Capitol sources say there has been an agreement reached to double the gross production tax on horizontal wells, increasing it from 1% to 2%.
The Governor, Speaker, and President Pro-Tempore are expected to announce this key accord in the coming days.
This move is expected to double the amount of revenue the state takes in from gross production taxes on horizontal wells. No agreement has yet been reached on how the state will spend the increased tax revenue.
Further details are not known at this time, but we will post as soon as we have reliable information.
Republican Senate candidate T.W. Shannon announced today that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has endorsed his campaign.
Cruz will join Sarah Palin and Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, for a Liberty Rally next Thursday, April 24 in Tulsa. The endorsement is Cruz’s first endorsement in an open seat in the 2014 cycle.
“T.W. Shannon is a strong Constitutional conservative who will fight for individual liberty and help turn our country around,” Cruz said. “T.W. embodies the American dream. I’m proud to offer T.W. my enthusiastic endorsement because not only will he vote the right way, but he’ll stand up and fight with us in the Senate to stop President Obama’s assault on our liberties and defend America’s founding principles.”
“One of the things I keep hearing as I travel the state is that my fellow Oklahomans feel like their personal freedoms are under assault,” said Shannon. “Whether it’s the government mandating health insurance we don’t want, or invading our privacy, or forcing people to violate their conscience by providing abortion drugs—Oklahomans now fear their own government is taking away their liberty.
“But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thomas Jefferson said when the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. If conservatives here in Oklahoma and across America will unite, we can protect our God-given liberty, and take back this country.
“We need to send a message to Washington, D.C., and make our voices heard. I hope my fellow patriots from here in Tulsa and all across the state will join me with Gov. Palin, Sen. Cruz and Sen. Lee as we rally for Liberty here in the heartland.”
The Liberty Rally featuring Palin, Cruz and Lee will take place Thursday, April 24 at 6:00pm at the Green Country Event Center located at 12000 E. 31st St. in Tulsa. The rally is free and open to the public.
Senate Communications Division
A measure that would codify in state law a parent’s fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their minor children unanimously passed out of the Senate on Tuesday.
House Bill 1384, by state Rep. Sally Kern, would create the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” and would reaffirm that the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.
“The Bible says that children are a gift from God, and it is the Legislature’s job to ensure that the protection and best interest of children always remains in the hands of parents to whom children are entrusted,” said Kern, R-Oklahoma City. “I am thankful that the Senate agrees with the House on this. I look forward to House Bill 1384 returning to the House so that it can then be sent on to the governor.”
According to Kern, House Bill 1384 affirms into law a right that has been traditionally understood and protected as fundamental. It ensures that the decisions related to the best interest of a child in areas like education and health care are left with the people who best know and understand the child: their parents.
While, the measure provides general protection for all parental rights, a number of specific rights are enumerated. For example, the measure prohibits medical personnel from providing any prescription drug to or performing any surgical procedures on minor children without prior consent from a parent or legal guardian, unless a physician has determined that the child’s life is in danger and reasonably diligent effort has been made to contact the parent.
The bill also protects the parent in the area of education. For example, the parent has the right to consent in writing before a biometric scan is made of a minor child. Likewise, parents have the right to opt out of any data collection instrument at the district level, except what is necessary for establishing a student’s public school record.
House Bill 1384 passed out of the Senate by a vote of 43-0 and now returns to the House for consideration of Senate amendments.
Governor Mary Fallin today issued the following statement regarding her opposition to President Obama’s plan to increase the national minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour. Fallin released the statement after signing Senate Bill 1023, a bill that ensures municipalities in Oklahoma cannot mandate a minimum wage higher than the national rate.
“President Obama and the Democratic Party are advocating for an increase in the minimum wage from $7.75 to $10.10. They believe that on this issue, like on so many others, the government can just mandate prosperity and growth with no consideration of economic reality. Now they are taking that fight to Oklahoma, urging their liberal allies to push for mandatory wage increases.
“President Obama and his Oklahoma surrogates say they want to raise the minimum wage to reduce poverty. They are ignoring the fact that most minimum wage workers are young, single people working part time or entry level jobs. Many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle class families.
“Mandating an increase in the minimum wage would require businesses to fire many of these part time workers. In fact, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates a minimum wage hike would result in half a million jobs being lost. A mandated wage hike would create a hardship for small business owners, stifle job creation and increase costs for consumers. It would do all of these things without even addressing the goal of reducing poverty.
“Oklahoma doesn’t need the Obama Administration’s advice on how to build a strong economy. We have a 5 percent unemployment rate and, since 2011, the third highest per capita personal income increase in the nation. We are focused on continuing to successfully create and retain jobs that pay above the minimum wage.”
Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas has raised more money for her 5th District congressional campaign than all her opponents combined, Federal Election Commission records show today.
Here are the totals, the first number being total receipts, the second being cash on hand:
Patrice Douglas — $404,537.29 / $375,526.92
Clark Jolley — $177,905 / $168,623.80
Steve Russell — $106,953.31 / $92,011.27
Harvey Sparks — $17,891.09 / $11,421.43
Mike Turner put more than $500,000 of his own money into his race.
The FEC does not yet show a report from Shane Jett.
Summaries for the Senate candidates should be available later this week.
“Janet Barresi cannot seem to get her story straight, and now she can’t even decide what name she wants to go by on the primary ballot,” said Republican challenger Joy Hofmeister.
“There’s little question that she’s trying to trick the voters. Not only is Janet Barresi trying to trick them about her position on Common Core, but she’s also trying to trick the voters about her name.
“In an attempt to fool Oklahoma voters, Janet Barresi has, for the first time, decided to list her maiden name on the June 24 primary ballot.
“In fact, since 2009 her campaign has filed official quarterly reports without ever using her maiden name, Costello.”
“As a result of the name game, ‘Janet Castello Barresi’ will be listed on the primary ballot. This is nothing but an old political ploy to trick voters into thinking someone else is on the ballot,” Hofmeister said.
“My campaign originally thought to challenge this but decided not to clog the Oklahoma Election Board’s docket with her shenanigans,” Hofmeister said.
“We have to give her credit. She clearly understands that she is so unpopular and so controversial, that even Ms. Barresi knows she needs a new brand. We know Oklahoma needs a brand new State School Superintendent, one who doesn’t try to fool parents and teachers and now even voters,” Hofmeister said.
“Clearly, this game is as an admission that even Barresi knows she is her own worst enemy as the June primary approaches.
Our guess is that Janet Barresi is using her maiden name to confuse Oklahomans and glean votes from incumbent Mark Costello, our popular State Labor Commissioner.”
Apr 16 2014 | Posted in Politics
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M. Scott Carter
The Journal Record
A state group organized to help fund the U.S. Senate campaign of former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, did not report its campaign expenditures in compliance with Federal Election Commission requirements, an Oklahoma City attorney claims.
In a March 31 letter to Oklahoma City television stations and to Cox Communications, former Secretary of State Glenn Coffee said the group, Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, did not report its expenditures in compliance with federal election law, nor did it pay for television commercials and mail pieces properly.
Coffee, now a private attorney, is affiliated with Shannon’s opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford. Both Shannon and Lankford are seeking to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, who is retiring from office at the end of this congressional term.
In his letter, Coffee charged that the group was registered as a for-profit corporation from Feb. 5 to March 24.
“During this period of time, the OCF filed three Independent Expenditure Reports with the FEC and spent a total of $395,177 in television and mail advertising in support of T.W. Shannon,” wrote Coffee, former president pro tempore of the Oklahoma Senate. “On March 24, the OCF re-registered with the Oklahoma Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation.”
On Monday, Coffee confirmed the letter.
“They were a for-profit corporation from their initial filing until March 21,” he said. “The position that I was taking with the television stations was that these donors need to be disclosed. It appears that the group’s only activity is political activity.”
Because of that for-profit listing, Coffee said, the OCF must disclose the donors and contributors for the independent expenditures. Coffee also questioned whether the group had engaged in activities to promote social welfare after it registered as a nonprofit organization.
“As of today’s date, the OCF has not filed a single document that reflects a contributor or donor for its independent expenditures,” Coffee wrote.
Documents filed with the Oklahoma secretary of state’s office show that the group was created by Xavier Neira, a vice president of Manhattan Construction Co., and Chad Alexander, a lobbyist and political consultant. Those same documents show that the group incorporated as a for-profit organization, but changed its status to nonprofit on March 24.
Telephone calls to Neira’s office were not returned.
Lee Slater, executive director of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, said no Oklahoma law would apply to the issue. Federal campaign disclosure documents show that the group last purchased television advertising in the metro area on March 19.
Coffee also wrote that because the OCF was not a tax-exempt organization when it initially received contributions to make political expenditures, it owes corporate taxes on the $395,177 it spent on advertising on Shannon’s behalf.
An official in the Federal Election Commission’s media information office declined to comment on the issue, saying they were not allowed to speak on behalf of the commission.
However, at least one organization said the group could be forced to disclose its contributors. In a post on the Sunlight Foundation website, analyst Peter Olsen-Phillips wrote that the OCF would be a political committee under federal law.
“Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center tells Sunlight in an email that avoiding political disclosure is not as simple as registering a for-profit corporation,” Olsen-Phillips wrote. “Regardless of the corporate form or tax status this group chooses, the federal law definition of ‘political committee’ applies the same way – (1) has the group made expenditures and-or received contributions exceeding $1,000 in a calendar year? And (2) does it have as its major purpose influencing federal elections? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then Oklahomans for a Conservative Future Inc. is a ‘political committee’ under federal law and must register with the FEC and disclose its contributors.”
5th District congressional candidate Steve Russell said today he’s raised $105,000 for his campaign.
The former state senator said all his contributions came from individuals.
Russell’s report to the Federal Election Commission shows he still has much of the sum he’s raised on hand.