In The Know: Oklahomans need targeted, timely inflation relief | Election analysis | Indian Child Welfare Act

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Some stories included here are behind paywall or require subscription. OK Policy encourages the support of Oklahoma’s state and local media, which are vital to an informed citizenry. Subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

New from OK Policy

Policy Matters: Oklahomans need targeted, timely inflation relief: Now that the dust has settled on the general election, it’s time for our new and returning lawmakers to cast aside electioneering and get down to the business of governance. [Shiloh Kantz / Journal Record]

Oklahoma News

Stitt wins new term; Republicans dominate statewide races: Rural voters scattered across Oklahoma outmatched the state’s two most densely populated counties – Oklahoma and Tulsa counties – to ensure a second term for Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and install his education secretary appointee, Ryan Walters, as the new superintendent of public instruction. [Journal Record]

  • Analysis: How Rural Voters Again Propelled Stitt to Victory [Oklahoma Watch]
  • Analysis: Voters Signal Comfort With GOP Candidates Up and Down Ballot [Oklahoma Watch]
  • Rural Oklahoma keeps the state red [The Oklahoman]
  • Suburban and rural voters make Stitt a winner — again [Tulsa World]
  • Nonpartisan Polling Firm Says Low Voter Turnout Impacted Oklahoma’s General Election [News On 6]
  • StateImpact Oklahoma reporters react to midterm election results (audio) [StateImpact Oklahoma]

After reelection win, Stitt targets schools and ‘more options’ for parents: A day after his commanding reelection victory, Gov. Kevin Stitt said his focus was on “continuing the momentum” of the last four years, along with increasing efforts to improve Oklahoma’s schools. [The Oklahoman]

State Government News

Stitt taps new chief of staff: Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that Brandon Tatum will become his chief of staff. Tatum replaces interim chief of staff Zachary Lee, who will return to the private sector after nearly three years of state service. [Tulsa World]

Tribal Nations News

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in Indian Child Welfare Act case: The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case that could decide the fate of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a 40-plus year-old federal law that governs adoptions, child custody and foster care issues involving tribal citizens. [Tulsa World]

Senator-elect Markwayne Mullin speaks about tribal cases and McGirt ruling: Oklahoma Senator-elect Markwayne Mullin is weighing in on tribal cases, the McGirt ruling and the Castro-Huerta ruling. [Fox 23]

Tribes hope Gov. Stitt’s reelection will thaw relations: Oklahoma’s Native American tribes reacted to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s reelection Tuesday with unease. Gov. Stitt’s relations with Native tribes have been frosty at best. Many feel he doesn’t want to have relations with them, but their message to the governor is clear: all he has to do to gain their support is talk with them. [KTUL]

Choctaw Nation Chief Reacts To Reelection Of Governor Stitt: The Choctaw Nation is reacting to the reelection of Governor Stitt after endorsing state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. [News on 6]

Voting and Election News

Vicki Behenna’s victory in DA race changes complexion of case of OKC officers charged with manslaughter: Former federal prosecutor Vicki Behenna will become Oklahoma County’s first female district attorney after winning easily Tuesday in her first bid for elected office. [The Oklahoman]

Councilor alleges sheriff used Election Day press conference to help opponent: District 5 City Councilor Mykey Arthrell accused Sheriff Vic Regalado of attempting to influence the outcome of his nonpartisan runoff election when the sheriff held a press conference Tuesday outlining allegations of possible voting irregularities. [Tulsa World]

Three States Reject Recreational Marijuana: Will Oklahoma Pass SQ 820 in March?: Recreational marijuana will be on our ballot soon, but the fate of similar ballot questions failed in three of five states that voted on it last night. [Fox 25]

Column: It’s time for the national Democratic Party to invest in Oklahoma: The morning after the midterm elections, national progressives celebrated reducing the red wave that conservative politicians and their abettors on cable news promised so breathlessly to a trickle. [George Lang Guest Column / Oklahoma City Free Press]

  • Democrats rethink strategy after disappointments statewide [Fox25]

Economy & Business News

Canoo to expand to Oklahoma City with electric vehicle manufacturing plant in repurposed building: Start-up electric car maker Canoo announced Wednesday that it plans expand its footprint in Oklahoma by agreeing to purchase space for a vehicle manufacturing facility in Oklahoma City. [Tulsa World]

Wind farm valuation judgement could impact schools: This decision affects the dollars that school districts will receive from wind farm ad valorem taxation. There are several other cases and state court ad valorem challenges filed by wind companies in about 15 other counties in Oklahoma, including Kay County. [Ponca City News]

Education News

Oklahoma City Public Schools passes largest bond in district’s history: A $955 million bond issue that Oklahoma City Public Schools pitched as a transformational opportunity to bring its facilities and resources on par with suburban school districts passed Tuesday with more than the necessary 60% support, despite a late push against it over charter school objections. [The Oklahoman]

Fugitive who embezzled from East Central University captured at mother’s house: Brian Hampton, who stole more than $320,000 from East Central University while working as the school’s bursar, was arrested by the U.S. marshals at his mother’s house in Ada on Monday morning, more than two and a half years after a warrant had been issued for his arrest. [NonDoc]

General News

Column: For veterans, loneliness remains a health challenge without a cure: This Veterans Day, I ask you to consider another need facing many of our aging heroes — loneliness. Isolation disproportionately impacts older adults. This is an overlooked public health epidemic that is seeing a spike in consequences among our generation — amplified by the effects of COVID-19. [Marilyn Olson Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Column: Never forget the sacrifice our veterans made: We should extend our gratitude to all those who have served and are now serving our nation in the cause of freedom. We thank them and their families for sacrifice and service. While they are in harm’s way, we must thank them and give them a place of honor in our hearts. Together, we must not let their service (nor their stories) be forgotten. [Peggy Goodrich Column / Enid News & Eagle]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Veterans Day: Tulsa parade headlines day of area activities dedicated to veterans [Tulsa World]
  • Edmond mayor Darrell Davis denies conflict of interest with any city contract [Fox 25]

Quote of the Day

“The justices are now faced with a stark choice: on siding with the U.S. constitution and centuries of precedent, or with a political campaign that would reduce tribal sovereignty and create instability throughout the U.S., in areas ranging from criminal justice to child welfare.”

– Joint statement from five tribal nations (Cherokee Nation, Navajo Nation, Oneida Nation, Quinault Indian Nation and Morongo Band of Mission Indians) following the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral arguments on the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law that governs adoptions, child custody and foster care issues involving tribal citizens. [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Voter turnout for Oklahoma’s 2022 general election, down from 56% during the 2018 general election. [Oklahoma Watch]  

Policy Note

Democracy Wins the 2022 Midterms: Democracy had a good day on Tuesday. Our election systems faced extraordinary pressure and held up well. The elections were free, fair, and emphatically calm. Elections like this teach lessons and shape narratives. This year the health of our democracy was a central topic for the first time in years – and the public made clear what it thought. [Brennan Center for Justice]   

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Hana Saad joined OK Policy in August 2022 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with degrees in Media Studies and English and is part of Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. At TU, Hana regularly wrote for The Collegian and was the Co-Editor of the Stylus Journal of Art and Writing. She also serves on the team at Puppy Haven Rescue to help in their mission of saving rescue dogs across Oklahoma. Hana is eager to learn more about public policy in Oklahoma and use her skills to support the OKP work to build a more equitable state. In her free time, she loves to read fiction and poetry, walk her dog, and make copious cups of tea.

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