persecution imposed by the Chinese government is far greater than what anyone faces in the United States?

If so, James may have plenty of company even on Oklahoma college campuses. Consider the fact that the University of Oklahoma is home to a Confucius Institute with ties to the Chinese government.  The goal of the institute sounds nonthreatening—to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries—but the Hanban, the agency of the Chinese Ministry of Education, funds Confucius Institutes. The CIA has even warned the Chinese Communist Party “provides ‘strings-attached’ funding to academic institutions and think tanks to deter research that casts it in a negative light.”

Does the “understanding” of Chinese culture fostered by such programs at U.S. universities include helping students understand the very real and very severe oppression of people under the rule of the Chinese government? Somehow, I think not.

The good news is that public response to James’ comments has been overwhelmingly negative, which shows most citizens understand the reality of Chinese oppression. The bad news is there may come a time when we can’t say the same about many of our recent college graduates.

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

Friday, October 25, 2019

Neese: Russians hacked 5th District campaign emails

So... this landed in my inbox this afternoon. Make of it what you will.

RUSSIANS ATTEMPT TO HACK NEESE CAMPAIGN; CAMPAIGN SAYS EFFORT SAME AS EFFORT TO UNDERMINE TRUMP’S LEGITIMACY 

Oklahoma City, OK – Terry Neese, conservative Republican candidate for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, released the following statement today after determining the campaign’s email database had been hacked by Russia and other foreign entities.

 “Like President Trump, our campaign has been targeted by the Russian and foreign entities in an attempt to sway our electoral process and destroy our democracy here in the United States,” said Terry Neese. “Contrary to the mainstream media’s reporting, the Democrats are not the only candidates being besieged with downright invasive and illegal tactics by foreign entities. Russia has made it painfully clear its only goal is to spread disinformation and create chaos ahead of the 2020 elections, and after today’s discovery we know they have their sights set on the 5th District.”

On Friday morning, the Neese campaign recognized unusual activity on its campaign email database and subsequently determined it had been infiltrated by over 6,000 Russian and foreign bots. While the campaign can say with certainty that none of this foreign activity affected legitimate campaign subscribers in any way, we have confirmed these bots had been forwarding campaign emails to unknown users as a means to phish for personal information and spread disinformation about the race in the 5th District.

Neese added: “Russian influencers are once again trying to undermine the legitimacy of the election and do to us what they’ve tried to do to Donald Trump. Russian operatives continue to try to manipulate and operate in our electoral system and it has to stop. We see these abuses not just by the Russians, but liberal corporate tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. I will not stand for these kinds of attacks on my campaign or our democracy – the American people deserve better.”

OCPA comments on Medicaid expansion petition

OCPA statement on Medicaid petition

OKLAHOMA CITY (Oct. 24, 2019)— Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, today said the delivery of initiative-petition signatures for a Medicaid expansion proposal marks only the beginning, not the end, of the expansion debate.

“Medicaid expansion would add up to 628,000 able-bodied adults to Oklahoma’s welfare rolls and cost state taxpayers as much as $374 million annually,” Small said. “At the same time, numerous experts have told a legislative working group that Medicaid expansion will do almost nothing to improve citizens’ health outcomes. And, based on what has occurred in other states, Medicaid expansion will primarily benefit wealthy urban hospitals while doing little for rural communities, which will continue to see hospitals close.

“Medicaid expansion only promises to generate the same poor health outcomes at a much higher taxpayer cost that forces the diversion of funds from schools and roads, tax increases, or both,” Small continued. “As Oklahomans learn these facts, and of the existence of fiscally responsible alternatives, I am confident they will reject this fatally flawed proposal, just as they have similar ballot initiatives put forth by liberal activists in recent years.”

Based in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs works to advance  principles and policies that support free enterprise, limited government, and individual initiative. For more information, go to www.ocpathink.org.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

State Board of Education approves $3.3B budget request, increase of $220M over last year


State Board approves $3.29 billion common education budget request for Fiscal Year 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 24, 2019) – The Oklahoma State Board of Education today approved a Fiscal Year 2021 budget request of $3.29 billion for common education, which includes an increase of nearly $220 million over last year. The request seeks to restore critical instructional funding, including funds to reduce class sizes and hire additional teachers and school counselors.

“This proposed budget reflects the real needs of Oklahoma students,” said Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “We have made great strides in teacher pay and must now continue our investment in classrooms and student support. This budget request will help us reach the goals outlined in our 8-year strategic plan, Oklahoma Edge.”

This year’s request includes an increase of $117.9 million to the state funding formula, to be used to hire additional teachers to reduce class sizes. Rising health insurance benefit costs for school teachers and staff account for an additional $32.8 million.

The budget request also includes $19 million for a School Counselor Corps, a critical investment due to the state’s high student-to-counselor ratio, which, at 421-to-1, far exceeds the 250-to-1 recommendation by the American School Counseling Association. The corps will assist in providing the supports students need in elementary, middle and high school and will help meet the requirements for successful implementation of Individual Career Academic Planning, or ICAP. Beginning this school year, ICAP is a graduation requirement for all ninth-grade students.

Oklahoma has the highest incidence of childhood trauma in the country, including family violence, substance abuse and other challenges that adversely impact learning. The School Counselor Corps will be instrumental in supporting students who have experienced similar hardships.

The FY21 budget request also includes an additional $42.6 million for Support of Students and Teachers, a line item that directly impacts classroom programs and investments. Key areas that would receive additional funding include:

  • Alternative education programs to reduce dropout rates and increase graduation rates
  • School support, to provide resources that facilitate rapid school and academic improvement
  • A competitive grant pool that will increase district access to a variety of reading, math, robotics and other student success programs
  • Sooner Start Early Intervention program for children age birth through 36 months with developmental delays
  • Required and enhanced assessments
  • Development of a digital transcript

View the complete FY21 budget request here.

Congressman Hern's first bill passes House 389 to 8


Rep. Hern’s first bill passes the House 389-8

WASHINGTON, DC – [Monday] evening, H.R. 4407, the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) for Small Businesses Act of 2019, passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 389-8. This is Representative Kevin Hern’s first piece of legislation to pass the House.

“SCORE is an essential program for our entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said Rep. Hern. “As a small business owner myself, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to start your first venture. The mentorship provided through SCORE can be the difference between success and failure for a first-time entrepreneur.”

As a freshman Member of Congress – in the minority party, no less – passage of a bill through the House is a milestone achieved by very few.

Rep. Hern continued, “It’s no coincidence that my first bill to pass the House focuses on our small business owners. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged at every level – this is what drives our local economies and strengthens our communities. I’m grateful for the bipartisan support this legislation garnered, proof that this Congress is capable of coming together to do work that matters to the American people.”

Background Information:

SCORE utilizes an expansive network of volunteers at 350 chapters nationwide to provide personalized one-on-one counseling and workshops, either on-line or in local communities, to help entrepreneurs start, grow, and manage their small business. In Fiscal Year 2018, (FY 2018), SCORE volunteers mentored and trained 600,000 clients and conducted outreach to attract additional clients. In FY 2017, it helped launch more than 54,000 new businesses.

On April 25, 2019, the Inspector General released the findings of an audit (Report No. 19-12.) of SCORE. The OIG found that improvements are needed to ensure SCORE minimizes risk of fraud or misuse of program funds and SBA did not ensure it accurately measured the effectiveness of the SCORE program.

Bill Summary:

The legislation amends the Small Business Act to strengthen SCORE and restores integrity, accounting, and performance to the program. By including certain safeguards, the legislation would ensure SBA is a good agent of government funds and the counseling and training program is operating effectively and efficiently.

More specifically, the legislation would:

  • Protect taxpayers’ dollars Ensure federal contracts are awarded properly
  • Align salaries and performance awards with federal standards;
  • Protect whistleblowers
  • Expand services and promote diversity
  • Ensure SCORE meets Congressional intent

Authorization of Funds: This bill provides for an authorization of appropriations for three years, FY 2020 – FY 2022, in the amount of $11.7 million for the SCORE program.

Full bill text here.

OK Education Dep't receives $1.74M in school safety grants

Hofmeister announces more than $1.7 million in school safety grants

OKLAHOMA CITY (Oct. 24, 2019) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister today announced that the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), in partnership with the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and its subsidiary, the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI), has received three federal grants of more than $1.7 million to strengthen safety, security and mental health initiatives in public schools statewide.

“For students to learn, they must first feel safe,” said Hofmeister. “These grants will support violence prevention efforts in our schools. By working to keep schools safe, we are giving kids the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential in a positive learning environment.”

“The Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, through our Oklahoma School Security Institute, have for many years worked closely to make schools safe and secure for our youth,” said Kim Carter, director of the institute. “These grants will allow both of our agencies to strengthen our partnership and to provide more resources than ever before to accomplish that mission.” 

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded OSDE $996,855 over the next three years to create and train a state Crisis Team. The team will consist of two new state-level positions – a licensed school counselor and a school psychologist plus a Strike Team of 20 existing OSDE employees. The Crisis Team will be deployed during school emergencies and provide guidance to schools on identifying students who may need additional behavioral health supports or mental health interventions.

In a second grant, OSDE received $498,915 to hire a full-time anti-bullying program specialist to implement school-based prevention and intervention strategies and support Oklahoma parents whose children have been victims of bullying. The grant will also fund a regional representative to assist school districts in completing a risk and vulnerability assessment. This specialist will be housed at OSSI.

The DOJ also awarded OSDE with $250,000 over the next three years to implement a mobile phone app that will allow for real-time anonymous reporting of violence and threats. This app will work in conjunction with the Oklahoma Fusion Center’s telephone tip line, which has received a low volume of calls since 2014 and none from students. The new phone app will allow for anonymous, two-way communication, images and video to be sent 24 hours a day.

“In order for students to flourish, they must be able to focus on their studies without the threat of aggression or violence,” said Hofmeister. “If students don’t feel comfortable going to school, they may put their academic future at risk. We must do everything in our power to ensure student safety and are grateful for the opportunities these grants provide.”

1889 Institute: Reforms needed to tame overreaching state courts


Reforms Needed to Tame Oklahoma’s Overreaching Courts
12 actions the Oklahoma Legislature take immediately

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (October 23, 2019) – A new 1889 Institute publication, “Taming Judicial Overreach: 12 Actions the Legislature Can Take Immediately” fulfills a promise from Ben Lepak, 1889 Institute’s Legal Fellow, to publish a list of statutory court reform recommendations. That promise was made in a previous report, “Legislators in Black Robes: Unelected Lawmaking by the Oklahoma Supreme Court,” a study that showed how the court often acts as an unelected legislature.

Although four specific recommendations were included in the previous paper, with one that would require amending the constitution, other statutory reforms are possible. These are explained in detail in the new paper; these reforms include:

  1. Eliminate the Judicial Nominating Commission’s (JNC) role in filling vacancies for all courts below the Supreme Court.
  2. Remove the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) from the process of selecting JNC members.
  3. Re-organize the Court of Civil Appeals to create a true intermediate appellate court.
  4. Make the JNC subject to the Open Meetings Act.
  5. Ban lobbying of the Legislature by members of the Supreme Court and employees of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
  6. Limit Public Interest Standing.
  7. Establish rules for recusal of justices from cases, and prescribe procedures for appointing special (substitute) justices.
  8. Add “improperly exercising the powers of the legislative branch” as a ground for impeachment of a Supreme Court justice.
  9. Implement a term limit for Supreme Court justices.
  10. Require additional information to be reported by the judicial branch annually for purposes of oversight.
  11. Make the Supreme Court subject to the Open Records Act.
  12. Require the Supreme Court to Maintain a More Easily Accessible Docket.


In explaining his reason for proposing these reforms Ben Lepak said, “The Oklahoma Legislature need not sit idly as the Supreme Court whittles away at the Legislature’s legitimate constitutional authority, but can take immediate action without having to go to the voters to amend the constitution.” Lepak went on to say, “The Legislature, as the people’s legitimate representatives in government not only can take these actions, but owe it to their constituents to do so, and must if they are to uphold the Rule of Law.”

About the 1889 Institute
The 1889 Institute is an independent Oklahoma think tank committed to state policy fostering limited and responsible government, free enterprise and a robust civil society. The publication, “Taming Judicial Overreach: 12 Actions the Legislature Can Take Immediately” can be found on the nonprofit’s website at https://1889institute.org/govt-profiteering.

Speaker McCall comments on state credit outlook upgrade


Speaker McCall comments on state credit outlook upgrade

OKLAHOMA CITY –House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, who helped represent the state in recent meetings with credit agencies like Moody’s, issued the following statement in response to Moody’s upgrading the state credit outlook to “positive” from “stable” on Wednesday:

“This is a big validation of the Legislature’s commitment to better budgeting. Major efforts have been made lately to use more fiscally conservative, structurally sound financial practices, culminating with last session’s passage of the strongest state budget in recent memory. We are delivering the stronger fiscal house Oklahomans expect and deserve. This is the first of what we expect will be many financial rating improvements for the state as we continue fulfilling our commitment to be more responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money. Righting the state’s financial ship has been and will continue to be a team effort, and I thank Governor Kevin Stitt and the appropriations leaders in the Legislature for their partnership on this accomplishment.” – House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Reps. Hern and Mullin denied access to non-classified impeachment materials


Representatives Hern and Mullin denied access to non-classified impeachment inquiry materials, demand transparency

WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, Representatives Kevin Hern (OK-01) and Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) requested access to the non-classified transcript of Ambassador Volker’s testimony with the Intelligence Committee but were turned away by Committee staff.

Reps. Hern and Mullin react after rejection from Intelligence Committee

Later in the morning, Reps. Hern and Mullin again attempted access to the SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) with over 40 Members of Congress and were able to gain access to the Intelligence Committee hearing, briefly, before Chairman Adam Schiff ended the hearing.

“Many of my constituents didn’t believe me when I told them that Members of Congress were being barred from access to impeachment materials,” said Rep. Hern. “Oklahomans are being completely shut out of this process – not one of the five representatives in our delegation are on any of the committees participating in the impeachment inquiry. Since this inquiry is happening behind closed doors, there are no Oklahomans with access to important documents, testimonies, and hearings. Instead, three of Congress’s most radical, anti-Trump socialists are there: Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. To watch this process move forward like this is baffling. I urge all Americans to keep fighting, call Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Schiff every day and demand transparency in the process. You deserve to know what’s going on deep in the heart of our Capitol.”

“The most frustrating thing is that we’re talking about impeaching the President of the United States and it’s not transparent,” Mullin said. “Chairman Schiff and the Democrats won’t let other Members of Congress into the hearings or open them up to the public. Instead they are leaking one-sided statements that don’t give us the full picture of what’s happening in the hearings. The past two impeachments, Nixon and Clinton, were open and transparent for the American people to see, but this is nothing more than a political witch hunt.”

Monday, October 21, 2019

OCPA column: Clinging to belief in the "free lunch"


Clinging to belief in the “free lunch”
By Jonathan Small

While your parents probably warned you there’s no such thing as a free lunch, meaning a price is always paid, that’s a lesson lost on many policymakers. An obvious example is the continued argument that Oklahoma is allowing “our share” of Medicaid dollars to go to other states because we have not added able-bodied adults to the program as allowed by Obamacare.

Those who make that claim either don’t understand how Medicaid expansion is funded—through increased federal debt—or they don’t care and are willing to mislead Oklahomans. Contrary to the claims of expansion proponents, there isn’t a pot of federal money for Medicaid expansion that is simply divided by the number of states choosing to participate. Instead, Medicaid spending increases every time the program is expanded.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, recently pointed out how Medicaid-expansion finances really work. If Oklahoma were to expand Medicaid, there would be a 90-10 federal-state cost split. Lankford noted Oklahoma expansion would require a “pretty significant increase” in federal spending, but the federal side would be funded via debt while state government would have to make real financial choices.

“The federal government has the great benefit of we just print more money,” Lankford said. “We don’t have to worry about having it balance. Oklahoma’s government has to figure out how they’re going to tax more, what they’re going to do less of, because they’ve got to balance at the end of it.”

As originally passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act included numerous tax provisions that paid for the law–on paper. But many of those taxes have never taken effect, have since been repealed, or both. To cite just one example, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted in July to repeal the ACA’s “Cadillac tax,” which has not taken effect but will eventually impose financial penalties on those whose insurance plans are considered too lavish, including plans serving many states’ teachers.

Put simply, Obamacare was never truly “paid for” and today is substantially funded by increasing debt.

The U.S. government’s public debt is more than $22 trillion and on pace to hit $28.7 trillion by 2029. Medicaid expansion plays a significant role in that growth. At a recent meeting of the legislative Healthcare Working Group, Clay Farris, an official with the consulting firm Mostly Medicaid, pointed out that Medicaid’s nationwide spending totaled $7.2 trillion from 1966 to 2014, including both state and federal funding. The program is now projected to spend $5.5 trillion total from 2014 to 2022. “We’re going to have spent almost as much in eight years as we did in the first 50 years,” Farris said.

Oklahoma’s decision to (so far) decline Medicaid expansion not only reduced welfare dependency in this state, but also reduced the debt burden handed down to our children.

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

Speaker McCall announces new oversight effort by House


Speaker McCall announces new oversight effort by House

OKLAHOMA CITY – Building off of greater oversight and transparency initiatives by the House over the past three years, House Speaker Charles McCall has launched a new initiative to increase legislative oversight and assess the performance of agency governing boards.

“The Legislature has been too deferential and hands-off with these governing boards for most of state history, and the House is going to change that,” said McCall, R-Atoka.

Speaker McCall is assigning House committees to regularly monitor the governing boards of more than three dozen state agencies and identify legislators to attend governing board meetings as necessary – including attendance at private executive sessions as authorized by state law – so legislators can be better informed and increase their watchdog role over agencies.

Additional government oversight by the House began in 2016, when the House launched more robust budget hearings for the largest state agencies. In 2017 and 2018, the House exposed waste and mismanagement at agencies through agency accountability hearings. In 2019, the Legislature created the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency, which next year will start providing legislators with independent budget information and agency performance reviews.

“Citizens want more oversight of government, and we are continuing to deliver it,” McCall said. “The House is continuing to build on the oversight efforts we have made in the past three years. This time, we are rolling up our sleeves, getting out of the Capitol and visiting agency governing boards ourselves to inform our policymaking. This work will occur year-round – regardless of whether the Legislature is in session.”

The initiative has five goals:

  • Improve legislator understanding of agency governance and operations
  • Assess each board’s oversight efforts and the effectiveness of the agency
  • Monitor whether state appropriations are being used as intended and if adequate consideration is being given to potential liabilities attached to federal or other grants agencies may pursue
  • Ensure enactment of new and existing laws, including rulemaking, is consistent with legislative intent and facilitates effective service delivery to the public
  • Determine if executive sessions closed to the public are being used properly

“Oklahomans elected a record number of new legislators to bring real change to government, and this increased oversight is one way we will fulfill that voter mandate,” McCall said. “Between this House initiative, the creation of the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency last session, and the fresh eyes the Stitt administration is bringing to the executive branch, it is very much a new day of accountability in state government.”

Background

Oklahoma has nearly 200 boards and commissions overseeing state agencies. Many have existed for decades, or even since statehood.

“Quality Oklahomans serve on several of these boards, including many appointed by the legislative branch, but we as elected state representatives need to do more to monitor what these boards are doing or not doing. It is our constitutional duty,” McCall said.

A preliminary list of 40 boards that will be monitored and the committees assigned to them can be found here. Additional boards may be added in the future as warranted.

“The reality is there may need to be some wholesale restructuring of agency governance models in order to truly optimize government and improve service delivery for citizens. This effort will help sort out when and where that approach may be necessary,” McCall said.

McCall said the initiative complements efforts the governor’s administration is making to more proactively manage state agencies.

“Governor Kevin Stitt is doing a tremendous job providing stronger oversight of agency operations from the executive branch, and we are joining him in that effort from the legislative branch,” McCall said. “The direct hire and fire ability the Legislature recently granted the governor over some agency leaders, and the rebalancing of at-will board appointments, is already resulting in profound, positive culture change at state agencies. Oklahoma needs to build on this progress by placing additional agencies under similar structures.”

McCall added: “House members will not be attending these meetings as participants or to direct these entities. We will be there to observe and use information gleaned to improve our policymaking while ensuring agencies are giving taxpayers the best return on their investment. It will also heighten our ability to respond to constituent inquiries about agencies and services.”

Executive sessions

Since its enactment in 1977, the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act has contained a provision authorizing legislators to attend private, executive sessions of governing body meetings, but the provision has rarely been invoked.

“This is an important oversight component of the Open Meeting Act that we intend to start use,” McCall said. “There are legitimate reasons for executive sessions, but when they are used for the wrong reasons, it is to the detriment of Oklahoma citizens.”

Guidelines will be put in place to ensure confidentiality of executive sessions is maintained when a House member attends.

“House members will not be able to publicly share information discussed in those sessions if it is confidential information. However, if a representative observes something truly egregious, we will not hesitate to exercise our constitutional authority and independence as the situation warrants,” McCall said.

Some House members have already started attending governing board meetings – including executive sessions.

Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa, attended a Board of Education meeting and executive session in July. Reps. Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin, and Mark McBride, R-Moore, attended a University of Oklahoma Board of Regents meeting in September, and plan to attend meetings of other university governing boards in the future.

“The House members already attending these meetings have been warmly welcomed by the board members and agency staff, and we expect that will continue,” McCall said. “Ultimately, we see this as a partnership to foster better communication and cooperation between elected officials and agencies that results in a more functional government for Oklahomans.”

View Governing Board Monitoring Assignments here [PDF].

Thursday, October 17, 2019

OKGOP Chair and Vice Chair dispute financial woes, call for each other to resign


Oh boy. The OKGOP chairmanships since the 'golden age' of Gary Jones and Matt Pinnell have pretty much been Dysfunction Junction, but none have resulted in something quite like this.

To set the background, the Oklahoma Republican Party is having some major financial problems. This is a pretty well established fact. Fundraising has been lackluster to nonexistent, while spending has apparently taken the budget well into the red. Some of this is the result of longterm issues, while some of this is new.

Yesterday, Vice Chairman Mike Turner was featured in a News 9 interview where he slammed Chairman David McLain for the OKGOP's severe ongoing financial woes and called for his resignation. Specifically, Turner said:
"The chairman should step aside for the good of the party."
The News 9 story touts documents leaked to them by party insiders that show the OKGOP with more than $18,000 in outstanding bills and less than $75 in the daily operations account.

Then, Chairman McLain issued the following press release calling for the resignation of Vice Chairman Turner:
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OKLAHOMA REPUBLICAN PARTY 10/16/2019 

Regarding the news story released earlier today: I have in front of me, a complete spreadsheet of payables which clearly document the fact that at no time has our utility services been threatened.

As of today, I have documentation showing we have in excess of $20,000 in our account. Point being, Mr. Turner either deliberately provided false information OR did so out of ignorance of the facts. Either way, I am obliged to protect the integrity of the Oklahoma Republican Party and set the record straight.

Also, at my election on April 6th of this year, I received 70% of the party’s confidence from ALL segments of the Republican Party. Not just one segment. ALL.

The Central Committee has called for the immediate resignation of Mike Turner as the Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party and will be giving an official call to order of the State Committee this week.

Respectfully,

David McLain, Chairman
Oklahoma Republican Party
Some sources are indicating that the RNC has bailed the OKGOP out with a $20,000 infusion of cash to help float through the current set of financial problems, although Chairman McLain has not made any comment to that point except in the above press release.

Transparency and openness on the OKGOP's financial situation would go a long way toward shedding light on its true state and charting a path forward. Hopefully we will see that happen quickly.

I sat on both the state and executive committees during the chairmanships of Jones and Pinnell. We had very clear budget reports and financial statements during their tenures, detailing exactly where every penny the state party had was going. Although I've not been on either committee for some years, I have seen financial statements from two of the last four chairs, and none had the transparency or detail given under Jones and Pinnell, and none of the chairman since have had the kind of fundraising success they had.

Some of that is a result of a massive shift in how politics and campaigns work today. The political parties are less important than they used to be, and outside groups play a much bigger role in elections. Social media has also made it easier to access volunteers without having to route through existing party infrastructure.

That said, it certainly seems to me, from my outside perspective, that the state GOP has suffered from poor leadership for some time, and the effect has been devastating to the party's finances. I'm appalled that the party of fiscal responsibility would find itself operating in debt to such a degree as it has during much of the past decade.

The OKGOP has some major hurdles ahead of it if it wants to successfully retake the 5th Congressional District, stave off legislative losses in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties, and continue making progress on taking more county offices across the state. Those goals may have to happen independently of the state party.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Rep. Hern raises $300k in Q3, endorsed by Tulsa metro mayors


Kevin Hern raises over $300k in Q3, announces local endorsements

TULSA, OK – After closing books on fundraising in the third quarter, Kevin Hern announced this morning that he raised over $300,000 during the July-September fundraising period, indicating powerful support for his re-election campaign.

“A strong showing of support this quarter is a direct response to the radical policies of the far left,” said Hern. “Oklahomans see what is happening in our nation’s capital when people like Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff call the shots and they are horrified, as am I.”

Following Hern’s formal campaign launch in early August, he received endorsements from a number of mayors in Oklahoma's First Congressional District:
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum
Bartlesville Mayor Dale Copeland
Owasso Mayor Chris Kelley
Coweta Mayor Evette Morris
Bixby Mayor Brian Guthrie
Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond
Sand Springs Mayor Jim Spoon
Glenpool Mayor Tim Fox
Collinsville Mayor Bud York
Wagoner Mayor Albert Jones 
“After nearly a year in office, I’m excited to see support for my re-election from constituents and local leaders,” said Hern. “It shows that putting business principles to use in our government works. It has worked for President Trump for the last 3 years, and it is working in Congress. Together, we’re seeing a revolutionized economy, skyrocketing consumer confidence, and the lowest unemployment numbers in a generation. I’m glad to have the support of so many great Oklahomans heading into next year’s election!”

Congressman Hern was previously endorsed by House Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan who held a rally for Congressman Hern in early August and by both U.S. Senators from Oklahoma. 

Bice raises $168k in 3rd Quarter for 5th District campaign


Stephanie Bice for Congress Raises $168,000 in Third Quarter

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 15, 2019)  - Stephanie Bice, conservative Republican candidate for Congress in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, has raised more than $350,000 from more than 1600 individual donors in just over five months. Bice raised $168,000 in the third quarter.

More than 91 percent of Bice’s contributions came from Oklahoma.

The totals include no loans from the candidate and the campaign remains debt-free. 

“I’m grateful to the more than 1,600 Oklahomans who have invested in our campaign,” Bice said. “It’s clear voters are ready to elect new Republican leadership to Congress. I appreciate their trust in me and share the goal to put an end to the dysfunction and inaction in Washington.”

Bice for Congress campaign manager Matt Blubaugh said the campaign’s 3rd quarter fundraising is no surprise to those on the ground in the district.

The National Journal recently named the fifth congressional district as the number one most likely House seat to change party hands in 2020. The Washington Post rated it as the second race most likely to flip.

Democrats in Oklahoma, including prominent Oklahoma City campaign consultant Cassi Peters, have noted that Stephanie Bice has the best chance of all the candidates running to defeat Kendra Horn. In Sunday’s Oklahoman, Peters acknowledged that Bice “could give (incumbent Democrat Kendra) Horn the biggest general election challenge.”

Bice is a life-long resident of Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District and has a proven track record of supporting Oklahoma’s conservative ideals with her votes as an Oklahoma State Senator.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Broken Arrow state rep pleads 'not guilty' to felony DUI


Some might remember that back in August, State Rep. Dean Davis (R-Broken Arrow) was arrested for driving under the influence. He was booked into jail for DUI, speeding, and 'obstructing or interfering with police officer'.

While in jail, Rep. Davis made several phone calls to elected officials, including talking to two fellow House freshmen and leaving a voicemail for Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado. He asked his legislator friends to call the sheriff or city police chief to "help him out". He told Rep. T.J. Marti (R-Tulsa) that "This is not going to help Broken Arrow at all because they just made an enemy, and that’s not good at all."

Now, with his political career in peril, Davis is pleading 'not guilty'. From SoonerPolitics.org:

Rep. Dean Davis Pleads 'Not Guilty' to Felony DUI
If Davis is found guilty of a felony, he is immediately expelled from office, by constitutional mandate.

Early last August, freshman lawmaker, Dean Davis of Broken Arrow, was arrested on a dark stretch of road in deep south Broken Arrow. The event was not recorded and Davis refused to provide samples for alcohol toxicity tests.

It's not his first DUI charges, so, DA Steve Kunzweiler filed felony charges, given his previous guilty plea, years ago.

The only solid evidence is the many phone calls Davis made in the few hours after his detainment. Other than that, it'll be a matter of who is more believable, to the district court.  Next court date in Oct. 28th.

The OSCN.net journal records this latest entry:

JUDGE DAVID GUTEN: DEFENDANT PRESENT, NOT IN CUSTODY, AND REPRESENTED BY BRUCE EDGE. ARRAIGNMENT HELD. DEFENDANT WAIVES READING OF THE INFORMATION AND FURTHER TIME TO PLEAD. DEFENDANT ENTERS A PLEA OF NOT GUILTY. PRELIMINARY HEARING SET FOR 10-28-19 @ 9 AM IN 344. BOND TO REMAIN. DEFENDANT RECOGNIZED BACK.

As SoonerPolitics pointed out, the State Constitution pointedly disqualifies felons from holding a legislative seat. If Davis is convicted of a felony, he will be removed from office.

Music Monday: Batman Theme

This week's Music Monday is the theme song to the old television show Batman. My kids are obsessed with the show, and love racing around the house to this song.

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 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