Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Education Caucus Knows Not What they Do

By the Watchman 
  It didn't take long to start talking about the State Budget after the election and we are glad that it is. We decided to report on this subject at this time based on this article here From Ken Miller: Oil and gas tax collections edge up in October gross receipts report. For the first time in eighteen months state revenues showed an increase. A very modest increase at best coming in at just over three percent (3.1%). It falls well short of being able to cover the projected $700 million dollar budget shortfall expected this year. Ladies and Gentlemen that comes to a total of right at $2 billion dollars of a shortfall in our budget over two years. A shortfall that we the citizens have to pay for. We ask the newly formed Education Caucus who they propose to sacrifice in order to give their fellow educators the pay raises they deserve and need. With reports of proposals of between $5,000 and $10,000 dollar increases and the serious shortage of funding we are interested in seeing their proposals.

  The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma state budget and finances - Ballotpedia. Now the figures on this document date from 2014, however they are the most current records available. They do indicate a decrease in spending in the state, but we feel these figures are misleading. This document indicates that Property taxes are not collected. Each county in the state does in fact collect property taxes. These taxes are a primary source for school funding. That would change the entire picture on the percentage of school funding.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Department of Education Leadership Facing Felonies and a Mess

By the Watchman

What a mess at the Department of Education. The Superintendent of Public Education along with four other individuals has been charged with felony counts of campaign finance violations. Admittedly we took into consideration the District Attorney involved in this matter and had some initial doubts. After conducting our own research the doubts were eliminated and replaced with the very real idea that the possibility of this being a viable charge did happen.

The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma Education Association - OEA Board of Directors. This article lists the board of directors of the Oklahoma Education Association. Unions and Politicians make strange bed fellows.

We next looked at the actual charges filed against the individuals. You can see them here  We were not really surprised to see the legacy of corruption continuing in the teachers union. One of the defendants listed is the current leader of the Oklahoma Education Association. It would appear that a lot of this is surrounding the insurance benefits that teachers and retired teachers receive. We must ask if they are really getting the best deal for their money. We urge our readers to open this link and read the document themselves. It will shock you.

The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma Democratic Party asks State Superintendent to step down | KFOR.com. We feel they are justified in their request. As the Superintendent of Public Education she should be trying to set the example for our young, up and coming leaders. What kind of an example is she setting by clinging to the office while facing charges? We know that she has repeatedly claimed her innocence and in this country you are innocent until proven quilt. Wouldn't the more proper example be to step aside and let your second in command run the system until you clear your name?

The next article of interest we found was this High-profile losses, criminal investigation hit powerful Oklahoma political consulting firm A.H. Strategies | News OK. This makes a person wonder if they concentrated on one politician to the detriment of other clients. This is an area that needs further investigation for the possibility of fraud.

The next article we found was this MuskogeePolitico.com: Outside groups blame AH Strategies, Fount Holland for Shannon's loss. We urge you to open this link and read the article. This covers one of the high profile loses. That was the loss of Former Speaker T.W. Shannon's bid for the open seat of the U.S. Senate. This occurred at about the same time the alleged campaign violations happened.

We next went to the Oklahoma web site for the Department of Education here Oklahoma State Department of Education. Now this page is a brief biography of the Superintendent of Public Education.

The next article of interest we found was this Joy Hofmeister - Ballotpedia. There is some more biographical information here. We found the vote tally for both the primary and general races. In addition we found where she was a member of the Oklahoma State Board of Education from January 2012 through April 2013.

The next article we found was this Joy Hofmeister - Wikipedia. Here we found that she has a Bachelor's degree in Education from Texas Christian University and holds teaching certificates in English and Elementary Education. As far as any advanced degrees she may have we were only able to verify that as of April 2015 she was working on her Master's degree in Education Administration with a specialty in Education Policy and Law from the University of Oklahoma. Based on this information she lacks the experience and education to fill the position as the Superintendent of Public Education.

The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister charged with campaign violations, conspiracy - Tulsa World: Education. This article is the beginning of the downfall of Joy Hofmeister. With her being a former educator, though we know not where, and a small business operator in the Tulsa area; this could devastate her career. We ask again, what is she doing still holding the position and at the very least not being placed on administrative leave. This is not setting a good example for our children.

The next article of interest we found was this State School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister charged with campaign violations | KFOR.com. This is one of the first reports that came out about the pending charges against Superintendent Hofmeister. The way this report is worded it indicates that the most serious charges she faces are the two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony. We however do not feel that is the case. It is our belief that the most serious charge she faces is the appearance of corruption. Whether she's found innocent or guilty, the appearance of public corruption such as this is why Oklahoma is known as the most corrupt state in the union. She is not doing the state any good by hanging on to her job while fighting these charges either.

The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma State Superintendent pleads not guilty to campaign finance violations, conspiracy | KFOR.com. This article gives us a first look as to why these charges were brought. It appears that it's the same problem the plagues almost every election. Dark Money groups don't have to report who their donors are or anything of that nature. There is a loophole in the law that allows them to get away with collecting donations and supporting candidates without having to reveal who they are. They are buying the offices is what it boils down to.

The next article we found was this Joy Hofmeister is in trouble… | The Lost Ogle. The headline is an understatement. Even if found not guilty, her political career is over. We acknowledge that the Chair of the Oklahoma State GOP has stated her support as has the Governor; however Oklahoman's are not forgiving to those who give the state a bad name.

It is obvious that due to the current legal situation that she finds herself in, the Superintendent of Public Education should step down from her position. What she is facing makes it impossible to dedicate her efforts to the improvement of our education system here in Oklahoma and fight these charges at the same time. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Will to Win that Destroyed a Company

By the Watchman. 
  There is nothing like last minute distractions right before an election. It seems that may be what we have going on here. In this article we must ask a simple question. Why in the world would a partner in a business described as a "rising star" risk it all by cheating? Why would they risk throwing their career, reputation and life away just to get a political office? This individual and his firm have brought even more dishonor to our state and to the political process we have so many that have fought and died for. Their actions are just plain disgraceful.

  The company we are talking about is AH Strategies. We began our research by going to their web site here Who We Are | AH Strategies. This is a list of the partners in the firm. The founder, Fount Holland, is the individual we are most interested in. He started this company in his home in 1997. He did show some initiative.

  What brought our attention to Mr. Holland was this High-profile losses, criminal investigation hit powerful Oklahoma political consulting firm A.H. Strategies | News OK. This raises serious doubt about the firm and the individual client that was also charged in this case. What makes matters worse is the candidate implicated happens to be the State Superintendent of Public Education. What kind of an example is this setting for our children?

Monday, November 7, 2016



While going through our various news feeds this week we came across one that struck us as being a little biased and uncommon for the source. We had to ask ourselves why they would use this source as an expert on Oklahoma Politics. The only answer we could find was due to his association with a major university in the state and his willingness to do the interview.

Just so everyone would know, we went to Wikipedia to get a definition of Political Science for you. Here is what we found Political science is a social science discipline that deals with systems of government, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts and political behavior.[1] It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as determining of the distribution of power and resources. Political scientists "see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions, and from these revelations they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics works."[2] Political science is related to and draws upon the fields of economicslawsociologyhistoryphilosophy,geographypsychology, and anthropology. In short these are the long term political operatives and career bureaucrats that are writing the actual regulations that complicate our lives on a daily bases. We have enough of them already. We don't need to teach these people how to be crooks.