Monday, June 25, 2018

Music Monday: Good Guys Win

In honor of primary election day tomorrow, I felt that this week's Music Monday was very appropriate. The song is Good Guys Win, by country music singer Ben Gallaher.

May the good guys win tomorrow!



Enjoy!

See below for all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to suggest for a future Music Monday? Email me at JamisonFaught@MuskogeePolitico.com.

June 18th, 2018: Watching You
June 11th, 2018: Adoration
June 4th, 2018: March from 'A Moorside Suite'
May 28th, 2018: Taps
May 21st, 2018: Listz's La Campanella
May 14th, 2018: Handful of Weeds
May 7th, 2018: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
April 30th, 2018: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 ("Heroic")
April 23rd, 2018: Blow Ye The Trumpet
April 16th, 2018: Asturias (Leyenda)
April 9th, 2018: Old Mountain Dew
April 2nd, 2018: His Life For Mine
March 19th, 2018: See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!
March 12th, 2018: Choctaw Nation
March 5th, 2018: Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal
February 19th, 2018: The Olympic Spirit
February 12th, 2018: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
January 29th, 2018: Hail to the Chief
January 23rd, 2018: Waltz in A-Flat Major, Op. 39 No. 15
January 15th, 2018: Bleed The Same
January 8th, 2018: Saint-Saëns' Symphony No.3 'Organ' (Maestoso)
December 25th, 2017: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 18th, 2017: I Saw Three Ships (The Piano Guys)
December 11th, 2017:Who Is He In Yonder Stall
December 4th, 2017: Carol of the Bells (Mannheim Steamroller)
November 27th, 2017: Joy to the World!
November 20th, 2017: We Gather Together
November 13th, 2017: Mansions of the Lord
November 6th, 2017: Träumerei
October 30th: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 23rd, 2017: In Christ Alone
October 16th, 2017: When I'm Knee Deep In Bluegrass
October 9th, 2017: I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb
October 2nd, 2017: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (Brahms)
September 25th, 2017: Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in C minor ('Pathétique')
September 11th, 2017: Have You Forgotten?
September 4th, 2017: Bach's Double Violin Concerto
August 28th, 2017: Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
August 21st, 2017: The Heavens Are Telling The Glory of God
August 14th, 2017: Beethoven's 5th Symphony
August 7th, 2017: 'Lift High The Name Of Jesus' medley
July 31st, 2017: Fanfare for the Common Man
July 24th, 2017: Variations on 'Happy Birthday'
July 10th, 2017: Summer (Presto) from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
July 3rd, 2017: Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame
June 26th, 2017: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
June 19th, 2017: A Christian Home
June 12th, 2017: Ol' Man River
June 5th, 2017: Choctaw Cowboy
May 29th, 2017: Armed Forces Salute
May 22nd, 2017: Double Bass Concerto No.2 in B minor
May 15th, 2017: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major
May 8th, 2017: The Army Goes Rolling Along
April 17th, 2017: He Is Alive
April 10th, 2017: Surely He Hath Borne/And With His Stripes/All We Like Sheep
April 3rd, 2017: Here Comes Carolina
March 27th, 2017: 'Spring' from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'
March 20th, 2017: Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") Finale
March 13th, 2017: The Pigeon on the Gate
March 6th, 2017: Finlandia
February 27th, 2017: When I Can Read My Title Clear
February 20th, 2017: William Tell Overture - Finale
February 13th, 2017: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 6th, 2017: White Winter Hymnal
January 30th, 2017: Hail, Columbia
January 23rd, 2017: Hail to the Chief
January 16th, 2017: Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
January 2nd, 2017: Auld Lang Syne
December 26th, 2016: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
December 19th, 2016: I Wonder as I Wander
December 12th, 2016: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 5th, 2016: A Christmas Festival
November 28th, 2016: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 21st: Beethoven's 'Hymn of Thanksgiving'
November 14th: Hymn to the Fallen
November 7th: This World Is Not My Home
October 31st, 2016: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 24th, 2016: 'Mars', from 'The Planets'
October 17th, 2016: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
October 10th, 2016: Spain
October 3rd, 2016: International Harvester
September 26th, 2016: 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars
September 19th, 2016: Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound
September 12th, 2016: Before the Throne of God Above
September 5th, 2016: The Hunt
August 29th, 2016: Liberty
August 22nd, 2016: Summon the Heroes
August 15th, 2016: Bugler's Dream
August 8th, 2016: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
August 1st, 2016: 'Prelude' and 'Parade of the Charioteers' from Ben-Hur
July 25th, 2016: How The West Was Won
July 18th, 2016: Six Studies in English Folk Song
July 11th, 2016: From Everlasting To Everlasting
July 4th, 2016: The Stars and Stripes Forever
June 27th, 2016: Rule, Britannia!
June 20st, 2016: Bugler's Holiday
June 13th, 2016: Ride of the Valkyries
June 6th, 2016: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54, Allegro Vivace
May 30th, 2016: Armed Forces Salute
May 23rd, 2016: Paid in Full (Through Jesus, Amen)
May 16th, 2016: Overture from 'Carmen'
May 9th, 2016: L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 - Prelude
May 2nd, 2016: My God Is a Rock
April 25th, 2016: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
April 18th, 2016: Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A Minor
April 11th, 2016: Fantasia on a 17th Century Tune
April 4th, 2016: Hark The Sound/I'm a Tarheel Born
March 28th, 2016: Rustle of Spring
March 21st, 2016: 'Ode to Joy' sung by a 10,000-voice choir
March 14th, 2016: Hard Times Come Again No More
March 7th, 2016: 'The Suite' from Downton Abbey
February 29th, 2016: Moonlight Sonata
February 22nd, 2016: Liebestraum No. 3
February 15th, 2016: Help Is On The Way
February 8th, 2016: God of Grace and God of Glory
February 1st, 2016: 'My Story'
January 25th, 2016: Israeli Concertino
January 18th, 2016: What Grace is Mine
January 11th, 2016: "Meditation" from Thaïs
January 4th, 2016: Praeludium and Allegro
December 28th, 2015: Appalachian Carol
December 21st, 2015: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 14th, 2015: O Holy Night
December 7th, 2015: Christmas Fantasy
November 23rd, 2015: Simple Gifts
November 16th, 2015: Preacher Tell Me Like It Is
November 9th, 2015: Armed Forces Salute
November 2nd, 2015: Amazing Grace
October 26th, 2015: The Harmonious Blacksmith
October 19th, 2015: Liberty Fanfare
October 12th, 2015: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
October 5th, 2015: Elgar's 'Enigma' Finale
September 28th, 2015: Stayed on Jesus
September 21st, 2015: Great Gate of Kiev
September 14th, 2015: Nearer, My God, To Thee

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Insurance Comm. Doak endorses Costello for Labor Commish


INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JOHN DOAK ENDORSES CATHY COSTELLO FOR LABOR COMMISSIONER

    Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, John Doak, is endorsing conservative Republican Cathy Costello in the race for Labor Commissioner.

    “Cathy Costello is a successful businesswoman who knows first-hand the burden that red tape and government bureaucracy puts on small businesses,” Commissioner Doak says.  “I have known Cathy and Mark Costello since 2010.  I can assure you Cathy will bring a refreshing private sector perspective to the Labor Department.”

    Costello’s private sector experience includes starting her own business at age 15 and ultimately founding eight companies in six different industries.

    “Cathy is uniquely qualified to run the agency in an efficient manner free from the waste, fraud and abuse associated with government regulators,” says John Doak.  “She is a job creating entrepreneur who is respectful to all. I urge you to join with me in voting for Cathy Costello, because she is the conservative candidate in the race for Labor Commissioner.”

    Cathy Costello is a co-founder of several businesses, both domestic and international, and is a sought-after national speaker and advocate on issues of mental health.  She has been instrumental in passing major state and federal legislation to improve how employers address mental health needs in the workplace.

    The Republican primary for Labor Commissioner is scheduled for June 26, 2018 and the general election will be held November 6, 2018.

    For more information on Cathy Costello's campaign for Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, visit her website at www.CostelloForOK.com.

My picks for the 2018 Oklahoma GOP primary


Early and absentee voting is underway for the 2018 Oklahoma primary, with the bulk of ballots to be cast on Tuesday. As is my custom, I will be discussing my picks for the Republican primary in this post.

Some of these candidates I am in wholehearted support of. Others will receive my vote with some reservations or primarily because the other options are worse. If I've written a separate post on a particular race or candidate, their name will be hyperlinked, and you can read in more detail by clicking the link. Candidates that I enthusiastically support will be in bold.

Governor: Gary Richardson
I have never been an undecided voter as long on a top race before. While I can live with all but Cornett, I have settled (for reasons detailed at this link) on Gary Richardson.

Lieutenant Governor: Matt Pinnell
I 100% support Matt Pinnell, and anticipate him making a great Lieutenant Governor.

State Auditor: Cindy Byrd
As Deputy State Auditor under Gary Jones, Byrd has been an major part of the work the Auditor's office has done during Jones' tenure. In the last eight years, she has uncovered over $10M in fraud and waste, leading to the indictment or resignation of six elected officials. She will carry on that stellar performance, and will continue to uncover waste in government. She has earned the endorsement of State Auditor Gary Jones, and I concur with his pick.

The Auditor's race is almost always an afterthought, but one of the most crucial offices that we as Oklahomans vote on. If we get it right, the potential for holding government accountable and uncovering waste goes up. Get it wrong and corruption gets hidden.

Attorney General: Angela Bonilla
The winner of this race will be either Mike Hunter, who is filling out Scott Pruitt's term, or Gentner Drummond. The extremely negative tenor both Hunter's and Drummond's campaigns is repulsive to me, and I am disinclined to vote for either of them. This race has been a vicious and petty knock-down-drag-out riot. By virtue of the chosen method of campaigning, they have both exhibited the worst stereotypes of slick, dirty lawyers slinging mud at each other. I'm disgusted enough to simply "opt out" and vote for Bonilla, who has done extremely little as far as any campaigning goes.

State Superintendent: Linda Murphy
Incumbent Joy Hofmeister is in the pocket of the leftist unions that are the biggest problem facing education in Oklahoma. Linda Murphy led the charge against Common Core, and will bring much-needed reforms to the State Department of Education.

Labor Commissioner: Cathy Costello
Cathy Costello will continue the work done by her late husband, Labor Commissioner Mark Costello. She is facing Leslie Osborn, who over the past few years has compromised and tossed aside just about every conservative principle she once espoused. Osborn led the charge for higher taxes, voted to make it easier for the Legislature to raise taxes, and called for war to be waged against the principled conservatives in the Legislature. Tom Coburn has endorsed Costello, and I fully support her candidacy as well.

Insurance Commissioner: Donald Chasteen
I know next to nothing about this man other than his claims of conservatism and what Michael Bates wrote. His opponent, and the odds-on favorite, is State Rep. Glen Mulready. Like Leslie Osborn, Mulready gets my opposition due to voting to weaken SQ640 and make it easier for the Legislature to raise taxes.

Corporation Commissioner: Bob Anthony
While I am not a fan of his having been on the Corporation Commissioner since before I was born, I do believe Anthony has been a solid conservative in his position (the same can't be said for most who have been on the Commission). His challenger is former State Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman, who ended his legislative career with a less-than-satisfactory Conservative Index score of 59. This is Anthony's last eligible race due to term limits.

1st Congressional District: Andy Coleman
I have been thoroughly impressed with Andy Coleman's campaign. The fact that the House Freedom Caucus feels comfortable enough to have embraced him so fully speaks volumes for him, while Kevin Hern's campaign has been supported by the moderate establishment wing of the DC GOP. I believe that Andy Coleman will make a great replacement for Jim Bridenstine, who was probably Oklahoma's most conservative Congressman since Tom Coburn's days in the U.S. House.

2nd Congressional District: Jarrin Jackson
I supported Jarrin Jackson in 2016, and still support his candidacy today. As a proven and blatant pledge-breaker, Markwayne Mullin cannot be trusted. Jarrin Jackson has the best chance at taking him out.

Legislative races
The future direction of the Oklahoma Legislature is at stake this primary season. This past few legislative sessions, conservatives in the Legislature have fought and stood up for the taxpayer against an overwhelming onslaught of higher taxes and liberal policies, pushed by their own GOP leadership and governor. Freshmen classes for the last several elections have been major disappointments, co-opted by power-hungry moderates who have decided to wage civil war on conservatives.

It is vitally important that proven conservative incumbents be reelected, and that new conservatives win in open seats or oust liberal compromisers.

I don't know about candidates in all of the races, but I feel comfortable enough to make the following recommendations.

SD2: Sen. Marty Quinn
SD4: Sen. Mark Allen
SD6: David Bullard
SD40: Joe Howell -- absolutely not Ervin Yen

HD5: Josh Russell
HD8: Rep. Tom Gann
HD10: Rep. Travis Dunlap
HD12: Nick Mahoney
HD14: Rep. George Faught
HD16: Justin Calvert
HD20: Rep. Bobby Cleveland
HD36: Rep. Sean Roberts
HD41: Denise Hader
HD61: Colton Buckley
HD63: Rep. Jeff Coody
HD66: Emily DeLozier
HD67: Rep. Scott McEachin
HD68: Nicole Nixon
HD69: Rep. Chuck Strohm
HD76: Shelley Brumbaugh
HD79: Dan Hicks
HD80: Rep. Mike Ritze
HD83: Jason Reese
HD101: Rep. Tess Teague

State Question 788 (Medical Marijuana legalization): No
While I have friends on both sides of this, I have enough concerns with the proposal to opt for a No vote.

OTHER VIEWPOINTS:

Michael Bates of BatesLine.com has a great series of posts with his thoughts on the primaries here. I agree with almost everything he wrote.
Charles Phipps of OKPolitechs has why he will vote no on SQ788 here.
KFAQ's Pat Campbell has done radio interviews with many statewide and legislative candidates here.

Jarrin Jackson for Congress

When it comes to electing our public officials, integrity is vitally important. When an elected official says they will do something, we need to be able to trust that they will keep their word. In the 2nd Congressional District race, we now face a crisis of integrity.

When Congressman Mullin first ran in 2012, he repeatedly pledged to the voters that he would only serve three terms. Now, he brazenly breaks his word and is seeking a fourth term in Congress. Mullin has apparently decided that the allure of power is too much to give up.

A remorseless pledge-breaker, Markwayne Mullin is the consummate politician, deceptively saying one thing, then doing the opposite when voters turn around. Voters should reward that dishonesty and lack of integrity by booting him from office in the June 26th primary. They should replace him with a person of virtue and character who has demonstrated true honor and integrity.

Mullin has drawn three challengers: Brian Jackson, Jarrin Jackson, and John McCarthy. McCarthy is not a serious candidate, running previously as an Independent on the platform of curing cancer.

I grew up attending the same church as Brian Jackson. He is a great man with a great family, and would make an infinite improvement over Markwayne Mullin; however, he was not able to wage a viable campaign against Mullin. That leaves Jarrin Jackson - who is no relation to Brian.

Dr. Tom Coburn has strongly endorsed Jarrin Jackson for Congress. Jackson is a former Army captain, a West Point graduate and Army Ranger with two Bronze Stars earned on tours in Afghanistan. He's a conservative who will make us proud.

From securing our borders to ending funding for Planned Parenthood, killing ObamaCare and attacking the national debt and overspending, Jarrin Jackson will pose a stark contrast to Markwayne Mullin's go-with-the-establishment pattern.

Jarrin Jackson knows a thing or two about giving and keeping his word. He gave an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" -- and he's kept his pledge.

Honesty and integrity are important. On Tuesday, Republican voters have the opportunity to choose from two candidates: one who keeps his word, and one who won't. I hope that you will join me in voting for the integrity candidate, combat veteran Jarrin Jackson.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Gary Jones responds to Prater's invite of convicted embezzler to Auditor debate

Screenshot of video

CHARLIE PRATER CAMPAIGN INVITES CONVICTED EMBEZZLER TO DEBATE — BOTH CONFRONT AUDITOR GARY JONES

    Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector, Gary Jones, is firing back at Auditor candidate, Charlie Prater, after Wednesday night’s debate.  Not only did Charlie Prater repeatedly besmirch Jones and his staff, Prater‘s campaign manager physically confronted Jones after the debate.  The confrontation was captured on video.

    “Charlie Prater's oafish campaign manager was clearly trying to physically intimidate me after the debate.  It didn’t work,” Gary Jones says.  “I assume he was so frustrated by his candidate being repeatedly humiliated by Cindy Byrd’s superior knowledge of the office, he decided to take it out on me.  But what surprised me most was when I realized he was joined by Mike Helm — one of the Rogers County Commissioners who left office in disgrace after we audited his books.”

    At the end of the video, Mike Helm is seen joining the confrontation, declaring his own innocence while revealing he was an invited guest of Charlie Prater.

    “What kind of Auditor candidate invites a former public official, one convicted on embezzlement charges, to join his campaign?” asks Cindy Byrd.  “My team and I performed the audit that led a multi-county grand jury to recommend Mike Helm’s removal from office. There’s a reason why Helm was indicted on felony charges of Embezzlement and Conspiracy to Defraud Rogers County.  Mike Helm misappropriated $5 Million worth of taxpayer money and ultimately pled guilty. Now he’s a member of Charlie Prater's campaign team?  It’s not just an insult to every employee in the Auditor’s office who worked tirelessly to bring Mike Helm to justice — it’s an insult to every taxpayer in Oklahoma.”

    Cindy Byrd currently conducts performance and financial audits of government operations across Oklahoma.  In that time, she has exposed more than $10 million in fraud and waste, leading to the indictment or resignation of six elected officials.

    Cindy Byrd is the current Oklahoma Deputy State Auditor for Local Government Services.  She is a CPA, member of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs, American Institute of CPAs, and of the American Board of Forensic Accountants.  In the last fiscal year, Cindy Byrd oversaw 304 of the 411 audit performed by the agency.

    The Republican primary election takes place on June 26, and the general election on November 6, 2018.  For more information on Cindy Byrd, please visit www.CindyByrd.com or at Facebook.com/ByrdforAuditor.

UPDATE: here's a cell phone video showing a brief snippet of the confrontation:

My pick and take on the GOP gubernatorial primary


I have struggled with who to vote for in the 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary more than with any other top-level race since registering to vote when I turned eighteen. Of the top six candidates, Mick Cornett is the only one that I absolutely could not put up with. He is the clear liberal in the race, even supported by a Super PAC funded by a Hilary Clinton bundler. Richard Engle penned a great column on the evidence of Cornett's liberal leanings. I would never vote for Mick Cornett under any circumstance.

There are aspects to each of the remaining five candidates that I find appealing, and certain issues that I have disagreements with.

I started off the primary season leaning between State Auditor Gary Jones and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, the individuals I am most closely acquainted with and have interacted with, although I was open to hearing from Richardson, Fisher and Stitt.

I consider Gary Jones to have been by far the best statewide elected official in Oklahoma for the past eight years. His work at the Auditor's office has been stellar, and if it weren't for a Governor and legislative leadership that was unreasonably hostile to him, he would have been able to uncover even more fraud and waste than he did. The way that Fallin, Doerflinger and legislative leadership tried to hamstring and cripple Jones and his office is a serious travesty. If we could make Gary Jones Auditor-for-Life, I'd be all in favor of it, and Oklahoma would benefit greatly.

I appreciated how Todd Lamb surrounded himself with serious conservatives, particularly with OCPA policies and former OCPA employees. That was an important sign that his direction could be greatly different than Mary Fallin's. I also appreciated how Lamb would go out of his way to assist local candidates and county parties on events and fundraising, while other elected officials (Scott Pruitt in particular) would take advantage of candidates and county parties, even to the point of using them for their own fundraising and depriving those monies of being used locally. Lamb was genuine in his support for the party, while others were more mercenary.

Dan Fisher garnished a solid reputation as a diehard conservative in the Legislature, gaining a lifetime Conservative Index score of 94. Across the board, ideologically, I might match up better with him than with the rest of the candidates. As for Stitt, some people I know and respect are supportive of him and have good things to say about him personally.

The events of the last few months in particular changed my view of the race and the candidates.

My biggest disappointment was when Gary Jones began advocating for tax increases. It seemed so out of character when compared to the great work he has done in the Auditor's office. I feel that Gary fell into the trap of trying to appease the leftist unions that dominate the education field in Oklahoma, who only really seek to advance the Democratic agenda and candidates. While I am disappointed with his choice there, I feel very strongly that the next Governor should utilize Gary Jones in a high position on the budget and fiscal matters. He'd be infinitely better than his longtime adversaries Preston Doerflinger and Denise Northrup.

While flat-out refusing to answer the question when I directly asked him, Dan Fisher has indicated that when it comes to landmark pro-life legislation (such as the new "heartbeat" bill in Iowa), he would be no different than Brad Henry or Mary Fallin and would veto such measures. As such, I cannot in good conscience vote for him. While I agree with him on practically everything, and have the same desire to see abortion abolished, I just don't have a peace about supporting someone who would veto pro-life measures.

While he rightfully and very publicly stood against Mary Fallin's disastrous proposal to hike the state sales tax by $2.6B, Todd Lamb frustrated me by not being very vocal in supporting conservatives who fought against the massive tax hikes during the special sessions and 2018 legislative session. In his survey, Lamb said that he adamantly and publicly opposed tax increases that were passed this past session, but it must not have been public enough for me to catch, because I don't recall him being vocal on it. In some cases, his support has been almost after-the-fact, too-little-too-late.

Kevin Stitt is a blank slate, touting his political outsider credentials as a positive. It may well be, but I am hesitant to place novices into such great positions of power when they have no track record to base their trajectory off of. His apathetic voting record and lame excuse for it also leads me to question his dedication to the conservative cause, as the only time he has ever voted in a primary -- when conservative candidates can best be chosen -- was in the 2004 primary.

I am most disappointed with Lamb and Stitt's attempt to have it both ways by saying they would have voted against or vetoed the tax increases this last session, but would not vote to repeal the taxes in the Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite! petition made it to the statewide ballot. That hypocritical stance has made me remove them from consideration in the primary.

I am looking for someone who will be a bold conservative, who won't cower under political pressure, and who will fight for conservative principles even if it will hurt them politically.

I don't always vote for the candidate who wins the primary, but the primary is when I can best vote on principle and make a statement on the direction I'd like the Republican Party to go in.

If Tom Coburn had run for Governor, I would have been all in from day one. He did not, however, and the above issues left me with one candidate remaining.

I will be casting my vote for Gary Richardson.

I have had some problems with Richardson. I disagreed with some of the attacks he has made on Todd Lamb, particularly as it relates to the power and abilities of the lieutenant governor. At times I question his judgment on particular issues. He has an unsatisfactory answer on why he ran as an Independent in the 2002 gubernatorial race, and I believe is a primary reason why Brad Henry won.

However, more so than any other gubernatorial candidate, Gary Richardson has stood up and fought against the tax increases passed by the legislature in the last eighteen months.

Gary Richardson would upend the political status quo in Oklahoma City, and I would consider that to be a very good thing. On the major issues, he is a solid conservative. He would lead the charge in chasing down wasteful spending and could be counted on to protect the interest of taxpayers.

When few would stand up alongside the conservatives in the legislature, Gary Richardson backed them up in spite of the potential for blowback on his campaign. When the Legislature passed unconstitutional tax increases in 2017, Gary Richardson filed a lawsuit to stop them. At every point during the 2017 and 2018 sessions, Gary Richardson supported conservatives who fought to protect the forgotten Oklahoma taxpayer against massive tax hikes.

He's not a perfect candidate. He's not who I envisioned I'd end up voting for. I know that he'll annoy me at times and that he is a longshot candidate. I anticipate this race to go to a runoff between Lamb and either Stitt or Cornett (and Lamb would get my vote under that scenario).

But on Tuesday, in light of my problems with the other candidates, and his consistent and firm opposition to tax increases, I'll be voting for Gary Richardson.

Friday, June 22, 2018

GOP gubernatorial candidates respond to OSC ruling


I reached out to the GOP gubernatorial candidates to get their response to the Oklahoma Supreme Court's tossing out of the HB1010XX veto referendum being circulated by Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite!. Candidates Gary Richardson and Dan Fisher are the only ones at this hour to get responses back to me, posted below in the order that I received them.

Gary Richardson: 
   “The Oklahoma Supreme Court did not contest the merits of the taxation issue addressed in the petition. This ruling was based on the fact that it didn't comply with all of the technicalities that were required. Based on the court's strict compliance rules, when it comes to filing such as this, I can understand the court's ruling.  Again, based on what the court said, it has nothing to do with the merits of the petition.

   But Oklahomans still have a number of avenues to reverse the unjustified tax hikes which passed in the last legislative session. The most expedient avenue is to elect the right Governor, one dedicated to responsible government spending, who can work with lawmakers across the political spectrum to reverse the tax hikes.

   Regardless of this ruling, I don’t see how state leaders can morally justify raising taxes when it is abundantly obvious they are mismanaging the money they already have.

   My first order of business as Governor will be to thoroughly audit state agencies with performance and/or forensic audits so we can flush out the waste, abuse and corruption. All of the data shows, once these audits are completed, the state will save more money than it would have collected through the tax increases.  The tax increases are merely covering up the problem.”

Dan Fisher:
It is my opinion that our State Supreme Court has made it far too difficult for the citizens to express their will in the past.

The Declaration of Independence declares that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and it is the obvious that the understanding and intent of the Founders was that government should function at the “will of the people” - not the other way around.

We have made it so difficult for the people to express their will through initiative petitions that it is practically impossible for them to “jump through all of the legal hoops” to do so.  This is certainly not the “spirit” of the laws governing the petition process.  The very right to petition our government is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  How are citizens to do this if the laws and courts make it impossible to do so?

Therefore, I disagree with our State Supreme Court and believe OTU should push forward.  Sadly, the opponents and the courts are "running out the clock” making it practically impossible for the people to succeed in having their voices heard on this important matter.

Lamb, Stitt, Jones, Cornett: no response yet

Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite responds to Supreme Court ruling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Today’s Supreme Court decision has provided a major setback in the effort to protect Oklahomans' tax dollars. For months, Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite! has struggled with media and unions reporting lies about the petition by falsely stating it was a repeal on teacher pay raises. The effort to REPEAL HB1010XX is to relieve the people from unnecessary and burdensome taxes and had nothing to do with the teacher pay raise. The Supreme Court agreed with that sentiment in their ruling. If the taxes are repealed, the raises remain sacrosanct, as the supremes state on pages 4-5 in their decision.

Because of oversight in communications, scrivener errors and legislative gymnastics, the petition has been ruled invalid in the current form.

Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite! believes in the protection of the taxpayer. At every turn we must ask: who is standing up for us? Our DNA is to fight for injustice perpetrated by all forms of government, after all a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.

We are, at our core, conservatives; and we want the conservation and protection of our money to be our civic leaders’ highest priority. It clearly is not. Governments and politicians have long ago decided that plunder of the taxpayer is acceptable, so they grow government at a rapid rate. As Jefferson states, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." We must fight against this natural progression.

We want to be remembered as men and women who cared too much rather than cared too little, even if that means our grassroots organization makes mistakes along the journey.

Given today’s decision of the OK Supreme Court, our fight is not over, our battle has just begun.

The people did not support this egregious and unnecessary, burdensome tax hike. The people will have their say.

Our mistakes will be corrected. Our motivation has been renewed. Our taxes are OUR money, they are not the governments’ money, and it’s time for all of us to declare that together from our rooftops.

Thank you to all Oklahomans who supported our initial effort. We appreciate all you've done to stand up for the Oklahoma taxpayer, the Forgotten Man.

Mick Cornett fails to answer MuskogeePolitico Survey

Mick "Cowardly Lion" Cornett
Many thanks to David Van Risseghem for photographing Cornett in the wild
Late last week, I sent out a survey to the top six Republican candidates for Governor. Each of them were asked ten questions, nine of which were identical and one which was uniquely tailored to each of them. I will be posting them in the order of the candidates' responses.

I tried to make the questionnaire interesting, wide-ranging, and tough for all, but I believe the questions are still fair to each. I am personally uncommitted still, and have attempted to use this survey for people like me who are still trying to decide how to vote on June 26th.

While five of the top six GOP candidates answered my survey, Mick Cornett decided to not do so.

2018 MuskogeePolitico.com GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire

Jamison Faught: How has your experience prepared you to serve as Governor?
Mick Cornett: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: What needs to be done to fix Oklahoma’s budget process?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: Tax revenue has increased dramatically over the past few months to nearly-record setting levels. There may be a surplus of over one billion dollars available for budgeting next year. What would you propose be done with any budget surplus during the next legislative session?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: Education has been a hot topic over the past few years. What is your plan to address the issues facing common and higher education in Oklahoma?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: Under Civil Asset Forfeiture, law enforcement can seize and keep property suspected of involvement in criminal activity, even if the property owner is not found guilty of or even charged with a crime. This has resulted in high-profile cases of innocent citizens having property or funds essentially stolen from them with no justification. What is your position on Civil Asset Forfeiture?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: How do you plan to hold state government accountable for spending, in light of the scandals we’ve seen over the past year?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: The current Tribal-State Gaming Compact expires on January 1st, 2020. The next Governor will negotiate for the State of Oklahoma for the next 15-year tribal gaming agreement. What would you hope to achieve in your role?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: Republicans are often characterized as being for “big business”, “crony capitalism” or “corporate welfare”, sometimes deservedly and shamefully so. Oklahoma has a history of handing out sweetheart deals to large corporations in order to entice them to move to Oklahoma. Meanwhile, small businesses, the backbone of our economy who operate without high-paid lobbyists, often get overlooked. How do you intend to promote and incentivize entrepreneurship and small business growth in Oklahoma?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: You call yourself a conservative, yet as Mayor, you pushed for large tax increases and signed a letter to Congress that opposed repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”). How are those positions conservative, and how do you defend them to conservatives, who view ObamaCare as the most damaging measure to come out of Washington in decades and who believe in lower taxes?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

JF: As the primary approaches, what one thing do you want voters to remember about you as they go into the voting booth?
MC: [Cornett apparently did not want to be put on record]

          *          *          *          *          *

I'd like to thank Mick for his time and for filling out this survey note my disappointment the fulfillment of my expectation regarding Cornett in not filling out this survey. Unlike most of the other candidates, Cornett has avoided as much as possible being nailed down into stating his positions on the issues facing Oklahoma, preferring to inflate his record as mayor and cover up his liberal tendencies.

I very strongly encourage voters to look elsewhere when deciding on who to vote for.


ADDITIONAL SURVEY POSTS:



  • Gary Jones 
  • Dan Fisher
  • Gary Richardson
  • Kevin Stitt
  • Todd Lamb
  • DA Prater refutes claims by Auditor candidate Charlie Prater

    Cindy Byrd, conservative candidate for State Auditor

    PRATER VS. PRATER:  DISTRICT ATTORNEY DAVID PRATER REFUTES FALSE CLAIMS FROM STATE AUDITOR CANDIDATE, CHARLIE PRATER 

        Oklahoma County District Attorney, David Prater, is publicly denying any relation or connection to State Auditor candidate, Charlie Prater.  David Prater set the record straight after Charlie Prater repeatedly claimed to voters that he and David Prater are cousins.

        “I’ve never met him. I don’t know him. As far as I know we are not related. I don’t know the man,” David Prater told KOKC Radio host, Tod Tucker, during a Tuesday morning broadcast.

        David Prater continued the conversation by praising the work of Deputy State Auditor Cindy Byrd, Charlie Prater‘s Republican opponent in the Auditor’s race.

        “I have worked with Cindy Byrd at the State Auditor’s office and I really had good experiences with her. She has done a really good job with the DA’s audits. But I don’t know Mr. Prater,” David Prater said.

        David Prater‘s comments showcase just one of several lies told by his non-cousin and total stranger, Charlie Prater.  During a debate between the Auditor candidates Wednesday evening, Charlie Prater repeatedly denied his guilt in a pending lawsuit in which 15 of his former business partners are suing him for breach of contract.

        “Charlie Prater is being sued because he failed to keep the contractual promises he made to his fellow investors,” Cindy Byrd says.  “His legal defense is that he was duped by his own accountants.  So he is either trying to weasel out of his financial responsibility or he is confessing that he was outwitted by shady bookkeepers.  Oklahoma’s State Auditor is the watchdog of our tax dollars so, whichever version is accurate, voters should consider either characteristic an immediate disqualifier.  Honesty and accuracy must be the hallmarks of our next State Auditor. Charlie Prater clearly lacks one or the other — or both.”

        Cindy Byrd is the current Oklahoma Deputy State Auditor for Local Government Services.  She is a CPA, member of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs, American Institute of CPAs, and of the American Board of Forensic Accountants.  In the last fiscal year, Cindy Byrd oversaw 304 of the 411 audit performed by the agency.

        The Republican primary election takes place on June 26, and the general election on November 6, 2018. For more information on Cindy Byrd, please visit www.CindyByrd.com or Facebook.com/ByrdforAuditor.