Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another Contentious City Council Meeting

Muskogee's city council meetings have taken a contentious turn the past few months. The past two meetings have been attended by standing-room only crowds of over 100.

The two issues that have sparked the action are flying the POW/MIA flag at the Civic Center, and reviewing and changing the city charter. One seems to have been resolved at the this week's council meeting, while the other has gone back to square one.

Again, as at the July 13th council meeting, over 100 people came to hear the resolution of the POW/MIA flag issue. And again, the feeling in the room was very much against the way the council has handled this issue.

To review from last time, the city attorney wrote an ordinance that would address set the requirements for flag flying on city property. There were no copies of the ordinance available at the meeting, so one of the pro-POW/MIA attendees distributed copies at his own expense. That doesn't help public opinion...

The council decided to follow their standing policy of allowing public comment (without council response), but restricted to three minutes per person (and only one time speaking). They rarely follow this policy, which again, does not lend itself to a good public image for the council. Several citizens ran out of time, and had to have others finish their remarks. On a side note, three minutes is probably a little too short for common citizens who are not accustomed to speaking with a time limit.

The ordinance originally stated that the requesting parties would have to pay to put up the flagpole. City Manager Greg Buckley stated that the current flagpole cost between $500 and $700 to put up. Councilor James Gulley proceeded to move that the city pay for it instead. Buckley then clarified his statement, changing the figure to $10000 to $12000, on account that the city merely used the flagpole that had previously been up (before the remodeling of the Civic Center), and his cost estimate was just accounting for labor. I personally think that the $10-12,000 figure is a little high - a quick perusal on the internet found comparable flagpoles for half that price.

Buckley did note that the original remodeling plan did include several flagpoles, mentioning the U.S., POW/MIA, Oklahoma, and Indian tribes' flags as planned, but the project ran out of money and had to cut them out.

Gulley maintained his motion, and the council voted unanimously to pass the resolution as amended. In later conversations with councilmembers, they expressed frustration at the animosity towards them. One councilor said that he wanted to tell the people present that the only thing keeping this ordinance from passing was their arguing in favor of it - all of the councilors were planning on voting for the measure, but were being kept from it by the citizens dragging the public input time out. Another councilor accused Mayor Hammons of stirring the veterans up and starting the whole controversy for his own political self-interests.

With the POW/MIA issue settled, most of the crowd left; still leaving about 30, which is much higher than a usual city council meeting. Before exiting, veteran Pat Davis presented Mayor Hammons with a POW/MIA flag, to be flown whenever the flagpole is set up.

The next issue taken up was the implementation of a new city council policy. Policy 1-4 dealt with requests from the councilmembers or mayor to city staff, i.e. writing new ordinances for presentation to the council.

Basically, the policy states that if the staff member estimates the request to take more than one hour of his time, the request must go on the next council meeting's agenda for approval by the whole council. The council can then give or deny permission for the staff member to fulfill the request.

The argument from those in favor was that no one member should be able to monopolize the time of the city manager, city attorney or other staff members. Mayor Hammons protested, but he was the only vote against the policy. Essentially, now the council can vote down an ordinance before actually voting on an ordinance.

The council then moved on to the city charter issue. As mentioned in my post on the last council meeting, the city council formed a committee to review the charter last September. We learned more about the committee at this council meeting. At this meeting, the council was to go over the reccommendations of the committee.

Each councilor appointed a citizen to serve on this committee (Councilor Jackie Luckey did not appoint anyone, since the charter was not to be reviewed in whole). Councilor Bob Luttrull chaired the group, with Councilor Jim Ritchey also serving on the committee.

Mayor Hammons asked if the review committee ever voted on the reccommendations; John Vincent, the city attorney, said that he did not know if they did. Hammons pressed his point - "It is my opinion that if the charter review committee did not vote on these reccommendations, then these are not the reccommendations of the committee." Councilor Shawn Raper then asked if they were going to follow their policy of public input first; Hammons wanted to make sure that they were actually dealing with the reccommendations as voted on by the committee, but moved the meeting to the public hearing.

Since the council was following their public-input-first policy at this particular meeting (although they did not keep to the time-restriction policy), several citizens spoke. One person in particular had several very good points.

Brian Fuller, president of the local firefighters union, had requested and received from the city the list of the members on the charter review committee.

According to Fuller's research, most of the members only attended one committee meeting. The majority of those members were either never notified of other meetings, or were told that the meeting was canceled without being told when or where it would be held. One of the members is not a current resident of the city.

Fuller's findings also showed that the meetings were not properly posted, and were not held in a public forum; both violations of the Open Meetings Act. Several other provisions were, according to Fuller, in direct violation with state law.

There was a section that dealt with firefighter residency in the reccommendations, which said that firefighters had to live within 20 miles of the intersection of Main and Okmulgee - a change from the previous within-city-limits-for-one-year-before-hiring requirement. Fuller stated that 1/3 of the city's employees live farther than 20 miles from the aforementioned intersection, including many department heads.

Fuller closed by asking that the council start the whole process over again, do it right, and include the three city unions in the review process.

After the public hearing was closed, Mayor Hammons proceeded to ask Councilor Ritchey if the committee ever voted on the reccommendations. Ritchey said that he was never under the impression that the committee was to vote on reccommendations, but thought they were to complie them. Hammons restated his question, "Did the committee vote to approve these?" Ritchey again repeated himself statement. After several rounds of Hammons repeating the question, and Ritchey repeating his statement, Hammons asked Councilor Luttrull the question. Luttrull said that the committee voted on them, but he could not remember when the meeting was.

Hammons and Shawn Raper both suggested to restart the review process, since the facts were muddled. The council voted unanimously to take no action on the agenda item, and to come back another day to start the process over.

So, the POW/MIA flag will fly, but the charter review situation is unresolved. Stay tuned for the latest developements, available on the blogosphere exlusively at Muskogee Politico.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Muskogee City Council Meeting - July 27th

Post to come soon on this very interesting and contentious city council meeting (seems that they've all been that lately!).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Conyers: What Good Is Reading the Bill?

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, giving us his wisdom regarding reading the health care bill.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Last Tommy

Harry Patch, 1898-2009

Today marks the end of an era in Great Britain. Harry Patch, the last British infantryman (or 'Tommy') of World War I, has passed away. He was 111.

Patch was drafted into the British Army in 1916, two years after the 'Great War' began, where he served as an assistant gunner in a Lewis Gun section. He was deployed to France in June of 1917, and was wounded at Passchendaele (also known as the third battle of Ypres) in September of that year.

With his death, only three veterans of World War One are still living, and none of the remaining veterans saw land combat. Just a few weeks ago, Henry Allingham of Great Britain passed away at the age of 113.

The final living veterans are:

Frank Buckles, 108 - the last American 'Doughboy', who is crusading for a National Memorial in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the First World War (currently, the City of Washington has a poorly-maintained monument to their citizens who served in the conflict).
Claude Choules, 108 - British sailor, who moved to Australia in 1926.
John Babcock, 109 - Canadian infantryman (too young for combat), moved to the U.S. in 1924.

This November 11th will mark the 91st anniversary of the end of the War. It is remarkable that there are still veterans alive from that war, though it has been matched before. The last veteran of the War of 1812 died 90 years later, and his counterparts in the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War died 91 and 94 years later, respectively.

With the passing of these last living monuments goes the first-hand memory of a tragic chapter in history. The end of an era is coming.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Houchen Advertises on Drudge Report

Howard Houchen, one of the Republican candidates for Congress in the 2nd District, is advertising on the Drudge Report. The ad is below.



Houchen seems to be the most aggressive candidate so far; Dan Arnett and Daniel Edmonds have also appeared at many GOP meetings throughout the district, but Houchen appears to be the first to take his campaigning beyond meetings of the Republican faithful.

However, none of the candidates so far have submitted reports to the FEC, so we do not know how much cash has been raised, if any, by the candidates.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dear Mr. President...

Dear Mr. President,

First of all, let me start of by congratulating you on your victory last November. Even until that last day, I thought that your opponent, John McCain, would pull it out. You proved me wrong.

Having said that, I did not vote for you, and if given the opportunity again, would still not vote for you. In fact, I would work even harder to defeat you. Your policies and beliefs are so counter to those of mine, and I might add, most Americans, that I would have no alternative than to oppose you with all of my strength.

Now, to get to the point of this missive.

I have one simple request of you. Could you please produce your original birth certificate?

Before you throw this in the trash, let me say that I never have really believed the theory that you don't have a birth certificate, and are an illegal alien born in Kenya or Indonesia. I've always thought that there was a logical reason - perhaps you just didn't feel obligated to pay attention to the tabloids and conspiracists, which I can understand.

However, your lack of cooperation has fueled the fires of rumor and gossip. Just one day this past week, I talked to four different people within fifteen minutes who stated that you are an illegal immigrant with no birth certificate.

Frankly, it's annoying, and I am tired of it all. Please, would you just put all of these rumors to rest, and show the world your original Hawaiian birth certificate?

That is, unless you...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Follow-up on July 13th City Council Meeting - Part 2

After the POW/MIA flag issue was settled, the city council took a short recess, and then continued business. About 35 people stayed for the rest of the meeting, still a very significant increase in attendence from usual council meetings.

Mayor Hammons wanted to discuss three possible changes to the city charter: ward voting, term limits for the mayor and council, and a possible change to the form of government.

Last year, the council formed a committee to review the charter, with the express command to not touch anything regarding the form of government. Councilors Bob Luttrull (chair) and Jim Ritchey sat on the committee, in addition to one citizen appointed by each councilor. They were to submit a report to the council in May with their recommendations.

May came and went without any word from the committee. An email was finally sent out the night before the council meeting with the committee's recommendations; the delay was attributed to not being ready until that evening. However, the Muskogee Phoenix had bullet points in the Sunday newspaper , meaning they had copies on Saturday, before the committee supposedly had compiled the report.

Councilor Luttrull stated during the council meeting that the highest attendence on the committee was three members in addition to himself. He also said that most of the report was his own thoughts, due to the lack of attendence.

One of the citizens present commented that the city council committees have to have a quorum present to conduct business, and wondered why Luttrull, as chairman, did not try to get the members to the meeting.

Hammons stated at one point (in the context of getting people involved in local government) that he contacted the National League of Cities to find out what they say gets citizens involved. The NLC gave him three items: strong mayor form of government, ward voting, and partisan elections. Hammons said that he is not in favor of partisan elections, but he wants to put the other two up for discussion.

The general feeling from the council was opposition to all of Hammons' proposals; the audience was very supportive of Hammons, and pretty hostile to the council. Several times, council members got involved in heated debates with citizens (even though it's against the council's stated policy to have two-way discussion during meetings), to the point that the mayor had to gavel them down at one point.

Councilor Ragsdale gave one reason for his opposition to ward voting. According to Ragsdale, currently councilors do represent wards, but they're elected by the entire city. Therefore, they have a responsibility to represent the whole town, not just one ward. He gave the example of people talking to him in the grocery store about issues that they have, and he said under ward voting, he wouldn't be able to help them since he'd need to have them contact their councilor (which, frankly, is just stupid).

Cedric Johnston, one of many citizens to speak, said that in his research, most towns Muskogee's size that have ward voting are growing at a great rate. I spoke next, and pointed out that most of the towns in Oklahoma our size already have ward voting.

Towards the end, Mayor Hammons said that he wanted to publicy state that "if Muskogee moves to a strong mayor system, I have no desire to be that strong mayor."

Several councilors complained of the general lack of involvement by the community, and the lack of attendance. Dean Swan, the last citizen to speak, addressed that issue. He said, "If you don't want to feed a lot of people, you ring a little bitty bell and hope a lot of people don't come to dinner. This council is ringing a little bitty bell."

The council adjourned without taking action on the charter changes, since there were no concrete proposals (the agenda said they were to "discuss and take possible action").

Follow-up on July 13th City Council Meeting - Part 1

The July 13th Muskogee City Council meeting was a council meeting to remember. Two very hot topics were on the agenda: charter changes (see previous post), and whether to fly the POW/MIA flag at the Civic Center (I was unaware this was to be discussed, actually).

All of the council meetings I have been to were sparsely attended, and fairly non-controversial. Boy, was this one different! This was this most controversial, most attended, most contentious city council meeting seen in years, perhaps decades.

I knew something was up when both KOTV and KJRH had television crews in the parking lot at City Hall. The crowd of American Legion, military veterans, and motorcycle club members going through the doors also gave a hint of what to expect.

There were over 120 people packed into the Council chambers - literally standing room only, and almost not enough room for people to stand. It was evident that most of the crowd was there for the POW/MIA item, so Mayor Hammons moved for that item to be taken up first, instead of last (its original order in the agenda).

When the Civic Center was remodeled recently, due to lack of funds no flagpole was put up. This created quite a bit of outrage, and on July 2nd they installed a flagpole. In years past, the POW/MIA flew at times at the Civic Center, however, no provision was made for any flag to be flown save the American and Oklahoman flags.

Mayor Hammons' proposal was to fly the POW/MIA flag on the six congressionally mandated days for said flag to be flown on federal property. Councilman Shawn Raper then said that this needed to be brought in the form of an actual ordinance, and since this would be setting a precedent, he wondered how the council would decide which flags could be flown, and which flags could not be flown. Hammons clarified by stating that only flags flown by Congressional order would be flown.

This started a discussion over where to put the flags, and how many flagpoles to be used. During the whole meeting, many councilmen complained of being called unpatriotic for not flying the POW/MIA flag. The crowd was very interactive (which is never the case), to the point of a severe lack of decorum. During the public input times, councilors would get into heated back-and-forths, even though it is the council's stated policy that they cannot respond to the public during a meeting.

There were boos and hisses, applause and cheering all throughout the entire meeting. It was certainly the most raucous council meeting in recent history.

Many people addressed the council, including several out-of-towners, the daughter of a Vietnam MIA, and a self-proclaimed Vietnam POW. The latter appears to have started an entirely different controversy, since national POW groups do not recognize him on their official lists as a Vietnam POW, as he claimed he was. He claimed several medals as well, which if he did not receive, could land him in jail for up to two years as a federal crime of stolen valor. The Muskogee Phoenix has a short article on the issue here (though not all that was printed in the newspaper, for some reason).

Finally, councilman James Gulley suggested placing two flagpoles beside the centennial arch at the Civic Center, and flying the POW/MIA flag on one of those poles. The other flagpole could be utilized for any other flag recognized by Congress (the other five possible flags being the service ensigns).

The council then directed the city attorney to draft a proposal to fit the suggestion, in order to bring it back to the council for a vote on July 27th. The reasoning was that if they ordered the city manager to fly the flag now, they could not deny any other request (and requests were allegedly already coming in) until they had legal language setting the restrictions.

This ended the POW/MIA item on the agenda. After a short recess, the council continued business. About 35 people stayed for the rest of the meeting, still a very significant increase in attendance from usual council meetings.

Click here for part two of the meeting.

Bryan County GOP Action Alert - ObamaCare

Here's an important email from the Bryan County Republican Party regarding ObamaCare:

Good Morning Everyone:

As many of you know, Obama's Health Care "Reform" Bill was introduced in the House yesterday. Obama has spoken on this issue multiple times stating explicitly that if you have your own insurance, you will be able to keep it, and that the gov't won't force people to go onto the government plan.

However, today's Editorial Headline in the Investor's Business Daily based on reading the over 1,000 page bill, states that on page 16 of the bill, in actuality, from the day the bill is signed into law, insurance companies will no longer be able to issue new policies. So, you can keep your insurance, but you can't change it and once you lose it (you leave your company or if your insurance company goes out of business since they can't issue new policies) you then MUST go onto the government plan as that will be the only remaining option.

Please read the Investor's Business Daily article here: http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=332548165656854 to come to your own conclusions.

If the news concerns you, we are asking that please call each and every one of Dan Boren's offices in Oklahoma and DC on Friday, July 17, between the hours of 9am-4pm to voice your concerns based on what you read yourself in the article and news- the phone numbers are listed below.

We have heard of an effort mobilizing across OK to be picketing Boren's offices in Muskogee , McAlester, and Claremore so it will be very helpful for us to call across the state to let his other offices as well know that not only are the people outside his office upset, but additional people are taking action by calling as well. We will not demonstrate outside his Durant office, but we can make a big statement just by taking a five minute break to make our voices heard by phone calls.

We simply need to voice our concerns that Mr. Boren not only needs to vote against this bill, but needs to take an active stand - speeches and interviews to media and working to sign on other Democrats to vote against this bill so it does not pass the House - to defend the people of Oklahoma against this power grab by the government.

Here are the Boren office phone numbers:

Durant: 580-931-0333
McAlester
: 918-423-5951
Claremore: 918-341-9336

Muskogee: 918-687-2533

Washington
DC: 202-225-2701

Thank you everyone for being willing to take the time to learn the facts and speak up for our freedom!

It is vital that we stop Obama's health care "reform". The stakes are too high.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tea Party Patriots Announce Nationwide Health Care Freedom Tea Party Protests

The following is a press release from the 'Tea Party Patriots' national organization. 'Tea Party Patriots' was one of the main groups nationwide that were organizing Tea Parties on July 4th.
Tea Party Patriots Announce Nationwide Health Care Freedom Tea Party Protests

WHEN: JULY 17th, 12:00 noon EDT / 9:00 am PDT
WHAT: Tea Party Patriots Health Care Freedom Protests
WHO: Citizen Patients!
WHERE: Coast to Coast, Across the Country, from Florida to Hawaii, at every single Congressional and Senatorial Office

Tea Party Patriots is reaching out to Americans to help them protect their patient-doctor relationship. We believe citizens should be making healthcare decisions for themselves and their family, rather than government bureaucrats. We need to carefully address healthcare reform to give individuals more power instead of putting politicians in control of our healthcare system. We are asking all citizens across this country to join together, for one hour on Friday, in a nationwide effort to express opposition to government takeover of our health care.

Mark Meckler of Tea Party Patriots commented, "People around this country are fed up with the behavior of politicians in Washington. Americans Patriots are angry with the current activity and will not silently sit by as they watch their elected officials drive this country down the road to socialism. Healthcare is a personal choice and one that every American has the right to make without government intervention. Americans are rallying against both the Public and Individual mandate ideas on healthcare! They do not want rationing! They want access across State Lines, tax equality status for all health plans, insurance portability, and politicians to reduce the obstacles for care! The bottom line is they want less government intervention. They want the freedom to choose what they want for themselves and their families. Tea Party Patriots grassroots activists are standing up and will be silent no more."

About Tea Party Patriots:

Tea Party Patriots are the same people that brought you Tax Day Tea Party on April 15th. Three of the national coordinators were on the very first conference call, February 20th, where the first round of tea parties were planned following Rick Santelli's rant. There were only 22 people on that call. The following Friday, February 27th, we had approximately 50 tea parties across the country, with an estimated 30,000 people in attendance! On April 15th, we had 850+ tea parties in all 50 states, with 1.2 million people in attendance.

Tea Party Patriots is founded upon the core principles and values of Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government, and Free Markets.

Tea Party Patriots is organizing to fight for healthcare freedom and against government controlled medicine. On April 15, 2009 over 1.2 millionAmericans rallied at 'Tea Parties' across the nation to protest out of control spending and big government. Tea Party Patriots is mobilizing the grassroots army! Our focus this summer is Project AIM (Attract, Inform, Mobilize) in order to educate the grassroots army and oppose government run healthcare. We are having weekly townhalls cross the country in addition to tea party protests and rallies. We are using the tea party platform to start the discussion about government run healthcare and educate people about the dangers of government run healthcare. Many people are not aware of how dangerous this legislation is for our country. Tea Party Patriots is working to expose the truths about government run healthcare.

For Additional Information:
teapartypatriots.org

###

There are protests being planned for Friday the 17th (from 11am to 12 noon, Central Time), at 2nd District Congressman Dan Boren's district offices.

Denise Clinton is coordinating the Claremore protest (email her here), Elizabeth Jones is coordinating the McAlester protest (email her here), and John McAlister is coordinating the Muskogee protest (email him here).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Muskogee City Council Meeting - July 13th

If you've got several hours to kill, this is the most interesting, most attended, and most contentious city council meeting I have ever been to.

Two topics (charter changes, and whether to fly the POW/MIA flag at the Civic Center) took up nearly three hours.

I will be posting in more detail about the meeting, but here is the video.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Attend the July 13th City Council Meeting!

If you are a Muskogee resident, this post is for you!

At the July 13th Muskogee City Council meeting (that's this Monday), Mayor John Tyler Hammons will be bringing forward two vital changes to the city charter: ward voting and term limits.

Regardless of your position, it is very important that you attend this meeting to make your voice heard. The city council depends on input from their constituency - but how can they know what you want if they never hear from you?


On Ward Voting

Since the city charter was passed in the 1970's, Muskogee has been divided into four wards, with two city councilors per ward. Wards 1 and 2 comprise 60% of the population; the wards are not equal in population or size. Also, candidates for city council run city-wide, not just in their ward. They can win the election, while losing in their own ward.

Mayor Hammons' proposal is to create eight wards, of equal size/population, and require the candidates for council to win their ward (they would only be on the ballot in the ward they are running for).

I fully endorse this proposal. Please come with me to support the mayor on Monday.

On Term Limits

Currently, there are no term limits for city offices. One councilman, Robert Perkins, has been on the council for over fourteen years.

The mayor's proposed charter change would set an eight year term limit for both the mayoral and city council seats. Any combination of the two offices could be served, as long as it did not equal more than eight years. This would not apply retroactively.

I also support this proposal.


Be sure and come to the City Council meeting this Monday (July 13th), at 7pm in the City Council chambers (3rd floor of City Hall downtown). Make your voice heard!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jack Accountius Announces for State House District 21

To continue with the candidacy announcements, this one came out of Bryan County in southern Oklahoma on Monday.
Jack Accountius Announces Candidacy for Oklahoma District 21 Representative

Durant, OK -- Jackie (Jack) Accountius today announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for State Representative for District 21. He has been a resident of Bryan County for twenty-two years, and much of that time has been spent in service to our local community. He served on the Philadelphia VFD as a fireman and held the office of Secretary/Treasurer, and then once Roberta Fire Department was organized, served Roberta VFD as fireman, Chief, and member of the Board of Directors. Jack is also a member and past President of the Bryan County Master Gardeners. As well, he has served on the Bryan County Fair Board, and has assisted or superintended the Open Horse Show at the Fair. Jack is active in his church, St Williams Roman Catholic Church, serving on his parish council in many different capacities including President. He and his wife have been faithful volunteers for over four years in serving Durant's hungry through the church's St. Catherine's Food Bank.

On the state level, he is participating in the planning process for the 2010-2060 Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan.

Accountius is a 1958 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He served 20 years in the USAF as munitions officer, 15 of those years as explosive ordinance disposal qualified, and spent two years serving overseas at various locations throughout Southeast Asia. Upon retirement from the Air Force, Jack received his Masters in Business Administration from East Texas State University, and in 1996 retired from Texas Instruments.

Since moving to Oklahoma, Jack and his wife of fifty years Pat, have raised, trained and shown their miniature horses at all levels of competition. They have won one American Miniature Horse Association National Championship and two National Reserve Championships.

Because of his experience in the military and in the civilian work sector, Jack feels he can contribute to the positive growth of this great state of Oklahoma. He looks forward to enlisting yet again in service to our country through representing District 21 in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives.

# # #

Accountius can be contacted at chimera@texomaonline.com. His website is JackFor21.com.
House District 21 is currently held by State Rep. John Carey (D, Durant). Carey is not seeking reelection, and word is that he will be jumping in the Lieutenant Governor race in the near future (joining fellow Little Dixie Democrat State Sen. Kenneth Corn). Democrat Chris Pierce announced for House District 21 on June 23rd.

2010 looks to be an active year for the Republican Party in the traditionally and heavily Democratic Second Congressional District. Recruitment for state legislative races, as well as candidates for Congress, seems to be going at an above-average pace, which has to bode well for the GOP.

Medlock to run for Tulsa Mayor

According to 1170 KFAQ and various sources on Twitter, Chris Medlock announced this morning at the Tulsa Press Club that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for Tulsa mayor.

KFAQ will carry audio of the announcement at 11:00am. Medlock joins fellow Republicans Clay Clark and Dewey Bartlett, Jr. as candidates for mayor.

Medlock for Mayor? Announcement this Morning

Chris Medlock, former Tulsa City Councilor and talk show host, has called a press conference for this morning, to announce his intentions regarding the upcoming Tulsa mayoral race.

Medlock has been considering running for the seat ever since Mayor Kathy Taylor announced that she was not going to seek re-election.

The press conference will take place at 10:00am this morning, at the Tulsa Press Club. I would assume that it will be carried live by 1170AM KFAQ, and perhaps some other Tulsa media outlets.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Spotlight on 2nd District 2010: Daniel Edmonds (R)

Spotlight on 2010 2nd District Candidates: Daniel Edmonds (R)
A continuing series from the Muskogee Politico


Today's spotlight candidate is Daniel Edmonds. Edmonds was one of five gentlemen who spoke at a recent 2nd District GOP meeting who are either considering a run for the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2010 against incumbent Democrat Dan Boren, or are already announce candidates.

Here is his bio, edited for length for this post:


Edmonds, the fourth of twelve children, was born in Okmulgee County on September 14, 1983. He grew up in a rural setting near Morris, Oklahoma, working in the family’s horse and cattle operation.

He attended Morris Public Schools, graduating as salutorian. During his school years, he was involved in the local FFA chapter, serving as reporter and president during his tenure. After graduation, Edmonds continued his education at Oklahoma State University.

At OSU, Daniel was offered the opportunity to serve as the 2006 Agriculture Legislative Intern. During the session, he worked with State Senator and Agricultural Committee Chair Daisy Lawler (D, Lawton) and State Representative and Agricultural Committee Chair Dale DeWitt (R, Braman). In the summer of 2006, he also served as Agriculture Policy Intern with U.S. Representative Frank Lucas in Washington, D.C.

Upon returning to OSU in the fall of 2006, Daniel completed his Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Sciences with an emphasis in Agronomy. He remained at OSU to pursue his Master of Science degree in Plant and Soil Science under the advisement of Dr. Bill Raun and to work as a graduate research assistant. He received the Phoenix Award for OSU’s Outstanding Master’s Student in 2008.

Daniel’s research efforts at OSU have included mid-season nitrogen fertilization recommendations and approaches using sensor technology for various crops such as corn, wheat, cotton, and soybeans, and milo. His familiarity with the GreenSeeker®, N-Rich Strip, and N-Ramp technologies yielded several opportunities for Daniel to travel internationally to share his experiences and knowledge with farmers in Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Russia, and Mexico.

Currently, Daniel is finishing his Doctorate of Philosophy in Soil Science, again under the advisement of Dr. Bill Raun. His completion date is scheduled for May 2010. While studying and researching for this terminal degree, Daniel has worked as a graduate research assistant, as the Senior Agriculturalist, and is now working under a research fellowship.

Daniel is a member of Henryetta Gospel Tabernacle UPC where he serves as the Pre-K Sunday School teacher and as the editor and publisher of the church’s weekly bulletin.

You can visit Edmonds' website at DanielEdmonds.org, and follow him on Twitter at @DanielEEdmonds.

Edmonds seems to be a very intelligent young man, with quite the impressive agricultural resume, which could be very beneficial to him in the more rural farm areas of the Second District.

An and official announcement from Edmonds will come later this summer. He joins Howard Houchen and Dan Arnett as the (officially and unofficially) announced Republican candidates for the Second District.

More to come on other candidates. Stay tuned for this continuing series. and

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Muskogee Independence Day Tea Party Agenda


Greetings, fellow Patriots!

We will be holding our Tea Party at Civitan Park in Muskogee (3301 Gibson Street, across from the Oklahoma School for the Blind; click here for map). It will start at 10:00am, and continue until about noon. This is a family-friendly event (bring lawn chairs!), with music and speakers, as well as other various activities. Cookies and tea will be served.

Speakers:
Singers:
  • Glen Wadsworth, local recording artist
  • Monty Baggett, local pastor
  • Barbara McAlister, internationally-acclaimed opera star and Muskogee native
Highlights:
  • Voter registration
  • Bake sale
  • Tea and cookies
  • High Striker
  • LIBERTY TREE Dedication and Planting
To help cover the cost of the event, we will be selling pocket copies of the Constitution for $1 as a fundraiser. In addition, we will have a carnival-style High Striker, for those who wish to show off (either their strength, or how mad they are at government's dangerously wasteful spending!) and help pay for the Tea Party at the same time!

Please help spread the word by emailing your friends and family!

Re-declare your Independence at the Independence Day TEA PARTY!! Let's have another GREAT showing for the Tea Party!

Tentative agenda:
  • 10:05 - Start. Welcome and announcements by Jamison Faught
  • 10:10 - Prayer (State Rep. George Faught). National anthem (sung by Glen Wadsworth) followed by Pledge of Allegiance.
  • 10:20 - Matt Pinnell with American Majority
  • 10:30 - Jeff McIlroy with OK FairTax
  • 10:40 - Barbara McAlister sings 'America the Beautiful'
  • 10:45 - Jim Vandament with National Write Your Congressman
  • 10:55 - Mayor John Tyler Hammons on Muskogee charter changes
  • 11:05 - Glen Wadsworth sings 'God Bless America'
  • 11:10 - Steve Money on nationalized health care
  • 11:25 - Reading of Declaration of Independence/Bill of Rights
  • 11:35 - Jason Carini on activism and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • 11:45 - Stuart Jolly with Americans For Prosperity
  • 11:55 - Liberty Tree dedication
  • 12:00 - Monty Baggett sings 'God Bless the USA'
  • 12:05 - Closing and final announcements by Jamison Faught

For more information, contact Jamison Faught (Organizer, Muskogee Tea Party) at (918) 869-6000, or teapartymuskogee@gmail.com.