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Post-debate summation by OU Political Science Department Chair Keith Gaddie: “This doesn’t move the needle … There were no game-changers.”
Who won the debate? Hard to say. Neither candidate exuded charisma. Both stuck to their talking points. Dorman didn’t land any hard punches. Fallin played it safe, citing strong economy and her opposition to Obama administration. The moderators didn’t ask follow-up questions that might have forced more revealing answers. It’s unlikely that either Dorman or Fallin won over many people who were leaning toward the other candidate before the debate.
Several people on Twitter saying they wished there were more debates to come between these two candidates. Again, this is the only debate before the November election.
While Fallin repeatedly called for local control during the debate, The Oklahoma Democratic Party criticized her on Twitter for supported legislation banning municipalities from raising the minimum wage.
Wonder how many people caught Dorman’s “…and viewers like you…” reference in his opening statement. Playing to that ol’ public broadcasting crowd.
My critique of debate format: The 90-second time limit was too short. The answers seemed clipped, rushed and rehearsed.
Monitoring Twitter. At least one television station is asking its viewers who won.
Not sure if a single debate will change any minds. At times both candidates seemed stiff. There was little talk about the tough budget that lawmakers will face next year. It seemed like each candidate was playing to their base of support and not trying to reach that undecided voter. Of course, I’ve been wrong before.
What was surprising is neither candidate mentioned Washington or Obama until their closing remarks, except for one reference by Fallin in her opening. Dorman alluded to Fallin’s previous support of Common Core with Washington bureaucrats and Fallin railing against Dorman’s support of the Affordable Care Act.
Among issues NOT mentioned during debate: immigration, minimum wage, domestic violence, casinos.
On education funding, both candidates painted themselves as a champion for education funding. Neither went into details about how they would actually do that. Teachers and education professionals point out lawmakers repeatedly say they are all for more education funding, but stop short of providing what teachers say is sufficient.
We’re ending the debate, described as ‘spirited.’
In closing statements, Dorman emphasizes education, Fallin emphasizes her opposition to Medicaid expansion.
The governor touts her job creation record and her push-back against Washington, D.C. The governor also talks about who has endorsed her campaign.
Dorman takes a rather subtle jab mentioning Washington bureaucrats when it comes to academic standards in Oklahoma. He has not been shy in the past months about tying Fallin to Common Core or Washington.
Dorman’s final statement plays hard on his legislative credentials. Many mentions of bipartisan work and reaching across the aisle.
The big question: will this answer lead to either candidate talking about allowing guns on school grounds?
Fallin is quick to point to her NRA endorsement when asked about school safety here before switching to local control. Local control been a fairly common talking point for her on several issues tonight.
Fallin takes credit for creating 200,000 jobs since taking office. Economists credit the energy boom for much of that job growth.
I expected a mention of student loan debt, too. Surprised neither candidate has mentioned it.
College student asks what will the candidates do to keep new graduates in Oklahoma? Dorman uses the teacher shortage and higher pay in surrounding states to highlight the problem of young teachers leaving the state.
Oklahoma has the third lowest teacher wages in the nation. Lowest in the region.
And we’re back to education again, Dorman touts CareerTech. I don’t think the governor has mentioned the system tonight.
Fallin slipped in reference to the failure of a bond issue in Dorman’s home town, Rush Springs. to pay for school storm shelters.
What about earthquakes and the growing evidence of their relation to oil-industry disposal wells? Fallin says it’s still being studied. Dorman says “the science has been done,” and it’s time for state to take action.
Fallin takes opportunity on next question to go back to the previous question to counter Dorman on his franchise tax statements. Again hits on she has put twice as much in new money into education as Dorman would have with franchise tax.
With the money Fallin is referring to in the budget for this year, about $40 million went into the classroom and $40 million went to cover an increase in health insurance.
Fallin steers toward safer territory: Oklahoma needs to do something about the drought.
Water will continue to be an issue for any governor.
Dorman says Fallin is using “flawed logic” in saying he favors tax increases, but he doesn’t address the trade-offs involved in cutting taxes when General Revenue Fund budget is still strained.
And there’s the wedge from Dorman, the Capitol building repair versus building storm shelters for schools.
Fallin misses opportunity on tornado response. She has spoken poignantly in the past about her reaction to arriving in Moore shortly after last year’s tornado. But her response during debate is rushed and unemotional.
Fallin is taking the high road on storm shelters, but pushes the local control argument. Dorman has been talking about tornadoes and tornado safety since 2006. Interesting mixture of opinions here.
Fallin says she will keep pushing for local control on storm shelters in school. Stops short of giving any details.
Governor praises first responders. Expect Dorman will give a nod to firemen, they’ve been big supporters of his gubernatorial campaign.
Fallin tries to drive in a wedge on tax cuts. She says she wants to put more money into state programs but also approve more tax cuts. She says Dorman doesn’t want tax cuts.
Education spending is more than 50 percent of the state’s budget. Gonna be tough to find more money for schools, higher education and CareerTech.
Supporters of the JRI will be summoning Fallin’s words if she wins the race. “We’re looking forward to working on the Justice Reinvestment Initiative.”
Both Dorman and Fallin seem a bit robotic in their responses.
Well, that was an unexpected but very good question, an Attorney Jerry Fent question.
Dorman cites Oklahoma’s distinction of having the nation’s highest rate of female incarceration.
Dorman uses an old quote that’s been out at the Capitol for years: “locking up people we’re mad at and not those we’re afraid of.”
Fallin says she supports Justice Reinvestment Act, despite documented efforts by her office to soften its impact. The act was designed to reduce incarceration of nonviolent criminals.
Difficult to talk about the JRI, without pointing to 2012 session.
Dorman pokes Fallin for trying unsuccessfully to consolidate state historical society, arts council and two other agencies. Fallin counters by citing successful trimming in other areas.
Two years ago, lawmakers “reviewed” tax exemptions but didn’t eliminate very many at all.
I also noticed the reference to Dept. of Corrections staffing levels. Up until this year, starting DOC employees were paid less than a starting employee at 7-11. One of the big reasons is it’s hard for DOC to hire employees.
Fallin emphasizes her willingness to “stand up to federal government,” but Dorman says it’s hurting Oklahomans. He says Fallin’s rejection of Medicaid expansion is allowing tax funds paid by Oklahoma to go to other states instead of flowing back to Oklahoma. Then…
Dorman pulls his punches on tax cuts. Instead of criticizing Fallin for pursuing cuts that will shrink the state budget, as some have done, he says “we must look at the tax structure…and make sure it’s fair.”
Dorman reference of Oklahoma’s history of boom-bust oil cycle brings back memories of the 1970s and early 1980s.
Of note: State Treasurer Ken Miller has cautioned the legislature about new attempts to lower the income tax without offsetting cuts.
Basking in reflecting glory: Fallin channels Thunder standout Kevin Durant in describing her efforts to tackle Oklahoma’s high obesity rate.
Dorman working to tie the governor and the education secretary together. Superintendent Janet Barresi still has big negatives across the state.
Dorman says two state departments refused to call current academic standards college and career ready in wake of repealing Common Core and losing No Child Left Behind waiver. The college board is still examining that right now … so a decision is still pending. But that will come too late for the state’s waiver.
Wow. Serious question from OETA. Oklahoma makes regular requests for federal money when it comes to roads or disasters.
Dorman calls for more money for remediation and teachers. Emergency teaching certifications have still been going to the state board of education due to shortages in many districts.
Fallin is playing to an advantage she has in the race – the relatively strong Oklahoma economy, thanks mostly to the oil and gas boom.
Expect to see Dorman talk about education all throughout the debate. Intensity on the issue has been building since the teachers rallied at the Capitol in March.
KOSU begins by asking about education; Dorman said education is the most important issue in campaign.
Dorman opens up mentioning issues facing Oklahoma education: Lack of pay raises for teachers, nearly $200 million in cuts to common education, $100 million for higher ed, in addition to third grade reading retention and the state’s A-F grades.
Fallin starts by talking about her record.
Dorman juxtaposing “real leadership” and “reaching across the aisle” a clear dig at the governor.
Dorman: from Capitol mailroom to Capitol office.
Rep. Dorman opening…
Each candidate gets two minutes for an opening and closing statement. They also get only 90 seconds to answer and/or rebut questions.
The debate will be the only one in the gubernatorial election. Fallin is the frontrunner, although the last independent poll was a month ago, according to RealClearPolitics:
Dorman says his polling shows the race is close.
And here we go….
Joe Dorman, 44, is the Democratic nominee for governor.
Rep. Dorman is from Rush Springs. He started his career in the mailroom of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Later, he was elected to the House, where he served for 12 years.
Both Dorman and Fallin are graduates of Oklahoma State University.
Tonight’s debate features incumbent Republican Governor Mary Fallin and her opponent, state Rep. Joe Dorman, a Democrat.
Governor Fallin, 60, was the first female to be elected as governor in Oklahoma.
She was also the first Republican (and the first female) to be elected as Oklahoma’s Lt. Governor. She has served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Good evening. We’re going to start here in just a few minutes. The debate is about 10 minutes away.