Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jeb Bush to explore presidential run


Former Florida Republican Governor Jeb Bush announced today that he has "decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.

Eh, no. Sorry.

Incidentally, Senator Tom Coburn agrees with me. He told reporters "Anybody wants to run for president, they can. That doesn’t mean they’ll have my vote. I don't think we need another Bush. Period. And I like them all. But I don’t think we need another Bush."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pam Pollard to run for OKGOP Chair

Pam Pollard to seek OKGOP State Chair Position
Republican Women State President Pam Pollard Announces candidacy


OKLAHOMA CITY – Former OK County GOP Chair, Oklahoma Republican Party Vice-Chair, and current Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women’s State President, Pam Pollard, today announced she is a candidate for State Chairman of the OK Republican Party. Pollard, speaking to the High Noon club said she entered the race to bring her nearly 20 years of experience to the position.

“The Republican Party is dealing with an identity crisis in today’s political environment. We must bring in groups who vote republican yet are not part of our party. It’s about adding and multiplying not subtracting and dividing. We must get organized and give voters a reason and
opportunity to be a part of the Republican Party.”

Pam has proven leadership skills having been elected 12 times to Republican Party and Republican Women positions. She has lead the Republican Women for the last year to reach out to younger women through their online club and brought in nationally recognized speaker Star Parker to help engage more minorities in the Republican Party.

“I am very proud to have served as State President this past year. Our women are known throughout the state as an integral part of the Republican Party having volunteered hundreds of hours of time and made combined Federation contributions to candidates of over $53,000.”

“I am running for State Chairman to bring my leadership and experience to the GOP. I will be a strong voice for the grassroots at our Capitol, supporting our elected officials–both financially and on the doorstep–but always be a strong reminder of the principles and platform of the
Republican Party.”

“I look forward to crisscrossing the state over the next few months with my plan to lead this Party.”
The Chairman’s election will take place on April 11, 2015 at the Republican State Convention in Oklahoma City.

(Note: Pollard joins two other candidates for OKGOP chair - incumbent Dave Weston, and former state senator Randy Brogdon.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dr. Coburn gives farewell address on Senate floor

Today, Oklahoma's retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Muskogee) gave an emotional farewell address on the Senate floor. You can watch Dr. Coburn's speech below:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Weston announces re-election bid for OKGOP chair

OKGOP Chairman Announces Re-election Bid
Cites Historic Successes in 2014


(Oklahoma City) – After another successful election cycle that saw a GOP sweep of all federal and statewide races, the expansion of GOP control in the State Senate and defense of the super majority in the State House, an increase in Republican District Attorneys and other county-level offices, and – for the first time in state history – a Republican majority voter registration status, Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston announced today his bid for re-election to the leadership post.

Weston detailed, “We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last year and a half with quite a few firsts for our party. But we still have a great deal of work ahead of us with a very busy coming year as our city hosts for the first time the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in May. With the confidence of our party faithful, I am committed to continuing our record of successes as Chairman into the 2016 election.”

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Brogdon announces for OKGOP Chair


Last night, Randy Brogdon announced his candidacy for OKGOP State Chair, following rumblings that the former state senator was set to do so. Brogdon made his announcement while attending the 2nd District GOP's Christmas Dinner in Okmulgee.

U.S. Senator-elect James Lankford was the featured speaker at the dinner, attended by nearly 70 GOP activists from across the 2nd District. Also present at the dinner were Congressman Markwayne Mullin, State Senators Larry Boggs and Roger Thompson, State Representative George Faught, and Okfuskee County Treasurer Lori Thomas.

Brogdon served 8 years in the state senate, finishing in 2010, when he unsuccessfully challenged Mary Fallin in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Brogdon ran for U.S. Senate earlier this year, coming in a distant third behind James Lankford and T.W. Shannon.

Word is that current chairman Dave Weston is planning on running for reelection.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Douglass-Locust Grove game: Just Let It Go

It's the end of high school football season, and most of the divisions are in the final games of the playoff. This year, a Class 3A quarter-final game has resulted in a lot of controversy.

Last Friday, Locust Grove High School defeated Douglass High School (OKC) by a score of 20-19. With a little over a minute left in the game, Douglass scored a touchdown, taking a 25-20 lead. However, Douglass' touchdown was called back due to a sideline infraction penalty (their second of the game), and Locust Grove held on to win.

Problem is, that penalty was improperly enforced. According to National Federation of State High School football rules, the penalty should have been applied to the extra point or ensuing kickoff. As it was, the referee's bad call wiped out the Douglass score.

It didn't take long for things to go south. Security had to restrain outraged Douglass fans (allegedly, one of the referees was punched after the game), and the Douglass coach apparently cursed at the referees and the OSSAA and otherwise behaved like an immature jerk.

Douglass appealed the penalty to the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA), asking for the final 64 seconds to be replayed, and the OSSAA denied the request. Now, Oklahoma City Public Schools is suing, and got a judge to grant a temporary restraining order to keep the semifinal game from being played on Friday.

Now, we have a host of politicians weighing in on Douglass High's side: State Sens. David Holt (R) and Anastasia Pittman (D-OKC), State Reps. Bobby Cleveland (R-Norman), David Young (D-OKC) and Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore), even former OU coach Barry Switzer. All of these elected officials and public figures are calling for the last minute of the game to be replayed. Sen. Pittman did a press conference with NAACP officials where implications were made that the Douglass team was the victim of racial bias.

Here's my take. I think we can all agree that the referee made a bad call. It's unfortunate that the call cost Douglass the game. However, this is football. Things like this happen every single game.

Hardly a game goes by where some penalty isn't called when it should be, or is called when it shouldn't be. Sometimes, referees make the most inexplicable calls. Remember the onside kick in the 2006 OU vs. Oregon game? Yeah, bad calls happen.

Football is like that. Life is like that. Sometimes, you just have to deal with it.

Instead, now we have bunch of politicians and a big metro school district trying to force a do-over. Can you imagine how many other teams would like to be able to do that? What kind of precedent do we want to set? Part of me wonders if the roles were reversed -- if the rural school was the team that got the raw deal -- if all these elected officials would be as up-in-arms about it. Also, do we really want to litigate high school football games?? Is that a wise use of limited education funds?

Everyone agrees that the penalty was messed up. But, Douglass High School coaches and officials could have taken the high road and used this as a character building experience for their students, and shown them how to handle life's 'curve balls' with grace and class. Instead, they're setting a different example.

Just let it go, and move on.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

State Supreme Court shoots down tax cut lawsuit

From the Tulsa World:

Oklahoma State Supreme Court upholds tax cut

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that an income tax cut passed by lawmakers last session does not violate the state Constitution.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent had filed a legal challenge to Senate Bill 1246.

The state’s high court ruled that the measure did not violate State Question 640.
The constitutional amendment, passed by voters in 1992, requires that tax increases receive three-fourths support in both the House and the Senate, or go to a vote of the people. The measure did neither.

Fent argued that provisions of SQ 640 also applied to tax cuts.

The state’s high court disagreed, saying such application “would defeat the evident object and purpose of the 1992 amendment.”

This is really good news. As OCPA and others had been pointing out, the consequences of rolling back 20+ years of tax cuts would have been disastrous. That's a big bullet dodged from our oftentimes frustrating State Supreme Court.