Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Attorney General’s Office accepting applications for new sheriff office assistance grants

Attorney General’s Office accepting applications for new sheriff office assistance grants

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 16, 2024) – Oklahoma sheriffs can now pursue grant funding to bolster the services they provide to their counties, thanks to a new grant program administered by the Office of Attorney General Gentner Drummond.

House Bill 2914 created the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office Funding Assistance Grant Program during this year’s legislative session and appropriated $18 million to the fund. Counties can apply for grants from $150,000 to $300,000, depending on their total tangible property valuation.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

State Supt. Walters salutes 2024 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Rachel Keith

Walters Salutes 2024 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Rachel Keith

Oklahoma City, Okla – State Superintended Ryan Walters was on hand to recognize and honor the 2024 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Rachel Keith last night. Rachel is a 10th - 12th Grade AP Language & Composition, Mock Trial, and Humanities teacher at Ada High School of Ada City Schools and has taught ELA classes for 19 years.

“Rachel is an exceptional example of everything we want Oklahoma teachers to be,” said Walters. “She has an excellent record of achievement in her classroom, and a sterling reputation as an advocate for her students and parents in the district. Rachel will be an outstanding Teacher of the Year embodying the best in Oklahoma education, and I am exciting she will be representing our state.”

3 parties, 2 independents qualify for Oklahoma presidential ballot

Oklahoma will have five presidential candidates on the ballot in November; three from recognized political parties, and two independents. The pecking order, established by drawing, will be as follows: Chase Oliver (Libertarian), Donald Trump (Republican), Joe Biden (Democratic assuming they don't oust him at the DNC), Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Independent), and Chris Garrity (Independent).

Ballot Order Drawing

(Oklahoma City) – A public drawing was held today by the Secretary of the State Election Board, Paul Ziriax, to determine the ballot order for political parties and Independent candidates for the November 5 General Election ballot. The drawing was held in accordance with state law at 9:30 a.m. at the State Capitol Building, Room G3, in Oklahoma City.

The results of the drawing and the order of political parties is as follows:

Precinct worker pay doubles to help recruitment efforts statewide

Precinct Official Pay Increases to Support Recruitment Efforts Statewide

(Oklahoma City, July 12th) – A bill passed in 2023 to increase precinct official pay went into effect July 1 – doubling the pay precinct officials receive for a workday. State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said he is confident the increase in pay will support recruitment efforts across the state.

“Precinct officials are vital to the success of elections. We are extremely grateful to our state leaders for passing legislation that not only shows our current poll workers how much we appreciate them – but also supports recruitment and retention efforts across the state,” Ziriax said.

State law requires each precinct to have a minimum of three precinct officials – an inspector, judge, and clerk. On July 1, inspector pay increased from $110 a day to $225 a day. Pay for judges and clerks increased from $100 a day to $200 a day.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Senate GOP elects Paxton as Pro Tem designee - at least for now

The Republican majority caucus of the Oklahoma Senate met today to elect the President Pro Tempore-designee who will ostensibly lead the chamber for the next legislative term. Again. Remember, the last guy (Majority Floor Leader Greg McCortney) was shockingly defeated by a conservative challenger in the June primary. Today's designee, State Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle), may not end up as the Pro Tem, either, as some controversy and complications swirled around today's vote.

For example, of the 40 Republicans, at least 11 are not returning to the body after November, due to term limits, not seeking reelection, or (as in McCortney's case) election defeat. These members still got to vote in-caucus on the leader for 2025-2026. Additionally, it seems that several conservative senators are in Milwaukee for the Republican National Convention, and were not present for the meeting. Perhaps this was by design.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Brecheen demands answers from Army after training calls pro-life Americans terrorists

Congressman Brecheen, Colleagues Demand Answers from U.S. Secretary of the Army After Training Depicts Pro-Life Americans as Terrorists

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Josh Brecheen signed a letter led by Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) and Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC) to U.S. Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth demanding answers after reports surfaced that anti-terrorism training conducted at Ft. Liberty, North Carolina depicted pro-Life Americans as terrorists.

Specifically, the slides (see here) identify National Right to Life, Operation Rescue, and anyone who opposes the Supreme Court’s rightfully overturned decision in Roe v. Wade as members of terrorist groups.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Oklahoma leaders mourn passing of former U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe

Oklahoma political icon James Mountain Inhofe passed away at the age of 89 on Tuesday following a stroke. The longest serving U.S. Senator in Oklahoma history, Inhofe had a storied political career that began in the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1966, and included stints in the Oklahoma Senate, as Tulsa Mayor, then the U.S. House of Representatives before winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1994.

I didn't realize this, but Inhofe played a key role in getting the USS Batfish submarine to Oklahoma (originally intended for Tulsa, it found a home instead in Muskogee.

Below are statements from various elected officials:

Monday, July 08, 2024

Rep. Townley plans to file bill to update tied election procedures

Townley to File Bill Updating Procedures for Tied Elections

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore, today announced her intention to file a bill next session updating election procedures in the event of a tied election.

Townley represents House District 48, which includes Carter County. She said the bill was inspired by the outcome of the June 18 primary election for Carter County Sheriff. A recount on June 28 confirmed both candidates received 2,569 votes.

Current statute does not allow for runoff elections when only two candidates run for a position. Title 26, Section 8-105 states any race that remains tied after provisional ballot analysis and a recount must be decided by a lot held by the county election board.

Ultimately, the winner of that race was chosen via a random drawing of a name from a bucket.

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Small: Conservatives gain in legislative races

Though I have some minor quibbles with Small regarding school choice (primarily as it relates to protecting homeschool freedoms from future government intrusion), but I agree with him that the recent Republican primary results were great news for conservatives. In fact, it may well have been the best election for Oklahoma conservatives in the past decade.

Conservatives gain in legislative races
By Jonathan Small

Last month’s primary elections resulted in the Oklahoma Legislature likely being more conservative next year. That’s good news for voters who care about issues such as judicial reform, taxes and education.

This year’s legislative session ended without reform to Oklahoma’s secretive and liberal process for nominating judges in Oklahoma and without personal income tax reductions.

But many candidates who prevailed or advanced to runoffs in Republican primaries advocated for conservative reforms to change the secretive process for how Oklahoma nominates judges and for cutting or eliminating the personal income tax. Also, voter support for school choice has become undeniable.

Monday, July 01, 2024

Congressman Brecheen holding telephone town hall on July 10th

Congressman Josh Brecheen To Host Telephone Town Hall on July 10th at 7 PM CT

Washington, D.C. (July 1st) – Congressman Josh Brecheen will be hosting a telephone town hall on July 10th at 7 PM CT. 

During the call, Congressman Brecheen will provide an update on some of the most pressing policy issues facing our country, including our nearly $35 trillion national debt, and answer live questions from constituents.