Monday, January 16, 2017

Andy Coleman announces for 1st District, makes term limits pledge



Owasso – Andy Coleman is pleased to announce his candidacy for U.S. Congress, to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. The district is currently represented by Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who previously announced his intention not to seek reelection following the current term.

The Republican primary election for this seat, in which Coleman would compete, is not scheduled until 2018. “I realize I am announcing extremely early, but I feel the need to do so because of my unique background that has kept me out of the public eye,” Coleman said. “I need more time to introduce myself to the voters and share my message.”

For the last several years, Coleman led all field efforts in the Middle East for The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a Bartlesville-based Christian ministry that helps persecuted Christians in the world’s most difficult countries. This sensitive work required Coleman to maintain an extremely low profile. He travelled throughout the region 80 to 100 days each year to encourage and equip local Christians facing intense pressure. In his role, Coleman oversaw a portfolio totaling millions of dollars annually, broken out over hundreds of individual field projects.

Before joining VOM, Coleman served in many different capacities. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he double majored in Foreign Area Studies and Political Science. Upon graduation, Coleman served as a military intelligence officer and focused on threat trends throughout North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe. He deployed to Baghdad, Iraq with the U.S. Army during the surge of 2007 and 2008.

Apart from his military service, Coleman attended the University of Kansas School of Law. As a law student, he served as an editor on the Law Review, and as a leader of the school’s Christian Legal Society and Federalist Society chapters. He also became a Blackstone Fellow with the Alliance Defense Fund. Coleman briefly entered private legal practice with a large, international law firm, but soon felt himself called into full-time ministry with VOM.

“None of this would have been possible without my wife, Liz,” conceded Coleman. He and Liz have been married fourteen years and are blessed with three wonderful children. You can learn more about Andy Coleman and his campaign by visiting www.AndyColeman.org.



Owasso – Andy Coleman, who recently declared his candidacy for U.S. Congress, announced a term limits pledge on Sunday afternoon.  Should he be elected to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District, Coleman pledged to serve no more than four full terms.

Coleman delivered his term limits pledge to approximately 80 supporters at his campaign’s kickoff event, held at the Owasso Community Center.  He is running to replace Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who previously announced his intention not to seek reelection following the current term.

In explaining his decision to make the pledge, Coleman shared that it “preserve[s] [his] ability to be as effective a representative and leader for the families of the First District as possible.”

Coleman, a military veteran and former international fielder leader for a Christian ministry, acknowledged there were thoughtful arguments against taking a term limits pledge.  But after significant thought and prayer, Coleman felt it was critical to his ability to remain a servant leader.  You can learn more about Andy Coleman and his campaign by visiting www.AndyColeman.org.

Music Monday: Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy

This week's Music Monday is Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy, a great classic hymn, to an old American folk tune ("Restoration"). Here are three very different versions of the song: the first is an Irish/bluegrass setting by Keith & Kristyn Getty, and the second is an a capella choir from Thailand, and the third is a instrumental/singing group with the Galkin Evangelistic Team. I don't ordinarily do three videos, but I thought each merited inclusion, as they bring the hymn from different perspectives.

Enjoy!

First up, the Getty version:

Next, the a capella choir:

Finally, the Galkin team:


Here are the lyrics, and they preach quite the sermon:
1. Come ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love, and pow'r.

Chorus:
I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

2. Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome,
God's free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Ev'ry grace that brings you nigh.
[Chorus]

3. Come ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you're better,
You will never come at all.
[Chorus]

4. Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
Verses three and four in particular speak great truths.We are all sinners in need of a Savior. That Savior is Jesus Christ. We have been ruined by sin, and are unable to save ourselves from eternal judgment for that sin, but "Jesus ready stands to save you." His gift of salvation is free, but urgent, as we are not guaranteed tomorrow. "If you tarry till you're better, you will never come at all." Now is the day of salvation - learn how more about becoming a Christian at this link.


Click to go below the page break to see all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to submit for a future Music Monday? Email me at JamisonFaught@MuskogeePolitico.com.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Carol Bush says she was misquoted; publisher disagrees

State Rep. Carol Bush
In a December interview with TheTulsaVoice.com, freshman State Rep. Carol Bush (R-Tulsa) made a series of comments on her policy views that were... unorthodox for a Republican, to say the least. The HD70 representative took liberal positions on taxes three times, said ObamaCare was the "wrong execution of the right idea", and leaned left on social issues like abortion, marriage, and assisted suicide. She also said she was recruited to run for office by now ex-representative Jeannie McDaniel (D-Tulsa), who was one of the most liberal Oklahoma  legislators in recent memory.

After her statements caught attention on social media and my post here, Rep. Bush sent an apology to members of the House Republican caucus, obtained by SoonerPolitics.org:


Bush pleads "misquoted" and "taken out of context" for her liberal positions.

Joshua Kline, editor of TheTulsaVoice.com, responded to Bush's claim with this statement:
"We stand by Barry Friedman's story, which presented Rep. Bush in her own words. Bush is welcome to contact us directly if she seriously believes she was misquoted or "taken out of context." We'd be happy to go over the audio with her and sort this whole thing out."
The tone of the original article was that of a conversation between old pals; in fact, the author started off with a disclaimer noting that he and Bush have been friends for 35 years. I think the truth of the matter isn't "misquoted" or "taken out of context", but rather that, at ease in a friendly environment, Bush was simply caught voicing her real thoughts on these policy issues.

At least it gives conservatives a heads-up about another legislator to keep a watchful eye on.

Monday, January 9, 2017

House Passes Lucas-Bridenstine Weather Forecasting Bill


Lucas-Bridenstine Weather Forecasting Bill Passed in the House

Washington, DC, January 9, 2017 --  Today the U.S. House unanimously approved H.R. 353, the Lucas-Bridenstine Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act.  This legislation prioritizes protecting lives and property.

‘Every minute counts in the lead up before a major storm or tornado,” said Congressman Frank Lucas. “This legislation helps to give those in harm’s way additional disaster preparation time which could ultimately be the difference between life and death or thousands of dollars in property damage. I am encouraged that the House has taken action on this critical matter and hope to see these life-saving policies enacted soon.”

“Our aim is to have zero deaths from tornadoes and other extreme weather events,” said Congressman Jim Bridenstine. “This bill gets us closer to that day.  I thank my House colleagues for their support, and anticipate swift Senate passage and that the President will sign it into law.”

This legislation is the product of a bipartisan effort.  It directs the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to focus resources and effort to:

  • Rebalance NOAA funding to place a higher priority on weather-related research and activities;
  • Emphasize developing accurate forecasts and timely warnings of high impact weather events;
  • Create programs to extend warning lead times and improve forecasts for tornadoes and hurricanes;
  • Develop a plan to utilize advanced technology to regain U.S. superiority in weather modeling and forecasts;
  • Increase focus and continue development of seasonal forecasts and how to maximize information from these forecasts; and
  • Enhance coordination among various federal government weather stakeholders.

 The legislation also authorizes and extends a NOAA pilot program already under way thanks to a partnership between the House Science Space and Technology and the House Appropriations Committee. Under this pilot program, NOAA has already issued two contracts to procure commercial satellite weather data. This pilot program could bring about a paradigm shift in how NOAA makes decisions about future procurement of critical weather data.

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith added, "Americans from coast to coast will now be better prepared for severe weather with the passage of the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act.  This bill has been four years in the making and is long overdue.  It will transform our nation’s weather gathering efforts and help save lives and property.  This legislation strengthens the underlying atmospheric science while simultaneously advancing innovative technology and reforming operations to provide better weather data, models, and forecasts.  America can thank Reps. Lucas and Bridenstine for leading this innovation initiative.  We look forward to the Senate approving this bill soon."

The Washington Post called this “the first major piece of weather legislation adopted since the early 1990s.”  The legislation, originally introduced in the House in 2013, passed the House in 2015, and last December the Senate approved an amended version.  Provisions in the bill approved today are nearly identical to the Senate version, so we can anticipate swift passage again in the Senate and presentation to the President for signing into law.

Links to videos of remarks on the House floor:

Congressman Lucas- https://youtu.be/FmXeb1z7RTw
Congressman Bridenstine- https://youtu.be/tvR19_RzbDw
Chairman Smith- https://youtu.be/bWvm6IeBZns

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Pruitt begins winding down fundraising committees


In advance of his upcoming EPA confirmation hearings, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has begun to wind down his campaign committee and related super PACs.

Before Trump picked him to take over the Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt had three political committees raising and spending funds: his 2014 reelection committee, Liberty 2.0 (a super PAC), and Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC. The PACs had been formed to support Pruitt's future political endeavors, widely thought to have been a 2018 gubernatorial run.

In 2016 (through September 30th), his reelection committee raised about $10,000, and spent over $30,000, ending with about $25,000 in the bank. Through November 28th, Liberty 2.0 raised $450,000, spent around $300,000, and still had about $146,000 on hand. Through November 28th, Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC raised $391,000, spent $333,000, and had $57,000 on hand.

All told, Pruitt's committees raised over $850,000 in 2016, spent around $667,000, and still have about $230,000 left.

Pruitt came under some scrutiny over the committees' expenditures earlier this year, with hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on consultants and travel, with relatively little of the PAC funds being given to candidates. Liberty 2.0 made zero expenditures on behalf of candidates, while Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC gave $22,000 to Oklahoma candidates and Republican groups, and $7,330 to out-of-state candidates -- just 7.5% of what the PAC raised, and 3.5% of the combined PAC/super-PAC fundraising. In comparison, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe's leadership PAC gave roughly 60% to other candidates.

From the Oklahoman:
Two federal political action committees formed to support Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and conservative causes will shutter operations this month ahead of his planned Senate confirmation hearings for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Charlie Spies, an attorney for Pruitt's leadership PAC, Oklahoma Strong, and an independent super PAC, Liberty 2.0, said the two groups are in the process of filing termination reports with the Federal Election Commission.

"The leadership of both groups are working on a plan for shutting them both down and disbursing remaining funds," Spies told The Oklahoman on Friday. "We would like to have them formally shut down before his hearings so political opponents can't use their existence as an excuse to attack him."
Read more here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mullin Reintroduces POWERS Act to Rein in Federal Overreach


Mullin Reintroduces POWERS Act to Rein in Federal Overreach

WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) reintroduced a bill on Tuesday to rein in the overreaching federal regulations enacted by the Obama Administration and its bureaucracy.  H.R. 41, The Preventing Overreach Within the Executive Rulemaking System (POWERS) Act of 2017, echoes one of the primary priorities of the 115th Congress: limiting federal overreach.

“The start of the 115th Congress gives us a chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh,” Mullin said.  “With eight years of rules and regulations from the Obama Administration hanging over our heads, one of our first priorities as a unified Republican government is to cut back on the red tape that is suffocating our small businesses.  Time and time again, we saw President Obama overreach his executive power and bypass the legislative branch to create regulations that are detrimental to small businesses and individuals.  To restore the legislative branch’s constitutional authority, we need the POWERS Act.”    

The POWERS Act provides transparency and accountability to the federal rulemaking process before a rule is finalized.  Congress gives federal agencies the power to create rules, so it is also Congress’ responsibility to ensure that the rules proposed by federal agencies fit within the legislative boundaries set by Congress.

“Federal agencies have too much freedom and too little oversight in their rulemaking authority,” Mullin added.  “A federal agency is responsible for executing the policy Congress creates through a transparent, accountable, and public process.  They are not the legislative hand of the executive branch, and so they shouldn’t have the power to create rules and enact policies that affect Congress’ constituents, without any say from their elected representatives.”

With the POWERS Act, federal agencies will be required to respond to any formal Congressional inquiry about a proposed rule during the public notice and comment period.  The rulemaking will not be allowed to move forward until the agency has responded to Congress.  Presently, agencies are not required to respond to a submitted comment from the public or from Congress – making the public comment period insignificant.

“By requiring federal agencies to respond to comments and questions from Congress during the rulemaking process, the federal agencies will have to answer to Congress and the people Congress represents,” Mullin said.  “I am confident that the POWERS Act will return lost legislative power back to Congress and hold federal agencies accountable for the unwarranted rules and regulations they create.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to see that the POWERS Act provides the oversight necessary to prevent federal agencies from enacting policies that are harmful to our nation.”            
     
H.R. 41, The Preventing Overreach Within the Executive Rulemaking System (POWERS) Act of 2017, was introduced to the 115th Congress on January, 3, 2017 with 17 cosponsors.  It was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary for consideration.  

Bridenstine, Lucas comment on passage of REINS Act


Today, the U.S. House voted to pass H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017. The bill, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), would increase accountability for and transparency in the federal regulatory process by requiring Congress to approve all new major regulations (more from the Heritage Foundation here). Oklahoma's House delegation all voted in favor (in fact, no Republicans voted against the measure). Here are comments from Congressmen Jim Bridenstine (OK-01) and Frank Lucas (OK-03):



Congressman Jim Bridenstine Votes for Reining in Bureaucratic Regulations

Today, Congressman Jim Bridenstine voted for H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act or the REINS Act.  The bill passed the House of Representatives 237/187.

Under the Obama Administration, unelected bureaucrats have used expansive and intrusive new regulations to fundamentally remake the American economy.  The REINS Act would help restore Congress’s constitutional power to make law, by requiring an up-or-down vote in Congress and the President’s signature to approve any major regulation which has an annual economic impact of over $100 million.

Congressman Bridenstine said: “Congress has ceded too much power to the executive branch, leading to an avalanche of red tape and new rules which are strangling economic growth, punishing job creators, and making life harder for families.  The REINS Act will help rebalance the scales and give Congress a bigger voice in the regulatory process.”

Today’s vote marks the third time the House has passed the REINS Act since 2012. President-Elect Trump has confirmed he will sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.



Lucas Votes to Strengthen Congressional Review of Costly Government Regulations

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-3) today voted to pass the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, legislation to increase the role of Congress in the oversight and review of executive agency rulemaking. The bill requires congressional approval for any major executive action that impacts the U.S. economy by an amount greater than $100 million or would drastically increase prices on consumer goods for Americans.

“The Obama administration’s regulatory regime of the past eight years has cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars,” said Congressman Lucas. “A big part of getting our economy back on track and Americans back to work is to remove the regulatory burdens that are restraining growth and opportunity.”

“As one of the first bills of the 115th Congress, the REINS Act is a serious step toward curbing overregulation and returning to common sense in the way we govern.”