In The Know: Why campaigns go negative; OK judge resigns over abuse of power; teachers turn to politics…

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. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

(Capitol Update) In final days before election, many pressures to go negative: With about a week to go, the statewide runoff campaigns have turned negative. Surprise, Surprise. People wonder why this happens. It happens for two reasons: Neither candidate wants to lose — and it works. Most of us have something in our lives we’d just as soon everyone not know about. It could be something personal like an embarrassing family situation. Or, perhaps it’s something in our business dealings like a lawsuit. [Steve Lewis / OK Policy]

Oklahoma judge resigns amid abuse of power allegations: campaign website and Facebook page for an Oklahoma district judge facing suspension and possible removal from the bench were deleted Monday, the deadline for which the judge could either submit to voluntary suspension or submit a response to the suspension request. Citing a desire to spend time with his family, rather than the mounting abuse of power allegations made against him, District Judge Curtis DeLapp announced his resignation today, according to a radio station in Bartlesville. [The Frontier]

After the walkout teachers turned to reading, writing and politics: Five days into a statewide teacher walkout, Sarah Carnes was scrolling through her social media feeds when she came across a Facebook post asking if a teacher in the Mustang area would be willing to run for an open state House seat in the upcoming election. Carnes, who is an art teacher at Mustang High School, had spent the previous week with thousands of other educators at the state Capitol, demanding that lawmakers increase funding for schools, only to be told repeatedly that the level of increase being sought was not going to happen. The exhilarating experience of participating in one of the state’s largest public demonstrations helped open her mind to an idea she hadn’t really considered before. [NewsOK ????]

The class of 2032: A new generation enters a changing school system: There were several children in tears but Lana Welch focused her attention on a crying four-year-old named Paisley, who wore a pink ribbon with white dots in her braided hair. It was Welch’s first day as principal of the Learning Tree prekindergarten school in Lawton and she was visiting classrooms to provide support for teachers dealing with bewildered children who had just been left by their parents, many for the first time in their young lives. [NewsOK ????]

KIPP Tulsa University Prep is Tulsa’s first high school on a college campus: Tulsa has its first high school located on a college campus as KIPP Tulsa University Prep High School’s inaugural class of freshmen started classes Monday at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. Ahmad Roper’s mother was literally in tears when she discovered and enrolled her son in the new expansion of KIPP Tulsa, which was founded in 2005 for grades 5-8. “She got real emotional because this is something new and big and better that I could come up from,” said Roper, who attended Monroe Demonstration School and Sand Springs’ Clyde Boyd Middle School previously. [Tulsa World]

Data Center Update: Superintendent salaries: School superintendents across the state earn a wide range of salaries, with more than half collecting total compensation of $100,000 or more. The table below shows what superintendents earned in 2017-18, as reported to the Oklahoma Department of Education. For some superintendents, especially in smaller districts, total pay reflects multiple jobs, such as working as a principal or teacher. [Oklahoma Watch]

Not enough signatures for recreational marijuana: A petition drive to get recreational marijuana on an Oklahoma ballot failed to get enough signatures, Secretary of State James Williamson announced Monday. Green the Vote collected 102,814 signatures that could be counted for the proposed State Question 797. The organization needed 123,725 valid signatures to get the issue on the ballot. [NewsOK] Oklahoma has opened a medical marijuana hotline to answer questions about the new law. The state will begin accepting medical marijuana license applications online starting Saturday at 10 a.m. [KTEN]

Tulsa World editorial: Alerting doctors to the opioid deaths of their patients can save lives: Doctors who are told that their patients overdose on opioids become more conservative about prescribing the drugs, California researchers have found. “Dear doctor” letters were sent to some 400 prescribing doctors, dentists and others whose patients had died of overdoses. Other medical professionals whose patients also had died of overdoses were not contacted, but their prescription habits were also studied for comparison over a three-month period. [Editorial Board / Tulsa World]

State expanding use of cable barriers on highways: The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is considering cable barriers for a new application: replacing guardrails at the side of the road on some two-lane highways. More than 685 miles of cable barrier have been installed across the state since 2007, at a cost of $81 million. Records indicate 37 traffic fatalities in crossover crashes on highways with no barriers in 2004. In comparison, ODOT logged nine fatalities in crossover collisions across the state in 2017.  [Journal Record ????]

Educator tries to oust Rep. Bobby Cleveland in HD 20: Oklahoma House District 20 Republicans will vote one week from today in a runoff-primary between a conservative firebrand incumbent and a political newcomer largely motivated by education issues. In interviews for this story, both candidates described the race as tense in nature. Sherrie Conley, 54, lives in Newcastle and has been an educator for 26 years, with 15 years of classroom instruction experience. Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville) is a retired businessman with experience in marketing and sales. [NonDoc]

Sean Roberts vs. Louise Redcorn – District 36: Sean Roberts and Louise Redcorn are running for Stat Representative in District 36 and will face each other in the upcoming run-off election August 28. Each candidate weighed in on some of today’s hot topics. The topics included gun control, education, marijuana, and sports betting and gambling. [Skiatook Journal]

Ball and dice games receive federal approval: Ball and dice games are officially happening in Oklahoma. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was first to open the tables to the public on Monday. The federal government approved the games on Friday, so Monday was the ceremonial first roll for this style of gaming. The Cherokee Nation’s Hard Rock Casino is the first in the Tulsa market to open tables to this style of gaming after Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law allowing the games in casinos in Oklahoma. [News on 6].

Six briefs filed in Murphy case in support of Oklahoma: The case that could potentially update the boundaries for the State of Oklahoma and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and define Indian Country and reservations took a hit, with six amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the State of Oklahoma. The briefs were filed by the United States, the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming and the Governor of Maine, the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association and several Oklahoma district attorneys, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the Environmental Federation of Oklahoma and the State Chamber of Oklahoma. [Mvskoke Media]

Lee School renamed Council Oak Elementary School just in time for start of semester: Three-hundred seventy-two days after Tulsa Public Schools began evaluating its school names in the wake of the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, the district no longer has a school named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The Tulsa school board approved renaming the 100-year-old elementary school Council Oak Elementary School on Monday night. [Tulsa World]

The City Born in a Day: The bizarre origin story of the surprisingly exceptional Oklahoma City, in a government-sanctioned raid called the Land Run. What follows is an excerpt from Sam Anderson’s new book Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis. Anderson (a former book critic for New York) argues that humble Oklahoma City — 27th most populous city in the country, home of the American Banjo Museum — is, in fact, one of the most secretly interesting places in the world. That claim might seem outlandish, but the historical evidence backs it up. [Daily Intelligencer]

Quote of the Day

“If you want a car that will just get you from A to B and that’s it, you get a cheap car. Right now, that’s what we are doing in (education) and … we owe our kids more than that.”

– David Baskin, parent of a pre-K student in Lawton [NewsOK]

Number of the Day


Percentage of all Oklahoma businesses with paid employees that did not have a website (2016).

[U.S. Census Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

For many college students, hunger ‘makes it hard to focus’: According to a survey of UC Berkeley students, 38 percent of undergraduates and 23 percent of graduate students deal with food insecurity at some point during the academic year, Canedo says. In particular, the school reaches out to groups known to be at risk for food insecurity — including students who are parents, low-income or who identify as LGBTQ, as well as those who are first-generation college students. [NPR]

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Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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