In The Know: Superintendent candidates square off in debate

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that the state’s superintendent candidates squared off in a public debate. Applications to vote by mail with an absentee ballot in Oklahoma can be requested until 5 p.m. Wednesday and the polls will be open for early voting this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Cherokee Nation celebrated the construction of a $5 million treatment center for teens struggling with substance abuse. Amid predictions of a steep drop in oil prices, industry leaders are reassuring investors that even at much lower prices they can still return ample profits. Family Builders operates one of several domestic violence intervention programs, which provide court-ordered therapy and rehabilitation to perpetrators of abuse.

OK Policy posted the next in its series on ‘broken democracy’, soliciting ideas from citizen leaders to address lackluster voter participation in local elections. U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe says he’s spending “almost every waking moment” campaigning for other people and yesterday was in Lithuania for the opening of a port facility to handle liquefied natural gas.

In today’s Policy Note, the Legal Action Center highlights the case of a three year old toddler put into official immigration court proceedings on his own, without legal representation to help him explain to the court why he should be granted asylum and not be deported. The Number of the Day is the percentage of Oklahomans who acknowledge that the climate is changing. 

In The News

Superintendent candidates face off at UCO debate

Oklahoma state superintendent candidates faced off Monday night at the University of Central Oklahoma. The candidates, Republican Joy Hofmeister and Democrat John Cox, participated in a forum with Matthew Moore of the UCO College of Liberal Arts moderating. Five questions were prepared by the UCO Debate Planning Committee with additional questions asked by the audience.

Read more from The Enid News & Eagle

Absentee deadline approaches, early voting scheduled for general election in Oklahoma

Voters will have an opportunity to cast ballots early for the Nov. 4 general election at county election boards from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For those who want to vote by mail, applications for an absentee ballot can be requested until 5 p.m. Wednesday at any of the state’s 77 county election boards or downloaded from the state Election Board’s website,

Read more from NewsOK

Cherokee Nation opens substance abuse treatment center for teenagers in Tahlequah

The Cherokee Nation on Monday celebrated the construction of its $5 million Jack Brown Center. The treatment center helps American Indian ages 13 to 18 overcome drug and alcohol addiction. It’s one of only 10 centers of its kind in the country, according to the tribe. Oklahoma has some of the highest rates of mental illness and substance abuse in the nation.

Read more from NewsOK

Crude at $80 a Barrel? No Sweat, Say Oil Producer CEOs

U.S. energy companies are shrugging off a 24 percent plunge in oil prices, confident they can adapt and still make money. Amid predictions that the biggest drop in crude prices since the global financial crisis six years ago will choke off cash flow and slow drilling, industry leaders are reassuring investors they still have the means to return ample profits.

Read more from BloombergBusinessweek

Batterers join Oklahoma City program to fight domestic violence triggers

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, 11 men gathered in a cozy, white-walled room downtown for an intervention. Carefully, thoughtfully and without getting too preachy, Phil Altes, the facilitator, chose questions that gently pulled skeletons from the closet of the men, all acknowledged batterers. He has 52 weeks to help them change — no small task.

Read more from NewsOK

Ideas for improving representative democracy in Oklahoma (Guest Blog: Dr. Randal Burris)

Large monetary contributions from a small number of very wealthy individuals leaves the average person with a sense that his or her voice matters very little, and that elections are bought and sold by narrow special interests with little regard to the needs and wants of the electorate. Additionally, people such as myself, who have considered running for public office at either the State legislative or Congressional level, feel excluded from the process because we lack the “deep pockets” to adequately finance a campaign in today’s market.

Read more from OK Policy Blog

Randy Krehbiel: Inhofe on the stump — in Lithuania

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe must not be too worried about the Nov. 4 general election. At least not his own race. He spent part of last week campaigning for Republican Senate candidate Mike Rounds in South Dakota and Monday was in Lithuania for the opening of a port facility to handle liquefied natural gas.

Read more from Tulsa World

Quote of the Day

“Our philosophy is: we learn to parent the way we were parented, and if you grew up in an abusive and violent situation, chances are pretty good you are going to repeat the cycle. Our goal is to break the cycle.”

Laura Gamble, Executive Director of Family Builders, which operates ‘batterers-intervention programs’ – intensive therapy for perpetrators of domestic violence

Number of the Day

87 percent

The percentage of Oklahomans who acknowledge that the climate is changing; 72 percent believe past warming has been caused by humans

Source: Stanford University via House Energy and Commerce Committee, 2013

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

How Can a Three Year Old Represent Himself in Court?

Each week, in immigration courts across the United States, hundreds of children, some as young as just a few months old, come before immigration judges and are called upon to defend themselves against deportation. Among them is Arturo,* a three year old who arrived at the United States border in April 2014 because family members feared for his life in El Salvador. 

Read more from the Legal Action Center

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