State Political Coverage NewsOK and The Oklahoman


  • Labor Commissioner Mark Costello Oklahoma's first elective state officer killed in office

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Labor Commissioner Mark Costello is Oklahoma’s 14th elective state officer to die in office, but the first to be killed. Violent attacks on American public officials in general are relatively rare. Costello’s case is particularly unusual in that it involved a close family member and was...

  • Donald Trump's continued popularity baffles Sen. Jim Inhofe

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe says he's the wrong guy to ask about the continued popularity of billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump. "I thought it would last about three days and be over," Inhofe said Wednesday. "People are really wanting something different," Inhofe said during a visit to...

  • Jari Askins tries to employ foster care reform plan

    By TIM TALLEY Associated Press | Updated: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jari Askins may be facing her toughest challenge: implementing a court-ordered plan to improve the state's foster care system to better protect children in Oklahoma's child welfare system.

  • VIDEO: Reporters discuss slaying of State Labor Commissioner

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    The Oklahoman editor Kelly Dyer Fry gets up to speed with health reporter Jaclyn Cosgrove, investigative reporter Nolan Clay, Capitol reporter Rick Green and breaking news reporter Graham Lee Brewer.

  • Oklahoma teacher shortage: 600 positions eliminated, 1,000 vacancies remain

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    The latest survey of school districts by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association found that 1,000 teaching vacancies remain even after 600 teaching jobs were eliminated since last school year. Student enrollment is growing, and to grapple with the teacher shortage, school districts are...

  • What is the role of the State Labor Commissioner?

    Adam Kemp | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    State Labor Commissioner Mark Costello was stabbed to death Sunday night at a northwest Oklahoma City restaurant. His  son Christian Costello, 26, was taken into custody. Mark Costello, 59, was first elected Labor Commissioner in 2010 and again in 2014. Oklahoma Congressional...

  • WATCH: Oklahoma City police discuss stabbing death of Oklahoma labor commissioner

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    State Labor Commissioner Mark Costello died Sunday night after being stabbed in what sources say was an altercation with his son, Christian Costello, at a Braum's restaurant at the corner of W Hefner Road and N May Avenue.

  • Lawsuit challenges constitutionality of Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    Under the Oklahoma law, tribes are allowed to intervene — even when both birth parents oppose tribal intervention and have agreed upon who they want as adoptive parents for their child.

  • Oklahoma Workers’ Comp Commission to employ gentler approach

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Aug 21, 2015

    Because of complaints of heavy-handedness, the state Workers’ Compensation Commission has plans to take a softer, gentler approach to the enforcement of fines against employers caught without workers’ compensation insurance.

  • New medical marijuana petition filed for Oklahoma vote

    BY BARBARA HOBEROCK, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Aug 21, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana filed papers with the state Friday indicating their intent to circulate another initiative petition to get the issue on the ballot. Supporters need 123,725 signatures for the question to be seen by voters. They will have 90 days after...

  • Two Oklahoma teachers unions file lawsuit to overturn new state law

    BY K.S. McNUTT Staff Writer kmcnutt@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    The Oklahoma Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers unions filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court to overturn a new law in which school districts are prohibited from deducting union dues from teachers' paychecks.

  • Rep. Tom Cole shows feisty side in Moore, Oklahoma, town hall meeting

    By RICK M. GREEN Capitol Bureau rmgreen@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, Aug 18, 2015

    Rep. Cole defends actions of congressional Republicans and tells the crowd, "Read the Constitution."

  • Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board sets guidelines making more inmates eligible to apply for sentence reversal

    BY JENNIFER PALMER Staff Writer jpalmer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, Aug 18, 2015

    Tony Coleman, an Oklahoma City attorney who works with clients seeking commutation, said the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board could be inundated with applications from nonviolent offenders who are suddenly eligible to seek commutation.

  • U.S. Sen. James Lankford: Middle East war more likely with Iran agreement than without

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Aug 14, 2015

    BROKEN ARROW — A Middle East war is more likely with the Obama administration-backed Iran nuclear arms agreement than without, U.S. Sen. James Lankford said Friday. "There are aspects of the agreement that I think push us closer to war rather than further away from it," Lankford said in...

  • Lankford: Some immigrants should be allowed to stay

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Updated: Fri, Aug 14, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — U.S. senator James Lankford said some immigrants who finish their education in the country should be allowed to stay and work. Lankford told the Downtown Club of Oklahoma City that he doesn't expect to see any progress on immigration policy in the next 18 months, The...

  • Rep. Tom Cole on Iran Deal, Presidential Race and Town Hall Meetings

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    U.S. Representative Tom Cole talks to Owen Canfield about the upcoming vote on the Iran Nuclear deal, as well as the 2016 presidential election.

  • State finance secretary pleads no contest

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger pleaded no contest Thursday to an Oklahoma City municipal charge of being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Doerflinger, 43, paid a $700 fine and was placed on six months unsupervised probation....



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