The McCarville Report
Category archives for: Politics

Roll Call: Lankford’s Cash Advantage

Congressman James Lankford enjoys a huge cash advantage over Senate opponent T. W. Shannon:

World Asks Super Candidates: What Would You Do First?

Andrea Eger
Tulsa World

Candidates for state superintendent laid out their short-term plans and initial policy goals in a Tulsa World questionnaire.

Six of seven candidates responded to questions about a series of hot topics, and their responses will be used in a series of stories leading up to the June 24 primary election.

The candidates were asked to name five things they would endeavor to accomplish during their first 90 days in office and their top three policy goals for common education for the first legislative session after the general election.

Republican challenger Joy Hofmeister of Tulsa said she would work during her first months in office to “build stronger relationships” with stakeholders including parents, educators, and community and business leaders; ensure that all Oklahomans, including legislators who recently repealed Common Core standards, have confidence in new higher academic standards; work with State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones to obtain a performance audit of the State Department of Education; review Oklahoma’s waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act, as well as all contracts, bids, requests for proposals and other legal documents.

As for her first legislative or policy goals, Hofmeister said she would advocate for standardized testing reform and accountability system updates because “we need a reliable, valid, school accountability system and our current A-F school grading system is broken and must be fixed.” She would also like to see some legislation to “decrease costly bureaucracy” to ensure more education funding gets to classrooms.

Republican incumbent Janet Barresi pledged to carry on with five current endeavors — prioritizing reading and math literacy; advocating for “rigorous college and career ready state standards developed by Oklahomans;” support teacher-leader effectiveness efforts; “fight to pay our teachers more out of our existing money;” and work with CareerTech and state colleges to better establish expectations for our public school students.

Her top three legislative goals are to raise base pay for teachers and to establish a performance-based pay system, school choice and “ensuring our students read on grade level.”

Democrat John Cox of Hulbert wants to create “an atmosphere of trust and openness among our administrators, teachers, staff, parents, patrons, and legislators,” improve communication between the state Department of Education and local schools; encourage recruitment and retention of teachers and use teachers and parents in the process of developing new state standards.

He also wants to streamline state testing to just math and reading and move to eliminate the high-stakes nature of state testing plus allow for special education students to be assessed in a way “that is both developmentally appropriate and meaningful.”

His legislative goals are to increased funding for public schools; revise standardized testing requirements for earning a high school diploma to “allow flexibility for students to learn a skill or trade and revamp or eliminate the A-F school report cards.”

Freda Deskin, an Edmond Democrat, promised to “return” the education department “to a service and support agency to meet the needs of the students and schools we serve starting with having staff answer phones,” and review the education budget to determine which monies can be redirected to classrooms.

Two of her plans include reaching out to parents, teachers and other interested stakeholders. One would involve the appointment of a panel that would be asked to make recommendations to address high-stakes testing, while the other would be a survey “to develop a common vision for Oklahoma education.”

As for her legislative goals, Deskin wants to advocate for legislation to “scrap” the controversial A-F school grading system and request federal relief from unnecessary and cumbersome “reforms” and testing; budget pay increases for teachers and funds to reduce class sizes and deregulate schools.

Democrat Jack Herron of Norman said he wants to budget teacher pay increases plus funds to secure the teacher retirement system; work on new Oklahoma curriculum standards based on local needs; build collaboration between public schools and the state’s higher education and CareerTech systems; “change the state Department of Education from a ‘hammer me’ organization back into a ‘help me’ organization” and increase statewide awareness of the importance of valuing education so that students and teachers want to go to school every morning.

His goals during his first legislative session in office include presenting the new budget and curriculum standards mentioned above to the legislature for approval, plus addressing the need for certified math specialists in early childhood education programs and lower elementary school grades.

Democrat Ivan Holmes of Oklahoma City said he would launch a statewide public education campaign about public school finances and how to lobby the Legislature and governor about it; get consensus from superintendents on “how we are going to handle Common Core” standards; set up new testing guidelines for schools; develop a plan to get control of classroom security; and develop a budget plan to raise teacher salaries to “at least the level as surrounding states.”

His legislative goals include advocating for greater local control and the “return” of $200 million from the lottery to public schools; and a repeal of legislative funding to charter schools and requiring that all charter school records be made available to the state superintendent.

Republican Brian Kelly did not provide answers to the Tulsa World questionnaire.

Video: J. C. Watts Defends Shannon

Former Congressman J. C. Watts is featured in a new commercial from the T. W. Shannon campaign:

Greens, Hobby Lobby Continue Legal Battle

The Green family of Hobby Lobby continues its legal battle:

Video: Ad Criticizes Shannon, Touts Lankford

The Foundation for Economic Prosperity released the following television ad attacking T. W. Shannon today to stations.

Trey Richardson of Sagac Public Affairs released the video and this statement to The McCarville Report:

“T.W. Shannon and his friends have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars airing ads attacking James Lankford that have been called ‘over the top’ and ‘deceitful’ to hide Shannon’s votes for higher debt and expanded Medicaid. It is clear that T.W. Shannon can’t stand on his own record so he would rather play in the mud. As Dr. Coburn said, Lankford is ‘a great man of character’ and Oklahomans know that James Lankford is the tested and proven conservative who will stand up for us.”

Richardson is a former fundraiser for Lankford.

Jones Endorses Hiett

Auditor and Inspector and former Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Gary Jones formally endorsed Todd Hiett for Corporation Commissioner today.
Jones was party chairman along with then-Speaker Hiett when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2004.  Todd and Gary have worked tirelessly together on conservative solutions to improve the lives of thousands of Oklahomans.

“I am disappointed Cliff Branan has decided to resort to personal attacks that are simply not true in the Corporation Commission race. Todd Hiett was the first Republican Speaker in the modern era, was instrumental in turning Oklahoma red and ushered through the largest tax cut in state history. It doesn’t take much to put some words in a TV ad to discount your opponent, however, I can tell you from experience Todd Hiett is a champion for everyday Oklahomans and will fight back against the EPA and Barack Obama to keep utility rates low. Cliff Branan supports positions by the Sierra Club, earned a 100% rating from them and has pushed for the closure of coal plants in Oklahoma through legislation he authored. The policies Cliff Branan will bring to the office of Corporation Commissioner will result in large utility rate increases on all Oklahoman’s that we cannot afford. Todd Hiett is a man of high character and I urge fellow conservatives to vote for Todd Hiett.”   

Lankford Assails IRS Claim It Lost Emails

Congressman James Lankford says an IRS claim it “lost” Lois Lerner emails surpasses ”insult.”

“If the Obama Administration ever wonders why American skepticism in the federal government continues to escalate, they need only look at their actions surrounding the IRS scandal. The claim that their computer crashed far surpasses ‘insult.’ It’s very interesting that the IRS has lost critical emails from Ms. Lerner, who is currently held in Contempt of Congress.

“I assure you, as a member of the House Oversight Committee, I do not share this Administration’s sentiment that its leaders are above reproach or beyond investigation. The suspicious and politically convenient loss of Ms. Lerner’s emails by the IRS will only strengthen justice-minded Americans’ resolve to get to the bottom of the IRS targeting of Americans for their political beliefs.

“The latest claim from the IRS reminds me of a previous administration that mysteriously and conveniently lost tapes. This Administration told our nation that it would be the most transparent Administration in history. It is time for them to live up to that claim.”

10 Things To Know About The Primaries

The Tulsa World’s Randy Krehbiel writes there are 10 things voters need to know about the June 24th primary elections:

Fallin Talks Transparency

Governor Fallin talks transparency while legal challenge of withheld emails continues:

Barresi: Hofmeister Contradicts Herself

Janet BarresiBarresi Campaign

When she appears before Republican groups, state superintendent candidate Joy Hofmeister talks like a conservative, but when she communicates with her liberal supporters, she tells a different story. A review of Hofmeister’s public and previously private statements demonstrate she has repeatedly contradicted herself throughout the campaign.

“The true test of a person’s character is how she behaves when she thinks no one is watching,” said Robyn Matthews, manager for the re-election campaign of incumbent State Superintendent Janet Barresi, a conservative Republican. “When Joy Hofmeister thinks no one is paying attention, she endorses liberal policies that directly contradict her campaign rhetoric.”

Common Core

In a recent ad and in campaign speeches, Hofmeister claims to oppose Common Core academic standards. Yet in public appearances on April 15 and May 27 this year, Hofmeister called for mandating use of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills in Oklahoma. Those tests are fully aligned with the Common Core.

On its web site, the Iowa Tests publisher expressly declares, “The Iowa Assessments from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Riverside, the assessment division of HMH, measures student achievement and growth across a continuum of next generation learning standards, including Common Core.”

Research by the Washington Policy Center also notes, “The Director of the Iowa Testing Programs reports that the new Iowa Test of Basic Skills is aligned with the national Common Core learning standards.” The Center recommended the Iowa tests as the “most cost-effective way” to meet Common Core mandates.

(Hofmeister’s endorsement of the Common Core-aligned Iowa tests can be viewed at Information on the Iowa tests can be viewed at and


At a May 10, 2014 candidate forum, Hofmeister told Republican voters she supports tax cuts. But in a July 17, 2012 email to Jenks Superintendent Kirby Lehman, Hofmeister expressed strong opposition to tax cuts.

In that exchange, Lehman declares, “Elimination of the personal income tax in Oklahoma will see the ruination of this state.” Hofmeister responds: “I agree 100%!”

That email can be viewed in its entirety at!hofmeister-against-income-tax-cuts/cpar.

Special-needs scholarships

Hofmeister has also endorsed efforts to gut a scholarship program for students with special needs. When one of her supporters suggested amending state law “to stop the private schools from signing up to accept the Henry scholarship students,” Hofmeister quickly endorsed the idea, responding, “Great idea!” Once that March 22, 2013 email was released to the public, Hofmeister switched gears and suddenly declared she supports the scholarship program.

That email and others like it can be viewed in their entirety at!lnh-emails/c1fym.

“To believe everything Joy Hofmeister says, you have believe that she opposes Common Core standards but also wants to require all Oklahoma children to take Common Core tests, that she supports tax cuts she believes will ruin the state, and that she is supporting a scholarship program for children with special needs by endorsing efforts to gut the program,” Matthews said. “But there’s a simpler explanation: Joy Hofmeister is a liberal who only pretends to be conservative in front of Republican voters. She’s just another politician we can’t trust.”

The ad can be seen at and the video endorsement of Common Core-aligned tests and the May 10, 2014 candidate forum response to income tax cuts can be found at


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