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politics

Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

Lawmakers are right back where they started after a much-anticipated vote to pass one of the largest tax increases in state history fell short in the state House.

Despite business luminaries and hundreds of educators filling the Capitol in support of the Step Up Oklahoma Plan, the revenue-raising proposal only received 63 votes, which was 13 votes shy of passing the constitutionally required three-fourths threshold for revenue-raising bills.

Oklahoma Watch

Already one of the most conservative states in the nation, Oklahoma continues to grow redder.

Group Mounts Ballot Effort To Remove Legislature From Redistricting Process

Jan 3, 2018
U.S. Geological Survey

A newly formed group is seeking a state constitutional change that would strip the Legislature of its power to rewrite the state’s legislative and congressional boundaries when redistricting work begins after the 2020 Census.

Represent Oklahoma Inc., which is applying to be a social welfare nonprofit and has launched a website, has set a $400,000 fundraising goal to put a state question on the 2018 ballot that would let voters decide whether to transfer redistricting duties to an independent, nonpartisan commission.

Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

Former state Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, was left with a sizable campaign nest egg after his fourth re-election last November.

But Kirby wouldn’t have the chance to spend the $42,416 in leftover campaign funds for another run. He resigned just months after his election following an investigation into sexual-harassment allegations against him.

Oklahoma Watch

The cash crisis at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which was years in the making, raises questions about which agencies and state officials could have caught the agency’s reported financial mismanagement.

At first glance, state government appears to have the powers and expertise to detect  financial irregularities occurring at the health department from 2011 to 2017.

Gabriel Hongsdusit and Michael I Schiller / Reveal

This week, we teamed up with Rolling Stone and The Investigative Fund to explore how fake news starts, snowballs and sometimes erupts into gunfire.

The conspiracy theory Pizzagate alleged that top Democrats were running a child sex-trafficking ring out of Comet Ping Pong, a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor. They weren’t. But that didn’t stop one armed man from traveling to the restaurant and firing three times during the busy Sunday rush, looking for a basement that doesn’t exist.

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.

As Budget Deal Remains Elusive, Inaction Could Cost State

Oct 11, 2017
Oklahoma Capitol
ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

Each passing day without a deal to bridge the state’s $215 million budget shortfall means less potential revenue will be available if lawmakers pass one or multiple tax increases.

An Oklahoma Watch analysis of state projections shows that each day that lawmakers don’t pass the $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax would cost the state between $680,305 and $712,265 in potential new revenue, depending on what calculations the state uses.

Students at Luther High School watch Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech" before a class discussion.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Polls suggest this is one of the the most politically divided moments in American history. There are now tip sheets on how to survive Thanksgiving without disowning your family, and the comment sections of online news articles are full of vitriol.

Schools are not immune to the tension, but not everyone thinks that’s a bad thing.

American currency
thinkpanama / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislators aren’t the only ones who returned to the Capitol for the special session.

If it’s anything like the regular session, lobbyists will be picking up the tabs for pricey dinners and drinks during the days or weeks to come. Lobbyists spent almost half a million dollars on meals and gifts for lawmakers and other public officials during the spring session.

Gabriel Hongsdusit / Reveal

In just a few days, Germans will go to the polls to vote for a new government in an election that feels strangely familiar. For decades, Germany’s elections have been subdued and predictable, but this campaign cycle has seen a rise of fake news, hate groups and right-wing politicians with a nationalist agenda. There also are allegations of Russian meddling. This week on Reveal, we team up with Coda Story to look at the rise of right-wing populism in Germany’s election.

I Voted Sticker
Dwight Burdette / Creative Commons

Faced with low approval ratings, Oklahoma legislators are already seeing signs that they could be up against greater competition in trying to retain their seats in the 2018 election.

Campaign fundraising records indicate that 13 lawmakers have already drawn challengers – a sharp increase over the number that had filed by this stage in the 2016 election cycle. By the end of August 2015, just one lawmaker had drawn an opponent.

Reveal: Follow The Money

Aug 28, 2017
How much is President Donald Trump worth? And is he or anyone in his administration profiting from their positions? Reveal is teaming up with the Center for Public Integrity to investigate those questions.
Michael Schiller / Reveal

Update, Aug. 26, 2017: On this episode of Reveal, we introduce #citizensleuth – a collaboration with the Center for Public Integrity. The project aims to answer questions such as “How much is President Donald Trump worth?” or “Is he or anyone in his administration profiting from their positions?”  We’ve created a database listing all the assets that members of his administration have disclosed and we’re asking the public to take part in our investigation.

Latino Legislators Remain Few But Represent Range of Districts

Jul 21, 2017

In just under one year, the number of Hispanics in Oklahoma’s statehouse has jumped 200 percent.

But that’s only because the election of one man to the House in November and another to the Senate last week brought the number of Hispanic, or Latino, lawmakers up from one to three.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

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

Rep. Steve Russell
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

U.S. Representative Steve Russell has announced he is seeking the chairmanship of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the House of Representatives.

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. 

University of Oklahoma Assistant Professor and political scientist Mackenzie Israel-Trummel
Provided

Just weeks before voters caucus in Iowa and head to the polls in New Hampshire, who will become the two major parties’ standard-bearers and win the nominations is still anyone’s guess. But race and ethnic identity will likely play a much larger role on the Republican side of the aisle – the field is more crowded, there are several minority candidates, and immigration has become a key campaign issue along both the U.S.

Donald Trump held a kickoff event for his South Carolina campaign on Tuesday, and his speech was, to put it mildly, a doozy. Speaking in Sun City, S.C., without the aid of a TelePrompTer — because "Maybe when you run for president you shouldn't be allowed to use a TelePrompTer, because you find out what you're getting" — he was defensive, brash, angry, funny and self-aggrandizing.

Margo Wright / Wikimedia Commons

A group of women who have held public office in Oklahoma say it is important for more women to become involved in politics.

At a meeting of the Norman Chamber of Commerce on Friday, the women set aside politics to underscore the need to add women's opinions and viewpoints to the public debate.

Former Lt. Gov. Jari Askins says state decisions that impact families need to have a female perspective.

State Rep. Leslie Osborn says there is no glass ceiling at the Legislature, but that not enough women are running for office.

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