Monday, June 27, 2011

Final tally shows Smith up by 7 votes [UPDATE: Recount has Baker by 266]

In what is sure to be a hotly contested issue, the Cherokee Election Commission announced that, contrary to the unofficial results released Saturday evening, Principal Chief Chad Smith did in fact beat challenger Bill John Baker by seven votes (Smith 7,609 to Baker 7,602). The original tally on Saturday showed Baker winning by eleven (Baker 7,600 - Smith 7,589).

There were about 250 challenged ballots, which will be the focal point of an expected recount.

UPDATE: an official recount ended up showing Bill John Baker with 7,613 votes, and Chad Smith with 7,347 - giving a Baker a victory margin of 266 votes. Smith is appealing for an electronic recount.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nailbiter: Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Election

The Cherokee Nation voted today on a host of offices and questions, from term limits changes, to Tribal Council, all the way to Principal Chief. The results are still coming in, and they are interesting.

As of 10:45pm, incumbent chief Chad Smith had 7,567 votes and challenger Bill John Baker had received 7,559.

Honestly, I have never paid any attention to tribal politics, so I didn't expect Smith to be in any trouble. Baker had been leading all evening until about 10:30pm (and at times was leading by over 700 votes). We will see how the final results shake out by morning - I would assume that there would be a recount, given how close the results are so far.

UPDATE: Bill John Baker appears to have won the election, at least for the time being. The unofficial results show Baker with 7,600 votes, and Chad Smith with 7,589. There will more than likely be some legal wrangling over the ballots, so don't expect it to be over too soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Israeli Finance Minister on 'stimulus' programs

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz had a very interesting quote yesterday, regarding "stimulus" programs. "Never sacrifice the future of your economy in order to save it in the present because you will kill both."

He further went on to say this: "If you give incentives or stimulus plans that are unsustainable for too long, they won’t work. On the contrary, if people realize that in two or three years [they] are going to pay for it, and recovery will be very slow because of this, this will be counterproductive."

It looks like those statements are playing out in the American post-Obama stimulus economy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

RightOnline 2011 - Links

Fellow blogger Michael Bates ( and I attended the RightOnline 2011 conference this past weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a tremendous event, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go (many thanks to Americans For Prosperity Foundation for covering much of our attendance cost).

I've had an extremely hectic week and a half or so, as evidenced by the shameful lack of posting here.... but I do plan on getting some thoughts up about the conference. In the meantime, RightOnline has compiled dozens of blog and news articles about the conference (here), in addition to posting videos (here).

Suffice it to say, it was an excellent event. More to come later.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

RightOnline Live Stream: Friday and Saturday

I am heading to Minneapolis, MN, for the RightOnline 2011 conference. This event, centered around conservative political involvement online, will feature speakers like Andrew Breitbart, Governor Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, Erick Erickson, Ed Morrissey and numerous other prominent conservative figures.

At various times on Friday and Saturday, RightOnline will be holding a live stream of the event, which I am also posting here. You can view an agenda of the live stream here.


Free Videos by Ustream.TV

If you are on Twitter, check the #RO11 hashtag for the latest updates from RightOnline 2011.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Against the odds, right leads online

Against the odds, right leads online

Arianna Huffington’s recent mega-payday from AOL was powerful evidence of the tight connection between the hard-left netroots and the online establishment. And AOL isn’t the only web giant to provide apparently favorable treatment to the left. Google has been accused of blocking certain right-wing websites or lowering their standing in search results, and its YouTube subsidiary seems to remove files uploaded by conservatives far more often than offensive content posted by liberals.

The love affair between the tech giants and the big-government left can be traced not only to Silicon Valley’s geographical proximity to San Francisco but also to the two groups’ shared agenda. President Obama’s stated goal of having the FCC regulate the Internet will ensure that bandwidth-heavy websites will not have to pay for the billions of dollars in investments that private broadband companies made. Of course, money from the technology industry flows freely into Democratic coffers.

Yet somehow the right is more than holding its own in the online activism arena.

Tea Party groups are using technology created largely by left-wingers at Harvard and Stanford to denounce — and often defeat — the very shibboleths of establishment liberalism that these institutions stand for. Republican members of Congress are better than their Democratic counterparts at using Facebook and Twitter to inform and motivate their constituents. Ironically, the most adept new media maven among congressional Democrats, Anthony Weiner, was more interested in using these tools for, shall we say, personal gratification than to advance his political ideas. His career is now effectively over — thanks to conservative online activists who would not let the Weinergate story die.

Conservative and libertarian activists have raised millions of dollars for their candidates, recruited tens of thousands of supporters to attend rallies and protests, and influenced legislation at the local and federal level with a click of the mouse. The Tea Parties themselves are partially a Twitter phenomenon, where the influential #tcot hashtag was an early organizing force. The predecessor to the Tea Parties was the remarkable “drill here, drill now” movement in the summer of 2008, which is again picking up steam as gas prices return to economically painful levels.

It is no accident that activists fluent in ideas of fiscal responsibility, limited government, and economic freedom are also well versed in new media and social networking. These tools appeal to their sense of individualism, bypassing the old bureaucracies of big media organizations to give anyone with ideas a platform to share them. It’s a perfect fit for those who believe in a free-market philosophy.

Moreover, our institutional efforts to facilitate sharing of best practices and training in online strategy and techniques have, I hope, played an important role. The RightOnline conference I founded — sponsored by Americans for Prosperity Foundation — is in its fourth year of bringing together political activists and technology gurus. The conference helps to train local leaders, bloggers, and students on the best practices in online communications, and has created a wave of content and excitement that the left cannot match. This year’s event (June 17-18 in Minneapolis) will feature new media luminaries like Andrew Breitbart mixing with political leaders like Michele Bachmann.

It is because the grassroots, bottom-up nature of new media fits so well with the right’s sense of individual liberty and hard work that the Internet battles are more often than not won by conservatives.

While AOL is willing to spend $315 million to purchase the Huffington Post and make rich liberals richer, conservatives remain focused on educating voters and winning key public policy victories. I encourage everyone who believes in the free market to head to the keyboard and join the fight.

Erik Telford is Executive Director of RightOnline ( and Director of Online Strategy for Americans for Prosperity.

[Bloggers note: I will be attending the RightOnline conference this weekend with a large group of Oklahomans, including fellow blogger Michael Bates of]

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

State Rep. George Faught to explore congressional run

MUSKOGEE -  State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee) said today that he is forming a committee to explore the possibility of running for U.S. House, following Congressman Dan Boren’s announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

“I will be sitting down and discussing this with individuals across the 2nd District.  My phone has been ringing off the wall with people encouraging me to run for Congress, and I owe it to my supporters to think long and hard about doing so,” Faught said.

Rep. Faught was first elected with strong bipartisan support to the Oklahoma State House of Representatives in 2006, representing House District 14, which covers portions of Muskogee and Cherokee counties.  He was re-elected in 2008, and drew no opposition in 2010.  Faught was the first Republican in state history to represent House District 14.

“With the crisis America faces, we need to look beyond party politics and do what’s right for our state and our nation.  My family and I will be in prayer over this matter in the coming days, and I would ask that you join me in prayer for guidance.”

[blogger's note/disclaimer: I am George's son]

STUNNER: Boren to not seek re-election

In a stunning development today that will redefine the 2012 election in Oklahoma, U.S. Congressman Dan Boren (D-Muskogee) will be announcing today that he will not seek re-election in 2012.


WASHINGTON — Rep. Dan Boren, the only Democrat in Oklahoma's congressional delegation, plans to announce Tuesday that he won't seek reelection in 2012, leaving open his seat that spans much of eastern Oklahoma.

A source close to Boren said he will make an official announcement at 2 p.m. in his hometown of Muskogee.

Former Oklahoma Congressman Brad Carson said Tuesday that he would run for the seat he held just before Boren won it in 2004. Carson, a professor at the University of Tulsa, gave up the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. Carson lost to Sen. Tom Coburn.
 More information to come later today.  I will try to attend this announcement this afternoon to get more details about Boren's decision.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Friday, June 03, 2011