Tidbits for Winter 2016
By: Constitution Staff
Oklahoma Voter Registration Statistics
Oklahoma's official voter registration statistics are counted every year on January 15. The most recent count showed 1,978,807 registered voters as of Jan. 15, 2016. Historical trends have continued as the Republican and Independent share of voter registration increased while the percentage of Democrats decreased. The number of Republican voters went up by about 3 percent from 2014 to 2016, a net increase of about 26,000 voters. The number of Democrats fell by 6 percent, a net loss of 53,000 voters from 2014. Independents, meanwhile, had a net increase of 28,000 voters in that period. "What really stands out when you look at these numbers is the growth in Independent voters," said Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax. "The number of Independents grew by about 11.6 percent in the past two years."At the end of 2015, there were 1,978,807 registered voters in the state. Republicans took first place in voter registration only a few years ago and have 880,130 members and constitute 44.5 percent of voters. Democrats number 832,059 or 42 percent. Only 13 are registered as Americans Elect which is the only other recognized party. All others must register as independent, which now accounts for 266,605 voters, or about 13.5 percent.
Democrats Invite Independents to Primaries
The Oklahoma Democratic Party now welcomes Independent voters to vote in Democratic primaries and runoffs. Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hammons signed and delivered a letter in November announcing the move to the Oklahoma State Election Board. "Today, we make history. Yesterday, over 260,000 registered voters in Oklahoma had no voice selecting who would be on the general election ballot. Today, the Oklahoma Democratic Party is giving these Oklahomans a voice. The hallmark of the Democratic Party is courage, innovation and openness. And so we welcome Independent voters to join us in selecting Oklahoma's next generation of leaders," said Hammons during a press conference at the Capitol. The move also allow Independents to participate in the Presidential Preference Primary on March 1.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Pam Pollard informed State Election Board Secretary, Paul Ziriax, by official letter that the Oklahoma Republican Party will not allow voters registered as Independents to cast ballots in the party's primary elections. In the letter Pollard explained, "The Oklahoma Republican Party believes only registered Republicans should select the Republican candidate in the primary election process."
Presidential National Convention Delegate Selection
Oklahomans, by their vote in the Presidential Preference Primary on March 1, will determine the number of delegates each candidate will send to the respective national political party conventions this summer. Both the Democrats and the Republicans award delegates according to the share of votes that a candidate receives statewide and by congressional district. But, the actual delegates who will attend the respective national conventions to cast those votes are selected in a separate process. Both major parties in the state follow a nearly identical process. Party members will attend meetings in their local voting precinct, the delegates elected at the Precinct Meetings will attend their County Convention where delegates will be selected to attend both the congressional District Convention and the State Convention where the actual delegates are selected go to the National Convention. A few of the delegate positions are held by party leaders who go to the National Convention not pledged to a candidate. These are the so-called "Super Delegates" who could determine the presidential nominee in a close race.
Democrats will hold Precinct Meetings Saturday, February 20. County Conventions will be in March. The District Conventions will be held in conjunction with the State Convention which will be on Saturday, April 9. The delegates will break out into district caucuses to select delegates, and will meet jointly to make the statewide selections.
The schedule for Republicans is not as concise (consult with your county GOP organization). Precinct Meetings will be held starting in January and extending though February, depending on the date of the County Convention which must be held no later than March 12. District Conventions must be no later than April 16. Congressional Districts 3 and 4 will be on Saturday, April 2; District 5 on Saturday, April 9; and Districts 1and 2 on Saturday, April 16. The state convention will be on Saturday, May 14.
Term Limits Roll Back Proposed
Term limits for most state offices would change from 8 years to 12 years under legislation proposed by Oklahoma Senate Majority Leader Mike Schultz (R-Altus). "Term limits are good public policy, and my proposal would ensure they stay in place, but for most statewide offices a longer term is going to allow for more efficient and effective administration," said Schulz. "Twelve-year term limits have worked for members of the Legislature, and they will be just as effective for statewide offices. A great deal of expertise and knowledge are required to effectively administer these offices, and sensibly extending these terms to up to 12 years is a reform that can produce a better state government." On November 2, 2010, State Question 747, was approved by Oklahoma voters. The measure enacted an eight-year lifetime limit for the governor, lieutenant governor, state auditor and inspector, attorney general, state treasurer, labor commissioner, state schools superintendent and insurance commissioner. Before the measure, the governor could not serve more than eight consecutive years, however a governor could seek election again after a 4-year period had passed. If Schultz bill passes the reform would be sent to a vote of the people on the November General Election ballot.
Dan Boren Considering Race for Governor
Former Oklahoma Congressman Dan Boren says he's actively exploring a run for Oklahoma governor in 2018. "I am taking all of the necessary steps to become a candidate for governor and I will make a final decision at the end of this year," Boren told the Associated Press in an interview in January. "I began taking some of those steps late last year by visiting with business leaders, community leaders, civic leaders, also legislative leaders." While Boren, 42, says that he hasn't started raising money or interviewing political consultants, he believes there is a path for a Democrat to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Mary Fallin. despite GOP dominance at the polls in the last several cycles in Oklahoma. "Obviously we have a one-party state right now, and I think it's important in the future that we look at having a balanced, bipartisan approach to government," said Boren. Former state Rep. Joe Dorman, won 41 percent of the vote against Fallin in 2014 despite being heavily outspent.
Boren served one term in the Oklahoma House of Representative before running successfully for Congress in 2004 in Oklahoma's Second Congressional District in eastern Oklahoma. He held the seat for eight years before stepping down after facing tough reelection battles. He was replaced by Republican Markwaye Mullin. Boren has spent the last three years working on business development for the Chickasaw Nation. His grandfather, Lyle Boren, was a U.S. congressman and his father, University of Oklahoma President David Boren, is a former governor and U.S. senator. David Boren issued a statement following the Associated Press story, "I learned from media reports today that Dan Boren is considering a race for governor in 2018. I will advise against it."
If he makes the race, Boren could face stiff competition for the open seat which is expected to draw strong candidates from both sides of the political aisle. On the Democrat side, Dorman might make a second try for the post, and Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman is reported to be interested. Possible Republican candidates include Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, state Attorney General Scott Pruitt, and state Treasurer Ken Miller.
Taylor Challenges Cole
James Taylor, a Norman pastor, has announced his intentions to challenge long-time Congressman Tom Cole of Moore for the Republican nomination. Taylor said Cole's vote in favor of the Omnibus bill in late 2015 was the final straw.
Taylor, pastor of Christ Church in Norman, explained why he is running against Cole. "It came to a head right before Christmas when every one of these guys (the members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation) except Jim Bridenstine voted to pass Omnibus. All of these guys campaigned on repealing Obamacare. But the spending bill they voted for fully funds it. It fully funds sanctuary cities. It fully funds the refugee program. It fully funds the Middle Eastern immigrants coming in. It fully funds tax credits for illegals living her. It fully funds Planned Parenthood. It increased spending $66 billion over what it is now. It's just frustrating. They tell us one thing and then do another."
Cole was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, replacing J.C. Watts, Jr. He has a 52 percent score on the "Freedom Index" of The New American magazine, lowest of the Oklahoma congressional delegation. He was known as a staunch ally of former House Speaker John Boehner and now for Speaker Paul Ryan, defending Boehner against Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Carnuccio To Head New Foundation
Lt. Governor Todd Lamb announced the establishment of a new foundation to create a plan to promote growth in the economy and improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans. The new foundation is called the E Foundation for Oklahoma and will begin operations in 2016. Lamb named Michael Carnuccio to head the group. Carnuccio stepped down as President of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), a conservative think-tank, on December 31, 2015 after six years with the organization. Lamb said he is assembling a strong team to lead a comprehensive planning approach. The focus of the E Foundation for Oklahoma will be a clear, concise vision toward creating and building actionable pathways of excellence in areas of importance to Oklahoma's future economic and quality-of-life landscape. For more information about the E Foundation for Oklahoma and its leadership, and how Oklahomans can join the effort and share their ideas can be found at www.efoundationok.org
New OCPA President
The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) board of trustees named Jonathan Small as the organization's next president. Small officially assumed the role on January 1, 2016.
"The board is confident in our decision to name Jonathan as president," said Dr. David Brown, Chairman of OCPA. "Jonathan has served OCPA and the state of Oklahoma with humility, integrity and innovation as executive vice president. We know he will continue to do so with even greater impact in the role of president." Small joined the OCPA staff in December 2010. Small has also been a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and public policy reforms. "Since 1993, OCPA has advocated policies that have a proven track record of helping the most vulnerable achieve their full potential," Small said. "That is the very reason I joined this team. On a daily basis, we work to make Oklahoma the freest state in the nation." Small's appointment was part of the succession plan outlined at the same time the board accepted the resignation of Michael Carnuccio who left to head another Oklahoma organization. OCPA conducts the research and analysis of public issues in Oklahoma from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy.
Estella Hernandez Quits as Vice Chair
Estella Hernandez resigned as the vice chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. She will be taking a new position with the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA). Hernandez was elected vice chairman last April, at the same Republican State Convention which chose Randy Brodgon, a former state senator from Owasso, as the state chairman. Hernandez was soon at odds with Brogdon, and was seen by many close to Brogdon as part of a cabal intent on driving him from office. When Brogdon did resign, Hernandez took over as acting chair, and ran for the post at the next state committee meeting. Pam Pollard easily defeated Hernandez, resulting in Hernandez remaining in the vice chairman's position.
Many Republican activists who give up their Saturdays to choose party officers have expressed disgust that this has become almost normal -- elect party officers to two-year terms, but they soon resign to take a different job. Some have wondered if the state chairmanship is just a job to hold "until something better comes along." Then, after the state party officer quits, the state committee must meet to select a new chairman or vice chairman. This leaves many grass-roots Republicans wondering what is the point of even attending conventions, if the decision reached there is just for a few months
Because of the non-profit, non-partisan status of the OCPA, Hernandez and Pollard say they agreed it was best for Estela to step down as State Vice-Chair. The vacancy in the Vice Chairman's position will require an election among the Oklahoma Republican State Committee members to take place within a 30 to 60 day time period. As we go to press, Richard Engle, a columnist for the Oklahoma Constitution, and a long-time respected Republican Party activist, has been urged by many conservatives to enter the race to succeed Hernandez.
Red To The Roots Campaign
On December 5th, the Oklahoma Republican State Committee was presented with a new strategic initiative called "Red to the Roots." OKGOP Chair Pam Pollard said, "Red to the Roots is not a new program but a new name and a new energy." During the tenure of Matt Pinnell as OKGOP Chair and Pam Pollard as Vice Chair an initial effort was launched for the state party organization to overtly aid Republican nominees for county office. Red to the Roots is a revived and invigorated version of that effort. Richard Engle a former local city council member was involved with the earlier effort and is joined by Rep. Mike Sanders as Vice Chair as well as a number of existing county elected officials, business persons and party leaders in the Red to the Roots committee.
Engle commented, "Only 35 percent of county elected officials in Oklahoma are Republican. Our voters are conservative, our federal delegation, our statewide elected officials and our legislature is overwhelmingly Republican, but we haven't yet fully made the connection between conservative Republican ideals and the important work being done at the local level. As said by the arch liberal Van Jones, "personnel is policy.' It's pretty clear that public spending is policy as well. A conservative Republican will be able to break free from the subtle corruption of long term local habits and reform local government into something that represents a pro-growth, limited government, low tax, individual liberty, rule of law form which Oklahoma voters have long been calling for at the state and federal level." Engle is an Oklahoma Constitution columnist, for more information see his column on page 27.
Rainy Day Fund
An Oklahoma lawmaker wants the state Constitution amended so the state can increase the amount that can be placed in the "Rainy Day" Fund. State Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City) filed legislation that would allow voters to amend the Constitution to both increase the cap -- but not lower it -- and allow the Legislature to appropriate directly to the fund. The "Rainy Day Fund," also known as the Constitutional Reserve Fund, serves as the state's savings account. The state Constitution allows the Legislature to appropriate only 95 percent of the certified revenue estimate. Any revenue collected above 95 percent of the estimate is transferred to the Reserve Fund. In addition, the fund is capped at 15 percent of the previous year's certification level. The fund currently has a balance of approximately $382 million. Last year, the Legislature used $150 million out of the fund to help offset a $600 million budget hole.
"The idea that we should cap how much money the state can save is, frankly, ridiculous," said Echols. "Not only is there a cap on how much we can save, there is also legitimate doubt among House staff as to whether the Legislature has the authority to make direct appropriations into the Rainy Day Fund. Neither of those restrictions make any sense. We had a $600 million budget gap last year, and we are now looking at up to $1 billion less this year to appropriate. Our current approach is shortsighted and bizarre. Taxpayers expect us to be prudent and develop a long-term approach to state spending."
Echols noted that North Dakota has nearly $3.3 billion in savings. "We are an oil and gas state, also, but we don't save money like a state dependent upon the roller-coaster energy industry should," said Echols. "Some say it is pointless to discuss saving money when we are facing another budget hole, but I believe that is exactly why we should be discussing it. Our revenues are going to return to normal levels at some point. If we don't make a change now, we won't be able to save money when we do have excess revenues." Echols said his proposal would require the Legislature to pass a resolution that would place a state question on the ballot for voters to decide.
State Capitol Restoration Will Cost More
In December, contractors working on the restoration project for the nearly 100-year-old, 450,000 square-foot State Capitol building provided the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee with estimated costs and a master plan for the full restoration of the building. Manhattan Construction and JE Dunn Construction detailed what work could be completed under existing funding and also work that could be completed with additional funding. The work was divided into priority levels to ensure infrastructure and life-safety issues are addressed first while allowing the state to make decisions about other work. The contractors recommended an additional $122 million in construction costs with the work to occur through 2022. Meeting the RFP requirements and oversight committee goals requires a total project construction cost of $242 million, according to the contractors.
In addition, a master plan for the Capitol campus was proposed by Manhattan Construction for an additional $65 million in construction costs to replace the existing parking lot east of Lincoln Boulevard with a three-story parking garage that connects to the Capitol via the existing pedestrian tunnel underneath Lincoln Boulevard. The existing south Capitol parking lot would then be turned into a Capitol park as initially envisioned a century ago by Capitol architect Solomon Layton. With the master plan component, the total project construction cost would be an estimated $307 million.
Trait Thompson, the State Capitol Project Manager for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) said: "The initial funding is a great start and, as we've known all along, additional funding will be necessary to have a great finish to this long overdue project. The state will carefully review these proposals to formulate a funding recommendation for the next legislative session. The aggregate cost as proposed by the contractors is in line with other comprehensive capitol restoration projects across the country." The state will also be exploring financing options to propose in the next legislative session. "The state has a tremendous amount of bond principal rolling off the books throughout this project that allows for some very attractive bond options that are responsible and workable even in the current budgetary environment," said OMES Director Preston Doerflinger.
Logan County Employees to Conceal Carry
Logan County, in north central Oklahoma, recently took a stance in the gun debate, voting to allow county employees to carry concealed guns while at work. It is unclear if guns can be brought in the buildings, and County Commissioners are working out the details. In the meantime, county employees will be able to take their guns to their work vehicles. They said action is needed to defend themselves in life-threatening situations. "I'll be able to carry it now in my county vehicle, and now I can protect myself form people who want to do bodily harm to me or by a wild pig or boar out here that's attacking me," said Mike Pearson, commissioner for District 2 in Logan County. Commissioner Pearson, along with other commissioners, voted to approved the change. They're the first county in the Oklahoma City metro area to make such a policy.
Statewide Public School Enrollment
The number of students enrolled in Oklahoma public schools increased by more than 4,000 in 2015, continuing an annual upward trend. A total of 692,670 students were enrolled in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade at the start of the school year, an increase of 4,370 over the 2014 total of 688,300 and 33,055 more than in 2010. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister emphasized that the state should be prepared to continue serving a growing student population each year. "While it's not a surprise, it is important to remember that statewide enrollment increases every year. Given the current fiscal reality and the teacher shortage crisis, many schools started 2015 ready to add additional students to their rosters with few new resources. We need to plan for this trend to continue in the future and do everything we can to minimize the negative impact on students," Hofmeister said. Districts record enrollment every year on Oct. 1 and report the figures to the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Currently, Oklahoma has 516 public school districts and 1,795 school sites, including 14 charter schools not sponsored by a district.
Statewide, student population percentages shifted slightly this year. Most significantly, the percentage of white and Native American students decreased, while the percentage of Hispanic students and students of two or more ethnicities increased. This school year, Oklahoma's student population is: 50 percent white, 16.21 percent Hispanic, 14.28 percent Native American or Alaskan Native, 8.87 percent black, 8.38 percent two or more races
2.25 percent Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
Ban on Student-Led Prayer Reversed
State Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville) issued the following statement after the Oklahoma State Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) at their monthly meeting on November 11 reversed their controversial rule banning student-led prayer at high school playoff athletic events: "The United States Supreme Court has been clear that allowing student-led prayers at school sanctioned events does not violate the Establishment Clause. Not only that, but the U.S. Department of Education's own guidelines on student-led prayer advise schools that any effort to prohibit student-led prayer would infringe on the student's Constitutionally protected rights. I am glad that the OSSAA was willing to seriously consider the Attorney General's opinion and that common sense prevailed in this case. This is a win for religious freedom and our Oklahoma values."
Termination of Planned Parenthood Contracts
In November, Gov. Mary Fallin asked the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) terminate its contracts with the two Planned Parenthood affiliates operating in the state because of their high rate of billing errors. Fallin urged OHCA Chief Executive Officer Nico Gomez to consider appropriately terminating contracts with Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma in Oklahoma City and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Tulsa. The two Planned Parenthood affiliates operate in about six locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. She also asked Gomez to recommend terminating contracts with similar providers found to have a high billing error rate, have had past findings of overbilling, or associate with other providers who do not rigorously adhere to the high standards that are required to be granted access to public funds.
In 2015, the state paid the two Planned Parenthood affiliates $100,145 for 19,546 claims; the vast majority of Planned Parenthood services qualify for a 90 percent federal match, making the total payment slightly more than $1 million. In 2014, the state paid $204,631 for 36,741 claims; federal matching funds made the total slightly more than $2 million. Earlier in the year Fallin asked the OHCA to review Planned Parenthood's operations to ensure no state funds were being misused. While the review of the two affiliates showed no improper use of state Medicaid funds, it showed a billing error rate of 20.3 percent rate at one and a 14.2 percent error rate at the other. In a letter to Gomez, Fallin wrote: "These errors result in overbilling to the Oklahoma taxpayer. The lack of attention to the requirements imposed on a responsible provider is a continuing problem for these Planned Parenthood affiliates."
Fallin Communications Office
Gov. Mary Fallin announced that Jay Marks, a longtime journalist, has joined her staff as deputy communications director. Marks joins Communications Director Michael McNutt.
Marks, of Yukon, is a lifelong Oklahoman. He grew up in Tulsa and earned a journalism degree from Oklahoma State University. Marks spent nearly 20 years as a newspaper reporter, first with the Sulphur Times-Democrat and the Enid News and Eagle. He worked for almost 10 years at The Oklahoman, where he covered mostly courts and business news. Marks launched his own communications firm last year, doing freelance writing and communications consulting, before joining Fallin,s staff.
The opening in the governor,s press office occurred when Alex Weintz, the governor's communications director left to lead the communications division within FKG Consulting, an Oklahoma City based public affairs firm that offers government relations and communications consulting services. Weintz had worked with Fallin since January 2007, when Fallin served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as her press secretary in Congress before becoming communications director in her gubernatorial campaign and then her administration. Fallin named McNutt, the governor's press secretary the past two years, as communications director for her office. In keeping with an executive order she issued asking agency heads to look at possible savings, the governor is not filling a third position in the communications office.
New Oklahoma Labor Commissioner
On November 10, Gov. Mary Fallin announced the appointment of Melissa McLawhorn Houston as the state's labor commissioner until January 2019. Houston, who has been chief of staff and policy adviser for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt since 2011, will serve the remainder of former Labor Commissioner Mark Costello's term. Costello, who was re-elected in 2014, was murdered in August. Before serving as the attorney general's chief of staff, Houston served for nine years (2002-2011) as the chief of staff for the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security. Prior to that, she served as deputy director for the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association and as an attorney for the Oklahoma Truth in Sentencing Policy Advisory Commission. She has a law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. "Melissa knows how to run a state agency and how to ensure the public is getting the most out of the dollars it invests," said Fallin. "I know she is excited to build on Mark Costello's legacy of delivering a more efficient and effective state agency. Her expertise and experience in budget-management will be particularly important to the Labor Department during what is sure to be a challenging fiscal year for the state."
Current law allows Houston to serve the remainder of Costello's term. Voters will elect a new labor commissioner in November 2018 (to begin serving in January 2019), although both Costello and some legislators have voiced support for making the position appointed rather than elected. Houston said she is not going to seek election to the labor commissioner post in 2018.
In the wake of Costello's murder, his widow, Cathy Costello, had asked to be considered for the role of interim labor commissioner. Fallin said she took that request seriously. "Cathy is a wonderful woman and I am heartbroken for her loss," said Fallin.
Allbaugh New Corrections Director
The Oklahoma Board of Corrections named Joe Allbaugh interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and set his salary at $165,000 a year. Allbaugh replaces Robert Patton who resigned during a grand jury investigation into problems with Oklahoma's last two executions. Patton said he wanted to be closer to his family in Arizona and took a position with a private prison. Allbaugh, 63, lives in Austin, Texas, and is president and CEO of Allbaugh International Group, a strategic consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.
Allbaugh has had long political ties to Oklahoma. After earning a degree in political science from Oklahoma State University, he joined the staff of Oklahoma Senator Henry Bellmon in 1974. He was a member of the field staff of the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1984 before returning to Oklahoma to work on Bellmon's winning race for governor in 1986. He then served on the governor's staff and was Bellmon's chief strategist. He later served as a deputy secretary of transportation under Bellmon's successor, David Walters.
In 1994, Allbaugh went to Texas to manage the George W. Bush campaign for governor. He was chief of staff for Gov. Bush and campaign manager for Bush's 2000 presidential election campaign. Allbaugh then served as Bush's Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) until the agency was transferred into the newly created Department of Homeland Security.
Death of Shelby Satterfield
Former state Rep. Shelby Satterfield (D-Tulsa) died November 14 at the age of 70. He served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1991 until 1998 representing House District 68 in Tulsa. Satterfield lost his bid for reelection in 1998, as well as a bid to retake the seat in 2000, to Republican Chris Benge who would later become Oklahoma House Speaker. He served in the Navy from 1966 to 1969 during the Vietnam War. He later went into real estate and operated Big 8 Real Estate in southwest Tulsa. More recently he worked at the Oklahoma Department of Education for the past 14 years, helping veterans obtain teaching certificates upon leaving the military. During his time in the Oklahoma Legislature he earned a 14 percent rating on the Oklahoma Conservative Index.
Alexander Hosts Political Talk Show
Former Oklahoma Republican Party chairman, political consultant and lobbyist Chad Alexander began his own political talk show on KOKC 1520AM on November 9th. Announcing the start of the new talk show, Kevin Christopher, Tyler Media Operations Director said, "Chad has a wealth of experience in Oklahoma and national politics, as well as tremendous insight in to the creation of public policy and how those laws affect Oklahoma families and business. He will be a unique voice in the local talk radio market, and I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say." Alexander said he is honored to have the opportunity to share his views and insights. "I have shared my opinions and insights almost exclusively with a long list of personal clients, but now I will be free to discuss these views publicly," said Alexander. "There's something liberating in that. I won't have to hold back."
Alexander has represented a long list of corporate and political clients over the past 20 years, including Newt Gingrich and the University of Oklahoma. In his early 20's he served as campaign manager to J.C. Watts, Jr. and was then elected to chair the Oklahoma Republican Party at the age of 27. He served as a state political director for two Republican Presidential campaigns, and as a political consultant to numerous state legislators. Currently, Alexander is on the board of the Oklahoma City Metro Alliance, which assists individuals who are recovering from substance abuse. Alexander checked himself into rehab last year after he was arrested for suspicion of cocaine possession. Police found cocaine in his vehicle during a traffic stop in northwest Oklahoma City. The Alexander Show airs from 4-6 PM Monday through Friday on KOKC 1520AM. The station is also home to another political talk show, Mitchell In The Morning, hosted by Scott Mitchell weekdays 6-9 AM.
Support Your Local Police
A majority of Americans think there is a war on police, according to a September 2015 Rasmussin Poll. Recognizing that this "war" on police has been going on since at least the 1960s, the John Birch Society (JBS) created a "Support Your Local Police and Keep Them Independent" (SYLP) action project. As part of this project, former New Jersey police detective James Fitzgerald will give a local presentation about the importance of keeping police accountable to local communities, instead of the federal government.
Oklahoma City chapters of the JBS will host Fitzgerald's presentation at 5:30-8:30 p.m., on Tuesday, May 10th, at the H & H Gun Range in Oklahoma City, with a dinner. The event is open to the public.
Fitzgerald will document the history of peace officers in America, including the vital role they hold in protecting the republican form of government the founders created in 1787. He will discuss the war on police, expose who is behind it, and offer solutions.
Formed in 1958, and headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, the John Birch Society is dedicated to restoring and preserving freedom under the U.S. Constitution.
History's Greatest Libels
Steve Byas, editor of the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper, has been presenting lectures to several groups on topics related to his book, History's Greatest Libels. The book is a challenge to falsehoods often repeated concerning many historical figures. Chapters include refutations of libels perpetrated against historical figures, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Christopher Columbus, Marie Antoinette, William Jennings Bryan, Warren Harding, James Knox Polk, Clarence Thomas and Joseph McCarthy.
Byas has written two mystery novels, Digging Up Bones and Sooner Dead, a high school government textbook, and is a contributing writer for New American magazine. His work has also appeared in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. He is a professor of history at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in Moore, Oklahoma. Those who would like to hear a presentation by Byas may contact him at Steve Byas, P.O. Box 724, Norman, OK 73070, or by phone (405-366-1125) or via email: email@example.com
Other Stories From Winter 2016 Issue
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Dr. James Taylor
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