OKGrassroots Network

We are a network of grassroots activists in the great state of Oklahoma, working for limited Constitutional government and more freedom for all the people. We do our best to keep our representatives accountable and in touch with the people who elected them to office. We work hard to be sure that what you read here is true from every angle and ready to share with friends and neighbors. We encourage you to get involved in your county, make a difference, and have fun along the way!

For more information online visit and share: OKGrassroots

NASA Watch, a news site focused on the space agency, and Arstechnica, a tech/science news site, are both reporting that Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine will likely be announced in the coming weeks as the Trump administration’s pick for NASA Administrator.

The Deputy #NASA Admin position was decided a month ago. Administrator was decided upon a week or so later. Formal announcement in Sept

— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) August 15, 2017

Oh yes Jim Bridenstine = #NASA Administrator and John Schumacher = Deputy Administrator

— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch)

Governor Mary Fallin Says Special Legislative Session Necessary to Adjust State Appropriations 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today said the Legislature must return in special session to deal with the $215 million shortfall caused by a proposed smoking cessation fee being struck down.

“No money can be spent from any state fund unless the Legislature specifically appropriates it,” said Fallin. “Let’s be clear. The director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) does not have the authority to transfer monies to the affected agencies from different sources without legislation directing him to do so.”

Article 5, Section 55 of the Oklahoma Constitution states that no money shall be paid out of the state treasury, except through an appropriation by law.

Source post

  Republican Attorney, Gary Richardson, gave a major address to Tulsa Area Republicans about the disastrous legislative session and the unconstitutional actions taken by Republican Legislative Leaders.  Just one week earlier, Richardson was standing in front of the justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, to make his constitutional argument for throwing out the revenue bills which violated Article Five of the Oklahoma Constitution.  Richardson […]

Read the full article at Oklahoma’s Political News service, www.SoonerPolitics.org .

IED NAMES MARK WILLIAMS PRESIDENT

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, August 15, 2017 – The Research Institute for Economic Development (RIED) has named Mark Williams as president succeeding Susan Winchester who resigned recently to become chief-of-staff to Lt. Governor Todd Lamb. Williams joins RIED after a 36-year career with AT&T Oklahoma, serving since 2010 as Director-Legislative Affairs where he led the AT&T Oklahoma external affairs team on legislative matters at the state Capitol. Williams joined Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, now AT&T, in 1981.

“I am excited to join RIED and to work with our outstanding officers and directors as we continue to produce Oklahoma’s pre-eminent analysis of legislative voting patterns on business, job creation and economic development issues,” Williams said.  “For the past 20 years, RIED has established a respected reputation at the state Capitol, with the annual ‘RIED Report’ commonly anticipated following the end of the legislative session.  RIED’s positive impact since its inception is illustrated by the fact that legislative advocacy for business, job creation and economic growth has improved from 32% in 1998 to over 60% in 2017.”

Greg Love, RIED board chairman said, “I want to express how pleased we are to have another accomplished individual fill the position of RIED president. Mark has been involved with the state legislature for many years, and we are very confident he will do great work in his new position. Lastly, the RIED board thanks Susan Winchester, and wishes her success in her new position with Lt. Governor Lamb.”

Williams presently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and Chair-Elect of the Oklahoma City All Sports Association.  He is the past board chairman of the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, the Northwest Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma Baptist University Alumni Association.  He has, or is currently serving on the boards of the First Tee, Leadership Oklahoma, Youth Leadership Exchange, Sooner State Games and the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, where he is also a Life Member.

Williams is a native Oklahoman, receiving a B.A. in Economics from Oklahoma Baptist University and a J.D. from Oklahoma City University. He is married to Carol Cathey Williams and they have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Research Institute for Economic Development was founded in 1997 and is a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting economic growth through the evaluation of business, job and economic growth issues considered annually by the Oklahoma Legislature. RIED does not lobby issues or endorse candidates.

LAMB NAMES OKLAHOMA ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION COMMITTEE
Oklahoma Business Leaders to Support Efforts to Grow Oklahoma Exports

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – August 14, 2017 – Republican gubernatorial candidate Todd Lamb announced today the formation of his Oklahoma Economic Diversification Committee. The group of Oklahoma business leaders will advise on issues to help diversify Oklahoma’s economy through greater worldwide trade.

“Growing and strengthening Oklahoma’s economy, both within our borders and beyond, is a central component of my Renew Oklahoma plan,” Lamb said. “To that end, I am pleased to announce that prominent Oklahoma business leader Chuck Mills will serve as chairman of my Oklahoma Economic Diversification Committee. Chuck is chairman of the OK District Export Council and president of Mills Machine Company, a third-generation manufacturer located in Shawnee. I am honored to have his business expertise, experience and counsel, as well as that of the other committee members as I pursue the governor’s office.”

Mills commented, “I am excited to help Todd Lamb formulate an advisory committee that will assist him in creating economic development opportunities throughout Oklahoma and beyond. The goal of the committee is to explore all avenues to create broader awareness and opportunities for Oklahoma companies to showcase, and ultimately export, their products. Todd Lamb has the vision and real-life business experience to be a tremendous advocate for Oklahoma businesses, large and small, as Oklahoma’s chief executive officer.”

Committee members include:

  • Keith Briem – Choctaw Global, McAlester
  • Dr. Don Drew – Oklahoma Christian University, Edmond
  • C.R. Freeman – Premium Beef and Grain, Lone Wolf
  • Johnny “Bump” Grant – Consolidated Turbine Specialists, LLC., Bristow
  • Alfred Hernandez – Lopez Foods, Inc., Oklahoma City
  • Heidi Hughes – GEFCO, Inc., Enid
  • Eric Kunkel – CCK Strategies, PLLC., Tulsa
  • George Lee – Red Devil, Inc., Pryor
  • Chuck Mills – Mills Machine Company, Shawnee
  • Dick Morris – Advantage Controls, Muskogee
  • Alfonso Nieves – BuildBlock Building Systems, LLC., Oklahoma City
  • Joe Smith, Jr. – Ditch Witch, Perry

Lamb said additional Oklahoma leaders will be announced in the coming weeks to lead other
advisory committees.

   The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a ‘slam dunk’ unanimous ruling in figurative ‘sound barrier speed’, on Thursday. they struck down a shameless money-grab which tried to cloak itself as a state-run smoking cessation program.  The newest and most controversial justice on the court, Patrick Wyrick, wrote a brilliant, plain-spoken, and thoroughly-reasoned opinion. Two justices partially dissented, but they did not elaborate. Wyrick wrote a masterpiece […]

Read the full article at Oklahoma’s Political News service, www.SoonerPolitics.org .

  Oklahoma’s statist politicians of both parties are at odds about where any more taxes should be confiscated. Liberty-minded politicians are trying to limit the oppressive powers of the state by only funding core constitutional mandates.  But they could all find a consensus in the regulating of the current cannabis industry which operates as a black market and pays no taxes at all.  Now, the true prohibitionists will oppose this idea in their sel […]

Read the full article at Oklahoma’s Political News service, www.SoonerPolitics.org .

Free Market Friday: Misleading statements harmful
Former House Appropriations and Budget Chair Leslie Osborn recently stated Oklahoma is “50th in the nation in tax collections.” Calling for more tuition and fee increases on working Oklahoma families, University of Oklahoma President David Boren made a similar dead-last claim regarding state support for higher education.

Despite Boren’s claims, the actual data show that Oklahoma ranks 31st in total state support for higher education. When adjusted for cost of living, on a per capita basis Oklahoma actually ranks 26th in state support for higher education.

Just as the actual data contradict President Boren’s claim, the undisputed data from the United States Census Bureau contradict Rep. Osborn’s statements, proving that we are far from being the lowest-taxed state.

Regarding Osborn’s assertion, the actual data show Oklahoma is not 50th in the nation. According to the latest available data from the Census Bureau, Oklahoma collects more in state taxes than Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Thus, Oklahoma ranks 31st, not 50th. Per capita, Oklahoma ranks 38th in tax collections. When adjusted for cost of living, Oklahoma ranks 36th in per capita tax collections.

What’s really astonishing is that the state managed to collect this level of revenue despite being in a recession while most states were not. Oklahoma lost 21,800 energy and manufacturing jobs, resulting in a loss of more than $13 billion in taxable income. Oklahomans reduced purchases subject to sales tax and use tax to the tune of $4.1 billion just to survive, according to available Oklahoma Tax Commission data. Given this, state government should not complain, and Oklahomans should be thanked for their sacrifice.

Throughout the 2017 legislative session, tax consumers tried to get lawmakers and the public to support more than $2 billion in tax increases. Despite these attempts, no tax increases were constitutionally passed by the Legislature.

It’s understandable why tax consumers are working so hard to get taxpayers to believe the 50th and dead-last mantra: They want Oklahomans to be in the psychological condition to support and accept massive tax increases.

While I believe Rep. Osborn cares about Oklahoma, misleading statements from public officials such as Osborn and Boren are harmful to efforts to find viable, long-term solutions.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (www.ocpathink.org). This column originally ran in the Journal Record.

In a swift and unanimous decision, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the Cigarette Tax Smoking Cessation Fee passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Fallin violated the Oklahoma Constitution.

Here’s the summary from the opinion (which can be read in full at this link):

Petitioners, who are manufacturers, wholesalers, and consumers of cigarettes, challenged Senate Bill 845, alleging that it is a revenue bill enacted outside of the procedure mandated in Article V, Section 33 of the Oklahoma Constitution. The parties agree that the passage of SB 845 did not comply with Article V, Section 33; so the case turns on whether SB 845 is the kind of “revenue bill” that Article V, Section 33 governs. Applying the test we have utilized since 1908, we conclude that the primary purpose of Sections 2, 7, 8, and 9 of SB 845 is to raise new revenue for the support of state government through the assessment of a new $1.50 excise tax on cigarettes and that, in doing so, SB 845 levies a tax in the strict sense. As such, Sections 2, 7, 8, and 9 of SB 845 comprise a revenue bill enacted in violation of Article V, Section 33 and are unconstitutional.

Continue reading: http://www.muskogeepolitico.com/2017/08/oklahoma-supreme-court-strikes-down.html

There are certain things one doesn’t ask in polite elite society. Lucky for you you’re nowhere near there. You’re in Bokbluster, so I’ll ask: Is it possible, on average, that girls don’t like math as much as boys? It’s possible, on average. Unless you’re Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard. Is it possible, on

The post Google Engineer James Damore appeared first on Bokbluster.com.

The House and Senate Democratic caucuses have now issued statements over the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking down SB 845, the Cigarette Tax Smoking Cessation Fee.

House Democratic Caucus Releases Statement in Response to Oklahoma Court Ruling

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Senate Bill 845 is unconstitutional.

SB845 was projected to raise more than $200 million for the current state budget by charging cigarette wholesalers a $1.50 per pack tax. During the legislative session, however, House Democrats warned Republicans that passing the unconstitutional legislation would have a detrimental impact on our state budget and state agencies. The measure passed the House with a partisan vote of 51 to 43.

The proposed revenue from the tax affects 7 percent of the appropriated budget to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, 10 percent of the appropriated budget to the Department of Human Services, and 23 percent of the appropriated budget to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The court’s ruling will likely prompt a special session, costing the state an additional $30,000 per day, and requiring lawmakers to return to the capitol to fix the now incomplete budget.

“In order to appease special interests, Republicans made a decision to ignore the House Democratic Caucus, Oklahoma citizens and the Oklahoma Constitution,” said Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa. “As a result of that decision, we are now facing a $200 million hole in our current budget. It is time for the Republican Leadership to stop playing political games and to start working on real solutions to fund state government. As we have been all year, the Democratic Caucus stands ready to negotiate a long-term solution to fix Oklahoma’s funding crisis.”

Continue reading: http://www.muskogeepolitico.com/2017/08/house-senate-democrats-respond-to.html