Patrick B. McGuigan
OKLAHOMA CITY – From an editor’s notebook, Lankford and life, Kiesel is concerned, Goodwin gives grades – and Fallin’s a fan of generous state workers.
On Friday, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, participated in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., held Friday (January 27). After the event, he issued this statement:
“The March for Life is an incredible display of compassion for the dignity of all human life. I’m grateful for every person who traveled to Washington, D.C. to support the lives of all people – no matter how small. The debate about abortion is no longer about a collection of cells, it is about a preborn human that can feel pain, has a beating heart, and has unique DNA that is different from the mom and the dad.”
Lankford took a photograph from the event’s speaker’s stand, showing a sea of humanity on the national mall to hear the assembled pro-life leaders.
Three progressive organizations have announced plans for a Monday (January 30) press conference at the Oklahoma state Capitol. They will decry what they characterized, in a press release, as “anti-sexual and reproductive health and anti-LGBTQ bills filed in the Oklahoma Legislature.”
At 10:30 a.m. in the Capitol press room, Planned Parenthood of the Great Plains Votes, Freedom Oklahoma, and the ACLU of Oklahoma will assailt say a range of bills that members of the groups contend “threaten the autonomy of Oklahomans.”
Representing the trio of organizations, respectively, will be Tamya Cox, Troy Stevenson and Ryan Kiesel. Kiesel is a former member of the state House of Representatives who now runs the American Civil Liberties Union’s state affiliate.
State Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, will participate in a public hearing (in Room 412-C at the Capitol to focus on “pros and cons” of the state Education Department’s revised A-F grading system, “regarding minority student impact,” according a press release from the House Democratic staff.
Goodwin said, in the release, “Through the years, numerous efforts have been made to get rid of the controversial A-F grading system. After hearing serious concerns from constituents and after reading the Department of Education plan, I thought we should hold a public hearing on the issue.”
The State Charitable Campaign (SCC) – the United Way-style drive thorugh which state employees can concentrate contributions to more than 200 local, statewide and international charities – has raised $516,615, the vast majority of that in the state Capitol area.
Steve Buck, executive director of the state office of Juvenile Affairs, thanked Governor Mary Fallin for serving as chairman of the SCC. He said, “Many Oklahomans have or will have a moment in their lives whether personal, or family in nature, that requires the assistance from organizations that benefit from the State Charitable Campaign. It is wonderful to see our employees step up and support this campaign even during a challenging fiscal climate.” Buck chaired the SCC this past year.
Buck’s own agency had the highest percentage increase in giving, while the state Department of Health was the highest contributing agency. The largest per capita donations came from the office of the State
Fallin commented, in a release, “To have a lofty goal of nearly a half million dollars and surpass it in these challenging economic times speaks to the quality of character and generous spirit of our state employees. It continues to show that whenever Oklahomans are struggling or a community is struggling, we can always count on each other for support.”