Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Conservative View: In New York City?

Russell Turner's Conservative View of the week.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

In New York City?

It wasn’t that long ago I remember watching a commercial on television about Pace Picante sauce, in the commercial there was someone comparing the Pace brand to some other un-named brand. In the commercial the people would look at the place where the product was manufactured, and then you would hear them say that the un-named brand was made in New York City. The commercial was trying to bring home the point that the Pace brand was made in an area of the country that knew more about the making of picante sauce. I have noticed that far too often politicians that have little or no knowledge of a subject or business are ready to impose laws and regulations upon someone that has spent a lifetime in a certain business.

Being from rural Oklahoma I have been involved in agriculture and Ag business my entire life. Recently Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York has filed H.R. 1549, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). This legislation would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ban antibiotics used as prevention for animal diseases. There are several groups that have lined up to oppose this legislation including the American Veterinary Medical Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, etc. We Americans have become accustomed to the safest food supply in the world; evidently the people that are producing our food supply know something about the proper way to do it.

Congresswoman Slaughter has said her purpose in filing the bill is to decrease the development of antibiotic-resistant human disease producing bacteria. This same type of ban was put into place in Denmark and the Netherlands in 2000, but it has not reduced antibiotic resistant patterns in humans. However, it has resulted in an increase of diseases and deaths in animals.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) opposes the proposed legislation because it would increase animal disease and death. For more than 40 years, antibiotics have been used to protect our food supply and to improve animal health. Unless someone has actually worked on a farm or ranch and has seen the problems that ranchers face on a daily basis, they have no business telling the farmers how to produce a safe and affordable supply of food for the American public. If the old Pace commercial applies to picante sauce, I feel it can also apply the farming industry as well.

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I'm the 'Preppie Son'

According to Larry Parsons of Warner, I'm "preppie".

The aforementioned liberal letter writer had a letter-to-the-editor on Friday. Parsons railed against conservatives, and then turned to discuss State Rep. George Faught and me.

He said, "Recently, state Rep. George Faught, who never met an insurance company he wouldn’t suck up to, and his preppie son wrote tearful op-ed pieces basically asking for right-wing nuts to stand up." (Rep. Faught had a column in the Phoenix and I had a letter-to-the-editor on July 3rd)

First of all, the standby accusation from the Democrats when it comes to Rep. Faught is that he's "in the pocket of Big Insurance" (just like his "pal", the other George: George W. Bush).

As for me, well, if 'preppie' is the worst he can call me, I'll take it as a badge of honor. Not that I'm 'preppie' or anything... I have no idea where he pulled that from...

EDIT: An interesting note on Rep. Faught being "in the pocket of Big Insurance" - during his last campaign, I believe less than 5% of his campaign contributions were from insurance PACs or those employed in the insurance field. Nothing like the Democrats, whose candidates are commonly funded 75% or more by lawyers and unions.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Conservative View: A Little Compassion

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

A Little Compassion

There is an old saying that time cures all pains; while some may believe that statement, I have some reservations. Anyone that engages in terrorism is very low on my scale on what it takes to be human being. When I watched the Twin Towers fall on that day in September not that long ago, I could not feel any compassion for the people or the nations that would condone such an act. Whenever you could watch on live TV your fellow Americans jumping to their deaths to avoid being roasted alive, why should anyone have any compassion for anyone involved in these kinds of acts? Earlier this week the government of Scotland released a terrorist from Libya that was responsible for the deaths of 270 people on December 21, 1988.

I realize that 1988 was a long time ago, but I am sure that the families that lost loved ones in the bombing of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland feel as if it happened only yesterday. The Libyan citizen that was convicted for this crime had been in prison since he was found guilty of the crime. The Scottish government cited compassionate grounds in their decision to let Abdel Baset al-Megrahi return to Libya because he has prostate cancer and was given only months to live by British doctors. In my opinion anyone that is guilty of such a barbaric act deserves very little compassion. I was also appalled by the welcome that the people of Libya gave this individual when he returned home. We need to remember that the families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing will never be able to give their loved ones a homecoming.

I realize that the country of Scotland had jurisdiction on this case, but they need to decide if they are going to tolerate terrorism in the world. In the world we live in today, borders mean very little. Acts of terrorism can affect people from across the world; the bombing in 1988 killed 270 people, most of them Americans. Acts of terrorism are directed at civilians and the terrorists are not concerned about nationalities, they simply want a huge body count. In many countries individuals guilty of these crimes would not have lived for the past 21 years. The act of compassion that allowed him to live for 21 years was more than he deserved. His actions showed little compassion for his 270 victims in 1988.
If you want to contact Russell Turner, or wish to subscribe to his email loop, click here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Edmonds Officially Files Candidacy

The following was received from the congressional campaign of Republican Daniel Edmonds today.

MORRIS, OK – Daniel E. Edmonds, a life-long native of Morris, Oklahoma has filed candidacy papers with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). In addition, Edmonds’ campaign committee “Edmonds 2 Congress” has also filed a statement of organization with the FEC. Edmonds will be seeking the Republican nomination for Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District seat, currently being held by Democrat Dan Boren.

Born the fourth of twelve children, and raised on the family’s small farming/ranching operation, Edmonds knows the importance of dedication, dependability, and discipline. Having been taught traditional conservative values at home, Edmonds further honed his values through the FFA Organization while in high school. After graduation from Morris High School as Salutatorian, Edmonds attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, where he pursued a bachelor’s of science in plant and soil sciences. While completing studies, Edmonds took a semester from his studies to serve as the Agricultural Legislative Intern at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. Having his interest in government heightened, Edmonds then traveled to Washington D.C., where he served as the Agricultural Policy intern under Congressman Frank D. Lucas, (R, OK-3). While in Washington, Edmonds learned a great deal about the internal, day-to-day operations of a U.S. Congressional office.

After the two legislative internship experiences, Edmonds returned to Oklahoma State University to complete his bachelor’s degree. With an interest to continue learning, Edmonds stayed at OSU to pursue a master’s degree in plant and soil sciences. While working on master’s studies, Edmonds had the opportunity to travel to Zimbabwe and Uzbekistan, presenting research and knowledge learned here in Oklahoma to farmers, ranchers, government officials, and scientists. Edmonds received the Phoenix Award, Oklahoma State University’s Outstanding Master’s student award.

After completion of a master’s degree in plant and soil sciences, Edmonds furthered his education by pursuing a doctoral degree in soil science. While working toward completion of this degree, Edmonds has traveled to Russia and Mexico. In all, Edmonds has traveled to nine countries on five continents to represent OSU and Oklahoma in presenting agricultural methodologies to the third world. Edmonds is currently working towards the completion of his doctoral degree.

In addition to his duties as a Research Fellow with Oklahoma State University, Edmonds also works on the family’s farming/ranching operation near Morris, OK. Edmonds also aids local farmers on their operations as well, and serves as the Pre-kindergarten Sunday school teacher and editor/publisher of his church’s weekly bulletin.

Edmonds is planning a formal announcement of his candidacy for September 5 in Morris, Oklahoma. For more information or to schedule Edmonds for an event in your area, contact the Edmonds 2 Congress campaign office (918) 733-2068, or visit the campaign’s website

Edmonds is one of three GOP candidates running against Democrat Congressman Dan Boren. You can learn more about Edmonds by visiting his website here.

The other candidates so far are Dan Arnett and Howard Houchen.

At this point, we have not endorsed any candidate, but we will post information on this blog whenever we find or are sent anything on candidates. If you know of a candidate who has not been covered on Muskogee Politico, or want to contact us on anything else, send us an email here.

Jim Ritchey to run for Mayor

City Councilor Jim Ritchey has announced his intention to run for Muskogee mayor in next April's election.

The seats that will be open for election next spring are Ward I (David Jones' seat), Ward II (James Gulley's seat), Ward III (David Ragsdale's seat), Ward IV (Jim Ritchey's seat), and the mayoral seat (currently held by John Tyler Hammons). The other seat from each ward is up 2011.

Ritchey's announcement means that at least one city council seat will be up for grabs. Rumor has it that Ward I and Ward II may be open seats in the next election as well.

You can read the Muskogee Phoenix's article here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Muskogee Board of Education Approves Pay Raises Despite Funding Cuts

The Muskogee Board of Education approved agreements with two school unions that included pay raises, despite the fact that the district is facing funding cuts in state funding.

New teachers will be receiving a $325 raise over last year, and support personnel will get $0.10 more per hour (a rather measly pay raise, if you ask me).

This all comes at a time when the school district had nearly 3% cut from its state funds for August, which could grow to a five percent cut in the coming months. Also, in 2012 the Muskogee Public Schools will be have a 15% cut in funding, due to the stimulus money and Title 1 money coming to an end.

John Little, the chief financial officer for MPS, is hoping that the legislature will allocate money from the Rainy Day Fund to help cover the shortfall, and this brings out the real motive.

The Oklahoma Education Association and other liberal unions and organizations have been calling for the legislature to convene a special session to disperse money from the Rainy Day Fund, since the state had a budget shortfall this year.

Calling a special session would cost the state more money, and we should not be raiding the Rainy Day Fund at this time. School districts and other state agencies should tighten their belts, and not hand out pay raises when they know they can't afford them.

The Rainy Day Fund is for the state government to use in dire financial straits, not to cover pay raises that should never have been issued in the first place by greedy agencies.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boren Town Halls Today

Congressman Dan Boren is holding three town hall meetings today: one each in McAlester, Muskogee and Pryor.
McAlester - 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
(S. Arch Thompson Auditorium – 221 E. Adams Ave.)

Muskogee - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
(Muskogee Civic Center – 425 Boston St.)

Pryor - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
(Pryor MidAmerica Expo Center – US-69 South and Airport Rd.)
I will be attending the Muskogee Town Hall, and hope to give a report on it later this afternoon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Conservative View: Pro Choice?

This week's 'Conservative View', from Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Pro Choice?

For years there has been a huge debate on the abortion issue in this country. There are two camps, one being pro choice and one pro life. The purpose of this column is not to debate that issue, but to put the heath care debate into a perspective that we can relate too. To me it is ironic that the biggest proponents of the huge government takeover are for the most part pro choice in the abortion debate.

The founders of this country created our form of government to have as little impact on the citizens of this country as possible. One of my favorite quotes was from Thomas Jefferson, “ the government that governs best governs least “. Have we forgotten that the purpose of government is to protect our freedoms that are endowed by the creator? I agree that the cost of health care has risen, but what hasn’t? The cost of autos and a host of other things have risen at a fast rate also, often because of the manufactures having to comply with government regulations. We Americans have a habit of being willing to pay any price for something we want and complain about the price of the things we need. Now that the government owns General Motors, I wonder if the American people would tolerate the government telling them what kind of car and what color they need. I will bet that there would be the biggest revolt you would ever see if that were to happen, but many are willing to set back and let the government decide life and death decisions about our heath care.

There may be a place for some government involvement in heath care, but it should be limited. One of the things that I found very offensive is the idea of end of life counseling. The patient, family and spiritual leader, not some government bureaucrat, should make those difficult decisions. Before any of us begin to place all of our faith in government just look at the track record. Social Security and Medicare are programs that were supposed to provide for all Americans, now both are a ticking time bomb that in my opinion will retire a long time before most Americans.

We Americans like to be able to determine our own destiny. If we want to remain pro-choice in that aspect, we had better take a hard look before we embrace socialized medicine.
If you want to contact Russell, or wish to subscribe to his email list, click here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Boren Town Halls

I received the schedule for Congressman Dan Boren's town hall meetings from his office this afternoon.
Congressman Dan Boren's Town Hall Meetings
Tuesday, August 18, 2008

McAlester - 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
S. Arch Thompson Auditorium – 221 E. Adams Ave.

Muskogee - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Muskogee Civic Center – 425 Boston St.

Pryor - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Pryor MidAmerica Expo Center – US-69 South and Airport Rd.
It's good to see Congressman Boren decide to hold town hall meetings after all. Now, if only Senator Inhofe and Congressman Sullivan would follow suit, then all of the Oklahoma delegation will be holding town hall meetings during the August recess.

BREAKING: Boren to hold Town Halls

From Mike McCarville, at The McCarville Report Online:
Democratic Congressman Dan Boren announced today the addition of three public town hall meetings to a previously announced telephone town hall series. Boren said he's hosting the meetings "to broaden the discussion on health care reform and to gather input from constituents across the Second District."

Boren's town halls are scheduled for August 18th in McAlester, Muskogee, and Pryor.
Click here for the rest of the post.

It's about time, Boren...

Coburn Town Hall Update

Here's a quick update on the Coburn Town Hall meeting in Muskogee.

Over 600 people were present, including representatives from all the Tulsa television media. The crowd was very friendly and pro-Coburn, at several times calling for Coburn to run for president. At the conclusion of the meeting, some people started to chant "Six more years!", referring to another senate term for Coburn, who has pledged to run for only one more term.

Nearly all of the questions were regarding the health care bills in Congress. Coburn said that he has read the health care bill, and "there's not a thimbleful of common sense in it."

I highly recommend attending his town hall meetings. Click here for more information on where his other town halls will be held.

UPDATE: Here are two pictures from the town hall.

Coburn had to speak from the balcony.

The huge crowd. This does not include those who were above or behind Senator Coburn.

McAlester Paper to Boren: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Here's an editorial from the McAlester News-Capitol, written by the Editor, Matt Lane:
Come out, come out, wherever you are

The road sure has been rough for representatives when it comes to town hall meetings lately. Folks who are afraid of the president’s health plan, or are afraid the president is going set up death committees to kill the old people, or even folks who happen to have tough questions, have been busy shouting down their elected representatives all across America.

Some of these meetings have been real barnburners with in-your-face confrontations and even some scuffling. Health care is hot this summer.

Let me be plain: That is their right as Americans. Speak up, do so with and make your views heard, I say. All of this impassioned democracy makes elected representative a bit nervous, though, what with seeing the folks from the hinterlands so worked up. The questions are not easy and they won’t shut up when told to do so. Imagine that.

These politicians shouldn’t be surprised. American politics have been rough and tumble from the first time the Founding Fathers sat down and started drawing up the plans for this great republic. Even a cursory look at history shows that Americans take things to heart and are not shy about speaking up about what they believe in. It’s raw, it’s mean and it is totally American. And when Americans speak, it is the duty of their elected representatives to listen — and not just over the telephone.

Which brings me to Oklahoma’s District 2 representative, Dan Boren, D-Muskogee. He has adopted a plan that ensures he doesn’t have to face a room full of worked-up constituents who might not play nice. Here is Boren’s plan:

“Due to a large amount of interest in town hall meetings, (the) Congressman will be hosting a full series of telephone town halls starting just as Congress reconvenes in September. Telephone town halls are a new service that will allow Congressman Boren to reach even more people throughout the 25 counties of the Second District. They also are a very effective and efficient use of office resources. The first one is scheduled for September 8, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. and there will be three more to follow so check back often for added dates/times. Phone: 202-225-2701”

I read that as “no way am I getting in a shouting match.” Let me see, if he holds telephone town meetings he can hear from more people than if he were to take the time to come to a town like, oh I don’t know, McAlester, and face the music.

When this newspaper tried to talk to Boren about the telephone town hall (a colossal misnomer since there is no town and certainly no hall involved), the best we could do was a spokesperson who said Boren’s telephone town halls — in which constituents are being asked to participate in what amounts to a huge conference telephone call — are set to begin when Congress reconvenes in September after the current recess.

As to Boren’s whereabouts, the spokesman said, “he’s traveling.”

How convenient.

Too bad he’s not traveling his district holding town hall meetings.

I think Boren should buck it up, meet his constituents face-to-face, shout back if he has to, show the courage of his convictions and hold some town hall meetings. Come on congressman, this is America and you’re an elected representative of the people. Meet these people face to face and hear them out. You are a match for any of these shouters and you could use the power of your ideas to overcome doubt and misinformation.

Matt Lane is the editor of the McAlester News-Capital. Send him hate mail or encouragement to: Editor, P.O. Box 987, McAlester, OK, 74501. Call him at 421-2022 or send an e-mail to

UPDATE: Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, has scheduled a town hall meeting in McAlester for Tuesday, 8 a.m. at The Meeting Place. The announcement came after this column had gone to press. Check back for more details on the town hall meetings.
Very good.

Sen. Coburn to Hold Area Town Halls Today

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D., will be holding several town halls meetings today in the Muskogee/east-centrak Oklahoma area. The times and locations are list below.

Muskogee Town Hall

Thursday, August 13, 2009
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
NSU-Muskogee Auditorium
2400 W Shawnee
Muskogee, OK 74401

Sallisaw Town Hall
Thursday, August 13, 2009
2:30 PM-3:30 PM
Carl Albert State College (Sallisaw Campus)
Stites Multipurpose Room
1601 S. Opdyke
Sallisaw, OK 74955

Webbers Falls/Gore Town Hall
Thursday, August 13, 2009
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
First Baptist Church - Fellowship Hall
120 McCorkle street
Webbers Falls, OK 74470

See you at the Muskogee town hall!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sen. Coburn to host Town Halls

From the Doctor's/Senator's office:
Dr. Coburn to Host Town Hall Meetings across Oklahoma
August 6, 2009

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. will be holding a series of town hall meetings in Oklahoma throughout August. Dr. Coburn will take questions and address important issues for Oklahoma and the nation at each event.

“I encourage everyone to attend and participate in these town halls. These settings provide not only a chance for Oklahomans to hear my views on current events but also gives me the opportunity to hear directly from the people who I am representing in Washington,” said Dr. Coburn.

Muskogee Town Hall
Thursday, August 13, 2009
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
NSU-Muskogee Auditorium
2400 W Shawnee
Muskogee, OK 74401

Sallisaw Town Hall
Thursday, August 13, 2009
2:30 PM-3:30 PM
Carl Albert State College (Sallisaw Campus)
Stites Multipurpose Room
1601 S. Opdyke
Sallisaw, OK 74955

Webbers Falls/Gore Town Hall
Thursday, August 13, 2009
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
First Baptist Church - Fellowship Hall
120 McCorkle street
Webbers Falls, OK 74470

Broken Arrow Town Hall
Friday, August 14, 2009
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
The Main Place
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S. Main Street
Broken Arrow, OK 74012

Jenks Town Hall
Friday, August 14, 2009
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Jenks City Hall
211 North Elm
Jenks, OK 74037

Bristow Town Hall
Thursday, August 20, 2009
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Bristow City Hall
Bristow Court Room
110 W 7th Ave.
Bristow, OK 74010

Bartlesville Town Hall
Thursday, August 20th 2009
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Bartlesville Community Center
Community Hall
300 SE Adams
Bartlesville, OK 74003

Downtown Oklahoma City
Monday, August 24, 2009
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Chase Bank building lobby
100 North Broadway, NW Corner of Main and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Del City Community Center
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
4:00 PM -5:00 PM
Del City Community Center - Main Community Hall
4505 SE 15th

Del City, OK 73115

[emphasis mine]
Here's one elected official in Oklahoma who isn't afraid to meet his constituents.

Ken Miller Pulls out of Speaker Race

State Rep. Ken Miller (R, Edmond), chairman of the Appropriations and Budget Committee, has pulled out of the race for Speaker-designate (the precursor to becoming Speaker for the next term). The only candidate now is State Rep. Kris Steele (R, Shawnee), the current Speaker Pro-Tempore.

Miller made his announcement first in an email to the Republican caucus, where he said:
"After much thought and positive conversations with Kris over the weekend, I have decided to not seek the position of speaker-designate and support Kris in his efforts to become the next Speaker of the House. Later today, he and I will be releasing a joint statement on our shared goal of moving our state and caucus forward. I am honored to have been a part of the conversation concerning future House leadership and appreciative of the encouragement I received. I look forward to working closely with Kris and each of you to advance our state and majority."
This afternoon, Steele and Miller released the following statement:

Miller Endorses Steele for House Speaker

OKLAHOMA CITY (August 10, 2009)—House Appropriations and Budget Chairman Ken Miller announced today his support for Representative Kris Steele to be Oklahoma ’s next Speaker of the House.

"After having positive and substantive discussions over the weekend, I am pleased to announce my support of Representative Steele in his efforts to become the next Speaker of the House,” said Miller, R-Edmond.

“While I am honored to have been a part of the conversation concerning future House leadership, I do not plan to seek the position of speaker-designate in the fall and look forward to working closely with Rep. Steele to move our state forward," he said.

With no other House Republicans expressing interest in the position, Steele is likely to become the next Speaker of the House.

“Representative Ken Miller is a valuable member and a talented legislator. I’m honored and pleased to have his support and look forward to working together with him to grow our economy and tackle the important issues facing our state,” said Steele, who is currently the speaker pro-tempore of the House.

“The dialogue that Representative Miller and I have had will move the Republican caucus forward more unified than ever and that’s a tribute to his leadership,” said Steele, R-Shawnee.

Speaker Chris Benge, who is term limited and cannot seek re-election, praised Steele and Miller as strong leaders and said House Republicans will be in capable hands.

“This has been a very positive process and it demonstrates that Republicans have the ability to govern while smoothly transitioning leadership,” said Benge, R-Tulsa.

“I look forward to working with both of these leaders of our caucus as we enter next session and continue the pro-growth policies that have improved Oklahoma so much over the past few years.”

Though Benge remains Speaker of the House through November of 2010, Republicans will formally vote on Benge’s replacement this October. The winner will receive the title of “Speaker-Designate” and stand before the entire House for election as Speaker in November of 2010.

Miller's move was a little unexpected, even though most insiders have said for some time that Miller would not be able to beat Steele. This came after Miller waged a somewhat negative campaign in the caucus.

Miller was the establishment candidate, and this defeat strikes a blow at the grip political consultants and other party insiders have had on the State House for several years, particularly under the tenure of Speaker Lance Cargill and Speaker Chris Benge.

Candidate Dan Arnett to Host Town Halls

The following is a press release from Republican Congressional Candidate Dan Arnett.
Dan Arnett to Host a Series of Town Halls in August

The Second District’s representative, Dan Boren, will not be having any face-to-face forums to meet with his constituents during the August recess. In response, Dan Arnett will host a series of town halls across the Second District to allow Oklahomans to express their views on the topics of the day in the upcoming week. These town halls will be open to all Oklahomans, whether Democrat or Republican. The gatherings will all take place outside of Dan Boren’s Oklahoma offices across the state. Dan Arnett, 25 from Henryetta, is a candidate for congress and will be at these town halls to answer questions about his campaign. Says Arnett, “Mr. Boren is more than welcome to attend these town halls I have set up… it will save us postage when we do not have to mail the questions his constituents ask him.”

August 15 at 9:30am in McAlester (118 East Carl Albert Parkway)

August 15 at 3pm in Durant (112 N. 12th Avenue)

August 17 at 11:30am in Muskogee (431 W. Broadway)

August 17 at 5:30pm in Claremore (309 W. 1st Street)

Arnett is not the only candidate who has decided to hold town hall meetings - Howard Houchen has planned two town halls as well. (UPDATE: Houchen says he will hold town hall meetings in Choctaw County on August 21st, and Bryan and Pushmataha Counties on August 22nd)

Stay tuned to the Muskogee Politico for the latest developments in the 2010 Second District race.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Conservative View: Road to the Poor House

The following is a weekly column written by Russell Turner, a Republican county commissioner from Adair County.

The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Road To The Poor House

Being from Oklahoma I have a strong admiration of one of our most famous philosophers, Will Rogers. During his life he also experienced an economic upheaval early in the 20th century. We Americans would do well to read some of the observations of the people that lived through the great depression. While technology has increased, human emotions and drives remain the same as they did all of those years ago. I once heard a quote by Will Rogers that went something like this, ” Americans are the only group of people in the world that ever went to the poor house in a new automobile”.

Over the past week there has been a feeding frenzy over the CASH FOR CLUNKERS promotion for buying a new car. Maybe I am wrong, but I feel that the reason our country is in the financial trouble it is in today is because we Americans have a bad habit of spending more than we can afford. Many people have the goal of having a new car, while that is ok we need to remember an auto is just a tool to get us to work and do the errands we have to do. I was raised not to waste things like food, money, equipment etc. Whenever I see someone pouring a liquid into a perfectly good auto and destroying an engine, it seems like such a waste to me. Some of these so-called clunkers may not get as good gas mileage as some of the newer cars, but they could serve the needs of many people who cannot afford to buy a new car. We Americans far too often are ready to fall for a deal that is too good to pass up. This whole scheme is supposed to help pull the American auto industry out of a slump, but from the numbers I have seen the majority of the new cars being bought are foreign imports.

Instead of getting more American manufactured autos on the road we will be having less. The cash for clunkers promotion will only give a short term boost, the only true solution is for government to get out of the way and allow American ingenuity and innovation to solve the problem and build the cars that the American public want instead of what some government bureaucrat thinks they need. I guess until then we will be on the road to the poor house.

If you want to contact Russell, or wish to subscribe to his email list, click here.

Call Dan Boren

Call Congressman Dan Boren's congressional offices and demand that he hold town hall meetings in his district during the congressional recess in August.

Washington, D.C. office
(202) 225-2701
(202) 225-3038 fax

Muskogee office
(918) 687-2533
(918) 686-0128 fax

Claremore office
(918) 341-9336
(918) 342-4806 fax

McAlester office

(918) 423-5951
(918) 423-1940 fax

Durant office

(580) 931-0333
(580) 920-0041 fax

Dan Boren should have the political courage to meet with his constituents, and not hide during the August recess. Perhaps he realizes that he is not representing his constituents, and does not want to be held responsible.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Pro-Growth Cities

In tough economic times like today, it is important that cities encourage continued business growth. It can be difficult to achieve this, but one way is to avoid passing new ordinances that make it harder for businesses to expand.

I live in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The recession took a while to hit our area, but the inevitable has occurred. As is the case across the nation, growth has slowed, and jobs have been lost. One would think that the city leaders would be doing everything they could to reverse that trend, and they are to a degree, but you would be surprised at some of the things city leaders can overlook.

For example, in January of this year, the city council passed an ordinance effectively banning metal buildings from being built, unless the metal facade was covered in brick or some other material (or unless the structure is built in areas zoned agricultural, industrial, or for mobile homes).

Most metal buildings are constructed by businesses for one simple reason: they are relatively cheap to build. A metal building is significantly lower in cost and faster in build time than conventional construction.

One of the main reasons for this is that metal buildings are not very pretty. What is forgotten is that today's metal structures can be accessorized with various forms of facades or wainscots (which should be left up to the owner, not forced on them by government). Muskogee's leaders have, in recent years, been a little obsessed with making the town look nice, to the detriment of existing business. Another example of this was the portable sign ban ordinance that was struck down by the courts a few years back. And for another instance, see my post from June, when a rezoning request from a small businessman was denied.

In the midst of economic turmoil not seen in decades, municipal leaders in my town are more concerned about how the city looks than about economic growth. A town can look as nice as possible, but still be dead economically.

The council recently pushed for, and the voters passed, a sales tax increase (which mainly dealt with infrastructure improvements, with a bit of "pork", if you will). As a result, a businessman friend of mine now has his orders shipped to his property in the country, which saves him a lot of money since it is located outside the city limits.

Just a few miles to the east, the small town of Fort Gibson takes a different perspective. Fort Gibson does not charge some construction-related fees that most cities do. The town has had substantial growth for several years, which might not be a total coincidence.

Cities would do well to enact pro-growth measures, and eliminate hurdles to growing business in their town, especially when dealing with small business. In a time of recession, this is not an option - it's a must.

Cross-posted at Cities of Vision - a think tank for cities.

A Blogging Milestone: One Year on the Web

On July 31st, this blog reached another milestone - one full year in existence. I've just been so busy that I didn't realize it until today!

From its inception on July 31st, 2008, this blog has had over 7700 hits, 187 comments, and such a wide variety of topics covered that it would bore you for me to list them all.

Thank you for reading my blog, and I look forward to another great year of discussing things with you on the Muskogee Politico!


Jamison Faught
The Muskogee Politico Blogmaster

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Activist: Boren Must Hold Town Halls

The following is a letter from Bobbie McAuliffe, a grassroots activist from Poteau.
The U.S. House of Representatives schedule says the period from August 3 to September 4 of this year is the Summer District Work Period for our Congresspeople.

This is the time when interested people in the legislative districts look forward to face to face meetings with those elected to serve us.

Many of us who have attempted to find out when our chosen one will be in our area during the recess have been told he will not be holding town hall meetings this year. My question of “Why not?” has not been answered.

Dan Boren should be reminded who he works for and that we deserve a progress report from him.

It is not unreasonable for us to expect him to hold 2 meetings a week in the district during this period, is it?

If you agree with me please do not just nod your head in agreement and say something like “I am glad you are doing this.” I am one voice. It will take many voices to turn his elitist thinking around and schedule some open meetings.

Probably the best way for us to get a message to him would be through one of his offices in the district. McAlester office: (918) 423-5951, Muskogee office: (918) 687-2533, Claremore office: (918) 341-9336, Durant office: (580) 931-0333

Bobbie McAuliffe

I agree; Boren needs to grow a backbone, and face his constituents. He should be representing their interests anyway. By not holding town hall meetings in his district during the August recess, he is practically admitting that he only cares about the people around election time.

On a side note, if any of my readers want to submit a letter or article, I would be happy to consider posting it. If any candidates or local party organizations have an event, I would also be more than happy to help publicize the event.

Gun Owners of America event with Sen. Coburn

The following is from the Gun Owners of America.
An Evening with Senator Tom Coburn

Hosted by:

Gun Owners of America

You are cordially invited to the presentation of the

“Gun Owners of America
Friend of the Second Amendment Award”

Presented to
Pro-gun Senator Tom Coburn
The Honorable Tom Coburn, M.D.
United States Senator

Date: August 14, 2009

Time: Reception 6:30 pm, Dinner 7:30 pm

Where: Southern Hills Marriott, 1902 East 71st, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136

Cost: $75.00 per person, $135.00 per couple
Please RSVP by August 1st*
(Business attire)
Visit to register online

Dear Friend of the Second Amendment,

Gun Owners of America would like to invite you to join us in Tulsa for a dinner and award presentation to the U.S. Senate’s leading Second Amendment defender.

On August 14, 2009, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn will receive a “Friend of the Second Amendment Award” in appreciation for the tremendous amount of work that he has done to defend our Constitutional liberties.

Along with receiving this prestigious award, Senator Coburn will speak about what is going on in Congress concerning your gun rights, and what gun owners can expect in the coming months from the Obama Administration and the anti-gun congressional leadership.

Senator Coburn is the most effective pro-gun leader in the Senate, standing up for the rights of gun owners across the United States. This year Senator Coburn led, and won, the fight to repeal the National Parks Service gun ban. Senator Coburn believes, like you do, that Americans should not be forced to sacrifice their Second Amendment rights when entering National Parks.

Senator Coburn is also on the front line of other battles in Congress, including efforts to protect the Second Amendment rights of veterans, repeal the gun ban in the District of Columbia, and to block anti-gun bills like a new semi-auto ban and legislation that would close down gun shows.

Senator Coburn has earned the “Friend of the Second Amendment Award” for his leadership in the Senate and for his willingness to stand up against those who work to take away our Constitutional freedoms.

In addition to Senator Coburn’s address to gun owners, you will enjoy a fabulous meal, entertainment, and many raffle items — including several firearms, free range time, a Life Membership to Gun Owners of America, and more.

You will not want to miss this exciting opportunity to hear Senator Coburn’s insights into what is happening behind the scenes in Congress, while at the same time supporting Gun Owners of America —“the only no compromise gun lobby in Washington.”

At a time when strong conservative leadership is scarce, it is crucial to show our support of those who are protecting our right to keep and bear arms. We hope to see you in Tulsa.


Tim Macy
Vice Chairman


Cost: $75.00 per person, $135.00 per couple

Visit to register and for more information

You can also RSVP by phone at (703) 321-8585

*RSVP by August 1st and be automatically entered into a drawing to receive $100 in free raffle tickets!

White House Wants Your Help: Report ObamaCare Misinformation

The White House has issued a plea for help. Yes, Uncle Sam wants YOU to report "misinformation" regarding the President's health care reform plan.

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to
I decided to help them.

I reported and for misinformation. You can, too!

I'll make it easy - just one simple click, and it will all be filled out for you. Click here to send your email to the White House.