Friday, April 21, 2017

Bridenstine endorses Pinnell for Lieutenant Governor

Pinnell and Bridenstine at precinct meetings in 2013

At the Tulsa Republican Club meeting today, it was announced that Congressman Jim Bridenstine is endorsing Matt Pinnell for Lieutenant Governor.

Bridenstine sent me the following statement:
"Matt Pinnell is a proven leader in Republican politics. He has experience representing Oklahoma at the national level and will be a tremendous asset selling the many unique capabilities and opportunities of our great state. I am proud to endorse Matt Pinnell for Oklahoma's next Lieutenant Governor."
You can follow Pinnell's campaign on Facebook or at his website.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Scott Inman seeks Democratic nomination for Governor

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-OKC) announced his candidacy for Governor today with the following video:

He joins former State Sen. Connie Johnson and Norman Brown in seeking the Democratic nomination in 2018 for Governor. Inman is term-limited.

Matt Pinnell announces for Lieutenant Governor

Former OKGOP Chairman Matt Pinnell sent the following email out this afternoon, announcing his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor:

When I graduated from Oral Roberts University I was challenged and reminded to “make no little plans.” Those words have driven me ever since.

For the last several months my family, friends, and fellow Oklahomans have encouraged me to continue a lifelong fight — making Oklahoma a place where our children and grandchildren can prosper and succeed for generations to come.

That's why I'm excited to tell you I'm running to be Oklahoma’s next Lieutenant Governor in 2018!

My skills and experiences have uniquely prepared me to serve Oklahoma at this critical moment in our state’s history.

As I’ve traveled the country helping to elect Donald Trump and win Republican majorities in the U.S. House and Senate, Oklahoma has always remained home. I have met so many Oklahomans who share my vision for an innovative, prosperous, and forward-looking state. This is why I've kept my family in Oklahoma, why Lisa and I started our small business here, and what has led me to run for Lieutenant Governor today.

I’ve worked tirelessly in the trenches of the grassroots throughout my career. When I became state Republican Party chairman, we focused on charting a new course for the state party and helped deliver incredible victories. I then took that same passion to the national level, where I oversaw all 50 state parties. It was hard work, but it helped develop me into the leader I am today.

I don’t make small plans, and Oklahoma shouldn’t either.

I’m asking you to join my team today, and to be a part of our fight to build a proud, prosperous, Oklahoma. If you're with me, please like my campaign page on Facebook and click here to visit my website.

Thank you,
Matt Pinnell

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Kevin Hern raises $242,000 in First Quarter

Kevin Hern Posts First Quarter Contributions Eclipsing $240,000

Tulsa, OK – U.S. Congressional candidate Kevin Hern, businessman of Tulsa, has reported contributions totaling $242,690, outperforming all of his opponents combined. Hern is seeking Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Representative Jim Bridenstine who has declared to not seek re-election in 2018.

As the owner of KTAK Corporation, Kevin leads the operations that own ten McDonald’s restaurants that employ over 400 people in the Tulsa area. Kevin has served in various regional and national leadership positions within the McDonald’s Franchise System. Most recently, he served 5 years as the Chairman of the Systems Economic Team for over 3,000 franchisees that own all 15,000 restaurants across the entire country.

“I am humbled by the early support I have received,” Hern said. “I believe the people want a representative in Washington who is a private sector businessman that understands the true impact of how egregious regulations and inconsistent tax policies affect the wallets of our citizens.”

Longtime Tulsa GOP activist and Finance Chairman of Hern for Congress, Frazier Henke IV, states, “Kevin believes the dysfunction and incompetence in Washington must end and will work to bring jobs and decency back to America. He will fight the government’s intervention into our everyday lives and will be a strong advocate for conservative values. His self-made rise from poverty to major business success is the type of experience we need in Washington right now and I am honored to be on his team.”

Kevin is a proven and tested leader. His greatest love is to his help aspiring entrepreneurs create new businesses so they can pursue the American dream. Hern has also served as a State Board Member on the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma, FFA of Oklahoma, and served as Finance Chair for the OKGOP in the 2016 cycle supporting conservative candidates for local, state, & federal offices.

To reach Kevin’s campaign, please visit or call 918-296-7710.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mullin downplays FEC 'Statement of Candidacy'; plus a detailed assessment

Following my post on Saturday and some Tulsa-area news organizations picking up the story, Congressman Markwayne Mullin's campaign is downplaying the impact of the Statement of Candidacy he recently filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Here's a short press release the Mullin campaign issued:

Mullin Response to Blog Post

Westville - "Recent blog posts and media reports claiming Congressman Mullin has filed for re-election are inaccurate. These false reports appear to have been generated by a routine filing with the Federal Election Commission. Congressman Mullin and his family are continuing to pray about this important decision."

Since the press release complains about "inaccurate" and "false reports", let's review the matter in detail. On March 1st, Mullin received a warning from the FEC, stating:
This letter constitutes formal written notification that Mullin for Congress is filing reports of receipts and disbursements (FEC FORM 3) that appear to be for the 2018 election. A review of these reports indicates that your principal campaign committee has no debts from the previous election cycle, and has accepted contributions and/or made expenditures in support of your 2018 candidacy in excess of $5,000, thus meeting the definition of "candidate" per Federal Election Campaign Laws. (11 CFR §100.3(a))

You must either disavow these activities by notifying the Commission in writing that you are not a candidate, or redesignate your principal campaign committee by filing a Statement of Candidacy (FEC FORM 2) within thirty-five (35) days from the date of this letter. 

If Congressman Mullin had not decided yet whether he would break his term-limits pledge and seek a fourth term, he could simply have "disavowed these activities by notifying the Commission in writing that [he is] not a candidate", and ceased campaign activities (such as fundraising) until he made up his mind.

Instead, the next day, on March 2nd, Mullin declared his 2018 candidacy with the Federal Election Commission by filing this Statement of Candidacy form:

Has Markwayne Mullin filed his candidacy with the Oklahoma Secretary of State? No; the filing period to appear on the ballot has not arrived yet (it will be in April 2018). Does that mean he is not a candidate until that time? No. Here's what determines the threshold of a candidate, directly from the FEC:

Mullin meets at least three of those four conditions.

Mullin says he has not decided whether he will seek a fourth term or not (despite his black-and-white, oft-repeated pledge to serve no more than three terms), and that he is not yet a candidate for re-election. The FEC says otherwise, and his Statement of Candidacy form and his campaign fundraising since the 2016 general election is their proof.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine made the same term-limits pledge Mullin did. Unlike his 2nd District colleague, Bridenstine has been clear that he will keep his word and not seek a fourth term. Did Mullin have to file his Statement of Candidacy because his campaign account has cash in it? No. Bridenstine and Mullin have over $150,000 in their campaign accounts, yet only one of them had to file a Statement of Candidacy with the FEC. Why is that? Because Bridenstine isn't raising funds for 2018. That's what a non-candidate does. That's what someone who isn't seeking reelection does.

Mullin raised $139,578 in the first quarter ($114,450 from PACs), spent $121,651, and had $170,260 cash on hand at the close of the reporting period. Bridenstine? He's raised $0 since November 8th (election day), and is in the process of dispersing the remainder of his campaign funds.

If Congressman Mullin had any intention to not seek reelection, thus keeping his word to not run for a fourth term, he would not have continued to seek campaign contributions after the 2016 election ended. That's what Jim Bridenstine did.

Markwayne Mullin, by signing the Statement of Candidacy form, agreed to the following statements:

  • "Name of Candidate (in full): Mullin, Markwayne, Mr."
  • "State & District of Candidate: OK  02"
  • "I hereby designate the following named political committee [Mullin for Congress] as my Principal Campaign Committee for the 2018 election."
  • "I hereby authorize the following named committee [Mullin Victory Fund], which is NOT my principal campaign committee, to receive and expend funds on behalf of my candidacy."
  • "I certify that I have examined this Statement and to the best of my knowledge and belief it is true, correct and complete."

If it walks like a duck... talks like a duck... and is called a duck by the duck-keeper... it's a duck. As long as Markwayne Mullin continues to raise funds and conduct campaign activities, he is a candidate for reelection in 2018, thus breaking his term-limits pledge.

Former Tulsa DA Tim Harris running for Congress

From the ORU Oracle:

[ORU] Adjunct professor and alumus Tim Harris running for congress

“I am announcing a congressional candidate,” said former District Attorney Tim Harris April 2017.

Tulsa County saw Harris serve a record setting record 16 years as district attorney, aiming to fight for the rights for victims of crime.

Recently, Congressman Jim Bridenstine has not endorsed Harris’ campaign, but encouraged him to run. Bridenstine is “self-term limited by his own choice” according to Harris. Bridenstine is also in line to be considered for the director of NASA inside the Trump Administration

Harris reports if he gets that appointment there will be a special election called by Gov. Mary Fallin no early than 60 days after Bridenstine vacates the position. On the normal cycle for election the primary is set for June of 2018; however with this change, it could be a special primary set for September and October in 2017.

“That’s why I’m announcing now,” said Harris. “If this is the Lords call, and he has told me to run, God never tells you to do something without equipping you to do it.”

Currently an adjunct professor of law at ORU, Harris, a self proclaim constitutionalist, has had his heart set on justice in the court of law for as long as he can remember.

“I wanted to be a lawyer since I was eight or nine,” said Harris. “Went to college did a couple years, I was visiting my brother in South America and ended up going for eight months. That’s where we did our mission work, it was one of the most amazing trips of a life time.”

After spending time in the mission field, Harris found himself as a construction worker with a dream still inside to become a lawyer. Later he returned to school at the University of Wisconsin to achieve his undergraduate in Behavioral Science and Law.

“My parents came through Tulsa and picked up a brochure on the O.W. Coburn School of Law [ORU’s former law school]. I read that, and started calling around,” said Harris as he was looking to continue on into law school, and encountered ORU in the early stages of the university.

The ORU O.W. Coburn School of Law would attain accreditation while Harris was in attendance, and after successfully passing his Bar examinations, the now Lawyer, from Milwaukee, found himself quickly at the District Attorney office in downtown Tulsa.

“My senior year here I started interning with the district attorneys office, the prosecution bug bit me,” said Harris. “All of a sudden it was like the Tulsa County Courthouse, I can advocate for victims of crime and children. I can move the ball forward at this mission field called the courthouse.”

After serving the people of Tulsa in public service for close to tw0 decades, Harris felt the need step away in the 2014 election.

“In late 2014 the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and said He has another chapter for me. Four different election cycles in four-year terms, I was supposed to be there. This was my mission field.”

In 2013 the Tulsa World released an article entitled ‘Tulsa Count District Attorney Tim Harris will not seek re-election in 2013,’ covering the details of his service through 1998-2014. Although this transition to Steve Kunzweiler the current DA looked like a career retirement, for Harris it was a preparation season for what dreams lay ahead.

“I kept seeking His face what is this new chapter, and the Lord told me to put my team together, so that’s what I am doing,” said Harris. “I see our constitutional rights being eaten away; our religious liberties are being taken away from us. I want to go to Washington for the people of the first district for people of Oklahoma and America to keep our constitutional rights in tact.”

Following years of serving as the first director of Crimes Against Children and being apart of the first specialty child abuse team in Tulsa County history, Harris is passionate to take his ideas to the market for the state.

“Our crime rate is up,” said Harris in response to the 82 reported murders last year inside of Tulsa County, which is an all time high, the former DA feels his duty as a prosecutor affects state value. “We have to have a safe environment to grow our economy but who is going to come to an area where they don’t feel safe?”

In 2013 after his retirement, the Tulsa County honored Harris by renaming the Victim Witness Center after him. In this same center Harris plans to make his official announcement of candidacy on the 8th floor in the Tulsa County Courthouse on April 24. Prior to this public announcement, Harris has already placed everything for his campaign in order, filling for FEC and preparing Facebook and web pages.

“No matter what happens, I’ll never go negative, if I cant win this race in the marketplace of ideas about what I stand for then God’s got a different plan,” said Harris.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Oklahoma House pays tribute to Rep. Brumbaugh

This morning, the Oklahoma House of Representatives paid tribute to State Rep. David Brumbaugh, who unexpectedly passed away Saturday evening. Session began with a moment of silence, State Reps. George Faught and Mike Ritze spoke about Brumbaugh's impact and legacy, and members closed with the singing of Amazing Grace.

Brumbaugh's body will lie in repose at the State Capitol on Thursday, from 10am to 2pm. Visitation with the family will be from 6pm to 8pm at Floral Haven Funeral Home in Broken Arrow. The funeral is set for 1pm Saturday at Tulsa Bible Church in Tulsa, with a graveside service to follow.

Brumbaugh was the Majority Caucus Chairman, and represented House District 76. Sometime in the next 30 days, Governor Fallin will announce the scheduling of a special election to elect a replacement to fill the remainder of his legislative term.