02 Jun

RELEASE: Tom Perez: Our Economy is at Risk Because of Trump

Tom Perez: Our Economy is at Risk Because of Trump

After the U.S. Department of Labor released the latest jobs and unemployment numbers, DNC Chair and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez issued the following statement:

“Our economy works best when we promote policies that lift workers up and level the playing field – that’s why we saw our economy grow at record levels under President Obama. But today the dangerous policies of President Trump and congressional Republicans are putting the very foundation of our economy at risk. They want to take away health care from millions of people, strip worker training programs as part of their budget, and cede job creation by joining Nicaragua and Syria in pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. These actions not only provide uncertainty and threaten our economy, but they hurt the very people Democrats are fighting for: working families. We will continue to fight like hell to create good jobs, raise wages, offer true paid leave, and upskill our workforce in order to ensure economic opportunity for all. This is what Democrats stand for and we won’t back down.”


01 Jun

Tom Perez on LGBTQ Pride Month

Tom Perez on LGBTQ Pride Month

In celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month 2017, DNC Chair Tom Perez released this statement:

“From Stonewall to the Supreme Court, our nation has made great strides in LGBTQ rights. LGBTQ Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate that progress, to appreciate the cultural achievements of LGBTQ Americans, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for global LGBTQ equality.

“Under the leadership of Barack Obama, America has advanced LGBTQ rights in ways unthinkable just a few years ago. This month, we celebrate the second anniversary of nationwide marriage equality. We ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and guaranteed transgender veterans the care they earned serving our nation. Today, hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds must extend visitation rights to LGBTQ patients. Across the country, violence against LGBTQ individuals can be prosecuted as federal hate crimes. These were hard-fought victories, but there is still much progress to be made.

“From bathrooms to boardrooms, too many LGBTQ Americans are denied the full equality they deserve. In some states, conservative lawmakers continue to advance legislation intended to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Despite their promises, the Trump administration is hell-bent on rolling back progress, starting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to end protections for transgender students. Democrats will fight those these efforts to erode the rights of LGBTQ people and continue to push for LGBTQ equality at home and abroad.

“Internationally, equality is also a long way away. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, people in 72 countries can still be prosecuted for who they love. That is unacceptable. President Trump must use the full influence of the United States to pressure our neighbors to recognize the rights of LGBTQ people.

“However, there also are many reasons to be hopeful this Pride Month. Last Wednesday, Taiwan’s constitutional court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, paving the way for Taiwan to become the first Asian country to legalize gay marriage. Hopefully, Taiwan’s landmark court decision is the beginning of LGBTQ equality across Asia.

“This month, we must redouble our efforts to fight for the rights of our LGBTQ family, friends, and neighbors around the world, especially those under threat from their own governments.”

29 May

DNC Chair, Tom Perez on Memorial Day

Tom Perez on Memorial Day

As Americans gather across the nation to commemorate Memorial Day, we remember all of the brave men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Our nation is forever indebted to these fallen heroes, and their sacrifice is inscribed in our national memory.

But remembrance is not enough. We must honor the sacrifices of the fallen by working to ensure that every living veteran receives the best possible care from the country they served. Those who answer our nation’s call to service represent the absolute best of America. Each and every day, our servicemembers carry out their missions with the highest level of courage and commitment. They risk their lives to defend us. And when they come home, it is our duty to defend them.

We are grateful to the families of these fallen heroes and to all those who have served in our armed forces. Let us continue to be inspired by their courage and recommit ourselves to the values they died protecting: freedom, equality, justice, and opportunity for all.

26 May

RELEASE: ODP – Repulsive Racism and Sexism Alive in the State House of Representatives

For Immediate Release
May 26, 2017

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party

Repulsive Racism and Sexism Alive in the State House of Representatives

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party emphatically denounces the actions and behavior of House Republicans, during this morning’s session, to silence a well-respected Representative.

Representative Regina Goodwin, the only African American woman in the House, was confronted with disrespectful behavior by Republicans to disrupt her from speaking on the floor today, demonstrating continuous racism and sexism that has plagued the House during the 2017 session.

The Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair, Anna Langthorn, stated, “Our lawmakers are role models for our citizens. The ill-mannered, sexist and racist behavior of House Republicans demonstrated today is unacceptable. Racist and sexist behavior has no business in our legislation, and House Republicans must issue an apology to Representative Goodwin.”

The State is facing a budget crisis with a near $900 million budget hole and pressure to balance the budget by the end of today and avoid calling a special session. Oddly, as House members gathered for further debate this morning, the usual live feed was down and unavailable for constituents to watch the process on the floor.


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

26 May

RELEASE: Democratic Caucus House Media Director, Mike Ray, Resigns

Okla. House of Representatives: Dysfunction Junction

OKLAHOMA CITY (26 May 2017) – Today I announced my resignation from the Oklahoma House of Representatives after 19 years of service at the State Capitol.

The timing could not have been more appropriate.

On two separate occasions today, during House consideration of Senate Bill 860, the Fiscal Year 2018 General Appropriations Bill, Rep. Regina T. Goodwin, D-Tulsa, stood to ask questions about the measure. Both times, as Ms. Goodwin started to speak, an unidentified Republican Representative shouted “debate!”

That was demonstrably rude.

Similarly, about three years ago former Rep. Mike Shelton, D-OKC, arrived late at the Capitol for a daily floor session; he had been on a business trip and had just arrived at the Capitol from Will Rogers Airport. Mr. Shelton was wearing dress slacks, dress shoes, a dress shirt, a bow tie, and a clean, bright yellow sweater rather than a suit jacket.

An ill-mannered Republican former Representative lodged a complaint with the House presiding officer, arguing that Representative Shelton was dressed improperly. Fortunately, the complaint was dismissed, but not before Representative Shelton had been publicly embarrassed.

Also this morning, Rep. Johnny Tadlock, D-Idabel, made a motion that he wanted the House Journal to reflect that he tried unsuccessfully to be recognized by the presiding officer so that he could ask one or more questions about the budget bill. However, the presiding officer, Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, denied Representative Tadlock’s request.

House Democrats challenged the ruling, which was referred to a House floor vote; to no one’s surprise, Martin’s ruling against Tadlock was upheld on a 32-47 vote. The 26 House Democrats were supported by six Republicans, while every vote in support of the presiding officer’s ruling was cast by a Republican.

In the 19 years I have worked for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, NOT ONE TIME – until today – had a Representative’s motion to include a statement in the House Journal EVER been denied. NOT ONCE. If you doubt me, look it up yourself. Be my guest.

Representative Martin said the decision whether to incorporate a Representative’s statement in the Journal is the presiding officer’s prerogative, not a member’s right.

Two weeks ago I circulated to all House members (Republicans and Democrats alike) and all staffers an email about dire warnings that home care providers were mailing to their clients in re the ADvantage waiver program, urging them to apply pressure on their legislators. In my email message I included some advice I received from a House staff division director about this matter.

Within minutes I received a ‘phone call from a House official, advising me that a Republican Representative had complained because the House division director I quoted was “helping the Democrats.”

These five incidents illustrate a principal reason why I am retiring from the legislative staff.

Twelve-year term limits has been a two-edged sword. On a positive note, it has resulted in a regular infusion of fresh ideas from new lawmakers. On the flip side, though, the House of Representatives is now afflicted with a distinct lack of civility and collegiality.

Partisan politics has poisoned the House. The Oklahoma Capitol has become “Dysfunction Junction”.

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