[Oklahoma City, OK, November 16, 2015] The following is a statement provided by the Oklahoma Democratic Party in honor of the 108th anniversary of Oklahoma Statehood:
On this day in 1907 leaders rejoiced in the victory to stand with 45 other states as a stronger and more perfect Union. Indian and Oklahoma Territories fought for more than two years to make it possible for the people of Oklahoma to come together to form a state constitution and state government all our own.
Despite the substantial populations within the Indian Territories, Congress insisted that Oklahoma be admitted as a single state. Today, we see the impact that had on establishing Oklahoma as a truly Native state – embracing our Native American brothers and sisters.
Oklahoma Democrats continue to make efforts to include all Oklahomans in our state government and make bold progressive moves to bring Oklahoma into the 21st century. This is what we believe was the vision of those present at the Joint Statehood Convention in 1905 and ultimately the voters in 1907.
Happy 108th birthday Oklahoma and may we never cease to move forward.
[Oklahoma City, OK, November 16, 2015] The following is the statement provided by Oklahoma Democratic Party chair, Mark Hammons, during a press conference and “Welcome to the Party” ceremony today at the Capitol in honor of opening Oklahoma’s Democratic Primaries to voters registered as Independent:
“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.
“As we celebrate the ideas and participation of a quarter of a million new voters in the Democratic primaries, let me thank the many leaders and visionaries who made today’s historic action become a reality. This is not one person’s accomplishment, but the achievement of a political party that is dedicated to growth and evolution.
“From former governors and gubernatorial nominees to our legislative leaders who supported reaching out to these disenfranchised Oklahomans. Seventy percent of Oklahoma’s convention delegates voted to approve this action. The Democratic Party’s Central Committee gave its unanimous support. And so tomorrow, a quarter of a million Oklahomans now are part of the Democratic Party’s process for selecting the best candidates to shape the future of our State and our country.
“To all Independent voters in Oklahoma, we welcome you.”
[Oklahoma City, OK, November 12, 2015] The following is the statement provided by Oklahoma Democratic Party chair, Mark Hammons, on pending open records requests, suggested changes to Ethics Rules, and an ethics complaint regarding Governor Fallin’s possible violations:
“Last week it was disclosed that Governor Fallin had interfered in a medical board investigation. Rather than providing evidence of when and why she took that action, Governor Fallin arrogantly assumed she could simply say that there were no bad intentions and the matter would end.
“They duty of the Governor is to set an example, but this Governor’s example has been to operate behind closed doors and ignore accountability.
“For a year and a half, the Governor has a stonewalled her duty to comply with the Oklahoma Open Records Act.
“In June, Governor Fallin, using funds that she still has not disclosed, abandoned her responsibilities to Oklahoma, to take a Paris junket. We asked for the records of what money she received, who paid her husband’s expenses and where the money went. She has refused to answer.
“Following that, Governor Fallin violated the law to move her daughter’s mobile home onto the taxpayer’s mansion. She not only violated use restrictions, she took taxpayer money to pay for the living costs. Any other citizen would pay a fine – has the Governor?
“Any other citizen would have to repay the cost of siphoned water, electric, and utilities. Has the Governor done that? Our citizens need answers and need to know that Governor Fallin is not above the law.
“Last week, Oklahoma learned that Governor Fallin pulled strings for a political ally and did so behind closed doors.
“This week, the entire nation was told that Oklahoma’s grad on ethics and openness was an “F.” Governor Fallin’s response has been silence.
“This Monday, Governor Fallin was sued by a citizen’s organization for refusing to comply with Open Records. That violation is itself potentially criminal. Again, no explanation, only arrogant silence.
“It is apparent that there will be no voluntary accounting from this Governor. She will act only if the law compels it and the public demands it. So today we are filing an ethics complaint and asking for a full investigation of these violations. And, if we must, we are willing to go further and seek a grand jury investigation.
“But we are also appealing to a more powerful group. One that can investigate. One that can inform. A group that the public regards as more honest and influential than any of the three branches of governments. That group is you, the members of the press, the Fourth Estate. I am asking you not to take the word of the Democratic Party, nor should you take the word of the Governor. I am asking you to do what a free press has historically done so well. Conduct an independent investigation, report to the citizens and be this State’s guardian of truth and honesty.”