Thursday, December 13, 2012

Speaker Shannon announces House committee leadership

Speaker Shannon Announces Committee Leadership Posts

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Speaker-elect T.W. Shannon today announced committee chairs and vice chairs for standing House committees and appropriation subcommittees.

“After careful consideration, we chose members who we believe have the talent, experience and leadership qualities to lead these committees as effectively and efficiently as possible for the people of Oklahoma,” said Rep. Shannon, R-Lawton. “I am grateful for each of these members’ willingness to serve, and I look forward to the upcoming session.”

The House committee Chairs and Vice Chairs for the upcoming legislative session include (click to view below the break):

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Jim DeMint retiring to lead the Heritage Foundation

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has announced that he will be resigning from the Senate at the end of this year to take over the helm of the Heritage Foundation. The longtime president of Heritage, Ed Feulner, is retiring after 35 years of leading the nation's premier conservative think-tank.

The move comes as a surprise, and has sent shock waves through conservative circles and Capitol Hill. DeMint had been the de-facto leader of the conservative "resistance" in the U.S. Senate's GOP caucus, and played a major role in getting conservative members like Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) elected.

With his pending resignation, conservative South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will appoint a replacement Senator, who will fill in until a special election is held in 2014.

Reactions from conservatives across the nation

Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs: "We at OCPA could not be more pleased with the selection of Sen. Jim DeMint as the next president of the Heritage Foundation. Known for his commendable courage of conviction and principled commitment to federalism, Sen. DeMint is a staunch defender of liberty with a reputation for the strictest possible integrity. As such, he is perfectly poised not just to maintain Heritage’s impeccable record as the premier think tank in the country but also to lead the organization and the entire free-market movement into a new era – one in which policy is grown from the ground up. Sen. DeMint has already indicated that he intends to work closely with state think tanks – like OCPA – to translate policy papers into concrete demonstrations of what works.

Erick Erickson (RedState): While my initial reaction was one of sadness that we are losing the clearest voice in the Senate for conservatives, the upside on Jim DeMint’s departure from the Senate is mind boggling. [...] Jim DeMint’s power in the conservative movement just grew exponentially. A man who was going to retire in four years anyway, will now be leading the conservative movement from its base of operations for years to come.

Without Jim DeMint we would still have a conservative movement that is part and parcel the Republican Party in name, word, and deed. DeMint showed the Republican Party can be challenged from within and that conservatism can be distinctly voiced from within the party moving it right, not moving with it.

The more I think about it, the more I think this is a great thing. Just yesterday, John Hayward noted Jim DeMint may just be the leader of the resistance within the GOP on the fiscal cliff deal. But DeMint has replenished the bench of conservatives within the Senate. As long as he remains there, the new conservatives will be in his shadow.

Jim DeMint is, like Ed Feulner, not indispensable. But his ideas are. It is time for the tea party senators he brought to the Senate to stretch their legs and prove they are Jim DeMint’s ideological heirs. In the meantime, he will be on the outside providing them the support and intellectual ammunition they need.

Ed Morrisey (Hot Air): Frankly, I’m disappointed by the move, although this gives Heritage a big boost.  I had hoped to see DeMint act as a conservative leader in the Senate for the next four years, especially with Democrats taking a bigger majority after this past election.  Haley will make a wise appointment, I’m sure, and other Republicans in the chamber will get an opportunity to fill his shoes. However, considering the fights ahead of us, it would have been much better to have DeMint as a stalwart on the inside rather than an activist on the outside.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): "I thank Senator DeMint for his uncompromising service to South Carolina and our country in the United States Senate. Jim helped provide a powerful voice for conservative ideals in a town where those principles are too often hidden beneath business as usual.  There is no question in my mind that he raised the profile of important issues like spending and debt and helped galvanize the American people against a big government agenda. I am confident that he will continue to advocate for conservative principles in the next chapter of his service to the American people."

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL): "Senator DeMint is one of the main reasons why I’m in the U.S. Senate. When I ran for the U.S. Senate two and a half years ago, no one thought I had a chance to win. Jim DeMint was the first person in Washington that believed in me and invested in me, and I’m eternally grateful. Of course, we’re going to be sad that he’s not going to be with us here in the Senate every day, but we’re excited for the new opportunity that he has to lead the limited government, free enterprise movement from outside the Capitol at the Heritage Foundation. We’re just excited about that and look forward to working with him in his new capacity."

Club For Growth: “Senator DeMint has done more to advance the cause of freedom and liberty in Congress than anyone else since his election,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Senator DeMint is a champion of economic freedom, a defender of free markets, and one of the strongest allies the Club for Growth has had in the United States Senate. We wish him nothing but the best in his new role at Heritage.”

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Sen. Coburn gives tribute to chief-of-staff Michael Schwartz

Senator Tom Coburn recently spoke on the Senate floor to recognize Michael Schwartz, his longtime Chief of Staff. Schwartz, who has served as chief of staff during Coburn's time in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, is no longer able to work on Capitol Hill due to health issues related to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Before serving with Coburn, Mike had extensive involvement with national pro-life organizations and conservative groups.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kaye Beach: Warning to Oklahoma Activists about Al Gerhart

A Warning to Oklahoma Activists about Al Gerhart
by Kaye Beach

“This would be a good time to take your medicine and remain silent about anything i do or say”

That is the message I received from Al Gerhart this morning.

Although I loath to have to write about this on my personal blog, I feel I have no choice because I have realized that some of my friends that have not had to spend time at ground zero with Al Gerhart, do not know the extent of his abusiveness towards other grassroots activists and this is why I have chosen to make my remarks on the situation both clear and public, so that they will know.

The grassroots activists in Oklahoma has a poison in their midst. The poison is Al Gerhart of the Sooner Tea Party.

I do not want to make a public logbook of all each and every harm caused by the man so you can take my words of caution for what you believe they are worth and you are welcome to contact me privately if you have any questions.

I tolerated Gerhart far longer than I should have.  It was some months ago when I knew for certain that he invariably destroys nearly everything he touches and that there is no tolerating of him.  At that point I pointedly and  publicly severed ties. But that did not free me from the damage caused by Gerhart.  Without fail people and projects that I love have crossed paths with the man since causing damage and heartache to all touched by him.  He also will not refrain from exercising  a vendetta against any and all that he feels have crossed him in some way making my first choice of a peaceful parting of ways impossible.

Click here to read the rest of Kaye's post on her blog, 'AxXiom for Liberty'.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I have a lot to be thankful for this year: salvation through Jesus Christ, family and friends (new and old), a roof over my head (brand new, to boot!), a job, good health, freedom like no other country on earth.... but this Thanksgiving in particular I'm thankful for Kristen, my wonderful wife of now 75 days.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oklahoma Presidential Results Map: 2008 vs. 2012

This map shows the trends in voting when comparing the 2008 presidential race and the 2012 presidential race in Oklahoma. Counties colored a shade of red trended more Republican, and counties colored a shade of blue went more Democrat when compared to the 2008 results.

Jefferson County had the greatest increase for Republicans, at 11.64%. Adair County had the greatest increase for Democrats, coming in at 3.85%. All told, 14 counties had higher percentages for Obama in 2012 than in 2008.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Oklahoma General Elections Results Map - President

Mitt Romney once again carried all of Oklahoma's 77 counties, most with larger margins than before, and some with rather extreme percentages. His best county was Cimarron County, where the GOP nominee received 90.39% of the vote. As in 2008, Obama's best performance came in Cherokee County, where he took 42.95% (in 2008 he got 43.92%).

For reference, here is the 2008 map:

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Four More Years

As of 10:15pm CST, President Barack Obama crested the critical 270 mark in electoral votes. Throughout much of the evening, the big states of Ohio and Florida bounced between Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, but Ohio appears to have finally landed in the Obama camp's tally, pushing the President across the finish line.

Ironically enough, Mitt Romney currently leads in the popular vote - a reversal from the 2000 election, when George Bush won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote to Al Gore.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Election 2012: My Endorsements

After months of being bombarded by political materials and advertisements, Election Day is almost here. I wanted to take a moment to go through the various races in Oklahoma (primarily eastern Oklahoma), and give my thoughts and/or recommendations, for any who might be interested.

Obviously, we desperately need a change in the White House. Romney was not my top choice in the GOP primary (not my second, third or fourth, either), but even so, he will be a *MUCH* greater improvement over the disastrous Obama/Biden administration.

CONGRESS (1st District): Jim Bridenstine
Jim Bridenstine is a great candidate - genuinely conservative, and extremely intelligent. He will serve Oklahoma well in Congress. I have met Jim, and am thoroughly impressed with him as an individual, and expect great things out of him.

CONGRESS (2nd District): Markwayne Mullin
Markwayne Mullin (again, not my first choice in the GOP primary, or my second, third, or fourth) will line up on the conservative side in Congress on a consistent basis. The same can't be said for his Democratic opponent, Rob Wallace, who will caucus with the Democrats, and be just conservative enough every now and then to appease his conservative constituents.

STATE SENATE (District 5): Howard Houchen
Howard Houchen is a good friend of mine, and will make a *tremendous* conservative state senator. Howard is well known in Oklahoma for his outspoken support of legislation which promotes economic freedom and protects Life, Liberty, and Property while being very active in informing and resisting, and even defeating, legislation that threatens the freedoms of all Oklahomans. This will be a close race.
Senate District 5 covers all of Choctaw, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties, and portions of Atoka and LeFlore counties.

STATE SENATE (District 9): Barney Taylor
Barney Taylor is running against incumbent State Senator Earl Garrison. Garrison likes to act conservative at home, and vote more liberally in OKC. Barney is a conservative, and while not expected to come close, had the courage to place his name on the ballot and campaign. In Muskogee County, where Republican candidates can be few and far between, this needs to be rewarded by Republican voters.
Senate District 9 covers most of eastern and central Muskogee County (excluding Fort Gibson), and central Cherokee County (Tahlequah city limits, and south of Hwy 62 towards Muskogee).

STATE HOUSE (District 12): David Tackett
David Tacket is a staunch conservative (although I disagree on a few issues with him, such as tort reform), waging an uphill fight against incumbent Democrat Wade Rousselot, largely without help from the GOP establishment (whom he has fought with on numerous occasions).
District 12 covers most of central and eastern Wagoner County.

STATE HOUSE (District 14): Arthur Hulbert
This is the seat my dad has held for the past six years. Arthur Hulbert is a conservative who will stand up for family values and free-market principles. District 14 has only gone Republican once (George Faught, 2006-2012) - Arthur is a good choice to continue conservative representation.
House District 14 covers eastern Muskogee and western Cherokee counties.

In Oklahoma, we vote on retaining judges, as opposed to a judge vs. judge race. As far as I know, never has a state judge not been retained in Oklahoma history. HOWEVER, I will be voting against ALL Oklahoma Supreme Court justices. The Oklahoma Supreme Court is rather liberal, with most of the justices having been appointed by Democrat governors (all OSC justices on the ballot were picked by Brad Henry), and in recent years has struck down many pro-life bills or petitions. Given those reasons, I strongly encourage you to vote NO on all Oklahoma Supreme Court justices.

As with the Supreme Court, all of the Criminal Appeals judges were appointed by liberal Gov. Brad Henry (D). I encourage you to vote against all of them.

P. Thomas Thornbrugh - appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin (R). Vietnam veteran. (YES)
William C. Hetherington, Jr. - appointed by Gov. Brad Henry (D).  (NO)
Kenneth L. Buettner - appointed by Gov. Frank Keating (R). Involved with his Catholic Church in various capacities.  (YES)
Robert Bobby Bell - appointed by Gov. Brad Henry (D). At one time was the youngest sitting judge in Oklahoma.  (NO)
E. Bay Mitchell, III - appointed by Gov. Frank Keating (R).  (YES)

Since I know next to nothing about the courts, judges and justices, and finding out information about them is so very difficult, I tend to vote for the those appointed by Republican governors and against those appointed by Democrat governors. The other option is to vote against them all; if by chance one of them was not retained, their replacement would be appointed by the sitting governor (in the case, Republican Mary Fallin).

Tulsa Vision2 - AGAINST
Tulsa residents would be wise to reject this major tax extension. Michael Bates of has excellent commentary and resources on why to vote against Vision2.

State Rep. Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) has an excellent page on the state questions, found here.

That about sums it up. If you have any questions or comments, or want to see what I think about something else, let me know!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Danny Beck Chevy runs 2nd District parody ad

As 2nd Congressional District candidates Markwayne Mullin (R) and Rob Wallace (D) slug out the final days of the election, Danny Beck Chevrolet of Tulsa is out with a new commercial that indirectly refers to the race. A piece of political parody, the Danny Beck ad makes allusions to several television spots run by the Wallace campaign (in particular, Wallace's ad on water).

See the resemblance? I am told that another Wallace/Mullin ad is in the Danny Beck commercial, but I can't find the original spot online, and don't watch television enough to have seen it myself.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

THRICE DENIED: requests for backup in Benghazi

Fox News broke a major story today on the Benghazi attack of September 11th, which is sure to add to the outrage many Americans feel over how the situation was handled:

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Read the Fox article here. has further details here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thomas Peterffy and the Freedom to Succeed

Re-posted from Erick Erickson of

Thomas Peterffy is the founder of Interactive Brokers, an online brokerage firm. But he wasn’t always.

In 1956, Thomas Peterffy, unable to speak English, fled Hungary as the Iron Curtain was lowering on Eastern Europe. By the time Peterffy left Hungary, the communists were in charge. Around 350,000 people, many intellectuals and politicians, were purged by the communists. In 1956, Hungary went through a revolution that pushed out the Soviets until November of that year when the Soviets sent in 150,000 troops killing 20,000 people with a quarter million more fleeing for their lives.

Thomas Peterffy was one of those refugees. He went on to be an American success story. Now, this registered independent voter, has felt compelled to tell the world about the horrors of socialism and how it destroys success and erodes a nation’s work ethic. He has, out of his own pocket, produced an ad of him talking. He is, again with just his own money, running the ad on national news networks and in Ohio.

It is one of the most powerful ads you will see this campaign cycle. A refugee from a communist state has put his money where his mouth is and wants the world to know what happens when a nation punishes success.

Friday, October 12, 2012

OKGOP Launches "Jailbreak Wallace" Website

OKGOP Launches "Jailbreak Wallace" Website

(Oklahoma City) - The Oklahoma Republican Party today announced the launch of a new website - - to highlight Rob Wallace’s record of offering plea bargains to criminals who later went on to commit further crimes, some including violent crime and even murder.

At a recent forum in which both Second District candidates attended, Wallace continued to lob disingenuous attacks, while Republican Markwayne Mullin continued to tell voters of the 2nd District about his plans to end wasteful government spending and get our economy back on track.

“Rob Wallace is at it again - lobbing attacks against Markwayne Mullin’s successful business to hide from major flaws in his own record,” said OKGOP Chairman Matt Pinnell. “It speaks volumes that Mr. Wallace continues to throw mud instead of explaining to voters how exactly sending someone to Congress to caucus with Nancy Pelosi and continue the failed policies of Barack Obama will help turn our country around.”

Throughout the campaign, Wallace has highlighted his experience as a prosecutor as a reason voters should support his candidacy. However, when Wallace was under consideration to become the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in 2009, the White House abruptly and unexpectedly ceased their vetting of Wallace. Wallace previously denied that it had anything to do with the acrimonious lawsuits that surrounded a failed mining company in which Wallace had a 39% ownership stake.

“Rob Wallace has yet to give a substantive explanation of why he was abruptly dropped as a candidate for US Attorney,” said Pinnell. “Was it because of this remarkable record of offering plea bargains to criminals who went on to commit even more crime? Mr. Wallace’s job as a prosecutor was to punish criminals and help take them off the streets. Much like his repeated business failings, it would appear Mr. Wallace’s record as a prosecutor is one of failure.”

The Oklahoma Republican Party encourages voters to visit to view the records of several criminals Rob Wallace offered plea bargains to, who later went on to commit more crime.

“I’m sure after viewing the criminal backgrounds of these individuals, many voters will wonder just why exactly Rob Wallace let them off easy,” concluded Pinnell.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

OKGOP hosting Vice Presidential Debate events in CD2

The Oklahoma Republican Party is hosting 2012 Vice Presidential Debate Community Forum events in the 2nd Congressional District on Thursday, October 11 in Claremore, Muskogee and McAlester, at 7 p.m. CST.  Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike are all welcome to come to these events. High school classes are encouraged to attend and participate, as well.

The format for the evening will include 2 panelists and a moderator for the event. Before the debate each location will be asked a series of questions and will record the audience responses. During the debate’s commercial breaks the moderator will ask for feedback. After the debate the audience will be asked a series of questions to record any change in opinion.


Wings To Go
2002 S Highway 66, Claremore, OK (map)

Buffalo Wild Wings
1130 W Shawnee St, Muskogee, OK (map)

Eastern Oklahoma State College Auditorium
1802 E College Ave, McAlester, OK (map)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Fallin photo on Democrat legislator's mailer stirs controversy

A recent campaign mailer from State Rep. Wade Rousselot (D-Okay) has caused a bit of a stir among some Republicans, due to the prominent featuring of Governor Mary Fallin (R) on the mail piece - which can give the implication that Fallin is supporting Rousselot's reelection bid against Republican candidate David Tackett.

The former head of 'Oklahomans for Liberty', Tackett has at times clashed heads with Gov. Fallin and Republican legislative leadership over legislation and policies he considers to be corporate welfare, unconstitutional, or against conservative principles. Rousselot is one of the few Democrat candidates that the Oklahoma State Chamber, a strong supporter/ally of Gov. Fallin, is supporting this year.

Governor Fallin has not officially endorsed in the House District 12 race, and according to Tackett, the Republican State House Committee has not lent him any support, leading his supporters to cry foul. For their part, the Governor doesn't endorse in every race, and the House PAC doesn't always spend money on every nominee.

Nevertheless, when the Democrat nominee uses the Governor's photo in an attempt to 'ride the coattails' of the top Republican in the state (Fallin has an approval rating of 69.3%), the Governor should publicly state her support for the Republican nominee.

Candidates often try to align themselves with popular figures by using pictures of the candidate with the other individual. More often than not, the picture was never intended to be used for campaign purposes, and usually the other person is unaware that they are being used by the candidate. As I have said previously, using a photo like this passes off a false impression, and attributes action to someone who never did what was implied.

As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Usually, when a candidate is shown with someone else on a campaign mailer, that implies an endorsement. When no such endorsement exists, it is unethical to give off the impression to unsuspecting voters, and just isn't commonsense.

I'm sure Governor Fallin never intended for voters to assume that she supports a Democrat nominee over a Republican nominee; however, she can rectify the situation with a simple paragraph expressing her support for the GOP candidate. When a mailer like this has so publicly muddled the truth about who she is supporting in House District 12, Governor Fallin should move quickly to clarify the situation, and join Sen. Tom Coburn in publicly endorsing David Tackett, the Republican nominee.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

UPDATE: Gary Johnson will won't be on ballot in Oklahoma

Sooner State knocks Libertarian hopeful off ballot
By Patrick B. McGuigan | CapitolBeatOK

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Election Board removed the Americans Elect party from the November presidential election ballot Wednesday, effectively knocking out Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

The decision was made based on the advice of the state Attorney General’s Office.

Earlier this summer, the state Americans Elect party had designated a slate of presidential electors and named Johnson as its candidate, even as the national party’s directors spiked the group’s nationwide drive to provide an alternative to the two major parties.

Secretary of the State Election Board Paul Ziriax said in a statement sent Wednesday morning to CapitolBeatOK:

“You have previously asked me about the conflicting instructions the State Election Board received from the Directors of the Americans Elect party and a local group claiming to on act on behalf of the Americans Elect party. (The Board of Directors of the party instructs that the Americans Elect party will not field any candidates for President or Vice President, while the local group instructs that the party has chosen candidates for President and Vice President – the same candidates chosen by the Libertarian Party in other states.)”

Ziriax said Assistant Attorney General Neal Leader advised the Election Board that it “should not place the Americans Elect Party president and vice-presidential candidates or presidential electors on the November 2012 general election ballot in Oklahoma.”

Ziriax told CapitolBeatOK, “Our staff will proceed with our general election ballot preparations accordingly.”

In his 20-page analysis of the legal questions involved, Leader said the national group retained control of the party’s ballot line, and the national directors’ decision held in the state.

Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News, said Leader’s written opinion “contains no references to any court cases to justify his opinion.”

Winger contends the Election Board and Leader “have acted in a deceitful manner.”

Americans Elect gained ballot status in March after a successful petition campaign that enjoyed the support of David Boren, now president of the University of Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma effort began with fanfare in January, achieving success in March, after a Libertarian-organized drive fell short of the required signatures. Oklahoma is widely considered one of the most difficult states for ballot access.

Just weeks ago, local activists submitted electors to state officials, in support of Johnson, but on a parallel track the national Americans Elect party informed the Election Board it was abandoning its drive “in all states in which Americans Elect has obtained a ballot access line” with the “unanimous written consent” of the national group’s directors.

Contact Patrick McGuigan at

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

GPS tag catches Pat Key volunteer stealing Dean Martin signs

Up in Tulsa County, Republican County Clerk candidates Pat Key and Dean Martin are in a rather rough-and-tumble runoff election. Martin's campaign has for weeks complained about his signs being stolen across the county - a typical campaign season issue.

However, one clever Martin supporter decided to do something about the stolen signs. Jared, the Martin volunteer, purchased a dog tracker GPS tag, and taped it on the inside of a Dean Martin yard sign, and placed it on a piece of private property that had been a hot spot for missing Martin signs.

Early this morning, he received an email stating that his "dog" had escaped. Due to his ingenuity, he was able to track down the culprit - Lee Belmonte, a Pat Key volunteer. Belmonte was captured on film stealing Dean Martin signs, upon which the Bixby police department was called, and Belmonte was arrested.

I must say, using GPS to catch a sign-stealer is impressive. Kudos to Jared!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mike Huckabee hammers GOP establishment over Todd Akin

"The deadline came and went on Tuesday for Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin to drop out over an incorrect comment he made about rape. The Republican establishment put unprecedented and intense pressure on Todd to quit, including five current and past Missouri Senators. But in an exclusive interview on my radio show, Akin said he’s “in this race to the end.” He said he admitted he misspoke and that his statement was not accurate, but he’d sincerely apologized. You can listen to the audio from that interview on my website."

"The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren't rational, left him behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding, a casualty of his self-inflicted, but not intentional wound. In a Party that supposedly stands for life, it was tragic to see the carefully orchestrated and systematic attack on a fellow Republican. Not for a moral failure or corruption or a criminal act, but for a misstatement which he contritely and utterly repudiated. I was shocked by GOP leaders and elected officials who rushed so quickly to end the political life of a candidate over a mistaken comment in an interview. This was a serious mistake, but it was blown out of proportion not by the left, but by Akin's own Republican Party. Is this what the party really thinks of principled pro-life advocates? Do we forgive and forget the verbal gaffes of Republicans who are "conveniently pro-life" for political advantage, but crucify one who truly believes that every life is sacred?"

"Who ordered this "Code Red" on Akin? There were talking point memos sent from the National Republican Senatorial Committee suggesting language to urge Akin to drop out. Political consultants were ordered to stay away from Akin or lose future business with GOP committees. Operatives were recruited to set up a network of pastors to call Akin to urge him to get out. Money has changed hands to push him off the plank. It is disgraceful. From the spotlights of political offices and media perches, it may appear that the demand for Akin’s head is universal in the party. I assure you it is not. There is a vast, but mostly quiet army of people who have an innate sense of fairness and don't like to see a fellow political pilgrim bullied. If Todd Akin loses the Senate seat, I will not blame Todd Akin. He made his mistake, but was man enough to admit it and apologize. I'm waiting for the apology from whoever the genius was on the high pedestals of our party who thought it wise to not only shoot our wounded, but run over him with tanks and trucks and then feed his body to the liberal wolves. It wasn't just Todd Akin that was treated with contempt by the thinly veiled attack on Todd Akin. It was all the people who have faithfully knocked doors, made calls, and made sacrificial contributions to elect Republicans because we thought we were welcome in the party. Todd Akin owned his mistake. Who will step up and admit the effort being made to discredit Akin and apologize for the sleazy way it's been handled?"

"I’ve always believed and still do, that if you don’t honor your friendships, you don’t honor yourself. And I consider Todd a friend. So I will join Todd as often as I can, in his fight for our Party’s pro-life policies, traditional marriage and our efforts to rein in the massive expansion of government under President Obama. Todd is being systematically scourged for one thing he said. Is that more important than what Claire McCaskill has DONE over her 6 years in the Senate? If you’d like to join the fight, and help defeat a Democrat Senator standing in the way of a conservative majority, I encourage you to join me. The party has decided it won't help. In fact, it has decided that it will try to cut off the supply lines to Akin to pressure him to exit and let the party bosses overturn the voters of Missouri and pick their own candidate. If this can happen to Todd Akin, who is next?"

"I’ve heard the talk of new deadlines and the nonsense about the Republican Party running a 3rd party candidate, but I am no longer listening to that noise. The idea that our Party would continue to play games behind the scenes and feed the Democrats make-believe narrative of the GOP’s fictional war on women is equally ridiculous. Now is the time to focus on electing a conservative Senate Majority. And if the NRSC and RNC and the money-rich PACS won't help Todd Akin get us to the majority, then we'll do it without them. And his seat will not have been sold to the highest bidder, but obtained by the highest principles."

Gov. Mike Huckabee

Thursday, August 23, 2012

OKGOP launches web ad: "Mr. President, I Built This"

The Oklahoma Republican Party today launched its latest web ad: “Mr. President, I Built This”. The video highlights President Obama’s outrageous comment to business owners that, “You didn’t build that.”

“The Oklahoma Republican Party stands with the millions of hardworking Americans across the country that believe hard-work and ingenuity are what breed success,” said Chairman Matt Pinnell. “President Obama’s comments were an enlightening - and frightening - window into the Democrats’ ongoing ‘War on Success’. This highlights the fundamental difference between the two parties and the two different visions for America as we head into the fall.”

Following the national uproar over the President comments, the Obama campaign argued the comments were “taken out of context.” As the Republican National Committee pointed out, the full context of the comments are in fact even worse than the specific line: “You didn’t build that.”

“These comments are indicative of what President Obama and his Democrat allies truly believe,” continued Pinnell. “It is their belief that government and its benevolence is what allows small businesses to succeed. As Republicans, we firmly believe it is the hard work of the individual that causes success.”

“These two visions are starkly laid out in the race between Governor Romney and President Obama,” said Pinnell. “President Obama believes that to turn our economy around, all we need is another government program, another handout, another ‘stimulus.’ Governor Romney understands what President Reagan did, that often government is the problem rather than the solution.”

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will fight to cut the red tape and end the onerous regulations holding our economy back. President Obama just offers more and more government, and more and more spending. This is a contrast we intend to highlight every single day between now and Election Day,” concluded Pinnell.

The Oklahoma Republican Party’s ad, “Mr. President, I Built This” can be viewed here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney Picks Paul Ryan for VP

Mitt Romney announced this morning that he was tapping Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Ryan, aged 42, is the current Chairman of the House Budget Committee. He is extremely sharp and articulate, and comes from a swing state that will be crucial in the November elections.

Ryan happens to have close ties to Oklahoma - his wife Janna is from the Madill area, and is Congressman Dan Boren's cousin.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Boren stars in lighthearted video - "5 Things Before I Leave Congress"

With all of the disappointing and appalling news that often comes out of the political world, a little levity is needed from time to time. Oklahoma's 2nd District Congressman Dan Boren (D-Muskogee) was the star of a pretty humorous interview on Capitol Hill this week.

Andrew Heaton of asked the retiring congressman if there was "anything you've done or would like to do before leaving Congress". Whatever political differences you may have with the Blue Dog Congressman, the ensuing video is a must-see!

Congressman, I laughed the whole way through - well done!

OCPAC Endorses George Faught

OCPAC Endorses Faught for Congress

Muskogee, OK – Yesterday the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee voted to endorse George Faught in his race for the GOP nomination in CD-2.

Faught stated, "I was honored to join the group last week and listen to issues they were concerned about and answer their questions. OCPAC and its members stick to their conservative convictions and I am pleased to have their support."

Charlie Meadows, President of OCPAC said, "After appearing before OCPAC and going through an intensive question and answer session our members determined that George Faught is far better qualified to serve in the US Congress than his opponent. George has a better grasp of the Constitution and his experience will work for the benefit of the citizens in the 2nd District, particularly his consistent, principled opposition to ObamaCare."

OCPAC focuses on promoting conservative constitutional values in the Oklahoma state Legislature and holds legislators accountable through their constant involvement and communication with the voters of Oklahoma.

Staunchly pro-life, pro-business, and pro-limited government, George Faught has been endorsed by Gov. Mike Huckabee, Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones, Gun Owners of America, David Barton, the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, Family Research Council Action PAC, Concerned Women PAC, Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafly, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, the Minuteman ProjectAmerican Conservative PAC, and many other conservative groups and individuals.

 Longtime owner and operator of a successful carpet cleaning business, Faught and his wife of almost 30 years, Becky, live in Muskogee, and are the parents of three grown children - all born and raised in Muskogee. In 2006, Faught became the first Republican ever elected to the State House in his Muskogee-based district. You can learn more about George and his campaign by visiting his website, and by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

The 2nd District runoff is on August 28th.

Exclusive: Conflict and Confusion - Will Gary Johnson be on Oklahoma's ballot?

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, erstwhile GOP-candidate-turned-Libertarian-Party-nominee, missed out on making the ballot in Oklahoma when the Oklahoma Libertarian Party failed to submit enough validated signatures to receive a ballot access. However, the story may not be over yet for Johnson and his Oklahoma Libertarian Party supporters.

Americans Elect successfully waged a ballot access campaign in Oklahoma earlier this year, with the intention of nominating a presidential candidate through their unconventional online voting process. The venture ultimately failed, as no candidate met their stated criteria, and thus the group did not nominate a candidate, after getting on the ballot in over 30 states.

All political parties had until August 8th to submit their nominees for president and vice-president (technically, they submit electors pledged to their party nominees).

On August 7th, Rex Lawhorn (Oklahoma state chairman of Americans Elect) submitted electors to the State Election Board for ballot certification. These electors were pledged to Gary Johnson for President and James Gray for Vice-President, the Libertarian Party candidates.

Americans Elect - State

But in a letter dated August 6th, the national Americans Elect organization wrote to the State Election Board intending to dissolve their status as a political party in Oklahoma.

Americans Elect - National

I contacted the State Election Board to ask some questions about the situation, and received a response from State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax.

"Attached are PDF scans of conflicting correspondence to the State Election Board from the national Americans Elect organization and an in-state group that says it is the Oklahoma chapter of Americans Elect. This is a very unusual situation, so we are seeking legal advice from our counsel at the Attorney General’s office about how to proceed," Ziriax told me in an email.

When there is an update to this story, I will post it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Gov. Fallin to speak at Republican National Convention

Governor Fallin Selected as Headline Speaker for Republican National Convention
Pinnell: "another reminder that Governor Fallin is a national conservative leader"

(Oklahoma City)- Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell today congratulated Governor Mary Fallin upon the announcement that she has been selected as a headlining speaker to the Republican National Convention later this month in Tampa, Florida. The exact time and date of Governor Fallin's speech will be announced at a later date. Governor Fallin also spoke to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

"I'd like to congratulate Governor Fallin on being selected as a headlining speaker at the Republican National Convention later this month," said OKGOP Chairman Matt Pinnell. "This is yet another reminder to us Okies that Governor Fallin is a national conservative leader who is taking Oklahoma to new heights. We are proud to call her OUR Governor."

In 2010, Fallin became the first female elected Governor of Oklahoma. Prior to that, she served as the first female Lt. Governor of Oklahoma from 1994 to 2006. In 2006, Fallin was elected to the United States Congress from Oklahoma's Fifth District. Fallin was the first female to be elected to Congress from Oklahoma since the 1920's.

Governor Fallin has been lauded by national publications as one of the "Most Popular Governors in America," noting her 69% approval rating. Under Governor Fallin's leadership, Oklahoma has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 4.7%, a full 3.6% below the national average. Governor Fallin has been a leader in advocating for America's energy producers and against President Obama's decision to reject the full Keystone XL Pipeline.

"The election this November is about much more than politics. It is a decision we have to make about the direction of America - are we going to continue to tax and spend and grow government far past the point of sustainability, or are we going to restore fiscal sanity to Washington, D.C. and force government to live within its means? In Oklahoma, we work to make government serve the people and not the other way around. Our next president has to share this same commitment and that is why I am so proud to be a part of the Republican National Convention to officially nominate Mitt Romney," said Governor Fallin.

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30, 2012. Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the Tampa Bay area for the event, including delegates, alternate delegates, media and other guests. For more information about the 2012 Republican National Convention, visit

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chick-fil-A and Free Speech

Chick-fil-A, one of America's most successful fast-food restaurants, has come under fire in recent days for statements made by Dan Cathy, president and COO of the company, in defense of the traditional family unit.

Cathy was interviewed by BaptistPress, and the lengthy article ended with this:
"Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position. 
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

His comments have sparked a firestorm, with the homosexual movement and their liberal allies slamming Cathy and Chick-fil-A as "homophobic" and "bigoted" (my, how predictable...), and launching smear attacks, boycotts and protests against the company, which is one of the most high-profile Christian-led corporations in the nation (Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays, and donates to many Christian ministries).

In an appalling and tyrannical abuse of power, the mayor of Boston and a Chicago alderman have publicly indicated that they will use their governmental authority to deny Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in their respective jurisdictions, solely based on Cathy's exercise of his First Amendment right to Free Speech, both personally and with his business. None of their opposition is based on concrete actions, like Chick-fil-A denying service to homosexuals, or firing employees for differing views on political/religious issues. Accusing Cathy and Chick-fil-A of "discrimination" and "intolerance", these elected officials are themselves the ones being discriminatory and intolerant.

In their haste to pay homage to the militant homosexual movement, these despotic elected officials are sending a chilling message to business owners in their area: Submit to my views, or else. Instead of welcoming new business to their cities, and creating jobs (Chicago has an unemployment rate of 9.8%, Boston is 5.7%), they would rather abuse their authority in a dictatorial manner. Some in the blogosphere are calling this fascist behavior, and I'm inclined to agree.

In response to the attacks, Mike Huckabee has called for August 1st to be "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day", inviting people to dine at Chick-fil-A in support of the company:
I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick Fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld. The Cathy family, led by Chick Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, are a wonderful Christian family who are committed to operating the company with Biblical principles and whose story is the true American success story. Starting at age 46 Truett Cathy built Chick Fil-A into a $4 billion a year enterprise with over 1600 stores. At 91, he is still active in the company, but his son Dan runs it day to day as CEO.It's a great American story that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.

The Chick Fil-A company refuses to open on Sundays so that their employees can go to church if they wish. Despite the pressure from malls, airports, and the business world to open on Sundays, they still don't. They treat customers and employees with respect and dignity.

I ask you to join me in speaking out on Wednesday, August 1 "Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day.” No one is being asked to make signs, speeches, or openly demonstrate. The goal is simple: Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1. Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant. This effort is not being launched by the Chick Fil-A company and no one from the company or family is involved in proposing or promoting it.

There's no need for anyone to be angry or engage in a verbal battle. Simply affirm appreciation for a company run by Christian principles by showing up on Wednesday, August 1 or by participating online – tweeting your support or sending a message on Facebook.

In closing, here is another quote from Mr. Cathy's interview: "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

I support Chick-fil-A.

What do you think about this? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Big Government Helps Buddies

Big Government Helps Buddies
by Dustin Siggins

On June 13, Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow in Labor Policy James Sherk released a paper analyzing how the Obama Administration’s auto bailout could have cost the taxpayer nothing in the long run if the United Auto Workers (UAW) had received normal bankruptcy treatment. Instead, they were provided special treatment which violated numerous aspects of traditional contract law, and were given approximately $3.5 billion more in treatment than the total cost of the bailout. In short, according to Sherk, the taxpayers were charged $26.5 billion on their maxed-out credit card.

On Tuesday, Ed Carson wrote in Investors Business Daily that taxpayer losses may be worse than Sherk calculated, given General Motors’ continuing drop in stock price. From Carson’s op-ed:
General Motors (GM) shares fell to a fresh 2012 closing low of 19.57 on Monday. The stock hit 19 in mid-December, the lowest since the auto giant came public at $33 in November 2010 following its June 2009 bankruptcy. 
Normally you might say, tough luck investors. But this is Government Motors. The Treasury still owns 26.5% of GM, or 500 million shares… 
Those shares were worth about $9.8 billion as of Monday. That would leave taxpayers with a loss of $16.6 billion. 
But that's not the full tally…[T]he administration essentially gifted $45 billion in write-offs (book value $18 billion) to GM. So when GM earned a $7.6 billion profit in 2011…it paid no taxes. 
Include that $18 billion gift, and taxpayers' true loss climbs to nearly $35 billion.
Regardless of whether you look at Sherk’s or Carson’s numbers, the losses dealt to the public as a result of special treatment for the UAW are significant. While admittedly only one percent of this year’s expected deficit, and a much smaller fraction of the totality of deficits since the auto bailout was first initiated nearly four years, it is another reminder that big government will always help out its buddies and special interests first. This assistance flourishes under both parties, whether it’s by protecting farm subsidies and defense contractors, bailing out banks via TARP, giving the insurance industry a generation of guaranteed customers via the individual mandate, providing college students further taxpayer subsidization in an election year, or giving a bailout to the UAW.

With Democrats controlling most of Washington during a period of the largest deficits in the history of America, including Congress under the last two years of the Bush presidency, it’s easy for Republicans to claim such government favoritism is a problem mostly confined to the Democratic Party. However, this ignores the history just prior to 2006, when then-record deficits were brought by Republicans, and ignores that many Republicans have supported the individual mandate, farm subsidies, TARP, and student loan subsidization over the years, and have defended the defense industry to the hilt. Mitt Romney, for example, has taken four of these five positions in the last couple of years alone.

Big Government is a bipartisan problem, and conservatives would do well to remember this as we head into the fall elections and the potential for a Republican sweep in Washington. Voting for a party won’t prevent us from falling off the fiscal cliff we are heading towards – voting for a number of candidates might.

Dustin Siggins is a policy and politics blogger who regularly contributes to,’s Green Room,, and He is the co-author of a forthcoming book on the national debt with William Beach of The Heritage Foundation.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

New Faught TV Ad: Mullin in his own words

In His Own Words: Mullin Advocates for
Single-Payer Healthcare
New Faught Ad Reveals Explosive Video 

Muskogee, OK – The George Faught for Congress campaign launched a new television ad this week, sharply contrasting the differences between he and his runoff opponent Markwayne Mullin on healthcare.

Titled "Repeal ObamaCare," the ad highlights Faught's record of leading the successful fight to defeat the first wave of ObamaCare in Oklahoma – the $54 million federally funded health insurance exchange – and his commitment to fully repeal and defund ObamaCare in Congress. The ad also features video of Markwayne Mullin in his own words advocating a single-payer healthcare plan. On August 16, 2011 at a McIntosh County GOP meeting, Mullin publicly stated: “I think a single-payer, single-pay system would be the best.” The ad began airing Tuesday.

Script for "Repeal ObamaCare:”

Voiceover: I'm George Faught and I approve this message.
When it comes to supporting government-run, single-payer healthcare, Markwayne Mullin and Barack Obama agree:
Markwayne Mullin: "I think a single-payer, single pay system would be the best."
Barack Obama: "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal healthcare plan."
Voiceover: We need to repeal ObamaCare, not elect Republicans like Mullin who support single-payer health care.
George Faught led the fight that killed the first wave of ObamaCare in Oklahoma and he’ll repeal it in Congress. 
Markwayne Mullin: "I think a single-payer, single pay system would be the best."

To view the ad click here.

George Faught made the following statement about the campaign’s new ad:

"The stakes are too high for Republicans to nominate a candidate who is on record advocating government-run universal health care. Oklahomans have a clear choice in this runoff election: a conservative with a proven record of standing up to Obama or an inexperienced candidate who, despite a slick media campaign designed by consultants to create an image, declares in his own words his support of a plan to allow the government to take away our freedom of healthcare choices. This issue along with other swirling controversies demonstrates that Mullin is a flawed candidate who cannot win." 

Staunchly pro-life, pro-business, and pro-limited government, George Faught has been endorsed by Gov. Mike Huckabee, Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones, Gun Owners of America, David Barton, the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, Family Research Council Action PAC, Concerned Women PAC, Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafly, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, and many other conservative groups and individuals.

Longtime owner and operator of a successful carpet cleaning business, Faught and his wife of almost 30 years, Becky, live in Muskogee, and are the parents of three grown children - all born and raised in Muskogee.  In 2006, Faught became the first Republican ever elected to the State House in his Muskogee-based district. You can learn more about George and his campaign by visiting his website, and by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

J.C. Watts supporting Brooks Mitchell

The race for Corporation Commissioner is always a quiet affair (the exception being Dana Murphy vs. Jim Roth in 2008), but this year's race between incumbent Bob Anthony and Brooks Mitchell has been even more of a sleeper.

Until now.

I just received a robocall from the Mitchell campaign, with former Corporation Commissioner and Congressman J.C. Watts endorsing Mitchell, and voicing the call. I don't have a transcript, and have not found audio or a transcript of the call from the Mitchell campaign, but I have a request in. Watts talked about Mitchell being a social and fiscal conservative, and about Anthony being a "career politician".

I will update this when I receive more information. 

UPDATE: I contacted the Mitchell campaign for a transcript of the call, and Communications director Stephen Rhymer said, "While the campaign did provide input on the text of Cong. Watts' call, the script is pure Cong. Watts and we don't have a printed copy."

Brooks Mitchell's official comment on the call: "The phone call from Cong. Watts to Republican voters sends a strong message to all Oklahomans that he actively supports me in my race to unseat Bob Anthony. Watts realizes that by electing me, Oklahoma will get real leadership and the work ethic, drive and determination to do what's best for all Oklahomans at the Corporation Commission."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hello, Summer!

Adding insult to injury, after the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder for the NBA Championship, heat is about the only thing in the weather forecast...

Joking aside, Summer officially began on Wednesday, and it looks like we'll be getting some hot temperatures in the upcoming week. Are you ready for the heat?

Faught endorsed by Gun Owners of America

Gun Owners of America Endorses Faught

Muskogee, OK – Gun Owners of America, an influential national gun-rights group has announced their endorsement of George Faught in his race for Congress in Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District.
The organization issued a statement saying they were proud to endorse the Oklahoma State Representative and touted his experience of standing up for gun owner rights in the state legislature as their basis for endorsing him in his primary for the GOP nomination on June 26th.

Gun Owners of America Vice Chairman Tim Macy said in an email to members, “Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund is proud to endorse George Faught in the Republican primary in Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District.

George is a pro-gun leader who backs up his words with actions. He completed the GOA questionnaire 100% in favor of your gun rights, and he compiled a perfect voting record as a state legislator.

A lifelong resident of Muskogee and small business owner, George is not a career politician; he’s a true citizen-legislator who will stand up for your Second Amendment rights.  I urge all defenders of the Second Amendment to vote for George Faught for Congress in the June 26th Republican primary.”

"I am honored to have received the endorsement of Gun Owners of America," Faught said.  "GOA is committed to protecting our second amendment rights guaranteed us in the Constitution. I will continue to be a steadfast supporter of gun owners and it is humbling to have such a respected group join the growing list of those who are supporting my candidacy."

Faught has also been previously endorsed by the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association  and was given their “Patriot of the 2nd Amendment” award in 2011.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?

In this crucial time in our nation's history, it is more important than ever for Christians to be involved in the political process, and to vote for Biblical values and the candidates that stand for them. Many self-identified believers don't care for politics, but if the people of God would just vote, imagine the difference that could be made. This short video speaks to this issue.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Faught launches new television ad

The George Faught for Congress campaign launched a new television ad this week, his second ad to air districtwide in the run up to the 2nd Congressional District GOP primary on June 26th.

Click below to view:

Staunchly pro-life, pro-business, and pro-limited government, George Faught has been endorsed by Gov. Mike Huckabee, Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones, David Barton, the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, Family Research Council Action PAC, Concerned Women PAC, Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafly, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, and many other conservative groups and individuals.

Longtime owner and operator of a successful carpet cleaning business, Faught and his wife of almost 30 years, Becky, live in Muskogee, and are the parents of three grown children - all born and raised in Muskogee.  In 2006, Faught became the first Republican ever elected to the State House in his Muskogee-based district. You can learn more about George and his campaign by visiting his website, and by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Introducing my feathered "friend"

Readers, allow me to introduce you to my feathered friend, Mr. Owl. This bird likes to sit outside my window every night, and "serenade" me to sleep with a perpetual question: "Who?"

Mr. Owl has thwarted my every attempt to see him, but this morning, my sister managed to snag the elusive creature on camera - in daylight, no less!

Can any of you birdwatchers identify what kind of owl this is?