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 first article to bring this to our attention was this Joy Hofmeister, Fount Holland, former teachers' union chief charged with conspiracy to commit election felonies - BatesLine.
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.
On the same web site we found this OSDE Public Records | Oklahoma State Department of 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 of interest we found was this RELEASE: Statement on Joy Hofmeister Indictment – Oklahoma Democratic Party.
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.