The McCarville Report
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Dan Boren, Susan Paddack Join State Chamber, OIPA In Bid To Unseat Josh Brecheen

Former Congressman Dan Boren and State Senator Susan Paddack have joined the State Chamber of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (OIPA) in a bid to defeat incumbent Senator Josh Brecheen in Senate District 6.

The two were among hosts for a fundraiser for Democrat Joe Hill, a former assistant to Boren. The event was sponsored and promoted by the OIPA.

Brecheen, who upset sitting Democrat J. Paul Gumm to win the seat in his first bid for elective office, joined several other conservative senators in opposing legislation favored by the OIPA.

He also authored the bill that stopped Common Core in its tracks; the State Chamber was an advocate of Common Core.

McCarville: The Thud Heard ‘Round The State


The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce has fired a political shot that has landed with a…thud.

The Chamber’s endorsement of Republican Senator Josh Brecheen’s Democrat opponent has his allies, conservatives and Common Core opponents fired up and speaking out.

When The McCarville Report reported the action earlier today, social media fired up, with the comments anything but kind to the Chamber.

While the Chamber has not yet responded to TMR’s request for elaboration, it appears logical to assume the action comes in part because Brecheen was a leader in stopping Common Core, a program the Chamber has ardently supported, and because he opposed other Chamber initiatives, particularly those associated with the oil and gas iudustry. The Chamber did endorse Rep. Jason Nelson, who with Brecheen authored the measure that stopped Common Core. In outlining the State Chamber’s opposition to Brecheen, president and CEO Fred Morgan did not mention Common Core. (See story above.)

TMR has asked the Chamber’s spokesman for elaboration on the decision not to endorse Brecheen.

National commentators including Glenn Beck, David Bartin (Wallbuilders) and Michelle Malkin (FOX News Contributor) have all commented on the national role he played in the fight against Common Core in which Oklahoma was at the tip of the arrow.  He led the fight in the Senate to stop Common Core in 2014 and as the Senate author of HB 3399 he and Rep. Jason Nelson put forth the first and most thorough safeguard against Common Core in the nation, thereby guarding schools against increased federal control and emboldening other states to follow suit. Oklahoma’s model legislation is currently being emulated.

He has the sixth highest overall conservative rating in the State Senate after four legislative sessions (2011, 2012, 2013 AND 2014).  After four legislative sessions, he earns a 100% rating from the Oklahoma National Federation of Independent Business owners Brecheen also earns a cumulative 90% rating by the Research Institute for Economic Development for his votes since taking office.
Rep. Paul Wesselhoft said the State Chamber earlier endorsed his (Republican) opponent to no avail.

OIPA Pushes Brecheen’s Democrat Opponent

Here’s more insight into the State Chamber of Commerce’s decision to oppose Senator Josh Brecheen: http://www.theredriverchronicle.com/oklahoma-oil-tax/#prettyPhoto



Cox, Hofmeister Face Off In Claremore

Andrea Eger
Tulsa World

CLAREMORE — The candidates for state superintendent squared off on the issues of Common Core standards, standardized testing and teacher pay at a taped debate Tuesday in Claremore.

The event at Rogers State University featuring Republican Joy Hofmeister and Democrat John Cox will be televised by RSU-TV, broadcast channel 35 and Cox cable channel 109 at 8 p.m. Oct. 14. RSU-TV is also carried by area cable and satellite television providers. 

The two will face each other in the Nov. 4 general election.

Both candidates said one of the greatest challenges in state government today is the rewriting of math and reading standards for Oklahoma’s public schools to replace the Common Core standards that were thrown out earlier this year.

Hofmeister said federal intrusion into the Common Core standards adopted by more than 40 other states plus the failure of current State Superintendent Janet Barresi to listen to the early concerns of Oklahoma parents and teachers made moving forward with Common Core impossible.

“I am opposed to Common Core, but Common Core is not the only way,” she said. “We need standards with higher critical thinking and depth of knowledge. We have to make certain we are acting on evidence, that we bring in experts to look at models that are working in other parts of the country. Most importantly, we have to include Oklahomans in this process … It is not going to be an easy mess to climb out of, but we are going to solve this. Oklahomans have the heart and drive and we have the talent right here in Oklahoma. We can get it done but it is going to take a collaborative spirit.”

Hofmeister, of Tulsa, is a Kumon math and reading tutoring center owner and former public school teacher who served on the state Board of Education during State Superintendent Janet Barresi’s term and resigned to challenge Barresi for the position. She won all 77 counties in the Republican primary.

Cox, the longtime superintendent in Peggs, a K-8 district in Cherokee County, said he was excited about the repeal of Common Core standards because he opposed them from the start. He called for bringing together Oklahoma teachers from all grade levels to develop new academic standards for the state

“What this will do is the millions we spend on the implementation for Common Core, we can spend to implement our own new standards,” Cox said. “Teachers know from Point A to Point B what needs to be taught in their classroom. But they want something solid in their hands that they can then go out there and teach.”

Moderator Sam Jones, who hosts a show called “Green Country Perspectives,” challenged the candidates about the role of politics in the rewriting of the academic standards.

“Politics really should not interfere with having really strong high standards to prepare our students. We should act on evidence. We should go back and look at standards that have already produced the outcomes we want for our students,” Hofmeister said.

“We need high standards, assessments that are reliable, comparable and have diagnostic capabilities, and an accountability system that tells us how schools are doing and how they can be improved,” Hofmeister said.

Cox said the crux of the issue is leadership and he made his case for why he is more qualified.

“It is about an educator becoming state superintendent. Use the experts — our teachers throughout the state. It is time we start trusting them again and using them as professionals,” Cox said.

“If you want someone who is an educator and has been one for 29 years and lives it every day and understands what you go through, I am your person. I could step in there today, right now and take over and make a difference for public education.” Cox said.

Both candidates spoke of a common desire to reduce standardized testing and restore public respect and regard for classroom teachers.

When it came to questions about funding, Cox said repeatedly that he would advocate for another $200 million to increase teacher pay up to the regional average of about $35,000.

Hofmeister said, “There is job compensation and there is job satisfaction. We need to have both of those … More than just a paycheck, our teachers want respect and an environment where they can teach.”

She added that the limited dollars the state has to give means there needs to be a tougher look at “overegulation and overtesting” which she said has resulted in greater administrative needs and costs.

She also questioned how schools could be funded at 2008 levels when student enrollment in public schools has grown significantly since then.

Lankford, Johnson Cover Issues

Randy Krehbiel
Tulsa World

STILLWATER — Marriage equality, marijuana and the role of government were the defining issues in Tuesday night’s U.S. Senate debate at Oklahoma State University between Democrat Connie Johnson and Republican James Lankford.

Those may not be the most important issues in the Nov. 4 election to choose a successor to U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, but they were the issues that most clearly marked the differences between Lankford and Johnson.

Reform of drug laws, especially as they apply to marijuana, are a major element of Johnson’s campaign, and she said she “celebrated” Monday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear seven cases overturning same-sex marriage bans in five states, including Oklahoma.

Lankford panned legalized pot, saying he has “seen first-hand the damage done by drugs.” He also repeated his criticism of the Supreme Court regarding it non-action on same-sex marriage.

“The United States Constitution is clear,” he said. “Marriage is left to the states. For 200 years, the Supreme Court has said that it is a state issue.”

Lankford was asked later if he saw any parallels between the current situation and a 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that threw out state laws banning mixed-race marriages.

“I don’t,” he said. “I hear that a lot, but that was still about one male and one female. It corrected something that should never have been. This is a redefinition of what marriage is.”

Johnson put her support of same-sex marriage in a broader context.

“Everybody has a conundrum about the role of government,” she said following the debate. “While we’re denouncing the Supreme Court on marriage equality, we celebrate Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, which allows corporations to put unlimited money into campaigns, and a decision that strikes down half of the Voting Rights Act.

“Government ought to provide the things we can’t do as individuals. … The state should have no business in who people want to be with.”

In somewhat the same vein, Johnson said her advocacy of drug law was about fairness and making cannabis available to those who need it for medical purposes. She did not say she advocated total legalization.

The debate was low-key, but Lankford did get slightly worked up about the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the attention given a single patient with the disease in Dallas.

“We have one person with Ebola in the United States, and he is in isolation,” Lankford said in response to a debate question. “There are 7,500 people in west Africa with Ebola. If something isn’t done, there may be a half-million. It will spread if the United States does not engage in the crisis.”

Other issues covered during the debate included the Islamic State, the use of military drones, campaign finance reform, the Senate’s advice-and-consent duties, health care and immigration.

As he has before, Lankford urged immigration reform on several levels.

“Those who say, ‘Just build a fence’ ” are taking an unrealistic approach to the problem,” he said. The U.S. needs to revamp its work visa programs while making it clear that those who come to this country illegally will be sent home, Lankford said.

Johnson more or less agreed, saying “our policies are in need of repair.”

Independent Mark T. Beard will join Johnson and Lankford on the Nov. 4 ballot. The winner will complete the final two years of Coburn’s current term. An election for the full term will be held in 2016.

Poll: Russell Maintains Double-Digit Lead Over McAffrey


An exclusive News 9 poll shows Republican Steve Russell continues to lead Democrat Al McAffrey in Oklahoma’s 5th District U.S. Representative seat, which includes Oklahoma City.

The latest survey of 423 likely voters in the district shows Russell leading with 49 percent. McAffrey gained seven points since News 9′s September poll, but stills trails with 37 percent. Independents Robert Murphy (2 percent) and Buddy Ray (1 percent) are also on the ballot. Eleven percent of voters are undecided.

Bill Shapard, whose company SoonerPoll.com conducted the poll, said the race is still open wide. He said although Russell, a Republican, has a double-digit lead in a district which favors Republicans and conservatives, there is an interesting situation that could help McAffrey.

Democrat Connie Johnson is running for U.S. Senate. Shapard said if Johnson can get black voters to turn out at a level that Barack Obama did in 2008 and 2012, it could help McAffrey.

“There’s a higher percentage of African-Americans in the 5th District as opposed to the state overall. So as they vote predominantly more Democrat, it will have an impact that they’re going in to vote for [Johnson] and they’re going in to vote for Al McAffrey as well,” Shapard said. “There’s a month left in the campaign, there’s a lot that remains be seen.”

The general election is Nov. 4.

The survey of 423 likely 5th Congressional District voters was conducted Sept. 27-29 by SoonerPoll.com and has a margin of error of +/- 4.76 percentage points. Results are weighted by age and sex, stratified to Oklahoma CD 5 likely voter demographics.

Chamber Breaks Ranks With GOP, Endorses Brecheen Opponent

brecheenThe Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce has broken ranks with the Senate Republican leadership in its endorsement of a Democrat challenger in the Senate District 6 race.
Opposing a Senate GOP incumbent, the Chamber has stepped out of its usual  pattern of supporting incumbents, especially those in the party in power.
Sources tell The McCarville Report that Senate leadership, which passed such important Chamber initiatives as workers compensation reform, had asked it to stay out of Senator Josh Brecheen’s race in Senate District 6.
It was the premier race four years ago when Republicans won a seat in southeastern Oklahoma.
Brecheen, however, had angered the state chamber in opposing several
of their pet projects, and now, the sources claim, they’re planning to make an example of him, to help keep future GOP senators in line.
The chamber is endorsing a vast majority of Republicans; the list is in the story following this one.

State Chamber Endorses 32 House, Senate Candidates

With Election Day four weeks from today, the State Chamber of Oklahoma has released its list of endorsements for races in the state Senate and House. The bipartisan list of 32 candidates includes 14 running for open seats.

“Passing legislation that helps move the state forward starts with electing the right lawmakers,” said State Chamber President and CEO Fred Morgan. “We believe this slate of candidates will allow for continued economic growth and more jobs in Oklahoma. We look forward to working with them in the 2015 legislative session.”

Endorsements are made by a committee of State Chamber members following a candidate survey and interviews. The following candidates have the support of the State Chamber:

SD 4    Mark Allen*

SD 6    Joe B. Hill

SD 8    Roger Thompson

SD 18  Kim David*

SD 26  Darcy Jech

SD 28  Jason Smalley

SD 40  Ervin Yen

SD 42  Jack Fry

SD 44  Ralph Shortey*

HD 10 Travis Dunlap

HD 12 Wade Rousselot*


HD 14 George Faught

HD 16 Jerry Shoemake*

HD 20 Bobby Cleveland*

HD 26 Justin Wood*

HD 28 Tom Newell*

HD 29 James Leewright

HD 32 Kevin Wallace

HD 40 Chad Caldwell

HD 45 Aaron Stiles*

HD 46 Scott Martin*

HD 56 David Perryman*


HD 62 John Michael Montgomery

HD 63 Jeff Coody

HD 65 Toni Hasenbeck

HD 83 Randy McDaniel*

HD 87 Jason Nelson*

HD 93 Mike Christian*

HD 95 Charlie Joyner*

HD 96 Lewis Moore*

HD 99 George E. Young

HD 100 Elise Hall*



An asterisk (*) denotes an incumbent.

Note: The State Chamber of Oklahoma does not endorse candidates in statewide or federal races.

Miller Disagrees On Two-Year Budget Idea

State Treasurer Ken Miller disagrees with the candidates for governor: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-treasurer-finds-fault-with-two-year-budget-idea-of-gov.-mary-fallin-and-her-opponent-joe-dorman/article/5349196

Senate Debate Tops Tuesday Night Politics

Debates and forums involving candidates for U.S. Senate, state superintendent of public instruction and Tulsa County district judge will be held Tuesday evening.

Democrat Connie Johnson and Republican James Lankford will square off for the only time in their race for U.S. Senate at 7 p.m. at Oklahoma State University’s Student Union Theater.

The debate is not televised but will be streamed live at ostate.tv.

The Oklahoma Bar Association, the Tulsa Historical Society and the League of Women Voters are sponsoring a judicial forum at 6:30 p.m. at the Tulsa Historical Society, 2455 S. Peoria Ave.

Candidates for all five Tulsa-area offices on the Nov. 4 general election ballot are expected to attend.

In the state superintendent race, Republican Joy Hofmeister and Democrat John Cox will meet at the Rogers State University Centennial Center in Claremore at 7 p.m. The event will be televised by RSU-TV, broadcast channel 35. RSU-TV is also carried by area cable and satellite television providers.

— Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World


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