Monday, August 31, 2020

1889 Institute: if licensing laws protect consumers, why are they blatantly anti-consumer?

If Licensing Protects Consumers, Why Are Licensing Laws Blatantly Anti-Consumer?
By Mike Davis, 1889 Institute

Once upon a time, there was a small island whose economy revolved around scuba-diving tourism. The island's legislature considered scuba dangerous. Inexperienced divers would surface too quickly and get the bends. The legislature, wanting to make diving seem safer, passed a law banning sharks from designated scuba diving zones. There were no known shark attacks, nor were sharks frightening divers into surfacing too quickly, but people felt safer. This is what most occupational licensing schemes look like. Legislators give the public a sense of security, while giving powerful insiders protection from competition. The laws do almost nothing to help consumers. They’re futile. They are also deceptive.

Speakers names all State House members to redistricting committees

All House members named to redistricting committees

OKLAHOMA CITY – In a historic move, all Oklahomans will have direct representation in the House of Representatives redistricting process after House Speaker Charles McCall appointed all House members to redistricting committees Monday.

“House members work directly for the people. Because these are the people’s districts, the House is putting the people in charge of the redistricting process,” said McCall, R-Atoka. “With this approach, more Oklahomans than ever are involved in their redistricting. This process has the highest level of accountability for the people because they directly elect their representatives.”

Eight regional redistricting subcommittees will go directly to the public to ask citizens how House districts should look for the next decade. In-person and virtual town halls, online submissions, citizen surveys and more will be used to gather extensive public input throughout the fall and winter ahead of the 2021 legislative session. Each House member will serve on a regional subcommittee.

Music Monday: An Alpine Symphony (Thunder and Tempest, Descent)

This week's Music Monday is Thunder and Tempest, Descent, a section of An Alpine Symphony by German composer Richard Strauss.


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

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Oklahoma government funds controversial sex-ed curriculum

Oklahoma government funds controversial sex-ed curriculum
by Ray Carter -- Director, Center for Independent Journalism

(August 28, 2020)  Many “age-appropriate” and “abstinence-based” sexual education courses in public schools are far more graphic than parents realize, and often stretch the meaning of the word “abstinence” to include a wide range of sexual activity, according to experts.

One sex-ed program criticized by officials is allowed in Oklahoma schools and funded by a state agency.

“The best-kept secret in every state is what’s actually being taught to the children,” said Sharen Slater, president of Family Watch International. “Because they know if parents find out, they’re going to go crazy and they’re going to try to stop it.”

Slater was among several officials who spoke at the 2020 Protecting Children in Education Summit, a recent virtual event hosted by The Heritage Foundation. The forum focused on how citizens can oppose “the sexualization of children through laws and policies that impose medically unsound comprehensive sexuality education and sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum on schools.”

Slater pointed to the “Making a Difference!” curriculum as one that many parents would find troubling. She said one activity sheet for the program asks students to define abstinence and states that students’ possible answers may include “all sorts of sexual acts, promoting them as abstinence.”

“The best-kept secret in every state is what’s actually being taught to the children.”

OCPA column: Different rules for different Oklahomans?

Different rules for different Oklahomans?
By Jonathan Small

The repercussions of the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt v. Oklahoma decision, which effectively re-established the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation, suggest Oklahomans have reason to fear we will live under two different sets of rules based on a citizen’s heritage.

The McGirt decision dealt only with criminal prosecutions and Creek land, but it is expected impact a far broader range of issues also involving the territories of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole nations, or nearly half the state of Oklahoma—and perhaps more.

Those who suggest McGirt will affect only criminal prosecutions ignore the fact that tribal leaders clearly think otherwise. Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill recently confirmed to OETA that his tribe is looking at how the decision may expand tribal authority in taxation and regulation. Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton has similarly said his tribe has “identified five broad categories of questions we see arising from McGirt: law enforcement, judicial, taxation, regulatory, and Indian child welfare.”

Those aren’t minor issues.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

OKGOP: We're primed for November victory


OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, August 25, 2020 – The chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party said tonight the GOP is poised for a victorious November on the state and national levels now that the primary runoffs have concluded, and the presidential contest is set.

“I could not be more excited about the Republican ticket nationally, and in Oklahoma,” David McLain said. “The delegates to the Republican National Convention have formally nominated President Trump and Vice President Pence to a second term, and the overall contrast between the President and Joe Biden is beyond measure. All Americans have a clear choice, and there is no middle ground. Either reelect a proven, pro-business, conservative leader or a liberal, left-wing product of yesteryear. I am extremely confident Oklahoma Republicans, and many conservative and moderate Democrats, will turn out strongly to reelect President Trump, and maintain Oklahoma’s 56-year streak of supporting the Republican presidential ticket.”

Lepak: A First Amendment victory within the Bar Association

A First Amendment Victory Within the Bar Association
By Benjamin Lepak

Attorneys in Oklahoma are required by law to join and pay dues to the Oklahoma Bar Association to practice their profession. The OBA uses that dues money for many things, including political advocacy. Consequently, lawyers are forced to fund political speech they may disagree with in order to earn a living. Many lawyers contend this mandatory bar arrangement fundamentally intrudes on their First Amendment rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court agrees. In Keller v. State Bar of California, decided 30 years ago, the Court held it unconstitutional for bar associations to use mandatory dues to engage in political speech without providing meaningful procedures for lawyers to “opt out” of funding the speech.

The key word here is “meaningful.” Last year, a Tulsa attorney filed a federal lawsuit against the OBA, alleging Oklahoma lawyers’ First Amendment rights were protected only on paper, not in reality.

OSDH Announces Plan to Provide COVID-19 Testing for Teachers

OSDH Announces Plan to Provide COVID-19 Testing for Teachers

Oklahoma City (August 21, 2020) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), has developed a plan as directed by Governor Kevin Stitt in Executive Order 2020-20 (Third Amended) that will provide for the optional monthly COVID-19 testing of Oklahoma teachers and support employees.

“Testing plays a key role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our schools,” said interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, M.D. “The Health Department has placed a top priority in helping schools navigate through these uncertain times to protect our children, our teachers and communities.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Runoff: 3 GOP State Senators lose, 2 abortion abolitionists win, Bice tops Neese

The votes are in, and there were is some big news out of yesterday's runoff election. Let's get into the top stories.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Runoff Election is today: here's some information and my thoughts

Today is the runoff election in Oklahoma, with a variety of races on the ballot across the state. Here is some information regarding the vote today.
Here are a few comments of mine on select races:

5th Congressional District: your choice. Bice is not particularly conservative, but probably has a better chance at defeating Democrat Kendra Horn. Neese is probably slightly more conservative and came out of the primary with a healthy lead, but she's had some baggage come out in the past few weeks that may be easier for Horn to take advantage of.

Muskogee County Sheriff: Michael Mahan. I appreciated his responses to my candidate forum, and respected Second Amendment individuals in the area support him.

Work and other duties have prevented me from being as active with blogging recently, so be sure to check out the links above, especially from Michael Bates and Charlie Meadows for information on other races.

Charlie Meadows and OCPAC on today's runoff elections

Conservative stalwart Charlie Meadows and the organization he presided over for many years (the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee) emailed out his oft-anticipated Charlie's Picks yesterday on today's runoff election. Here they are, along with a section with detail on the races in Tulsa:


[Today,] Tuesday, August 25th is primary runoff election day for 2020.

The following picks are simply my opinions based on extensive research. Helping me with these were Don Spencer of Oklahoma Second Amendment Association (OK2A), Liza Greve of Oklahomans for Health & Parental Rights (OKHPR), and, to a lesser degree, the iVoter Guide.

Readers may have information I am unaware of and have a different opinion. That is fine.

My problem with Bice is that she has proven not to be a conservative. Her six-year average score is 56 on The Oklahoma Constitution Newspaper's Conservative Index. Find it here.

While she has voted properly on some OK2A bills, Don Spencer has indicated she has been unfriendly and uncooperative with OK2A. I believe Bice has a slightly better chance to beat Horn in November.

Monday, August 24, 2020

OCPA column: Private sector forces create a government success

Private sector forces create a government success
By Jonathan Small

After having been at the bottom of the barrel, Oklahoma now ranks in the top 10 for bridge conditions, according to the latest data from the Federal Highway Administration. That success is the result not of government, but primarily of private-sector forces. And similar improvement can be generated elsewhere by taking advantage of market forces and the benefits of competition.

In 2004, nearly 1,200 of Oklahoma’s 6,800 highway bridges were considered structurally deficient. Today, only 86 highway bridges are considered structurally deficient, and each is already scheduled for improvements through the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Eight-Year Construction Plan.

Increased funding was a component of that successful turnaround—but only one component. The more important factor was reliance on private-sector competition to generate improvement.

How? The state’s eight-year road plan has an equal emphasis on performance and outcomes, along with funding. Notably, ODOT uses state funds to pay private entities to perform the work. That’s not a minor detail.

Lucas statement on House United States Postal Service Legislation

Lucas Statement on House United States Postal Service Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 8015- the Delivering for America Act. Lucas opposed the legislation.

“There is no question about it, whether you live in rural western Oklahoma or the suburbs of Oklahoma City or Tulsa, the United States Postal Service provides a vital service to Oklahomans. From ensuring vital goods are delivered to the doorsteps of those who call rural America home to playing a critical part in our nation’s democratic process, the USPS has long executed its public service mission of providing prompt, reliable, and efficient postal services to the American people.

State Election Board offers tips, reminders for Tuesday's Elections

State Election Board Offers Tips, Reminders for August 25 Elections

(Oklahoma City) – Fifty (50) counties will have elections on Tuesday, August 25. Several counties will also have local or county elections on the ballot. The State Election Board offers these tips and reminders for Oklahoma voters before they head to the polls.


Not every voter will have an election on August 25. Election officials recommend using the OK Voter Portal to verify your voting information.

If you have a sample ballot in the portal, you have an election in your precinct. If you do not have a sample ballot, you do not have an election.

 Voters are reminded to check the OK Voter Portal to verify their polling place before heading out to vote. Some polling places may have changed due to the COVID-19 emergency.


Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Lines at the polls are typically longest before work, during the lunch hour, and after work.


Oklahoma has closed primaries. In order to vote in a party’s primary or subsequent runoff, you must be a registered voter of that party. Recognized parties may open their primaries to Independent voters. For the 2020 and 2021 election years, the Democratic Party has elected to open its primaries to Independents. The Republican and Libertarian parties have chosen to keep their primaries closed.

If you are an Independent voter and would like to vote a Democratic ballot, please be sure to let the poll worker know when you check in.


The State Election Board worked with OU Health Sciences Center to develop safety protocols for all of Oklahoma’s polling places and county election boards, including social distancing procedures and disinfection requirements for voting equipment and surfaces. Poll workers at every location have been supplied with personal protective equipment (PPE) including hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and disinfectant.

Voters are asked to be patient and follow signage and procedures. While it is not required, state election officials strongly recommend that voters wear a mask or face covering to protect themselves and those around them.

Find more on COVID-19 and the 2020 elections on the State Election Board website.


Oklahoma law requires every voter who votes in person to show proof of identity before receiving a ballot.

There are three ways for voters to prove their identity under the law. (Only one proof of identity is required):

  1. Show a valid photo ID issued by the federal, state, or tribal government; or
  2. Show the free voter identification card issued to every voter by their County Election Board; or
  3. Sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot. (If the information on the affidavit matches official voter registration records, the ballot will be counted after Election Day.)

State and county election officials are always your trusted sources for information. Visit the State Election Board website to learn more about elections in Oklahoma.

URL Guide:

'OK Baptists for Abolishing Abortion' endorses Warren Hamilton for State Senate

Oklahoma Baptists for Abolishing Abortion Endorses Warren Hamilton for District 7 Oklahoma Senate

Owasso— August 18, 2020 — Oklahoma Baptists for Abolishing Abortion wholeheartedly endorses Warren Hamilton for the District 7 Senate seat. ‪On Tuesday, August 25th‬ voters living in Oklahoma State Senate District 7 have a great opportunity to choose a principled statesman over a political swamp creature by voting FOR challenger Warren Hamilton over eight-year incumbent Senator Larry Boggs.

We are very disappointed to see the Boggs’ campaign resorting to half-truths and outright lies about Warren Hamilton. As Oklahoma Baptists we want everyone to know that Warren Hamilton is a member in good standing of an Oklahoma Southern Baptist congregation. Any suggestion that he is part of a cult would be laughable if it were not such a libelous lie. We need more people like Warren Hamilton in the Oklahoma Legislature. Warren Hamilton is a convictional conservative who has endorsed the Southern Baptist Resolution on Abolishing Abortion, and less people like Larry Boggs (who will say or do anything to hang onto his political power).

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Family Research Council PAC endorses Neese in CD5 runoff


Oklahoma City, OK -- Terry Neese, the pro-Trump Republican candidate for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, has been endorsed by the Family Research Council (FRC) Action PAC. In an endorsement letter released today, the FRC Action PAC praised Neese for understanding “the fundamental importance of protecting the right to life, the central role strong families must play if our country is to thrive, and that religious liberty is the bedrock of a truly prosperous nation.”

Lt. Gen. (US Army-Ret.) William G. Boykin, Executive Vice President of the FRC Action PAC said: “FRC Action PAC is confident that you will be a dedicated advocate for life, freedom, and strong family values. You are the leader that Oklahoma needs, and we are pleased to offer our endorsement of your candidacy for Congress. Together we will create a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.”

The full endorsement letter released by the FRC Action PAC can be read here.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Feds approve Oklahoma's application for additional unemployment program, $300 per week for claimants

Unemployed Oklahomans to receive additional $300 per week under approved program 

OKLAHOMA CITY (August 19, 2020)-- Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the State's application to provide unemployed Oklahomans with an additional $300 per week in benefits under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. 

"I am thankful for the teams at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management for working effectively with FEMA to ensure our application quickly received a stamp of approval," said Gov. Stitt. "I look forward to working with OESC to make sure the additional $300 in weekly benefits are distributed efficiently and on target to help Oklahomans as they continue working to find secure employment."

Dep't of Interior approves Oklahoma gaming compacts with Kialegee and UKB


OKLAHOMA CITY (August 20, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt has announced the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) deemed approved the State’s two most recent gaming compacts with the Kialegee Tribal Town (KTT) and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB). These new gaming compacts double the current fee rate on Class III games, from 6% in the 2004 Model Gaming Compact to as high as 13%, and strengthens gaming compact transparency, setting the stage for additional revenue for public education in the near future and strengthening State-Tribal relationships through individual negotiations.

“The U.S. Department of Interior recognizes the State’s good faith effort to negotiate with Oklahoma tribes in the approval of two new gaming compacts that will generate new revenue for public schools in the future and expand economic opportunity for our tribal partners,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “I appreciate and respect the thoughtful leadership of Mekko Brian Givens and Chief Joe Bunch who worked hard to secure fair terms for their citizens, and whose contributions throughout the negotiations ensured a competitive gaming market in Oklahoma. With these new gaming compacts, Oklahoma is ushering in a new era of prosperity, opportunity, and partnership for the State and the Tribes.”

Thursday, August 20, 2020

CD5 Runoff: Bice outraises Neese for 7th straight reporting period

Stephanie Bice outraises Terry Neese again… for 7th straight reporting period

 OKLAHOMA CITY (August 18, 2020) - Stephanie Bice, conservative Republican candidate for Congress in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, again outraised Terry Neese in the most recent fundraising period.

This is the seventh consecutive fundraising period that Bice has bested Neese in dollars raised and Bice has outraised Neese in every filing period since becoming a candidate.

'Unite Norman': supporters of mayor "still don't get it" when claiming 30,000 recall signers were tricked

“THEY STILL DON’T GET IT” – Supporters of Soon-To-Be-Recalled Mayor, City Council Say 30,000 Normanites Must Have Been “Tricked” into Signing Petitions — Nothing Could be Further from the Truth, Voters Were Very Informed as Recall Was One of the Most-Covered Stories in Norman this Summer

Mayor, City Council Supporters Suggesting that All of the People Who Signed the Petition — Women, Democrats, Independents, Republicans, People under Age 50, and People over Age 50 — Must Have Been Tricked, They Can’t Possibly Have Decided for Themselves

Continued denial from city leaders shows they still don’t get it
Norman Recall story has been the biggest political story of the summer —voters were very informed by daily Media stories, newspaper ads, doorstep visits, and social media discussions

NORMAN (August 19th)  — Supporters of the mayor and city council are suggesting that 30,000 Normanites were “tricked” into signing petitions to recall the mayor and city council — but nothing could be further from the truth.

After a contentious summer debating the Defunding of Police, the Recall story has arguably become one of the biggest news stories in Norman and that state. To suggest that the citizens in Norman didn’t know what the recall was over is just disingenuous.

It is a tactic straight out of the Democrats’ playbook — a tactic that has been used in other Recall elections, such as the Colorado Recalls, where signature gatherers there also got above & beyond the required signatures.

“This mayor and city council still don’t get it,” said Russell Smith, co-founder of Unite Norman. “Thousands of volunteers spent hundreds of hours talking with residents of Norman on their doorsteps, at least 100 local TV stories were aired on the issue, and dozens of hours were spent talking with the media, and with the public on social media.

Early Voting Begins for Runoff Primary; Absentee Ballot Return Options Available

Early Voting Begins for Runoff Primary; Absentee Ballot Return Options Available

(Oklahoma City) – Early voting for the August 25 Runoff Primary begins this week for voters in fifty (50) counties. Early voting is available this Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Counties with state or federal runoff elections will also have early voting on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 While some voters in these counties will have a runoff primary election, others may only have a local or county election or no election at all. State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said it is important to make sure you have an election before you head to the polls.

“I always recommend checking the OK Voter Portal before you head to the polls to find your polling place and view a sample ballot. If you have a sample ballot available in the portal, that means you have an election in your precinct. If no ballot is available, it means you do not have an election,” said Ziriax.

Secretary Ziriax also reminds voters that Oklahoma is a closed primary state.

“In order to vote in a party’s primary or runoff primary, you must be a registered voter of that party. The Democratic Party, however, has made an exception for Independent voters for the 2020 and 2021 election years. If you’re an Independent voter you may ask for a Democratic Party primary ballot,” Ziriax said.

The Republican Party and Libertarian Party have chosen to keep their primaries closed.

Voters who have requested an absentee ballot for the August 25 Runoff Primary have several return options. Absentee ballots can be returned by the United States Postal Service or a private mail carrier, provided delivery documentation is provided.

Standard absentee ballots, the most common form of ballot, can be hand-delivered to the county election board provided the ballot is returned no later than the end of business day, the Monday prior to the election. Only the voter may hand-deliver his or her own absentee ballot. Please be prepared to show proof of identity when you drop off your ballot. You will be asked to show the same identification that is required when you vote at the polls.

Absentee ballots returned by mail for the August 25 election must be received by the County Election Board no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters can track their absentee ballot using the OK Voter Portal.

Social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place during early voting and on Election Day. While masks or face coverings are not required at voting locations, they are strongly recommended. You will find more information about COVID-19 and the 2020 elections on the State Election Board website.

URL Guide:

Early Voting:

OK Voter Portal:

Closed Primary State:

Absentee Ballots:

Proof of Identity:

County Election Board:

COVID-19 and the 2020 Elections:

State Election Board Website:

Monday, August 17, 2020

Music Monday: Stand By God's Man

This week's Music Monday is Stand By God's Man, sung here by the John Marshall Family. It is inspired by the account in Exodus 17, where Aaron and Hur hold up the hands of Moses in order to achieve victory over the Amalekites.


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

Sunday, August 16, 2020

OCPA column: Rounding errors should not prompt state shutdowns

Rounding errors should not prompt state shutdowns
By Jonathan Small

Too often, policymakers’ response to COVID-19 has involved acting as though the virus is both more deadly and more prevalent than it is, and then calling for mandatory curtailment of citizen activity even in areas where COVID-19 is almost non-existent.

You may recall the state superintendent of public instruction, joined by teachers’ unions, recently wanted school closures to be mandated whenever a county’s “threat” level reached the orange category on the color-coded map released each week by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. That map colors counties either green, yellow, orange or red, based on severity of COVID-19 rates, and counties in the third highest (orange, or “moderate risk”) level have COVID-19 infection rates greater than 14.39 people per 100,000 population.

Schools in counties at the orange level would have either been strongly encouraged or mandated to close if their country reached the orange level. Yet a rate of 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 population translates into a daily increase of less than two-tenths of 1 percent of a county’s population.

Thus, in counties with small populations, a literal handful of cases can put the entire county over the threshold into the “moderate risk” category. For example, Rogers Mills County was recently in the orange category with only two active COVID-19 cases in its 1,141 square miles. Six other counties were in the orange category with just five to 21 active cases each.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

State Rep. Humphrey: Doctor who prescribed Hydroxychloroquine saved my life

Humphrey Comments on COVID-19 and Hydroxychloroquine

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, released the following today regarding to the nation’s COVID-19 response and the use of Hydroxycholorquine:

“I became a State Representative because I love our state and the incredible people of Oklahoma.

I have tremendous appreciation for our nation, which is the symbol of freedom throughout the world. Because of my passion for our country and state, I refuse to remain silent while the very foundation of our freedoms are being attacked and destroyed.

Our nation’s response to COVID-19 should produce fear in every person who stands for freedom, liberty and the United States.

An open letter to the failing Oklahoma GOP from a Republican college student

I received the following letter from a reader recently, and thought it worth publishing. Do you have a column or op-ed you'd like to submit? Email it to me.

An open letter to the failing Oklahoma GOP from a Republican college student

 As a Conservative college student, I interact with democratic students daily on campus and online. Because of this, I have never been more alarmed for the future of the Oklahoma GOP, a last somewhat thoroughly red stronghold.

At the forefront of every Republican Oklahomans’ mind this cycle is the contentious Congressional District 5 (CD5) seat. This is where the party struggled initially to unify our forces. 13 candidates publicly lobbied or expressed interest in running for the congressional seat. 9 of whom got their name on the ballot. It can be said this is a nationwide Republican issue as we saw in the 2016 presidential Republican primary, but for a small, densely populated district putting forth a strong candidate to replace our current socialistic congresswoman should have been a top priority for the Republican party.

Lepak: stop allowing special interests to pull up the ladder of opportunity

Let’s Stop Allowing Special Interests to Pull Up the Ladder of Opportunity
By Benjamin Lepak (1889 Institute)

A legislator I know once told me he heard a lobbyist for a trade group describe his job as helping those already on top pull up the ladder so no one else could follow. What he meant was that he helped this trade association get the legislature to pass laws that made it ever more difficult to become licensed in the field, thus limiting competition for his paying clients. For established license holders, this seems like an easy trade: the fee to hire the lobbyist is relatively small compared to the windfall produced by using the law to eliminate future competition.

To the lobbyist’s credit, at least he was forthright about what he was being paid to do. But pause for a moment and contemplate what this means for society at large. The practical effect of this mentality is that many people are legally prohibited—or at least substantially hampered—from pursuing their chosen career. What’s more, the entire goal of such action is to keep prices to the consumer high by artificially manipulating the supply of practitioners.

The share of occupations nationwide that required a license in 1950 was approximately 5 percent. It has exploded to more than 29 percent today. A recent study found Oklahoma is the eleventh most burdensome licensing state in the country.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Sen. Braun, Rep. Davidson call to end tax breaks for abortion under the guise of healthcare

Senator Braun & Rep. Davidson call to end tax breaks for abortion under the guise of healthcare

JASPER, IN - Citing that abortion is not healthcare, Senator Mike Braun and Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin calling for new regulations to end tax breaks for abortion under the guise of healthcare.

Joining Senator Braun and Representative Davidson are 101 other signers: 22 Senators and 79 Representatives.

"Abortion is not healthcare. Any procedure where a successful outcome is the death of a living human being - born or unborn - is not healthcare. That's why we're calling for new regulations to end IRS tax breaks for abortion under the guise of medical care." - Senator Mike Braun

Frix, Transportation Committee comment on OK's Top 10 bridge status

Frix, Transportation Committee Comment on Top Ten Bridge Status

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Avery Frix, R-Muskogee, chair of the House Transportation Committee, and other Republican members of the committee today issued a joint statement on the announcement by Gov. Kevin Stitt that the state is now ranked ninth in the nation for the status of highway bridge conditions, according to the latest data from the Federal Highway Administration. This includes interstates, U.S. highways and state highways that are ODOT’s responsibility.

“Since Republicans took the majority in the Legislature more than a decade ago, we have made transportation a priority,” Frix said. “We’ve worked diligently each year to fully fund our Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s eight-year plan and our County Infrastructure for Roads and Bridges plan to maintain state and rural roadways and to repair or replace hundreds of structurally deficient or obsolete bridges throughout the state. Today’s news that we have achieved top ten status for the condition of our ODOT-maintained highway bridges is a fantastic endorsement of our commitment.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Bice endorsed by prominent OK Ag leaders

Oklahoma Agriculture Leaders Endorse Stephanie Bice for Congress

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 11, 2020) – Stephanie Bice, Republican candidate for Congress in Oklahoma’s 5th district, is proud to announce the endorsement of leaders from across Oklahoma’s farm and ranch community.

“My colleagues and I are proud to endorse Stephanie Bice to be the next Congresswoman for the fifth district. We’re disgusted by the attacks against Stephanie in this race from Never-Trumper group Club for Growth,” said Mike Schultz, farmer and former President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate.

“This same organization lobbied hard against farmers and ranchers to defeat the Farm Bill. They’re no friend to the farming and ranching community in our state and we can’t let them buy this race for Stephanie’s opponent.”

Oklahoma bridges now ranked in Top 10 nationally

Gov. Kevin Stitt and Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz, left, announced Thursday that Oklahoma has moved into the Top 10 in nationwide good bridge conditions. Oklahoma now ranks ninth in the nation after more than 15 years of targeted efforts to decrease the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state highway system.
Oklahoma bridges go from worst to best
State nabs Top 10 national ranking for good conditions

Oklahoma highway bridge conditions are making the grade by moving from among the worst in the nation to the head of the class, achieving Top 10 status for the first time by ranking ninth, according to the latest data from the Federal Highway Administration.

The state was as low as 49th place in 2004 in national bridge condition rankings due to the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state highway system.

“Top Ten isn’t just a slogan — it is the vision that helps form and guide our road map to improving state government and changing the future of all 4 million Oklahomans for the better,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said. “Transportation is the backbone of the economy, and this designation shows Oklahoma is a new national leader in highway bridge infrastructure thanks to the dedication of ODOT employees and an unprecedented investment in our bridges by the Legislature.”

Cabinet secretaries, legislators follow Stitt in donating convalescent plasma to fight COVID-19


OKLAHOMA CITY (August 11, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt announced today that cabinet secretaries and state legislators who have recovered from COVID-19 have answered his call for convalescent plasma donations and will be making donations at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Oklahoma Blood Institute, 901 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73104.

Scheduled donors include:

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Lucas helps introduce bill to give universities tools to protect COVID research from cyberattacks

Barr and Lucas Introduce Legislation to Give Universities Tools to Protect COVID-19 Research from Cyberattacks

Cheyenne, OK – Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced a bill today that will help universities and research institutions protect COVID-19 research from cyberattacks by China and Russia.

The bill will give universities and research institutions access to cybersecurity guidance developed specifically for their needs. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) currently sets cybersecurity standards and guidelines for federal agencies and provides voluntary best practices for private industry. This bill directs NIST to produce specific guidance, based on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, to universities and other institutions conducting research on COVID-19.

Rep. Barr is a member of the China Task Force, which is working to counter emerging threats from the Chinese Communist Party. “Congress must act to safeguard critical scientific Coronavirus research being conducted at universities nationwide," said Barr. “My bill would have the Director of National Institute of Standards and Technology put forth guidance to preserve COVID-19 research and greatly reduce the threat of cyberattacks. This includes providing best practices and guidelines that will protect our national security.”

Stitt donates convalescent plasma, issues call to Oklahoma's COVID conquerors


OKLAHOMA CITY (August 11, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt is issuing a call to Oklahomans who have recovered from COVID-19 to join him in donating convalescent plasma to help more patients recover.

Gov. Stitt recently made a plasma donation at the Oklahoma Blood Institute donor center in Enid.

Shane Jett files lawsuit after being fired following opposition to Shawnee mask mandate

Senate Candidate Jett Comments on Lawsuit Against Chairman of Citizen Potawatomi Nation: 
Lawsuit was filed in response to Jett’s firing due to his opposition to COVID19 mask mandate. 

On August 10, Shane Jett, candidate for state senate district 17, filed an emergency injunction in the District Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation against John “Rocky” Barrett in his official capacity as Chairman of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation for illegally trying to fire Jett for exercising his constitutional rights of free speech.

In response to the filing Jett said,

“Last month, I attended a meeting of the Shawnee City Commission to express my opposition to a proposed mask ordinance for the City of Shawnee [you can watch Jett's comments at this link, starting at the 16:00 mark].  This massive government overreach was opposed by most citizens and I wanted to be sure that their voice was heard at the meeting. Therefore, as a private citizen on my private time, I exercised my Constitutional right to free speech and spoke in opposition to the mask mandate.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

1889 Institute: qualified immunity contributes to policing problem, must be fixed

Breaking the Unjust Shield: Fix Qualified Immunity
By Spencer Cadavero

The manner of George Floyd’s death, along with any number of other examples, is proof that the United States has a policing problem. Qualified immunity, the judicial doctrine that usually prevents police officers acting in the line of duty from being held accountable in court, undoubtedly contributes to the problem.

Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine created by the Supreme Court. It protects government officials who have violated a citizen's constitutional rights unless a “clearly established” right has been violated. To show that a right was “clearly established,” the victim must point to a previously decided case involving the same “specific context” and “particular conduct” as their current case. If he fails to do so, the offending officer is granted qualified immunity. In George Floyd's case, his family would have to point to a case where a cop suffocated someone with his knee in the street, went to trial for it, and a judge said it was bad. If no case like that exists, then Floyd's family cannot recover damages.

Attendees at Haskell County GOP meeting rebuke Boggs for mistruths (plus my take)

Among the runoff elections being held on August 25th is the GOP contest in State Senate District 7 between incumbent Larry Boggs and challenger Warren Hamilton. Hamilton is campaigning as a strong conservative and an ardent abolitionist, believing that Oklahoma ought to make a stand for the unborn and stop regulating abortion and treat it as the murder of innocent human life that it truly is.

Abolition of abortion has been somewhat of a flashpoint in the SD7 race, as Sen. Boggs did not vote to hear Senate Bill 13 (the abolition bill) on the Senate floor, which was not brought up for an actual hearing because 30 Republicans and 8 Democrats voted to table while only 4 Republicans voted to hear the bill. Boggs missed the vote because he was not in the chamber at the time (allegedly having a conversation outside in the rotunda, I believe).

There was a meeting of the Haskell County Republicans on July 14th that ended in some fireworks, with Sen. Boggs coming rather... unhinged and getting into a heated argument with some abolitionist supporters of Hamilton's, to the point that Boggs had to be physically restrained.

The following cartoon pretty accurately sums up Boggs' demeanor as shown in multiple videos:

After the meeting, both sides came out with their story of what went down (including some absolute garbage from one camp, as I detail further down). Some days later, a group of Haskell County Republicans ran the following statement as an advertisement in newspapers throughout SD7, specifically not endorsing any candidate, but correcting what they deemed to be serious mistruths and efforts by one candidate about what went on that night.

I'll post my thoughts on the whole saga below this. There's some stuff that needs to be said about individuals on both ends of the kerfluffle.

Monday, August 10, 2020

OSDH expands contact tracing efforts with call center in OKC

Watch video of the call center here
OSDH Expands Contact Tracing Efforts with Call Center in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 7, 2020) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today it is expanding ongoing contact tracing efforts in Oklahoma with the launch of a new COVID-19 contact tracing and case investigation call center.

The purpose of contact tracing is to assess the known active COVID-19 cases and quickly get in touch with exposed individuals to ask that they quarantine and to schedule them to be tested.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not showing signs of slowing down, and the vaccine is still in a testing phase. Contact tracing is a proven way to mitigate the spread of a contagious disease and help get it under control,” said Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, M.D. “The successful launch of this call center is a major win in Oklahoma’s battle against this novel coronavirus. The work done here is mission critical for the long-term health and safety of all Oklahomans.”

State Rep. Lowe announces coalition of leaders to help Oklahomans facing eviction

Lowe Announces Coalition of Community Leaders to Help Oklahomans Facing Eviction

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, today addressed the looming spike in evictions throughout the state and announced a coalition of community leaders that will be providing support to those facing eviction.

“Thousands of Oklahomans, devastated by job loss and decreased income due to COVID-19, are facing eviction next month now that the federal eviction moratorium has expired,” Lowe said. “It is imperative that the public knows their rights as tenants, as well as the community services available to them in order to prevent a homelessness crisis.”   

Lowe was joined by several community members representing organizations with resources to help Oklahomans facing evictions.

“Tulsa and Oklahoma City are Top 20 nationally for eviction rates and that was before COVID,” said Michael Figgins, the executive director of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. “When you add illegal lockout evictions, studies are showing that we are looking at more than 130,000 potential evictions.”

The resources available by the providers present ranged from legal representation, back rent, to occupational retraining videos.

1889 Institute: real estate "agent" licensing is fake protection for home buyers

Specific meaning of “agent” in common law is violated in Oklahoma statutes.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (August 5, 2020) – The 1889 Institute has published “Real Estate Agent Licensing in Oklahoma,” another of the Institute’s installments in its Licensing Directory, which looks at specific licensed occupations and recommends whether or not they should remain licensed. Once again, the repeal of a licensing laws is recommended.

“Most buyers of real estate, especially home buyers, will use a licensed mortgage broker, a licensed inspector, a licensed appraiser, obtain title insurance from a licensed insurer, which requires an abstract report from a licensed abstractor, all examined by a licensed attorney,” said Mike Davis, Research Fellow at the 1889 Institute and author of the report. “How many different licenses are needed to ensure it’s safe to buy a house?” asked Davis.

Attorney General Hunter Releases FAQs Surrounding the McGirt Decision

Attorney General Hunter Releases FAQs Surrounding the McGirt Decision

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released a list of detailed answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) surrounding the McGirt decision after appearing as a panelist yesterday evening with the state’s three U.S. attorneys at the annual Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers conference.

The panel, which was virtually attended by over 1,000 law enforcement personnel, was focused on the recent McGirt ruling and how it specifically impacts law enforcement. However, the document released today addresses numerous areas of interest, such as what the decision means for property rights, the Violence Against Women Act and more. 

Attorney General Hunter said the FAQs thoroughly explains how the U.S. Supreme Court decision impacts tribal communities and Oklahomans living and working in the eastern half of the state.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Small: cost of “free” education becoming unaffordable

The cost of “free” education becoming unaffordable
By Jonathan Small

What if you paid for a service, were then told the service would not be provided, that you wouldn’t get your money back, and that you are now expected to pay for the same service again? That’s the reality facing parents in Oklahoma school districts that have refused to re-open physical sites and are instead mandating distance learning for all.

Through numerous taxes, Oklahomans have already paid for children’s education. But now they are being told they will pay for much of that service a second time, either directly or indirectly.

To cite one example, this week Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that $15 million in federal funding will be used to launch 30 community centers to serve roughly 4,200 children. The centers will have mental health professionals, social workers, virtual learning tools such as computers and iPads, meals and snacks, a weekend backpack program and other programming to support families.

Friday, August 07, 2020

OSDH extends Cares Act grant deadline for nursing homes

OSDH Extends Cares Act Grant Deadline for Nursing Homes

Oklahoma City, Okla. (August 4, 2020) - The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today a one-month extension for long-term care facilities and nursing homes to apply for a CARES Act grant from the State to mitigate the presence of COVID-19 in facilities.

Oklahoma’s long-term care and nursing home facilities can apply for grant funding from the State to cover the expense of infection disease support, PPE supplies, and mitigation expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for this grant program is now August 31, 2020, and applications are available online.

“Governor Stitt and OSDH prioritized these critical CARES Act funds to continue to help Oklahoma’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities operate safely while keeping residents connected with their loved ones during the pandemic,” said Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, MD. “The grant process is simple and straightforward, and we urge facilities to get their applications in before August 31 in order to be eligible.”

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Rick Santorum Endorses Stephanie Bice for Congress

Senator Rick Santorum Endorses Stephanie Bice for Congress

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 6, 2020) - Stephanie Bice, conservative Republican candidate for Congress in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, earned the endorsement of former Presidential Candidate and Pennsylvania United States Senator Rick Santorum.

“I’m honored to receive the support and endorsement of Senator Santorum,” Bice said. “He is one of our nation's strongest voices for American families. He’s led the way on policies that put American workers first, including prioritizing US manufacturing. Sen. Santorum has fought to address the challenges confronting American workers and I am grateful for his support.”

Santorum, who won Oklahoma’s 2012 presidential primary, said Bice would represent Oklahoma’s conservative values in Congress.

OKC Council candidate on crime: "how is stealing things making Americans unsafe"?

Oklahoma City's city council election isn't until February 9th, 2021, but candidates are already lining up to run. Incumbent Ward 1 councilman James Greiner announced back in January that he would not be seeking reelection. Below is a tweet by Megan Scott, a left-wing candidate who plans to run for the seat:

Scott's tweet was a reply to a screenshot of a now-deleted post from the OKC Police Department asking for information regarding theft of "thousands of dollars of Trump merchandise from a vehicle" in Oklahoma City.

Gov. Stitt announces details regarding 'Learn Anywhere OK' initiative

Initiative will provide statewide access to digital content and advanced coursework 

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 4, 2020)—Gov. Kevin Stitt announced more details today regarding “Learn Anywhere Oklahoma,” a new initiative that will use the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to provide statewide access to digital content for both core classes and advanced coursework to students in kindergarten through grade 12.

The governor has designated $12 million for the online content with oversight from virtual teachers of record. The Oklahoma Supplemental Online Course Program (OSOCP) will purchase the content from education publisher Edmentum and ensure it is both rigorous and aligns with state standards.

“This initiative will help address academic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Stitt. “While we must take the necessary precautions to slow the spread of the virus and keep our vulnerable populations safe, we must also prioritize our students’ learning. Learn Anywhere OK accomplishes both goals. It will allow schools to safely serve families with at-risk members, and should an outbreak occur, it can be used to continue remote learning.”

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

$15M in COVID funds designated to launch 30 Community HOPE Centers to serve vulnerable children

Governor and First Lady Stitt, Secretary Brown announce CARES Act Investment, targeting 30 Community HOPE Centers by year end
$15 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to be dedicated to serving Oklahoma children and families

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 3, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt and First Lady Sarah Stitt, along with Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Initiatives Justin Brown, today announced the launch of 30 Community HOPE Centers to be stood up by the end of 2020 that will serve approximately 4,200 children and their adult caregivers. Gov. Stitt and the CARES Forward Team have approved an initial $15 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to support this statewide effort.

“The First Lady and I have put a stake in the ground to address and reverse the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences in our state,” said Gov. Stitt. “This important, transformative work will develop pathways for children and families to overcome this difficult time. Strengthening Oklahoma’s families has generational impacts and will help us continue our forward momentum toward Top Ten status.”

OSDH Office of Child Abuse Prevention Seeks Input from Public

OSDH Office of Child Abuse Prevention Seeks Input from Public

Oklahoma City, Okla. (August 4, 2020) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) is seeking input from private and public agencies, organizations, private citizens and consumers to monitor and enhance development of an effective statewide comprehensive child abuse prevention plan.

OCAP requests input from individuals who can provide feedback by completing a brief, five- to seven-minute online survey that is available in both English and Spanish.

“This is an opportunity for individuals in Oklahoma communities to share information on community resources that exist and those that are needed. We want to know what you think works best to protect children in your community and across the state,” said Sherie Trice, CBCAP grant coordinator with the OSDH. “We’ve also included a new section on challenges and strengths gleaned during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Survey responses will help inform the ongoing development of the Oklahoma State Plan for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Information will be gathered statewide to ascertain current services and gaps, identify geographical areas with greatest need, pinpoint supports that are most valued, while further assessing family needs and how those needs can be addressed.

OCAP asks the public to please share this information and survey link with others so they can provide input on child abuse and prevention activities and programs in their area.

For questions or more information about the Oklahoma State Plan for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Family Support and Prevention Office by phone, (405) 271-7611 or by email, The deadline for submitting input via the online questionnaire is Friday, September 11.

Unite Norman: Ringleader of protestors for Defund the Police vote ran Mayor’s campaign

THE PLOT THICKENS: “Concerned Norman Resident” Who Testified to Defund the Police Is Actually Mayor Clark’s Campaign Manager 
Plus: Al-Michael’s own Bio states he is a resident of Oklahoma City 

NORMAN — The man who spoke with media as a “concerned Norman resident” the night of the Norman mayor’s and city council’s action to defund the police turns out to be neither an ordinary citizen, nor a resident of Norman.

In a post unearthed today, Al-Michael lists himself on Facebook as Mayor Breea Clark’s Campaign Manager in a post on her Inauguration Day. Yet — neither he nor the mayor disclosed his role on the mayor’s political campaign when he served as the ringleader of a shouting mob inside city council chambers on the night of the vote, June 16 and 17.

In a televised interview following the vote, Mayor Clark admitted to KOCO 5 that agitated protestors had had an impact on her and the council — yet she never once mentioned that the ringleader of those protests inside chambers was her own campaign manager.

During official business surrounding the vote, she didn’t point out this conflict of interest, either.

According to public records, Al-Michael’s name shows up on the campaign committee for Breea Clark as being paid $1,250 for “political consulting services.” Yet not once during the hearings did the Mayor disclose that she had a fiduciary relationship with him.

Additionally, Al-Michael portrayed himself inside city chambers & to the Media as a concerned Norman resident — even though ALL of his online bios and even his own Facebook page states he resides in Oklahoma City. (For example, “Taz Al-Michael,” as he is also referred to in other publications, is according to his own bio, also a “community organizer based out of Oklahoma City.” Source: His own Facebook account also says he lives in Oklahoma City: Seems like both the Media, and the people of Norman got skunked.

“Why was it never disclosed that Mayor Clark’s own Campaign Manager and Political Consultant was testifying to defunding the police, and leading the protestors inside chambers that night?,” asks Russell Smith, co-founder of Unite Norman. “Is it possible this was all one big set-up? At a minimum, shouldn’t it have been disclosed that the Mayor’s own Political Consultant with whom she had a financial relationship was inside City Hall trying to affect the outcome of the result for the people of Norman?”

“This young man’s own bio states that he is an actor,” said Sassan Moghadam, co-founder of Unite Norman. “It sounds like this was quite a charade — with the Mayor playing the leading role and the city council members playing cast of characters that night.”