The Weekly Wonk November 9, 2014

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The KnowClick here to subscribe to In The Know.

This week on the OK Policy Blog, we urged all Oklahomans to get a flu shot. In our continuing discussion of democracy and elections in Oklahoma, we examined why so few Oklahomans vote. In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis discussed races worth watching in Tuesday’s election. Executive Director David Blatt suggested some goals for Gov. Fallin’s next four years in office in his Journal Record column.

On the OK PolicyCast, we spoke to Blatt about what this week’s elections mean for Oklahoma and the US, and also discussed some non-election news. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcher, or RSS. Blatt also spoke to KGOU about the problems with Oklahoma’s many uncontested elections.

Tomorrow, on Monday, November 10th, OK Policy will host Dr. Lawrence R. Jacobs, a leading national expert on health care policy, for his lunchtime talk, “The 2014 Elections and the Future of Health Reform,” at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. There are a few tickets left!

In our Editorial of the Week, Religion Dispatches discussed why Oklahoma’s two recent beheading murders by a “Muslim” and a “Christian” should challenge our narratives around religion and violence.

Quote of the Week:

“This year, I’ve been asked to present to the Legislature a plan on how OETA could operate — I think the operational word there is could operate — without state funding in a three-, five- and seven-year plan. Short of an $80 million endowment, we’re going to need the help of the state of Oklahoma, in order to operate the state network.”

-Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) Executive Director Dan Schiedel, speaking to a Rotary club on Monday. State funding currently comprises about one-third of OETA’s budget (Source:

See prior Quotes of the Day here.

Numbers of the day:

  • 889,137 – Oklahomans who received aid purchasing food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2013.
  • $34,321 – Median annual wage of a substance abuse counselor in Oklahoma in 2013.
  • 211,006 – How many fewer Oklahomans voted in this year’s governor’s race compared to 2010, a 20 percent drop in turnout.
  • $1,097,763 – The average amount of money saved, in medical expenses and lost productivity, for each suicide prevented in Oklahoma.
  • 100 – Number of obstetricians and gynecologists working in Oklahoma in 2013.

See prior Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What we’re reading:



Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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