Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh, the irony: PETA killed over 95% of pets in 2011


Ironic:
New Documents: PETA Killed a Near Record-Breaking 95 Percent of Adoptable Dogs and Cats in its Care During 2011
Hypocritical Animal Rights Group Brings Pet Death Toll To 27,751

Today [note: February 16th] the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) published documents online, obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request, showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed a staggering 95.9 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2011. Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the notorious animal rights group has continued killing adoptable animals at its Norfolk, VA headquarters, at an average of 37 pets every week.

According to records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 1,911 cats and dogs last year while placing just 24 in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 27,751 pets have died at the hands of PETA workers.

“PETA hasn’t slowed down its slaughterhouse operation, even as the group continues to lecture the American public with its phony ‘animal rights’ message,” said Rick Berman, CCF’s Executive Director. “It appears PETA is more concerned with funding its media and advertising antics than finding suitable homes for these dogs and cats.”

Despite its $37.4 million budget, PETA employees make little effort to find homes for the thousands of animals they kill every year.

A 2010 inspection of 290 PETA animal custody records performed by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services discovered that PETA killed 84 percent of the animals it took control of within only 24 hours. Additionally, the inspection discovered that PETA’s animal shelter didn’t meet PETA’s own published guidelines for running a humane shelter.

“For the 13th year in a row, PETA’s leaders have shown they don’t care about the unlucky dogs and cats that come to its Norfolk facility,” Berman continued. “It’s about time PETA’s ‘shelter’ is reclassified as a slaughterhouse.”

CCF has obtained PETA’s “Animal Record” filings for every year since 1998 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Members of the public can see these documents at www.PETAKillsAnimals.com.


I would like the record to reflect that I am a HUUUUGE supporter of PETA...



.... People Eating Tasty Animals, that is!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Richard Engle, Steve Fair announce for OKGOP National Committeeman

With the Oklahoma Republican Party State Convention coming up on May 12th, candidates are beginning to line up for the Republican National Committee offices that are up for election this year.

National Committeewoman Carolyn McLarty has announced that she will be seeking reelection to a second four-year term. So far, she has not drawn opposition. National Committeeman James Dunn has opted to not run for a second term. Two individuals have launched their candidacies for Dunn's seat.


Richard Engle was the first candidate to announce his intentions, and is waging an aggressive campaign. He is emphasizing his fundraising ties (Engle claims raising $725,000 for Republican candidates in the past 10 years, through various groups he has been chair or vice-chair of). Richard is the vice-chair of OCPAC, and is affiliated with the Ron Paul wing of the GOP. Engle has a YouTube channel with more information about his candidacy and platform.




Steve Fair launched his campaign this week. A well known and liked figure in conservative activist circles, Steve has extensive experience volunteering in the party; he was county chairman for almost 20 years, district chairman for 10 years, has served on the state executive committee, budget committee, and as state GOP treasurer. Where Engle's emphasis appears to be on electing Republican candidates at local levels, Steve's expertise is on party-building at the local, grassroots level. Steve has a blog (which I highly recommend), and recently posted more information about his candidacy.

The 2008 race between James Dunn and Steve Curry came down to a difference of a mere handful of votes. This one has the potential to be close as well, although I give the edge to Fair.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rasmussen: Santorum 43%, Newt 22%, Mitt 18% in Oklahoma


A brand-new Rasmussen Reports poll released today shows Rick Santorum with a two-to-one lead over his nearest challenger in Oklahoma's Republican presidential primary.

Rick Santorum - 43% 
Newt Gingrich - 22%
Mitt Romney  - 18%
Ron Paul - 7%
Other - 2%
Undecided - 7%

Poll of 750 likely Republican voters, taken on February 21st, MoE +/-4%

With less than two weeks til the GOP primary here, Santorum looks well positioned to snag a big victory in Oklahoma. If the election day results are similar to these, he could receive between 25 and 30 (or more) of Oklahoma's 43 delegates.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Santorum Surges to Lead in Oklahoma



SoonerPoll.com released a survey today of that Oklahoma Republican Presidential primary, and found that Rick Santorum has surged to an impressive lead. Santorum recently attracted very large crowds at events in Oklahoma City and Tulsa following up on his victories in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

SoonerPoll.com Oklahoma Republican Primary Survey (link) 
Rick Santorum - 39%
Mitt Romney - 23%
Newt Gingrich - 18%
Ron Paul - 8%
Undecided - 13% 
Poll of 300 likely Republican primary voters, taken February 8-16, with a MoE of +/-5.66%

Previous polls had shown Newt Gingrich leading the Oklahoma primary. American Research Group released a poll on the 8th that had Gingrich with 34%, Romney with 31%, Santorum at 16%, and Paul with 10%. SoonerPoll had a survey in mid December that put Newt in the lead with 33%, Romney at 14%, Paul with 4%, and Santorum at 1.5% (other candidates have since dropped out).

Oklahoma has a proportional delegate apportionment this cycle. Oklahoma gets 43 delegates this time around. Three are unpledged (OKGOP Chairman Matt Pinnell, RNC members James Dunn and Carolyn McLarty), each congressional district has three (for a total of fifteen), and the remainder (twenty five) are awarded off the statewide vote tally. In order to be eligible for delegates, a candidate must receive more than 15% of the vote statewide for at-large delegates, and 15% for congressional district delegates. If a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote statewide, he is automatically awarded all at-large delegates; the same is true for the congressional district level.

Therefore, if the final results of the March 6th vote looked like the poll above, Santorum could receive something around 12 at-large delegates, Romney about 7, and Gingrich around 6. The 15 congressional-district delegates would be awarded based on how the candidates performed in each district. Since SoonerPoll has not released cross-tabs showing their survey results on a congressional district level, I can't give a complete delegate estimate.

UPDATE: SoonerPoll has now released the crosstabs - you can view them here.

Drilling down into the results allows for rough estimates on delegate allotment off of the results SoonerPoll found. My guess would be that among the 15 congressional-district delegates, Santorum would receive about 8, while Romney would get 4, and Gingrich would take 3. Add those to the statewide at-large estimates, and you come up with this:

  • Santorum - 20 delegates
  • Romney - 11 delegates
  • Gingrich - 9 delegates
  • Paul - 0 delegates

Obviously, take these with a big grain of salt, but this should give a rough idea as how the delegates would be dealt out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Coburn wins mayor, three council races go to runoff


In last night's Muskogee mayoral contest, Bob Coburn defeated David Ragsdale with a resounding 69% to 31% margin. Coburn, cousin to the U.S. Senator, vacated a city council seat to run to succeed Mayor John Tyler Hammons.

Three council wards will be having runoff elections on April 3rd. In Ward I, Lee Ann Langston (49%) and Gary Cooper (42%) will face each other again. In Ward II, incumbent councilor Shawn Raper (47%) and Dan Hall (34%) are in a runoff. In Ward III, Derrick Reed (41%) and Dale "D." Boots (33%) finish out the runoff matchups. Wayne Johnson defeated Ron Venters 58% to 42% in Ward IV.

All three ballot propositions passed, with ward-voting receiving 57%. Proposition 1 (moving election date to comply with state law) took 79%, and Proposition 3 (moving swearing in date) got 88%.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Election Today!


Today is election day for school boards, many municipalities, and several state legislative special elections. This will be the first election with Oklahoma's new voting machines and Voter ID law, so be sure to bring your Voter ID card or some other form of government-issued identification (such as a driver's license).

Muskogee voters will be decided on a new mayor, four city councilors, and three city propositions.

  • Mayor: Bob Coburn and David Ragsdale
  • Ward I (open): Keith Coleman, Gary Cooper, Lee Ann Langston, John Lowrimore
  • Ward II: Michelle Green, Dan Hall, Shawn Raper (incumbent)
  • Ward III (open): D. Boots, Christopher Fulton, Derrick Reed, William Strand
  • Ward IV (open): Wayne Johnson, Ron Venters
  • Proposition 1: Would revise municipal election dates to comply with state election laws. If approved, the three-day municipal filing period would begin the second Monday in November in odd-numbered years. General elections would take place the second Tuesday in January in even-numbered years. Runoff elections would be scheduled for the first Tuesday of the following March.
  • Proposition 2: Would amend city charter by requiring that City Council ward representatives be elected by voters who live within a candidate’s respective voting district (as opposed to city-wide voting).
  • Proposition 3: Would establish the second Tuesday in March in even-numbered years as the date when elected mayor or city councilors assume office.

The unions in Muskogee have gotten pretty involved this time around; I believe they are supporting Ragsdale, Langston, Hall, Reed, and Venters. Personally, I will be voting for Coburn, Cooper, Green (Raper a close second, though; wish they weren't running against each other), and yes on all three propositions. I'm still unsure about Ward III and IV, probably Boots or Fulton, and Johnson.

Poll close at 7pm, so don't forget to vote! Watch for election results at the State Election Board website.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oklahoma reaches independent mortgage settlement

From the AG's office:


Attorney General Scott Pruitt Announces Oklahoma Mortgage
Settlement with National Servicers

Oklahoma homeowners to receive relief for unfair practices

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced Thursday that Oklahoma had reached an independent mortgage settlement with five national service providers, guaranteeing relief for many Oklahoma homeowners who were victimized by unlawful and unfair practices. Oklahoma did not sign-on to a national settlement that the president used to restructure the mortgage industry.

“Oklahoma is fortunate to have a stronger housing market and economy than many other states that are struggling. This settlement will provide damages to those Oklahomans who did fall victim to unfair and unlawful misconduct of mortgage servicing companies, while not exceeding the appropriate role and authority of state attorneys general,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt said the Oklahoma settlement requires five servicers – Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and GMAC – to pay Oklahoma a total of $18.6 million in compensatory damages to resolve claims of unfair and unlawful practices. The amount was determined by the multistate executive committee.

The AG’s Public Protection Unit will process relief applications.

The Oklahoma settlement comes after an 18-month investigation by attorneys general in 50 states and the U.S. Department of Justice into mortgage servicing practices that contributed to the nation’s mortgage and foreclosure crisis. Shortly after the investigation began the multistate working group began negotiating settlement terms with the banks.

In March, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, announced the settlement had expanded beyond investigating fraud and unlawful practices and now contained a restructuring of the mortgage industry that included mandatory modifications to loans, principle reduction and a potential fine of as much as $25 billion.

On March 16, Pruitt sent a letter to Miller, voicing strong concerns that the settlement greatly overreached the authority of state attorneys general and warned the terms created questions of fundamental fairness and justice by rewarding homeowners who stopped paying their mortgages over families who continued to make payments even if they were underwater on their loans. Pruitt also warned the settlement’s structure might encourage more homeowners to default on their loans so they could benefit from the settlement.

“We had concerns that what started as an effort to correct specific practices harmful to consumers, morphed into an attempt by President Obama to establish an overarching regulatory scheme, which Congress had previously rejected, to fundamentally restructure the mortgage industry in the United States,” Pruitt said.

While Pruitt stressed that any mortgage lender that engaged in unlawful or deceptive practices should be held accountable, he cautioned that the national settlement terms may have consequences for community banks and didn’t include Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, whose practices played the biggest role in the mortgage housing crisis.

Pruitt also said he was gravely concerned about the impact of this settlement on local community banks.

To comment or file a complaint for foreclosure relief consideration, call the AG’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029, e-mail PublicProtection@oag.ok.gov or go online to the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Page at www.oag.ok.gov.

Homeowners who believe they may have been wrongly foreclosed upon will need to visit the attorney general’s website at www.oag.ok.gov and fill out the necessary paperwork for processing a claim.

Muskogee City Council Wards

 
(click for larger image)

The municipal election tomorrow is the first for Muskogee's new council ward boundaries. If you are a resident and voter in Muskogee, take a look to see which ward you now live in, as it may have changed.

Currently, city council candidates are voted on city-wide, but have to reside in their ward in order to run for office. One of the propositions on the ballot deals with ward-voting, but I'll touch on that and the other races in another post.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Justice Ginsburg to Egypt: Don't Copy US Constitution

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently gave an interview with Al Hayat TV in Egypt, in which she was asked about a new Egyptian Constitution, and where she would advise looking for influence.

She said, "I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012." She went on to specifically cite the South African constitution, the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the European Convention on Human Rights as documents she would look to.




This is not the first time Justice Ginsburg has made statements like this. As important as electing a conservative president is, we must also have a Senate full of conservatives who will do everything in their power to stop the nomination of justices who are fundamentally opposed to the basic founding principles found in our Constitution.

ARG Poll: Gingrich, Romney lead in Oklahoma


Newt Gingrich - 34%
Mitt Romney - 31%
Rick Santorum - 16%
Ron Paul - 10%
Other - 2%
Undecided - 7%
Poll of 600 likely Republican primary voters, taken February 6-7, with a MoE of +/- 4%

A recent American Research Group survey finds Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney leading the GOP field here in Oklahoma's presidential primary. The poll was conducted on February 6th and 7th, before Rick Santorum won the three states last night.

ARG is not well-know for being very accurate; in 2008, they were among the worst in accuracy rates among polling groups, so take the results with a grain of salt.

Romney, Paul and Santorum have fairly public campaigns in the state, whether grassroots or official campaign staff-led. Romney visited the state a few months ago, and Santorum is coming to Oklahoma City and Tulsa tomorrow. The major Super PAC supporting Gingrich has been running ads in the state for weeks (I've heard several different radio ads).

Santorum Sweeps CO, MN, and MO


Presidential candidate Rick Santorum swept last night's three GOP contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri with overwhelming and unexpected margins.

Santorum received 40.2% in the Colorado caucuses, with Mitt Romney at 34.9%, Newt Gingrich with 12.8%, and Ron Paul getting 11.8%. In contrast, in the 2008 caucus, Romney won the state with 60.1%, and Ron Paul was in fourth with 8.4%.

In the Minnesota caucuses, Santorum took 44.8%, Ron Paul placed second with 27.2%, Romney got 16.9%, and Gingrich received 10.7%. Former governor Tim Pawlenty had endorsed Romney, but apparently that had no influence on his state. In 2008, Romney won with 41.4%, and Paul placed fourth with 15.7%.

Caucuses like Iowa, Colorado, and Minnesota are technically non-binding, and don't award delegates. However, a win is a win, particularly when dealing with momentum, and the fact that the media and most voters don't understand the difference between a primary and a caucus when dealing with delegates.

In Missouri's primary, Santorum got 55.2%, Romney was in second place with 25.3%, and Ron Paul got 12.2%. Newt Gingrich was not on the ballot. The Missouri primary is non-binding, and has absolutely no bearing on delegates; Missouri will be holding a caucus in April that will begin the delegate process. Click here for more information on the Missouri caucus/primary situation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Record crowd at Homeschool Capitol Day



Organizers of the annual Oklahoma Home Educators' Capitol Day event are reporting that over 2,600 homeschoolers attended activities today inside the capitol building in Oklahoma City. That figure is 600 higher than last year, which was the previous record.

Homeschool families from all across the state came to greet their legislators, and give a public face to homeschooling, in addition to learning about the legislative process, and lobbying for or against homeschool-related legislation.

Gov. Mary Fallin addressed the crowd in the morning, and relayed that she has declared February 6-10th as Oklahoma Homeschool Week. You can view her proclamation at this link.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Faught hires former Hannity producer as campaign manager

Hannity Producer Joins Faught Campaign 



Muskogee, OK – George Faught, GOP Candidate for Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District, announced today the hiring of Elisha Krauss as his campaign manager.

A McCurtain County native, Elisha Krauss (middle daughter of Steve and Wenda Blankenship of Broken Bow) has vast media, fundraising, event and political experience from 7 years as a producer for the nationally syndicated Sean Hannity Radio Show in New York City.

"I'm signing on in support of George Faught because he is a proven conservative who believes like I do. Issues like cutting spending and balancing the budget, defeating ObamaCare, jobs, agriculture and tourism are important to me, and I am confident that George is the best man for the job. Being from the 2nd District, my husband Eric and I understand the issues that affect voters, and I'm excited to join the effort to make a positive impact on this state by sending George to Congress," said Krauss.

"Elisha brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to our campaign staff, and I'm proud to welcome her to the team. We have a great organization working, and with Elisha as campaign manager, our momentum will continue to grow," said Faught.    

Legislature begins 2012 session today


The 2nd Session of the 53rd Legislature begins today, with Governor Mary Fallin delivering her second State of the State address at 1pm in the House chamber.

You can view the session live at this link, beginning at noon.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Faught leads in CD2-donations, releases web video




Muskogee – Congressional candidate George Faught announced yesterday that he has raised a total of $204,872 in his campaign for Congress in Oklahoma’s 2nd District, including $99,541 in the 4th quarter of 2011.

Faught’s fundraising has been driven predominantly by donations from residents of the 2nd District.  For two consecutive fundraiser quarters, 80% of the monies Faught raised has come from within the 2nd District.

“Even in these tough economic times I am amazed at the generous financial contributions from my supporters”, said Faught.  “Our campaign is gaining momentum every day with volunteers and donations.”

Cash on hand at the close of the fundraising quarter was $146,434 and expenditures of the campaign to date were $58,438.

“I’m thankful for the continued support and sacrifice of so many hard working Oklahomans here in the 2nd District. Every donation given is helping to spread our vision of putting Oklahomans back to work with good paying jobs, cutting spending, balancing the federal budget, and repealing ObamaCare ” Faught said.

[editorial note - Faught has now raised the most money from within the 2nd District for two consecutive quarters]


The Faught campaign has also released a 7-minute web video, posted below for viewing.



You can learn more about George Faught and his campaign for Congress by visiting his website, and by following him on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Trump endorses Romney


Today, Donald Trump announced his endorsement of Mitt Romney for president. I guess this finally puts an end to Trump constantly hinting or threatening to run himself!

On a more serious note, though, does this endorsement actually mean anything to people?