Blog

09 Jun
0

Former Senate Democratic Leader Appointed to Ethics Commission

Governor Mary Fallin Appoints Longtime Attorney, Former Senate Leader to Ethics Commission

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced she has appointed longtime Shawnee attorney Charlie Laster, who served two years as Democratic leader of the Oklahoma Senate, to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.

Laster replaces Wanda Jo Pettigrew, whose term expires in July. She is completing her second successive five-year term. State law prohibits anyone from serving more than two times in succession.

Laster’s term is for five years, and will run until July 2022.

“Charlie Laster has both the legal knowledge and personal character necessary in making rules on the ethical conduct for state elected officials and employees as well as investigating and prosecuting violations of Ethics Commission rules,” said Fallin. “Being a former candidate and elected officeholder, he also is familiar with the financial disclosure statements and the campaign contributions and expenditure reports required and maintained by the commission.”

The Ethics Commission also maintains lobbyist registrations and reports, and has the power to issue advisory opinions when requested.

“I appreciate Governor Fallin’s trust in naming me to the Ethics Commission, which is the public watchdog of state government,” Laster said. “Good government requires elected officials and employees who follow our state ethics laws.”

The governor appoints one member to the five-member commission. The others are appointed by the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, the state Senate president pro tempore, the speaker of the state House of Representatives and the state attorney general.

Fallin had to select a Democrat and someone from the 5th Congressional District. State law requires that no more than three can be of the same political party and no more than one congressional district may be represented at a time. Three of the other members of the Ethics Commission are Republicans, and Pettigrew lives in the 5th Congressional District.

Laster has practiced law in Shawnee since 1979. He was elected to the state Senate in 2003 to fill the seat vacated when Brad Henry was elected governor, and served until 2012. During his tenure, he served as co-floor leader from 2006 until 2008, and as Democratic leader from 2008 until 2010.

Laster earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU) and his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma (OU).

He and his wife, Kathleen, live in Shawnee. They have two children: Kara, who graduated from OSU and is studying law at OU, and Luke, who is a student at OSU.

About the Oklahoma Ethics Commission

Created in 1986, the Oklahoma Ethics Commission: serves as the official repository for financial disclosure statements, campaign contributions and expenditure reports, and lobbyist registrations and reports; accepts and files any information voluntarily supplied; distributes forms for reporting the information to the state and county election boards; makes all reports available to the public; preserves reports for at least two years from receipt or length of tenure in office; issues advisory opinions when requested; holds hearings, subpoenas witnesses, compels witness attendance and testimony, administers oaths and affirmations, takes evidence, and subpoenas records; and enforces and collects late fees provided for in the Ethics Commission Act.

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08 Jun
0

RELEASE: DNC Chair Tom Perez Statement on Comey Hearing

DNC Chair Tom Perez Statement on Comey Hearing

WASHINGTON – DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after fired FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee:

“Comey’s testimony just gave us the clearest and most damning evidence yet that President Trump lied to the American people and is likely under investigation for obstruction of justice – a serious and disturbing charge. While Trump continues to attempt to protect himself and his friends, today’s testimony shows that he doesn’t care about the attacks on our democracy and on the American people. This behavior should alarm every member of Congress and every American citizen. Justice must be blind. Democrats and Republicans alike must stand together to see that it is served.”

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07 Jun
0

RELEASE: Tom Perez Releases Statement on Eric Trumps Comment Democrats Are “Not Even People”

Eric Trump Says Democrats Are “Not Even People”

In response to Eric Trump’s comments that Democrats are “not even people”, DNC Chair Tom Perez released this statement:

“This is an attack on working families. While Eric and his father try to divide our country, hardworking Americans of all stripes are coming together to fight for an America that works for all of us. And they’re rallying around the values of the Democratic Party – affordable health care for all, access to a good education that opens the doors of opportunity, good-paying jobs that grow our economy and build a strong middle-class.”

“Believe it or not, Eric, Democrats are people. So are Muslims, immigrants, women, people with pre-existing conditions, and everyone else Trump is hurting.”

06 Jun
0

RELEASE: ODP – Another Oklahoma Republican Legislator Resigns

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2017

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
405-536-2417

Another Oklahoma Republican Legislator Resigns

OKLAHOMA CITY – Whether it be for misconduct or to pursue another job, Oklahoma taxpayers once more will be paying for another special election due to a Republican Legislator’s resignation. Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa (SD 37), has announced, effective January 31st, 2018, right before the session begins, that he is resigning to pursue a promotion in his professional career instead of fulfilling his term as Senator.

Due to the Republican failed leadership Oklahomans will pay nearly $200 thousand for special elections. Six of the seven 2017/2018 special elections set by Governor Fallin are due to Republican misbehavior or Republican legislators vacating their sworn obligation to their constituents.

The Republican-Super-Majority continues to waste taxpayer’s money as the state struggles with a budget crisis and state services experience more funding cuts. The complete disregard and lack of responsibility to fulfill one’s sworn commitment to their districts is appalling. Legislators that have stepped down due to misconduct or vacating their sworn responsibilities to their constituents should pay back the cost of each special election and stop wasting taxpayers money.

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For more information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party, visit the party website at okdemocrats.org, or call party headquarters at 405-427-3366.

06 Jun
0

RELEASE: DNC Reacts to DeVos’ Testimony

DNC Reacts to DeVos’ Testimony

DNC Deputy Communications Director Adrienne Watson released the following statement on Secretary Betsy DeVos’ testimony on Donald Trump’s education budget before the Senate Appropriations Committee:

“Trump and DeVos – two people who never in their lives attended a public school – want $9.2 billion in devastating cuts to the Department of Education.

“Trump and DeVos’s proposal will decimate crucial initiatives like loan forgiveness programs for low-income students, funding for after school-programs, teacher training, and arts programs. They’ve shown a contempt for public education and an apparent unwillingness to protect our students from discriminatory policies or predatory for-profit-colleges that cheat families and break the law. Our students, parents and teachers deserve so much more – beginning with a Secretary of Education and President who are committed to public education.”

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