Saturday, July 24, 2010

RJ Harris Responds to OkiePundit Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


RJ Harris

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

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

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


  1. This is a classy response by RJ Harris.

    OkiePundit and Muskogee Politico should be embarrassed to have even printed the garbage in the first place. Wonder where their dis-information came from?

  2. Had no idea R.J. You really are a class act.Good luck tuesday. Cav rules

  3. Anonymous: we were the first (and perhaps only) blog to run RJ's response to OkiePundit's allegations.

  4. The dis-information is what's printed here, as today's posts by OkiePundit clearly show. Harris has been misleading voters about Cole's record throughout the campaign -- see his most recent assertion that Cole, who has a 100% approval rating from the National Right to Life Committee, is "pro-choice" -- and misleading his own voters about the veracity of Persistence Polling's numbers, to say nothing of his own background. Muskogee Politico should be ashamed for posting in its entirety this factually-lacking rebuttal to a set of charges that actually HAVE a factual base...while only linking to the truth.


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