OKGOP Weekly Update: October 10-14:
Greetings Fellow Republicans,
Oklahoma Legal Reforms
The Oklahoma Republican Party is dedicated to showcasing positive changes in our state, which were enacted by Republican Leadership, since taking control of the Capitol just over a decade ago. In the next four weeks, we will focus on issues that have have spurred development throughout the state.
Oklahoma Republicans have attempted to encourage economic growth and create a more business friendly environment through tort reform and workers' compensation reform. These reforms are integral to promoting economic development because these reforms limit the filing of frivolous lawsuits, which hurt Oklahoma businesses, their employees, and the taxpayers of the state.
When frivolous lawsuits prevail, they have a negative impact on the economic health of Oklahoma. If businesses are constantly being forced to defend themselves from frivolous suits, and they are subsequently forced to dish out payments for penalties, settlements, damages, etc., the cost of doing business in Oklahoma increases. When the cost of business goes up, then businesses seek alternative ways to survive, and therefore they end up moving to other states.
Businesses that are hit with frivolous lawsuits have myriad options for recouping money lost to legal proceedings. For example, businesses will often raise the prices for their goods and services, lay off employees, dock wages, eliminate benefits, move their operations to a state with a friendlier business climate, or even shut down their operations completely.
Frivolous lawsuits raise operating costs for businesses, which makes it more expensive for consumers to purchase goods and services. This makes it very difficult to attract new businesses to our state when they see the negative impact that frivolous lawsuits have on Oklahoma, thus, making surrounding states more appealing to new businesses.
By reforming the state's tort and workers' compensation systems, the state would be able to attract more businesses, which could offset decreasing state revenues, but Democrats have long obstructed Republican efforts to make an equitable system of tort law and workers compensation claims. The recent history of legal reforms will be examined in the next section.
Republican efforts at tort reform began in 2007, and came to fruition with House Bill 1603, aka the Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform Act of 2009. This bill attempted to make it harder for plaintiffs to file frivolous lawsuits by adding requirements, such as having an expert affidavit accompany all professional negligence petitions. It passed the House 85-15, passed the Senate 42-5, and was signed by Governor Brad Henry on May 21st, 2009.
In 2011, House Bill 2128 was passed by a vote of 57-40 in the House, and 30-14 in the Senate. House Bill (HB) 2128 added provisions that capped bodily injury claims, i.e., car accidents, slip and fall, etc., at $350,000, regardless of the number of parties who were involved. It also changed the standard for claims in automobile accidents.
Even though tort reform had bipartisan support with both sides of the aisle voting for the provisions-- Governor Henry (D) signing HB 1603 into law, and Governor Fallin (R) signing HB 2128 into law--most of the tort reform efforts were struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 2013. The Wall v. Marouk decision struck down a significant aspect of HB 1603, while Douglas v. Cox Retirement Properties struck down the rest. Similarly, HB 2128's provisions have been reviewed, and it continues to be scrutinized by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court voted 7-2 to strike down HB 1603, which was a blow to Republican led tort reform. Two Justices who voted on the matter are up for retention elections in the upcoming November 8th election. Justice Winchester, who was appointed by Governor Frank Keating, was one of the two Justices who voted to uphold tort reform and make Oklahoma more business friendly. Justice Combs, who was appointed by Brad Henry, voted to overturn tort reform.
Source: Oklahoma State Chamber
The following was provided by the Workers Compensation Commission:
The Oklahoma Legislature enacted the state’s first law governing workers’ compensation one hundred years ago in 1915. The law provides a substitute remedy to an employee for work-related injuries received during covered employment without the burden of proving negligence. The law is intended to provide workers who sustain a compensable injury with compensation for disability and health and rehabilitation benefits, regardless of who was at fault. In exchange for liability without fault, employers are provided with exclusive remedy protection. Exclusive remedy protects employers from liability to injured workers under laws outside the state’s workers’ compensation laws.
Until 1959, the responsibility for administering the workers’ compensation law resided with the State Industrial Commission. In 1959, the Oklahoma Legislature created and transferred jurisdiction over workers’ compensation to the State Industrial Court. In 1978, the State Industrial Court was replaced by the Workers’ Compensation Court. In 2014, the Workers’ Compensation Court was renamed the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims (CEC) for the purpose of hearing disputed claims for injuries occurring before February 1, 2014. The CEC is a court of record, like its 1959 and 1978 predecessor entities. Unless otherwise provided by law, the CEC is to cease operations on July 1, 2020.
Jurisdiction of adjudication of claims for work-related injuries occurring on or after February 1, 2014 was transferred by the Oklahoma Legislature from the CEC to a newly created state administrative agency known as the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). The WCC administers the state’s workers’ compensation law found in Title 85A of the Oklahoma Statutes.
Source: WCC Handbook
Insurance Loss Costs
National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has filed a decrease of 22%, 11.8% and 10.2% in the loss cost rates for 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. The downward trend reflects actuaries’ observations that the reform of workers’ compensation in Oklahoma reduced costs. With the reduction in loss costs translating to a reduction in workers’ compensation premiums, this can help Oklahoma become competitive with surrounding states in attracting new businesses. Saving in premiums to Oklahoma businesses opens the door for employers to raise the salaries and benefits of workers, hire more workers and modernize their facilities and equipment, providing a safer work environment for its employees.
Source: WCC Press Release 9/9/16
Decrease In Number of Claims Filed Since Start of Administrative System in 2014
If you are interested in finding out more about Workers' Compensation, they have a selection of publications available here.
The OKGOP would like to thank Attorney Daniel Resendez for his research and review on the Tort Reform section of this publication.
He may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
State of the State Party
This week the OKGOP has been busy talking with our candidates, State Committee and Executive Committee in order for the Party to better serve our legislators and committee members.
Chairman Pollard went to a Meet and Greet in Bryan County for Representative Dustin Roberts, House Candidate J.J. Humphrey, and Sheriff Candidate Johnny Christian. The event was also attended by Red to the Roots Chair and Vice-Chair, Daren Ward and Kyletta Ray.
Chairman Pollard spent an evening in Sequoyah County for a GOP BBQ at the Muldrow Event Center. She also attended a fundraiser and met with Ohio Senator Rob Portman and former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
Director of Operations Jake Parsons spoke at the Beckham County GOP event on Tuesday, Oct. 11th in Elk City about the Victory Program and about coordinating with our county leader. Several county candidates and officials were also in attendance.
This week the OKGOP has been conducting Red to the Roots work, working with candidates in Murray County, Bryan County, and LeFlore County.
Currently, the OKGOP is contacting Republican Chairmen of various committees in the House and Senate to highlight the good work and beneficial legislation that has come out of these committees to ensure prosperity for all Oklahomans.
The OKGOP has been busy contacting county leaders across the state. Our county leaders shared their insights about races going on in their county, discussed current events, and presented ideas for increasing communication between the OKGOP and all 77 Oklahoma counties. We look forward to continuing our discussions with county leaders as the November 8th election gets closer.
Oklahoma Boots on the Ground
The OKGOP's Boots on the Ground programs in previous elections have gone to states like Louisiana and Colorado, where we made a huge impact on races from the top to the bottom of the ballot.
This year our targeted state is OKLAHOMA!
With so many targeted House and Senate races, we're keeping our money and our volunteers HOME this year.
We need YOU to put YOUR Boots on the Ground to help us knock doors for important Senate and House races across Oklahoma!
Next week, starting on October 17th, we are focusing on three areas: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and McAlester
We are targeting Senate District 7, which is GOP Incumbent Senator Larry Boggs' District in McAlester. We are also focusing on several races in Oklahoma County and Tulsa County
We have nine seats that are in danger of falling into the hands of the Democrats, so we need YOUR Boots on the Ground in Oklahoma!
If you don't have a race in your local area, we need your help in other areas!
If you are interested in volunteering, please call or email Oklahoma County Chairman Daren Ward, Oklahoma Republican Party Director of Communications Bennett Beard, or Volunteer Coordinator for Tulsa County Patrick Haworth, so that we can add you to our list of volunteers!
There are several deadlines approaching for the November 8th Elections:
If you plan on Absentee Voting, visit the link below for all your Absentee Voting needs:
If you are interested in being an Election Day Precinct Worker for your county, please contact your County Election Board as soon as possible! Training will begin very soon!
Click here for a list of contact information for all 77 Oklahoma County Elections Boards.
There are exciting events going on all around Oklahoma...
The Southwest Oklahoma Republican Woman have their next meeting on Tuesday, October 25th, at 6:00pm. The meeting is at the Friendship Inn, located at 1800 N. Main, Altus, OK…
If you plan on eating dinner, they will be ordering off the menu at the hotel’s restaurant
The keynote speaker for the evening is Estella Hernandez, the Vice President of Engagement at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and the former interim Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. Estella was recently appointed by Governor Mary Fallin as a Commissioner to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women.
There will not be a meeting in November, but the Christmas party will serve as the December meeting.
This weekend is the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women First Ladies Luncheon at the Reed Center in Midwest City.
The First Capital Republican Women Republican Campaign Headquarters Grand Opening is this Saturday, October 15th, at 12:00pm.
Congressman Steve Russell is having a Community Roundtable on Tuesday, October 18th, 12:00pm-1:30pm, Educare, 500 SE Grand Blvd, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73129
Congressman Steve Russell wants to have an open dialogue on issues impacting the Hispanic community. Please join us for this important conversation. October 18th at Oklahoma City Educare. Starts at noon and lunch is provided.
Creek County is the location of a family friendly Motorcycle Rally from October 27th-30th.
Route 66 Biker Rally
26101 South 513th west ave
Depew, OK 74028
Only 45 miles from Tulsa, OK
About 65 miles from Oklahoma City, OK
Less than a 3 hour drive from Wichita, KS
About 4 hours from Fort Worth, TX
About 4 hours from Dallas, TX
Less than 5 hours from Little Rock, AR
Contact Charlie or Jann for more information:
Charlie (918) 645-9029
or Jann (918) 557-7895
The Stephens County GOP is hosting the 11th Annual Chili Cook-Off!!
Over $300 worth of PRIZE DRAWINGS, including gift cards!
KIDS CARNIVAL GAMES with face painting, clowns, cotton candy and more!
Watch the football game on a Huge Screen TV!
Drinks, hotdogs and 20 types of chili
Come by and bring family and friends! This is a great event for the kids to go "trick or treating" and the parents to enjoy some chili! Meet your local elected officials, republican candidates and vote for your favorite chili. Tasting cups for chili are only $1 per person.
Booths are $35. If you think you have the best chili around contact Hope at 580-656-4181 to get a booth and we'll let you prove it! This is a great opportunity for candidates, individuals, and local business to interact with the people of Stephens County.
The OKGOP is hosting a volunteer phone bank every Tuesday before the election from 5:30pm-8:00pm!
For more information, check out the Facebook event here.
Donald Trump yard signs and bumper stickers are now available at the Oklahoma Republican Party headquarters, located at 4031 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.
The Donald Trump Campaign is organizing a phone bank for contacting battleground states and spreading the word about Mr. Trump's platform.
The Oklahoma Republican Party depends on your support in order to defeat the Clinton-Obama Political Machine! Please consider chipping in a few dollars to keep our momentum going!
Oklahoma Candidate Spotlight:
Senator Larry Boggs
“Because in the end, government policies matter in the everyday lives of everyday people.”
-Senator Larry Boggs
Experience: General Contractor
District: Senate District 7
Larry Boggs, a native of southeastern Oklahoma wants to be your District 7 State Senator. Being the 4th of 11 children (3 boys and 8 girls), Larry is the son of hard working Christian parents, Ruby and the late Buck Boggs. From a very early age Larry worked to help the family make ends meet. He knows how to shine shoes, deliver papers and milk cows and doesn’t think it’s a disgrace to have had those experiences. In fact, he thinks they were opportunities.
Larry is married to wife Karla and has one daughter and three grandchildren. Although Larry’s professional background is that of a general contractor taking him from Ada, Oklahoma to as far away as Virginia and the east coast. He always knew he would return to his homeland in southeastern Oklahoma and he did just that in 1994. Larry and Karla operate Rockland at Eagle’s Rest, and founded Eagles Rest Sanctuary, Inc. a corporation centered on protecting and providing for the nesting American Bald Eagle’s on land once owned by Karla’s family. They run a cattle operation and raise horses on this land as well and feel blessed to be able to be back in God’s country.
Larry’s goals from the Senate will be to focus on job creation through securing new industries for SE Oklahoma and assist existing business’ to expand. He will protect rural schools from Oklahoma City’s “one size fits all” mandates and wants to make certain SE Oklahoman’s have a strong voice at the table when decisions regarding our water and natural resources are being determined.
Larry is a grassroots Oklahoman who believes “you give a day’s work for a day’s pay” and “go above and beyond the call of duty” and he stands ready to do just that so the people of District 7 have both an advocate and a strong voice in Oklahoma City.
As your State Senator Larry will focus on the issues that will improve the quality of life for everyone in District 7 and across Oklahoma.
To learn more about Larry's conservative principles, or to contact him, visit his website at: http://www.boggsforsenate.com/
Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/boggsforsenate/
Campaign Contact Information:
Representative Jeff Coody
"We need to restore the right to provide for our own health, to protect our property rights, defend our constitutional right to bear arms and our God-given values."-Representative Jeff Coody
Experience: Farmer; Small Business Owner; US Navy;
District: House District 63
Jeff is a lifelong Oklahoman.
A lifelong southwest Oklahoma resident, Jeff grew up on a farm in Comanche County. He was active in sports, 4-H and FFA in high school, and earned the State FFA degree his senior year. He put himself through college by operating a hay hauling business, and continues to own a small farm today east of Lawton.
He runs a successful small business.
Jeff Coody received a business administration degree from Hardin Simmons University in 1982, was named “Outstanding Student in Finance” and served as Student Foundation President. After serving in the U.S. Navy for eight years and working as a corporate pilot, Jeff started his own business in 2002. An independent insurance agent, Jeff serves customers across the region.
A man of faith, Jeff puts family first.
Jeff is married to the former Julie Payne, who belongs to a fourth generation Tillman County family. They have been married 14 years, and have three children, Addie, 12, Olivia, 8, and Payne, 4. Julie is a high school math teacher in Grandfield Public Schools. The family is active in church, where Jeff serves as a deacon, music minister and Sunday school teacher.
Service is important to Jeff Coody.
Jeff spent eight years as a pilot in the U.S. Navy, on active duty until 1993 and honorably discharged in 1999. He flew the P3 Orion and served as an instructor in the T-34C, readying Navy and Marine pilots for Operation Desert Storm. Closer to home, Jeff has served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and on several local boards including the economic development authority, school board and ambulance board.
To learn more about Jeff and his conservative principles, visit his website at: jeffcoody.com
Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/jeff.coody.3?fref=ts
Oklahoma Donald Trump Campaign Information
We just received a new shipment of bumper sticker and rally signs! Come get yours to support Donald Trump!
OKC Campaign Headquarters: 4031 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Hours of Operation: 9:00am-5:00pm
Campaign Phone Number: 405-292-4400
Tulsa Campaign Headquarters: 2816 E. 51st St, Tulsa, OK 74105
Hours of Operation: 10am-2pm, hours will be expanding soon
Campaign Phone Number: 918-992-2900
Donald Trump's Tulsa office is across the hall from the OKGOP office.
We have new Oklahoma Trump Pence signs and shirts! Stop by to pick up your Trump gear!
Oklahoma Trump/Pence Yard Signs
OKLAHOMA TRUMP SIGNS ARE HERE!
The Oklahoma Republican Party has just received a shipment of Oklahoma Trump/Pence Yard Signs! The signs are 24" x 14". The Oklahoma Republican Party designed these awesome signs and they are for sale at our Party Headquarters. Supplies are limited, so get them while you can!
They will look great in your yard, make your neighbors jealous, and Make America Great Again!
CLICK BELOW to watch the KOKH Fox 25's coverage of our sign launch!
Stop by today and purchase yours for $5!
We just received a shipment of t-shirts!
$15 per shirt!
We are located at 4031 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.
Our phone number is 405-528-3501.
Click here to help the Oklahoma Republican Party to Make America Great Again!
Quote of the Week
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
Political Cartoons of the Week