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The McCarville Report
Category archives for: General

Smoke-free Public Places?

cigWill all Oklahoma public places become smoke free by law? http://newsok.com/oklahoma-lawmaker-proposes-legislation-to-make-public-places-smoke-free/article/5387772?earlyAccess=true


Democrats Name David Scott As ED

democratThe Oklahoma Democratic Party today announced that Executive Director Trav Robertson has taken a leave of absence to explore another opportunity, and the Party’s Central Committee voted unanimously to promote David Scott as Interim Executive Director. Robertson served in the position for over 3 years.

Following the vote, Scott responded by thanking the Central Committee and stating: “It is humbling to be selected as the new Interim Executive Director for the Oklahoma Democratic Party. I am grateful for this opportunity and for everything that I have learned from our leadership team. We are going to continue to move the Party forward through collaboration and build on the successes we had in 2014.”

Scott has served as the Director of Information Technology at the Oklahoma Democratic Party’s headquarters since September 2011. For the past 3 years he has been responsible for maintaining of the comprehensive voter file used by most Democratic candidates in the state. Scott also assisted with directing campaign field work and volunteer activities for the state party and many Democratic candidates in Oklahoma.

Scott, a native of Ada, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Oklahoma City University. At just 25 years old, Scott is one of the youngest Executive Directors for a statewide Democratic Party. Scott, is also a member of the Choctaw Nation and is possibly the only Native American Executive Director of a State Democratic Party in the nation.

“It has been a pleasure working with Trav Robertson for the past 3 years. We have built an outstanding organization through partnerships across the state with candidates, partner organizations, Party leaders, elected officials, donors, and volunteers. We appreciate everything that Trav has done and will continue to do for Oklahoma Democrats but we look forward to where we will go under David’s enthusiastic leadership,” said Party Chairman Wallace Collins.

Information about Oklahoma Democrats can be found at www.okdemocrats.org, by visiting the Oklahoma Democrats Facebook page, or by calling (405) 427-3366.


Will Fourkiller: A Bid To Become Cherokee Nation Chief?

Rep. Will Fourkiller

Rep. Will Fourkiller

Rep. Will Fourkiller, a Democrat from Adair County, is considering a race to challenge principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Bill John Baker, sources tell The McCarville Report.

The race now features a rematch between Baker and former Chief Chad Smith. Four years ago, the race between Smith and Baker was so close that a recount couldn’t determine a winner and a new election had to be held.

The race also featured a battle in federal court over whether the Cherokee Freedmen, the descendants of Cherokee slaves, would be allowed to vote.

Also in the race for chief is a member of the Cherokee Council, Cara Cowan Watts, from Claremore.

The election is in June and Fourkiller would not have to give up his House seat to run and perhaps not to serve. Another Democrat House member, Rep. Chuck Hoskins of Vinita, is  Baker’s chief of staff at the Cherokee Nation.


Auditor Gary Jones: Beginning Teachers, Legislators Should Be Paid The Same

jones1In a Facebook post, State Auditor Gary Jones says a state legislator should earn
the same salary as a beginning teacher. “I have said Oklahoma lawmakers pay
should be the same as beginning pay of a teacher.”

Jones was responding to former State Rep. Corey Holland on Facebook who said
Oklahoma’s lawmakers were among the best paid while teachers are among the
worst. Holland is now a school principal in Cache, where Jones also lives. His
wife also is a teacher in Cache.

Holland’s post said this: “Fact 1: Only 13 states pay their state legislators more than Oklahoma pays. 47 states pay their teachers more than Oklahoma pays. When asked about bills filled to lower the pay of legislators, Speaker Jeff Hickman was quoted as saying, “The truth is you get what you pay for.” I agree completely.  Fact 2: A new Oklahoma legislator makes $38,400. A new Oklahoma teacher makes $31,600. his isn’t about being divisive. We should pay our legislators well bccause they spend countless hours working that most folks never see. The same is true for
teachers. I fear if we don’t address teacher pay soon, the teacher shortage will reach critical status.”


Social Media: What He/She Said..

socialmedia1Former State Rep. Corey Holland on Facebook

Fact 1: Only 13 states pay their state legislators more than Oklahoma pays. 47 states pay their teachers more than Oklahoma pays. When asked about bills filled to lower the pay of legislators, Speaker Jeff Hickman was quoted as saying, “The truth is you get what you pay for.” I agree completely. Fact 2: A new Oklahoma legislator makes $38,400. A new Oklahoma teacher makes $31,600.
This isn’t about being divisive. We should pay our legislators well bc they spend countless hours working that most folks never see. The same is true for teachers. I fear if we don’t address teacher pay soon, the teacher shortage will reach critical status.

Linda Murphy on Facebook

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION not an EDUCATOR

Oklahoma Governor Fallin continues in her forward move to control public education through a business and political model.  She has now appointed a new Secretary of Education to oversee Office of Education Quality and Accountability, which has recently expanded power over public schools.  The power centers around the collection of data which will come to the office through all of the high stakes tests, teacher evaluations and other student and teacher information as students work online.

Michael Bates on Facebook

We thought we killed it last year, but a Republican state representative has filed a bill that would make Oklahoma the first “red state” to sign on to the National Popular Vote virus. The Republican caucus ought to strip Speaker Pro Tem Lee Denney of her leadership position over this betrayal. http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx…#

lankfordcapSenator James Lankford Has A Facebook Question

The President gave his annual State of the Union speech last night, but I want to hear from you. What do you think of the State of Our Union?

Take my survey now–> https://action.jameslankford.com/state-union-survey/

Howard Houchen on Facebook

File this under, yet ANOTHER, “You Gotta be Kiddin’ Me” moment brought to you by Oklahoma State Representative Denney…National Popular Vote rises again! http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx…

T. W. Shannon on Facebook

shannon1This is written after sleeping a night on the President’s speech. I was reminded last night why it is at the age of about 21 I left the party of my heritage. It’s because I don’t believe that pitting the classes against each other, or the politics of envy, is the way to prosper the middle class, or African Americans for that matter (as if race should matter). I fundamentally believe God will indeed prosper those who work hard and are diligent in the use of their gifts. I believe strongly that it’s Him in You, not government in you, that will raise you out of poverty and, if it’s God’s will, perhaps even boost you or me one day into that elusive 1%. I think it’s called the dream.

Dave Herbert on Facebook

Thank you Gov. Fallin for lining the pockets of the utility companies. Small Government, less interference in our lives, too many regulations. Your platform is all one big lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tonya Pogue on Facebook

Tomorrow is my last day in the Speaker’s Office and I leave feeling very blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many great people this past year! I’ll miss everyone at the OK House of Representatives, but these six are extra special! I’m not going far so I won’t get mushy, but I am thankful for each of you and your friendship!! Truth be known, I’m leaving because I was the oldest person in the office and I needed to find a place where the median age is over 30!

socialmedia1Jason Madrid on Facebook

There are complaints on Facebook about Representative Sally Kern filing no less than 3 bills targeting the LGBT community. I don’t want to hear the complaints because last election no one ran against her. She didn’t even face a primary. Inaction, too, has consequences.

Alex Cameron, News 9 reporter on Facebook

Love the fact that Oklahoma’s members of Congress issued their responses to the SOTU hours before its delivery. Thanks for listening!

Rep. Emily Virgin on Facebook

People who didn’t stand up for the President’s statement on equality are going to look really, really silly to the next generations.

Facebook Comments on Extension of  Term Limits to 16 Years

Bill Pascoe In my opinion, this is a ridiculous proposal. #1 term limits were implemented to counter people’s inability to put good people in office or the ability to recognize this and replace them. #2 Why would we want to give them 4 more years? Mind-boggling!
Sherri Stone NO NO and NO!!!
James AndTammy Nicholson That’s the problem with our government now. Too many  “experienced” statesmen in DC. We don’t need to bring back that problem to our own state government. Sorry Paul Wesselhöft, I agree with you on most things, but on this one I’m afraid I’ll have to jump off the horse.
Jeff Renner Hey, I love Paul Wesselhöft, but it’s not worth changing. What we DONT need, is more Gene Stipes!!!

Senate Staffers Get Pay Raises

bingman

Rick Green
The Oklahoman

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman has given $217,655 in pay raises to Senate employees.

A total of 90 employees, including executive assistants to Oklahoma senators, will get performance-based increases this month averaging 4 percent.

The biggest raise was 7 percent; the lowest was 1 percent.

The money for the raises comes from cost savings. The Senate had 139 employees in 2008 and has 108 now.

“We are choosing to use the savings achieved through attrition and efficiencies to provide a number of our hard-working employees with reasonable raises,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa.

“Rather than adding new employees every time we have a departure from staff, we are choosing to consolidate responsibilities and improve salaries.”

He said he wants to give valuable employees an incentive to stay.

The last round of salary increases in the Senate was in 2012 for about 35 employees.

The last round of salary adjustments for executive assistants was in January 2006. Their salary range is $45,652 to $70,774.

Randy Dowell, chief operating officer for the Senate, has the highest salary. His 7 percent raise brings his annual pay to $131,664.

In addition to executive assistants, the Senate staff includes researchers, attorneys and bill drafters.

The Legislature approved salary adjustments of 5 percent to 13.5 percent for more than 12,000 state employees last session, but Senate employees and many other state workers were not included.


Loveless: Seeking Better Answers

lovelessSenator Kyle Loveless

Last March, approximately 25,000 teachers and parents from around the state rallied for education at the state Capitol. The overwhelming majority of those voices were asking for more funding for public education.

With 51 cents of every appropriated dollar funding education, we as lawmakers must look for out-of-the-box approaches to better fund classroom instruction, while ensuring other core functions of government remain stable.

You must be logged in with the proper services to print this article.
That’s why I introduced Senate Bill 15. This bill would require the administrative functions of a school district with an average daily attendance of fewer than 250 students be combined with a contiguous school district upon the retirement or resignation of the current superintendent. Senate Bill 15 would affect about 130 school districts across the state. Those same districts spend more than $7.4 million in superintendent salaries alone; which averages to approximately $360 per student.
Those funds could go directly to increase teacher pay, keeping quality teachers from going to another field or to attract better, new teachers from leaving the state. We can do all that without closing one school, if we have the political will.
Simply put, this proposal’s goal is to reduce the burden of administrative costs so smaller districts can free up more money for instructional and classroom services. We need to focus on educating our kids, not paying bureaucrats who average close to $100,000 a year while teacher pay remains stagnate.
This proposal alone won’t fix our schools but it is a start to modernizing our current system. Oklahoma pays nearly $50 million a year to administrators for salaries and benefits. If we can divert some of that money back to the students, then I see that as a step in the right direction.
I understand the importance of local school districts and their impact on the fabric of our state. Local schools are the heart of our communities and that will never change. This proposal would not close any school or facility, but would help ensure they have more resources to give our students the best education possible.
Oklahoma deserves better than relying on the way things have been done for more than 100 years, we must strive for the best course of action, even if it is a difficult one.
If we avoid doing something significant now to reduce administrative overhead, with supermajorities in the legislative branch and control of the governor’s mansion, we will have squandered an opportunity that took decades to accomplish and don’t deserve to speak about running government like a business ever again.
We must all work together to create a responsible, long-term plan to fix our education system, and I hope Senate Bill 15 will be the beginning of that process.
Gov. Mary Fallin said in her inaugural address that education is an all-hands-on-deck emergency, let’s do what we can to turn the tide and make the education of our children something we can be as proud of as our football teams.

Mullin: Conservatives Can’t Get All They Want

Congressman Markwayne Mullin says conservatives can’t get everything they want: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/government/congressman-markwayne-mullin-conservatives-can-t-have-it-all-/article_f046c51e-d513-546d-adcd-591b7551be98.html


Another Pressing Issue…

Will the watermelon remain the state vegetable?

http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepage2/watermelon-could-lose-state-vegetable-status/article_1804e1c9-f8ea-5707-8bcf-6cf940665445.html

 


Doerflinger Arrested

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger was arrested early Friday morning  by Oklahoma City police, The Oklahoman reports: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-police-arrest-oklahoma-secretary-of-finance-preston-doerflinger-on-thursday-night/article/5387362


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