Wednesday, April 30, 2014

OSU Debate: Where will T.W. Shannon be?


Thursday evening, May 1st, U.S. Senate candidates James LankfordRandy Brogdon and Jason Weger will be participating in a debate held by Oklahoma State University. Conspicuously absent will be fellow candidate T.W. Shannon, who has a "scheduling conflict". The debate will be aired on OState.TV.

Held by the second largest college in the state, livestreamed for the general public, and less than two months from the primary election, missing out on a debate has the potential to be viewed as purposeful. I have heard from Republican activists across the state who are perplexed or upset at Shannon's announced absence.

What is the "scheduling conflict"? Nobody knows for sure. One rumor is that Shannon will be in Chicago for a meeting of some sort, perhaps a fundraiser. Shannon has made several out-of-state fundraising trips so far in the campaign, including some to Florida.

I've reached out to the Shannon campaign for comment, and will (hopefully) post any update.

Lankford launches "Straight Talk with James Lankford" commercials

It appears that Congressman James Lankford is launching a new ad with his campaign for U.S. Senate.

This is shown on JamesLankford.com, as well as the campaign's YouTube account:

Straight Talk with James Lankford: Freedom Commercial


This one is on YouTube, but not on the website (that I can find):

Straight Talk with James Lankford: Benghazi Commercial


Lankford has also added a whole host of "My Stance" videos, describing his position on many fiscal, moral, and foreign policy issues. You can view them at this link.

NRA, OK2A react to Fallin's veto

Following Gov. Mary Fallin's veto spree yesterday, which included 2nd Amendment-friendly legislation, pro-gun groups have issued strong responses.


From the NRA-ILA:

Today, in a surprising move, Governor Mary Fallin (R) vetoed high-priority NRA-supported legislation, House Bill 2461.  As previously reported, HB 2461 was sent to Governor Fallin for her signature following nearly unanimous passage in the Oklahoma Legislature.  HB 2461 passed unanimously in the Senate and passed in the House by a 92 to 1 vote.

Authored in the House by state Representative Mike Turner (R-82) and in the Senate by state Senator Nathan Dahm (R-33), HB 2461 would require that a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) within fifteen days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it.

This important policy improvement would prevent an arbitrary personal bias from determining Oklahoma firearm policy and ensure that qualified, law-abiding Oklahomans will not be denied their ability to legally possess and own NFA items.  The reforms in HB 2461 benefit law-abiding Oklahoma Second Amendment supporters by ensuring that the process to obtain NFA items already legal in Oklahoma remains consistent, fact-based and objective.

Despite today's veto, the NRA will be working tirelessly to ensure passage and enactment of this legislation this year.  It is critical that you call your state Representative and Senator and respectfully urge them to work with the NRA to ensure this widely supported important policy improvement does not fall victim to political games.  Contact information for your state Representative can be found here.  Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.  Please thank the bill sponsors for their continued dedication to the enactment of this measure this session.

Also, please call Governor Mary Fallin and send her a clear message that Second Amendment supporters in Oklahoma support this measure and demand enactment of this protection.

Governor Mary Fallin:
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 North Lincoln Boulevard, Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 521-2342
Fax: (405) 521-3353
E-mail



From OK2A's president, Tim Gillespie:

What is the definition of stupid? When a governor of a conservative state vetoes two Second Amendment bills on an election year while facing a conservative democrat. That’s the definition of stupid and that’s exactly what Mary Fallin did Tuesday. To some my use of the word stupid might seem harsh or disrespectful. How else would you describe the Governor’s actions today? Misguided? Misinformed? Not well thought out? With all due respect, I think I’ll stick with stupid.

Our Vice President and I both spoke with the Governor’s staff on Tuesday and both conversations lead me to question the Governor’s judgment and that of her staff. I spoke with them about the knife preemption bill, that would bring knives under the state preemption law for firearms (the idea being that no town could have stricter knife or gun laws than the state so a person isn’t in jeopardy of unknowingly breaking a law as they travel between towns). The argument presented was that they didn’t want to muddy the waters on firearms law by including knives – that firearms law is a Second Amendment issue but knife laws aren’t. First, several attorneys were involved in the process of crafting this bill and none of them seemed to have a problem including knives under firearms preemption laws. Second, do we need to have a lesson on the meaning of the word arms? If all a person has to protect themselves with is a club, then government shouldn’t infringe on that person’s ability to keep or carry that club.

Our Vice President’s conversation with the Governor’s staff centered around the NFA shall issue bill. This bill would require chief law enforcement officers (Sheriffs) to perform background checks on NFA applications for full-autos, silencers, etc. This is in response to the President’s illegal rewriting of federal law concerning procedures for acquiring these items. Their reason for vetoing this bill? The state cannot regulate a federal agency. Huh? Tell me how this bill regulates a federal agency. It regulates Chief LEO’s in Oklahoma. The reality is by vetoing this bill, Governor Fallin has given the President exactly what he wants. Veto override efforts for these bills and the others the Governor vetoed on Tuesday will likely begin shortly.

The reasoning, or lack thereof, for the vetoes of these bills leads me to wonder if the Governor and her staff didn’t just use a good old fashioned game of eenie meenie miney mo to pick which bills she would veto. These are ridiculous reasons and they are nothing but a smokescreen. The real reason, and they aren’t even ashamed to admit this, is because the Governor isn’t happy with the House leadership’s priorities. They won’t allow her to take the state further into debt to fund her pet projects. In other words, they won’t give her what she want so she’s taking her ball and going home. What is this, a middle school playground? Tantrums are unbecoming for a person in Mary Fallin’s position!

So, let’s recap. Our Governor is proud of her efforts to play politics with one of the most basic and fundamental rights of mankind, the right to defend oneself. Our Governor, who claims to be pro-gun is more than willing to compromise the rights and freedoms of gun owners to make a political point. Wonderful. Perhaps instead of posting snarky comments on Facebook about and to legislators, the Governor’s staff should actually give her some good advice. Perhaps they should remind her that she does have a viable, conservative Democrat with a solid pro-gun record to contend with in the campaign. Perhaps they should remind her that this is a conservative, reddest of red, gun-loving state. Or, perhaps the Governor should just fire them for giving her terrible advice and then apologize to the people of Oklahoma for playing politics with their right to keep and bear arms. If she doesn’t, the people just might fire her in November.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Speaker Hickman hits back after Fallin's veto fit

House Speaker Jeff Hickman

Today, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin vetoed 15 House bills, citing frustration that the legislature, and the House in particular, is "avoid[ing] passing meaningful legislation". Specific examples she mentioned included a bond for the Capitol building repairs (conservatives have opposed adding additional debt for the state), and the state budget.

According to the Tulsa World, Fallin said her vetoes "[are] not a one-day deal".

From Pat McGuigan on OklahomaWatchdog: "The vetoed measures touched on such issues as the authority of county commissioners, attempted limits on power of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, expungement of criminal records, sales tax exemptions for veterans and infant vaccinations."

Oklahoma House Speaker Jeff Hickman responded to Governor Fallin with the following statement:

"Governor Fallin developed an aggressive agenda this session to move Oklahoma forward, however moving that agenda through the legislative process requires developing relationships with legislators across the state. The House of Representatives worked hard to pass a personal income tax cut, as Governor Fallin requested, which we delivered to her desk early last week. The House also passed pension reform, a school tornado shelter referendum, and a ban on youth access to e-cigarettes, all which were part of the Governor’s agenda and devoted numerous hours of debate to the Governor’s bill to expand charter-schools statewide.

"The House, for the second time in the three years she has requested it, voted on Governor Fallin’s plan to renovate the Capitol with a bond issue. For the third time, the House has said her plan is not acceptable, yet today the Governor is still calling on members to support her plan.

"The members of this body are closest to the people and have listened to their constituencies on issues such as Common Core, school testing and bond proposals. We know there are serious issues left to resolve and the House intends to work every day, regardless of political rhetoric, to have a successful session for the people of Oklahoma."

From the Edmond Sun:
Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said he didn’t understand why the governor vetoed two of his bills Tuesday that he said were requested directly from her office.

He said one of the bills was designed to save tax dollars by allowing state agencies to better use their purchase card authority.

“The governor is essentially vetoing her own request bill,” Murphey said. “It makes no sense.”

Time will soon tell whether Governor Fallin's fit will continue, and whether the Legislature will simply override here vetoes.

Lankford and Brogdon to debate at OSU

OSU TO HOST U.S.SENATE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY DEBATE ON THURSDAY, MAY 1

The 2014 political campaign season will have a prominent presence on the Oklahoma State University campus thanks to the OSU Debate Series: Decision 2014. The OSU student-run series kicks off when two of the three leading candidates in the U.S. Senate Republican Primary face-off Thursday, May 1 from 8-9 p.m. at the Student Union Theater on the OSU campus. The debate is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Former state senator Randy Brogdon and Rep. James Lankford will engage in the hour-long debate, which will be streamed live on OState.TV (www.ostate.tv). The candidates will be available for media interviews following the debate. A third candidate for the position, State Representative T.W. Shannon, is unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. The candidates are running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Tom Coburn, who is retiring.

OSU students will be actively involved in organizing and running the debate. Dr. Brandon Lenoir, a visiting assistant professor in political science at OSU, will serve as moderator. The format includes 30 minutes of moderated debate and 20 minutes of audience questions, bookended by opening and closing statements from each candidate.

“The candidates will debate issues that are important to the OSU community. Education, healthcare and the economy are issues that will affect our students as they enter the job market. Hearing the candidates who potentially could be our next U.S. Senator discuss those issues is a wonderful opportunity for our students, alumni, and the broader community,” Lenoir said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and the broader Oklahoma State University community,” Lenoir said. “By hosting this debate series on the OSU campus we are giving students a front-row seat to the political process. Not only can they see the candidates, they will also have the ability to ask them questions. Here at OSU we are educating the future leaders of Oklahoma. These debates will help them be more informed, more involved, and better prepared to take on the challenges of the state and the country.”

The OSU Debate Series: Decision 2014 will continue in the fall with plans for Gubernatorial, Superintendent of Public Schools, and two U.S. Senate general election debates.

WHAT: U.S. Senate Republican Primary debate
WHEN: Thursday, May 1 from 8-9 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.)
WHERE: OSU Student Union Theater

Former Blue Dog Congressman's committee gives to T.W. Shannon and Pelosi

As I was glancing through Senate candidate T.W. Shannon's quarterly campaign finance report, something odd popped up.

Shannon reported raising $807,952 -- a none-too-shabby sum. $677,000 came from individuals, and about $45,000 came from PACs and other committees. Approximately $71,000 came either directly or indirectly from the Senate Conservatives PAC. $5,000 came from Sarah Palin's PAC.

He also received $750 from former Alabama congressman Bud Cramer's committee. Cramer was a 9-term Democratic congressman (and co-founder of the House Blue Dog Democrats) who retired in 2010.

Until this election cycle, Cramer's committee donated almost exclusively to Democrats. So far this cycle, his committee has contributed $19,600 to Democrats (including $2,500 to Nancy Pelosi), and $14,750 to Republicans.

Here are the House Republicans that Cramer donated to, along with their 2014 Heritage Action conservative score (House GOP average is 65%) and their FreedomWorks score:

Mike Pompeo (R-TX), 88% / 100%
Mo Brooks (R-AL), 79% / 86%
Mac Thornbery (R-TX), 75% / 71%
Robert Aderholt (R-AL), 60% / 50%
Mike Rogers (R-AL), 58% / 57%
Kay Granger (R-TX), 57% / 71%
Buck McKeon (R-CA), 43% / 43%

During the same time period (2013-present), Cramer's committee also donated to 14 Democratic incumbents and 2 Democratic challengers.

As a hardcore conservative, I can't really wrap my mind around donating to ultra-liberal Democrats and also to Republicans. I'm not sure if Cramer views these Republicans (including Shannon) as members more willing to "meet in the middle"? Cramer touted his "centrist" ratings while in Congress, and started the Blue Dog Democrat coalition of centrist/conservative Democrats.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

OK Tea Party leaders announce opposition to T.W. Shannon

Some Oklahoma Tea Party leaders and conservative and activists are expressing their rejection of T.W. Shannon's U.S. Senate campaign, following recent endorsements of Shannon by Sarah Palin and Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

Oklahoma Tea Parties and Grassroots Conservatives Do Not Support T.W. Shannon

The following is an open letter to outside individuals & organizations endorsing T.W. Shannon for US Senate:

As conservative grassroots leaders and activists from across the state of Oklahoma we are dismayed that you have endorsed T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate without having fully researched and vetted the candidate. Each of the top three contenders to replace Senator Tom Coburn has a voting record that is easy to research.

Boots on the ground, grassroots leaders and activists were never consulted regarding who the true conservative candidate was before endorsements were made. Claiming the conservative mantle and deeming yourself as the “grassroots candidate” without the authentic conservative record and actions to support it, instead, makes you a poser.

According to the Oklahoma Constitution Newspaper’s Conservative Index T.W. Shannon has a lifetime (7 years) average score of 74%. In a Tulsa World article dated Sunday, April 6, 2014, during the 2014 legislative session Shannon has missed 305 out of 385 votes and that was only two months into a four month legislative session. The website www.shannonforcongress.com shows that Shannon has debated less than 16 minutes during his time in the legislature prior to becoming Speaker of the House.

Before announcing his candidacy to replace Senator Tom Coburn, T.W. Shannon had never stepped foot inside a Tea Party, Liberty, 9/12 Project meeting, rally or event; once he made his announcement he began showing up at meetings with little or no notice. After receiving the endorsements of Governor Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Senate Conservatives Fund, U.S. Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, Shannon no longer attends grassroots meetings nor does he seek the grassroots support – he doesn’t need us. Your endorsements have given him the appearance of a grassroots, conservative, liberty loving candidate. While we hold his feet to the fire, you embrace him.

Your endorsement will not make T.W. Shannon become conservative, he has too many masters to serve, the Indian tribes, Tom Cole, big business and the Chamber of Commerce -once in office, he will dance with the one that brought him to the dance and it won't be Ted Cruz, Mike Lee or Sarah Palin. Shannon is being very well handled – he is whatever you want him to be at the time. His association with Tom Cole should bring cause for concern considering Cole’s 49% rating on the Heritage Action Scorecard, who is also closely aligned with the state chamber of commerce and the Indian tribes.

Out of concern that your endorsement of T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate might be misconstrued that Oklahoma grassroots leaders and activists are endorsing him as well, we feel we owe it to our members and fellow conservative citizens to set the record straight that we do not endorse or support T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate. We stand with candidates that have a proven track record of conservatism, boldness to stand up for what’s right even when they are the only man/woman standing and will fight to protect our liberty with their last breath if necessary. Oklahoma grassroots gave you Congressman Jim Bridenstine, we are selective in who we support. We support candidates that we feel will best represent our principles and values, not the lesser of two evils, or who has the best chance to defeat James Lankford.

Thank you for all you do for the conservative cause, your hard work is appreciated. While the endorsements that T.W. Shannon has received will make our job a little more difficult, uphill battles do not intimidate us, they make us more determined to expose the truth.

Always for Liberty!

Oklahoma Grassroots Leaders and Activists

Ronda Vuillemont-Smith Tulsa 9.12 Project 
Sandra Crosnoe R3publicans
John and Cyndi McArtor Get America Back
Matthew Vermillion OKforTEA
Martha Vermillion OKforTEA
Harold Vermillion OKforTEA
Peggy Burgess Tulsa 9.12 Project
Bruce DeLay Patriot Pastor, Heartland Church
Marlene Lynch Logan County GOP
Howard Houchen Choctaw County Tea Party
Joy Collins Bartians for Academic Freedom
Dulcie Hannigan OKforTEA
Tom Counts OKforTEA
Jenni White Restore OK Public Education
Lynn Habluetzel Restore OK Public Education
Molly Wehrenberg High Noon Club
Paul Wehrenberg OKC Tea Party
Robert Seamands GEL (Govern Edmond Locally)
Jay Calan Ottawa County Republicans
Bonnie Latshaw Tulsa 9.12 Project
Lonnie Lu Anderson Southeastern OK Tea Party
Kaye Beach AxXiom for Liberty
G Rae and Craig Phillips Tulsa 9.12 Project
Sharon Annesley Oklahoma Liberty Tea Party
Mark Keeling Grady County Tea Party
Karen Yates OKC 9.12 Project
Paul Sublett OKC Tea Party
Ric Moore Logan County GOP
Elaine Leone Tulsa 9.12 Project
Amanda Miller DOR (Day of Resistance)
Naomi Koehn Tulsa 9.12 Project
Elaine Nickelson Delaware County GOP

"I cannot speak for all the pastors that are affiliated with Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ regarding an endorsement of any one particular candidate in the US Senate Race. However, I object that no one from Palin, Lee or Cruz's offices ever consulted the grassroots organizations that live and work in Oklahoma before making this endorsement. Understanding the principles for which Mike Lee and Ted Cruz stand, they should be very cautious of anyone who has such close ties with Representative Tom Cole who received a grade of 49% in this year's Heritage Action Scorecard." Pastor Paul Blair, (for identity purposes only: Founder, Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ)

**Organizations listed for information only

Muskogee GOP hosting Lincoln-Reagan Dinner today



The annual Muskogee County Republican Party Lincoln-Reagan Dinner is tonight, starting at 6:30pm, at the Muskogee Civic Center. Dinner tickets are $40. Governor Fallin is the main speaker, but candidates will be given time at the end of the event. Also taking place will be the awarding of the Muskogee County GOP's annual college scholarships.

Candidates or campaigns listed as attending:

U.S. Senate (Coburn's seat): Andy Craig*, Kevin Crow*, James Lankford*, Eric McCray*, Randy Brogdon*, T.W. Shannon, Jason Weger*,
U.S. Senate (Inhofe's seat): Erick Wyatt*
U.S. House District 2: Markwayne Mullin, Darrel Robertson
Governor: Mary Fallin*
Corporation Commissioner: Cliff Branan*, Todd Hiett*
Insurance Commissioner: John Doak
Labor Commissioner: Mark Costello*
State Superintendent: Janet Barresi, Joy Hofmeister
House District 14: George Faught*
State Senate District 8: J.W. Hill*
State Senate District 18: Kim David*
Muskogee County Commissioner #1: Ken Doke*, Mike Stewart*

Also attending, but with no challengers this election:
U.S. House District 1 Congressman Jim Bridenstine*
Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones*
(* means attending in person)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Group airs new pro-Lankford commercial

A new not-for-profit corporation is wading into the U.S. Senate special election here in Oklahoma, this time on James Lankford's behalf.

The Foundation for Economic Prosperity, Inc launched the following TV commercial today, after placing a $178,000 ad buy over the weekend:



Trey Richardson of Oklahoma City is listed as the agent for the group. Here's some information about Richardson from his LinkedIn account:

"Trey Richardson is managing partner of Sagac Public Affairs and GR Pro, national companies providing communications, research, fundraising, issue advocacy and management solutions to hundreds of political, non-profit and corporate organizations. Known for his creativity, he has influenced the direction of political finance and issue advocacy activities throughout the United States for two decades.

Prior to Sagac and GR Pro,Trey led the political action operations of the National Association of Realtors, designing strategy and operations for the raising and distribution of all election-related funds. He also provided strategy and management for the Association’s partisan communications and issue advocacy efforts.

Trey began his career in the political division of the Oklahoma Republican Committee in 1986 under Congressman and then-Chairman Tom Cole. He continued that career path to the 2000 Bush/Cheney Presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee where his firm raised and managed online fundraising activities for the efforts. He is a veteran Presidential fundraiser having worked not only for George W. Bush, but John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Steve Forbes. He has led finance teams for congressional and gubernatorial candidates such as, Jim Inhofe, Mary Fallin, James Lankford, J.C. Watts, Tom Cole, Frank Lucas and Ernest Istook.

Trey has been named as one of the “Top Political Action Leaders in America” by industry publications, and has received numerous awards for association and government affairs programming. Trey has served in various leadership positions for the National Association of Business Political Action Committees, the American Association of Political Consultants, Association of Fundraising Professionals, American Society of Association Executives and The State Chamber of Oklahoma."

The Foundation for Economic Prosperity, Inc., isn't the first "Super PAC" to get behind Lankford: earlier this month, the First Amendment Alliance Education Fund spent $97,000 on a TV ad supporting Lankford.

Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, Inc., is the main group pushing T.W. Shannon's candidacy. OCF has spent over $435,000 so far in the race, running ads and sending out mailers on Shannon's behalf. OCF initially got into some hot water over filing as a for-profit corporation instead of a not-for-profit (they say it was a clerical error).

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Doke and Stewart in Muskogee County Commission GOP primary

Ken Doke                                           Mike Stewart

Muskogee County Commission District 1 has an interesting phenomenon taking place this June -- a GOP primary.  Republicans Ken Doke and Mike Stewart both filed their candidacy last week for the open county commission seat. Three Democrats also filed: Bob Burgess, Steve Goad, and Speck Plunkett.

Doke is an area businessman, while Stewart has been the City of Muskogee's Public Works Director since 2000, after working in various sanitation and streets functions since 1977.

Muskogee County rarely has Republican primaries for any office, and it has been years since any GOP primary took place for a county-level office. Only about 25% of Muskogee County voters are registered Republican.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hofmeister criticizes Barresi's maiden name on filing

The race for State Superintendent just got a little warmer, as Republican challenger Joy Hofmeister sharply criticized incumbent Republican Janet Barresi's use of her maiden name in her candidate filing last week. Here is Hofmeister's press release (complete with the misspelling of Barresi's maiden name).

Janet Costello Barresi Plays the Name Change Game

(OKLAHOMA CITY – Tuesday, April 15, 2014) “Janet Barresi cannot seem to get her story straight, and now she can’t even decide what name she wants to go by on the primary ballot,” said Republican challenger Joy Hofmeister.

“There’s little question that she’s trying to trick the voters. Not only is Janet Barresi trying to trick them about her position on Common Core, but she’s also trying to trick the voters about her name.

“In an attempt to fool Oklahoma voters, Janet Barresi has, for the first time, decided to list her maiden name on the June 24 primary ballot.

“In fact, since 2009 her campaign has filed official quarterly reports without ever using her maiden name, Costello.”

“As a result of the name game, ‘Janet Castello[sic] Barresi’ will be listed on the primary ballot. This is nothing but an old political ploy to trick voters into thinking someone else is on the ballot,” Hofmeister said.

“My campaign originally thought to challenge this but decided not to clog the Oklahoma Election Board’s docket with her shenanigans,” Hofmeister said.

“We have to give her credit. She clearly understands that she is so unpopular and so controversial, that even Ms. Barresi knows she needs a new brand. We know Oklahoma needs a brand new State School Superintendent, one who doesn’t try to fool parents and teachers and now even voters,” Hofmeister said.

“Clearly, this game is as an admission that even Barresi knows she is her own worst enemy as the June primary approaches.

Our guess is that Janet Barresi is using her maiden name to confuse Oklahomans and glean votes from incumbent Mark Costello, our popular State Labor Commissioner.”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

FINAL LIST: Oklahoma's 2014 Federal & State Candidates

2014 is going to be a very active election cycle in Oklahoma. Here is a list of all the candidates who filed for statewide and federal office in Oklahoma, along with links to their websites. Names in red are Republican, names in blue are Democrat, names in gray are Independent, incumbents are underlined. Names with a line through them lost in the June 24th primary election.

1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R), State Auditor Gary Jones (R), Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R), and State Treasurer Ken Miller (R) all drew no opposition. Every other federal or state office will be on the ballot, either in the June 24th GOP primary (Insurance Commission and Corporation Commission races), or on November 4th.

FEDERAL OFFICES

U.S. Senate - full term
Jim Inhofe (website)  --  nominee
Rob Moye (no website)
Evelyn Rogers (website)
D. Jean McBride-Samuels (website)
Erick Wyatt (website)
Matt Silverstein (website)
Aaron DeLozier (no website)
Joan Farr (website)
Ray Woods (no website)
U.S. Senate - partial term
Randy Brogdon (website)
Andy Craig (website)
Kevin Crow (website)
James Lankford (website)  --  nominee
Eric McCray (website)
T.W. Shannon (website)
Jason Weger (website)
Patrick Hayes (no website)
Connie Johnson (website)  --  nominee
Jim Rogers (no website)  --  lost in runoff
Mark Beard (no website)

U.S. House - District 1
Jim Bridenstine (website)  --  reelected without opposition
U.S. House - District 2
Markwayne Mullin (website)  --  nominee
Darrel Robertson (website)
Earl Everett (no website)  --  nominee
Joshua Harris-Till (website)
Jon Douthitt (no website)
U.S. House - District 3
Robert Hubbard (website)
Frank Lucas (website)  --  nominee
Tim Murray (website)
Frankie Robbins (website)
U.S. House - District 4
Tom Cole (website)  --  nominee
Anna Flatt (website)
Tae Si (website)
Bert Smith (website)  --  nominee
Dennis Johnson (no website)
U.S. House - District 5
Patrice Douglas (website)  --  lost in runoff
Shane Jett (website)
Clark Jolley (website)
Steve Russell (website)  --  nominee
Harvey Sparks (website)
Mike Turner (website)
Keith Davenport (website)
Tom Guild (website)  --  lost in runoff
Leona Leonard (no website)
Al McAffrey (website)  --  nominee
Marilyn Rainwater (website)
Tom Boggs (no website)
Robert Murphy (website)
Buddy Ray (website)
STATE OFFICES

Governor
Dax Ewbank (website)
Mary Fallin (website)  -- nominee
Chad Moody (no website)
Joe Dorman (website)
Joe Sills (website)
Richard Prawdzienski (website)
Kimberly Willis (website)
Lieutenant Governor
Todd Lamb (website)
Cathy Cummings (website)
Auditor and Inspector
Gary Jones (no website)  --  reelected without opposition
Attorney General
Scott Pruitt (website)  --  reelected without opposition
Treasurer
Ken Miller (no website)  --  reelected without opposition
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Janet Barresi (website)
Joy Hofmeister (website)  --  nominee
Brian Kelly (website)
John Cox (website)  --  nominee
Freda Deskin (website)  --  lost in runoff
Jack Herron (website)
Ivan Holmes (website)
Labor Commissioner
Mark Costello (website)
Mike Workman (website)
Insurance Commissioner
John Doak (website)  --  reelected
Bill Viner (no website)
Corporation Commissioner
Cliff Branan (website)
Todd Hiett (website)  --  Commissioner-elect


Updated after the August 26th runoff election

Friday, April 11, 2014

Candidate Filing: Day Two (recap of main offices)

The second day of candidate filing concluded yesterday at 5pm, and here's where we currently stand. Wednesday's information is in italics, Thursday's is in regular font.

U.S. Senate (full term)
Thursday: three more filers. Evelyn Rogers (R) filed to run against Inhofe, rather than the Coburn seat, Rob Moye (R) and Aaron DeLozier (I) also filed. Four filers Wednesday. Incumbent Sen. Jim InhofeD. Jean McBride-Samuels (R), Erick Wyatt (R), and Ray Woods (I).

U.S. Senate (special election)
Thursday: two more filers. T.W. Shannon and Randy BrogdonIn the race to replace Sen. Tom Coburn, four candidates filed Wednesday: Connie Johnson (D), Jason Weger (R), Kevin Crow (R), and Eric McCray (R).

U.S. House, District 1
Thursday: no more activity. One filer Wednesday: Congressman Jim Bridenstine. The 1st District is the only U.S. House seat with only one publicly announced candidate (the incumbent).

U.S. House, District 2
Thursday: no more activity. Two filers Wednesday. Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R), and Darrel Robertson (R).

U.S. House, District 3
Thursday: two filers. Robbert Hubbard (R), and last election's Democrat nominee now running as a Republican, Timothy Ray MurryOne filer Wednesday: Congressman Frank Lucas (R).

U.S. House, District 4
Thursday: one filer: Bert Smith (D). Two filers Wednesday: Congressman Tom Cole (R), and Tae Si (D).

U.S. House, District 5
Thursday: one filer: Patrice Douglas (R). Seven filers Wednesday. Steve Russell (R), Mike Turner (R), Harvey Sparks (R), Clark Jolley (R), Tom Guild (D), Al McAffrey (D), and Buddy Ray (I).

State Offices
Thursday: Chad Moody (R) and Joe Sills (I) are running for Governor). Freda Deskin (D) is running for State Superintendent. Bill Viner (R) is running for Insurance Commissioner. Todd Hiett (R) is running for Corporation Commissioner. All three announced gubernatorial candidates filed Wednesday: Governor Mary Fallin (R), Joe Dorman (D), and Richard Prawdzienski (I). For the Lieutenant Governor post, incumbent Todd Lamb (R) and Cathy Cummings (D) filed. State Auditor Gary Jones, Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R), State Treasurer Ken Miller (R), Labor Commissioner Mark Costello (R), Insurance Commissioner John Doak (R) all filed for their current office, with no current opponents. Cliff Branan filed for Corporation Commissioner. Closing out the statewide offices, four candidates filed for State Superintendent: incumbent Janet Barresi (R), Joy Hofmeister (R), Jack Herron (D), and John Cox (D).


The full (and updated) list of announced statewide and federal candidates is here, on my blog. The list of filed federal, state, legislative, and judicial candidates is available here, on the State Election Board website.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Candidate Filing: Day One (recap of main offices)

The first day of candidate filing has concluded, and here's where we currently stand.

U.S. Senate (full term)
Four filers today. Incumbent Sen. Jim InhofeD. Jean McBride-Samuels (R), Erick Wyatt (R), and Ray Woods (I).

U.S. Senate (special election)
In the race to replace Sen. Tom Coburn, four candidates filed today: Connie Johnson (D), Jason Weger (R), Kevin Crow (R), and Eric McCray (R).

U.S. House, District 1
One filer: Congressman Jim Bridenstine. The 1st District is the only U.S. House seat with only one publicly announced candidate (the incumbent).

U.S. House, District 2
Two filers. Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R), and Darrel Robertson (R).

U.S. House, District 3
One filer: Congressman Frank Lucas (R).

U.S. House, District 4
Two filers: Congressman Tom Cole (R), and Tae Si (D).

U.S. House, District 5
Seven filers. Steve Russell (R), Mike Turner (R), Harvey Sparks (R), Clark Jolley (R), Tom Guild (D), Al McAffrey (D), and Buddy Ray (I).

State Offices
All three announced gubernatorial candidates filed today: Governor Mary Fallin (R), Joe Dorman (D), and Richard Prawdzienski (I). For the Lieutenant Governor post, incumbent Todd Lamb (R) and Cathy Cummings (D) filed. State Auditor Gary Jones, Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R), State Treasurer Ken Miller (R), Labor Commissioner Mark Costello (R), Insurance Commissioner John Doak (R) all filed for their current office, with no current opponents. Cliff Branan filed for Corporation Commissioner. Closing out the statewide offices, four candidates filed for State Superintendent: incumbent Janet Barresi (R), Joy Hofmeister (R), Jack Herron (D), and John Cox (D).


The full (and updated) list of announced statewide and federal candidates is here, on my blog. The list of filed federal, state, legislative, and judicial candidates is available here, on the State Election Board website.

Campaigning while Legislating: Lankford and Shannon

Cong. James Lankford                   State Rep. T.W. Shannon

The top two candidates to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn are both current elected officials. James Lankford is a U.S. Congressman, and T.W. Shannon is a State Representative. How are they handling their responsibilities as legislators in this season of intense campaigning? The Tulsa World has taken a look at their voting records in each respective House.

The article was published on Sunday, April 6th. Here's what they found out about Congressman Lankford: "Until missing 10 votes on Thursday and Friday, Lankford had answered 129 of 131 roll call votes taken since he decided to run for the U.S. Senate."

Lankford told the Tulsa World, "I still have a job to do. I'm still going to do that job." Later in the article, he also said, "The people of central Oklahoma have one voice in the House. Me. If I stop doing my part, they have no voice. I'm not going to do that."

Here's what they found out about State Rep. T.W. Shannon: "Former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, who still represents District 62 in southwest Oklahoma, has missed 305 of 385 votes this session, which began just after Shannon declared his candidacy for the Senate."

In an email response, Shannon said, "This campaign is about something larger than a few votes at the state Capitol. It's about the future of our country."

The U.S. House and Oklahoma House do operate differently, a fact discussed in the article. The State House tends to have more roll call votes, and a shorter and more intensive legislative session.

Read the rest of the article here.

Candidate filing begins


This morning, the filing period for federal, state, legislative and judicial offices began. Candidates from all across Oklahoma are traveling to Oklahoma City to officially file their candidacy at the State Election Board.

You can view the current list of candidates at this link. Filing closes at 5:00pm on Friday.

Candidates for county offices file at their county courthouse, during the same time period.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Finally: Connie Johnson becomes first Democrat Senate candidate


State Senator Constance Johnson (D-Forest Park) today announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Dr. Tom Coburn (R-Muskogee). She becomes the first announced Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate this year.

Johnson at her announcement press conference this morning

Back in January, Sen. Johnson told KRMG she thinks her push to legalize marijuana in Oklahoma could help her win the seat.

A crowd of Republicans are running for the seat as well, led by Congressman James Lankford, State Rep. T.W. Shannon, and former state sen. Randy Brogdon.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hailstorm! Welcome to Spring, Oklahoma...

It's springtime in Oklahoma, and with that comes our (in)famous thunderstorms, and associated weather activity. Today, a line of severe thunderstorms rolled through eastern Oklahoma, and left behind a lot of those little white ice-balls called "hail".

At my house, it hailed for a good twenty minutes, starting with tiny BB-sized balls, and ultimately working up to 1.5" in diameter. Here are a few shots of the bigger hailstones:




Video:


This was the biggest hailstorm I've personally experienced.

Huckabee endorses Lankford for U.S. Senate



 Oklahoma City, OK – Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, host of hit television and radio programs such as Huckabee, The Mike Huckabee Show, and The Huckabee Report, issued the following statement today announcing that he is endorsing Congressman James Lankford in his race to succeed retiring Oklahoma U.S. Senator Tom Coburn:

“The servant leadership of James Lankford is a rarity in Washington.  The idea of always being accountable, putting others first, and keeping Faith in a faithless town isn’t easy, but James maintains his integrity while representing Oklahoma in Congress.  It is obvious that James is working to revive our great nation for the next generation of Americans.”

“ James Lankford is a rock solid Conservative who works hard and understands how to get rid of government waste and balance the budget. James has fought on the front lines against Obamacare and reckless federal spending every day in Congress.  I know James is well equipped for the task ahead and I’m proud to endorse him as Oklahoma’s next great U.S. Senator. “ – Governor Mike Huckabee, Former Governor, Arkansas, April 3, 2014

About Congressman Lankford

James Lankford, U.S. Representative of Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District and Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, declared in late January that he would run in the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by long-time U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (OK – R).

(More after the break)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Former Rep. George Faught to run for House District 14


Former State Rep. George Faught to run for House District 14 seat

Muskogee  –  Former State Representative George Faught today announced his candidacy for House District 14, following Representative Arthur Hulbert’s decision to not seek reelection.  Faught previously held the seat from 2006 to 2012.  District 14 is made up of eastern Muskogee County and western Cherokee County, taking in half of the city of Muskogee, and the towns of Fort Gibson, Braggs, and Webbers Falls.

“The citizens of House District 14 deserve a proven leader to represent their values in Oklahoma City.  I am running to continue our district’s conservative voice in the State House,” said Faught.  “Arthur Hulbert has done a fine job representing us. I thank him for his service, and wish him well as he moves on to other tasks.”

For over 26 years, Faught has owned and operated Clean Pro, a carpet cleaning and disaster restoration company.  His business is based in Muskogee, and serves a wide area of eastern Oklahoma.

“As a small business owner, I understand the challenges that our economy has gone through.  We need to promote economic policies that help Oklahoma thrive. We can build a better future by creating jobs, providing quality education for our children, and promoting common sense ideas that reflect our values. We must find ways to cut wasteful spending and decrease the size of government, while lessening the burden on Oklahoma taxpayers,” Faught said.

In 2006, Faught became the first Republican in state history to win House District 14.  He was reelected in 2008, and drew no opponent in 2010.  From 2011 to 2012, he was the chairman of the Administrative Rules and Government Oversight Committee. Faught has a 100% pro-life and pro-gun voting record.

“As the federal government continues to grow larger and more intrusive, it is more important than ever that states push back and defend the Constitution and our traditional values,” said Faught.  “Oklahoma can set the example for other states to follow."

Faught and his wife Becky have been married for 31 years, and reside in Muskogee.  They are the parents of two married sons and one daughter. A committed Christian, Faught is a member of Tulsa Bible Church, where he also serves as a deacon.

Breaking: HD14 Rep. Arthur Hulbert to not seek re-election


Fort Gibson, OK -- With the recent sudden passing of my mom and three other close immediate family members being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and strokes, my wife and I have decided it  would be best for our family for me not to seek re-election at this time and be more available to help. These events are a personal reminder of how fragile and short life on this earth is and the need to be right with God and to make every moment count to the fullest.

It has been and continues to be an honor to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. I am committed to strongly finish out my term in office and to be available to the people I have been called to represent. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Rep. Arthur Hulbert

State Rep. Arthur Hulbert (R-Fort Gibson) represents House District 14, which covers eastern Muskogee and western Cherokee counties. He was first elected in 2012.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

U.S. House passes Bridenstine's Weather bill


House passes Bridenstine Weather Forecasting Improvement Act

Washington, DC, April 1, 2014 -- Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2014, sponsored by Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma 1st District Congressman.  This bill will enable technology development to save lives and protect property from severe weather, including tornadoes, without adding to the budget or debt.  The measure received tremendous bipartisan support and passed on a voice vote.

HR 2413 directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to prioritize weather-related activities and rebalances NOAA’s funding to bring weather related activities to a higher level.  The bill completes this reprioritization in a fiscally responsible manner.  HR 2413 does not increase NOAA’s overall authorization.  

This bill will speed up the development and fielding of critical technology.  By requiring coordination and prioritization across the range of NOAA agencies, HR 2413 will help get weather prediction and forecasting technologies off the drawing board and into the field.  It codifies technology transfer between the Office of Atmospheric Research – the researchers – and the National Weather Service – the operators, a vital link that ensures next generation weather technologies are implemented.

Perhaps most importantly, H.R. 2413 enhances NOAA’s collaboration with the private sector and universities.  Oklahoma is on the cutting edge of weather research, prediction, and forecasting with absolutely world class institutions such as the National Weather Center and the National Severe Storms Laboratory at the University of Oklahoma.  This bill clarifies that NOAA can purchase weather data through contracts with commercial providers and place weather satellite instruments on private payloads.  Leveraging the private sector will lead to lower costs for better weather data, saving lives and property.

Bridenstine commented, “This legislation is focused on saving lives.  The National Severe Storms Lab at the University of Oklahoma is repurposing military radar technology for tornado forecasting and warning.  These improved forecasts have the potential to give the public over an hour of lead time to respond to a tornado, compared to the 13 to 15 minute average currently possible.  It is simply unacceptable to continue providing tornado warnings of 15 minutes or less, as was the case in Moore, Oklahoma last year, when warnings an hour or more in advance are achievable.

“I am gratified that my colleagues in the House on both sides of the aisle have supported the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act.  As a freshman Representative, it is an honor that my first piece of legislation to receive a floor vote will have such a vital impact on Oklahoma and America.  I am also gratified that it advances deployment of a technology I used in my career as a Navy pilot.”

The legislation was cosponsored by the entire bipartisan membership of the Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.  The next step is consideration in the Senate.