As we prepare to celebrate OK Policy’s fifth anniversary, we’ve gone back and selected our top five greatest hits from our blog. The winners, selected by staff, all generated strong traffic and buzz, and exemplify our efforts to apply careful research and accessible analysis to state policy issues. In chronological order:
- A State Question parable (Oct. 2010): The 2010 battle over SQ 744, which would have entrenched an education funding formula in the state constitution, was a defining moment for OK Policy, as our research was widely cited in the campaign to defeat the measure. Here we used a parable about a misguided home improvement plan for a family whose house is in disrepair to suggest why SQ 744 was the wrong solution to a real problem.
- Get a job: Why restricting employment for ex-felons is counterproductive (May 2011): When the elected mayor of Pawnee was barred from taking office because of a prior felony conviction, the case drew national attention. Our blog post, showing how Oklahoma law puts up barriers to ex-felons pursuing a long list of professions, even when the job has no connection to their crime, generated a long series of anguished comments from ex-felons and their family members affected by these restrictions.
- New insurance rules throw out baby with the bathwater (Dec. 2011): This piece examined Insurance Commission rules that exclude newborns from coverage on individual health insurance plans in Oklahoma. We worried that posting it between Christmas and New Years last year might limit its audience. Bu the issue struck a nerve and the post generated the most hits and comments of any blog post up to that time. Beware sad baby!
- Who’s behind the assault on the income tax? (April 2012): As efforts to abolish the state personal income tax failed to gain steam among Oklahomans, many wondered who the supporters pushing this bad idea really were. This post made the case that besides Governor Fallin and a few state legislators, the only champions were on the payroll of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs or out-of-state advocacy groups like Americans for Tax Reform and ALEC.
- What really happened with WIC? (Oct. 2012): Last fall, when the State Health Department cancelled their longstanding contract with Tulsa Planned Parenthood to provide child nutrition services for low-income mothers and babies (WIC), we decided to dig deeper into the data and found that their explanation simply didn’t add up. Our blog post pointing out the inaccuracies in the Department’s claims was picked up by the Huffington Post, among others.