The Oklahoma Policy Institute, a think tank that provides insightful, independent analysis of state policy issues, is conducting a year-end fundraising drive.
As political power shifts in state government next year, OK Policy is needed more than ever here. The organization has become a mainstay of Oklahoma politics, government and media since its inception. It adds balance and intellectualism to a state political climate often driven by ideology and short-term interests.
In a media release about the fundraising drive, David Blatt, OK Policy director, said:
With Oklahoma facing prolonged constraints on the budget; with funding cuts leading to a loss of services and programs that is eroding our ability to invest in our common goals as a state; with a fragile economy leaving families struggling to get by and get ahead, we believe that the need for OK Policy has never been greater.
First-time contributions are matched by a foundation. Contributions are tax deductible. Click here to contribute.
Speaking of mainstays in Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Observer continues to churn out progressive news and commentary in one of the most conservative states in the nation. The journal’s former editor, Frosty Troy, its current editor, Arnold Hamilton, and its contributing writers, offer a much-needed counterpoint to the state’s corporate media outlets, such as The Oklahoman.
Its motto remains: “To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
A subscription to The Observer makes a great holiday gift. Click here to find out more subscription information.
Arnold Hamilton, editor of The Oklahoma Observer, published an excellent article last week about the lack of interest among legislators to become part of a No Gifts List.
The list, which was created by Common Cause Oklahoma, allows legislators to vow they won’t accept gifts from people trying to influence legislation. So far, according to Hamilton’s article, only two legislators have signed up. They are state Rep. Jason Murphey, a Guthrie Republican, and state Sen. Andrew Rice, an Oklahoma City Democrat.
In his article, Hamilton asks: “Where is everybody else?”
The truth is, the No Gifts List doesn’t set well with many legislators who don’t want attention drawn to the fact they enjoy being wined, dined and otherwise feted by state government’s army of special interest professionals.
According to the Common Cause Oklahoma website, another legislator has since joined the No Gifts List. The legislator is state Rep. Charles Key, an Oklahoma City Republican.
The No Gifts List urges legislators to accept this pledge:
I will allow Common Cause Oklahoma, a nonpartisan, good government group to post my name on a “No Gifts List,” on Common Cause Oklahoma’s website. My name on this list provides a way by which I and lobbyists can establish a public relationship based on professionalism and end constituent perceptions that Oklahoma public officials and lobbyists engage in an inappropriate game of quid pro-quo. By allowing Common Cause Oklahoma to post my name to the “No Gifts List,” I’m showing my commitment to good government and my high concern for ethics.
Read Hamilton’s insightful article, “Leveling The Playing Field,” on the issue. The Oklahoma Observer continues to offer intelligent, progressive commentary and articles. Hamilton took over the leadership of the publication from Frosty Troy, the journal’s longtime editor. Here is the journal’s subscription information.
(State Rep. Sally Kern continues to push her religious agenda. Read DocHoc's article "Prayers instead of poems" in this week's issue of the Oklahoma Gazette, the state's best alternative publication.)
The Oklahoma Observer is increasing its web presence, and that’s great post-election news for liberals in Oklahoma.
Arnold Hamilton, who appears in the YouTube video on the right, and his wife, Beverly, now operate the journal, which is an important Oklahoma institution. They took over the publication from legendary Frosty Troy and his late wife, Helen. Troy still writes for The Observer.
Progressive bloggers and writers in the state owe much to Troy, who has relentlessly stood up to the rich and politically powerful in this state. He paved the way. The Observer has been one of the few, consistent liberal voices in Oklahoma for more than three decades. It has provided an extended forum for liberals to discuss state issues outside of Oklahoma’s conservative corporate media. The publication remains influential in the state political scene.
The Observer motto is: “To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Hamilton recently announced The Observer was improving its Web site. “In the coming months,” Hamilton writes, “we believe you’ll find it a must-stop on your daily Internet rounds, an indispensable read to stay in the know on Oklahoma government and politics.”
The journal offers subscriptions to both its print and online versions. Check it out.