Independent candidate for lieutenant governor signs Open Government Pledge

The independent candidate for lieutenant governor has pledged that the office will comply with the letter and spirit of Oklahoma’s open government laws if he is elected.

In signing FOI Oklahoma’s Open Government Pledge for statewide candidates, Ivan Holmes also promised “to support at every opportunity” the state’s public policy that “the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power.”

Holmes faces Republican Matt Pinnell and Anastasia Pittman, a term-limited Democratic state senator from Oklahoma City, in the Nov. 6 general election. Republican incumbent Todd Lamb is term-limited and ran unsuccessfully for governor.

The lieutenant governor “serves in place of the governor when the chief executive officer leaves the state, becomes incapacitated or resigns.” The lieutenant governor also “serves as the president of the Oklahoma State Senate, casting a vote in the event of a tie and presiding over joint sessions of the State Legislature.” The lieutenant governor also “presides over, appoints a designee or is a member of 10 state boards and commissions.”

Holmes served as chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party from 2007 to 2009. He retired from Northeastern State University, where he taught journalism, speech and English.

Holmes and four other independent candidates running for statewide office announced in September that they would run a coordinated campaign based on open government. The group agreed to support open records and meetings, open audits and a fully funded Ethics Commission, according to The Oklahoman.

Of the other four, Charles de Coune also signed the Open Government Pledge. He is running for state treasurer.

FOI Oklahoma invites all candidates for state, local and legislative seats to sign the pledge on FOI Oklahoma’s website, where a list of signers also can be found.

Since FOI Oklahoma began the pledge in 2008, 186 candidates have signed — with 95, or 51 percent —being elected at least once. FOI Oklahoma began the Open Government Pledge as part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to city council contests.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications


Mass Communication Law in Oklahoma

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, its board of directors or the commentator’s employer. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.