Blog

01 Nov
0

Statement on National Native American Heritage Month

[Oklahoma City, OK, November 1, 2016] Statement by Mark Hammons, Oklahoma Democratic Party, on National Native American Heritage Month. This month as we honor Native Americans and their heritage, let us both celebrate and respect the diversity of Oklahoma’s many sovereign tribal nations.  In honoring these cultures, we remember and respect that each nation has its own unique and important heritage, history, language, government and traditions.

 

An important part of the culture of Native Americans is their tribal regalia which has both social and spiritual meaning unique to each nation.  It is important that we honor that regalia and not treat it as a mere costume or decoration to be used thoughtlessly.  It does not honor our Native Americans when, for instance, the Governor’s daughter wears a tribal headdress as a costume in a beauty pageant.  These are important symbols which should never be trivialized.  They are to be worn only by proper people at proper events.

 

The Democratic Party pledges its respect for the diverse cultures of all our Native Americans and stands strong for honoring this rich and diverse heritage in all its expressions.

 

Mark Hammons
Oklahoma Democratic Party – Chair

24 Oct
0

Statement on Bob Lemon’s Passing

The Oklahoma Democratic Party would like to express our heartfelt sadness to the passing of Robert Lemon on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 and condolences to the Lemon family. Bob generously supported not only the Democratic Party but also Democratic candidates across Oklahoma, even if he didn’t know them personally.

boblemon

Bob Lemon, a dedicated social justice activist in the LGBT community, was born in Shattuck, Oklahoma in 1929, graduated from the University of Texas with his Juris Doctorate and practiced oil and gas law in Texas and Oklahoma. Bob married Mary Lou Smith in 1950, and together they fought for gay rights once learning they were the parents of a gay son. Lemon continued as a progressive leader, taking out a full-page ad in the Oklahoman, speaking out against Oklahoma House Representative Sally Kern’s statement in 2008 that “gays are worse than terrorists.”

In 2011, The Oklahoma City Council’s considered a resolution to include “sexual orientation” to employment non-discrimination policies. Lemon stated that “As I stand here today, I am totally convinced that there is nothing wrong with homosexual people, they’re not broken and they don’t need fixing. But what does need fixing is the attitude of a lot of straight people with respect to gays. I pray to God the day will come when people will respect all of God’s children, not just some of them, but all of them.”

Lemon received the Carl Albert Award presented by the Oklahoma Democratic Party, the Hero of Hope Award from the Cathedral of Hope, the ACLU-OK’s Angie Debo Civil Libertarian of the Year Award, and numerous other award throughout his lifetime. Bob also received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Phillips Theological Seminary in Oklahoma in 2010.

18 Oct
0

Cleveland County Blurring Election Procedure Ethical Lines

Noble- October 17th For immediate release:When a state candidate’s name appears on an official ballot twice it should raise questions of fairness and equality in our election process. House District 20’s current Republican incumbent, Bobby Cleveland, is on Oklahoma’s official ballot TWICE this November, and this apparently isn’t the first time he’s attempted an ethically questionable election ploy. According to a 2012 press release by the Oklahoma Democratic Party, “Republican candidate Bobby Cleveland needs to tell the voters what he pled to in order to receive a deferred prosecution, when he was caught voting twice in the same election, which is a felony under Oklahoma law. In order to receive a deferred sentence like he did, he would have had to submit a plea to the court.” Source: http://okdemocrats.org/did-candidate-commit-voter-fraud/

Now Cleveland is blurring the election procedure’s ethical lines once again, his name appears as an elector for Donald Trump, and again as a candidate for Oklahoma’s State House of Representatives in District 20. Appearing twice on an official state ballot is an undue influence on voters, and a violation of the public trust. It is a deliberate act of confusion and persuasion perpetuated on Oklahoma voters who may not understand the complexities of our election laws. When voters aren’t clear whether they are voting for someone based on their capacity as an elector, or being misled into believing that a state candidate has an endorsement by a Presidential Nominee where none actually exists, it creates an environment of mistrust between our state election process and the people of Oklahoma

Unfortunately, Oklahoma law seems to permit this type of underhanded political maneuvering, but only for State Officials. “The electors for President and Vice President, hereinafter referred to as Presidential Electors, shall be registered voters of Oklahoma; provided, however, that no United States Senator or United States Representative or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States shall be a Presidential Elector.” 26 O.S. Sec. 10-104.

This law shows that not only do our legislators know this practice is an undue influence on voters and a violation of our state’s duty to hold a fair and impartial election process, but that they are deliberately refusing to hold themselves to the same standards as United States Legislators.

This is the kind of voter exploitation that our state election board has a duty to prevent by keeping our election process impartial, fair, and free from corruption; however, after calling the state election board our office was told that this ethically questionable practice is historically consistent with previous elections.

Political party advantage on the ballot being excused because of historical consistency should never be the official position of the state agency charged with our last line of defense against political corruption. It is time to use our voices and our votes to send a clear message that this type of questionable conduct in our system will not be tolerated. We are urging concerned voters to call the election board and ask for a fair and impartial election process this November by asking them to remove elector’s names from the ballot.

The election board can be reached at:

Address: Oklahoma State Capitol, 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Phone:(405) 521-2391 Hours: 8AM–5PM

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11 Aug
0

Statement on Hillary Speech: Fighting for Working Families

[Oklahoma City, OK, August 11, 2016] Today in Warren, Michigan, Hillary Clinton spoke about her commitment to fight for working families and build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. This isn’t a new fight for Hillary Clinton; she’s been waging it her entire career and throughout this entire campaign. In her remarks, Hillary reviewed the economic plan she first outlined in Raleigh in June and specifically addressed a core question of the election: Which candidate will stand up for working families and address the challenges they face?

Clinton talked about what she’s heard out on the campaign trail, the challenges working families face today and reiterated her 5-point plan to build an economy that works for everyone not just those at the top, which includes:

  1. The largest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II
  2. Tuition-free college for the middle class and debt free college for all
  3. Rewriting the rules to ensure workers share in the profits they create
  4. Making the wealthy, Wall Street, and big corporations pay their fair share in taxes
  5. Reforming outdated laws to match how families live, learn and work in today’s
    economy

Hillary discussed her plan to create good-paying jobs within her first 100 days as president, by investing in infrastructure and manufacturing and helping small
businesses grow and hire. She also talked about the importance of strengthening
protections for workers from raising the minimum wage and defending collective
bargaining, to fighting for equal pay, expanding Social Security and lowering prescription drug costs. A plan that is in sharp contrast to elements of Trump’s plan – from trillions in tax breaks weighted towards the wealthy and corporations, to his reckless approach on regulation and immigration – which would result in serious harm to our economy and put the livelihoods of Americans at risk.

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29 Jul
0

Oklahoma CD 2: Primary Edition

Oklahoma Republicans have been subjecting our state to a lot recently- passing unconstitutional (and embarrassing) legislation, pillaging limited funds to patch up an ongoing budgetary crisis, four day school weeks. Republican mismanagement of our state is what motivated over 52,000 Oklahomans to vote Democrat in the primary for House District 2 this past Tuesday.[1] Compared to a Republican primary in the same District that saw turnout under 32,000, it’s safe to assume that Oklahomans are making a statement- enough with Republican dysfunction; it’s time to take back our state from rogue legislators and their special interests.

Joshua Harris-Till, a name you’re going to hear more and more, led the way with 31,652 votes, enough to both win the primary and overlap both of his Republican competitors combined. This result is telling; in such an unstable election cycle, Oklahoma voters are spurning the GOP, which has rapidly become the party of Trump and his politics of fear and chaos. Instead, they are turning to a Democratic Party that is alone in offering Oklahoma a chance at responsible stewardship and leadership with a vision.

Our state is teetering dangerously close to the fiscal cliff right now, and the response of our overwhelmingly Republican legislature this past session was to try to waste more taxpayer dollars on a special session to bring back a doomed, vetoed, and unconstitutional bill. Oklahoma lost over $400 million to oil and gas tax breaks last year, meaning that the GOP essentially paid the industry to make our state have more earthquakes than the rest of the continental US combined in 2015.[2][3] We have school districts closing, we have rotting infrastructure, and we have legislators who think a $28.5 million reflecting pool is a good idea.[4]  Oklahomans are tired, and we have a right to be; but instead of giving up, we need to get energized, and get voting.

[1] “Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District,” last modified June 20th, 2016, https://ballotpedia.org/Oklahoma%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2016

[2] “Oklahoma’s oil and gas tax breaks exceed $400 million per year,” last modified May 5th, 2016, http://okpolicy.org/even-amid-energy-bust-oklahomas-oil-gas-tax-breaks-exceed-400-million-per-year/

[3] “Oklahoma has more earthquakes in 2015 than all of continental US combined,” last modified December 31st, 2015, http://www.koco.com/weather/oklahoma-ha-more-earthquakes-in-2015-than-all-of-continental-us-combined/37209902

[4] “State Capitol repairs to cost twice what was allocated,” last modified December 4th, 2015, http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/capitol_report/state-capitol-repairs-to-cost-twice-what-was-allocated-archway/article_a72f9fae-48eb-5ca3-bcc5-e1f0e6161149.html