In The Know: Workers remove Ten Commandments from Oklahoma Capitol grounds

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.

Today In The News

Workers remove Ten Commandments from Oklahoma Capitol grounds: Workers using a heavy-duty crane and cutting tools Monday night removed a Ten Commandments monument from outside the Oklahoma Capitol as required under a court order. It was expected to cost nearly $5,000 to remove the monument, which is locked in place with rebar and epoxy. The monument will be on loan to the OCPA, a public policy analysis organization [NewsOK].

Layoffs hit ConocoPhillips workers in Bartlesville: As ConocoPhillips cuts its global workforce by 10 percent, it means 170 workers at the company’s Bartlesville offices are losing their jobs. Confirmation came this week from ConocoPhillips executives at their headquarters in Houston, Texas. The 170 are among 1,800 jobs around that world that are being cut. But Bartlesville mayor Tom Gorman remains confident about helping those losing their jobs [OK Energy Today].

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear Jim Thorpe case, other Oklahoma cases: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in the legal struggle over Jim Thorpe’s remains, dealing a blow to the athlete’s sons and Oklahoma tribe that sought to relocate them to the state. In the first day of its new term, the court also rejected review of an Indian gaming case originally filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to block a casino in Broken Arrow. And Chesapeake Energy Corp. won the final round against an institutional investor that claimed the company should have disclosed more information in public statements about some financial transactions [NewsOK].

Oklahoma PR firm Ackerman McQueen has been behind NRA’s provocative ads for decades: When the National Rifle Association aired its 35-second TV spot last month, suggesting that President Obama has a double standard on school security and seemingly using his daughters as props, the White House quickly labeled it “repugnant and cowardly.” But the commercial was another in a long line of bare-knuckled NRA advertisements, many of them controversial but also compelling attacks that have come to define the organization [Washington Post].

Interim study to look at Oklahoma voter apathy: State Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, said he wants to look at nonpartisan ways to increase the number of people who register to vote and actually make it to the polls. One indicator of voter apathy, he said, was in 2012 when two-thirds of the Oklahoma House of Representatives ran unopposed. His interim study is 9 a.m. Wednesday at the state Capitol [Journal Record]. An OK Policy report previously examined signs that democracy is broken in Oklahoma and suggested ways to fix it [OK Policy].

Oklahoma couples celebrate anniversary of end of ban on gay marriage: The morning of Oct. 6, 2014, Megan Sibbett was about to pull out of the driveway of her Norman home and head to work when she heard something on the radio that made her stop. Her partner, Annemarie Mulkey, came out of the house to find out why she hadn’t left. A few hours later, Mulkey and Sibbett stood in the sanctuary of Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City with their 7-month-old daughter, Olive, and pledged to be faithful to each other until death [NewsOK].

Oklahoma Watch-Out Forum on ‘State’s Dilemma – Where Is the Money?’: Oklahoma House Speaker Jeff Hickman and Minority Leader Scott Inman are the featured guests at the next “Oklahoma Watch-Out” public forum, which will focus on the state’s dilemma in deciding whether to slash funding for key state services in the face of a budget shortfall. The forum will be on Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 6-7 p.m. at Kamp’s 1910 Café, located at 10 N.E. 10th Street in Oklahoma City [Oklahoma Watch].

Quote of the Day

“Oklahoma’s state court costs have strayed far afield from punishing bad behavior and dissuading unlawful conduct. Instead, collection of court costs has become an unrealistic, self-defeating racket that needlessly straps many offenders with overwhelming debt. They fall behind on their court costs and end up in jail, unable to pay other bills, hold a job or take care of their families.”

-Tulsa World Editorial Board (Source)

Number of the Day


Percentage of Oklahoma’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) spending that went to basic cash assistance in 2014.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

If you want mental health services to prevent violence, Medicaid expansion is critical: Medicaid expansion was always the public health cornerstone of ACA. It remains the single most important measure to expand access to mental health and addiction treatment, serving severely vulnerable populations such as the homeless, addressing the complicated medical and psychiatric difficulties of many young men cycling through our jails and prisons [Washington Post].

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Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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