Saturday, November 27, 2021

State Senator files bill to stop use of unmarked police cars for traffic enforcement

Sen. Rogers files bill seeking to stop the use of unmarked police vehicles for traffic enforcement

OKLAHOMA CITY - After noticing an increased use of unmarked police cars for routine traffic enforcement, Sen. Cody Rogers, R-Tulsa, announced on Monday that he has filed Senate Bill 1109 calling for municipal police departments to use clearly marked vehicles.

“The concern is that these vehicles are being used for revenue generation as opposed to tools for public safety on our roads,” Rogers said. “I’ve heard from many constituents who have had encounters with law enforcement and had no way of identifying their vehicles or if they were even actual officers at all.”

Friday, November 26, 2021

Lucas opposes Biden tapping Strategic Petroleum Reserve, reiterates call to increase domestic production

Lucas Opposes Biden Administration Tapping Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Calls on Biden to Increase American Energy Production

Cheyenne, OK (Nov. 23rd) – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement in response to President Biden’s decision to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve:

“In just two years, the United States has gone from energy independent and net exporter to energy dependent. After canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and greenlighting Russia’s Nord Stream II, President Biden is now tapping our strategic reserves and imploring OPEC to produce more oil to mitigate a self-inflicted energy crisis.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Mark Wood appointed as new Oklahoma Tax Commissioner


OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 22, 2021) – Governor Kevin Stitt has appointed Mark Wood to serve as Oklahoma Tax Commissioner. Wood’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Clark Jolley.

“Mark brings a wealth of tax experience from his impressionable career spanning over nearly four decades in the private sector,” said Governor Stitt. “I have every confidence in his ability to serve Oklahomans well in this new role.”

“I am honored to be appointed by the governor to this position. I have worked in public accounting and tax for over 35 years. I look forward to utilizing this experience to serve the citizens and taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma. I will work with the other commissioners to ensure the OTC operates fairly and efficiently,” said Wood.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Gov. Stitt signs redistricting bills into law

Oklahoma Constitution requires legislative and congressional districts to be redrawn by the Legislature every 10 years

OKLAHOMA CITY (November 22, 2021)— Today Governor Kevin Stitt signed legislation approving new maps for Oklahoma’s five congressional districts and one new district map for the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The new congressional maps keep nearly 90 percent of Oklahomans in the same district, as well as major military bases. The legislation was passed with overwhelming support in the House and the Senate.

“I am grateful to members of the Oklahoma Legislature who carried out their constitutional responsibility and redrawing these district maps,” said Governor Stitt. “Following an open and transparent process that included public input, these maps were passed with majority support in both the House and the Senate and I am pleased to execute the will of Oklahomans by signing these new maps into law.”

The redistricting legislation includes:

Friday, November 19, 2021

Attorney General O'Connor applauds win over Biden unconstitutional ban on state tax cuts

Attorney General O'Connor Applauds Win Over Biden Unconstitutional Ban on State Tax Cuts

OKLAHOMA CITY - Attorney General John O’Connor announced today the State won its suit against the U.S. Department of Treasury over a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that prohibits states accepting ARPA funds from cutting taxes.

“This is a great victory for the State and for our new State Reserved Powers Protection initiative started by the Legislature, which fights federal overreach,” said General O’Connor.

"States set state tax policy, not the federal government. Once again, a court stopped national Democrats from another attempted unconstitutional infringement on states' rights. Oklahoma could grant tax relief for businesses and all citizens this year while also making record education and savings investments because our state manages its own finances extremely well. Even though Oklahoma never would have been subject to the attempted restriction due to surplus state revenues, it was important to stand up and challenge this obvious federal overreach. We appreciate the attorney general's office for continuing to push back against unconstitutional federal policy by using the authority and funding authorized by the Legislature for that important purpose,” said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka.

GOP House, Senate members ask Hofmeister to begin permanent rulemaking process for anti-CRT law

Republican House and Senate Members Ask Hofmeister to begin Permanent Rulemaking Process for HB1775

OKLAHOMA CITY – Several members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and state Senate sent a letter to state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister on Tuesday asking her to begin the process of promulgating permanent rules to implement House Bill 1775, which prevents schools from teaching certain theories, such as one race or sex is superior to another.

The full text of the letter reads:

The Honorable Joy Hofmeister

State Superintendent of Public Instruction

2500 N. Lincoln Boulevard Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Superintendent Hofmeister:

As you are aware, H.B. 1775 took effect July 1, outlawing the teaching of race and sex-based discriminatory ideologies to students in Oklahoma schools. There is continued opposition to these ideologies from parents, educators, students and citizens statewide. We write today to urge you to immediately begin the process of promulgating permanent rules to implement H.B. 1775 and to do so by posting the State Board of Education’s existing emergency rules for public comment.

Given that we are now halfway through the 2021-22 school year, the members signed below believe it is past time for the permanent rules to be published for the 30-day public comment period, as required by the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act. Given the importance of these rules, members of the Oklahoma legislature will be closely monitoring both the substantive changes the State Department of Education makes to existing emergency rules and the process the Department utilizes to submit permanent rules to the legislature for final approval.

Time is of the essence given the continued public interest in this topic and the need for the timely submission of permanent rules ahead of the upcoming regular session of the Oklahoma Legislature. We hope the adoption of permanent rules is not unnecessarily delayed. We certainly hope that you will faithfully discharge your duties as State Superintendent of Public Instruction and comply with and enforce the provisions of 70 O.S. § 24-158

The letter is signed by:

Lankford slams HHS leaked memo seeking to strip Americans’ religious, conscience protections

Lankford Exposes HHS Leaked Memo Seeking to Strip Americans’ Religious, Conscience Protections

WASHINGTON, DC- Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued a statement after a leaked memo from the Department of Health and Human Services seeks to repeal certain protections for religious freedoms and directly calls out Members who have been outspoken of HHS’ mishandling of conscience and religious freedom protections.

The leaked memo from HHS states, “Groups who share the prior Administration’s broad view of the application of RFRA or who will interpret this action as an indication that the Department is abdicating its responsibility for compliance with RFRA will likely issue strong negative reactions. This includes members of Congress who have been outspoken about OCR’s conscience and religious freedom activities and who have repeatedly asked questions about changes to OCR’s organizational structure and legal authority.”

Lankford responded, “The memo is correct, I am an outspoken advocate for religious liberty, and I have a very ‘negative reaction’ to this Administration ignoring the First Amendment and failing to protect Americans of conscience. Americans do not support President Biden and his team’s absolute lawlessness when it comes to upholding Americans’ Constitutional rights—including our right to freely live our faith. The HHS memo leaked today is the second leaked document out of this administration in a week, which contradicts public statements from now two Cabinet secretaries, and illustrates the absolute disregard this Administration has for the American people. We, as Americans, do not discriminate against people of faith. This move by Secretary Becerra shows he will not keep the commitment to protect religious freedom for every American that he made during his confirmation hearing.

“This action from HHS means that the Office for Civil Rights will no longer uphold the civil rights of religious Americans. HHS clearly intends to go back to the days of light to no enforcement of the law that protect the rights of people of any faith.”

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Kish: is a Socialist running for Mayor of Norman?

The following press release comes from Nicole Kish, candidate for mayor in the city of Norman:

Is a “Socialist” Running for Mayor of Norman?
SHOCKING ARTICLE UNEARTHED: Prior News report — as well as propaganda hanging on his walls, bookshelves & his own Social Media — tell us who Bob Thompson really is.

Norman — An OU Daily article two-and-a-half years ago instructs us on who Bob Thompson really is, and more importantly, what his plans would be if elected Mayor of Norman.

Despite carving himself out as a centrist tired of divisive politics on both his own website and to “OU Nightly,” and suggesting to The Norman Transcript “the need for non-partisan deliberation,” Midway Bob in his own words previously claimed to be among the most liberal of liberals.

In a 2019 OU Daily article, in his own words Thompson boasted that he owns “the most liberal spot in the most liberal town in the most liberal county in Oklahoma, and we’re like ground zero,” Thompson said happily.

But the biggest surprise? He’s a huge fan of Socialism.

Even we had to look twice, to make sure we were reading it correctly.

He talked at length, glowingly, about Socialism.

According to the OU Daily article, dated March 24, 2019, hanging in Thompson’s deli is “a framed picture of this political activist Eugene V. Debs on the wall” — whom Thompson claimed is his favorite author.

Thompson boasted of having at least 30 works of his favorite author — a known Socialist activist, founder of the Socialist Party of America and a Socialist Party candidate for President. After serving time in prison, the author became radicalized to Marxism and vowed a war on Capitalism. The Socialist author and activist was also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, a Socialist group which Brittanica calls “radical,” even by Socialist standards.

“I've read all the books about (Debs') speeches,” Thompson said in the OU Daily article. “I probably have 30 volumes at home,” Thompson said. “People think that socialism is all… that it's all about people not working. I was always a worker and I got to be an owner, but I didn't have any desire to be that kind of person that got where he was going by making other people do his work. To me, socialism is a very work-ethic oriented deal.”

While Thompson appears to be more of the “workers unite!” brand of Socialism, he does in fact appear to be a Socialist.

In addition to boasting about his tomes on Socialism, he has posted multiple photos on Social Media promoting Socialist materials including a copy of Eugene V. Debs’ book on Socialism, which Thompson said is his “Morning Devotional.” While some laughed at the photo, Thompson did not appear to be joking.

Additionally, photos of Bob’s Midway Cafe prominently show at least one famous Socialist propaganda poster, that of Che Guevara, a Marxist revolutionary credited with killing people.


Gov. Stitt commutes Julius Jones' sentence to life without parole



OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 18, 2021) – Pursuant to Article 6, Section 10 of the Oklahoma Constitution, Governor Kevin Stitt today issued Executive Order 2021-25 to commute the death sentence of Julius Jones, who was tried and convicted for the first-degree murder of Paul Howell, to life imprisonment without the possibility for parole, on the condition that he shall never again be eligible to apply for, be considered for, or receive any additional commutation, pardon, or parole.

Governor Stitt released the following statement regarding his decision:

“After prayerful consideration and reviewing materials presented by all sides of this case, I have determined to commute Julius Jones’ sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.”

AG O'Connor urges effort to stop robocalls from misusing legit phone numbers

Attorney General John O'Connor Urges Effort to Stop Robocallers From Misusing Legitimate Phone Numbers

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 15th) - Attorney General John O'Connor today wrote the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of its efforts to reduce illegal robocallers’ access to legitimate phone numbers to make unending robocalls that scam people out of their hard-earned money. The comment letter to the FCC was led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

"Illegal robocalls are not only a nuisance but can also lead to Oklahomans falling victim to fraud and scams. I'm proud to join this coalition of attorneys general to urge the FCC to take action to prevent and investigate illegal robocalls," said Attorney General John O'Connor. 

Earlier this year, phone companies were required to implement STIR/SHAKEN – caller ID authentication technology to combat spoofing by ensuring that telephone calls originate from verified numbers. Because the technology prevents robocallers from spoofing phone numbers, scam robocalls have dropped by 29 percent since June as the phone industry continues to put STIR/SHAKEN into effect.

Robocallers are now successfully evading caller ID authentication by purchasing access to legitimate phone numbers to conceal their identities. They typically do this by providing false identifying information to, or otherwise shielding their identities from, the companies that have access to legitimate numbers. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

USS Batfish submarine in Muskogee moving downstream to Three Forks Harbor

One of Muskogee's overlooked treasures is the USS Batfish (SS-310) submarine, a vessel which operated with great success in the Pacific Theater of WWII, at one point sinking three Japanese submarines in a 76-hour period.

During the historic flooding of May 2019, the Batfish came loose and began to float for the first time since she was moved to Muskogee in 1973. Her ballast tanks were filled in order to ground her and stabilize her position during the flooding. As a result, the venerable warship was moved significantly out of position, and the entire grounds were severely damaged and undermined by the floodwaters.

Top: April 2019
Middle: May 2019
Bottom: June 2019

Victor Lezama, the director of the War Memorial Park which houses the Batfish, posted this update the other day, confirming rumors that plans are in the beginning stages to move the Batfish downstream a mile or so to the Three Forks Harbor:

Stearman files bill to stem outside influences on Oklahoma schools

Stearman Files Bill to Stem Outside Influences on Oklahoma Schools

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Wendi Stearman, R-Collinsville, has filed House Bill 2980, the "Keep Our Money in Oklahoma Act," which aims to protect the parents, children and taxpayers of Oklahoma's public school system from outside influences that do not reflect the Oklahoma Standard.

In September, the National School Board Association (NSBA), of which the Oklahoma State School Board Association (OSSBA) is a member, sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting federal assistance at local school board meetings. In this letter, the NSBA declared concerned parents and taxpayers as "domestic terrorists." Therefore, under HB2980, schools within the Oklahoma public school system would not be able to use state appropriated funds to pay any membership dues to any organization that is owned or operated outside of Oklahoma. Further, they would not be allowed to use any taxpayer money to pay dues or membership to any organization that is a member of a national organization without the voters' approval.

"Oklahoma taxpayers should not be forced to fund organizations that seek to silence parents," Stearman said. "A transparent system in which families  determine where their tax money is spent will benefit both the children and their education."  

HB2980 would further require that school districts publish the criteria, finances and reports of an entity in which the district holds membership.

Monday, November 15, 2021

OCPA column: Parent unrest not isolated to Virginia

Parent unrest not isolated to Virginia
By Jonathan Small

Recently released district-level data shows Oklahoma parents have reason to feel as aggrieved as counterparts making their voices heard at school-board meetings across the country. Things are so bad that simply holding steady on poor performance is almost an accomplishment.

Urban districts that adopted the most extreme COVID policies and remained closed to in-person instruction for the better part of a year generated the worst outcomes and biggest learning losses on state tests.

In Oklahoma City, 90 percent of students were below expectations in all subjects on this year’s state tests and 67 percent were effectively more than one year behind. In Tulsa Public Schools, 89 percent of students tested below grade level in all subjects, and 64 percent were more than a year behind.

What are those schools doing to make up that learning loss? Not much.

In fact, Oklahoma City officials are proactively making things worse. At a recent school board meeting, Oklahoma City fired six teachers for failure to comply with a mask mandate that was illegal when it was implemented. An attorney for five of the teachers said all five had exemplary records.

For those who wonder, there’s little evidence the mask mandate reduced COVID transmission. Reported case numbers for Oklahoma City schools followed the general statewide trend (of mostly unmasked citizens) by generating a steady rise in September followed by a drop off in October.

Gov. Stitt issues executive order halting rogue "nonbinary" birth certificates

Late last month I posted about the wOKe Health Department adding a new process to obtain "non-binary" birth certificates. Governor Stitt and GOP legislative leaders strongly condemned the move, and later the House GOP leadership said that the Health Department failed to follow the law in instituting the new process.

Last week, Governor Stitt issued Executive Order 2021-24 to address the situation.

In the order, Stitt said, "It has come to my attention that the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has entered into a settlement agreement which was not reviewed or approved by my Administration. This settlement requires OSDH to amend birth certificates in a manner not permitted under Oklahoma Law. This Order ensures that this unauthorized action will be corrected."

"63 O.S. § 1-321 establishes how and when a birth certificate may be amended under Oklahoma Law. Neither this statute nor Oklahoma law otherwise provide OSDH or others any legal ability to in any way alter a person's sex or gender on a birth certificate. Moreover, neither this statute, nor OSDH's administrative rules, give the agency authority to enter agreements that circumvent the laws of this state," Stitt further noted.

Stitt's executive order requires the Health Department to do the following:

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Candidates file for Muskogee Mayor, City Council races

Click to view larger

Voters in the city of Muskogee will go to the polls in February 2022 (yes, it's closer than you think) to vote on the mayoral and city council offices. Filing concluded yesterday, although candidates can still withdraw until Friday evening.

Officially, these races are non-partisan; however, voter registration can give you an idea of how a candidate leans. Given that these races tend to attract little attention, I'm posting the candidates registration, as well as a map of the Muskogee City Council Wards (above).

With the incredible growth of the Republican Party in previously Democrat-dominated areas of the state, including Muskogee, many of the candidates now are registered Republicans. 

State Rep. Gann files bill to end forced EUA vaccinations

Oklahoma Official Files Plan to End Forced EUA Vaccinations

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma State Representative filed legislation to end what he calls a "shocking abuse."

Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, has received numerous calls from concerned constituents who are being asked to take an emergency use authorization (EUA) drug as a condition of continued employment. The manufacturers of the EUA have been exempted from legal liability. While the Federal Drug Administration has approved a normal use authorization of the drug, it hasn't been made available; and there is little evidence that it will be made available at any point in the near future. Gann believes this is because the approved version of the drug would subject the drug makers to legal liability from injured Oklahomans.

"Following Oklahoma's successful, landmark opioid settlement against the drug makers, it's inconceivable that any employer would ask employees to subject themselves to an EUA injection from that same industry," Gann said.

Gann filed House Bill 1003X to end the abuse.

HB1003X, the “Liberty Bill,” duplicates an Illinois law that has been on the books in that state since 1998. That law prevents employers from discriminating against employees who resist forced drug injection.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sen. Dahm files legislation to keep Oklahoma on ‘Central Daylight Time’ year-round

Sen. Dahm files legislation to keep Oklahoma on ‘Central Daylight Time’ year-round

OKLAHOMA CITY – As Oklahomans are still adjusting to the annual November time change, Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has filed legislation to keep Daylight Saving Time in place year-round.

Senate Bill 1103 would create Central Daylight Time (CDT) in Oklahoma, ending the practice of turning clocks back an hour in November and then setting them forward an hour in March.  Some 18 other states have already passed measures to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, pending approval of federal legislation allowing the change.

“A host of experts and research shows these arbitrary time changes throw off people’s body clocks, disrupting sleep and increasing the risk of health problems including heart attacks, depression and fatigue,” Dahm said.  “It increases the risk of car accidents, and some studies even point to higher crime rates when its dark earlier.  It’s time to end this four month disruption and keep that extra hour of daylight all year long.”

Former State Sen. Clark Jolley announces run for State Treasurer

Clark Jolley Launches Campaign for State Treasurer
Jolley to put extensive experience to work; Releases 10-point plan

(November 9th) Today, lifelong Oklahoman and longtime public servant Clark Jolley launched his campaign for State Treasurer by outlining his 10-point plan to propel the office forward.  His straightforward approach demonstrates his experience and the values that he believes are exactly what Oklahomans have come to expect from the position.  

“My experience as Appropriations Chairman, Secretary of Finance, and Chairman of the Tax Commission has uniquely prepared me to protect and safeguard taxpayers’ dollars,” stated Jolley.  

Jolley’s experience includes serving as State Senator in a key leadership role as Senate Appropriations Chairman, overseeing and negotiating five state budgets, none of which raised taxes on Oklahoma families.  In addition, Jolley served as Secretary of Finance, Administration, and Information Technology, where he successfully fought to protect the state’s bond rating from dropping during difficult economic times.  Jolley recently left the Oklahoma Tax Commission where he had been appointed Chairman by Governor Kevin Stitt.  While at the Commission Jolley also served as the Vice Chair of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System, where assets grew by $2.5 billion (a 25% increase in funding) during his tenure. 

“Oklahoma’s State Treasurer should have the relevant experience to get to work on day one,” Jolley stated.  “Based on my experience and conservative values, I have developed a 10-Point plan for moving our state finances forward.” 

Monday, November 08, 2021

OCPA column: Teacher shortage tied to incentives

Teacher shortage tied to incentives
By Jonathan Small

If people are paid for tenure—length of service—rather than quality, what do you think is most likely? Will that system attract quality workers, or workers willing to simply hold down a spot?

The answer is obvious. That system incentives tenure over quality.

But in practice, policymakers are continually surprised a tenure-based pay system doesn’t attract the best and brightest, only those willing to fill a slot and bide their time. Thus, policymakers are “shocked” that Oklahoma still has a teacher shortage just three years after passing major, across-the-board pay raises.

In 2018, lawmakers raised taxes and bumped teacher pay significantly. An Oklahoma State School Boards Association official recently noted teacher salaries have now been increased by almost $10,000 apiece and state school appropriations are up by $750 million. But the teacher shortage persists, as indicated by the number of emergency-certified teachers.

Cherokee Chief says no Oklahoma income tax for tribal citizens


Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma significantly increases the number of American Indian citizens who may now be exempt from paying Oklahoma state income tax.

“There’s nothing new about the law out there on the ability of a state to tax a member of a federally recognized tribe on a reservation,” Hoskin said. “What’s new of course is the scope of the reservation (because) of the McGirt case. So, we can look to existing law and we can see that taxation doesn’t attach to individual Native Americans who live on reservations.”

Hoskin made those comments as part of a panel on state tax-and-budget issues hosted by the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

The McGirt ruling found that the Muscogee Nation’s reservation was never disestablished. The ruling has since been expanded to include the reservations of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Seminole, and Quapaw, a combined area that covers nearly half of Oklahoma. The affected area is home to roughly 2 million people of which 21 percent are estimated to be American Indian.

Members of federally recognized tribes have long been exempted from various forms of state taxation—if they live and work on tribal land. Prior to McGirt, that exemption covered only a small share of individuals working on much more geographically confined areas directly owned by Oklahoma tribal governments.

But under McGirt most of eastern Oklahoma is now considered reservation land, regardless of current ownership, potentially expanding the tax exemption to many more individuals. Hoskin conceded that may result in “revenue gaps” for state government.

Because of potential exemptions for tribal members on reservation land, the Oklahoma Tax Commission previously estimated that the McGirt decision could slash Oklahoma state tax collections by $72.7 million per year from reduced income tax collections and $132.2 million annually from reduced sales/use tax collections.

However, that estimate was based on McGirt applying only to the Muscogee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Seminole tribes. The Quapaw reservation has since been declared to have never been disestablished, and similar rulings could occur for other tribes now litigating reservation status.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

State leaders vow to help teachers fired by OKCPS over illegal mask mandate


OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 4, 2021) – Today, Secretary of Education Ryan Walters, Representative Rhonda Baker, and Senator Adam Pugh denounced the decision by the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education to fire six talented educators for making personal decisions about their own health.

In September, a District Judge made it clear that due to SB 658 schools could only mandate masks if they allowed exemptions for medical, religious, or personal reasons. Other Oklahoma districts have permitted students and teachers to opt-out of mandates, but OKCPS decided to put politics before education.

The decision comes when school leaders across the state are struggling to recruit and retain teachers. Just this week, staffing issues forced Tulsa Public Schools to eliminate the sixth grade at McClure Elementary School. Those students now must go straight to middle school, or transfer to another district.

These state leaders are committed to doing everything they can to get the six teachers let go by OKCPS back in the classroom where they belong.

Sen. Dahm files bill to teach Oklahoma students about atrocities of communism

Sen. Dahm files legislation to ensure Oklahoma students are taught about the atrocities of communism

OKLAHOMA CITY –Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has filed legislation to make sure Oklahoma students are taught about the suppression of speech, poverty, starvation, migration, and systemic lethal violence against civilians that has occurred under communist regimes worldwide. 

Dahm said that since 2017, the president has issued an annual proclamation declaring November 7 as Victims of Communism Day.  The mandatory lesson would be taught on or around that date.

“It’s been more than 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, and Lenin’s formation of the first communist government,” Dahm said.  “Since that time, communist regimes throughout the world have murdered more than 100 million people and subjected countless more to unthinkable atrocities. We must ensure our citizens understand the brutality of these regimes and the real danger they pose to our freedoms and lives.”

Senate Bill 1102 would require Oklahoma social studies courses to include at least 45 minutes of instruction on Victims of Communism Day, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Hofmeister's Long Con: running for Gov as the Dem she's always been

Back in 2014, first-term State Superintendent Janet Barresi was very unpopular. In the Republican primary, she came in third out of three candidates, something that is quite shocking for an incumbent. The victor that primary, and later on in the general election, was Joy Hofmeister.

Hofmeister ran on a pretty standard "conservative Republican" platform. She took advantage of discontent with Janet Barresi, particularly as it dealt with controversy over Common Core and other Obama-era education pushes. 

Take, for example, this screenshot from her campaign website before the 2014 primary.

However, as time has elapsed since her first election, Hofmeister has increasingly revealed that she was not what she tried to pass herself off as in 2014. She fully supported the leftist education unions in their push for higher taxes, and the Department of Education under her leadership has advocated for social policies and curriculum that would absolutely shock many Oklahoma parents if they only knew.

Now, Hofmeister's long con is fully revealed. She is switching parties to run for Governor as a Democrat.

But never fear, she claims that "While I'm changing my party affiliation, I am not changing my values or who I am."

Oh really? That actually reveals more about her character than she intends to.

You see, either she's lying now, or she was lying back in 2014. I believe that her actions since 2014 indicate the latter to be true. 

State Reps study Medical Marijuana impacts on Counties

Humphrey, Kevin West Study Medical Marijuana Impacts on Counties

OKLAHOMA CITY – Reps. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, and Kevin West, R-Moore, on Tuesday held an interim study before the House Alcohol, Tobacco and Controlled Substances Committee to discuss the impact to counties from the explosion of medical marijuana, growers, dispensers and users.

"We're following up today on what we saw in other medical marijuana studies and how this is affecting our counties," Humphrey said. "We're looking at what we need to do as a state to improve and do a better job of regulating this new industry."

West said he's heard from numerous constituents about the effect of this industry in his House district, from grow facilities to dispensaries.

"Just like any business," West said, "We have to make sure the business owner is obeying local ordinances and state law. We must ensure public safety and that our county and municipal resources are adequate to handle the demands placed on them."

During the study, lawmakers heard from county commissioners, a county sheriff, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), a district attorney, a county assessor and others who addressed issues from multiple angles.

Oklahoma files two lawsuits over Biden Admin's vaccine mandate

Lengthy post, or rather series of press releases, but Oklahoma Attorney General has filed two lawsuits over the Biden Administration's new vaccine mandate. One is aimed at the mandate's provisions for federal contractors, and the other is regarding private sector employees. I'm also including comments from Gov. Kevin Stitt and House Speaker Charles McCall.

Attorney General O’Connor Files Lawsuit Against Biden Administration over Illegal Vaccine Mandates 

OKLAHOMA CITY - Today, the State of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration to stop its mandatory vaccination requirement for federal contractors.

“Biden’s vaccine mandates are a clear abuse of power. He does not have the authority to make healthcare decisions for Oklahomans,” Attorney General O’Connor said.

“It is sinister that Biden is threatening Oklahomans with the loss of their jobs if they do not surrender their personal rights and freedoms to the federal government. The President is using private employers to do his dirty work,” said General O’Connor.

Clay Staires announces bid for House District 66

Conservative Republican Clay Staires Announces Candidacy For State House District 66

(SKIATOOK, OK) – Conservative Republican Clay Staires, a former award-winning school teacher and coach who has built a successful career in business, announces his candidacy to serve Oklahoma as State Representative District 66, the area that covered the seat being vacated by the previous legislator due to term limits.

“God is the answer to the issues in our society, not the government.  Our Constitution is the answer to the issues in our government, not reform and reset.  It’s time for conservatives to take the ball back from the government and start playing some offense.  Over these past couple years, we have seen how important it is to be involved in all levels of government that represent us. We have seen government overreach and un-American attacks on our families, schools, places of worship, and our God-given freedoms—all institutions that our great country was founded upon. I am running to keep Oklahoma RED by defending these bedrock institutions and constitutionally guaranteed rights, and so those who share our values are strongly represented in our state government.” 

Friday, November 05, 2021

House, Senate make appointments to Joint Committee on Administrative Rules

Pro Tem Greg Treat makes Senate appointments to Joint Committee on Administrative Rules

OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, on Thursday announced the Senate appointments to the newly created Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).

Previously, Treat named Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, as co-chair of the joint committee made up of members from the Senate and the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

The Senate appointments to JCAR are:

  • Sen. Julie Daniels, co-chair
  • Sen. Zack Taylor, R-Seminole, co-vice chair
  • Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City
  • Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair
  • Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City
  • Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow
  • Sen. Tom Dugger, R-Stillwater
  • Sen. John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton
  • Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa
  • Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond

Senate Bill 913 created the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to ensure a more transparent and thorough process before administrative rules are approved or repealed.

“The Legislature lacked an effective method to stop executive branch agencies’ encroachment on legislative authority, until now,” Treat said. “This is a monumental shift at the state Capitol, and one that is long overdue. With the creation of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, the Legislature has a powerful and effective tool to protect legislative authority and stop executive branch overreach. I am confident that Senator Daniels and the other members of JCAR will be thorough and diligent in their work to review administrative rules moving forward.”

Daniels said she is working with Senate staff on preparations for the committee’s work.

“I am honored to be named by Pro Tem Treat to co-chair the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Not only will this be an important tool to protect legislative authority and ensure the checks and balances of our system stay intact, but it will also serve to provide a transparent and open process of reviewing administrative rules before they are approved or repealed,” Daniels said.

House appoints JCAR members

OKLAHOMA CITY – The House members on the newly-created Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) will be the same members on the existing House Administrative Rules Committee, House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, announced Thursday.

Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, will serve as co-chair of the joint committee, made up of members from both legislative chambers as prescribed in legislation enacted last session. 

The House appointments to JCAR are:

  • Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, co-chair
  • Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont, co-vice chair
  • Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin
  • Rep. Stan May, R-Broken Arrow
  • Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond
  • Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Sallisaw
  • Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa
  • Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman
  • Rep. Wendi Stearman, R-Collinsville
  • Rep. Rande Worthen, R-Lawton

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

OCPA column: McGirt is protecting criminals, not average citizens

McGirt is protecting criminals, not average citizens
By Jonathan Small

The public-safety crisis created by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma can be summed up by one anecdote included in recent court briefs. Many criminals now assert tribal membership to deter arrest—including “a known member of the white-supremacist Universal Aryan Brotherhood, covered in swastika tattoos.”

McGirt was hailed as a victory for tribal citizens. Instead, it’s been a windfall for society’s dregs who now actively target American Indians. That’s made clear in briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by law-enforcement officials and major city leaders.

Under McGirt, many crimes involving a mix of Indian and non-Indian cannot be prosecuted by state or tribal officials and must instead be handled by federal officials. And federal officials are declining to prosecute many crimes other than things like murder or rape.

“This nonenforcement policy amounts to a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’ for any non-Indian suspect accused of certain crimes against Indians falling below the U.S. Attorneys’ thresholds,” a brief filed by Oklahoma’s district attorneys and sheriffs stated.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Proposed congressional, legislative redistricting maps released

Proposed congressional, legislative redistricting maps released

OKLAHOMA CITY – Little change would occur to Oklahoma's current congressional districts and recently-passed new legislative districts under the state's proposed redistricting maps released Monday.

Based on feedback received through the state's historic public input process, Oklahoma would continue to have two majority urban congressional districts and three majority rural congressional districts. New state legislative district maps initially passed in May change just slightly in the proposals released Monday.

Highlights of the proposals include:

  • More compact legislative and congressional districts
  • 87% of Oklahomans remain in the same congressional district
  • Major military bases and related military communities remain in the same congressional districts

"Oklahomans produced a strong redistricting proposal that maintains appropriate urban and rural representation while protecting multibillion dollar investments in Oklahoma's military installations and surrounding communities," said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, and House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, in a joint statement. "This plan should serve Oklahoma exceptionally well for the next decade. We look forward to giving it full consideration in the coming weeks."

The proposals will be voted on in a legislative special session beginning Nov. 15. Like any legislative bill, the proposals will receive committee and floor votes. They must pass both legislative chambers and be signed by the governor to become law.

The redistricting plans the Legislature will vote on can be viewed online. Click here for House maps, here for Senate maps and here for congressional maps.