Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Conservative View: Selective Enforcement Sucks

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

Selective Enforcement Sucks

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of laws that our state legislatures and congress pass every year. Laws are supposed to create an environment that will ensure equality and liberty for everyone. Laws should only be passed if they are needed. When legislation and laws are passed they should be enforced; if there was no intention to actually enforce them, why pass them in the first place?

One of the purposes of our federal government is to protect our country from harm; foreign or domestic. The dilemma that the people of Arizona are facing concerning the invasion of illegal aliens into their state should attract everyone’s attention. At some time in the past the federal government saw a need to take action to control our borders, what our lawmakers seem to have forgotten is for any law to achieve the effect it was intended for it first must be enforced. For all of the people giving the state of Arizona grief for trying to protect itself from an all out invasion, maybe they should demand Washington DC do its job first.

From what I have heard about SB 1070 it mirrors federal law. Earlier this week federal judge Susan Bolton blocked several key parts of the Arizona law. One comment was made by the feds that if the federal government decided not to enforce the federal law, it would be illegal for the state to take any action to stem the tide of illegal immigration. I do realize that gridlock does exist and it slows the legislative process; at times it is a good thing, but this is not one of them. The way our government is handling our problem on our southern border is equivalent to calling the police when someone is breaking into your home and being told it might be next week before the officers could be there.

Elections come and go, the vast majority of Americans want a common sense solution to the problem but it doesn’t seem to be the fed’s major priority. It is so strange that our federal government wants to ignore its duty to protect our borders, but it is ready to sue the state of Arizona and prevent them from doing what the feds should already be doing. I have a suggestion for all branches of government; if laws are not going to be for all the citizens of this country, don’t pass them in the first place. This selective enforcement of laws sucks!   
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Post-Primary Endorsements

With the primaries over, and a handful of runoffs begun, unsuccessful candidates are beginning to issue their endorsements. In some cases, they're also being conspicuously silent.

Governor's Race

Democrat Drew Edmondson endorsed Jari Askins on election night. Governor Brad Henry also endorsed Askins on Thursday.

On the Republican side, Roger Jackson endorsed Mary Fallin on Wednesday, and Robert Hubbard threw his support behind Fallin on Thursday. However, Randy Brogdon has been tight-lipped on his plans. He told Oklahoma Watchdog's Andrew Griffin that he would take a few days off and think about it.

I'm very disappointed that Brogdon has waited this long to say anything, and that he continues to wait. Randy Brogdon knows what it has been like in the state legislature with a Democrat governor, and that we really can't afford another four years like the last eight. Too much is at stake here for Republicans and conservatives to not unify behind Mary Fallin, who, while not as conservative as Randy Brogdon, is way more conservative than liberal Jari Askins. Larry Jackson has a good post on the subject here.

5th Congressional District Race

Rick Flanigan put his support behind James Lankford on Wednesday, and Mike Thompson, who placed third in the seven-way primary, also endorsed Lankford this morning.

Shane Jett, the fourth place finisher, has not indicated who he will support, but his one-year old daughter was taken to the hospital on Wednesday after having a severe seizure. He has a valid reason for his lack of endorsement.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Muskogee Politico's Analysis of the Primary Results

  • Governor
    • Republican: Mary Fallin (54.79%)
Mary Fallin was the heavy favorite from the very beginning, and defeated Randy Brogdon by 15%. Brogdon was able to put up a decent challenge (especially considering that pre-election polls had him down by 40%), but Fallin's statewide name recognition and massive fundraising advantage won out. Click here to view a map of the results.

Fallin enters the general election as the leader, with a Rasmussen poll showing her leading 57%-36% over Democrat nominee Jari Askins.
    • Democrat: Jari Askins (50.28%)
Jari Askins won in an extremely close and contested Democrat primary, defying the polls that showed Drew Edmondson with a commanding double-digit lead. This map shows that Askins blew Edmondson out in western Oklahoma, kept a slim lead in central Oklahoma, and made enough inroads in eastern Oklahoma to win.

To illustrate just how close this primary was, Askins won by less than 0.67 votes per precinct.

Askins strength is in western Oklahoma, but western Oklahoma has trended very Republican in recent years. Mary Fallin will be strong in central Oklahoma, and Askins will do well in heavily Democratic eastern Oklahoma. Southern Oklahoma and the Tulsa area may be the key in the general election, but Mary Fallin still has the edge.
  • Lieutenant Governor
    • Republican: Todd Lamb (66.84%) 
Todd Lamb cruised to victory in a crowded primary. Lamb has a tremendous fundraising advantage, and also ran one of the best campaign ads I've ever seen.

Kenneth Corn, the lone Democrat in the race, spent a lot of his funds in the past quarter (even though he had no primary opponent), so Lamb should still have more money than Corn. Kenneth Corn is one of the Democrats strongest candidates this election, but Lamb has an impressive background, and is very energetic. Advantage: Lamb.
    • Attorney General
      • Republican: Scott Pruitt (56.05%) 
    Scott Pruitt capitalized on his name recognition from the 2006 Lieutenant Governor's race, where he spent over one million dollars but lost in the runoff to Todd Hiett (who lost to Jari Askins). Ryan Leonard ran a robust campaign, but going negative at the end of the campaign probably hurt him more than it helped.

    Jim Priest is the Democrat nominee, but even Drew Edmondson has said that the Republican nominee is going to win fairly easily.
      • State Auditor and Inspector
        • Republican: Gary Jones (69.57%)
      Gary Jones easily defeated David Hanigar, and is now the GOP nominee for Auditor for the third time.

      Democrat Steve Burrage was appointed by Governor Henry after the previous Auditor (Jeff McMahan) went to jail for bribery and corruption charges (which were uncovered by Jones, McMahan's 2002 and 2006 opponent), and as such has never been on the ballot. SoonerPoll found in June that Jones led Burrage by 20 points.

      While Burrage has a hefty campaign warchest, the climate this year in Oklahoma is not friendly to Democrats, and this could be the time Gary Jones finally wins.
        • State Treasurer
          • Republican: Ken Miller (63.04%)
        Miller coasted to victory over Owen Laughlin, and is considered a shoo-in, as the Democrat candidate literally has no campaign.
          • State Superintendent of Public Instruction
            • Republican: Janet Barresi (62.73%)
            • Democrat: Susan Paddack (73.35%)
            Both party nominees cruised to large victories over opponents who did little campaigning.

            This could prove to be the closest race in November, as both candidates are well funded.
              • Commissioner of Labor
                • Republican: Mark Costello (57.06%)
              Mark Costello dropped over $150,000 of his own money into this race, which enabled him to hit the airwaves with his now-infamous jingle. Jason Reese just didn't have the funds to compete.

              Incumbent Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields will face an uphill battle, due to the climate and the fact that Costello can afford to put more money into his campaign. At the last report, Fields has less than $10,000 in his account.
              • Insurance Commissioner
                • Republican: John Crawford (41.67%) and John Doak (39.14%) -- runoff
              In a shocker of the night, former Insurance Commissioner John Crawford emerged with the lead, and John Doak took second to make the runoff. Doak had raised more money than all the other candidates combined, and was running ads across the state. Crawford also was running televisions ads, recycled from his failed 1998 reelection run.

              The problem with the down-ballot races like this is that the public is focused on the "big" races, like Governor and Congress, and candidates have a harder time raising money. Thus, it's more difficult for the candidates to educate the voters.

              The Democrat's best chance at holding a statewide office, as incumbent commissioner Kim Holland currently has nearly $300,000 in her campaign account. Holland was a 2008 presidential delegate for Barack Obama, though, and the GOP nominee is sure to hammer her for that.
              • Corporation Commissioner
                • Republican: Dana Murphy (69.21%) -- elected, no opponent in November
              Dana Murphy batted aside a nearly non-existent campaign by her Republican opponent, and since no other candidate filed to run, has been reelected to her first full term. Murphy just finished a partial term (she was elected in 2008).


              • U.S. Senate
                • Republican: Tom Coburn (90.36%)
              Tom Coburn obliterated his two token challengers, and in the process racked up his highest vote percentage ever (by far).
                • Democrat: Jim Rogers (65.36%)
              Jim Rogers, a perennial candidate, defeated Mark Myles - the only Democrat candidate who did any campaigning whatsoever.

              Coburn was going to win big in November, regardless of whomever the Democrats nominated, but this will be a tremendous cakewalk.
                • U.S. House, District 1
                  • Republican: John Sullivan (62.07%)
                Sullivan cruised to victory over a crowded primary. The only surprise in this race was that Nathan Dahm came in third, behind Kenneth Rice.
                  • U.S. House, District 2
                    • Republican: Charles Thompson (33.57%) and Daniel Edmonds (28.31%) -- runoff 
                    In a crowded race, Charles Thompson and Daniel Edmonds made it into the GOP runoff. The surprise of the night was Dan Arnett receiving 15%, and finishing third - in front of Howard Houchen. Arnett spent the entire campaign going by "Dan", but placed his name on the ballot as "Daniel", which created some confusion, with two Daniel's being on the ballot. I would speculate that a good portion of the Arnett vote was actually intended for Edmonds.

                    Thompson sent out a mail piece that implied a non-existing endorsement by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, which did affect some voters. Even so, Thompson only came in first because of his lead in Cherokee and Delaware counties.

                    This race could still go either way.


                      • Democrat: Dan Boren (75.56%)

                    Dan Boren easily defeated a challenge from far-left state senator Jim Wilson, who garnered support from disgruntled liberal Democrats (mainly in the metropolitan areas of the state), who consider Boren to be a "Democrat-In-Name-Only". Unfortunately for Wilson, his supporters don't live in the district, and therefore could not vote, hence his resounding defeat.

                    Boren spent over seven hundred thousand dollars in the primary.
                    • U.S. House, District 4
                      • Republican: Tom Cole (77.26%) -- re-elected, no opponent in November 
                    Tom Cole was easily reelected over RJ Harris. Harris waged an intense online campaign, but was unable to translate that into votes.
                    • U.S. House, District 5
                      • Republican: James Lankford (33.58%) and Kevin Calvey (32.48%) -- runoff
                    Unlike RJ Harris, James Lankford conducted a successful online and ground campaign, and surged into first place, shocking the Washington pundits. Kevin Calvey had all of the group endorsements (such as Club for Growth, Gun Owners of America, ACU), in addition to loaning his campaign $250,000, but Lankford's energetic campaign slipped on by.

                    The momentum is with James Lankford in this runoff.
                      • Democrat: Billy Coyle (56.83%)
                    Billy Coyle defeated Tom Goodman in the Democrat primary, but this seat is hard for a Democrat to win.

                      Democrat Primary Results Map - Governor


                      GOP Primary Results Map - Governor


                      Wednesday, July 28, 2010

                      Winners in Tuesday's Primary

                      Statewide office primary winners
                      • Governor
                        • Republican: Mary Fallin (54.79%)
                        • Democrat: Jari Askins (50.28%)
                      • Lieutenant Governor
                        • Republican: Todd Lamb (66.84%)
                      • Attorney General
                        • Republican: Scott Pruitt (56.05%)
                      • State Auditor and Inspector
                        • Republican: Gary Jones (69.57%)
                      • State Treasurer
                        • Republican: Ken Miller (63.04%)
                      • State Superintendent of Public Instruction
                        • Republican: Janet Barresi (62.73%)
                        • Democrat: Susan Paddack (73.35%)
                      • Commissioner of Labor
                        • Republican: Mark Costello (57.06%)
                      • Insurance Commissioner
                        • Republican: John Crawford (41.67%) and John Doak (39.14%) -- runoff
                      • Corporation Commissioner
                        • Republican: Dana Murphy (69.21%) -- elected, no opponent in November

                      Federal office primary winners

                      • U.S. Senate
                        • Republican: Tom Coburn (90.36%)
                        • Democrat: Jim Rogers (65.36%)
                      • U.S. House, District 1
                        • Republican: John Sullivan (62.07%)
                      • U.S. House, District 2
                        • Republican: Charles Thompson (33.57%) and Daniel Edmonds (28.31%) -- runoff
                        • Democrat: Dan Boren (75.56%)
                      • U.S. House, District 4
                        • Republican: Tom Cole (77.26%) -- re-elected, no opponent in November
                      • U.S. House, District 5
                        • Republican: James Lankford (33.58%) and Kevin Calvey (32.48%) -- runoff
                        • Democrat: Billy Coyle (56.83%)

                        Tuesday, July 27, 2010

                        Congressional Races go to Runoff

                        The primary election is over, and there are numerous tidbits to share. However, due to the late hour, and the fact that I have been up since before 4am, I'll just mention the various Congressional races.

                        Congressional District 1

                        Congressman John Sullivan easily batted away his primary challengers, and emerged victorious with 62% of the vote. Kenneth Rice came in second with 17%, and Nathan Dahm was third with 14%. All other candidates were under 3%.

                        Congressional District 2

                        Charles Thompson came out on top, with a plurality of 33.5%, and Daniel Edmonds was second with 28%. In one of the evening's surprises, Dan Arnett came in third with 16%, and Howard Houchen ended up fourth with 11.5%.

                        This race will go to a runoff between Thompson and Edmonds.

                        Congressional District 4

                        As with the CD1 race, Congressman Tom Cole breezed to victory over his challenger, RJ Harris. Cole received 79% of the vote, and Harris got 21%.

                        Congressional District 5

                        Political newcomer James Lankford squeezed by into the lead with 33.6% of the vote, while longtime frontrunner Kevin Calvey came in second with 32.5%. Mike Thompson was third with 18%, and Shane Jett received 10.7%. All other candidates were below 3%.

                        As with the CD2 race, this will also go to a runoff, between Lankford and Calvey.


                        The full primary election results can be viewed here.

                        Primary Election Live Chat

                        Primary Election Irony


                        Had to pass this one on.

                        Here in Muskogee, in heavily-Democratic eastern Oklahoma, the Republican Party primary ballot had 11 different races on it.  The Democratic Party ballot had four or five (four statewide, and one county primary, depending on where you lived).

                        That could be a first here, for the GOP to have more races on the ballot than the Democrats.

                        NewsOK Data Watch: Maximum Donors

                        NewsOK Data Watch writers Paul Monies and John Estus have done some fabulous work compiling data on maximum donors (individuals or PACs who gave the maximum allowable contribution of $5000 to a candidate) for this primary election.

                        The most interesting information came in the Governor's race, where several million dollars have been raised by the candidates

                        On the Democrat side of the gubernatorial race, Jari Askins had 90 maximum donations (79 from individuals, 6 from PACs, and 5 from tribes) while Drew Edmondson had 129 maximum donors (123 from individuals, 3 from PACs and 3 from tribes). That means Askins raised $450,000 just from these elite donors, and Edmondson raised $645,000.

                        That pales in comparison to the Republican side of the equation

                        Roger Jackson received two maximum in-kind contributions from individuals, and Randy Brogdon got 11 max donations ($55,000).  

                        Mary Fallin blew away the field, with 206 maximum donations from individuals, and 17 from PACs. That makes for a total of $1,115,000 just from these donors! To put that in perspective, Fallin has raised a grand total of $2,446,503.47 through the entire campaign, meaning just over 47% of her campaign contributions came from maximum donors.

                        Read Monies' and Estus' work here.

                        *All of the figures in this post did not include contributions after July 12th, which are considered "last minute".

                        Election Day: VOTE!



                        Today is the primary election - get out and vote!

                        For a refresher, here is my list of endorsed/recommended candidates, with links to my posts on that candidate.


                        U.S. Senate: Tom Coburn
                        U.S. House, District 1: Patrick Haworth
                        U.S. House, District 2: Daniel Edmonds
                        U.S. House, District 5: James Lankford
                        Governor: Robert Hubbard (2nd choice - Randy Brogdon)
                        Lieutenant Governor: John Wright
                        State Treasurer: Owen Laughlin
                        State Auditor: Gary Jones
                        Attorney General: Scott Pruitt
                        State Superintendent: Janet Barresi
                        Labor Commissioner: Jason Reese
                        Insurance Commissioner: John Doak
                        Corporation Commissioner: Dana Murphy

                        Monday, July 26, 2010

                        2nd District GOP Candidates Watch Party Locations

                        Here are the locations for the 2nd Congressional District Republican candidates watch parties, in the order they will appear on the ballot.
                         


                        Daniel Edmonds

                        The Edmonds 2 Congress campaign watch party will be held at the Edmonds Farm/Ranch headquarters near Morris. For directions, call the campaign headquarters at (918) 733-2068.

                        The Edmonds watch party will start at 7:00pm.


                         

                        Charles Thompson

                        The Thompson for Congress watch party will be held at the new River Center at the Three Forks Harbor, right across the Arkansas River from Muskogee in Fort Gibson.

                        The River Center is located at 5201 Three Forks Road, Fort Gibson (click here for map).
                        The Thompson watch party will start at 7pm. 



                        Howard Houchen

                        The Houchen for Congress watch party will be held in Muskogee at the Faifield Inn & Suites (1650 North 32nd Street; click here for map). It will start at 6:30pm.

                        Houchen will not be the only congressional candidate at his watch party - he is holding a joint event with 4th District candidate RJ Harris. Harris is soon to ship out to Afghanistan with the Army, and is currently at Camp Gruber in Braggs.



                        Dan Arnett



                        The Arnett for Congress campaign is holding a private watch party. For more information, contact the campaign at dan@danarnettforcongress.com.







                        I did not receive any information from the remaining two candidate, Raymond Wickson and Chester Clem Falling.

                        In addition, the Muskogee County Republican Party will be holding a watch party at the Muskogee Civic Center (4th & Okmulgee; click here for map), in Rooms A and B, starting at 6:45pm.

                        Switzer and Miller: 'Spy' Cams and Tax Credits


                        There is a common thread between two controversies covered by prominent Oklahoma bloggers and watchdogs.


                        Ken Miller and Barry Switzer - the InsureNet 'Spy' Camera Controversy

                        Mike McCarville, of the prominent and widely respected McCarville Report Online, has covered the InsureNet "Spy Cam" controversy very thoroughly in the past few months. His work uncovered several individuals who played key roles in the process.

                        Former football coach Barry Switzer has been involved in a nationwide move with InsureNet to land contracts for highway cameras designed to scan license plates. The first step in the process here in Oklahoma was to get the system moving through legislative means. Entering the scene here is State Rep. Ken Miller, who is now running for State Treasurer. Switzer has donated the maximum contribution of $5,000 to Miller's Treasurer race.

                        McCarville has many posts on this particular issue, but there are two specific posts that detail the involvement of Switzer and Miller. The first post is here, and the second is here.


                        Ken Miller and Barry Switzer - Controversy over Tax Credits

                        There is another tie between Miller and Switzer, dealing with tax credits.

                        From Andrew Griffin at Oklahoma Watchdog:
                        Investigative researcher and writer Nick Baker who goes by the handle “The Prowling Owl” and runs prowlingowl.com wrote a story in 2009 headlined “Tax credit fraud details found in Foxborough prospectus.” Involved in Foxborough, reported Baker, was Foxborough board member Barry Switzer, a figure, the researcher believes is involved in a program “to steal public funds, through tax credit scams.” This prospectus, Baker notes, is basically saying: “Our goal is tax credits,  we don’t want companies with employees. We only want companies that don’t need money and have the free and clear assets to borrow the money to give us on paper so we can give it back, call it an investment and get tax credits.”

                        In another post, headlined “OTC (Oklahoma Tax Commission) gives Switzer’s and partner’s $48 million in tax credits for investing $5 million,” Baker writes: “The fraud is executed in the Oklahoma Tax Commission, which comes under the supervision of the state treasurer. Barry Switzer just had a fundraiser for Rep. Ken Miller, running for state treasurer. Miller is currently chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, one of the most powerful positions in the legislature, while tax credit fraud runs rampant and ignored. While Switzer and cronies pillage the state treasury.”

                        The rest of the OW story is here. Nick Baker, of ProwlingOwl.com, has written extensively about hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credit fraud, which, in addition to Switzer, Miller, and numerous other individuals, also implicates 5th District congressional candidate Kevin Calvey.

                        Sunday, July 25, 2010

                        OkiePundit: Tulsa World Withholding Harry Coates Scandal

                        The anonymous writers at OkiePundit are writing that the Tulsa World is purposefully withholding a major scandal on State Sen. Harry Coates (R-Seminole) until after Tuesday's election. Coates (often called "Harry TurnCoates" by conservatives for his tendency to vote with the Democrats on some major issues) is facing a conservative Republican primary challenger.
                        OkiePundit can confirm that the Tulsa World is withholding a damaging story on incumbent State Senator Harry Coates until after Tuesday’s primary in order to protect his re-election prospects.

                        Multiple well-placed sources have confirmed for us that the Tulsa World is sitting on the story that explores the allegation that Coates has been engaged in an affair with a lobbyist who is about 30 years younger than he is and that the married lobbyist may be pregnant with the senator’s child.

                        Read the rest of the story here.

                        Coates is the most liberal Republican in the state senate. He's also one of two candidates to become the next Senate Pro Tem.

                        Saturday, July 24, 2010

                        RJ Harris Responds to OkiePundit Post

                        RJ Harris issued the following response to a post by the OkiePundit blog this evening.

                        Having completely defeated Cole on the issues, supporters of my opponent have decided to "dig for dirt" rather than win in the arena of ideas. Okie Pundit (OP), which openly supports Cole and has taken every opportunity to attack me personally, has now launched a new personal attack about my former name— Jason S. Barnes –and my status as a former resident of Arizona. As most of you already know my mother and father split up when I was very young and my mother settled in Arizona while my dad remained in Oklahoma; after traveling a bit due to being in the military. My mom took a new husband, had my name changed, and allowed my stepdad to adopt me. Later, I discovered what had been done…that I had been taken away from my real dad; my state and my tribe, the Kiowa, and I then took action to repair the damage thirty years in the making.

                        I am a native son of Oklahoma. My ancestors were both Boomer Sooners and Kiowa and neither my dad moving about due to his service in the military, nor my mother's action to allow the erasure of my heritage, changes that fact. I have a certificate of live birth from March AFB, where my dad was stationed at the time, which proves that my name change was a change BACK to the birth name taken from me by my step father. I also have a Certificate of Indian Blood from the BIA in Anadarko which establishes my native heritage, and I have my father, who is a card-carrying member of the Kiowa Nation and the physician at the Indian Health Services clinic in Carnegie OK for our tribe, who can personally vouch for my Oklahoma and Kiowa heritage. As the final act of my reclamation of that heritage, I have petitioned the State of California to release my adoption records and my sealed birth certificate so that I can finally and fully "come home." Having restored my name to that at my birth, it then became necessary for my wife and children to have their names changed as well. This is something Jennifer did with dignity and aplomb, and OP should be ashamed of itself for insinuating otherwise.

                        Growing up, I have lived back and forth between Arizona and Oklahoma and have always thought of them as my two homes. However, such was my horror upon discovering what had been done to me that I fixed everything about my recorded identity so as to restore that which had been taken from me, my dad, my tribe and my children. It is then absolutely despicable of OP to make an issue of such a massive personal tragedy over which I had no control of at the time it occurred.

                        It is not surprising at all that OP would try and make a connection between all of this and my failed Game Stores business— given their record of subpar reporting, analysis and research – except that I have never hid from that failure. I have openly stated on my Facebook page, as well as my biography on my main website, that my small chain of game stores did not survive the economic downturn of 2001 which was brought on by the attacks on 911. I included this, against advice from consultants, because I am proud of my attempt at achieving the American Dream of business ownership even if that venture did not turn out as successful as I had hoped. Of course OP wants you all to think that businesses failing are extraordinary occurrences when those of us that have had to sign a pay roll check and risk our entire personal fortunes on our small businesses know that it is a fact that businesses fail; even good ones.

                        Additionally, my personal Facebook page has my old name in parenthesis next to my original name so that my old classmates and Army buddies can find me on Facebook if they are looking for me, which is more proof that I am NOT hiding from any past, as OP claims, but am in fact reestablishing my birthright as RJ Harris just as I assert here.

                        Even worse of OP is its claim that I received some kind of bailout when the fact is that we repaid all of our vendors AND our tax debts. The biggest debts that were discharged, and the only reasons I had to file in the first place, were the un-paid leases on the business properties. The owners of those properties had those returned to them in good order and they were re-leased shortly thereafter.

                        One of the greatest things about the United States, and our capitalist system, is the opportunity for common people like me to work hard, take risks and rebound after a failure. This is nothing to hide from and nothing to be ashamed of. Unfortunately, politicians like Cole would rather manipulate the system and bailout companies with public money than allow for the healthy restructuring that I and many other small business owners have had to go through. The re-allocation of capital through bankruptcy is a central piece of a free-market economy. Yes my business failed, yes I have had financial difficulties chasing my dreams just as have millions of other American entrepreneurs…but I never asked for or received any bailout. I took my lumps along with the rest and now I am happy to be fighting to restore our federalist system which will halt governmental manipulations of the markets and make it easier and more profitable for other small business owners to stay in business and for those who want to take their shot in the arena to do so.

                        The biggest thing to take away from all this ugliness is that we must really have Cole on the ropes if his supporters at OP are willing to make such vicious and personal attacks even before having all their facts in order. However, don’t expect Cole to distance himself from any of this as it is highly likely that it came from him to begin with. Isn't it tiring watching politicians trying to hold onto power by personally attacking their opponents rather than defeating them through honest debate?

                        Patriots, this is where the steel meets the steel and Liberty hangs in the balance. Will you fall for these same old tricks or will you show OP and Cole that you want your Liberty back and that you are ready to vote for a real Liberty Candidate to make that happen? The Spirit of the Founders is counting on you to choose in the affirmative.

                        FOR LIBERTY!

                        RJ Harris

                        PS: My deepest apologies to my mother for having to air our family laundry in public like this. It should be noted that I have forgiven her for her role in all this and we are happily reconciled.

                        PSS: I encourage you all to think very carefully about voting for a man who would attempt to personally destroy a decorated veteran and esteemed son of our state JUST so he can hold on to the last vestiges of his power. 

                        We'll continue to update this story/non-story if more unfolds.

                        The Conservative View: A Nation of Children

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

                        A Nation of Children

                        Life can be full of simple pleasures such as watching young kittens or puppies at play. Their whole life revolves around simply having food and playing with each other. We humans often start much the same was as our pets do, but we humans are capable of much more. Whether or not we choose to evolve and grow up is our choice.

                        When you watch children play they will exhibit many of the same traits as our animal friends, some are selfish, some desire to be the dominate one on the playground. It is our duty as adults to help mold our children into being caring and responsible people. This is something that does not come about overnight, it take years of training and good examples for our children to become good, productive citizens. Our nation and our way of life relies upon our ability to convey those values to our children. While there are always exceptions to the rule, children lack the discipline to make the best decisions for their future. Children lack the ability to spend money wisely; for the most part they are only concerned about their needs at the present time and not for the future. Their life experience does not allow them to see the bigger picture; before they can see the bigger picture they must have the experience of being responsible for their own wellbeing. Our children rely upon us adults, but eventually they must grow up. I have seen a trend in our country that is alarming to me and it should be to all conservative Americans.

                        Far too many of our adult citizens look at our government as a substitute for their parents. One of the greatest traits of our forefathers was the ability to be self reliant. Throughout our lives all of us experience problems, but we need to remember that our problems are just that, our problems. It is a sad fact that for the most part we humans are our own worst enemy, most of the time we create our problems ourselves. Our government is “we the people” and we should not look to others to solve our problems. Granted, there are times that anyone requires a hand up, but we should avoid always asking for a hand out. I recently read a timely quote from Elizabeth Scalia, "When nothing matters and you answer for nothing, you’re living the life of a child, and a nation of children cannot survive for very long." Maybe it is time that we Americans start to grow up. 
                        If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

                        OkiePundit: RJ Harris Changed Name To Flee Past

                        From OkiePundit:
                        Okie Pundit has just received credible information that indicates RJ Harris, candidate for Congress running against Republican Tom Cole, recently changed his name and moved to Oklahoma in order to conceal a mysterious personal history.   While we are still attempting to locate the actual name-change document, evidence from public sources and people who personally know RJ Harris appears overwhelming. Questions are now arising as to what else voters may not know about Mr. Harris and whether he is fit to serve in Congress.

                        Click here for the rest of the story.

                        I dislike the fact that the OkiePundit folks don't have the courage to use their names and stand by what they say, like most respectable bloggers. That said, the anonymous writers at OkiePundit do appear to have done a good job of researching this information.

                        Click here for the rest of the story on Okie Pundit.

                        Doak to Holland: Be Consistent on Fee Hikes

                        GOP Insurance Commissioner candidate John Doak called on Democrat Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland for some more consistency regarding fee increases. Read more below:

                        Doak Calls on Holland to be Consistent on State Fee Increases
                        Continued silence from Holland on MVR fee increase indicates political motives

                        TULSA, OKLA. (July 24, 2010) – John Doak, Republican candidate for State Insurance Commissioner, today challenged the current insurance commissioner, Kim Holland, to petition the Oklahoma Supreme Court to block the bill that increased the cost to obtain driving records to the highest in the nation for the second time.

                        “Oklahoma insurers use these records to underwrite auto policies," Doak said. "It's business 101, to understand; if you raise a fee, especially that high on business, it’s going to be passed on to the ratepayer.

                        “Holland’s lawsuit is clearly political grandstanding to enhance her fundraising efforts by using the Oklahoma Supreme Court for political purposes,” Doak said. “Holland was silent while both the motor vehicle records and the 1 percent tax on health care were in committee, passed in the House, were sent to the Senate and signed into law. She is only opposing the insurance tax now because she, as a 2008 Oklahoma delegate for Barack Obama in the reddest state in the nation, is fighting for her political life.”

                        Holland’s petition to the court to block the bill that would install a 1 percent tax on health care claims paid in Oklahoma questions whether the state’s prohibition against passing a revenue bill within the last five days of session was violated.

                        “Both the 1 percent tax and the fee increase for motor vehicle records passed within five days of the end of the legislative session,” Doak said. “You can’t ask to block one on the grounds that its passage violated the state constitution without asking to block the other on the same grounds.”

                        Doak cites Article 5, Section 33 of the Oklahoma State Constitution, which prohibits the passage of revenue bills during the final five days of the legislative session, in his request. He made a similar request in June.

                        “You can’t pick and choose your principles,” Doak said. “Holland’s continued silence on the MVR fee increase further indicates that her move to block the 1 percent tax on health care, which would be harmful to Oklahomans and Oklahoma business, is mere political grandstanding rather than action to protect consumers as she claims. Holland would never have filed a lawsuit to block the legislation if her re-election were not in serious jeopardy.

                        “I hope she will do what is right for our state and petition the court to stop the MVR increase in addition to the health care tax. Both bills passed in violation of the state constitution and would result in higher insurance premiums for Oklahomans.”

                        Doak has led the charge to protect Oklahomans from the irresponsible 1 percent increase on health care claims. In May, he challenged Holland to stand up for the people of Oklahoma and ask the Governor not to sign the bill into law. Doak has received hundreds of signatures on the petition he started to repeal the bill. Sign the petition at votefordoak.com.

                        Reese Responds to Illegal Immigration Criticisms

                        I recently contacted Labor Commissioner candidate Jason Reese regarding rumors that he opposed HB1804, Oklahoma's landmark illegal immigration bill. Here is his response:
                        So glad you asked; there is a lot of misinformation out there.

                        I am fully in favor of stopping illegal immigration (in fact, the first issue that got me interested in politics was illegal drugs and that is one of the main reasons I could never be a libertarian. Obviously you cannot separate our illegal drug and illegal immigration problems.) I am in favor of all of the strictures discouraging employers from hiring illegal immigrants and publicly praised legislators for voting for HB1804 for law and order reasons.

                        Now, here are the things I have said which have been taken out of context. I stated in 2006 that as we stop illegal immigration, we must remain welcoming to legal immigrants and not let rhetoric reach such a pitch that we confuse the two. Next, I have represented businesses in immigration matters. That means that I have helped them comply with the laws (such as getting a green card for a foreign engineer or transferring an executive from overseas).

                        This leads to two things. Number one, I know the laws inside and out and can point to where we can do better - for instance by providing a clear definition of the difference between employees and independent contractors or improving the reliability of the E-Verify system. Some in the [Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee] have taken these suggestions for improvement as indictments of the efforts to address the problem. However, my representation of these companies has given me a personal vested interest in stopping illegal immigration. Companies only pay me to help them get immigrants here in a legal fashion (with respect to immigration cases, the vast majority of my practice deals with workers' comp, unemployment, etc.); when someone jumps the line in front of them, I more than almost anyone know how unfair that is.

                        I hope this clarifies the issue. Please feel free to contact me at 405-414-3655, my personal cell, if you have any further questions.

                        Reese also recently issued the following press release:

                        REESE RESPONDS TO COSTELLO ATTACKS
                        Labor Commissioner Candidate Sets the Record Straight
                        Oklahoma City, Oklahoma--Responding to a recent statewide direct mail piece by his opponent, Jason Reese took advantage of the opportunity to further define the clear differences between himself and Costello.

                        “Mr. Costello has stated he is willing to spend ‘whatever it takes to win this race.’ Now he’s made it clear he’s willing to say whatever it takes to win,” said Jason Reese.

                        Costello’s mail piece grossly misrepresents Reese’s record on the issues.  Reese replied that he’s happy to set the record straight.

                        "I am against illegal immigration and am unapologetically in favor of legal immigration."

                        Reese, a labor and employment attorney with extensive experience in immigration compliance, went on to explain, "No one more knows how unfair illegal immigration is than legal immigrants. In my legal practice, I have assisted businesses statewide in complying with HB1804 and other immigration laws.  I will bring that expertise to the Oklahoma Labor Department."

                        In the mail piece, Costello went on to attack Reese as an attorney “who supports more rules.” “Mr. Costello is absolutely right,” explained Reese. “I am in favor of a rule on the state level banning workplace discrimination against National Guard and Reserve members. Costello opposes this rule. Voters have a clear choice in this race: a candidate with extensive public and private experience who will stand up for veterans or a glib, fringe candidate utterly lacking in relevant experience critical to the Oklahoma Labor Department.”

                        Jason Reese is a candidate for State Labor Commissioner, the office that oversees and enforces labor and employment regulations in Oklahoma.  Reese is an Oklahoma City labor and employment attorney with extensive experience in employment discrimination law.

                        For more information on Reese for Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, visit www.ReeseforLabor.com.

                        Friday, July 23, 2010

                        Reminder: Live Chat on Election Night


                        On election night (Tuesday, July 27th) we will be holding a live chat as the election results start coming in. The chat will start sometime right before 7pm, and continue on through the night.

                        On Tuesday evening, if you want the latest news, commentary, and/or want to interact with other readers, come back and participate in our election night live chat! There is a box on the right sidebar where you can sign up to receive an email reminder in advance of the chat.

                        I'll be chatting with you on election night!

                        Thursday, July 22, 2010

                        Inhofe: Crawford Ad "Inappropriate"; "Not Endorsing Crawford"

                        After my post regarding GOP Insurance Commissioner candidate John Crawford's re-use of a 1998 campaign ad including an endorsement by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, I contacted the Inhofe office for a statement.

                        Jared Young, Sen. Inhofe's Communications Director, said, "Senator Inhofe has informed Mr. Crawford’s campaign on several occasions that it is inappropriate for them to use a 12 year old endorsement.  Senator Inhofe is not endorsing John Crawford in his 2010 race for the Insurance Commission."

                        You can read our initial exclusive story by clicking here.

                        Endorsement: Jason Reese for Labor Commissioner


                        There are two Republicans running for Labor Commissioner this year. As with the Attorney General's race, this was a tough choice, as I think that both men would be good in this office.

                        My vote will be going to Jason Reese.

                        Jason is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law. He has relevant experience for the job that will enable him to hit the ground running from day one. He has seen from a different perspective how illegal immigration effects Oklahoma businesses, and can be counted on to fight against it, while at the same time encouraging legal immigration.

                        He will push for much-needed worker's compensation reform, to merge agencies in the Labor Commission, and to eliminate discrimination against Reserve and National Guard members.

                        Jason knows how the laws currently work, from both a public and private perspective. He can be trusted as a reformer.

                        I'll be voting for Jason Reese.

                        You can learn more about Jason and his campaign by visiting his website at www.ReeseForLabor.com. He is also on Twitter (@ReeseForLabor) and Facebook.

                        Jason joins Tom Coburn, Dana Murphy, Owen Laughlin, John Wright, Gary Jones, Janet Barresi, John Doak, Daniel Edmonds, Robert Hubbard, Scott Pruitt and James Lankford as my endorsed candidates for the July 27th Republican primary.

                        Endorsement: James Lankford for Congress


                        Oklahoma Republicans in the 5th Congressional District will have a crowded primary election on July 27th, with seven Republican candidates on the ballot.

                        If I lived in the 5th District, I would enthusiastically cast my vote for James Lankford.

                        James is a rock-solid Christian, and a solid conservative who will stand up in the halls of Congress to fight for the Constitution and our traditional values. He's a devoted family man; James and Cindy have been married for 18 years, and have two daughters.

                        James has spent the last 13 years in Christian ministry at Falls Creek, the largest Christian youth camp in the nation. He knows how to effectively serve people, manage workers, and be frugal with budgets.

                        I've had the chance to meet James, and he is one of the most impressive people I have ever met. He is a man of the highest integrity, and can be counted on not only to keep his character clean in the swamp known as Washington politics, but to keep his word and fight for what's right.

                        He understands that the federal government has overstepped its bounds, and fight do his part to bring it back under the constitutional restraints that our Fournder's placed on it.

                        As James says, we'll never change the status quo in Washington by sending the status quo to Washington. There is a lot of truth in that statement.

                        Oklahoma needs James Lankford in Congress.

                        America needs James Lankford in Congress.

                        I hope you'll join me in supporting James Lankford.

                        You can learn more about James and his campaign by visiting his website at www.JamesLankford.com. He is also on Twitter (@JamesLankford) and Facebook.

                        James joins Tom Coburn, Dana Murphy, Owen Laughlin, John Wright, Gary Jones, Janet Barresi, John Doak, Daniel Edmonds, Robert Hubbard and Scott Pruitt as my endorsed candidates for the July 27th Republican primary.

                        Lankford Releases New TV Ad Featuring J.C. Watts, Mike Huckabee

                        James Lankford, Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District, released this TV ad, featuring endorsement's by former congressman J.C. Watts and former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.




                        Lankford has some of the best campaign commercials and web ads that I have ever seen.

                        BREAKING NEWS: Crawford Running 1998 Ad With Inhofe Endorsement

                        A Muskogee Politico exclusive

                        Republican Insurance Commission candidate John Crawford is running television ads touting an endorsement by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe.

                        The problem? The ad was originally run in the 1998 campaign, when Crawford was running for reelection. He ended up losing the election to Democrat Carrol Fisher, largely as a result of an FBI investigation into contracts Crawford awarded to his son's software company on behalf of an insurance company that was in receivership. Fisher ironically later went to jail for embezzlement while in office.

                        Here is the ad Crawford is re-running:






                        [Editorial note: the ad was removed from the internet a few days after this post went online]

                        This isn't the first time this cycle that a candidate has attempted to pass off, or imply, an endorsement that simply does not exist (click here for another recent incident), and it certainly won't be the last.

                        Senator Inhofe did endorse Crawford in the 1998 election, but has not done so this year. I am awaiting a response from Senator Inhofe, and will post it as soon as I receive it.

                        UPDATE: Click here for the statement from Sen. Jim Inhofe's office.

                        Wednesday, July 21, 2010

                        Endorsement: Scott Pruitt for Attorney General

                        Let me first start off by saying that Republicans have two fantastic choices in the primary for Attorney General - it's a shame they are running against each other. It has been a difficult decision to pick which of these two fine gentlemen to vote for; you can hardly go wrong with this race.



                        I have finally arrived at a decision - Scott Pruitt has won my vote.

                        Both Scott or his opponent will make a fantastic Attorney General; there's no doubt about that. They will fight back against ObamaCare, and other intrusive/unconstitutional federal legislation. They will enforce the law. They will fight crime and corruption.

                        What pushed Scott over the top for me, however, is his overwhelming passion for the Constitution.

                        Scott will be a leader in proactively defending the Constitution, both on the state and federal levels. Specifically, Scott has pledged to create a Federalism unit in the Attorney General's office, designed to focus on constitutional issues.

                        This is something that is needed in today's climate, with an administration and Congress that is constantly extending the government beyond its original, pre-set boundaries. Scott will be our sentinel and front guard against an overreaching federal government.

                        Scott's opponent, Ryan Leonard, is a great candidate, with many good qualities, and I was disappointed to see him leave behind that positive message and release an ad attacking Pruitt. I wish candidates would realize that people truly want to leave politics-as-usual behind, and find out about the candidate's virtues and ideas, rather than constantly hearing negativism.

                        Scott Pruitt will make a fantastic Attorney General, for the reasons I listed above, and more.

                        Oklahoma needs an Attorney General like Scott Pruitt, and I encourage you to vote for him on July 27th.

                        You can learn more about Scott and his campaign by visiting his website at www.ScottPruitt.com. He is also on Twitter (@ScottPruittOK) and Facebook.

                        Scott joins Tom Coburn, Dana Murphy, Owen Laughlin, John Wright, Gary Jones, Janet Barresi, John Doak, Daniel Edmonds and Robert Hubbard as my endorsed candidates for the July 27th Republican primary. Stay tuned for more endorsements!

                        P.S. As I said at the beginning of my post, this was the hardest choice in the races this year. I respect both gentlemen running, would love to see either one of them elected, and wish they could both be elected. However, I had to come to a decision, and Scott Pruitt ended up winning my vote. Whatever the result of the race is, Oklahoma will have a fantastic Attorney General, as the Republican nominee is heavily favored to win in the general election.

                        Happy Birthday, Mike McCarville!



                        Widely read and respected Oklahoma policical blogger, Mike McCarville, is turning 70 today.

                        Read his post here.

                        From the Muskogee Politico and his readers: happy birthday, Mike!

                        Tuesday, July 20, 2010

                        Coburn: By Her Own Words, Kagan Will Violate Her Oath


                        By Her Own Words, Kagan Will Violate Her Oath
                        by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D.

                        The Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan provided key exchanges about the Commerce Clause, natural rights, and other issues that have convinced me to vote against her nomination. Based on her own testimony, she’ll violate her oath as soon as she’s sworn in.

                        The hearings, though, were not merely about Elena Kagan per se but about the political culture and philosophy that shaped her views. Her answers exposed profound flaws in the prevailing Big Government wisdom of the Supreme Court and Washington over the past few decades.

                        When I asked Kagan whether the Constitution gave Congress the authority to tell people to eat their fruits and vegetables, she answered with appropriate humor. “That would be a dumb law,” she quipped. True enough. Her response was humorous because the underlying premise is absurd both as a matter of common sense and law. Of course, Kagan and everyone else knew I was asking a proxy question about the new health law’s individual mandate and the founder’s intent regarding the Commerce Clause.

                        What is less humorous is the fact that as a Supreme Court justice, she would signal that Congress does in fact have the right to tell people what to eat and, by implication, whether to buy health insurance. With Kagan on the Court, Congress and the executive branch may succeed at sweeping away whatever limitations remain on its power to micromanage the decisions of states and individuals.

                        In her testimony, it was clear that Kagan subscribes to the progressive view that the wrongly decided precedents of the Supreme Court are more important the clear intent of the Constitution. Does anyone seriously believe that when the Founders gathered in Philadelphia 220 years ago they were aspiring to control the buying decisions of individual consumers from Washington? They were arguing for the opposite and implored future Courts to slap down any law from Congress that expanded the Commerce Clause.

                        In “Federalist Paper 45,” James Madison wrote: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined.” The Supreme Court has repeatedly turned a blind eye when Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause. As a result, the federal government can control practically every aspect of our lives. For instance, in the 1942 case Wickard v. Filburn, the Supreme Court decided that a farmer in Ohio, Roscoe Filburn, had to cease growing wheat to feed his chicken because he didn’t have permission from Congress. As a matter of law, we aren’t far from regulating American’s eating habits.

                        Kagan refused to answer the substance of my question. Her answers indicated she would support the big-government policies that created our $13 trillion debt and the welfare state that is collapsing into a fiscal black hole.

                        Even more troubling was Kagan’s refusal to say whether she believed in the principle of natural rights contained in the Declaration of Independence. Kagan told me, “I don’t have a view of what are natural rights independent of the Constitution.”

                        While I understand a nominee’s reluctance to express personal beliefs, it was extraordinary to hear a Supreme Court nominee decline to endorse the concept of natural rights contained in the Declaration of Independence that is the very basis of our Constitution.

                        Kagan’s answer exposed a troubling train of thought in progressive ideology. Refusing to acknowledge natural or God-given rights removes the morality from the progressive’s moral certitude. Without natural law there would have been no Constitution. Without natural law, “progressives” would take us back to the 17th century, when rights emanated from the state or the king rather than the creator.

                        Kagan made a number of statements that concerned me such as her statement that Justices can get “good ideas” on how to approach legal issues from the decisions of foreign courts. Instead of looking toward foreign courts for inspiration, Kagan, and more importantly the country, would be wise to look at the United States Constitution. With Kagan on the Court the chances are slim that the Supreme Court will rein in Congress and throw away years of expansive precedents that have nearly destroyed the Constitution. Our only hope is where it has always been in our system — with “We the People” and our willingness to elect leaders who will rediscover and apply the constitutional principles that made our government limited, and our country great.

                        Monday, July 19, 2010

                        Thompson Implies Coburn Endorsement, Coburn Denies

                        Endorsements can oftentimes be very influential in contested primaries. Candidates tout the support of prominent figures in campaign material and advertising, seeking to leverage as many votes as possible out of such public statements.

                        Passing off endorsements that never took place, however, can be very harmful, especially when the public figure denies such an endorsement.


                        2nd District Republican congressional candidate Charles Thompson has released a mailer that implies an endorsement by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn. We inquired into the matter, and discovered that Coburn has not endorsed in this race, nor any other primary in Oklahoma.

                        Sen. Coburn issued the following statement today:
                        "Oklahoma Republicans living in the Second Congressional District are blessed with a field of outstanding candidates.  I am greatly encouraged by the focus of many of these candidates on restoring the constitutional principles that have made this nation the most free and prosperous on earth, and in stopping the spending addiction in Washington. 

                        Because there has been some confusion over the past few days, however, I want to make clear that I am not endorsing any candidate in this Primary election.   I look forward to seeing the decision that voters make next week and then sitting down with our nominee to discuss the urgent cause we all share."   [emphasis mine]

                        I spoke with Thompson's campaign consultant, Josh McFarland, who affirmed that the Thompson campaign did not get permission from Coburn to use his picture, and did not dispute that it could appear as an endorsement.

                        McFarland said that they didn't so much view Coburn as a candidate or a Senator, but "as a movement" that Thompson wanted to identify with. He further stated that "images portray more meaning", speaking of their decision to use the Coburn picture, rather than just using text. The picture of Coburn was placed directly underneath Thompson's endorsements.

                        It doesn't take much to realize that one should not imply non-existent endorsements, and no campaign manager or consultant should approve such an unethical move. It passes off a false impression, and attributes action to someone who never did what was implied.

                        Senator Coburn is a very influential figure in Oklahoma politics. Attempting to mislead voters about having a Coburn endorsement is not only wrong, but is unfair to the other candidates in the race as well as the Republican primary voters, not to mention Senator Coburn.

                        I'm disappointed to see the Thompson campaign express no apology for their actions, and to in fact defend them.

                        UPDATE: a copy of the mailer is below.

                        Endorsement: Robert Hubbard for Governor

                        With Democrat Governor Brad Henry being term limited this year, two Democrats and four Republicans are running to succeed him.

                        Because of events that have occurred in the past few months, I have hesitated on whom to vote for in this Republican primary.

                        I had intended for over a year to vote for Randy Brogdon.

                        Randy has a proven track record as the most conservative member of the State Senate, and perhaps in the entire legislature. He authored legislation that would have restrained government spending, and perhaps eliminated the budget problems Oklahoma is currently undergoing. He stood up for the Constitution. Randy would, as Governor, stand up against intrusions by the federal government (such as ObamaCare).

                        Randy is one of the people that I held to a high standard, and who consistently met that high standard. I trusted Randy to make the right decisions in the Senate, and although not perfect (nobody is) he usually did. We could use more Randy Brogdons in politics.

                        Up until the past few weeks, I was a strong supporter of Randy Brogdon. However, recent events have shaken my confidence in Randy Brogdon's ability to campaign in a manner that is strategic, positive, principled, and does not compromise my beliefs and values.

                        I have been disappointed with how Randy's campaign has been run since almost the very beginning. They have made so many strategic mistakes I couldn't count them all. Shoddy work has been rampant. Communication has been poor. Deception and misleading statements have been too frequent. The campaign has attacked too many individuals, running for office and not.

                        Unfortunately, the buck stops with the candidate. These and other mistakes, have caused me to question how Randy's gubernatorial office would be run, what kind of people he would surround himself with, and how they would perform their duties. In a way, my problems with the Brogdon campaign have had nothing to do with Randy, and yet everything to do with Randy.



                        Instead, I will be voting for Robert Hubbard.

                        Robert Hubbard is a business owner from western Oklahoma who gets the picture. Like Randy, he understands that government has a proper role, and that government all too often has overstepped that role. He understands that personal responsibility is important, and that government is hampering that. Like Randy, he understands that cuts need to be made, and he has the willpower to do what needs to be done.

                        At the last several meetings I attended where all (or most) of the gubernatorial candidates were present, Robert was the only candidate to actually use facts and figures and solutions, instead of generic political rhetoric.

                        Unlike Mary Fallin, Hubbard attends the gubernatorial forums across the state. He is not afraid to answer questions, or face the voters. Unlike Randy Brogdon, Hubbard has refrained from negative campaigning, or attacking people who are not supporting/endorsing him. With fewer resources, and less political experience, Robert has avoided those mistakes that Brogdon has made. Robert and Randy hardly differ on the actual issues - if Randy's campaign had been run right, this post would have been very different.

                        Do I honestly expect Robert Hubbard to win the primary, or make a runoff? No. However, Randy Brogdon made too many moves I disagreed with for me to vote for him. Given what has occurred, and what my convictions are regarding this race, I could not bring myself to vote for Brogdon in the primary. It pains me to do this, and I deeply regret being forced to leave my first candidate of choice, but I felt it was a necessary move. That said, I don't think any less of those who will vote for Brogdon. My vote for Robert Hubbard could be called a "protest" vote, or a vote based on principle. I am making a statement with my vote that I want and expect better. Robert meets those standards.

                        If Randy had kept a principled, positive campaign, my vote would be going to him. He didn't, and so my vote will be going to Hubbard. I encourage conservatives to vote for Robert Hubbard, but if you can get past what I could not, Randy Brogdon is also a good choice. While she would be a good governor, Mary Fallin is just not as conservative as these two gentlemen, who I think could make great governors. As with those Brogdon voters, I don't think ill of Fallin supporters.

                        However, come July 28th, we conservatives and Republicans must unify behind whomever becomes the nominee. Too much is at stake to risk Jari Askins or Drew Edmondson as governor for 4-8 years.

                        I'll be voting for Robert Hubbard.

                        Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. - John Quincy Adams

                        You can learn more about Robert and his campaign by visiting his website at www.HubbardOKGov2010.com. He's also on Twitter (@HubbardOKGov10) and Facebook.

                        Robert joins Tom Coburn, Dana Murphy, Owen Laughlin, John Wright, Gary Jones, Janet Barresi, John Doak and Daniel Edmonds as my endorsed candidates for the July 27th Republican primary. Stay tuned for more endorsements!

                        Sunday, July 18, 2010

                        Live Chat Test Run

                        UPDATE: On election night (Tuesday, July 27th) we will be holding a live chat as the election results start coming in. We conducted a "test run" this evening, which was successful (thanks to John and Kristen for participating!).

                        So, on election night, if you want the latest news, commentary, and want to interact, come back and participate in our election night live chat! There is a box on the right sidebar where you can sign up to be reminded of the chat in advance.

                        I'll be chatting with you on election night!


                        [Testing...]


                        Endorsement: Daniel Edmonds for Congress


                        As many Republicans are running for Congress this year in the 2nd Congressional District than have run in the past three election cycles combined. Six Republicans filed for this race, in addition to Democrat Congressman Dan Boren and his lone Democrat challenger, Jim Wilson.

                        The best Republican for this seat is Daniel Edmonds.

                        Daniel is a farmer/rancher by trade, and was nearing completion on his Doctorate in Soil Sciences at OSU when he decided to run for Congress. He is a solidly grounded conservative, with a good grasp on the Constitution.

                        I have observed this particular race very closely since the beginning of the campaign. This race has four good candidates, but only three have a shot at winning the primary, or making a runoff. When it comes to policy, there is little difference between the candidates, so the deciding factors are background and the candidate's appeal to conservative Democrats. I believe that Daniel is the most viable of the three when it comes to the general election.

                        I asked each of the candidates some tough questions about their background and past, and received good, thorough answers from each. Daniel is a Christian, and although no one is perfect, he has sought to live a life pleasing to God - as a result, Daniel has no baggage for any opponent to exploit. There are a few issues with the other candidates which for the most part are easily explained (and in some cases, once explained are no longer issues), but the Republican nominee will not be able to afford spending money to defend his past.

                        In addition, Daniel has avoided making gaffes on the campaign trail and taking ridiculous (and/or unconstitutional) positions. One candidate in particular lost his chance at my primary vote with statements he made on issues.

                        Daniel has been the most frugal campaigner. He has not been very successful on fundraising, but he has stretched his dollars farther than any of his opponents. Likewise, he has avoided the wasteful spending of some of his opponents. Also, when it comes to campaign strategy and work ethic, Daniel stands out among the Republican candidates as the best.

                        Make no mistake - the other candidates are good people, and would make good congressmen. However, I do not think they are the best choice in this particular race.

                        I am giving my endorsement and vote to Daniel Edmonds.

                        You can learn more about Daniel and his campaign by visiting his website at www.DanielEdmonds.org. He is also on Twitter (@DanielEEdmonds) and Facebook.

                        Daniel joins Tom Coburn, Dana Murphy, Owen Laughlin, John Wright, Gary Jones, Janet Barresi and John Doak as my endorsed candidates for the July 27th Republican primary. Stay tuned for more endorsements!

                        The Conservative View: Never Wrong to do Right

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

                        Never Wrong to do Right


                        I believe that whenever anyone has reached the end of their rope, it is a time for a person to set down and think about his problems and what the solutions may be. I have found from personal experience that you can get so busy that it is easy to forget what our founding values are. I have seen people who justify about any behavior because they think that the ends justify the means. Stretching the truth, turning a blind eye to improper behavior, does nothing but degrade the fabric of our society. Occasionally all of us at one time or the other has had the privilege to make the acquaintance of someone that has chosen the path of honesty and integrity. Just a few days ago I had the fortune to meet such a person.

                        I am a County Commissioner from Oklahoma, and recently I attended a trade show in Oklahoma City. There were vendors from all sorts of companies there to display their products with the hope of gaining new customers from various counties in our state. One of the vendors made a profound impression upon me. When someone has integrity it shows, there seems to be a twinkle in the eye of the person that possesses it. This individual is an elderly man that started a culvert pipe business many years ago; he still works in the business with his two sons. We talked about the state that our country is degrading into and his simple words of wisdom are something that we all can learn from. He told me that his father taught him that it is never right to do wrong and it is never wrong to do right. We talked about some of the practices in the past where elected officials expected companies to funnel money back to them if they purchased government equipment from them. I can remember back in the 1980’s many county commissioners went to prison for that kick-back scheme. I can only imagine the pressure on a struggling business when the owner played by the rules and refused to take part in an illegal practice that many other companies engaged in.

                        Sometimes the simple approach is the best. Many Americans have bought into the idea that all of our problems can be solved with more money, in reality we have a shortage of integrity. Integrity and honesty is the core belief of us conservatives. Sometimes doing the right thing is not the popular thing to do but I agree that it is never wrong to do the right.

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

                        Saturday, July 17, 2010

                        Pruitt Campaign Calls Leonard Attack Ad "False"

                        Just a day after an AP article talked about how the race for Attorney General has remained positive, Republican candidate Ryan Leonard issued a television ad which attacked his primary opponent, Scott Pruitt.

                        The Leonard campaign has curiously not posted their attack ad anywhere online, nor have I found it from anyone else. As I rarely watch television, I have not seen the ad, but have heard about it from several people, including disappointed Leonard supporters.

                        The Pruitt campaign issued the following press release today.

                        Pruitt Campaign Calls on Ryan Leonard to Pull False Ad
                        Among other errors, research for Leonard’s commercial appears to have neglected to search for cases involving  “E. Scott Pruitt or Edward Scott Pruitt”

                        The Scott Pruitt for Attorney General campaign today called upon his opponent to pull a factually incorrect advertisement which is also the first negative advertisement of the campaign.  The campaign also indicated it expects to send a “cease and desist” letter to television stations airing the advertisement due to it containing factual inaccuracies.

                        “Scott has known his opponent for quite some time, and it saddens him that Ryan has proven himself to be just like any other politician that wants the job so badly that he will spread half-truths and commit lies of omission,” stated Tyler Laughlin, campaign manager for the Pruitt for Attorney General Campaign.

                         “The truth is Scott has been a leading advocate when it comes to constitutional issues.  Scott has accepted invitations to speak to different entities of the Southern Baptist Convention about constitutional issues such as church-state relations in cities like Atlanta, Asheville and other places across the country.  Scott was the author of landmark legislation such as the Religious Freedom Act, been the lawyer on numerous cases protecting the constitutional rights of individuals, and has regularly been the lawyer handling constitutional cases referred by the respected Rutherford Institute” Laughlin continued.

                        “The Leonard campaign says in the ad, quote ‘Advertises himself as a constitutional lawyer. But official Oklahoma records show that he's never tried a case’ unquote,” said Laughlin.  One need look no further than Oklahoma’s Western District Federal Court records to find New Lima Independent School Dist.  v. Warrington, et. al, -- where Scott was co-counsel on a Constitutional case involving First Amendment rights which went to trial.  Going to trial in a constitutional case is rare, and Scott has litigated other constitutional cases in federal court where he has protected the rights of Oklahomans,” Laughlin continued.

                        “A quick search of state and federal court records for ‘Edward Scott Pruitt’ or ‘E. Scott Pruitt’ will reveal cases in the western, northern and eastern districts of the Oklahoma Federal Court system and the Oklahoma State Supreme Court as well as multiple District Court appearances across the state of Oklahoma.  In fact, Scott’s involvement in Sharp v. Tulsa County Election Board, which went before the Oklahoma State Supreme Court and was related to constitutional issues such as ballot access and suffrage, was published by West Law,” Laughlin stated.

                        “One of the more outrageous claims in the ad comes from the Leonard campaign essentially quoting itself and attributing it to the Tulsa World.  The quote from the Tulsa World does not make a judgment on the experience of Scott Pruitt.  The lie of omission is that the start of the quote is ‘Critics say.’  This alone should require the Leonard campaign to remove the ad,” stated Tyler Laughlin, campaign manager for the Pruitt for Attorney General Campaign.

                        Candidate Scott Pruitt, issued the following statement in response to the Leonard ad:  “The simple fact is, we need an Attorney General that knows how to fight the reach of the federal government.  I’ve been doing that since the first day I got out of law school and initially opened Christian Legal Services, Inc.  I have successfully defended the rights of individuals to practice their faith when government tries to tell them ‘no’.  I have advised teachers, public school students and homeschoolers when they have been under attack.  I’ve helped teens ‘rally around the flagpole’ and pray at school when others have said they can’t, and I want to fight that same fight for the people of Oklahoma.”

                        If I can find a copy of the Leonard ad, I will try to post it.

                        It's a shame that Ryan Leonard felt the need to go negative. If it, in fact, turns out that his ad was false, that could be devastating to his campaign.

                        As I have said about the gubernatorial race, I intensely dislike campaigns that go negative, especially if their attacks are inaccurate or deceptive. I'm very disappointed in Leonard.