August 29, 2018

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Latest News, Oklahoma

DGA Statement on GOP Runoff in Oklahoma

Tonight, Democratic Governors Association Executive Director Elisabeth Pearson released the following statement on Kevin Stitt’s nomination in Oklahoma:

“It only took Republicans an extra two months of nasty party infighting to choose a candidate in the mold of failed Governor Mary Fallin. Kevin Stitt is little more than a corrupt businessman who preyed on innocent people as CEO at one of the ‘shadiest’ mortgage companies in country. Not only would Stitt bring a special brand of corruption to the governor’s mansion, he would double down on Fallin’s failed policies and undermine Oklahoma’s future.

“Oklahoma’s education system has been left behind by the Fallin agenda. Cuts have forced schools into four-day weeks and educators to take on up to six jobs. Stitt has promised to closely follow in the footsteps of the Fallin education plan—a disastrous prospect for Oklahoma’s children. Despite Oklahoma teachers ranking as some of the worst paid in the country, Stitt refused to support the raise they so desperately needed. Oklahomans deserve a governor who will prioritize Oklahoma and invest in its future.

“Meanwhile, while Republicans were spending millions of dollars tearing each other apart, Drew Edmondson has been out on the trail, with a united party behind him, delivering a common sense vision that focuses on building up Oklahomans. Drew is a strong candidate, and makes Oklahoma a great pickup opportunity for Democrats this fall. He will focus on reversing the disastrous policies of the Fallin era, investing in Oklahoma’s children, and bringing transparency back to Oklahoma City.”

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Background

Stitt’s Company, Gateway Mortgage, Which Had Its License Revoked Due to Fraud, was Named One of the 15 “Shadiest” Mortgage Lenders. According to Business Insider, “Gateway Mortgage Group – 98% more defaults, license revoked due to fraud. Compare Ratio: 198% Default Rate: 11.9% Shady acts requiring regulatory action: Illinois State Division of Banking, license revoked, November 2008 for alleged real estate and appraisal fraud; Consent Order, June 2009, including one-year probation, $10,000 fine. Company Response: Kevin Stitt, president of Gateway Mortgage, says the company was approved to issue Ginnie Mae securities before the Illinois regulatory action. He said he did not know if the company was required to disclose the action to Ginnie Mae. He said the company’s Ginnie Mae approval status remains unchanged.” [Business Insider, 12/11/09]

Stitt Opposed Nearly $500 Million in Funds for Teacher Raises. According to the Oklahoman, “Republican gubernatorial candidate Mick Cornett said Monday he was glad Gov. Mary Fallin signed a $474 million tax package last month to provide a teacher pay raise, marking a huge break from the position of Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and most of his other GOP rivals. {…}Lamb, Dan Fisher, Gary Richardson and Kevin Stitt said at the forum they would not have signed the package, while state Auditor Gary Jones endorsed the tax bill.” [Oklahoman, 4/24/18]

Stitt Opposed Medicaid Expansion. According to the Oklahoman, “Both said they don’t want to expand Medicaid health care coverage to more low-income families.” [Oklahoman, 8/24/18]

Stitt Would Not Criticize Governor Fallin. According to the Oklahoman, “As they campaign to replace Gov. Mary Fallin, Republicans Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt never criticize the governor. Even when invited to take a shot, they mostly pass. In a debate televised last week on KWTV-9 in Oklahoma City and on KOTV-6 in Tulsa, the moderators cited the low approval ratings of Fallin and the Legislature and asked who was to blame for problems in state government. {…} ‘I don’t want to criticize,’ Stitt said at the April forum, ‘but I’ll tell you what I will do: I will lead.’” [Oklahoman, 8/12/18]