Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 2010 Ice/Snow Storm

The latest Oklahoma ice/snow storm dumped about 1/4" of ice and 5"-6" of snow on Muskogee. For just an example of how it looks compared to the previous major ice and snow storms, here are two shot that I have photographed in each storm.

Shot one:
January 30th, 2010 (ice and snow)


December 27th, 2009 (snow)


January 28th, 2009 (ice and sleet)


January 14th, 2007 (ice)


Shot two:
January 30th, 2010 (ice and snow)


January 29th, 2009 (ice and sleet)


January 13th, 2007 (ice)

There really isn't any ice damage this time, especially nothing that can be compared to the Great Ice Storm of January 2007. Judging from how long the Christmas Eve 2009 snow lasted, it may be a while until this snow melts, and it will certainly be weeks until the ground, saturated as it already was, dries out.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Muskogee Mayoral Race Update

Quite a bit has happened since my last post on the Muskogee mayoral race. The last I posted of, sitting Councilman Jim Ritchey announced for mayor on August 20th, and Mayor John Tyler Hammons announced for reelection on November 30th.

The past two days have added new developments.

Chris James, a local travel agent, announced his candidacy for mayor at an event on Tuesday attended by about 150 people, according to reports by the Muskogee Phoenix. James was introduced by former mayor Wren Stratton, who immediately preceeded Mayor Hammons.

On Wednesday, Jim Ritchey withdrew from the race, and threw his support to Chris James. Ritchey will instead run for a second term on the city council. James appears to be uniting the anti-Hammons segment, as well as some of the more "establishment" crowd in Muskogee.

James has a reputation for being somewhat... immature (he has quite a few pictures on his Facebook page many would consider obscene), while Hammons is perceived by some to only be looking for his political future, as he has stated in the past that he wants to run for Governor and President. It remains to be seen as to which of the candidates will be able to garner the support necessary to win this race, and whether or not more candidates will jump in. Filing for the April 6th election begins next week.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coffee Refutes ODP/OKPNS Smear

From the McCarville Report:
Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee today refuted a claim by former Democratic Party Chairman Ivan Holmes in which Holmes alleges an intoxicated Coffee called him at home last week and threatened him. Coffee's comments came in response to an inquiry from The McCarville Report Online after a Missouri blog posted a story in which Holmes infers it was Coffee who called him last Thursday night, but then says the caller "claimed to be" Coffee.

[...]

"This (blog) is absolute sleaze," said one infuriated former Oklahoma Republican Party official. "Did Holmes pay to have this printed? I know blogs don't follow journalistic guidelines, but this one seems intent on constantly printing lies and attacking Republicans with lies."

Click here for the rest of the story.
I agree with the unnamed Republican official. Oklahoma Political News Service likes to tout themselves as a reputable blog, but most of their material is just political sleaze and unproven smears. Ironically, OKPNS isn't even based in Oklahoma - it's run out of Missouri. Unfortunately for the blogger at OKPNS, he has discredited himself too many times to be taken seriously.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adam Andrzejewski for IL Governor

There's a solid, grassroots conservative running for governor in Illinois that needs our help. Adam Andrzejewski (and-jee-EFF-ski) is running in a tight 6-way Republican primary, with the vote coming up on February 2nd.

I first heard of Adam Andrzejewski on the Race42012 blog, where Adam Brickley started talking about this sterling candidate in Illinois. Brickley was the first person in the blogosphere to really start pushing Sarah Palin for Vice President; how he finds gems like Palin and Andrzejewski before anyone else does is beyond me.



Andrzejewski is running on a platform of reform, transparency and fiscal responsibility. You can find several posts on him here at R4'12. Adam is a stellar, rock-solid conservative with strong anti-corruption credentials - just what Illinois, and the rest of the nation, needs.

Erick Erickson at RedState has picked up the Andrzejewski banner, and other bloggers are trying to rally the conservative 'troops' for a moneybomb to take place tomorrow for Andrzejewski (Give2424.com).

So, Adam Andrzejewski for Illinois Governor!

2nd District Candidate Ranking: Post 4Q FEC


The Muskogee Politico's 2nd District Candidate Ranking
Post-4th Quarter FEC Reports

After the close of the 2009 3rd Quarter FEC reports, I issued my first 2nd District Candidate Ranking. The ranking is to be updated periodically. After the filing of the recent 4th Quarter reports, the ranking needed to be brought back up-to-date. None of this is to be construed as an endorsement of a specific candidate by this blog, merely my view of the race as it currently stands.


And now, without further ado, I present the latest installment of the 2nd District Candidate Ranking from the Muskogee Politico.

1. Howard Houchen (prev. 1st)

I still view Howard Houchen as the "frontrunner" among the current Republican candidates.

The latest FEC reports show that Houchen has raised $19,416 from individuals and $250 from PACs (more on that), and $5,866 in in-kind candidate contributions. He currently has $3,541 cash on hand. Houchen has been in the race the longest, having first announced in early May.

Houchen is a very aggressive and enthusiastic candidate, which can, has, and will be a drawback for some voters, while appealing to others. The Ron Paul/libertarian community seems to be rallying around Houchen, which again, may alienate some people.

Houchen does appear to have a weakness for joining any and every group out there that asks him to (such as Bring Home the Politicians, which aims to hold Congress from every state capitol via teleconference, as opposed to physically meeting in Washington at the Capitol), and I have noticed some strange stuff on his ethics reports - not illegal goings-on, per se, but just odd things (for instance, a PAC contribution was listed under 'Party Contributions' instead of the PAC category*).

That said, Houchen is having more success in raising money, even though he is spending most of it. He has also run some radio ads, and continues to nab interviews on various radio talk shows across Oklahoma. At this point in the game, advantage still Houchen.

* - UPDATE: the Houchen campaign contacted us, and said that the problem was on the FEC side of things, and that they have contacted the FEC numerous times to get it reported correctly.

2. Daniel Edmonds (prev. 2nd)

Daniel Edmonds still remains in second place.

Edmonds has grown as a candidate, and continues to improve as the campaign progresses. While all the candidates hold the same basic positions, Edmonds seems to be the candidate that can have the broadest appeal.

However, as with all of these candidates, Edmonds has difficulty raising funds. So far in the campaign, he has raised just $2,699 from individuals (and $9,382 in in-kind contributions from the candidate). At the close of 2009, he reported $2,707 cash on hand.

Despite his lower fundraising totals, Edmonds led the way in the opening months of the campaign when it came to campaign literature. His material was professional-looking and high quality, while the other candidates' fliers were not as profession. He clearly has a better understanding than the other candidates of what political literature should entail.

If Edmonds wants to jump into the lead, and break away from the pack, he will need to start showing much better fundraising reports.

3. Charles Thompson (prev. 4th)

Charles Thompson has moved up in our ranking, the only change so far. Thompson put his toe in the water back in June, dropped out a week later, and decided to get back in sometime in early September.

Thompson still hasn't officially filed his candidacy with the FEC, which means that he must not have raised or spent $5,000. He must be nearing that level, though, as he has attended meetings and parades across the district and launched a website.

He hasn't been in the race long enough to attract much support, but he does seem to be gaining volunteers at a faster pace than the other candidates. he does have a few ideas that are a little loony, such as this ill-advised one on constituent contact.

If Thompson can start to raise money (and file with the FEC, like he needs to do soon), he might begin to impact the race on a greater level.

4. Dan Arnett
(prev. 3rd)

Dan Arnett has dropped to fourth place in our ranking, although in some aspects he has had more influence on this race than anyone else.

I see Arnett as being one of the biggest reasons that Congressman Dan Boren actually held town halls. When Arnett announced, and held town hall meetings of his own in front of each of Boren's congressional offices, he essentially called Boren out, and received media coverage in the process.

Since Arnett has been attending law school in Philadelphia for much of the campaign, he has been unable to be on the campaign trail. This has hurt his candidacy, especially since two new candidates have joined the race, and been very visible at GOP meetings across the area. Arnett has since transferred to the University of Tulsa, which will help him to appear at more events in the 2nd District.

He has raised $5,909 (of which
$4,579 is in-kinds contributions) thus far in the campaign. However, Arnett is the only candidate in the race (including Dan Boren) that is carrying debt - to the tune of $6,467.*

Arnett is going to need to show that he can raise money and generate some grassroots interest if he wants to get anywhere this race.

* - UPDATE: "The Dan Arnett 2010 campaign decided, with the blessing and consultation of the Federal Election Commission, to list gas and travel expenditures from the start as loans to the campaign rather than In-Kind Donations. This allows the campaign committee to have a more realistic view of what has been donated as a service, such as an in-kind donation, and what may need to be repaid in the future, like a volunteer's fuel and toll booth costs. According to the FEC, loans may be, at the request of the lender, converted into a donation. Donations, however, may never be converted into a loan. This is why those costs are initially recorded as a loan. Simply stated, receipts collected from volunteers for legitimate travel expenses are recorded initially as a loan to the campaign but may, at the volunteer’s request be recorded as an in-kind donation. This is subject to the donation limits set by the FEC and a volunteer may not make an in-kind donation beyond what they could make as a standard donation. Win or lose, the campaign would like to keep track of costs that, under the FEC’s rules and regulations, are reimbursable so that donors and volunteers may have some of their money returned to them if there is a positive balance on the books at the end of the election process."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Obama: The Difference Between '94 and Now is Me

From Jake Tapper at ABC News:

Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., fears that these midterm elections are going to go the way of the 1994 midterms, when Democrats lost control of the House after a failed health care reform effort.

But, Berry told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the White House does not share his concerns.

“They just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”

Asked today by ABC News’ Yunji de Nies if the president said that, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs pleaded ignorance.

“I have not talked to the president about that,” Gibbs said, employing one of his favorite dodges.

Gibbs seemed to suggest that he shared that view, whether or not President Obama said it.

“I hope it's not newsworthy to think that the president hopes and expects to be an effective campaigner in the midterm elections,” Gibbs said.

Berry told the newspaper that he “began to preach last January that we had already seen this movie and we didn’t want to see it again because we know how it comes out…I just began to have flashbacks to 1993 and ’94. No one that was here in ’94, or at the day after the election felt like. It certainly wasn’t a good feeling.”

- Jake Tapper and Yunji de Nies

If this conversation took place after Scott Brown's stunning victory in Massachusetts, Obama is clueless about the tidal wave preparing to hit him.

Gibbs said that the President "expects to be an effective campaigner" this coming election cycle. As Mike McCarville so aptly noted, he has been exactly that - for the Republicans.

New OK Government Resource - TheHouseandSenate.com


There's a great new resource for all things state government - TheHouseandSenate.com.
Introducing TheHouseandSenate.com, the web site that was built by two assistants to be your one-stop shop for frequently accessed Oklahoma state web sites and contact information.

Our perspective is unique because we work for Legislators, we work with state agencies, and we work for the people of Oklahoma . Creating this web site is our solution to streamlining and making government more efficient for the state of Oklahoma and the people we serve.
The website is run by two assistants at the State Capitol - one who works for a state senator, and another who works for a state representative. Their experience in working with constituents has been invaluable in finding these resources, which will be very helpful not only for other legislative assistants, but for everyday Oklahoma citizens, as TheHouseandSenate.com is laid out in a much more user-friendly manner than any of Oklahoma governmental websites.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

RightOSphere - Coming Soon!


Kavon Nikrad at Race42012.com (formerly Race42008.com) has announced that the conservative blog will be transitioning to RightOSphere.com sometime in the near future.

From R4'12:
As many of you know, we will be transitioning the Race42012 Community to our newly redesigned site in a matter of weeks (though a firm date is yet to bet set.)

Part of this transition is that we are changing the name of the site to Rightosphere.com. This was a big decision for me, as the “Race4″ sites have been a huge part of my life for so long now. But I felt the time had come for a couple of reasons.

First, it is becoming increasingly costly to own all of the “Race4″ URL’s needed to protect the brand I have built. I already, of course, own Race42008.com & Race42012.com, as well as Racefor2012.com, Race42016.com, Racefor2016.com, Race42020.com, Racefor2020.com, Race42024.com, and Racefor2024.com! So it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to decide where to draw the line as long as I stuck with the “Race4″ identity.

Also, it would become increasingly difficult to have the site consistently identified with one name as time went on (some people still refer to us as “Race42008.com”!) I foresee this becoming an even greater problem as time goes on. Having one name that does not change with each cycle alleviates this problem.

Secondly, I have received many requests throughout the years from the members of our community as to features they would like to see the site have. Some people would like to have the ability to from groups or tribes within the site, e.g., “Team Mitt” or “Team Huck.” Other wanted to have a list of the campaign stops that each candidate would make during campaign season. Others wanted the ability to create their own polls. Many thought it would be nice to have a fully functional social network added to the site so that they can connect with other like-minded conservatives.

About a year ago, Kris Lorelli and me were discussing these requests and we asked each “why not?” Why can’t the Race42012 Community have all of these features to have some fun with?

So we set out together to make this kind of community a reality. The results, I feel, speak for themselves. Rightosphere will have all of the features that anyone has ever asked for plus, much, much, more. In fact, I believe that there is no political website, Right or Left, that will have the features and resources that each member of the Rightosphere family will have.

I encourage everyone to head on over to the new site, register, and take a look around. If you are already on Facebook, you can login via your Facebook account (once registered) to keep your social networking profiles in sync.

Of course, I know that some people will miss the old site, and change of any kind is always somewhat scary. However, what is not changing is our community! Everything that made Race42008 & Race42012 great will be what makes Rightosphere great as well. Think of it this way, when a community builds a new town hall, they do not change the people in the city along with the building. They simply provide new, modern facilities to make community get togethers more fun. This is exactly what this redesign is meant to do.

The frontpage of site will still function in the same way as it has before, and will feature articles written by our tremendous staff. The comments sections will still feature the insights of the best conservative community out there. The only difference is that you will see essays that were posted on a commenter’s personal blog (yes, everyone who registers gets their own personal blog that everyone can subscribe to!) promoted to the frontpage, along with our Twitter feed, and a running scroll of all of the blogs written by the Rightosphere Community (entitled, “Right Now.”)

The transition of our little corner of the Internet from R4′12 to ROS represents the work of a little over a calendar year for Kris and I. It was a labor of love meant to give our little family great new digs. I sincerely hope that you all enjoy it as much as I think you will. Please feel free to email me at kavon_w_nikrad@yahoo.com with any questions.

P.S. One little suggestion… If you haven’t yet, please consider downloading Firefox. Firefox is a free Internet browser that is faster, more secure, and more fully-featured that any other browser out there. R4′12, Rightosphere (and any other Internet site you visit) both work and look their best in Firefox.

FF is also highly customizable. I surf the ‘Net using the Aero Fox Theme. Give it a shot and see.


I've registered over at RightOSphere - how about you?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Conservative View: Too Big For Your Britches

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Too Big For Your Britches

We humans can experience problems in our life; it is a sad fact that many times we create most of those problems ourselves. Whenever anyone becomes so arrogant they think that they are above the law, or too good to lose in any competition, they are on the fast track to getting a much deserved dose of reality. Throughout my life I have heard my parents on many occasions comment on someone that got over confident, they would often say that the person was “getting too big for their britches”. I feel that that same analogy could be applied to the results of the Senate race in Massachusetts.

While the outcome was a victory for the conservative candidate Scott Brown, we conservatives would be foolish to believe that this one race is a trend for the conservatives to somehow ride a wave of support to being the majority in the US Senate. While some would say that this race is a wakeup call for the Democrat party, I believe it to be a wakeup call for all political parties. The Republican Party gained the majority during the Clinton Presidency because the people of America spoke with a loud voice that they didn’t want the government controlling more aspects of their lives. For a while the Republicans held to their conservative values, and then they fell into the trap of wanting to maintain their power and stay in office at any price. I have found that when anyone is willing to pay any price for something it is just a matter of time until the price becomes so high they can never pay it. When we conservatives hold true to our beliefs we have the ability to make the hard choices based upon logic. Often people don’t like the consequences of the hard choices, but in the long run we are better off to take the bitter medicine and get it over with.

The people of Massachusetts merely made a choice based upon the issues of today. The health care issue has many Americans worried about the size and scope of government. The liberals were locked in full throttle to pass the health care reforms even though the American people were not supporting it. We conservatives need to listen to the voters and be willing to use our conservative values to justify our decisions, if we start to get too big for our britches the voters will let us know.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Henry Bans Texting for State Employees

Governor Brad Henry signed an executive order yesterday that bans state employees from texting while driving state vehicles.
"In an effort to ensure safer roads and highways, Gov. Brad Henry today signed an executive order barring state employees from 'text messaging' while driving state vehicles. The Governor said he wants the directive to serve as a model for all Oklahoma motorists."

"'Technological advances like text messaging have revolutionized our lives in many ways, but they have also created serious distractions that can have disastrous results on our roadways,'” he said."

"'There really is no way someone can be an alert and responsible driver while he or she is also reading or typing out keys on a small keyboard. This is a matter of common sense.'"

"Under the order signed today, Oklahoma state employees are prohibited from text messaging when driving government vehicles, driving private vehicles on government business or when using electronic equipment supplied by the state while driving. The directive defines 'texting' or 'text messaging' as reading from or entering data into any handheld or other electronic device."

"In order to give state agency directors time to inform employees of the new policy, the executive order will not become effective until February 1."

"Studies conclude that motorists' use of handheld electronic devices while driving can be significant distractions. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, these distractions contribute to hundreds of injury accidents each year and have also been cited in a number of fatal crashes."

"Nineteen states and the District of Columbia currently ban text messaging while driving.

Henry, a Democrat, signed this order at a time when momentum seems to be building in the legislature for a similar, all-encompassing measure. State Reps. Sue Tibbs (R-Tulsa) and Danny Morgan (D-Prague) have authored a bill that would ban cell phone usage while driving (unless using a hands-free device).

I happen to disagree with this. As with the recent left-lane law, law enforcement should already be able to ticket drivers for inattentive driving (among other possibilities). Rather than passing new laws, that law enforcement officials must read before they can carry out, let's focus on enforcing the laws already on the books.

2nd District GOP Meeting - Saturday


The 2nd Congressional District Republican Party will be holding its first quarterly meeting of 2010 on Saturday, January 23rd in Muskogee at the Muskogee Public Library, 1:00-3:30 pm. State Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso) will be the main guest speaker. State GOP Chairman Gary Jones will give a presentation on voter registration during the meeting.

The Oklahoma Republican Party will be holding a Candidate Training School for local, state and federal candidates from 8:30 am-12:30 pm, at the offices of R&D Medtech, located at 300A West Shawnee in Muskogee, just west of El Chico . The cost is $10 (refreshments will be provided). Please let us know if you will be attending the training so we will know how many to plan for. The training will be held in Muskogee in conjunction with the District 2 meeting, with the exact location for the training to be announced soon.

For more information, or to RSVP for the candidate school, contact 2nd District chairwoman Jo Rainbolt (918.857.1718 or j.rainbolt@cox.net), or the Muskogee County Republican Party (918.616.1747 or gop@muskogeerepublicans.org).

Specter Tells Bachmann to "Act like a lady"

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) had a joint appearance on Philadelphia's 1210 AM radio station yesterday that turned a bit ugly. Here's the audio:



"I'm going to treat you like a lady, now act like one." Arlen Specter has been in Washington too long... it's a good thing that Pat Toomey is leading him by 9 points in a Rasmussen poll released yesterday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Biggest Upset in American Electoral History?

In an huge upset, Republican Scott Brown won tonight in the Massachusetts Senate special election, with 52% of the vote. Some are beginning to speculate that this may be the biggest upset in American electoral history, or at least modern electoral history.

Just a few examples:
  1. Three weeks ago, Democrat Martha Coakley was leading the polls by nearly 20 points. Tonight, she lost by 5. I can't think of an election that changed so drastically so swiftly.
  2. I subscribe to WORLD Magazine, and we received the January 16th edition of the bi-weekly magazine in the mail today. I'm not entirely sure when this would have gone to print, but on the Massachusetts election, WORLD said, "Massachusetts voters will almost certainly send... Martha Coakley to Washington after a special election [to replace Ted Kennedy]." Their article went on to further state that Coakley held a "commanding lead" over Brown.
  3. Last year, Barack Obama won Massachusetts by a margin of 61%-36%. Brown won 52%-47% - a huge 16-point swing for an unpopular party that only .
Massachusetts has had only 4 Republicans in the U.S. House since the last Republican Senator lost his reelection bid in 1978 (one GOP House member died in 1991, one lost reelection in 1982, and two lost in 1996).

So, was this the greatest upset in electoral history? I think it has to rank up there.

On a side note, Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said this among his "Blame Bush" post-election statement: "President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident." This in the seat previously held by Ted Kennedy, who actually did drive his car into a pond, and left the scene of the accident, leaving his passenger (Mary Jo Kopechne) to die in the vehicle. Surely Van Hollen or someone on his staff caught the irony in his statement.

Also, it appears that the Democrats will seat Brown very soon. From Forbes.com:

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he would notify the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that Brown had been elected. Originally, he had said he might take over two weeks to certify the results of the special election, giving Democrats a window in which to try to rush through final passage of Obama's health care plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised to seat Brown "as soon as the proper paperwork has been received."

This will almost surely signal the death of ObamaCare, as moderate Democrats facing reelection this year will become jittery over passing unpopular, radical legislation like the President's health care plan. Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) are already admitting that the health care plan and other Obama administration are dragging down the Democrat Party.

So, on to the midterms - there are only 286 days left!

The SCOTT Heard 'Round the World


Massachusetts Republican State Senator Scott Brown has now become Massachusetts Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown.

In a stunning night, Brown roared to the finish line with 52% of the vote; Coakley received 47%, and independent/libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy (no relation) got 1%. The Democrat agenda (including President Obama's health care plan) now hangs in the balance, since the Republican Party will now control 41 Senate seats, enough to sustain a filibuster.

Massachusetts Senate Results


For results from the Massachusetts Senate special election, go to this website (AP) or this website (Boston Globe).

At 7:53pm CST, Republican Scott Brown led Democrat Martha Coakley 53% to 46%, with 40% of precincts reporting.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Benge Opposes Property Tax Cap Reductions


State House Speaker Chris Benge (R-Tulsa) is putting his foot down when it comes to decreasing the percentage property taxes can increase annually. State Rep. David Dank (R-OKC) and State Sen. Jim Reynolds (R-OKC) have refiled legislation that would set the property tax increase cap at 3%, as opposed to the current 5% cap.

The Senate Republican Caucus has made the issue a plank in their agenda for the upcoming session; the House GOP did not do so. Speaker Benge was similarly opposed to the measure last year.

In a leaked memorandum, Dank criticized the Speaker for referring to the proposed legislation as "tax cuts". It seems that in a manner similar to the Democrats' outrage in 1995 over cuts in school lunch programs (that were actually reductions in increases, but still increases), Benge was characterizing the move as tax cuts.

It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this worthy legislation. Far too often, the 5% cap becomes an automatic increase every year, which is not the intention of the law. And just as often, counties count on that 5% increase, and scream bloody murder at the prospect of that increase being somewhat smaller.

Benge can talk about the budget crisis as much as he wants, but these are still annual tax hikes - not tax cuts. It's time that the cap was lowered, for the good of property- and home-owners across the state.

Showdown: Brown vs. Coakley


Tomorrow, the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat will be held. Republican State Sen. Scott Brown has roared to an unexpected, and unprecedented, lead over Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley.

At the first of the year, polls showed Coakley with a lead of 16 points; surveys released today showed Brown winning by 9 and 10 percent.

A victory by Scott Brown would send shockwaves through Washington, and likely signal the end of Obama's health care plan (unless House and Senate Democrats can suddenly stop squabbling over the bill, and vote on it in some manner before Brown can be seated).

The final showdown occurs tomorrow. Only time will tell whether the upstart Republican can pull off the unthinkable: defeating a DEMOCRAT, in MASSACHUSETTS, in TED KENNEDY'S old seat.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Conservative View: A Lesson Re-Learned

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

A Lesson Re-Learned

Being a conservative it is easy to get discouraged about the status of our government and the policies that are being rammed down the throat of the American people. It is evident to see that the mainstream media owes their allegiance to the liberal philosophy. It is sad that the mainstream media no longer has the ability to report issues in an honest and unbiased fashion. When you look at history, the conservative cause has always had to overcome the status quo. Today we are fortunate to have other sources such as the internet and talk radio, the people that founded this country did not have anything as good as we do today. I believe that the desire for freedom enabled our founding fathers to do remarkable and great things. I believe that desire is a part of our genetic makeup. Far too often we have a bad habit of allowing someone to make us believe that the grass is greener on the other hill, more often than not when we get there it is not what we were led to believe.

Just a little over a year ago the pundits were ready to read the obituary for the conservative belief system, now their obituary seems a little premature. I am old enough to have had the honor to have voted for Ronald Wilson Reagan. I remember the mess our country was in due to Jimmy Carter and his cronies promising greener pastures. It has been several years since President Reagan came to power; the voters of that day re-learned our conservative values. Reagan believed in a limited government, strong defense and above all freedom. I saw firsthand the pride in our country that was generated because of those values. Over the past few weeks I have seen the American spirit rekindled.

Even though ridiculed by the main stream press, the tea party movement has grown into a force and a focal point for conservative values. Next Tuesday there will be an election in Massachusetts to fill the senate seat formally held by the late Ted Kennedy. According to recent polls the conservative candidate Scott Brown is leading, just a short time ago this would have been impossible. The events of the last year seemed to have awakened the dormant gene that made this country great. As long as we can re-learn our conservative values when we go chasing greener pastures there will be hope for our country.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Muskogee Politico's New Address!

Ever since the first post back on July 31st, 2008, Muskogee Politico has been hosted for free by Blogger at MuskogeePolitico.blogspot.com. This had some advantages - namely, I didn't have to spend any money on buying a domain. The downside was in giving out the web address to people; having to say "Muskogee Politico dot blogspot dot com" complicated matters when dealing with some individuals. I finally decided to change that.

Today, I bought MuskogeePolitico.com. The old address will still work - Blogger will forward all traffic from the old "dot blogspot" to the new address. The process may take up to three days to completely update to the new domain. Nothing on the blog will be changed in this transfer; instead, it will be easier for people to find and remember! So, update your bookmarks (although the old address will still work), and continue reading!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2009 Okie Blog Awards

Nominations are now being taken for the 2009 Okie Blog Awards.

From the official blog:
The purpose of the Okie Blog Awards is to recognize the outstanding talent, creativity and hard work of Oklahoma bloggers, and to encourage excellence in blogging.

The program was founded five years ago and was originally based on peer-selection. Peer selection will continue as the core of the nominating process; however, final determination and selection of top winners in each category will be made by a panel of experts, all of whom are from Oklahoma.
Here is a link to the official rules, and here is a list of the categories open for nomination. You can only nominate if you are an active Okie blogger, and by email (2009okieblogawards@gmail.com). The top ten nominees in each category will be announced between February 3rd (when nominations end) and February 5th (when voting begins). Voting closes on February 12th, a board of panelists will be announced on the 13th, and the winners will be unveiled by the panel no later than February 19th.

The categories for nomination are as follows:
  • Best Arts/Crafts Blog
  • Best Audio/Podcast Blog
  • Best Business-Related Blog
  • Best Culture Blog
  • Best Blog Design
  • Best Family Blog
  • Best Food Blog
  • Most Humorous Blog
  • Most Inspirational Blog
  • Best Kept Secret (blogging prior to 1/1/09; not the prior recipient of an Okie blog award)
  • Best Micro-Blogger (Yes, Best Tweeter. Who writes the best 140 characters?)
  • Best New Blog (2009)
  • Best Oklahoma City Blog (metropolitan region)
  • Best Overall Blog
  • Best Photography Blog
  • Best Political Blog (Conservative)
  • Best Political Blog (Liberal)
  • Best Representation of Oklahoma
  • Best Rural Blog
  • Best Single Topic Blog (majority of content must be on one topic)
  • Best Tech Blog
  • Best Tulsa Blog (metropolitan region)
  • Best Veteran Blogger (5+Years)
  • Best Writing
Now, if you are a blogger, participate in the 2009 Okie Blog Awards process!

Coburn Lands on UK Telegraph 'Top Conservatives' List


Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Muskogee), landed on the UK Telegraph's "Most Influential US Conservatives" top 100 list. The Telegraph first issued their list in 2007, and subsequently followed up with this 2010 list.

Coburn placed at number 37; he was number 43 in 2007.

Said the Telegraph regarding Coburn:
"Outspoken, conservative to the core and unafraid to take on the Republican leadership or give Democrats a chance when they deserve it, Coburn is one of the most unusual politicians in Washington. It would be more correct to describe him as an anti-politician since he is a doctor first and foremost and disdains the political class. Arrived in Washington as part of the Republican revolution of 1994 but left after his self-imposed term limit was up. Returned as a Senator but one always senses he would prefer to be back home in Oklahoma."

"A crusader against abortion rights, he once said: “I favour the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life.” Also stated that “the gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power”. Since then (both statements were in 2004), he has mellowed a touch. Was personally friendly to Obama when they were both in the Senate and speaks warmly of the President’s character and intention. Refused to jump on the Republican bandwagon this week by branding Senator Harry Reid a racist. A passionate opponent of "pork barrel" spending, whether by Republicans or Democrats. Still regarded by many as one of the consciences of the conservative movement."
Coburn's influence continues to grow, especially with the ongoing health-care reform debate. It's good to see someone in the media notice that. Still, I would love for Coburn to rank much higher on the list; the conservative movement and the Republican Party both need more men like him.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Even Democrat Gov Candidates Oppose SQ 744

From the Tulsa World, via the Choice Remarks blog:
Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson, both Democrats, and Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, said they support funding for common education but that the regional-average requirement would hurt other functions of state government.

The three participated in a forum sponsored Tuesday by Leadership Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Community College, where the forum was held.

U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., was in Washington and did not participate.

State Question 744, backed by the Oklahoma Education Association, is expected to be among a number of state questions on the November ballot. The measure would require the Legislature to bring per-pupil spending to the regional average, at an estimated cost of $850 million.
This is a huge blow to the OEA and the 'HOPE Petition' proponents, but encouraging to those who oppose the disastrous measure. SQ 744 would mandate an increase in education funding to the nebulous "regional average", which would mean about $850M more dollars than is spent today. Oklahoma's state budget is only about $7B - mandating another near-billion dollars in spending would require either tax increases, massive spending cuts in other under-funded departments (like Corrections, Transportation, etc.), or both.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hannity and Beck Coming to Tulsa in 2010

Talk show hosts Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity will both be coming to Tulsa on tours this year.


Glenn Beck - Tulsa, March 13th

Glenn Beck is bringing his 'Taking Our Country Back' tour to the Tulsa BoK Center Arena (aka the 'Duct Tape' Arena) on March 13th. Also on the tour are country music stars John Rich (of Big & Rich) and Gretchen Wilson, as well as political commentator Dick Morris.

Tickets are for sale for $47, $77, $102 and $127 (available at www.bokcenter.com, www.tulsaconvention.com, and www.TakingOurCountryBackTour.com, as well as by calling 1-866-7-BOKCTR).


Sean Hannity - Tulsa, August 20th

Sean Hannity is coming to Tulsa with his 'Freedom Concert' tour on August 20th, also at the BoK Center. The Gold ($125) and Silver ($100) level tickets are sold out, but Freedom Tickets ($75) are still available at www.FreedomConcerts.com.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Latest News Roundup

Since I've been gone since the 31st, here's a quick roundup of the news that I'm aware of that has taken place in the meantime.

U.S. Senate news:
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was quoted in a soon-to-be-released book on the 2008 Presidential election as saying that Barack Obama was "light-skinned", "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." GOP leaders point to the double-standard in how Reid is being treated for his comments and how Republican Sen. Trent Lott was after his comments several years ago. Reid continues to trail GOP opponents by 5-10 points.
  • Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) announced that he will not run for reelection this year. He had been facing a very difficult race, with the top Republican candidates leading him by up to 10 percentage points. His stepping aside may make it easier for the Democrats to hold the seat.
  • Scott Brown, Republican candidate in the special election for Ted Kennedy's old seat, is now neck and neck with Democrat Martha Coakley. Brown held a "money-bomb" today, with a goal of raising $500,000. However, by mid-afternoon, over $750,000 had been brought in, and the current goal is now $1,000,000 (at 7pm CST, $878,000 had been raised).>
  • Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) trails relatively unknown GOP candidates by 10-12 points in the latest polls.
  • Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced that he will not seek reelection, in a move that has drawn sitting Republican Governor John Hoeven into the race. Hoeven had been beating Dorgan by substantial margins in recent polls.
U.S House news:
  • Democrats still are on pace to lose a ton of seats in the midterm election this year. Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama switched parties shortly before Christmas, reminiscent of the party switches that took place in 1994.
  • Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) believes that the balance of power in the House will be very close, but that due to that he will have the most influence he's ever had, no matter who is in the majority.
Other news:
  • State Rep. and Majority Floor Leader Tad Jones (R-Claremore) announced his intention to run for Labor Commissioner, joining fellow Republican Jason Reese as the announced opponents for Democrat incumbent Lloyd Fields.
  • The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) is sponsoring a news site, with a focus on the State Capitol and governmental affairs. CapitolBeatOK.com launched at the end of December.
  • Apparently, parts of Oklahoma experienced an extremely rare lake-effect snow while I was gone...
  • Congresswoman Mary Fallin (R-CD5) leads State Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso) by about 50% in the latest gubernatorial election poll. She also cruises to victory over Democrats Drew Edmondson and Jari Askins.

... and that's about all I can remember to post. Let me know if I missed something big while I was in the Mexican Riviera, taking in the 80
° weather!