Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mullin compares US debt to... Cavemen and Vikings?

2nd District Congressman Markwayne Mullin recently made a post on Facebook and Twitter drawing attention to the America's sky-high national debt. It's a topic that far too often gets ignored by those in Washington, who keep spending like there's no tomorrow. Our national debt poses a greater threat to America's future than most other, commonly-identified dangers.

However, the way in which Congressman Mullin brought up the topic is rather.... strange. His post read as follows:
The U.S. government currently owes more money than ANY other government in human history! We can't keep going down this path.
The post was accompanied by this image:


Rather than comparing our debt to, say, Greece, France, the United Kingdom, or even past U.S. governments, he decided to go with the "governments" of Colonial, Romans, Vikings, and Cavemen. Beside the Roman Empire, none of those are historical governments, and the graph comparison would indicate that each of those groups owed debts in the trillions.

There's a better way to do this. Next time, use actual figures, not made up numbers with non-historical non-governments.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Richardson to Challenge Tax Hikes in Supreme Court


Richardson to Challenge Tax Hikes in Supreme Court

Tulsa, OK, June 22, 2017–  Gary Richardson held  a press conference at the Tulsa Press Club today at 3 p.m. to announce his plan to file a lawsuit in the Oklahoma Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of House Bills 1449, 2348, and 2433.

House Bill 1449 creates the “Motor Fuel Tax Fee” which charges a fee to owners of electric and compressed natural gas vehicles in order to make up for the fact that they don’t pay the motor fuel tax; House Bill 2348 effectively raises taxes on the millions of Oklahomans who take the standard deduction when filing their tax returns by uncoupling the state deduction rate from the federal rate; and House Bill 2433 adds a new 1.25% sales tax on motor vehicle sales on top on the existing excise tax already charged on car sales.  All three of these laws were enacted in violation of Article 5, Section 33 of the Oklahoma Constitution which was enacted by State Question 640 in 1992.
Transcript of press conference

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.  I’m here today to talk about the recent “tax increases” that were passed by our legislators.

Our state constitution reads in Article 5, that “the people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and amendments to the Constitution and to enact or reject the laws and amendments at the polls, independent of the legislature.”

In 1907, when writing our State Constitution, our state founding fathers held that the will of the people is “sacred”. They made clear that the legislature only has the legislative powers expressly delegated to it and that all other legislative power is vested in the people exercised by the initiative and referendum processes. It was this holding and right to the use of an “initiative petition” that Norman, Oklahoma attorney Stan Ward headed a citizen’s group to gather enough signatures to put State Question 640, in 1992, to the vote of the people that amended Article 5 of our State Constitution requiring all “revenue increases” to have at least 3/4ths majority of the legislators to pass a tax or to be voted on by the people, that the bill was to originate in the State House, and not to be voted on in the last 5 days of the session.

This past legislative session, our leaders violated Article 5, Section 33 of our State Constitution when they passed House Bills 1449, 2348 and 2433.

In order to attempt to make up for the fact that owners of electric vehicles and compressed natural gas vehicles don’t pay the motor fuel tax, our state legislators passed House Bill 1449, attempting to create a “motor fuel tax fee”.  The authors of the bill knew this wasn’t a fee because they put “tax” in the name of their fee! House bill 1449 failed to get the 3/4ths majority needed to pass legislation that raises revenue in both the state house and senate and it was voted on in the last five days of session, both of which violate Article 5, Section 33 of the Constitution.

House Bill 2348 enacted by our state leaders raised taxes on the 70% of Oklahomans who take the standard deduction when filing their tax returns by freezing the state deduction rate, which normally is increased every year to match the federal rate.  Again, this bill didn’t get the 3/4th votes needed in the State House which violates Article 5, Section 33.

HB 2433 is an effort by our legislators to add a new sales tax of 1.25% tax on motor vehicle purchase.  This, on top of the existing excise tax already charged on car purchases.  This bill, if left unchallenged, would take close to $125 million from Oklahomans purchasing vehicles.  Again, the bill didn’t receive three fourths majority in either the State House or Senate, it was voted on in the last five days of session, and they added an emergency clause to the bill, all in violation of Article 5, Section 33 of our Oklahoma Constitution.

Folks, when our Legislators and Governor willfully disregard our State Constitution, it’s up to the people of our state to take a stand, which is why I am standing here today, for the citizens of our state.

Since 1981, I have been standing as a warrior for the citizens of our state.  First as a United States Attorney, appointed by President Reagan and then in the private practice of law.  I can think of no better way, at this time, to continue the fight than by challenging the constitutionality of these new taxes that are clearly in violation of Article 5, Section 33 of our State Constitution.

This is why I will be filing a law suit in the next few days, on behalf of the citizens of Oklahoma, asking the courts of Oklahoma to invalidate House Bills 1449, 2348 and 2433.  I have hired Norman, OK lawyer Stan Ward, again, the author of Article 5 Section 33, to be my attorney of record in this constitutional challenge.

We are a nation of laws and when our lawmakers refuse to follow our Constitution, then we the people must rise up and ask the courts to defend our Constitution.  It’s not "We the Legislators," it’s "We the People!"

Click here for audio of the press conference.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rep. Strohm withdraws from SD37 race



TULSA, OK- Representative Chuck Strohm has withdrawn his candidacy for State Senate District 37. The seat is being vacated by Senator Dan Newberry who is resigning. Strohm has represented Jenks, Bixby and areas of South Tulsa in House District 69 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives since 2014.

“I have been humbled by the outpouring of support as people have asked me to step forward and represent District 37 in the Oklahoma Senate.

Part of leadership is the wisdom to recognize when you have made a decision that is not in the best interests of our State.  As Angela and I have prayed and considered the impact to the newly formed GOP Platform Caucus if elected to the Senate, the peace that must accompany every major decision in life has not been there.  Therefore, I am withdrawing my candidacy for Senate District 37.

The GOP Platform Caucus was formed in early April and has 4 key goals including:

  1. Honor God as we Serve the People of Oklahoma.
  2. Judge policy and legislation against a standard that reflects the will of the people; The Republican State Platform
  3. Provide an educational tool by grading legislation per the state platform.
  4. Provide a UNIFIED Conservative voice.

Because we are in the very early stages of implementing these goals and growing the Platform Caucus, I don’t have peace leaving the Oklahoma House at this time.

It is a joy to represent the communities of Jenks, Bixby and the South Tulsa at the state capital and I look forward to serving my House district in this upcoming session. Please join me in prayer as we ask for Gods favor as we elect a new Senator to represent us in District 37.”

Strohm has a strong record of supporting conservative Oklahoma values through positions of leadership in the State House. Strohm currently holds a 97% lifetime conservative rating from The Oklahoma Constitution.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cindy Byrd launches campaign for State Auditor



CINDY BYRD LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR STATE AUDITOR

June 19, 2017 --  Oklahoma Deputy State Auditor Cindy Byrd officially kicks her campaign this week by announcing her run for State Auditor in her hometown of Coalgate.  Byrd, a Certified Public Accountant, has spent more than 20 years working to provide accountability and transparency for state taxpayers.

    "Voters need to give serious thought to who will be Oklahoma's next State Auditor," Cindy Byrd says.  "This job is one of the most important positions in government.  Public officials must be held accountable for how every dime of taxpayer money is spent.  Of all the officers we elect, I believe none is more directly connected to taxpayers than the State Auditor.  Oklahomans should expect a State Auditor who will work with officials to find efficiencies while also exposing waste and fraud of public funds."

    During her 20 years with the State Auditor’s Office, Byrd has identified waste and exposed corruption at both the state and county level.  She has been highly successful in her role as Deputy State Auditor.  She set forth a plan that cleared five years of backlogged county audits and is credited with identifying the waste of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds through investigations that ultimately exposed serious corruption by public officials.

    Byrd is a fourth-generation Oklahoman who travels our state each week working with county officials to make the most with the funds they have to spend.

    Cindy Byrd's campaign launch celebration is Thursday, June 22nd, from 6-7:30pm at the Coal County Fair Barn Exhibit Hall in Coalgate.  Several community and business leaders from Southeast Oklahoma will be there and the public is welcome to attend.

     Read her detailed plan to protect tax dollars and expand her efforts to clean up government at every level at www.CindyByrd.com.

Music Monday: A Christian Home

This week's Music Monday is A Christian Home, written by Barbara Hart and sung to the tune Finlandia by Jean Sibelius. The powerful lyrics, posted below the video, describe the model for the Christian home, very much needed in today's society.

Enjoy!



Lyrics:
O give us homes built firm upon the Savior,
Where Christ is Head, and Counselor and Guide;
Where ev’ry child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the Crucified:
How sweet to know that, though his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!

O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines, though days be dark and grim.

O give us homes where Christ is Lord and Master,
The Bible read, the precious hymns still sung;
Where prayer comes first in peace or in disaster,
And praise is natural speech to ev’ry tongue;
Where mountains move before a faith that’s vaster,
And Christ sufficient is for old and young.

O Lord, our God, our homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil, and care;
Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there:
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor −
Be Thou our Guest, our hearts and homes to share.

Click to go below the page break to see 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.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Map: Oklahoma Libertarian Party registration by county

Continuing the Voter Registration Maps series, here is an update to the Oklahoma Libertarian Party numbers after a full year of existence (or, re-existence).

First, the raw total of voters registered under the OKLP:


As of April 1st, there were 4,165 voters registered as Libertarian, heavily centered in the metros. 62.5% of Libertarians are in their top five counties (Oklahoma, Tulsa, Cleveland, Canadian, and Payne). Only three counties have no registered Libertarians, up from 22 last April.

Next, the OKLP as a percentage of registered voters in each county:


Payne County comes in as the top county for Libertarians (percentage-wise) at 0.387%, followed by Canadian County at 0.323%). All other counties are below the 0.3% mark.

Libertarians form a larger percentage of registered voters in central and western Oklahoma than they do in eastern Oklahoma. They fare the worst in "Little Dixie", as well as the Panhandle, and the border counties in the south and west.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Map: voter affiliation changes, April '16 to April '17

Here's the newest edition to my long-running Voter Registration Maps series. Last spring, we took a look at party affiliation changes between the recognization of the Oklahoma Libertarian Party and the pre-election deadline for party affiliation changes. Here, we look at changes between April 1st, 2016, and April 1st, 2017.


When looking strictly at affiliation changes (i.e. no new voters), the OKGOP added 18,428 voters and lost 8,093 to other parties, for a net gain of +10,335. Oklahoma Democrats added 6,780, but lost 17,367 voters for a net of -10,587. The newly-formed OKLP added 1,388 members and lost 53, for a net gain of 1,335. Independents added 8,668 voters and lost 9,751, for a net loss of -1,083.

More tidbits:

  • 53% of the Libertarian additions were Republicans
  • 71.8% of Democrats and 60.8% of Independents who switched parties chose the GOP
  • Contrary to popular thought that Independents are growing primarily at the expense of the GOP, 1,926 more Independents moved to Republican than did Republicans to Independent.
  • 9.7% of Republican party-switchers went to the Libertarian Party, compared to 4.15% of Independents and 1.4% of Democrats (ironic, given that the national and state Libertarians seem to cater to the Democrat voters)
I'll be posting an update to the statewide map of Libertarians soon.