Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Conservative View: Word Games and Your Money

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner and conservative activist Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Word Games and Your Money

I have heard it said that nothing will get your attention faster than someone getting into your pocketbook. In the case of our state legislature, any time that they start funding more programs it is of special interest to me. Our citizens who are on the receiving end of those programs fail to understand that the money our legislators are spending can only come from one source, that source is the taxpayers of the state of Oklahoma. Several years ago the voters of Oklahoma voted yes on State Question 640, it was meant to slow down the ever increasing taxes that could be imposed upon the citizens of Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Constitution states that revenue-raising measures cannot be passed in the final five days of the legislative session and that tax increases must receive three-fourths support in both the House and Senate or be sent to a vote of the people. Since the passage of SQ 640, the State Legislature has routinely passed user fees instead of taxes upon the citizens to supposedly get around SQ 640. In the final days of the last legislative session, HB 2347 was passed which would have levied a 1-percent tax on insurance payments, increasing the cost of health care for working families by $78 million per year. Fortunately the bill was challenged in court saying it was enacted unconstitutionally. House Bill 2437 was approved in the final week of session and did not receive the support of a supermajority in either chamber of the Legislature. The Supreme Court’s decision ruled that the provider fee is in fact a tax and issued an order blocking enforcement of the health care tax. State Rep. Mike Ritze, one of only two doctors serving in the Oklahoma Legislature, was quoted as saying, “House Bill 2437 would have added to the already heavy tax burden facing Oklahoma citizens, we need to reduce taxes on Oklahomans, not increase them, and calling a tax a ‘fee’ does not make it easier for the taxpayers.”

Anyone who tells you that getting involved in politics does no good needs to take a good look at the effects that SQ 640 had on our state. I, and people from all parts of the state, took of our time and carried petitions to get SQ 640 on the ballot in the first place; one percent doesn’t seem like much, but without SQ 640 Oklahomans would have had 78 million dollars less every year and that is one word game we all can understand. 

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net

Friday, August 27, 2010

Live Tweets from Coburn's Muskogee Town Hall

I'll be attending Senator Tom Coburn's town hall here in Muskogee (at the Civic Center), and will be tweeting from the event. Follow below.

** Well, at least I'm trying to get it to where you can watch here in this post. Otherwise, follow on my Twitter account.

Mitt Romney Endorses Oklahoma Republican Candidates

Former Massachusetts Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his Oklahoma endorsements today:
RELEASE: Mitt Romney Announces Oklahoma Endorsements

    Today, Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC announced the endorsement of the following six Oklahoma candidates and said it is committing a total of $10,500 in support to their campaigns:

    Congresswoman Mary Fallin: Congresswoman Mary Fallin currently represents Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District and is now running to become Oklahoma’s next Governor. For more information about her and her campaign, visit www.maryfallin.org.

    State Senator Todd Lamb: Todd Lamb currently serves as an Oklahoma state senator and is now running to become Oklahoma’s next Lieutenant Governor. For more information about him and his campaign, visit www.votetoddlamb.com.

    Congressman Tom Cole: Congressman Tom Cole currently represents the 4th Congressional District of Oklahoma and is running for reelection. For more information about him and his campaign, visit www.tomcoleforcongress.com.

    Congressman Frank Lucas: Congressman Frank Lucas currently represents the 3rd Congressional District of Oklahoma and is running for reelection. For more information about him and his campaign, visit www.frankdlucas.com.

    Congressman John Sullivan: Congressman John Sullivan currently represents the 1st Congressional District of Oklahoma and is running for reelection. For more information about him and his campaign, visit www.johnsullivanforcongress.com.

    James Lankford: James Lankford served as the director of a Christian youth camp for over a decade, and is now running to represent the 5th Congressional District of Oklahoma. For more information about him and his campaign, visit www.jameslankford.com.

    The PAC also announced that it is sending the Congressional campaigns of Cole, Lucas, Sullivan, and Lankford each a $2,500 contribution, and that it has already sent Fallin and Lamb each a $250 contribution toward their respective campaigns

     “Oklahoma – and our nation – deserves leaders who will focus on enacting pro-growth policies that will put people back to work. Too many of our elected officials are instead more interested in growing the size of government, and that is why it is more critical than ever that we elect leaders who will make the tough decisions necessary to turn our struggling economy around,” said Romney

    These endorsements are another in a series of state rollouts of the PAC’s 2010 endorsements, which are aimed at electing conservative candidates who will work to lower taxes and spending, restore commonsense principles to healthcare and get our economy moving again. As part of this program, Romney’s PAC also has announced endorsements in Ohio, Missouri, California, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Nevada, Illinois, Georgia, Texas, Indiana, Idaho, New Mexico, Virginia, Florida, North Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Maine, South Dakota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Wyoming, Colorado, and Michigan.

Fashionably late, I might add, as the last primaries were decided in Tuesday's runoff... and I guess they did not realize that Congressman Tom Cole has no November opponent.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

And they wonder why the RNC is seen as out-of-touch?

Ken Mehlman, the campaign manager for George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee chairman from 2005-2007, publicly said yesterday that he is a homosexual.

Current RNC chairman Michael Steele had this to say: "I am happy for Ken. His announcement, often a very difficult decision which is only compounded when done on the public stage, reaffirms for me why we are friends and why I respect him personally and professionally."

And they wonder why the RNC is generally perceived as out of touch with mainstream Americans and Republicans by the grassroots conservatives that make up the GOP...

For reference, here is what the 2008 RNC Platform has to say about marriage:
Preserving Traditional Marriage

Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.

Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married. The two-parent family still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character. Children in homes without fathers are more likely to commit a crime, drop out of school, become violent, become teen parents, use illegal drugs, become mired in poverty, or have emotional or behavioral problems. We support the courageous efforts of single-parent families to provide a stable home for their children. Children are our nation’s most precious resource. We also salute and support the efforts of foster and adoptive families.

Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex “marriages” licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California. We also encourage states to review their marriage and divorce laws in order to strengthen marriage.

As the family is our basic unit of society, we oppose initiatives to erode parental rights. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fired: State Rep. John Auffet (D-Stillwell)

Democrat Runoff, State House District 86
State Rep. John Auffet - 1,998 (47.44%)
William T. Will Fourkiller - 2,214 (52.56%)

Auffet becomes the first sitting legislator to lose a re-election bid this cycle - and the only one who will have lost to a fellow party member.

Runoff Primary Election Results

The polls have officially closed - results are coming. I'll post the results for the major runoffs.

Insurance Commissioner - 2219 (100%) of 2219 precincts
  • John Crawford:  35294 (29.45%)
  • John Doak: 84570 (70.55%) - winner

2nd Congressional District - 570 (100%) of 570 precincts
  • Daniel Edmonds: 3644 (32.73%)
  • Charles Thompson: 7489 (67.27%) - winner

5th Congressional District - 324 (100%) of 324 precincts
  • Kevin Calvey: 15899 (34.78%)
  • James Lankford: 29814 (67.27%) - winner

The State Election Board is posting results here for these and other runoffs.

Inhofe: McCain's a Liberal, Gets Elected Because of Earmark Opposition

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) spoke at a Tulsa Metro Chamber breakfast this morning, and labeled U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a closet liberal who gets elected merely because he opposes earmarks. No word if he said the same thing about U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who is even more rabidly anti-earmark/pork-spending than McCain.

Ironically, both Inhofe and and McCain's opponent - former Congressman J.D. Hayworth - are both well known for being earmark defenders.

Don't come between a Senator or Congressman and his earmarks...

Vote: Runoff Primary Election

Don't forget to vote! The runoff election is today! While the ballot won't be as full as it was on July 27th, it is still very important that you go vote.

Here are the major races that will be decided today, in addition to numerous lower offices:

The 2nd Congressional District GOP race has come down to two men - Charles Thompson and Daniel Edmonds. The winner will go up against incumbent Democrat Congressman Dan Boren. If you're still undecided in this race, read this post. I endorsed, and recommend voting for, Daniel Edmonds.

The 5th Congressional District GOP race is between James Lankford and Kevin Calvey. The winner here will run against a Democrat and two Independents, although the GOP nominee is heavily favored to win in this district. If you're still undecided, read this post. I endorsed, and recommend voting for, James Lankford.

The race on the GOP side for Insurance Commissioner is now between John Crawford and John Doak. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Commissioner Kim Holland. This is a state-wide office, so all Republicans are eligible to vote in this race, at the very least. I endorsed, and recommend voting for, John Doak.

Don't forget to vote!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Conservative View: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner and conservative activist Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

All of us, at one time or another, has heard the nursery rhyme about the woman who looked into the magic mirror and asked who was the fairest of them all. We Americans have gotten into a bad habit of patting ourselves on the back and have cultured the belief that we can forget our founding principles and still expect to be the most prosperous nation that the world has ever seen. We Americans love to gripe and moan about how corrupt our government has become, but we fail to link our behavior to those of our elected officials.

How blind we are to the fact that our elected officials and our government are merely a reflection of how we the citizens conduct ourselves. Our forefathers were people who had pride in their ability to be self reliant and self sufficient. Today we have a host of politicians who promise anything and everything to bribe the voters to elect them into office. I can remember a time when it was an insult to someone if there was a suggestion that they should ask for a government handout. Today too many people are only concerned that they get their share. We Americans have been infected by a disease called entitlement. Even those who contribute nothing to our society have been conditioned to believe that they should get their “fair share” and they don’t care that someone else has done the work necessary to earn the things they want a part of.

We have allowed ourselves to be manipulated into believing that someone is greedy who wants to keep what they have earned. We have allowed ourselves to believe in class envy and to covet the possessions of the ones who worked for them. Whether we want to admit it or not, we have been trained like a dog performing for its supper. Far too many Americans look at the political candidates and ask what they can do for them today. We sit back like a puppy waiting for the next doggy treat. It is a fact that we all have to survive, but we Americans have degraded ourselves into a people that lack the vision to remain a great nation.

Before we label someone as greedy, remember that the true greedy person is the one who does not contribute but wants a share of someone else’s labor. During this election season we need to reflect upon what we have become, the next time we look into the mirror we may not like what we see.  

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Charles Thompson's Campaign Finance Report Problems

2nd District Congressional Candidate Charles Thompson (R-Hulbert) has filed ethics reports with the Federal Election Commission that are, quite frankly, very flawed. As Thompson is one of two Republican candidates in a runoff, this information is important for potential voters to be aware of.

Just to be up-front, I have endorsed his opponent (Daniel Edmonds), but as I have done in the past, I will point things out regardless of whether I support the candidate or not.

Bear with me as we go through Thompson's latest report.

Thompson reports here that he received $10,179.73 between July 8th and August 4th, and spent $2,286.83 in the same period. Here, he also shows that he ended the period with $13,040.34 (later on, he shows that he began the period with $4,329 on hand).

But, do those figures stay the same through the rest of the report?

Moving on to Thompson's expenditures. In Line 17 of the report, he shows that he spent $2,286.83 in "operating expenditures".

However, in Line 22, which adds up all the disbursements (Lines 17, 18, 19(c), 20(d), and 21 added together), the total figure for disbursements is $1,468.39 - $818.44 or about 35% off of the original figure in this report.

It gets even worse.

The itemized expenses only add up to $1,241.56, and $1,030 of that is "in-kind" (in-kind contributions must be reported as both receipts and disbursements). I know this figure to be false, because Thompson had his primary night watch party at the Three Forks River Center in Muskogee, and the rent for the facility was at least $340, and $100 had to be paid up front. If the rent was not paid by the campaign, it had to have been reported as an in-kind contribution by whomever paid for the building.

In addition, his mailing (that included an implied, and untrue, endorsement by Sen. Coburn) never showed up on his report, either for the printing costs or for the postage.

Thompson states that he began the period with a cash on hand of $4,329, had receipts of $10,179.73, expenses of [a disputed] $1,468.39, and ended with $13,040.34.

However,  at the close of the last report, he showed that he ended with a different sum. Let's take a look at that report.

In this report, it clearly shows that the Thompson campaign ended with a cash on hand balance of $621.78, not the $4,329 (an amount seven times higher!) that he showed as the beginning balance in the current report!

This is not the first time Thompson has had problems with his campaign finance reports. In fact, earlier in the campaign, he showed that he accepted an illegal contribution. That resulted in him canning his treasurer, but his reports have never shown that he rectified the mistake.

This is not the only reason Charles Thompson is not the right choice for Congress in the Republican runoff, but it is the most recent. Neither Daniel Edmonds nor the past GOP candidates had campaign finance problems like Thompson has (Edmonds' reports have been flawless - crossed every 't' and dotted every 'i'), and neither does Democrat Congressman Dan Boren (who has hundreds of times the volume of donations/expenses).

If Charles Thompson can't keep track of his campaign account (among other personal fiscal issues), how much more can he manage a multi-million dollar congressional office budget, or the federal budget?

UPDATE: I contacted the Thompson campaign for their explanation of these discrepancies, and they declined to issue a statement.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Former GOP Candidate Houchen to Host TV Show

From former 2nd Congressional District Republican candidate, Howard Houchen:
Former U.S. Congressional Candidate Howard Houchen Set To Host Political Talk Show

(Paris, Texas) 20 August 2010 – As the lights started go out on Howard Houchen's bid for U.S. Congress the lights were coming up on the set of Mr. Houchen's new conservative political television show, The Road To Liberty. Venture Studios producer James Wyatt approached Mr. Houchen late in his campaign for Oklahoma's 2nd District Congressional seat about the idea of hosting a conservative political talk show. Wyatt said, "I saw Howard had a unique quality that resonated with audiences on the campaign trail. His style and personality was something that we at Venture felt would translate very well to television."

The thirty minute program, The Road To Liberty, is currently slated for thirteen episodes which has already begun filming at the Venture Studio's facility. Guests from across the country will be featured each week discussing the topics of primary interest to conservative Americans. The show will be set apart from other programs of this type by Mr. Houchen's demonstrated ability to relate the topics to everyday life and how government overstepping the bounds of our Founders' intent is quickly taking this country off the intended path desired by the majority of Americans.

Mr. Houchen stated, "I'm really excited about the opportunity to continue reaching out to hard-working American citizens about the principles of constitutional conservatism, the proper role of government, and the absolute necessity of ensuring We, the people, check and roll back the powers of the political-class over the working-class".  Houchen went on to say; "We are all Americans, it is our duty to protect and defend the rule book by which we are to govern ourselves...the U.S. Constitution.  To do anything less will lead to the demise of the greatest nation God ever blessed."

Plans for the program include an initial launch in North Texas in several markets served by various cable providers. Negotiations will be ongoing during production for broadcast rights in Texas and Oklahoma markets and with satellite program providers for distribution to over 76,000,000 homes across the U.S. Viewers will also be able to watch and interact with the program at the website www.newroadtoliberty.com.

During the primary campaign, numerous people remarked to me that Houchen was more suited for a talk show than he was for political office. It looks like those speculations came true.

Lankford Responds to Calvey's Attacks

5th District congressional candidate James Lankford responds to attack ads by his GOP runoff opponent, Kevin Calvey:

Mike McCarville covers pretty well some of Calvey's negative campaiging.

Calvey is desperate, and is showing that he will stop at nothing in order to get elected.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

OK Senate Dems try to explain GOP interest in Josh Brecheen/SD6 - bad poll numbers in SD42

The Oklahoma State Senate Democrats PAC issued the following press release today, after attention has been drawn to Senate District 6 and GOP candidate Josh Brecheen. Brecheen is running a stiff challenge to eight-year incumbent Jay Paul Gumm (D-Durant).

The Democrats reasoning for the GOP's new interest in Brecheen? Bad poll numbers in another district. Read below:

OK Senate Democrats PAC: What’s Sending Oklahoma Republicans on a Desperate “Fishing Expedition” in Southeast Oklahoma? Dismal Poll Numbers in Senate District 42

Oklahoma City – Recent polling out of Senate District 42 shows Sen. Cliff Aldridge’s re-election hopes are fading fast – which might explain why State Senate Republicans are suddenly interested in playing in Southeast Oklahoma.

“When Oklahoma State Senate Republican leadership and campaign operatives suddenly announced their interest in Josh Brecheen and Southeast Oklahoma, the question that immediately came to mind was ‘why’,” said Jody Murphy, Executive Director of the Oklahoma State Senate Democrat PAC.  “And by the looks of things, the only answer we can come up with is ‘desperation.’”

Poll numbers released today by the Oklahoma State Senate Democrat PAC from a late-May poll of likely November voters in Senate District 42 conducted by Myers Research Strategic Services indicate that two-term incumbent Sen. Cliff Aldridge’s re-election numbers are extremely weak:
  • Just 27% of voters polled would choose to re-elect Sen. Aldridge, while 33% would choose someone new;
  • Sen. Aldridge’s re-elect is even weak among voters in his base of registered Republicans – just  45% of registered Republicans say he deserves to be re-elected, while 19% say they would choose someone new;
  • For a two-term incumbent, Sen. Aldridge’s name recognition is dismal, with just 45% of likely voters able to identify him by name;
  • Finally, and most shockingly, just 26% of voters rated Aldridge favorably, while 12% gave him unfavorable personal reviews.
With poll numbers clearly painting Sen. Aldridge as vulnerable, State Senate Republicans and their campaign operatives may be more disappointed with Sen. Cliff Aldridge than they are enamored with Josh Brecheen and his long-shot campaign.

“If I was working with an incumbent with poll numbers as dismal as Sen. Aldridge’s, I might be interested in going on a desperate fishing expedition in Southeast Oklahoma too,” said Sen. Andrew Rice, incoming Senate Democratic leader and Chairman of the Oklahoma State Senate Democrats PAC.

This press release smacks of fear on the part of the Democrats - fear of losing SD6 to Josh Brecheen.

Brecheen held a fundraiser last night in Durant with U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. I was able to attend the event, and let me tell you, the Democrats have plenty to fear. Over 250 people were at a Republican fundraiser in Little Dixie, and probably 90% in attendance were local residents.

photos courtesy of Karen Kraakavik- www.reigninggracephotography.com

Sources close to the campaign state that, while they were still counting the funds raised, Brecheen has more than closed the fundraising gap with Gumm just from the money raised at the one event last night. According to the last ethics reports, which covered up until August 9th, Gumm had $73,297.09 in cash on hand, and Brecheen had $23,139.77.

Yes, if I were the Democrats and Jay Paul Gumm, I'd be going on a "desperate fishing expedition to Southeast Oklahoma"...

Iran's Nuclear Program - What Will Israel Do?

Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Plant

Russia will deliver nuclear fuel to Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Plant on Saturday, August 21st. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton has said that Israel has [now less than] "three days" to stop the Iranian reactor from going online.

Israel has bombed nuclear programs in the past, although Iran is much farther away than the previous operations were. If Israel does something about Bushehr, there will be serious consequences, including the great possibility of a retaliatory attack by Iran, perhaps also including attacks on American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 1981, the Israeli Air Force bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, crippling it. Iraq lost French help with their nuclear program shortly thereafter, and the Iraqi nuclear program was forced underground.

In 2007, Israel struck a secret Syrian nuclear reactor, which was built with North Korean help. Syria denied the attack, and the reactor, but satellite shows that they attempted to erase evidence of both at the site.

This brings me to another thought, dealing with North Korea. If Israel strikes at Iran's nuclear facilities, there will be great chaos in the region, perhaps all-out war. With the current turmoil between North and South Korea, what will North Korea do?

Only time will tell for both.

Will Huckabee Put Lankford Over the Top?

As the final week before the August 24th runoff begins, 5th Congressional District candidates James Lankford and Kevin Calvey are entering the final phase of campaigning. Calvey, long considered the favorite due to his money ties and previous ballot experience, came in a surprise second in the hotly contested July 27th primary election to James Lankford, an absolute political newcomer.

In addition to his fresh feel as an outsider, his skillful use of new media, personal approach, and enthusiastic campaign volunteers, Lankford's success thus far has also been affected by the strong support of Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, and 2008 GOP presidential candidate.

By any measurement, this is a close race. But, can Mike Huckabee and his nationwide grassroots army of HuckPAC volunteers put James Lankford over the top?

Beginning yesterday morning, online phone-banking HuckPAC volunteers have made several hundred phone calls into the 5th District, asking volunteers to vote for Lankford. These calls will continue through the rest of the election.

The narrow victory by Huckabee-endorsed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal on August 10th has been attributed by some to the last minute phone-banking done by HuckPAC volunteers. Deal defeated the Palin and Romney endorsed candidate by less than 2,500 votes.

James Lankford has a huge ally on his side; Huckabee's volunteer army has made an impact before in races like this. Will this runoff be another Huckabee/HuckPAC victory? We'll find out on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Huckabee Endorses John Doak for Insurance Commissioner

Former Arkansas Governor, 2008 GOP primary presidential candidate, and Fox News show host Mike Huckabee has endorsed John Doak for the GOP Insurance Commissioner runoff.
Huck PAC and I are proud to endorse John Doak for Insurance Commissioner of Oklahoma. John and I agree that Oklahoma needs true conservatives at all levels of government. John is ready to lead now – and will work to advocate for the common-sense solutions to insurance problems for the betterment of all in Oklahoma.

John is passionately pro-life, shares our social values and is opposed to federally mandated insurance – in fact, he’s the only candidate in this race who has joined a federal lawsuit against Obamacare. John is also leading the way against the 1% tax on health insurance claims paid in Oklahoma, a fight which will help bring businesses back to Oklahoma and make Oklahoma more business friendly.

Please join me in supporting John Doak for insurance commissioner for Oklahoma. 

The runoff election is on August 24th, and will be between John Doak and John Crawford. Since the primary, when Crawford eeked out a first place finish, Doak has racked up endorsements by GOP officials. This is the latest endorsement for Doak, and highest profile to date.

Video: Israel's Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has released a video entitled "Israel's Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace". This put into perspective for those of us in the West exactly what Israel faces from a security standpoint relating to their tiny size. Watch below.

JCPA has published a very informative security report here, which Arutz Sheva news has summarized in a great article here.

If you want to read an excellent book on the subject, I highly recommend current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 1993 book - A Place Among The Nations.

Monday, August 16, 2010

OKGOP Chair Pinnell to Obama: Come Campaign in Oklahoma

My Offer to Obama
by Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell

In a recent interview with The Hill, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said Democrats who do not run with Obama's agenda risk alienating their most energetic supporters.

“If you distance yourself from the president, you can pour cold water on the excitement about what he is doing,” said Kaine.

If Kaine feels so strongly that this state and country are headed in the right direction then I think Obama owes Oklahoma a visit to defend his agenda.

Jari Askins' campaign said last week that they wouldn't be inviting the President to Oklahoma, saying "This election is about Oklahoma and Oklahomans determining their future.”

I agree, this election is about Oklahoma, and when Oklahoma Democrat candidates stand with Obama on legislation that has serious consequences for our state--from mandated healthcare to immigration to cap and trade--then they should stand with Obama in Oklahoma and defend these policies.

I also agree that Oklahomans should be able to determine our own future. What Askins’ campaign and their slate of candidates don't get, however, is that we have a Democrat Administration and Congress that are unconcerned with states' rights. It's time to push back; our Republican candidates have proven they will, and that speaks volumes about the positive leadership they will provide if elected.

Mr. President, your colleagues in Oklahoma are just playing hard to get, they are big fans. The offer is officially on the table. It's not Spain, but weather is fantastic in late September. 

Washington Times: US Tax Dollars Building Middle East Mosques

In the midst of the debate over the "Ground Zero Mosque" in New York City, the Washington Times points out that the State Department has been funding the refurbishing and rebuilding of numerous Islamic mosques in the Middle East.

"Americans also may be surprised to learn that the United States has been an active participant in mosque construction projects overseas," says an editorial by the Times on last Tuesday.

Click here for the story.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Conservative View: Darkest Before Daybreak

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner and conservative activist Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Darkest Before Daybreak

I have been told that the night is the darkest just before daybreak; I feel that that analogy can be applied to the economic situation that our country is currently in. I keep hearing some bureaucrats from various governmental agencies claim that the worst of the economic crisis is behind us and all will be fine in a short period of time. I guess that we could be inspired by their optimism, but I have learned that the main difference between an optimist and a pessimist is the pessimist usually has more and better information.

There are some facts that we Americans need to take into account before we start letting our guard down. For a true economic recovery, only the private sector can create the wealth needed to bring our country out of the financial mess we are in. For those who think that the government is the answer, we need to remember where the government gets the money it spends. That money only comes from the taxpayers of this country. The so-called economic rebound since March 2009 was bought with unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus. There has not been a real, market-generated recovery. Even with all of the money that our government has thrust into the system through bailouts and stimulus, the recovery is still weak. We need to remember that at least 80 percent of this huge stimulus program has been used up. There isn't much left to keep the economic engines running.

For any economy to grow, the people must have enough faith to be willing to borrow money and take a risk in order to make money. Today it seems like the only borrowing going on is what our government is doing. Strong recoveries have always been driven by credit growth. The labor market has not recovered and thus consumer spending is also down. Even the housing market could experience more problems with mortgage debt defaults which would result in falling home prices.

We Americans seem to have forgotten that our economic system relies upon each of us to do all that we can for our own well being. Granted, government has a place, but it should only be used for as short a period of time as possible. If our government does not stop the practice of printing more currency and using it like monopoly money, our economic night will continue to grow darker and darker. 
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Offbeat" GOP Candidates? Let's Look at the Democrat Party, Too

Politico ran a story Thursday entitled Will its offbeat candidates hurt the GOP?. The article focused on candidates like Rand Paul (KY-Sen), Sharon Angle (NV-Sen), Linda McMahon (CT-Sen), and a few others.

I have a few candidates I'd like to point out to Politico that are Democrats, but first, a few words from Rush Limbaugh, who I thought had a great response to this on his radio show:
The Politico could run a list of the offbeat legislation the Democrats introduced every day in Congress like Rangel's constant efforts to reintroduce the draft.  Maxine Waters today blamed Bush for her ethics problems.  We got Fortney "Pete" Stark.  These are normal people, all of these wondrous Democrats.  But of course The Politico has to go out and find offbeats in the Republican Party.  This Burns guy gets one thing right.  "It’s almost impossible to imagine a group of nominees like this emerging in any other election cycle, and the willingness of primary voters to embrace such downright strange candidates underscores just how violently the 2010 electorate has turned against political institutions and the would-be officeholders who belong to them." He's exactly right.  We've gotten so odd that somebody who wants to reform Social Security is a political offbeat.  Somebody who wants to shore up Medicare and fix it a political offbeat.  Somebody who wants to fix the Department of Education is considered an offbeat candidate.  Somebody who wants to bring the budget in line is an offbeat, oddball, weirdo candidate.  Somebody who wants to end the crime and the fraud and the waste in government is an offbeat candidate.
And now for a few "offbeat" Democrat candidates, starting down in Florida.

Florida Democrats have two main candidates for U.S. Senate (Marco Rubio is the GOP candidate, and governor Charlie Crist is running as an Independent). Jeff Greene is a billionaire, who made most of his money in a questionable real estate venture in California. But, that's not his only problem.

In 2005, his 145-foot yacht dropped anchor right smack dab in the middle of Belize's protected barrier reef (designated by the UN as a "World Heritage Site"). Greene was slapped with a $1.87 million fine by the Belize government... but he's not been back to pay it, and in fact denies that the event ever occurred.

Let's move to Texas.

Kesha Rogers is the Democrat nominee for Congressional District 22. Rogers is best known for being a LaRouche candidate.

Kesha, like all LaRouchers, believes that President Obama is a puppet for the British Empire and their imperialist bankers. Mhmm.

Moving on...

No list of "offbeat" candidates would be complete without the infamous Alvin Greene. Greene is one of the most bizarre candidates who actually won a primary in this election cycle.

The candidate has had disastrous, blooper-reel interviews with the media, and to top off all his other mishaps, he was indicted on Friday on two charges - a misdemeanor for communicating obscene materials to a person without consent, and a felony for showing pornography to a teenage student in a South Carolina college computer lab.

And yes, this guy won the Democrat primary, over the candidacy of a longtime Democrat politician.

And last, but not least, Oklahoma's own Democrat U.S. Senate nominee - Jim Rogers.

Rogers is a perennial candidate who never campaigns. He wears the same old red campaign sweatshirt, with "Jim Rogers for U.S. Senate 20__" ironed on the back. I saw the man when he filed for U.S. Senate in 2008, and he had taped "08" to update the shirt from his previous run for office.

I didn't even go into all the high-ranking Democrat incumbents who are facing ethics investigations, either. Just a closing, interesting note - these four candidates that I highlighted only have two last names: Rogers and Greene.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Political Bullying Over Campaign Contributions: San Francisco and Target

Target Corporation, the large retail chain, is coming under fire for donating to a Minnesota business organization that is running ads supporting a conservative Republican for Minnesota governor. Specifically, pro-homosexual and pro-illegal immigrant groups are targeting the company for boycotts.

Target gave $150,000 to MN Forward - a pro-business organization devoted to electing pro-business candidates in Minnesota. MN Forward is running a television ad that supports Tom Emmer, Republican candidate for governor.

Homosexual supporters are mad because Emmer is "anti-gay" (in other words, he supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman - just like 65% of Minnesotans), and labor unions like SEIU are upset because Emmer is "anti-immigrant" (i.e. supports the Arizona immigration law, is against illegal immigration, and filed a bill to make English the official language of state government). This has led to those two groups, labor unions and homosexual "rights" supporters, to launch boycott movements against Target.

Additionally, it has led the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (essentially, the city council) to reconsider allowing Target to open two new stores in San Francisco, solely because of Target's contribution (two of the eleven Supervisors are homosexual).

Target has stated that their reasoning behind the donation to MN Forward was just based on economic issues - they are based out of Minnesota, and want a business friendly state government. However, that's not enough for San Francisco Supervisor and mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty (one of the two homosexuals on the board). "There was a lot of sentiment for people who wanted the stores to open, and this [MN Forward donation] clouds that. It's not only the cash. It's the ham-handed way the company tried to explain it away: 'We supported this person based on their position on economic issues.' Well, that's just not satisfactory."

So now, because one business exercised their right to political free speech, San Francisco government is discriminating against them.

It's a sad day when government will punish private companies and individuals for exercising their Constitutional rights.

Ironically, MN Forward is not supporting only Republican candidates - they have endorsed and are supporting through independent expenditures Emmer (Republican for governor), two Republicans for state house, one Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate for state house, one Republican for state senate, and two DFLers for state senate. That makes four Republicans, and three DFLers.

On another note, MN Forward is not the only group doing independent expenditures in the Minnesota governor's race. Labor unions are attacking Emmer and supporting the Democrat. FactCheck.org has a fantastic piece here, entitled Corporate-Labor Smackdown in Minnesota, detailing how MN Forward is running a factual ad supporting Emmer, and the labor unions are using misleading and false ads.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Speaker-Designate Steele Names Redistricting Steering Committee

From the State House Media office:

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 12, 2010) — House Speaker-Designate Kris Steele named a bipartisan Redistricting Steering Committee today that will help the House prepare for the redrawing of state and federal legislative lines following the 2010 census.

The eight members—who represent each area of the state—named to the committee include:
  • Rep. Dale DeWitt, R-Braman
  • Rep. John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow
  • Rep. Danny Morgan, D-Prague
  • Rep. Paul Roan, D-Tishomingo
  • Rep. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa
  • Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview
  • Rep. Randy McDaniel, R-Oklahoma City
  • Rep. Lisa Billy, R-Purcell
"We want to ensure that this process is bipartisan and fair as we construct appropriate districts to reflect the changing population of our state," said Steele, R-Shawnee. "I have complete faith that these members will put in the hard work necessary to ensure Oklahomans remain well-represented at the state Legislature and in Congress."

The committee’s first task will be to create guidelines for redistricting, which will serve as the framework as the lines are redrawn. The committee will examine the law governing redistricting and the process required, develop a timeline for the various tasks to be completed, establish guidelines, and will help communicate the plan of action with the public and other legislative colleagues.

Reps. DeWitt and Trebilcock will serve as the co-chairmen of the redistricting committee, and Reps. Morgan and Roan will serve as co-vice-chairmen.

"Redistricting is one of the most important issues we will deal with this next year," said Steele. "The expertise the members of this committee bring to this process will be invaluable as we move forward. They represent a good cross-section of the state and are politically and geographically diverse. I look forward to going to work as soon as possible as we seek to create fair and balanced districts that meet the criteria required by law."

It is expected that the U.S. Census Bureau data that will be used to redraw the lines will not be available until mid-March. Work on redrawing the House and Senate district lines must be completed by the end of the 2011 legislative session. New lines for Congressional and county offices should be completed before the 2012 elections.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

State Capitol Building in need of repairs

As the state Capitol building ages - it opened for occupancy 93 years ago  - it is increasingly showing wear and tear, to the point that extensive repairs will be needed in the next decade or so.

The Central Services Department, which maintains this and other state buildings, says that the plumbing, electrical, heat and air, and some of the exterior need major renovations.

The projected cost for the repairs is in the ballpark of $150 million. If approved, the project could take between three years, if the entire building was emptied of the current legislative and governmental offices, and six years, if the work was done with the building still occupied, in which case the cost upwards of $250 million.

For more on this story, read this article from the Daily Oklahoman.

Temporarily moving the legislature and other agencies and offices from the Capitol building would be a major, major headache. In the case of the legislature, suitable facilities would be needed for the State House and State Senate to meet in, with access for the public and to offices for the legislators.

As a friend said to me this morning, perhaps they could go to Guthrie (Oklahoma's capital, first as a territory and then as a state, from 1890-1910) during the repairs, and call it a "throwback" session, much like "throwback" games in sports.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Jonah Goldberg: Low Volt-age

 Jonah Goldberg, columnist

Low Volt-age
The Chevy Volt is a vanity car for the well-off, and the government is subsidizing it.

Let us compare the Volkswagen and the “Voltswagen.”

The original Volkswagen was intended as the “people’s car” (that’s what Volkswagen means). The idea of a cheap, safe, reliable car for the working man was popular before Adolf Hitler embraced it, but as a self-proclaimed man of the people, he made the idea his own. Whereas industrialists and aristocrats didn’t think the common man needed a car (“The people’s car is a bus” was their refrain), Hitler sided with one of his heroes, Henry Ford, arguing that everyone deserved his own ride. He ordered the German Labor Front, the union arm of the Nazi party, to start building a people’s car. When it looked like the car might be too expensive, the Labor Front created a savings program that promised a car for even the poorest workers.

At the 1934 Berlin Motor Show, Hitler proclaimed: “It is a bitter thought that millions of good and industrious people are excluded from the use of a means of transport that, especially on Sundays and holidays, could become for them a source of unknown joy.”

And then there’s the electric-gas hybrid Chevy Volt, a.k.a. the “Voltswagen.” At $41,000, about as much as the average American makes in a year, this is no people’s car. GM, owned by the government and the labor unions, is pitching it to affluent hipsters who don’t need a lot of space for a family. Deloitte Consulting says that the demand for such cars is from “young, very high income individuals” from households that make more than $200,000 a year, which is why the Volt will be rolled out in upscale, trendy urban markets. (Meanwhile the Chevy Cruze, the gas-only version of the Volt, has more room inside and is a mere $17,000.)

Because the Volt’s sticker price might be too high for even that crowd, the government is offering a federal subsidy of up to $7,500 (Californians have a state subsidy, too), which means that working-class people will be helping to pay for playthings for upper-income people.

“Like the EV1 that GM tried to peddle in the California market,” Kenneth Green, an environmental scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, says, “the Volt is a vanity car for the well-off that will be subsidized by less well-off taxpayers at all stages, from R&D to sales and to the construction of charging stations.”

Indeed, the Volt’s price is $41,000, but the cost is much higher. “Government Motors” is already selling the car at a loss. According to the blogger Doctor Zero, if you apply the subsidies that have gone directly into the car to just the first 10,000 vehicles, the cost is more like $81,000 per car.

Of course, electric-car boosters say this sort of thing is necessary to get the industry up and running. (Green responds: “Supporters claim that electric cars need subsidies because they’re still in their infancy. Electric cars have been around for over 100 years. That’s some infancy.”)

But would it be a good thing if we all switched to electric cars? The point is to reduce CO2 emissions, right? But in some regions, we get our electricity from CO2-spewing coal. The more electricity pulled from the grid, the more coal is burned, essentially replacing dirty oil with dirtier coal (which is why some coal backers see much promise in electric cars). Studies confirm that China — which is allegedly “beating us” in the race to a green economy — would produce vastly more greenhouse emissions if it switched to electric vehicles.

The expected response to that is that we need stuff like CO2-free windmills to generate electricity. Don’t get me started on the Volkspropeller.

Regardless, no matter how you crunch the numbers or the science, there’s no disputing that this is a political car, designed to meet the demands not of an economic market but of an ideological one, directed by the collusion of big business and big government. In this sense, the Volkswagen and the Voltswagen have a lot in common.

If the government weren’t taking taxpayer money and spending it on toys for upscale urban liberals (Obama’s strongest base of support outside of black voters and labor unions), there’d be no reason to care about the Volt. If rich people want to be “early adopters” and buy expensive gadgets that help them preen the plumage of their political sanctimony, that’s great. It’s not so great when the government gets involved in wealth redistribution, and it’s outrageous when it involves redistributing wealth upwards.

Jonah Goldberg can be reached at JonahsColumn@aol.com.

Crawford: Cox accidentally ran Inhofe endorsement ad

In a follow-up to our stories on July 22nd (BREAKING NEWS: Crawford Running 1998 Ad With Inhofe Endorsement and Inhofe: Crawford Ad "Inappropriate"; "Not Endorsing Crawford"), the John Crawford for Insurance Commissioner campaign has clarified the events behind the running of the ad.

According to Crawford, the ad (which first run in his 1998 re-election campaign) was mistakenly run by Cox Communications. Crawford had delivered two commercials to Cox - one to be run, and the other (with the Inhofe endorsement) for them to look at filming a similar one (but without the Inhofe section). A Cox employee inadvertently uploaded the wrong ad, which ran on television for a few days. Cox told the Crawford campaign that "this was [an] unintentional, human error."

Since then, the Crawford campaign has pulled the ad both from the airwaves, and from YouTube. The ad with the Inhofe endorsement had been posted on his website as well, but it no longer is on the internet.

While this may be the case, it does not explain why the Crawford campaign knowingly placed the ad on YouTube and on his website. A Cox employee might have mistakenly aired the wrong commercial, but they could not have edited his website. In addition, the ad was re-worked to include a "paid for by" disclaimer reflecting his 2010 account, so some work had to have been done on the ad before running it, and I find it hard to believe that Cox did not ask for approval on the re-worked edition.

Jett Endorsed James Lankford

5th District congressional candidate James Lankford picked up another endorsement today, from former opponent Shane Jett.
I have been honored to serve the families of Oklahoma House District 27 for six years. When I filed for Congress earlier this year, it was clear to me that many of the problems facing the nation today originated in our nation’s Capitol. Many issues that we face today as a state can only be resolved with effective leadership in Washington D.C. Throughout the race, Ana and I were honored with the support of so many great volunteers and to receive thousands of votes. We thank you for your trust and support!

On August 24th, voters have the opportunity to choose the republican nominee who will likely become our next U.S. Congressman. That day, Ana and I will be voting for James Lankford. Throughout the campaign and today, James has had only one interest in mind: to serve the residents of the 5th Congressional District.

James has been truthful about his work experience, transparent about his motivations and never misled anyone about his professional background. With James, what you see is what you get. His sincerity, honesty and candor gives me confidence to say unequivocally and emphatically that James Lankford is the best choice for this Republican run off on August 24th. For me and my family, it comes down to one fundamental ingredient: character and more to the point integrity. My wife, Ana, and I hope you join us in supporting James Lankford with your vote, your finances and your volunteer time. So don’t forget… Vote for James Lankford!

Lankford has also been endorsed by Mike Thompson and Rick Flanigan - both were unsuccessful candidates in the July 27th GOP primary. Lankford and Kevin Calvey are in a runoff, which will take place on August 24th.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Conservative View: Champagne Taste & Beer Pocket Book

This week's Conservative View, by outgoing Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell). [Russell recently lost his reelection bid in the Republican primary on July 27th]
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Champagne Taste & Beer Pocket Book

If you are like most people, whenever you open a phone bill you will be astonished by all of the fees that are tacked on the basic service of your bill. Many times the bill will increase 50 to 60% over what you thought you would have to pay. Government is always looking for some kind of fee to raise more revenue. It is a sad fact that we Americans can be the most gullible people on the earth. We listen to all of the absurd promises that some politician makes and never question where the funds will come from to finance the big promise. We Americans have a bad habit of wanting something and not wanting to pay for it. I was taught a long time ago that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Back when the current financial problems started, there were cries about the mess that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in. The main problem with those lending institutions was that the government was pressuring lenders to make loans to people that were buying more house than they could afford or were unable to pay back the loan in the first place. I recently read about a proposed fee that will affect all home buyers in this country.

The U.S. Treasury Department is considering a new mortgage fee to fund the backstops it gives for loans purchased through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Analysts say the fee may be up to 1.5 percent of the borrower's mortgage, which would be a big increase from the current 0.25 percent that both Fannie and Freddie currently charge mortgage borrowers. This 1.5% fee could be in addition to the current .25%. To put it into perspective, if you obtain a mortgage for $300,000 you could see an additional fee of up to $4,500 ... and the additional cost would just keep rising with the size of the loan. For any of you that thought the bailouts and stimulus spending didn’t cost anything, this new fee blows that conclusion away. 

Buying a house is not a lot different than buying a new car. The salesman will tell you that for just a little more you can have a better stereo, better upholstery, etc.  It is sad that we Americans often have a champagne taste on a beer pocket book. We Americans need to start living within our means and stop thinking that someone else will get us out of the jam that far too often we create ourselves. 

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Hiroshima, 65 Years Later

Today is the 65th anniversary of the first use of atomic weapons in warfare. On August 6th, 1945, the Enola Gay (piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets, Jr.) flew over Hiroshima, Japan, and dropped the atomic bomb "Little Boy" at about 8:15am local time.

The mushroom cloud as viewed from the Enola Gay

The explosion and aftermath is thought to have killed 100,000-150,000 people. Three days later, another nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, and six days after that, Japan surrendered to the Allies.

President Harry Truman decided to use the atomic weapons in hopes it would cause the Japanese to surrender, and prevent an Allied ground invasion of Japan (Operation Downfall). Casualty estimates for the proposed invasion ranged from half a million to a million American casualties, and several million Japanese casualties.

An interesting side note - about 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in advance of the preparations for invasion, in anticipation of mass American casualties. In 2003, there were still 120,000 medals left.

The mushroom cloud, as viewed from Hiroshima

Loss of life is tragic, as is war, but sometimes drastic measures are necessary in order to save lives. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are prime examples. Had the atomic bomb not been used, the war could have dragged on for another year, and millions more may have died on both sides.

As History looks back at Hiroshima, it deems it a necessary tragedy.

Republican Primary Results - Corporation Commission

* Again, just to clarify, the map colors are indicative of the candidate's logo - i.e. Dana Murphy's logo color scheme is mainly blue, hence my use of blue for her results.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Republican Primary Results - State Auditor

Gary Jones won with larger percentages than the previous maps, hence the change in percentages per color. Also, I have attempted to do the colors in line with the main color of the candidates' logo - it does not indicate party or ideology. Just for clarification... and that applies to all of my maps.

Click here for the entire Muskogee Politico series of election results maps.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Brogdon Endorses Fallin

I apologize in advance, because I don't have the time at the moment to give this post the length it deserves, but Republican State Senator and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Randy Brogdon today endorsed Congresswoman Mary Fallin in the race for Governor. I am very glad to see Randy do this - more on that later.

Fallin defeated Brogdon in the July 27th GOP primary, and is facing Democrat Jari Askins in the November general election