Thursday, December 26, 2013

Brogdon's "Christmas Present": running for Governor



Gov. Mary Fallin has her first primary challenger in the form of 2010 opponent Randy Brogdon. Yesterday, on Christmas Day, Brogdon announced his intention to run for Governor again.

This week, I am filing the necessary paperwork to challenge Mary Fallin for the Republican nomination for Governor of Oklahoma. In the coming months, I will be making my case to Republican primary voters why I believe Constitutional Conservative leadership is needed in the Governor’s office.

Government is too big and too powerful and we all know it. It spends too much, borrows too much, taxes too much, regulates too much and snoops too much. We are in the fight of our lives for liberty, and I feel morally obligated to lead that fight on behalf of Oklahoma families.

My promise as governor is to protect Oklahoma families from the overreach of federal and state government and to restore your God given unalienable rights of life, liberty and property.

Right now, I invite you to join my team by visiting the Join the Campaign page on this website and/or by making a contribution. I need your help.

My immediate objective is to raise much-needed funds and recruit the help I’ll need to communicate with Oklahomans on the issues that are so important to all of us. After meeting our initial objectives, I hope to invite you to join me at an official announcement event some time in late January or early February.

For now, please know the battle for liberty in Oklahoma has started, and with your help, I am committed to leading this fight. I can assure you of this, as your governor, I will not allow Oklahoma to be a mere puppet of the federal government any longer.

This announcement prompted similar reactions from prominent Fallin and Brogdon supporters across the state. Denise Northrup, Fallin's chief-of-staff and campaign manager said on Facebook "Santa knew just what to bring me!". Charlie Meadows, OCPAC Chairman and longtime Brogdon advocate, called it "a huge Christmas present".

Fallin defeated Brogdon in the GOP primary four years ago 55%-39% in a four-way race.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry CHRISTmas!

Have a very merry Christmas!

from MuskogeePolitico.com


The first Christmas, from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter Two

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

OK Dems' Sacrificial Lamb: Dorman considering gubernatorial bid

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs)

Faced with former Republican/Independent/Libertarian RJ Harris as their only announced candidate for Governor, the Oklahoma Democrats appear to have found their loyal sacrificial lamb in the form of State Rep. Joe Dorman.

Dorman launched an exploratory committee yesterday. Although not a final decision, this step allows him to raise funds for a potential challenge, and gives him the opportunity to decide whether to further pursue a campaign. Dorman is term-limited, and thus would not be vacating his seat in the House by running for governor.

As of the last finance report, Governor Fallin had $1.2M in her campaign account.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cantor fundraises for Bridenstine; DC GOP gives up search for opponent?

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Tulsa)

1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine has been at it from the very beginning. One of the most conservative members of the U.S. House, Bridenstine has been somewhat of a thorn in the side of the less conservative House GOP leadership ever since he refused to vote for John Boehner as Speaker. Bridenstine has formed close ties with other "renegade conservatives", like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), and fought against Congressional GOP leadership on issues like the debt ceiling, government shutdown, and continuing resolutions. He's even one of the few House Republicans to not donate to the NRCC from his campaign.

Because of all of the above, Republican establishment-types (both in Oklahoma and in DC) have barely disguised their disdain for Bridenstine, to the point that ever since he defeated John Sullivan, they have sought to find a candidate they could run against him in 2014. However, it appears that they might have thrown in the towel.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is coming to town on the 26th to participate in a fundraising luncheon for Rep. Bridenstine, hosted by Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett. Also listed as co-hosts are some individuals who did not support Bridenstine in the last primary, who have helped to bankroll races for more establishment-type candidates.

Does this all point to the DC GOP grudgingly coming to terms with being "stuck" with Bridenstine? Perhaps so. Also of interest is the fact that when Bridenstine did not vote for Speaker Boehner, he cast his vote for Eric Cantor. Could there be another reason behind this embrace of Bridenstine?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mayor Coburn unopposed, races in all city council seats

Muskogee Mayor Bob Coburn

Candidate filing for Muskogee's January 14th municipal elections ended yesterday. For the first time since 2002, the incumbent mayor was unopposed, electing Mayor Bob Coburn to a second term by acclamation.

In Ward I, incumbent councilor David Jones has one opponent, John Mark Lowrimore.

In Ward II, incumbent councilor James Gulley unexpectedly filed for reelection after previously announcing that he was not going to, and will face off with Michelle Green.

In Ward III, incumbent councilor Randy Howard is facing two other candidate -- Dale "D." Boots and Ivory Vann.

In Ward IV, incumbent councilor Kenny Payne did not seek reelection. Running to replace him are Marlon Coleman, Claressa Vealy-Dyer, Dean Swan, and former councilor Troy Stoutermire.

Muskogee City Council Ward Boundaries

This is the first election under Muskogee's new "ward-only" voting system. Previously, candidate's had to reside in the ward they were running for, but were elected city-wide, resulting in occasions when a candidate would win his ward, but lose across the city and thus not be elected.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meadows asks, 'Brogdon for Governor?'


Charlie Meadows, President of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC), wants Randy Brogdon to run for Governor again.

This from Meadows' latest OCPAC email:
"WILL BROGDON RUN FOR GOVERNOR?

After listening to Pay McGuigan this past Wednesday document just how poorly government has performed since Governor Fallin has been in office as a result of her weak leadership, especially in comparison to Kansas, I announced that I would do everything possible to encourage former Senator Randy Brogdon to run for governor again. Especially since he only missed forcing her into a primary runoff by only a little over 4% of the vote and now there is a paltry record for her to run on.

I knew he would be speaking in Guthrie this past Saturday, I was even asked to introduce him at the meeting. Therefore, I tried to be clever and beg him to run and tell us YES if he had been contemplating a run or to just play me along and NOT say NO if he was determined not to run.

The bad news is, no matter how hard I tried to set him up to say YES, during the Q&A time, he would not do so. The good news is, he had the opportunity to crush any thought by saying NO and he would NOT do so. May I suggest, Randy loves to speak about liberty and does so all over the state. Should you run into him, please encourage him to run again. The good citizens all over the state who want good government at least deserve another option than Mary to vote for. "

Whoever runs against Governor Fallin will face formidable, if not insurmountable odds. As of the most recent campaign finance report, her campaign warchest consisted of a paltry $1.2 million.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bartlett defeats Taylor in Tulsa mayoral race

Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Jr.

As of 8:45pm CST, incumbent mayor Dewey Bartlett (R) appears to have solidly defeated his predecessor, Kathy Taylor (D), in Tulsa's mayoral election. KOTV reports Bartlett with 57% and Taylor with 43%, with 84% of precincts reporting.

Former Mayor Kathy Taylor

Although ostensibly non-partisan (Tulsa moved to non-partisan city elections following the 2012 election), this contest turned out to be extremely partisan. While non-partisan races may sound like a nice idea, in actuality, unless the city has a population under 50,000 or so, it doesn't matter -- municipal races will be partisan.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Union loses big in Muskogee VA vote


This week, employees at the Muskogee VA Regional Office torpedoed a proposal to unionize under the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO. 175 (19.7%) of ballot casts were for unionization, while there were 714 (80.3%) votes against.

Both sides claimed that Muskogee's office is one of the only non-union federal government offices in the country.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

RJ Harris: The Evolving Perennial Candidate

Governor Mary Fallin appears to have drawn her first opponent for the 2014 campaign, and the candidate comes with a colorful history.

Meet RJ Harris, Republican Libertarian Independent Democrat candidate for Congress President Congress Governor.

Let's examine the political evolution of Oklahoma's next great perennial candidate.

2010:

RJ Harris, Republican

RJ's first foray into politics was as a Republican candidate in Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District in 2010. He lost to Congressman Tom Cole 77%-23%.

 2012:

RJ Harris, Libertarian

In August of 2011, Harris threw his hat into the ring for President -- this time as a Libertarian. After nine months of campaigning for the nomination, he withdrew his candidacy, citing fundraising difficulties.


RJ Harris, Independent

Since his presidential campaign didn't pan out, Harris ran for Congress again, but this time as an Independent. He came in third (5%), behind Congressman Cole (68%), and Democrat Donna Bebo (29%).

 2014:
RJ Harris, Democrat

Now, he's decided to run for Governor, and as a Democrat. So far, he is the only announced Democratic candidate.

The Daily Oklahoman newspaper writes that "Wallace Collins, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said Harris is a good candidate for the party and he supports his campaign."  I'll let that comment speak for itself.

The 2014 election is getting more and more interesting...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

2014 Statewide Election Preview: 3Q Finance Reports

As the 2014 elections approach, five incumbent statewide elected officials have yet to draw an opponent, while three have challengers who are filing campaign finance reports. Whether there is a contested race yet or not, the 3rd Quarter ethics reports show an interesting preview of the upcoming electoral contests.

Filing for statewide office in 2014 will be on April 9th to April 11th, with the Primary being held on June 24th. Runoff elections (if necessary) will be on August 26th, and the General election is on November 4th.

Candidates will be listed in order of most cash-on-hand. Incumbents are in bold.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Scott Pruitt (R)
3Q raised: $86,252.82  -  3Q spent: $27,962.83  -  Cash-on-hand: $123,138.70

AUDITOR & INSPECTOR

Gary Jones (R)
3Q raised: $250  -  3Q spent: $0  -  Cash-on-hand: $6,588.33

GOVERNOR

Mary Fallin (R)
3Q raised: $368,243.12  -  3Q spent: $108,227.86  -  Cash-on-hand: $1,218,401.35

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

John Doak (R)
3Q raised: $51,275  -  3Q spent: $20,955.44  -  Cash-on-hand: $294,475.14

LABOR COMMISSIONER

Mark Costello (R)
3Q raised: $202,000  -  3Q spent: $0  -  Cash-on-hand: $202,000
Michael Workman (D)
3Q raised: $500  -  3Q spent: $1,188.05  -  Cash-on-hand: $40.95

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

Todd Lamb (R)
3Q raised: $382,488.59  -  3Q spent: $9,788.44  -  Cash-on-hand: $414,664.63
Cathy Cummings (D)
3Q raised: $1,750  -  3Q spent: $676.80  -  Cash-on-hand: $1,533.20

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Joy Hofmeister (R)
3Q raised: $83,136  -  3Q spent: $27,221.75  -  Cash-on-hand: $200,086.61
Janet Barresi (R)
3Q raised: $48,850  -  3Q spent: $41,466.44  -  Cash-on-hand: $149,130.07
John Cox (D)
3Q raised: $69,280.70  -  3Q spent: $10,162.57  -  Cash-on-hand: $58,186
Donna Anderson (D)
3Q raised: $11,877.64  -  3Q spent: $13,845.52  -  Cash-on-hand: $4,395.38
Jack Herron (D)
3Q raised: $3,950  -  3Q spent: $224.80  -  Cash-on-hand: $3,725.20
Freda Deskin (D)
{filed after 3Q deadline}
Ivan Holmes (D)
{filed after 3Q deadline}

TREASURER

Ken Miller (R)
3Q raised: $51,000  -  3Q spent: $672.29  -  Cash-on-hand: $116,186.19


Interesting notes:

  • Big money: Governor Fallin officially tops the million-dollar mark in cash-on-hand, with seven months left before candidate filing. Talk about formidable.
  • Most: Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb raised the most this quarter ($382,000), edging out Fallin by $14,000.
  • Loans: Labor Commissioner Costello ($202,000); John Cox ($50,162.57); Donna Anderson ($1,000)
  • Hot race: The big race of 2014 will be the State Superintendent seat. Two Republicans and five Democrats have campaign accounts right now, and that number will probably go higher.
  • Low spenders: Auditor Gary Jones and Labor Commissioner Costello both spent no money in the third quarter, and Treasurer Ken Miller spent less than $700. 
  • Slow start: Jones raised $250, and Costello raised nothing (outside of his $202k loan).

Pollard elected State President for OFRW


In a return to Oklahoma Republican Party activity, former OKGOP Vice-Chair Pam Pollard was elected today as State President of the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women.

The biennial convention for the OFRW began yesterday, and ended today.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tidwell replaces Ball as AFP-OK State Director

AFP Oklahoma Announces New State Director
Matt Ball Pursues New Opportunity; John Tidwell Joins AFP November 1

OKLAHOMA CITY - Americans for Prosperity (AFP) – Oklahoma, the Sooner state’s leading grassroots advocate for economic freedom and limited government, announced that Matt Ball would be stepping down and John Tidwell will be named State Director beginning November 1.

“I am proud to have served as State Director for AFP,” Ball said.  “This organization’s mission to fight for economic freedom, free markets, and limited government is absolutely critical to preserving the future of America and our great state.  We have built strong momentum as a state chapter and I am confident my successor will continue that momentum into 2014 and beyond," continued Ball.

"John Tidwell brings our organization a true passion for free market policies and a background of fighting for entrepreneurs throughout Oklahoma.  His leadership will be key in taking our organization to the next level fighting for taxpayers against government overreach and misguided public policy."

Tidwell has worked in Oklahoma politics for nearly two decades. He worked as director of communications for Congressman John Sullivan for 12 years and more recently as a Senior Account Executive at Jones Public Relations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, a free-market public relations firm.

AFP President Tim Phillips said the following: “Matt is a dedicated defender of economic freedom and he has charted a winning strategic direction for our Oklahoma state chapter.  We wish him well in his new opportunity and we are equally ready to have John Tidwell assume the State Director role in Oklahoma to build upon past success and grow our presence for the future."

Ball will leave AFP effective October 31st and will begin his new position as Director of Corporate Affairs for CMA Strategies, November 1st and John Tidwell will assume the role of State Director on the 1st.

[Blogger's note: Ball leaves AFP-OK after a rather brief stint in the position, having replaced previous director Stuart Jolly at the end of February. Jolly served as state director for six years.]

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Peter Rudy ends Capitol reporting, joins State Chamber

A fixture at the State Capitol for the past few years, Peter J. Rudy has ended his state government reporting, and has joined the State Chamber of Oklahoma as Vice President of Communications.

In a farewell post on OklahomaCapitolSource.com, Rudy said "Unfortunately, I’m a better reporter than I am a businessman so while it was professionally rewarding, the financial side didn’t quite match. So today, Sunday October 6, 2013, is the last day for Oklahoma Capitol Source. I have found employment elsewhere (more details when that becomes official on Monday) and it’s not something that can coexist with sitting at the Capitol for hours on end."

On Monday, the State Chamber announced that they had hired Rudy. "Rudy will replace Jennifer Monies. Monies left earlier this fall when she accepted a role with Senate President Pro Tempore as press secretary and senior advisor."

Rudy's exit leaves a hole in reporting at the State Capitol. In his time with both Oklahoma Watchdog and Oklahoma Capitol Source, Rudy covered practically every major government meeting and House session that took place, posting and tweeting extensive notes.

For anyone interested in the tough job of replacing him, Rudy says, "if there's an intrepid reporter out there who wants to take over the website, email okcapitolsource@gmail.com and we'll talk!"

I hope someone does, because his work will be missed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Samaritan Ministries: an alternative to ObamaCare



As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, many families are struggling with the high price of health insurance. With the onset of ObamaCare, other issues with health insurance have come to the forefront as well, such as religious organizations being forced to cover birth control in their insurance plans. Is there another alternative to the health insurance industry? Is there another option that fits your family's moral values, and doesn't support abortion?

My wife and I joined Samaritan Ministries at the end of 2012. Samaritan Ministries is a not-for-profit religious organization classified as a health-care sharing ministry, and is not considered to be traditional "health insurance". HCSMs are exempt from the individual mandate in ObamaCare.

Who Can Join?

To be a member of Samaritan Ministries, you must be a professing Christian, agree to the Samaritan Ministries Statement of Faith, be a regular member of a church, agree to certain moral standards dealing with alcohol, tobacco, sexual activity, and have your pastor or church leader sign a testimonial form. You can view the Application Form here, and the Guidelines here.

How It Works

Members of Samaritan Ministries commit to sending a set "Share" each month (equivalent to an insurance premium) directly to fellow members with "Needs". Monthly "Shares" are not run through a central administration office, where funds could be diverted to office costs.

From SM, here’s how the Need Process works in a little more detail:
Samaritan Ministries publishes a monthly newsletter mailing that reports the total Shares and Needs and includes an individualized Share Notice for each member household. The Share Notice tells each household how to pray for a specific member with a Need and what his address is, so the Share can be sent to him. Typically less than 10 percent of the members have a Need in a given month and are receiving Shares.

When a member has a health care “Need” he receives health care treatment from a provider of his choice, collects the bills, and sends them to Samaritan Ministries. Samaritan Ministries verifies that the Need meets the Guidelines. Then, in the monthly newsletter mailing, Samaritan Ministries directs some members to send their Shares to the member with the Need. The member with the need receives the shares to pay his health care bills.
When a member has a medical need, the first $300 of the bill is the member's responsibility (similar to an insurance deductible). After the first $300, any other expense on up to $250,000 can be shared (click here for the Guidelines). Members can join SM's Save To Share program for an additional $15 a month to cover expenses over $250,000.

Members cover the first $300 on three Needs per year; if they have any additional Needs, the entire amount is shared. Members are encouraged to negotiate for bill reductions; any bill reduction is applied to their $300 responsibility amount, making it possible to entirely eliminate that amount.

What Does It Cost?

Members of Samaritan Ministries agree to share the following amounts, based on household size:
  • Singles - $165 8/2016 figure: $220
  • Couples - $315 8/2016 figure: $440
  • Single-Parent Family - $230 8/2016 figure: $305
  • Two-Parent Family - $370 8/2016 figure: $495

When one or both of the heads of household are under 26 years old, there is a discount:
  • Singles - $125 ($40 discount) 8/2016 figure: $180
  • Couples - $235 ($80 discount) 8/2016 figure: $360
  • Single-Parent Family - $180 ($50 discount) 8/2016 figure: $255
  • Two-Parent Family - $320 ($50 discount) 8/2016 figure: $445

Any changes to Share amounts is subject to a vote of the entire membership, and has to have 60% in order to pass.

More Information

For more information, visit Samaritan Ministries website at SamaritanMinistries.org. You can view videos, testimonials, Frequently Asked Questions, the Guidelines, the Application Form, and much more.

If you are interested in joining, I'd be more than happy to talk with you. You can call me at (918) 869-6000, or email me at JamisonFaught@MuskogeePolitico.com. When a member refers someone who then becomes a member, Samaritan Ministries gives the referring member a $180 credit. Obviously, that's some incentive, but regardless of that, Samaritan Ministries is a great organization.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cruzing along to defund ObamaCare


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been speaking on the Senate floor for over 18 hours to defund ObamaCare. Watch him live on C-SPAN here.

Among the senators joining Cruz on the floor and asking questions (to give him a brief talking break) are Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Mike Enzi (R-WY).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

County Party Finances: Net Growth for 2013

In a (delayed) continuation of my County Party Finances series, let's take a look at the net growth through mid-year 2013.

REPUBLICANS

Republican county parties statewide netted a total of $24,336.22 through June 30th. 10 counties made financial gains (combining for +$34,447.30), and 7 counties posted net losses (combining for -$10,111.08), with Oklahoma County dropping over $7,500 after what appears to have been a rather expensive Lincoln-Reagan Dinner with guest speaker Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.


DEMOCRATS

Only three Democrat county parties showed positive gains in their financial reports. Osage County raised and spent nothing, leaving 13 counties that reported net losses. The combined total for the Democrats statewide is -$10,290.39. 11 counties dropped less than $700, but Payne County and Tulsa County showed net losses of -$5,167.69 and -$6,486.49, respectively. Tulsa County's activities correspond to the mayoral race underway in the city of Tulsa.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

One Year!


One year ago today!

Monday, August 26, 2013

County Party Finances: Raised and Spent

Continuing my series on County Party Finances, let's examine receipts and expenditures a little more closely.

CASH RAISED

As we saw last time, both the Republicans and the Democrats have 17 county committees each that are "current" with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. So far in 2013, Republican county parties have raised $80,585.70, while Democrat county parties have raised $68,732.01.


On the GOP side, Oklahoma and Stephens counties far and away led the pack, both with over $20,000 raised. Four other counties brought in between $5,000 and $9,000. Muskogee County comes in 5th, with $7,781 raised.



For the Democrats, an even greater disparity is shown. Tulsa County has raised over $30,000 through June 30th (remember, very competitive mayoral race), Cleveland County took in half that figure, and Oklahoma County came in at just over $9,000. Only two other counties raised more than $1,000.

MONEY SPENT

"It takes money to make money", the saying goes.


Republicans held true to their financial conservatism, and have spent significantly less than county Democrats so far in 2013. The biggest spenders for the GOP also posted the most money raised, although Oklahoma County alone ($30,163.81) accounts for over half of the money spent statewide among county GOP groups. The counties where higher amounts of cash were spent held major fundraising events (Lincoln-Reagan dinners, fish fries, barbecues, etc), hence the greater expenses. My county (Muskogee) was 3rd, at $3,801.05



Democrats spent over $22,000 more than Republicans. In fact, as another post will show, only three counties post net gains in their accounts through the mid-year report (on the other hand, ten GOP counties show positive balances). Tulsa, Cleveland and Payne counties spent $65,000 of the Democrats' statewide spending total of nearly $80,000.

Details by county after the fold.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Steve Fair on murder of Christopher Lane in Duncan



OKGOP National Committeeman Steve Fair wrote the following to 
his fellow RNC Members this week.

Dear Fellow RNC Member:

I am sure you have heard of the recent shooting (Friday) by some teenagers in my hometown - Duncan, OK - of a young Australian baseball player. This was reported as a 'random act of violence' and that there was no connection/reason/motive for the shooting other than the thugs 'were bored.' Already some folks from Australia and U.S. liberals are condemning our state and nation for allowing citizens to have guns to protect themselves. I want to point out three things:

First, this shooting is not representative our our community, county or state. The real problem wasn't the gun the young man used - it was the heart of the shooter. Sin and wickedness are in the heart before they are in the hand. Please pray that God will regenerate dead hearts in young people not only in Duncan, but across our nation. I fear we have danced around the real issue in America: the inherent wicked, depraved nature of man. The hope of America is the regenerating gospel of Jesus Christ...period.

Second, my wife taught two of the young men charged with this heinous crime. She says both were discipline problems in elementary school. She wasn't surprised to learn both were involved in this shooting. She said the parents were uninvolved in their kid's life. This points out another problem in America. We have children raising themselves and parents justifying their kids' every action. When you teach rebellion, you reap rebellion. The fruits of that rebellion are anarchy (no government) and antinomia (no law).

Third, we ask for your prayers. God is sovereign and He is in control. I don't understand why He allowed this tragedy in our area, but I do know it has a purpose. I am thankful for our District Attorney Jason Hicks and our Sheriff Wayne McKinney. Both are godly men, both Republicans, who are unafraid to stand on principle. Pray for them as they work through this case.

In Christ,

Steve Fair
National Committeeman - Oklahoma

Thursday, August 22, 2013

OKGOP Launches Redesigned Website


The Oklahoma Republican Party launched a revamped version of OKGOP.com this week. A planned feature with the new site is to allow county parties to use a free website within the okgop.com platform (i.e. [countyname].okgop.com).

There's a lot on the new site. Do you like the redesign? Comment with your take.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Jay Paul Gumm: From State Senator to Embezzler

Then: 2010
Now: 2013


Playing a role in putting a good candidate in office is a gratifying feeling. However, when the incumbent you helped defeat ends up in jail a few years later.... that is just the icing on the cake.

Thus is the sad situation that former State Sen. Jay Paul Gumm finds himself in now.


Back in 2010, I helped Republican Josh Brecheen, a first-time candidate, in his insurgent campaign against Gumm, the entrenched Democrat incumbent. Seemingly against all odds, in a 'Little Dixie' district that had never elected a Republican to the State Senate (more than 80% of voters were Democrats) and facing a two-term Senator, Brecheen procured 56% of the vote, and ousted one of Oklahoma's most prominent and promising Senate Democrats.

After losing the election, Gumm and his family moved to Mississippi, where he took the position of executive director for the Stone County Economic Development Partnership. On Friday, he was arrested for embezzling over $24,000 from the agency. According to news reports, Gumm is the third employee from the SCEDP to be accused of embezzlement in the past year (one woman embezzled over $300,000).

During the 2010 campaign, questions were raised about certain aspects of Gumm's finances (personal and campaign). Do his current money problems have a root in the past? We may never know, but voters in Senate District 6 can take heart that they put the right man in office in 2010 -- and kicked the right guy out.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Map Series: Finances of County Parties in Oklahoma

As my faithful readers know well, I have a certain fascination with maps and random data. I have previously created a map series on Voter Registration, and every election season post county-by-county Election Results maps. My newest series will be an examination of county political party finances.

For the purposes of this series, I only used party committees who have filed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission in 2013. You may search the list of non-candidate committees for yourself at this link. Some county parties have filed in the past, but have not submitted their quarterly reports in 2013, or have not filed in many years. Still more counties have not properly filed with the Ethics Commission at all.

First up, current cash-on-hand for both Oklahoma Republican and Oklahoma Democratic county parties. Ironically enough, only 17 counties for both Republicans and Democrats have what I'm calling "current" filings with the Ethics Commission (meaning they have filed either their March 31st quarterly, or the June 30th quarterly report).

Ten of these counties have both Republican and Democrat parties that are "current" (Canadian, Cleveland, Creek, Garvin, Kingfisher, Oklahoma, Osage, Payne, Pottawatamie, and Washington counties).


All 17 county Republican parties post positive balances, with the top three slots belonging to Comanche County ($24,503.51), Stephens County ($14,852.71), and Muskogee County ($10,610.56). The total cash-on-hand among the 17 counties is $86,422.24, for an average of $5,084.

Conspicuously absent from the GOP list is Tulsa County, which has not filed a quarterly reports since 2007. I find this interesting, as the city of Tulsa is in the throes of a competitive mayoral race, and has had tough races within the county in the time since 2007.


As with many other things, Oklahoma's Democrats trail the Republicans. Their top three come in at lower amounts: Cleveland County ($12,505.27), Payne County ($10,093.48), and Tulsa County (9,903.84). Total cash-on-hand for their active 17 counties is $53,540.16, an average of $3,150. Kingfisher County posts a negative balance of -$337.32.

Next time, we will dig further into the receipts, expenditures, and 2013 net growth.

Monday, August 5, 2013

RNC Chairman to NBC, CNN: no GOP debates if Clinton programs air



RNC Chairman Calls on NBC and CNN to Stop Promoting Hillary Clinton
RNC will not partner with networks in 2016 primary debates

WASHINGTON – Today Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus sent a letter to Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide, calling on their networks to cancel their attempts to influence Americans’ political decisions. Both networks are airing programs promoting former Secretary Hillary Clinton ahead of her likely candidacy for president in 2016. NBC has announced plans to air a miniseries, while CNN is producing a documentary. If the productions are not canceled prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting, Chairman Priebus will seek a binding vote of the RNC to prevent the committee from partnering with these networks in 2016 primary debates or sanctioning debates they sponsor.

“It’s appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives,” said Chairman Priebus. “Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing. I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that NBC and CNN will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment. If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor.”

Read the Chairman’s letter to NBC: http://ow.ly/nAtWq
Read the Chairman’s letter to CNN: http://ow.ly/nDDMr


This is good to see from Chairman Priebus. For far too long, the GOP has allowed the media to dominate the presidential primary debates, while pushing their extreme liberal bias. The next step is to replace liberal moderators with actual conservative Republicans.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Powerful video: black Louisiana State Senator on switching to the GOP

Elbert Guillory, a black Louisiana state senator, recently switched from being a Democrat to the Republican Party, causing quite a stir in his state. He released the following video on Sunday, explaining his decision to "abandon the government plantation and the Party of disappointment."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bridenstine blasts Obama's leadership

Freshman Rep. Jim Bridenstine delivered the following speech earlier this week. The monologue has "gone viral", and the conservative rising star from Oklahoma's 1st District has since been featured on several prominent talk radio shows (such as Sean Hannity and Mark Levin).

Watch here as Rep. Bridenstine tears the Obama administration apart:

.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oklahoma Energy Secretary resigns, takes job with GE


Oklahoma Energy Secretary Michael Ming has resigned to take a job with General Electric's planned Oil and Gas Technology Center here in Oklahoma. Governor Mary Fallin appointed Ming to her cabinet in January 2011. The news comes a month after GE was given $3,000,000 from the governor's Quick Action Closing Fund to bring the company's project to Oklahoma. This is the first time Governor Fallin has used the fund.

Maybe I'm wrong, but when a large corporation is given millions of taxpayer dollars by the governor, and one of the governor's cabinet members resigns to head up the project for the company, it just doesn't sit well with me.

What do you think? Is it just me?

Oklahoma leads nation in 2000-2010 per capita state spending growth


I ran across this graphic recently, and found it to be very interesting, especially considering that the Oklahoma Legislature is in the middle of passing a $7.1 billion state budget that increases almost a quarter billion over last year's budget. As Patrick McGuigan of CapitolBeatOK.com points out, this "will be the third straight increase in state spending since Republicans took over every part of state government in 2010."

According to Tax Foundation, "these percentages show the growth in direct spending between 2000 and 2010, in real dollars per capita (to eliminate the effects of population growth and inflation). Oklahoma leads the pack with a 74% increase in state government spending over ten years; Alaska, whose state government only grew 17% faster than its population, is at the bottom."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Public Insight Network seeks input on immigration terminology

Which term best describes immigrants living in the U.S. illegally?

The Associated Press Stylebook and several newsrooms have dropped the term "illegal immigrant." On the AP website, a top editor clarified, "The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term 'illegal immigrant' or the use of 'illegal' to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that 'illegal' should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally."

The decision has been applauded by Latino and immigration advocates. For years, many protested the AP and other journalism organizations, including The New York Times, over usage of what they believed to be an offensive term. But journalists are left wondering, what is the proper terminology for an immigrant in the country illegally?

Do you use a specific term to describe someone with a certain immigration status? What do you think of the AP's new stance?

Public Insight Network journalists have launched a collaboration to see which terms people across the United States prefer to use. Everything you share will be read by journalists only, and your responses are confidential unless you tell us we may publish them.

Thanks to Ben Allen of KOSU for making me aware of this project.

Submit your take at this link, and view a map of responses from across the country.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

GOP State Rep. Cox given award -- by Planned Parenthood


In rather under-the-radar news, Oklahoma State Rep. Doug Cox (R-Grove) was recently given Planned Parenthood's 2013 Barry Goldwater Award*, which is given to Republican elected officials who have supported Planned Parenthood and abortion.

Dr. Cox is generally considered to be the most liberal Republican member in the State House or State Senate, and is one of the few reliable pro-abortion votes in the legislature. In fact, Cox votes against more pro-life bills than even most of the Democratic caucus. How he got elected in House District 5 (portions of Delaware and Mayes counties), I'll never know.

Fortunately, Cox is term-limited, and will thus be replaced in the 2014 election. Cox has two more years of eligibility left, and will "term out" in 2016. Let's hope that Republicans in HD5 can find a pro-life Republican to run.

Hat-tip to OK-SAFE for first posting this.

* Barry Goldwater, especially later in life, was a vocal supporter of abortion, and his wife played a key role in the early days of Planned Parenthood.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Senate Conservatives Fund picks Bridenstine for first House endorsement



In one of his most invaluable actions as a U.S. Senator, Jim DeMint, now president of the Heritage Foundation, started the Senate Conservatives Fund. While he led SCF, the Fund played extremely crucial roles in electing Senators Ted Cruz (TX), Mike Lee (UT), Rand Paul (KY), and Marco Rubio (FL). SCF is one of the top conservative PACs currently out there, and has had tremendous success at changing the dialogue in Washington through members who would not have been elected without their help.

Today, SCF stepped into new territory by branching out into U.S. House races with an endorsement of Oklahoma's own standout freshman Rep. Jim Bridenstine. Here's what SCF said on their website about Bridenstine:


SCF endorses Jim Bridenstine for U.S. House

"Today, we are endorsing U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) for the U.S. House in the 1st District of Oklahoma. This is our first endorsement for a House candidate and we hope you will help make it a success.

Please take action to promote bold leadership in Washington by making a contribution to Jim Bridenstine's campaign today.

Congressman Bridenstine has a remarkable story that every conservative in America should know.
  • Jim Bridenstine is a Navy pilot and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and lives with his wife and their three children in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Jim Bridenstine defeated an establishment RINO in the Republican primary last year with no name recognition and very little money. He ran a grassroots campaign, meeting with small groups of voters in their homes to build the support he needed to win.
  • After the election, Jim Bridenstine cast his first vote against John Boehner for Speaker of the House. He knows the GOP needs stronger leadership and he had the courage to vote his conscience even though it could have cost him an important committee assignment.
  • Later, Jim Bridenstine led the fight in the House against the FY2013 "continuing resolution" — a spending bill written by Republican leaders that included funding for the implementation of Obamacare. He circulated a letter among his colleagues to build opposition to the bill and he voted against the procedural rule that brought it to the floor.
  • Now Jim Bridenstine is leading the fight against a new Internet tax, which would hurt online consumers by giving states the power to force out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes for them. It's a grossly unfair law that subjects entrepreneurs to over 9,600 different tax jurisdictions. It's being pushed by the lobbyists of large corporations to eliminate competition from small, online businesses.
Congressman Bridenstine doesn't just talk the talk. He walks the walk.

Please make a contribution to Jim Bridenstine's campaign today. Your support will help him continue to fight for conservative principles in Congress.

Supporting Jim Bridenstine is important for two primary reasons.
  • First, we need to protect him from the establishment. The Republican leadership in the House has significant power to hurt the fundraising efforts of members like Bridenstine who buck them. We can't let John Boehner (R-OH), Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) punish this principled leader.
  • Second, we need to elevate more conservative champions to lead the fight to save this country. Congressman Bridenstine is one of these champions. Not only has he stood strong in the House, but he also has the potential to become an outstanding candidate for the U.S. Senate when Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) retires in 2016.
SCF has fully vetted Congressman Bridenstine and he's the real deal. He supports all of our policy goals and has a record of fulfilling his campaign promises, even when it requires him to stand up to the leaders in his own party.

I recently met with Congressman Bridenstine and was extremely impressed. In many ways, he reminds me of Jim DeMint when he was first elected to the House in 1998. Bridenstine is authentic, sincere, and humble — qualities that are very hard to find in Washington these days.

Please help us reach our goal of raising $50,000 for Jim Bridenstine's campaign by making a contribution of $25, $50, $100, or more today.

When you contribute to Jim Bridenstine's campaign through SCF, he will receive 100% of your donation. That is our guarantee to our supporters and it's one the things that makes SCF unique from other political organizations.

Thank you for your support. We will keep fighting.

Matt Hoskins, SCF Executive Director"

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Steve Kern, husband of Rep. Sally Kern, to run for State Senate


Pastor Steve Kern has announced his intent to run for State Senate District 40 in next year's election, according to an article posted by the Oklahoman and confirmed by his wife, State Rep. Sally Kern (R-OKC). SD40 is currently held by Sen. Cliff Branan, who is term-limited.

As the Oklahoman article points out, if both Kern's are win their respective races next year, they would be only the second married couple to serve in the state legislature simultaneously. Dr. Kern has pastored at Olivet Baptist Church in Oklahoma City for 17 years.

Friday, April 26, 2013

OKDHS Director responds to newborn death story



Two days ago, I posted an article by blogger/activist Steve Dickson about the death of a newborn in DHS custody. This evening, OKDHS Director Ed Lake issued a statement from detailing the story from OKDHS' perspective, which I am posting in full below.

 Ed Lake, OKDHS Director

"Recent outrageous blog posts circulating on social media are falsely and recklessly claiming that the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) removed a baby from life support against the mother's wishes. This is absolutely untrue and is an example of extremist bloggers not bothering to obtain factual information and twisting the misinformation for some political agenda. We have determined, in the interest of public faith and trust, to respond to these absurd claims in a manner that protects the identities of those involved."

"The situation in which these blogs are referencing was that of an infant in OKDHS custody who was born with extremely serious physical abnormalities and who had surgery to try to correct the conditions. The child was subsequently placed on life support and doctors did not expect the child to survive. A conference was held with the presiding judge, the district attorney, the child's biological mother and her attorney, the child's foster mother, two physicians treating the child, and an OKDHS supervisor."

"The judge and the child's mother both agreed to a "Do Not Resuscitate Order" (DNR) for the child if the action was determined medically necessary. OKDHS remained silent during this conference and made no recommendation, following the agency's DNR policy. The Judge also authorized the physician treating the child to do whatever was medically necessary and in the best interest of the child. The actions of OKDHS employees and hospital staff in this case complied with Oklahoma and federal laws, as well as the judge's decisions and orders. All of these actions were recorded by a court reporter who was present at the hearing in the judge's chambers."

"The child's physician later determined the child needed to be taken off life support due to ongoing uncontrolled internal bleeding. The child's biological mother was taken to the hospital, signed the DNR order along with the attending physician, and personally consented to her child being taken off life support. The mother remained with her child until the child passed away."

"We were all extremely saddened by this child's death and worked to support the child's mother and foster mother throughout this emotional decision."

"The individual who posted the despicable blog should be ashamed of himself."

# # #

If there are any more updates to the story, I will post them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tragic: OKDHS takes custody of newborn, pulls life support


A Choice of Life or Death

This is a true story.

My wife has spent many years volunteering in various causes, most of them related to the Pro-Life movement. One of the organizations she volunteers for operates a group home for women in crisis pregnancy situations. This home specifically helps pregnant homeless women get through pregnancy in a stable and safe environment. They are able to have their babies, and given the time and resources to get back on their feet. This includes staying in the home for several months after their baby is born.

Yesterday, a tragedy beyond the comprehension of most parents occurred. One of the women my wife has been helping gave birth to a baby boy last week. He was full term, and was full size, but he had some heart issues. As a result, he needed surgery. After he had his surgery he made it through the weekend. His poor little body was battered by the trauma of such an event, but alive and improving. His mother was hopeful – until the state stepped in.

Previously the mother of this new boy had lost custody of her other child. In Oklahoma domestic violence can be grounds for removal of children, even from the custody of the victim. Since the mother in this case had not regained custody of her two year old – that is due to happen later this summer – someone with the Department of Human Services decided to take custody of the baby while he was in neonatal intensive care. This was done despite the child being in a secured environment both in the hospital and in the group home he where mother and child would recover. By doing so, medical decisions were removed from the mother and given to bureaucrats.

In the afternoon of April 22nd, a worker with DHS decided to intervene, consulted a “judge” and instigated an emergency hearing to decide the fate of this little baby boy. The mother was forced to plead her case in the administrative judges’ chambers, with the hospital on speaker phone. Upon his decision, and over her objections, the baby was taken off of life support, drugs, ventilator, and pacemaker. This began while the mother was away from the hospital, and before she could even hold her child. She arrived back at the hospital shortly before the end. Her baby died at 5:38 pm.

If this story does not rip at your heart, nothing will. This is someone who was relying on private charity, attempting to rebuild her life, and life and death decisions about her child were taken from her by the state. There was no trial. There was no chance of appeal. Our government has taken it upon itself to “protect” the children, even when that means stripping parents of their rights, and making decisions that may kill those very children. In this case, it did.

I don’t know the answer to all of this. I know a tragedy has occurred. I know the state should not have the power to strip parental rights without a jury being involved. I know people are victimized by their government in the name of safety and protection, all the way down to a newborn in the hospital.

I know my heart is heavy for this mother and her children, and I will hold my family close tonight and pray for her.

Steve Dickson is a conservative activist in the Oklahoma City area, and writes a blog at this link.


* UPDATE *

The Director of OKDHS has issued a statement about this incident, which is posted here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

OKGOP 2013 State Convention


The Oklahoma Republican Party's 2013 State Convention activities commence tomorrow afternoon, with the convention itself starting at 9:00am Saturday morning. This will be my fifth convention as a delegate, and it looks to be as interesting as any of the recent editions.

Important information for delegates


I have conducted a survey of each of the candidates for State Chair and Vice-Chair, which can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Candidates for Chair 
in alphabetical order, with links to their websites
 Amanda Teegarden                     Dave Weston

Candidates for Vice-Chair
in alphabetical order, with links to their websites

                     Richard Engle                   Denise Crosswhite-Hader                         Sara Jo Odom


See you at the convention!

P.S. If you're on Twitter, tweet with hashtag #OKGOP, and follow me at @JamisonFaught.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

OCPAC's Charlie Meadows picks Weston for OKGOP Chair

Charlie Meadows, longtime chairman of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC), sent out the following email last night regarding the race for Oklahoma Republican Party chairman. An influential grassroots leader/activist, Meadows' analysis and concluding endorsement may end up impacting this race more than the endorsements the two candidates have touted so far in the race. I'll explain after his email below.

Charlie Meadows, OCPAC chairman

WHY I ENDORSE DAVID WESTON FOR REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN

First let me say, this is my own opinion and not a position of OCPAC, in fact OCPAC does not endorse for such a race. In addition, many of my friends and fellow conservatives will disagree with me; however, I believe that will be the result of strong personal relationships with Amanda Teegarden, rather than an evaluation of the 2 candidates for the job in which they are running. Therefore, please let me explain why I am picking my friend David over my friend Amanda.

When Amanda called me on Monday, April 1st to tell me she was going to run for the Republican State Chairman’s position and wanted to make the public announcement during the candidate forum at OCPAC 2 days later, I knew it was going to be a difficult situation for me. I have known both Amanda and David for about the same amount of time, consider both of them to be friends and respect both of them for their respective efforts to make Oklahoma a better place. Following the forum at OCPAC on Wednesday, I was determined to NOT make an endorsement for chairman and knew I would have to wrestle with a decision as how to vote at the state convention on April 20th.

However, I spent a good deal of Wednesday night tossing about the race and decided to lay my friendships aside and actually evaluate these two candidates. David has the greater amount of state party experience as he has served as the finance officer under 2 different state chairmen and thus really knows the workings of the state party. In addition he has also worked as a consultant in 2 high profile campaigns, first that of James Lankford and second, the race last year where Jim Bridenstine successfully unseated the incumbent John Sullivan and then went on to win big in the general election. Amanda is a co-founder and the executive director of OK-SAFE, she is also one of the finest researchers I know. I believe David has an advantage when it comes to administration and an ability to TRY and work with the many factions within the Republican party, whereas, Amanda’s strengths are more oriented toward policy. I believe the job of party chairman is about 80% administration and 20% policy.

While, I generally agree with Amanda on policy, this is the most important reason I gladly endorse David over Amanda. Please let me explain a possible way for others to evaluate these two candidates.

Last year we had 6 state questions on the ballot, I am going to discuss 3 of them and then ask you to ask yourself, how you voted on these 3 questions?  1) I supported the question which was designed to eliminate affirmative action policies in state government hiring practices and college admission standards in Oklahoma. Ask yourself how did you vote on that issue? Even though eliminating affirmative action has long been a part of the Republican party platform, Amanda opposed the question, basically because it wasn’t a perfect measure. 2) I supported the measure to reduce the annual amount property taxes could increase from the maximum of a 5% increase to no more than an increase of 3% (this does not apply to school bond increases). Ask yourself how did you stand on that issue, Amanda opposed the issue. 3)  I supported the question to eliminate all intangible property from being subjected to property taxation. That was a very important and strong pro business measure. Ask yourself if you supported that state question? Amanda opposed it.

Every Monday morning the Republican party state chairman is on the Ried Mullins radio show on KTOK 1000 AM as the voice of the Republican party doing debate with Ben Odom, the spokesman for the Democrat party. Had Amanda been our chairman at that time she would have been on radio agreeing with the Democrat positions and opposing our platform which has for a long time opposed affirmative action, opposed increasing taxes and in principle our platform supports tax cuts.

Amanda’s positions were different from those of our most conservative Republican lawmakers, different from the positions taken by David Weston, and vice chairman candidates, Richard Engle, Denise Crosswhite Hader and Sara Jo Odom (listed in alphabetic order), I know as I have polled all of them since our forum. Also, all 3 of these issues have been a part of the conservative index. In other words, Amanda was seriously out of step with the Republican party. As such, I believe she should not be elected as our state chairman, David is far better suited for the position as he will work better with the broad range of factions within the party and be more successful in raising finances. Amanda does a great job in research and I would strongly support her if she decided to run for a legislative seat. In that position, information she could provide to colleagues would far outweigh any time she might over analyze a few issues and take the wrong positions on such.
Charlie Meadows


Meadows is very influential in the conservative/libertarian circles of Oklahoma GOP grassroots activists. Amanda Teegarden appeals to much of the same group of activists. As a result, many of the delegates that would naturally form the core of support for Teegarden, but who are heavily influenced by Meadows and his widely-circulated email chain may now reconsider, and instead vote for Weston at this weekend's state convention.

I think Charlie pretty much hit the nail on the head with his evaluation, and I completely agree with him. I respect Amanda and her work with OK-SAFE (a great organization), and have had her come speak to groups in my area about different issues. She is a thorough researcher, and very knowledgeable about important topics of the day. That said, I don't think that being chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party fits her as well as it does Dave Weston, who has actual experience working in the state party.

Want to learn more about the candidates for OKGOP Chair and Vice-Chair? 
Click here for survey responses from each of the hopefuls!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Meet the Candidates: Amanda Teegarden, OKGOP Chair hopeful


Amanda Teegarden, candidate for Oklahoma Republican Party chairman


With this Saturday being the 2013 Oklahoma Republican Party State Convention, we continue our series on the individuals who have publicly announced their candidacy to replace outgoing Chairman Matt Pinnell and outgoing Vice-Chair Pam Pollard. Today, let's look at the responses from the last public candidate for Chair, Amanda Teegarden.

The other announced candidate is Dave Weston.  The candidates for vice-chair are Denise Crosswhite Hader (her survey is posted here), Richard Engle (his survey is posted here), and Sara Jo Odom (her survey is posted here). It is my hope that this series will enable delegates to the state convention to come to a decision on which candidates to support.

Now, meet Amanda Teegarden.

1. Tell us a little bit about your personal side (i.e. family, church, occupational
background, etc.)

Amanda Teegarden has lived in Oklahoma for the last 30 years and calls Tulsa home, where she lives with her husband Mark, and their family. She is happy to report she is expecting her first grandchild later this year.

Amanda is a pro-life, born-again Christian. She attends Heartland Church in Tulsa. Amanda is the Executive Director of OK-SAFE, Inc. (Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise), a 501(c) 4, a non-profit corporation formed in 2006. OK-SAFE is dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Free Enterprise system and the Constitutional Sovereignty of Oklahoma and the United States.

For several years Amanda has been the co-host of America in the Balance on Truth in Focus Internet radio. She is a frequent guest on national radio shows, speaking often at national conferences on issues of public policy and liberty.

With a background in business management, Amanda spent 16 years in Retail Management, and as a small business owner. When she became a stay-at-home mom she worked part time. She knows how to work with people and organize, as evidenced by the growth of effective grassroots efforts in OK over the last 8 years.

2. What involvement have you had in the past with the Republican Party (from precinct-
level to RNC)? If possible, include approximate dates.


Amanda is a life-long Republican and has been actively involved in numerous campaigns in Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District. Amanda has served several terms as Precinct Chair, a position she currently holds in Tulsa County. In the last 9 years she has served in various committees, including on the County and State Executive Committees, the County and State Platform and Rules Committees, and has been/and is a member
of several conservative GOP clubs.

3. Do you currently hold any Republican Party office?

In March Amanda was elected to the 1st District Committee.

4. What political involvement have you had outside of the Republican Party (i.e.
campaigns, elected office, political groups, etc.)? If possible, include approximate dates.

Amanda has helped in several campaigns in the Tulsa area – from three Mayor’s races; 1 House and 2 Senate District races (the latest being the successful 2012 campaign to elect Sen. Nathan Dahm to office, the state’s youngest Senator); and walking for the Bridenstine campaign in 2012.

5. There have been eight state conventions in the last decade; how many have you
attended (and which)?

I think every one since 2006 or 2007.

6. What prompted you to run for this office?

Teegarden was called by many supporters to consider running. It was a tough decision for her because last month she was elected as a member of the 1st District Committee. “After four days of prayer, thought and consultation,” she said, “I decided that I would accept the call and take on this new challenge.”

7. What are your top priorities if elected as vice-chair?

Amanda Teegarden is motivated by devotion to principle, implementation of conservative policy, and effective grassroots mobilization. “We can grow the Republican Party while still standing by our core principles. We can engage in coalition building, and work to educate the people of Oklahoma on the principles the Republican Party stands for. We can do this while pursuing candidates for office and financial support. Our efforts must include outreach and inclusion of more young people into the Republican Party, many of whom are anxious to be more involved in the pursuit of good government.”

On candidate recruitment, Teegarden says, “My years of activism on behalf of limiting the power of government have prepared me to recruit and promote candidates that stand for decentralized, state and local based power.”
8. What five issues should the Republican Party focus on politically?

Limited Government and Candidate Recruitment -
“My years of activism on behalf of limiting the power of government have prepared me to recruit and promote candidates that stand for decentralized, state and local based power. The ultimate authority is the individual – the authority that all government operates with is granted by individuals to the state, and by the states to the federal government. When you elect me, you will have an advocate for the individual leading your Republican Party”.

Transparency / Open Door Policy -
“The ultimate authority of the Republican Party is the precinct, and the authority of the precinct is the activist. As your State Chair, I will emphasize the Party is governed from the bottom up, not the top down. I will involve the various groups around the state who advocate issues in agreement with our platform, and make sure they have both a seat at the table and a voice in the debate. My years as Executive Director of OK-SAFE have shown me how effective activism is outside the Party – it is time to bring that energy inside.”

Platform -
“The core principles of the Republican Party are expressed in our Platform. Our public officials should be familiar with our Platform, and should be encouraged to stand up for it. As Chair I will work to remind them of what they espoused when they ran as a Republican – and what we expect them to do. We must restore the relevance of our Party and the label “Republican” in the eyes of the public.”

Policies -
“I am well known for my advocacy. I have studied the policies concerning most Oklahomans, including “Obama Care”, the chipping away of our 2nd Amendment rights, the adoption of the Common Core State Standard, and infringements on both individual liberty and property rights. These policies, and others like them, are a direct assault on our God-given rights to life, liberty, and property and are leading to the overgrowth of government and diminution of local control.

9. List some of the individuals who are publicly supporting your candidacy that delegates
might recognize.

The growing list of endorsements is featured on the Teegardenforokgop.com website, including that of Rep. (Pastor) Dan Fisher, Dan Keating, former Rep. Charles Key, 1st Dist. Committee Member Don Wyatt, State Committee Members TC Ryan and Joanna Francisco, OK2A, Tom DeWeese of the American Policy Center, various grassroots groups leaders, County and Precinct Chairman, as well as the Tulsa Beacon newspaper.

10. Here's your closing statement - cover whatever you want to talk about.

The Republican Party has an opportunity before them – by acknowledging our Founding Principles and standing by them, we can become the party of choice for the people of Oklahoma.

“America is at an historic crossroads that will determine whether our grandchildren will enjoy the blessings of freedom or the curse of tyranny. Never has the need for principled, courageous state legislators, state, county and local officials, been so great to resist and roll back the power of the Federal government. As your next GOP State Chairman, I will work tirelessly to help make Oklahoma the model for the nation.”

Thanks for participating, Amanda!



And that concludes our survey of announced candidates for chair and vice-chair. Below are the links to each survey. I hope that this series has been informative, and will help delegates decide on which candidates to support for these crucial party offices.

Current candidates for OKGOP Chair:
Dave Weston -- survey here
Amanda Teegarden -- survey here

Current candidates for OKGOP Vice-Chair:
Denise Crosswhite Hader -- survey here
Sara Jo Odom -- survey here
Richard Engle -- survey here