capitol

Podcast Ep. 52 | Capitol Reporters, Vol. 1 (with Grant Hermes and Sean Murphy)

In this episode we visit with two of Oklahoma's intrepid journalists, Grant Hermes (News9) and Sean Murphy (Associated Press) to get an inside look into what it's like to cover the State Capitol and politics in general in today's political climate.

NOTE: As you’ll hear at the beginning of the episode, we had an issue with the initial audio export and thus had to cut out the first five minutes of the original recording. So, we jump in near the beginning of our discussion of the second news article listed below.

News Round-up

Take-Aways

For all of us who have jobs and cannot be at the Capitol all day, every day, the journalists that comprise the Capitol press corp are our eyes and ears inside the building. However, they are merely observers of the process, not active participants. Because of that, they have a unique insight and perspective into what goes on there, and we thought it would be interesting to hear from them directly.

Journalists have come under fire during the last couple years, largely without warrant. Both Grant and Sean do a great job explaining how the see their role in politics today and the process that goes into investigating, researching, vetting, and writing the news. These are not cable news talking heads - these are local people reporting on local things, working their tails off to ensure that they get it right. They also share the most challenging aspects of their jobs as well as their favorite Oklahoma political stories from the past couple of years.

We included “Vol. 1” in the title because we will be doing additional interviews with other reporters at the State Capitol for future episodes down the line. Stay tuned!

Podcast Ep. 49 | Labor Commissioner 101 with Leslie Osborn

Summary

We discuss the Oklahoma Capitol Restoration Project and sit down with Oklahoma Representative and GOP candidate for Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn to find out what, exactly, the position does in our state. 

Takeaways

  • The restoration project is an enormous undertaking and the craftsmanship of the work is impressive. (See pics below!)
  • The Oklahoma Labor Commissioner is responsible for workplace safety and development, which includes working with education & training organizations to educate the next generation of Oklahoma workers.
  • Osborn's 
  • Remember to vote in the primary run-off election on Tuesday, August 28th!

2018 Session: Week 1 Recap

Hey guys! Since we recorded our weekly episode of #LetsPodThis early this week for Governor Fallin’s State of the State Address, we put together a quick blog post to make sure you’re up-to-date with what has been a pretty busy first week of session.

Currently the Legislature in concurrent session, trying to wrap up the 2nd Extraordinary Session of 2017 and beginning the First Regular Session of 2018. Most of the action this week has been taken on bills filed as part of special session and most of that has been in the House.We’ve got all the details for you down below.

Pulling Back from Partisanship

School has started, 2018 campaigns are kicking off, and interim studies are being conducted - it's a typical fall at the Oklahoma State Capitol. This is the time of year is typically when the thrashing tide of partisan pressure recedes and we begin to see calmer heads prevail as the rhetoric on both sides of the aisle attempt to take on a more collaborative, almost hopeful tone through the winter. But this year is different. 

Capitol Restoration Project, vol 1.

If you've driven by or seen photos of the Oklahoma State Capitol recently, you probably noticed that about half of the building is surrounded by scaffolding and shrouded in white tarps. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go behind the curtain with the project manager, Trait Thompson, to tour the capitol restoration efforts. It was an impressive, down-right fascinating look at how we maintain one of Oklahoma's top tourist destinations. It's a lot of work and a lot of attention to detail. Mike Holmes would be proud.

Leadership, Vision and Legacy

Leadership, Vision and Legacy

A lot of folks, myself included, have commented on the lack of leadership among our state legislature and other statewide elected officials. That deficiency has been highlighted repeatedly this year by the legislature's fledgling attempts to fix the budget. From the Governor's highly unpopular plan to tax services to the recent communication break down among legislative leaders, the people responsible for guiding our state's financial well-being have left the public feeling, well...honestly, pretty scared about the future. 

You Must Get Involved

You Must Get Involved

A lot of people started this legislative session feeling fairly optimistic - we believed the new leadership in the Oklahoma House & Senate were going to be thoughtful, reasonable, and empowering to the people of Oklahoma. We were prepared for the news of yet another revenue failure and an $878 million budget shortfall, but with so many people at the Capitol agreeing that the state isn't bringing in enough recenue to cover its expenses, we thought that we'd see multiple revenue measures pass through both chambers relatively quickly.

Counting Every Penny

The Oklahoman recently published an editorial written by Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker-elect Charles McCall (R-Atoka), in which he states that before the legislative sessions starts in February, the House will hold budget hearings for the top five appropriated state agencies. (He doesn't mention which agencies, but they are Education, Health, Human Services, Public Safety, and Transportation.) 

First time at the Capitol?

Tomorrow is will be the first event of Oklahoma's 56th Legislature, and for many of the folks attending our Hall & Oaths event, it will be their very first time to ever visit the state Capitol. Which, by the way, is terrific. When Let's Fix This started in the spring of 2016, it was the first time most of us had ever gone to the Capitol, at least for something other than a tour. Personally, I wasn't sure where to park or walk or where to find the restrooms, much less my Senator's office. 

And so, here's your quick guide to visiting the Oklahoma State Capitol!