Blog

04 Oct
0

Candidate Hides Criminal Activity

For Immediate Release
October 4, 2012
Contact: Trav Robertson

 

BOBBY CLEVELAND HIDES CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
FELON CANDIDATE PROCLAIMS TO REGISTER VOTERS

 

Oklahoma City – In a recent news article Republican candidate Bobby Cleveland was quoted as saying “I registered close to 100 people” to vote. “Did he register the same person 100 times?” asked Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins.

According to prosecutor’s records, Bobby Cleveland has admitted to committing a felony by illegally voting twice in a special election. According to records, he voted once by mailing a ballot in by absentee and then showed up to the polls and voted in person.

Chairman Collins stated, “How can we trust Bobby Cleveland to tell the truth when he was already caught red-handed at the ballot box?”

It is considered a felony to vote twice in Oklahoma. If he committed a felony, is he eligible to run for the legislature? Cleveland is the Republican candidate for Oklahoma State House District 20.

“This continues a pattern of bad behavior with the Oklahoma Republican Party and hiding criminal activity,” said Chairman Collins.

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03 Oct
0

Rep. Morrissette Has Huge Problem with A to F School Grading Idea

State of Oklahoma

House of Representatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rep. Richard Morrissette, District 92

(405) 557-7404

 

Rep. Morrissette Has Huge Problem with A to F School Grading Idea

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Richard Morrissette said today there are major problems with the A-F Grading system for public schools rolled out by the Oklahoma Department of Education and that the issues need to be corrected before the grading system causes serious damage to the public education system.

“The political leadership in both parties knows there is a huge problem with the roll out of state school ratings, and it’s time for the governor and legislative leadership to intervene in this bizarre process before irreparable damage is done,” said Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City.

The veteran Oklahoma City lawmaker says Republican leaders need to be speaking publicly about the problems relating to State Superintendent Janet Barresi’s roll out of the state’s new school grading system.

“In recent days, I’ve seen a great deal of concern expressed in news stories and editorials about the questionable and partisan manner in which the implementation of the grading system is being conducted,” said Morrissette. “My Republican friends have the same reservations, but too few are speaking out. It’s time for the legislative leadership to express publicly what they are saying privately about the questionable manner in which the process is being conducted.”

According to news reports, the state department’s preliminary grade calculations have been vague and error-filled, while the inadequate staff at the department has been slow to provide supporting data and clarifications. A ‘tool-kit’ sent to schools to provide guidelines and ‘scoring’ information was a failure, and communication between schools and the state department of education is worsening.

Rep. Morrissette says one aspect of the roll out is especially objectionable: the secretive manner in which the scoring roll out is being prepared. “The ineptitude is one thing, but the lack of transparency is something that should give pause to any Oklahoman, regardless of party affiliation. I hope Republicans will join me in demanding complete transparency in this most important effort.”

“I believe that every legislator wants to make Oklahoma’s education system the finest in the nation. But a vindictive roll out designed to place public education in a bad light could harm our state’s economic development efforts and make our military bases more vulnerable in any upcoming BRAC hearings.  Now is not the time to look the other way just to maintain the appearance of Republican unity,” the Representative says.

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02 Oct
0

Lawmakers Support Education Best Practices, not Hollywood Hype

State of Oklahoma

House of Representatives

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

October 2, 2012

 

Rep. Ed Cannaday                                            Rep. Curtis McDaniel

State Capitol Building Rm. 539-B                                   State Capitol Building Rm. 316

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73105                                  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73105

Contact: Valorie Owens

405-962-7604

                             

Lawmakers Support Education Best Practices, not Hollywood Hype

 

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 2, 2012) Today lawmakers expressed dismay over Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi’s endorsement of a “parent trigger” law, a policy idea that is based more on ideology than empirical data and which has recently received a lot of Hollywood hype in the new film “Won’t Back Down.”

 

Trigger laws, such as the one proposed by Senator David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, for the coming 2013 legislative session, provides that if 51 percent of parents whose children attend a failing school sign a petition, they can radically transform the school using any of a set of “triggers.” Parents can petition to: fire the principal; fire half of the teachers; close the school and let parents find another option; or convert the school into a charter school, which are privately managed, taxpayer-funded public schools that are granted greater autonomy from regulations applicable to other public schools.

 

“I am disheartened by Superintendent Barresi’s response, but not surprised, as she has consistently sought to perpetuate myths about public education and undermine parents’ confidence in our public school teachers,” said Rep. Ed Cannaday, D-Porum. “I am beyond frustrated that she undercuts funding for public schools, seeks to grade these schools using questionable standards, then defines many of them as irretrievably broken and pushes for conversion to charter schools.”

 

The first parent trigger law was enacted in California in 2010, and is now on the books in six other states — Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas.

 

To date, there have been only two attempts, both in southern California, to pull the parent trigger. One never made it to the approval process, and the other, which served as the premise of the “Won’t Back Down” film, was tied up in the court until recently as many parents, feeling deceived by the for-profit charter-backed organizers who came in to gather petitions, sued to have their signatures withdrawn from the petition. The California Superior Court judge decreed that parents who have signed a parent trigger petition do not have the right to change their minds and may not rescind their signatures. The future of this school remains unknown, as charter operators are now eligible to bid for the school, but parents are divided on the best course of action to take at this time.

 

“I think that this is yet another attempt to undermine and demoralize the reform efforts taking place in our public schools right now,” said Rep. Curtis McDaniel, D-Smithville. “We have report cards on school districts going out to parents next week, and the grades are skewed so you have to score a 93.7 to earn an A. I have serious concerns that the underlying goals of all of these actions is to convince parents that public schools are failing our kids and that they need to seize control of these schools then hand them over to privately-managed charter schools.”

 

Rep. McDaniel noted that since Supt. Barresi took office she has focused her efforts not on supporting public schools but on expanding the footprint of charter and virtual schools across the state.

 

“There is no evidence that overall charter schools perform better than public schools,” said Rep. McDaniel.

 

A study conducted at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution presents evidence that students in only 17 percent of charter schools show greater improvement in math and reading than students in similar traditional public schools, whereas 37 percent deliver learning results that are significantly worse than the student would have realized had they remained in public schools.

 

“I think in our Oklahoma public schools we have some of the best teachers in the nation who not only strive to teach children the fundamentals, but also try to assist on out-of-school factors that have an impact on student performance,” said Rep. Cannaday. “Our schools offer many wraparound services, such as meal programs, tutoring, counseling and after-school programs, and they are constantly being asked to do more while being provided less and less. We need to support our public schools and teachers, now more than ever.”

 

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02 Oct
0

House Studies Veteran Care

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Media Division

October 2, 2012

 

NOTE: HD video clips of the study are currently available at  ftp://www.okhouse.tv/. User name/Password: okhouse / tvbroadcast. Folder Name: VeteranCare

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

State Rep. Richard Morrissette

Contact: Jacklyn Brink-Rosen

Phone: (405) 250-6263

State Rep. Joe Dorman

Phone: (405) 833-1117

House Studies Veteran Care

 OKLAHOMA CITY – Cases of abuse and neglect at Oklahoma’s seven long-term care veteran centers may be the result of poor policy at the administrative level and poor pay and lack of training among those who work in entry-level positions, according to testimony received today by the Oklahoma House of Representatives Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

State Reps. Richard Morrissette and Joe Dorman requested a study of the quality of care and process of accountability at the centers after a Journal Record story chronicled cases of unreported abuse and neglect.

“Although those officials we talked with today framed these cases as isolated, I suspect a more prevalent problem,” said Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City. “I do not like it when I see victims saying there is a widespread problem and officials taking the opposite position. I think we need leaders who push and encourage an atmosphere of prompt service and accountability. It starts with leaders and we also need to do what we can as lawmakers to ensure the proper accountability is in place.”

“Veterans have made great sacrifices on our behalf and we have an obligation to provide them with a high quality of life in these homes,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs. “It doesn’t matter if the problem is widespread or isolated, it is obvious that the current system needs an overhaul and it is up to lawmakers to change the system”

Norman Veteran Center resident Mike Simmons and advocates Susan Simmons and Mike Callahan gave testimony regarding the cover-up of abuse at the Norman and Claremore centers. Administrators from the Sulphur, Lawton and Talihina centers spoke about the complaint and response process at their individual centers and the policies they are hoping to institute to address failures in the complaint process.

Certified nurses’ aides were frequently mentioned as the entry-level position against whom complaints are made. These employees make approximately $11 per hour and typically earn their license in a two-to-three-month time period.

“We need to find ways to improve the pay scale on these jobs so we can get the best qualified employees hired to care for these veterans,” said Dorman.  “We also must look at better ways to provide oversight, such as creating new written reviews on the centers and making them available for the public to see how a center measures up to private nursing homes.”

“We heard about the need for proper pay and advancement opportunities to recruit top-level professionals and we also discussed training, screening and whether there is a need for a more transparent system, through the use of cameras or other recording devices. For those policies in the implementation stage at individual centers, perhaps those could be passed on to all seven centers,” said Morrissette. “It’s a multi-faceted problem.”

 

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01 Oct
0

John Olson Stands Up to Koch Brothers!

In a continuation of highlighting our candidates for Congress, we want to tell you about our 1st Congressional District candidate, John Olson.

Our nominee in the 1st District is John Olson. John is a 15-year Army veteran, including service in Afghanistan, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. John is a small-business owner, husband and father of six kids. He is also one of 7 candidates across the country who have been endorsed by the Young Democrats of America as a “Young Leader” who has shown commitment to youth issues.

Help John by making a donation of $5, $10, or $50 today!

John has been campaigning for almost a year, talking about making our tax code truly fair, investing infrastructure, energy and education, and preserving the promise of Social Security and Medicare.

John’s Tea Party opponent upset incumbent John Sullivan in a nasty primary. Jim Bridenstine is a radical, who is way outside the mainstream–he wants to impose a 30% Federal sales tax on everything we buy, and prohibit Social Security and Medicare unless you’ve exhausted your family’s savings. His extremist views are even alienating members of his own party!

Olson recently raised over $10,000 in a “Koch Brothers Challenge” which was a response to Bridenstine receiving $5,000 from the Billionaire Koch Brothers who are trying to buy elections in November. Over 150 people helped John stand up to the Koch brothers with their donations.

Donate $10 today and join over 150 people people who helped John stand up to the Koch brothers!

Help John stand up to the extremist views of his Tea Party opponent.

Democratically,

Wallace Signature

Wallace Collins, Chair