Blog

18 Mar
0

Mary Fallin’s Non-Transparency on Health Care

March 18, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Trav Robertson
P: 405.427.3366

MARY FALLIN’S NON-TRANSPARENCY ON HEALTH CARE
Fallin Claims Illegal Executive Privilege to Block Release of Health Care Records

Oklahoma City – Gov. Mary Fallin is using illegal and unheard-of tactics to cover up the release of 31 records related to her decision to reject Medicaid expansion and not create a state health-care exchange under the Affordable Care Act, according to Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Wallace Collins.

 

“The public has a right to know why this Governor chose to not help those who need health insurance and accept Oklahomans’ money back from the federal government. Fallin claims to be open and transparent but she hides from and denies Freedom of Information requests,” said Collins.

 

Fallin has claimed executive privilege to stop the records from being released, resulting in a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Associated Press, and the website The Lost Ogle. Legal experts have pointed out that executive privilege is not anywhere in the state’s Open Records Act, the state constitution, or in Oklahoma case law. She is now claiming that she will release the records only after she leaves office, which no previous Governor has ever done.

 

Said Collins, “It’s unfortunate enough that reporters and the ACLU have to go to court to force what Fallin should be doing anyways. What’s even worse is that she is using a legal assertion that doesn’t exist and an unprecedented maneuver to cover up the records. Again, what is she hiding? Is it that she does not want us to see how she cares more about pleasing partisans from her own party than the best interests of Oklahomans?”

 

A recent study by the American Mental Health Counselors Association revealed that more than 113,000 Oklahomans with serious mental health and substance use conditions are left without health care coverage because of Fallin’s rejection of the Medicaid dollars. “These people certainly have a right to see her records explaining why she failed them and continues to place politics over people,” Collins said.

 

Concluded Collins, “These health care records are just another case of how far this Governor will go to keep Oklahomans in the dark, and why we need someone in the Governor’s Office who will bring openness back to state government.”

 

Continuing its week-long look into Fallin’s two-time Black Hole “Award”-winning record on her failure to allow access to records, the Oklahoma Democratic Party will look at how Fallin has obstructed the documents request by Take Shelter Oklahoma regarding school storm shelters.
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27 Feb
0

Clara Luper Civil Rights Leader

During the month of February we honor Black History and we want to highlight one important member of the civil rights movement from Oklahoma, Clara Luper. She was one of the first people to conduct sit-ins in order to receive fair service and equal treatment from a business. We continue to recognize that all people must be treated equal in our society. As the national media looks at Arizona where a bill has been passed allowing businesses to deny services to any person based on the religious beliefs of the business owner. History shows us what happens when we refuse to treat all humans as being created equal.

Today we honor Clara Luper who in a 1998 interview discussing the Katz Drug Store sit-ins: “I knew I was right, because somewhere I read in the 14th Amendment, that I was a citizen and I had rights, and I had the right to eat. Within that hamburger was the whole essence of democracy. If you could deny me the right to eat, you could deny me the right to live or work where I want.”

Clara Luper

26 Feb
0

Rep. Joe Dorman Speaks Out Against Common Core

 

February 26, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Nestlen, Joe Dorman for Oklahoma
press@joedorman.com | 405.850.9571

 

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Rep. Dorman Calls Common Core “An Unfunded Nightmare” Forced on OK Schools

Rep. Joe Dorman Speaks Out Against Common Core; Draws Clear Line of Policy Distinction on Issue with Mary Fallin

Oklahoma City, OK –Today, Democratic candidate for Governor, Rep. Joe Dorman, spoke out against the national Common Core education standards created by outside consultants for the National Governors Association (NGA), headed and supported by NGA Chair, Mary Fallin.  Dorman, who voted against the legislation in the Oklahoma legislature when the Common Core standards were adopted for the state’s schools, today called the standards, “an unfunded nightmare which has been thrust upon our students and teachers across the state with no input from them.”

“This initiative is bad for Oklahoma and bad for Oklahoma students. It is being driven by outside interests in our state with no background in the field of education,” said Democratic candidate for Governor, Rep. Joe Dorman“We’ve seen this show before.  The entire country just finished a decade-long experiment in standards-based, test-driven school reform called No Child Left Behind. By any measure, No Child Left Behind was a dismal failure in both raising academic performance and narrowing gaps in opportunity and outcomes. The last thing Oklahoma schools need is another unfunded, national mandate placed on them.”

Dorman argues that as schools struggle with these new mandates, we should defend our students, our schools, and our communities by telling the truth about Common Core.

“This means pushing back against implementation timelines and plans that set schools up to fail, resisting the stakes and priority attached to the tests, and exposing the truth about the commercial and political interests shaping and benefiting from this false panacea for the problems our schools face,” Dorman continued.  “The overall ‘reform package’ pushed by state and national leaders is driven by corporations and special interests with no concern about the individuals students, simply the broad picture of testing results.”

The costs of the tests, which have multiple pieces throughout the year plus the computer platforms needed to administer and score them, will be enormous and will come at the expense of more important things, Dorman charged.

“The plunging scores will be used as an excuse to close more public schools and open more privatized charters and voucher schools, especially in poor communities,” Dorman continued.  “The same heavy-handed, top-down policies that forced adoption of the standards require use of the Common Core tests to evaluate educators. This inaccurate and unreliable practice will distort the assessments before they’re even in place and make Common Core implementation part of the assault on the teaching profession instead of a renewal of it.”

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21 Feb
0

DUNNINGTON TO RUN FOR OKLAHOMA HOUSE DISTRICT 88

For Immediate Release

February 18, 2014

Media Contact:
John McLaughlin
(405) 338-8870
john@reddirtstrategies.com

DUNNINGTON TO RUN FOR OKLAHOMA HOUSE DISTRICT 88

Lifelong Democrat and Common Sense Progressive Seeking House Seat 

Oklahoma City, OK – After being approached by many high-profile Democrats and neighbors to run for Oklahoma House of Representatives District 88, Jason Dunnington chose to declare his intentions to file for the open Oklahoma House seat being vacated by Representative Kay Floyd as she runs for the Oklahoma State Senate.

“Many people I have great respect for – including friends, family and neighbors – suggested I run for the Oklahoma House,” said Dunnington. “With Representative Kay Floyd choosing to run for the Senate, we need a strong leader to step up and continue to champion the important issues that are critical right now, for our children and future generations.”

“Jason Dunnington is a good friend and precisely the kind of leader that the Oklahoma House Democrats and Democrats across the state can be proud of,” stated House Democratic Leader Scott Inman. “Jason understands the importance of a strong public education system and our need for quality jobs. A fellow father, Jason is the type of candidate that will fight to make Oklahoma the kind of place that my children, his children and all Oklahoma children can thrive in.”

Dunnington has a seven year old son, Luca, and five year old daughter, Petra. He teaches sociology at Oklahoma City University and is part owner of a small business based in Oklahoma City. Dunnington is a former pastor as well as Vice President of Business Development at Shelton Investments. He currently attends St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. He attended public schools growing up in Oklahoma and earned his doctorate degree from the University of Oklahoma.

“I was raised in a middle class family of educators here in Oklahoma where I learned hard work, common sense and the importance of taking care of your community and the environment around you,” Dunnington continued. “Far too often, these values are overlooked by our current state legislature. Whether it is fighting for education funding, protecting the arts or defending women’s rights, I will not forget where I come from and who I represent.”

House District 88 encompasses prominent arts and business districts, Oklahoma City University, and many of Oklahoma City’s historic neighborhoods.

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21 Feb
0

Shane Stone Announces Candidacy for State Representative

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Shane Stone
(405) 512-1887

Shane Stone Announces Candidacy for State Representative

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 20, 2014) — Small businessman and local resident Shane Stone today formally announced his candidacy for the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, House District 89. The seat is being vacated by long-time State Representative Rebecca Hamilton, who cannot run again due to term limits.

“Now more than ever, South Oklahoma City needs to continue to have strong representation at the Capitol,” Stone said. “We need someone who understands the families of this district. We need someone representing and fighting for the hard working people here—that means educating our kids, keeping our promises during retirement, ensuring a living wage, and having safe places to work and live. That’s why I am running for the State House.”

Stone is a 4th generation South Sider of Oklahoma City. He is the building superintendent at Dub Stone Construction Company, a family business that has been building homes in South Oklahoma City for over 50 years.

“My grandfather, Dub Stone, started his company here, and I love this area. My family has been working hard to make it great for generations. South Oklahoma City needs a strong voice. We need common sense and fresh ideas to tackle the many tough issues we face. That’s the kind of representative I will be. “

Stone says he is disturbed by the recent trend of political games happening at the Capitol instead of good public policy. He said too often politicians at the State Capitol are not concerned about what is happening to hard working Oklahomans in South Oklahoma City.

“We can’t stand behind the idea that all of the issues we face are ‘city-issues’. We need someone to fight for our fair share of state tax dollars to build up our schools, infrastructure, and keep us safe. Its time to put common interests above special interests.” Stone has attended Oklahoma City Community College and the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and attends St. James the Greater Catholic Church.

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Shane Stone