When to Watch

On OETA main
Oklahoma Forum Sunday Apr. 20 @ 12:30pm
On OETA okla
Oklahoma Forum Sunday Apr. 20 @ 2:30am
Oklahoma Forum Sunday Apr. 20 @ 3:00pm
Oklahoma Forum Sunday Apr. 20 @ 7:00pm
Oklahoma Forum Monday Apr. 21 @ 4:00am
Oklahoma Forum Monday Apr. 21 @ 9:30am

The Sheet

The Blog for Oklahoma Forum

Oklahoma's weekly, statewide discussion program, Oklahoma Forum, provides civil, meaningful discussion of news and issues that impact citizens statewide. Hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Dick Pryor and produced by Emmy Award-winner Mickie Smith, Oklahoma Forum is more than sound bites and spin. It is purpose-driven television - seeking answers, providing insight – about life in Oklahoma and its people.

Reflections from Governor Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry

Written by Dick Pryor on Thursday December 2, 2010


In 2002, Shawnee State Senator Brad Henry won a stunning upset victory over U.S. Representative State Largent and attorney Gary Richardson to become Oklahoma's 26th governor. Henry finished just over 7,000 votes ahead of the favored Largent, a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. On January 13, 2003, Henry was officially sworn in as governor. At the age of 39, he became one of the youngest governors in the nation.

Henry was re-elected by a landslide in 2006, garnering 66% of the vote, twice as much as his Republican opponent. Now, with his second term nearing an end, Governor Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry returned to Oklahoma Forum to discuss their eight years as Oklahoma's first couple and their plans for the future.

Let's get the big question out of the way first. The governor did not announce what he will do next after leaving office. But, he did drop some hints about his interests. The First Lady's immediate role is very clear – she will continue to serve as Executive Director of the Sarkey's Foundation in Norman.

During our discussion, the Mr. and Mrs. Henry discussed the highlights of the governor's two terms in office, his governing style, and what life was like for them as the first couple (with three young daughters). Governor Henry clearly favors bipartisanship, and feels strongly about the economic and educational progress that the state has made in the last eight years. Having faced down a huge state economic revenue shortfall in 2003, Henry also had suggestions for how to manage the state's current economic crisis.

Be sure to watch this exclusive interview with Governor Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry, Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on OETA, and also online.

Until next time,

Dick Pryor

(Pictured above, left to right:  Host Dick Pryor, Governor Brad Henry, First Lady Kim Henry)

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State Question 755

Written by Dick Pryor on Friday November 19, 2010


(Pictured above, left to right:  Host Dick Pryor, Rick Tepker, Peter Krug, and Andrew Spiropoulos)

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Oklahoma Creativity

Written by Dick Pryor on Friday November 12, 2010


For the past several years, a group called Creative Oklahoma has been promoting the value of creativity and innovation in commerce, culture and education.  Their efforts have led to Oklahoma being chosen one of only 12 regions worldwide that comprises the District of Creativity Network.  In fact, Oklahoma is the only place in the Americas designated such a site.  It's also a reason that Oklahoma City has been chosen to host the Creativity World Forum on November 15-17. 

This is a major event bringing together more than 60 speakers from various professions, each with a story tell about how creativity has made a difference in their work.  During the Creativity World Forum they will also discuss the meaning of creativity and its critical importance in the development of an entrepreneural society and world-class culture.

This week's guests are two people integrally-involved in the effort:  Susan McCalmont, Executive Director of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Creative Oklahoma; and Rich Taylor, Dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma, who is also Chairman for the Creativity World Forum.

McCalmont and Taylor discussed what was involved in bringing together this one-of-a-kind event for Oklahoma, to be held at Oklahoma City's Cox Convention Center.  People from around the globe will find out about the Sooner State and how courageous innovators have helped make Oklahoma the State of Creativity.

McCalmont said creativity is especially important now, with the state hoping to create more jobs.  Taylor, who spent most of his career as the Senior Executive with Walt Disney Entertainment and Costuming, said creativity is about more than art, but about developing an atmosphere that enables people to pursue new ideas.

Be sure and watch on Sunday, and if you have a chance, go to the Creativity World Forum - one of the greatest collections of "thought-leaders" ever assembled in our state.

Until next time,

Dick Pryor

(Pictured above, left to right:  Host Dick Pryor, Susan McCalmont, Rich Taylor)


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Oklahoma Votes 2010 on Oklahoma Forum

Written by Dick Pryor on Friday September 10, 2010


OETA's Oklahoma Votes 2010 coverage continues throughout the months of September and October on Oklahoma Forum.   Each week leading up to the November 2nd general election we'll talk politics and meet candidates for statewide office.

We launched our political programs with an interview with the candidates for Auditor and Inspector on September 12th.  We are scheduled to interview candidates for Labor Commissioner on September 19th, Insurance Commissioner on September 26th, State Treasurer on October 3rd, State Superintendent on October 10th, Attorney General on October 17th, and Lieutenant Governor on October 24th. On October 31st, the Sunday before the election, we'll bring together a group of political analysts to discuss all the top races in Oklahoma.

Each of our Oklahoma Forum programs, are posted on-line at The Oklahoma Forum program on State Question 744, which originally aired in August, is also available on the Oklahoma Forum website.

Be an informed voter - watch Oklahoma Forum this fall to learn about the candidates who are asking for your vote.  And, be sure to join OETA on election night, November 2nd, for results, interviews and analysis on Oklahoma Votes 2010, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

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Birthright Citizenship and the 14th Amendment

Written by Dick Pryor on Friday August 20, 2010

StatueofLibertyIn 1868, the states ratified the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. One of the Reconstruction Amendments, the 14th contains five sections, and now 142 years later, Section 1 is entering the national discussion of immigration reform. A few U.S. Senators, including Oklahoma's Tom Coburn, are supporting holding hearings to determine whether the 14th Amendment should be changed.

Section 1 states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment was adopted, in large part, as a response to the U.S. Supreme Court's reviled Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, which held that blacks could not be citizens of the United States. Since the ratification of the 14th Amendment, the first sentence of Section 1 has been construed as conferring American citizenship on all persons born or naturalized in the United States (except for children of foreign diplomats and invading armies). Decades of court decisions have affirmed "birthright citizenship."

Over the last decade, numerous bills have been filed in Congress to repeal or otherwise change birthright citizenship guaranteed under the 14th Amendment. These efforts have failed, but now, modification of Section 1 is gaining some momentum with a handful of Republican U.S. Senators supporting a review of that portion of the Constitution.

In this election year, with immigration a nagging national, if not state, issue, reformers are taking a second look at birthright citizenship. That's why we invited two legal scholars to Oklahoma Forum to discuss the matter.

Andrew Spiropoulos is a professor of constitutional law at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, and Director of the Center for the Study of State Constitutional Law and Government. Randall Coyne is professor of constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, capital punishment, and legal aspects of terrorism at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Despite the decades of acceptance of birthright citizenship derived from the 14th Amendment, both professors agreed that the U.S. Supreme Court has not definitely determined whether the citizenship clause has been correctly interpreted. Spiropoulos says one of the biggest questions about the clause concerns the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Proponents of change question whether the children of unauthorized immigrants are subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. law (arguing that their parents owe an allegiance to their country of origin, not the United States). On the other hand, opponents of revisiting Section 1 assert that Congress (and the states by virtue of ratification) decided that birth, not descent (status of parents), determines citizenship.

The issue leads to some interesting legal and ethical arguments which are sure to spur vigorous debate. How would the 14th Amendment be changed, and through what procedure? Can Congress change the Constitution by statute? (Some legal scholars including influential Judge Richard Posner say yes.) What happens to the fabric of the nation if one of its basic tenets, in place for more than 140 years, is erased? What would happen to the Constitution if Congress and the President could overrule portions of the Constitution through the legislative process? Would other Constitutional revisions follow? Would revision efforts lead to a cataclysmic collision of the executive, legislative and judicial branches?

Part theoretical, part legal, part practical, this is the kind of discussion that we like to provide to the citizens of Oklahoma (however you may define them). Coyne fears that changing the 14th Amendment could lead to more legislative nibbling around the edges of other parts of the Constitution. While there may be other, better ways of handling concerns over immigration policy, Spiropoulos says the issue of birthright citizenship is not going away. In fact, he thinks efforts to change birthright citizenship may become more intense in the political arena over the next few months and years.

On the Oklahoma Forum web site we've provided links to various reference materials that will help you learn more about the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship. I invite you to read them, and reach your own conclusions about this fascinating issue. And, if you have an opinion, let us know by posting a comment. Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Dick Pryor

Photo Courtesy of Damon Gardenhire
Pictured L-R: Dick Pryor, Randall Coyne, Andrew Spiropoulos


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