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Monday, October 5, 2015

Music Monday: Elgar's "Enigma" Finale

This week's Music Monday post is the Finale from Edward Elgar's "Enigma" variations.


Chick-fil-A Muskogee opens Thursday!

Chick-fil-A's Muskogee branch plans to open on Thursday (the 8th).

I'm trying to constrain my excitement.

I will definitely be patronizing Muskogee's newest restaurant on Thursday!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Answers from the OKGOP Chair candidates: full survey

Over the past three days, I've broken up my OKGOP Chair candidate survey into five short(ish) posts, focusing on two to four questions at a time.

In this post, I've included the survey in its entirety, with the responses from each of the three candidates (Estela Hernandez, Robert Hubbard, and Pam Pollard). So those of you on the front page don't have to scroll halfway down the page to see the next post, I've put the entire survey below the page break. For sharing purposes, this might be the easiest to use.

If you would like to view the original posts, use these links: questions 1 and 2questions 3 through 5, questions 6 through 9, questions 10 through 12, and questions 13 and 14.

Once again, as mentioned in previous posts, members of the OKGOP State Committee will choose a new state chair from these three candidates on October 11th. I would encourage members of the State Committee to examine the answers these candidates gave on this survey.

Final Answers from the OKGOP Chair Candidates

With this post, we close out our OKGOP Chair Candidate Survey answers (view part one herepart two herepart three here, and part four here).

13. Financial reports under Chairmen Jones and Pinnell were transparent, detailed, easy to follow, and utilized the same layout/format in handouts. They also personally gave detailed verbal reports to the State Committee. Do you plan to 1) personally give financial reports at State Committee meetings, and 2) use a report format that is as detailed, transparent and easy to follow as Jones’ and Pinnell’s?

Estela Hernandez:
Transparency is a vital part of our Party. We expect it from our elected officials and we should and must expect it from our Party leadership. As a businesswoman I understand the need for clear, detailed reports about the Party’s financial status and will work to ensure that the reports provided to the Finance Committee, the Budget Committee, the Executive Committee and the State Committee are clear, concise and easy to follow. When it comes to fundraising, reporting, and communicating with or on behalf of our Party the buck stops with the Chairman and I will do all I can to be transparent.

Robert Hubbard:
I have always pushed for clear and concise financial reports to be handed out to our state committee members. It is my belief that the chairman of the finance committee should give the report and then stand for questions.

Pam Pollard:
The role of the OKGOP Treasurer is to present the financial report at the committee meetings. It is the role of the State Chairman to manage the collection and presentation of the financial reports. I worked closely with Gary Jones and as State Vice Chairman under Matt Pinnell, he took advantage of my expertise as an accountant and asked me to verify all reports were correct and revenues and expenses were clearly stated. This is my business, this is second nature to me and I can attest that under my leadership the OKGOP will have clear concise financial reports for all registered republicans to review. 

14. Here’s your closing statement – cover whatever you want to talk about.

Pam Pollard:
EXPERIENCE. That is what separates me. I don’t have to talk about what I will do, I want to remind you of what I have already done.

We usually have a year’s lead time from election of State Chair to the Presidential convention season. We have 2 months to get the precinct packets to you, 4 months until County Conventions start and 6 months until the Presidential Primary. We need an experienced person in the office of State Party Chairman and I am the only candidate with the experience to go to work on Oct 12th.

  • training activists, to 
  • working on campaigns, to 
  • building coalitions, to 
  • raising money, to 
  • organizing the grassroots, to 
  • helping county officers, to
  • working with the young conservatives, to 
  • reaching out to minorities, to 
  • running statewide organizations, to 
  • being elected county chairman, to 
  • serving on every committee within the GOP structure, to 
  • leading the charge to turn out voters to the polls,
I have a successful record in each.

2016 is about winning elections. As GOTV Director in 2010 I led the program that elected 77% of our candidates and resulted in the headlines of the Tulsa World, “Triumph of Turnout.” I am the Right Person for the Right Time!

I humbly ask for your support and your vote at the State Committee meeting. My final thought is we have reached “crunch time.” Please consider who is most prepared TODAY to step up and fill the office of State Chairman. Thank you and may God Be with our Nation.

~Pam Pollard   405-420-8154

Estela Hernandez:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer a few questions and share my vision and goals. Over the last few weeks, I have already proven that I can hit the ground running. We have started fundraising again, the war room is ready to go for our Senate District 34 nominee (once we have him) and we are actively preparing the infrastructure for the 2016 races. 

My service on the various boards, commissions and my work for the Party have shown that I can be an effective voice for our Party’s positive, conservative message and I will continue those efforts if elected. We need a strong voice that brands our Party to new generations and new demographics without watering down our message. I am committed to enhancing our training and outreach programs, to working with Young Republicans and College Republicans to enhance our Party. 

I want to thank all those who I have already spoken to that have offered prayers, support and votes in this upcoming meeting. When I ran for Vice Chair of our Party earlier this year, I had no idea that we would faced with the situation that we are in. But I feel called to step up and lead. Our Party must be better prepared to share its vision for America and Oklahoma. 

If anyone has any questions they can reach me at

Robert Hubbard:
I would be honored to serve as your state chairman. Because of my various business and personal life experiences, I believe I can best relate to all of Oklahoma, both rural and urban. It is also vital that we build our Young Republican base so they can be elevated to places of leadership. With that in mind, I would like to see the next state chair of the Young Republicans be provided with an office in our state headquarters so that they are included as a member of the team to build the state party. There is much to be done between now and November 8, 2016. Together, we can and will make it happen.

May God bless each one of you, and may we all look to Him to bless this nation. Respectfully,

Robert Hubbard

As mentioned in previous posts, members of the OKGOP State Committee will pick between these three candidates on October 11th.

For the rest of the survey, view part one herepart two herepart three here, and part four here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Answers from the OKGOP Chair Candidates, Part 4

We continue with the OKGOP Chair candidate survey (view part one herepart two here, and part three here). The next few questions were specifically designed to test the candidates' knowledge of Party Rules, procedures, and convention schedules.

10. Do you plan to run for chair at the state convention in May? 

Estela Hernandez:
According to our rules, the State Committee Meeting on Oct 11 will be to fill the remainder of the unexpired term which would end in April or May of 2017. I do feel that continuity is important and if given the opportunity to serve, I do plan on running for a full term at that time.

Robert Hubbard:

Pam Pollard:
State Party rules require when a vacancy is created for the office of State Party Chairman or Vice Chairman, a special election must be held at a State Committee meeting held no sooner than thirty (30) days and no more than sixty (60) days from the date of the vacancy. The person elected at the State Committee meeting will fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term of the Chairman. Officers are elected at biennial conventions to be held in odd numbered years so the term of the current State Party Chair will expire at the adjournment of the state convention in 2017. There is no election of State Party Chairman at the state convention in May.

11. The Oklahoma Republican Party currently has conventions in three out of four years. Could you explain why we don’t have a convention every year? 

OKGOP rules state that Party Officers are elected at Biennial Conventions to be held in odd numbered years.

In Presidential election years, the State Party Rules direct us to hold quadrennial Precinct Meetings, County Conventions, Congressional District Conventions and a State Convention for the purpose of preparing a platform and electing delegates to the Republican National Convention. We also elect our 2 representatives in the Republican National Committee at the Quadrennial Convention. Their terms begin at the conclusion of the National Convention.

Our rules require us to have conventions in three out of every four years. In odd numbered years we elect the Chairman and Vice Chair of the State Party and conduct other party business. In Presidential election years, like we are currently preparing for, we have additional responsibilities. We have to elect our National Committeeman and Committeewoman who serve 4 year terms in order to work with the RNC and prepare the next National Convention (2020). In the year that we elect our statewide elected officials, we are not required to hold precinct meetings, county conventions or a state convention, but we traditionally take that time to have either a rally or additional training to prepare for the upcoming election cycle. I hope to continue that tradition.

In the odd numbered years we elect our state chair and vice­-chair as well as take care of other state party business. In the even numbered year of the presidential election it is the duty of the state convention to elect delegates and alternates to the national convention. Thus, the other even numbered year of the four year cycle is a bye year.

12. Please explain the national delegate selection process? Also, do you prefer voting on at-­large delegates individually, or by a slate?

Oklahoma has five congressional districts that are determined by population. During the presidential election year, each congressional district has a separate convention at which time that convention elects three delegates to the national convention. This convention also elects one elector to represent them as a voting member of the electoral college. In addition to the fifteen delegates elected by the district conventions, twenty ­five delegates and twenty ­five alternates will be selected from statewide applicants who also wish to be considered as national delegates. These applicants will be chosen by a select committee that will make up the slate of twenty ­five delegates and alternates. I believe there is another avenue, but that can only be instituted by a rule change.

The RNC rules dictate in part how the states select their national delegates. Each state is entitled to three (3) delegates and three (3) alternates for each Congressional District. The number of at-large delegates/alternates is determined by the representation of Republican Office holder at the federal and state level. At the last National Convention we had 28 at-large delegates and will again have 28 at-large delegates and alternates in 2016.

In 2012 we had 212 people apply for one of the 56 slots available, (28 delegates + 28 alternates). There is no such thing as an “open” convention at the national level. Because of the very large number of applicants it is impossible to take nominations and elect delegates/alternates individually at the state convention. Therefore the Republican Party created State Party Rules that stipulate the process.

The Rules state the State Executive Committee meets after all District Conventions have been held and at least two weeks prior to the date of the State Convention for the purpose of selecting nominees for Delegate-at-Large and Alternate-at-Large to the Republican National Convention. All applicants are invited to an interview before the Exec. Comm where they are asked a wide range of questions. A private vote is taken of all names submitted and the applicants who receive a majority of votes are given one of the at-large slots. The same process takes place for at-large alternates.

I have been part of this process in two Presidential election years and believe it to be the best method to get a fair representation of delegates/alternates throughout the state. All names must be published at least (10) days prior to the State Convention. This is often called the Executive Committee slate and is voted on according to convention rules, usually as a whole. Nominations from the floor are accepted as detailed in the convention rules. Election of the Delegates-at-Large and Alternates-at-Large are done by roll call vote.

Our rules clearly outline the delegate process. There are three delegates and three alternates that will be selected at each District Convention this year. After the final District Convention is held, the State Executive Committee will meet to select a slate of At-large delegates and alternates. That slate will be published prior to the State Convention and the Convention will vote on it.

Currently our rules do not provided for an individual up or down vote on each member of the slate. Considering how many delegates Oklahoma has, and the average time it takes for us to go through one election at a convention, I feel it is impractical to try to do individual votes and feel that we should continue to work with the “slate” format. The slate is the collaborative product of those who have been elected to leadership positions from across the state. It is important to remember that every Congressional District is represented, every recognized ancillary organization is represented, and those who serve in this capacity take it very seriously, as they should.

The final question and closing statements will be posted tomorrow morning. (Update: view part one herepart two here, and part three here).

State Sen. Bice endorses Fiorina

Bice and Huggard Point to Fiorina as the Political Outsider Who Will Fight for America

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Today, Oklahoma State Senator Stephanie Bice and Oklahoma business owner Linda Huggard announce their support for Carly Fiorina for President of the United States. Stephanie Bice is the State Representative for District 22, which includes northern Oklahoma County and eastern Canadian County, including parts of Edmond, Deer Creek, Piedmont and Yukon.  Linda Huggard is the Owner of Broadway Machine and Motor Supply.

Oklahoma State Senator Stephanie Bice:
“It's time for our country to benefit from the leadership qualities a woman like Carly Fiorina would bring to the oval office. Her no-nonsense attitude toward international relations and her goal to make the United States a world leader, economically and militarily, are just two from the long list of reasons why I'm throwing my support to her campaign. I hope to encourage all Oklahomans to join me."

Linda Huggard:
“Carly has a thorough knowledge of the problems, both foreign and domestic, that confront our nation.  She also realizes the urgency of solving those problems.  She has real and workable solutions. She has a keen mind, talent for communicating, ability to motivate people and a love for and dedication to this great nation. America would be fortunate indeed to have Carly in the Oval Office.”

State Senator Stephanie Bice and Business Owner Linda Huggard are joining a growing group of Americans nationwide who have been moved to support Carly’s candidacy because of her willingness to challenge the professional political class and take on the status quo.

Note: Fiorina becomes the fourth current GOP presidential candidate to receive public support from Oklahoma elected officials, joining Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump.

Scott Pruitt: "I’m all in for Jeb"

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt joined the campaign team of presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

From the McCarville Report:
Jeb Bush today announced the support of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. He said Pruitt will serve in a national role for his campaign, as National Chairman of Federal-State Relations for the Jeb 2016 campaign

“Scott and I share a common vision for empowering the states and limiting the intrusion of federal government in every area of our lives, I’m excited to have him as part of the team.  I look forward to working him and members of the task force to continue to demonstrate my plan as president to restore our country,” Bush said.

Pruitt said, “I have never been as excited for a presidential election as I am for this one. Our Party is poised to reclaim the White House and rebuild the faith in America that has been lost under the Obama presidency. After getting to know the strong field of candidates, I am convinced Governor Bush has the courage and humility our country needs to prosper and recover the American Dream. In my time with Jeb, I’ve personally observed his devotion to his wife and children, his love of country, and his optimism and hope in what America can become. Jeb’s track record as governor of Florida demonstrates when you serve and lead with conservative convictions, government works, government shrinks, and most importantly, the lives of Americans are improved.

“I am honored to serve as Governor Bush’s National Chairman of Federal-State Relations.  Governor Bush is the only candidate in the race for President that has a plan to bring a much needed structural reset between the relationship of the federal government and states to make Washington less consequential in our lives.  I encourage all conservatives to look past the theatrics of the primary and get acquainted with the authenticity, character and experienced leadership of Gov. Bush.  He is the right man at the right time to lead our nation.  I’m all in for Jeb.”

This wasn't an endorsement I necessarily expected. Pruitt becomes the third statewide elected official to endorse in the presidential primary. Treasurer Ken Miller endorsed Bush as well, and the late Labor Commissioner Mark Costello had endorsed Scott Walker.