KGOU

Oklahoma Politics

Only four of 28 candidates for statewide elected office in Oklahoma have voluntarily released specific details about their personal finances similar to what is typically disclosed by federal candidates and state-level candidates in other states.

With Low Turnout, Should Oklahoma Kill The Primary Runoff?

Jul 18, 2018
A polling station at Oklahoma County Election Commission offices.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

August will be a pivotal month for Oklahoma politics, with likely a record number of candidates facing off in runoff primary elections.

Crescent Public Schools Superintendent Bart Watkins said while his district spend a relatively high percentage of its funding on instruction, it has been forced to make cuts, including in number of positions.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Amid an intensifying drumbeat of political promises to propel schools to spend more of their dollars in the classroom, Crescent Public Schools stands out.

Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates, 2018
Oklahoma Watch

All of a sudden last week, 15 candidates in the Oklahoma governor’s race were pared to five: one Democrat, two Libertarians, two Republicans.

Robert's Grill in El Reno, Oklahoma has been serving up onion burgers like this one since 1926.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Many lists of unusual state statutes say it's against the law in Oklahoma to take a bite of someone else's hamburger. 

KGOU listener Greg Elwell asked "How Curious:" Is this a real law?

FOI Oklahoma

Freedom Of Information Oklahoma, a non-profit organization formed to promote openness in government, held a 2-hour 2018 gubernatorial candidate debate April 28, 2018. The event took place on the University of Central Oklahoma campus and was presented in partnership with UCentral Media and UCO Mass Communication Department. 

KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley outside the building.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Restoration work is ongoing at the Oklahoma state capitol.

 

Recently, project manager Trait Thompson led KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley on a tour of the building.

StickWare / Flickr

One week after federal Election Day, Oklahomans headed to the polls to vote in local races in more than 30 counties, including three special elections to fill vacant seats in the legislature.  The results came in late Tuesday night.

Republican Paul Rosino won the seat of former State Senator Kyle Loveless in District 45, which includes parts of Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties. Rosino beat Democrat Steven Vincent with 57 percent of the vote.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Two of the largest tobacco companies in the U.S. are suing Oklahoma over the state’s new cigarette fee.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin signed the Fiscal Year 2018 Oklahoma state budget Wednesday.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma state lawmakers have yet to agree on a plan to raise money for the state, and could be facing special session. 

Oklahoma state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister discusses school issues during her interview for KGOU's Capitol Insider.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

In this bonus Capitol Insider interview, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley sit down with Oklahoma state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister to talk about education issues, including the state's revised A through F school grading system, teacher pay and four day school weeks. 

Members of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, including former Oklahoma governor Brad Henry, gave a press conference Tuesday.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

A bipartisan group of Oklahomans is urging the state to keep its temporary ban on the death penalty.

 

House Majority Leader Carl Albert (D-Okla.) sits in the Oval Office with President Lyndon Johnson.
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library

Editor's Note: This program originally aired June 29, 2015.

Southeast Oklahoma is an unusual place, politically. Many southerners settled in the area after the Civil War, leading to its nickname “Little Dixie.”

Through the 20th century, it became the center of political power in Oklahoma, and the Democratic Party dominated politics well into the late 1990s. Decades after the formerly “Solid South” had switched to the Republican Party, Democrats enjoyed an 8:1 voter registration advantage in southeast Oklahoma.

House Majority Leader Carl Albert (D-Okla.) sits in the Oval Office with President Lyndon Johnson.
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library

Southeast Oklahoma is an unusual place, politically. Many southerners settled in the area after the Civil War, leading to its nickname “Little Dixie.”

Through the 20th century, it became the center of political power in Oklahoma, and the Democratic Party dominated politics well into the late 1990s. Decades after the formerly “Solid South” had switched to the Republican Party, Democrats enjoyed an 8:1 voter registration advantage in southeast Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State Capitol
mrlaugh / Flickr

The 55th Oklahoma Legislature wrapped up its first session a little over two weeks ago on May 22, one week ahead of the constitutionally required deadline to adjourn.

Lawmakers passed bond issues for widely publicized museums in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. But the $611 million shortfall in the state budget dominated the conversation from January to May, even though details of the $7.1 billion agreement didn't emerge until shortly before the gavel fell. To plug that gap, lawmakers cut most agency budgets by five to seven percent, and also used monies from the state's Rainy Day Fund and state agency revolving accounts.

Randy Brogdon / Facebook

The Oklahoma Republican Party ousted its chairman on Saturday despite the party's November election success in increasing its majority control of both chambers of the state Legislature, winning every statewide elected office, all five U.S. House and both U.S. Senate seats.

The party elected former state Sen. Randy Brogdon as its new chairman, replacing Dave Weston. Party spokeswoman Courtney Blossey said Brogdon defeated long-time GOP activist Pam Pollard in a runoff after Weston was earlier eliminated from the race.

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talk in the Oval Office following their Nov. 29, 2012 lunch.
Pete Souza / The White House

For the past three presidential election cycles, Oklahoma has cemented its status as the “reddest of the red states.” No Democratic presidential candidate has won a single county in Oklahoma since Al Gore in 2000, and in 2004 neither incumbent President George W. Bush nor Democratic nominee John Kerry visited the state nor spent any advertising dollars here.

Oklahoma received only $1,300 in ad revenue from national GOP and Democratic organizations during the 2012 election cycle, according to campaign finance data analyzed by FairVote and The Journal Record's Brian Brus:

Minority Leader Inman, Democratic Party React To State Of The State Address

Feb 2, 2015
Gov. Mary Fallin during her 2015 State of the State address Feb. 2, 2015.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers gathered for the first official day of the legislative session Monday to hear Gov. Mary Fallin’s annual State of the State address. The Democratic Party praised the governor for finding focus in her initiatives.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) described his party as being cautiously optimistic following the Fallin’s call to concentrate on education, healthcare and criminal justice reform this legislative session. But the majority and minority parties differ, Inman said, on how best to carry out those reforms.

President Obama delivers his annual State of the Union address Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress.
The White House / Twitter

Most of Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation and executive leadership criticized President Obama’s annual State of the Union address Tuesday night – some even before the speech took place.

Gov. Mary Fallin says Obama can achieve his goal of improving the economic conditions of the middle class by relying on the energy sector to grow the economy and raise per-capita income.

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