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Thursday, July 2, 2015

#14: Christie joins GOP presidential field

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his presidential campaign on Tuesday, becoming the fourteenth major candidate on the Republican side.

Here's video from his announcement rally:

Christie joins thirteen other Republicans running for President: Jeb BushBen CarsonTed CruzCarly FiorinaLindsey GrahamMike Huckabee, Bobby JindalGeorge PatakiRand PaulRick PerryMarco RubioRick Santorum and Donald Trump.

There are only two other major candidates expected to join the race now -- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (July 13th) and Ohio Governor John Kasich (July 21st).

As busy as this election cycle seems to be, we're actually "behind schedule" when compared to 2008 and 2012. By this point in 2008, there had already been 3 televised debates (starting on May 3rd), and in 2012 there had been two (starting on May 5th). This time around the first debate is set for August 6th.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bobby Jindal announces presidential campaign

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced his campaign for president in a slightly different way than the other GOP candidates -- he posted a series of videos from a hidden camera when he and his wife told their children about his intentions.

He officially kicked his campaign off with a rally this evening in Louisiana.

Erick Erickson of RedState had an interesting post on Bobby Jindal's record that is well worth the read.

Jindal joins twelve (!) other Republicans running for President: Jeb BushBen CarsonTed CruzCarly FiorinaLindsey GrahamMike HuckabeeGeorge PatakiRand PaulRick PerryMarco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jeb Bush, Donald Trump join GOP presidential field

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush finally made his presidential campaign official yesterday, with a kickoff rally in Miami.

Also announcing today in New York City was businessman and entertainment personality Donald Trump.

Bush and Trump join ten other Republicans running for President: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Some Brief Blogging Bullets

It's been a while since I last posted, so here are some "brief blogging bullets" to get up to date on a variety of issues.

  • A week ago today, my wife and I were headed out of town for a friend's wedding and a last vacation before the baby arrives. We only made it about 20 miles down the road before the trip ended. Instead, I had emergency surgery on a ruptured appendix, and spent four days in the hospital. Feel like a total bum, with a 7½-month pregnant wife doing stuff for me that I'm banned from for now. I didn't expect to use Samaritan Ministries again so soon, but it's a relief knowing that my medical bills will be met.
  • Former Texas Governor Rick Perry joined the presidential race on the GOP side (here's his announcement speech). Former Rhode Island senator (as Republican) and governor (as an Independent) Lincoln Chafee jumped in the Democrat primary (his speech), completing his political transformation.
  • Speaking of new candidates, for a refresher, here's the "official" roster of (major) announced presidential hopefuls. There are still more waiting on the sidelines.

    Republicans (10)
    • Ben Carson
    • Ted Cruz
    • Carly Fiorina
    • Lindsey Graham
    • Mike Huckabee
    • George Pataki
    • Rand Paul
    • Rick Perry
    • Marco Rubio
    • Rick Santorum

      Democrats (4)
    • Lincoln Chafee
    • Hillary Clinton
    • Martin O'Malley
    • Bernie Sanders  
  • Over on, one of my favorite conservative sites on presidential politics, Matt Coulter has a post on the death of the Ames Straw Poll, and how the televised debate invitations will play the role of "winnowing the field" usually assumed by the infamous Iowa straw poll.
  • The New York Times' published several hit pieces recently on GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio. They examined some of his and his wife's speeding tickets and traffic violations, financial debt, the purchase of a "luxury" speedboat (aka, a fairly average fishing boat), and his West Miami home. has a great post on it here, along with photos comparing Rubio's house with Hillary's, and his boat with John Kerry's.
  • In Oklahoma political news, state senator Rick Brinkley (R-Owasso) is in a bunch of hot water. Formerly the president and COO of the Tulsa Better Business Bureau, he was fired in April, and the BBB alleges that he embezzled more than $1M in his fifteen years with the organization. Brinkley was well positioned to replace term-limited Senate Pro Temore Brian Bingman as the Senate's top official, but.... I don't think that's going to happen now. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Santorum, Pataki join GOP's expanding 2016 field

Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania and runner-up in the 2012 primary, yesterday announced his candidacy for president. Here's his announcement speech:

Also yesterday, George Pataki, a former three-term Republican governor of New York, threw his hat in the ring for the 2016 presidential race. Here's his announcement video:

They join six other announced candidates: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Carson, Walker, Cruz top SRLC straw poll

SoonerPoll conducted the straw poll held at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this weekend, and here are the results:

  1. Ben Carson - 25.4%
  2. Scott Walker - 20.5%
  3. Ted Cruz - 16.6%
  4. Chris Christie - 5.3%
  5. Rick Perry - 5.0%
  6. Jeb Bush - 4.9%
  7. Rand Paul - 4.1%
  8. Marco Rubio - 4.1%
  9. Bobby Jindal - 4.1%
  10. Carly Fiorina - 2.7%
  11. Mike Huckabee - 2.7%
  12. Rick Santorum - 1.9%
  13. Donald Trump - 1.2%
  14. Mark Everson - 0.8%
  15. Lindsey Graham - 0.5%
  16. John Kasich - 0.2%
  17. Jim Gilmore - 0.0%
958 attendees cast ballots, with the bulk (713) coming from Oklahoma, followed by Texas (78) and Arkansas (58). 

I found some crosstabs here (pdf), which contain a lot of interesting information. Here are two of the other questions from the straw poll:

For these three issues, here are the leaders:

National Security: Walker and Carson (20.7%), Cruz (18.3%)
Economic: Walker (25.3%), Carson (15.5%), Cruz (15.2%)
Social: Carson (25.2%), Cruz (24.4%), Walker (18.1%)

Here are the leaders for each group:

Tea Party: Cruz (34.2%), Walker (22.6%), Carson (15.8%)
Libertarian: Paul (23.7%), Cruz (22.7%), Walker (18.6%)
Right-to-Life: Cruz (23.2%), Walker (19.2%), Carson (17.5%)
NRA/GOA: Cruz (22.8%), Walker (21.3%), Carson (15.3%)
FRC/CC: Walker (23.5%), Cruz (21.1%), Carson (20.6%)
Eagle Forum/CWA: Cruz (24.5%), Walker (22.7%), Carson (13.6%)
US Chamber: Walker (29.4%), Bush (17.6%), Perry (9.4%)
ATR: Walker (24.3%), Cruz (20.5%), Carson (17.6%)

Among Oklahoma voters, here are the top five:
  1. Walker - 23.3%
  2. Carson - 21.6%
  3. Cruz - 16.0%
  4. Christie - 6.2%
  5. Bush - 5.3%
Again, if you want to look through the crosstabs, here is the PDF link I found.

House passes $25M pop culture museum bond on second vote

A day after SB839 failed by a vote of 44-49, the State House reconsidered and passed a $25,000,000 bond to fund a pop culture museum in Tulsa. On the reconsideration vote, the final tally was 51 in favor, 40 against. The measure had previously passed the State Senate 28-18.

Mind you, we had a $611,000,000 shortfall this year, took a substantial amount from the Rainy Day Fund and other state funds, and made major cuts to many agencies. Add this to the other $25,000,000 bond for the Indian Cultural Center passed earlier in this session (which ended today).

In the House, five members switched from 'no' to 'yes' on the pop culture museum bond.

Five members were missed the Thursday vote, then voted for it Friday: Will Fourkiller (D), James Lockhart (D), Jerry McPeak (D), Jason Nelson (R), and Mike Shelton (D).

Four Republicans voted no on Thursday, then missed the Friday vote: John Enns, Mark McBride, Sean Roberts, and Todd Russ. Democrat Johnny Tadlock missed the vote both times.

These are the 40 members who voted no both times (the correct vote, in my view): John Bennett (R), Scott Biggs (R), David Brumbaugh (R), Chad Caldwell (R), Kevin Calvey (R), Dennis Casey (R), Josh Cockroft (R), David Derby (R), Travis Dunlap (R), Jon Echols (R), George Faught (R), Dan Fisher (R), Randy Grau (R), Elise Hall (R), Tommy Hardin (R), Dennis Johnson (R), John Paul Jordan (R), Chris Kannaday (R), Sally Kern (R), Scott Martin (R), Charles McCall (R), Mark McCullough (R), Randy McDaniel (R), Lewis Moore (R), Jason Murphey (R), Tom Newell (R), Charles Ortega (R), Leslie Osborn (R), Pat Ownbey (R), Scooter Park (R), David Perryman (D), John Pfeiffer (R), Mike Ritze (R), Dustin Roberts (R), Michael Rogers (R), Mike Sanders (R), Earl Sears (R), Chuck Strohm (R), Steve Vaughan (R), and Paul Wesselhoft

The museum will include a parking garage, which apparently is the projected means of keeping the project profitable. Seriously.

Maybe the state should solve future budget crises by building parking garages... just a thought...