Monday, February 29, 2016

Conservative Index for OK Leg endorsers: Cruz 79.2, Trump 67.8, Rubio 66.3

Now that the Rubio and Cruz campaigns have released their final Oklahoma legislative endorsement lists, I can update the Conservative Index averages for their supporters.

As you can see, the Conservative Index scores for the Cruz endorsers is significantly higher than for Rubio or Trump. The average for Cruz is 79.2 (25 endorsers), while Trump trails with 67.8 (4 endorsers) and Rubio brings up the rear with 66.3 (30 endorsers).

Cruz is publicly supported by 21 of the 71 Republicans in the State House, Rubio by 12 and Trump by 2. Rubio leads in Senate endorsements, with 18 of 39 Senate Republicans, while Cruz has 4 and Trump has 2.

Illustrating ideological similarities, all three presidential campaigns attracted nearly identical support in both houses of the legislature; Rubio's House/Senate score difference was only 0.3, Cruz's was 2.6, and Trump's was 3.5.

Ted Cruz adds more Oklahoma endorsements

Cruz for President Announces New Oklahoma Endorsements
The campaign adds 14 Oklahoma elected officials

HOUSTON, Texas – Today, Ted Cruz continued to build on the campaign’s strong Oklahoma leadership team with endorsements from major Oklahoma legislative leaders.

“I am thrilled to announce such outstanding conservative legislators to our Oklahoma leadership team leading up to Super Tuesday,” said Cruz. “These courageous conservatives know that Oklahomans are tired of career politicians in Washington and want someone who has a record of fighting against the Washington Cartel.

“This impressive list of conservative leaders supporting Ted Cruz’s campaign shows his strong support across our state,” said Cruz for President Oklahoma Chairman Congressman Jim Bridenstine. “Oklahomans are tired of leaders of both parties in Washington making deals at the expense of the American people. Ted Cruz is the leader we can trust to do what he says he’ll do and stand up for us against the Washington Cartel.”

The new endorsements give Cruz over 25 elected officials in the Sooner State.

The full list of new Oklahoma endorsements is:

Insurance Commissioner John Doak
Cathy Costello, Widow of former Commissioner of Labor Mark Costello
State Senator. Joseph Silk, District 5
Representative Jeff Coody, District 63
Representative George Faught, District 14
Representative James Leewright, District 29
Representative Lewis Moore, District 96
Representative Jason Murphey, District 31
Representative Tom Newell, District 28
Representative Charles Ortega, District 52
Representative Mike Ritze, District 80
Representative Sean Roberts, District 36
Representative Todd Russ, District 55
Former Rep. Rex Duncan, District Attorney, Osage & Pawnee Counties
Jason Hicks, District Attorney, Caddo Grady, Jefferson, & Stephens Counties

Cruz for President previously announced the following Oklahoma leaders:

State Senator Brian Bingman, District 30
State Senator Gary Stanislawski, District 35
State Senator Anthony Sykes, District 24
Representative David Brumbaugh, District 76
Representative David Derby, District 74
Pastor/Representative Dan Fisher, District 60
Representative Mark Lepak, District 9
Representative Mark McCullough, District 30
Representative Michael Rogers, District 98
Representative Chuck Strohm, District 69
Representative Ken Walker, District 70
Representative Justin Wood, District 26
Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel
Wagoner County Clerk Lori Hendricks
Wagoner County Court Clerk Jim Hight
Wagoner County Assessor Sandy Hodges
Wagoner County Treasurer Dana Patten

Cathy Costello endorses Cruz for President

Sen. Cruz Announces Endorsement of Cathy Costello
Widow of former Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello endorses

Houston, Texas – Today, Ted Cruz announced the endorsement of Oklahoma leader and widow of former Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.

“I am humbled to have the support of Cathy Costello, a strong conservative leader in Oklahoma,” Cruz stated.  “Cathy has continued a proud legacy of service to Oklahoma left by her husband, Mark Costello.”

"Since the murder of my husband at the hands of our son, I have dedicated my time and energy to removing the stigma of mental illness and encouraging lawmakers to openly talk about mental health as a serious political and economic issue,” said Costello.

“1 in 4 Americans suffers with mental illness and addiction. Ted Cruz is the only candidate who has dedicated himself to addressing mental health. He authored legislation expanding mental health courts and crisis intervention, and he has a personal interest and understanding of the tragedy of mental illness. We need a leader who is bold enough to address this national crisis we have deliberately ignored for far too long. The best chance we have to see real reform, to openly discuss solutions to the mental illness epidemic that destroys families regardless of socio-economic status, is to elect Ted Cruz as our next President."

Cathy Costello is the widow of former Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello. They were married almost 34 years. Mark Costello was tragically murdered by his mentally ill son in August of 2015. Since that tragedy, Cathy Costello has dedicated herself to breaking down mental illness stigmas and encouraging lawmakers to address mental illness as a serious political and economic issue.

Coburn endorses Rubio for President

Former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn Endorses Marco Rubio For President

Today, former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn endorsed Marco Rubio for president. Former Senator Coburn is joining a strong group of conservative leaders in the state, including Senator Jim Inhofe and former Governor Frank Keating, in endorsing Marco ahead of tomorrow's primary.
Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) issued the following statement today announcing his endorsement of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio:

“Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.’

“At a time when our republic, and the Republican Party, is at a crossroads I have no doubt that the right choice for America is Marco Rubio. America desperately needs a president who will appeal to people’s highest aspirations rather than their deepest fears; a president who will model servant leadership rather than self-promotion; and a president who will cast a vision and unite the country instead of denigrating dissenters as second-class citizens. Marco would be such a president. I urge voters in Oklahoma and across the country to take a stand for freedom and stand with Marco on Tuesday and throughout this campaign.

“Marco is the only candidate in this race who is in the mold of President Reagan. While some are offering a message of victimization and helplessness against Washington, Marco understands that ‘We the People’ are the establishment and the elites in American society.  We need a president who will reawaken our belief in the American idea and not merely complain about how things are but challenge us to dream of what could be.

“In Washington, Marco has been an extremely effective Tea Party senator. No candidate running for president has fought Obamacare more effectively than Marco and no one has a better grasp of foreign affairs and America’s place in the world.

“As a physician, business owner, member of the Class of 1994 and later as a U.S. Senator, I came to understand the depth of the American people’s frustration with the status quo. Voters are right to be upset with the direction of the country. And even though the ranks of conservatives in Washington have grown, the pace of change simply isn’t fast enough.

“The candidacy of Donald Trump, however, threatens to undo and reverse years of work that began with Goldwater and Reagan – work that future movements like the 1994 Republican Revolution and the Tea Party sought to preserve and perfect.

“Donald Trump’s campaign is a fabrication. He is perpetuating a fraud on the American people. His empty promises, bullying and bloviating rhetoric will only deepen the frustration and disillusionment that gave rise to his campaign. He simply lacks the character, skills and policy knowledge to turn his grandiose promises into reality.

“Put simply, Donald Trump has no plan to make America great again. He is a populist without portfolio.”

#NeverTrump: If he's nominated, I will not vote for Trump

In the two presidential elections I have been eligible to vote in, I have always voted for the Republican nominee. I had some misgivings with both McCain and Romney, but voted for them regardless. I had been planning once again on supporting the GOP nominee, regardless of who it ends up being. However, things have changed, and that is no longer my position.

If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, I will not cast my vote for him.

Donald Trump has few conservative or small-government instincts. His natural inclination is for government intervention and overreach, he'll just make it "better".

He's only a recent "convert" to the GOP. Trump likes to say that Ronald Reagan was a Democrat before he ran for President, but he fails to mention that Reagan demonstrated his ideological conversion over a period of years and two terms as governor of California. Unlike Reagan, Trump has no track record to prove his newfound "conservatism".

In addition to having no track record, Trump's alleged conversion to conservatism comes on the heels of his serial party-switching. He has changed affiliation numerous times: Democrat to Republican (1987) to Independence/Reform (1999) to Democrat (2001) to Republican (2009) to no party (2011) to Republican (2012).

Trump has donated vast amounts of money to left-wing politicians like Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Charlie Rangel, Ted Kennedy, and groups like the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and the Clinton Foundation. More recently, he funded the likes of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in their fight against Tea Party conservatives.

He likes single-payer government-run healthcare and the ObamaCare mandate.

Trump once proposed a $5.7T tax hike.

For all his bluster on illegal immigration now, Trump supported amnesty in the past and criticized Romney for being "mean-spirited" on illegal immigration.

He may support gun rights for now, but in the not-so-distant past he has advocated for an "assault weapons" ban and longer waiting periods to purchase firearms.

Trump wants to "be neutral" regarding Israel and the terrorists/terrorist-enablers in Gaza and the West Bank.

Trump circulated a fabricated Tom Coburn quote attacking Ted Cruz, and routinely retweets white supremacists and neo-Nazi Trump supporters.

For political purposes, Trump claims to be a Christian, but fundamentally does not understand what that means. He's never repented or asked God's forgiveness, exhibits a severe amount of Biblical illiteracy, and makes light of his (liberal) Presbyterian church practice and doctrine.

He's a twice-divorced unrepentant womanizer who exhibits no concern for marital vows, and yet we're supposed to believe he will keep his vow to uphold the Constitution.

His language is unbefitting of polite society, much less one who claims to be a Christian. His fallback routine is to mock, ridicule, make fun of, and intimidate those who oppose him, stand in his way, or simply ask him a question he doesn't like. Rather than a Constitution-loving conservative, Donald Trump is a strongarm authoritarian.

Trump constantly exaggerates his business success, will go on the witness stand this summer in a fraud case about his failed "Trump University" scam, and abused both the political process and eminent-domain for personal gain.

He said that his pro-partial birth abortion sister (a federal judge) would be a "phenomenal" Supreme Court justice -- especially disturbing in light of the recent death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia.

My biggest issue is his stand on abortion. He may be the only Republican presidential candidate who has EVER defended Planned Parenthood during a televised primary debate, in addition to other interviews. Yes, we're talking about Planned Parenthood, which chops up babies and sells their body parts.

Leave it to Donald Trump to swallow and repeat the standard left-wing baby-murder-supporting talking points about Planned Parenthood and associated evil organizations. His comments could very well have been made by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or any other liberal Democrat. As I said at the beginning of this post, Donald Trump has no conservative instinct or inclination.

For these reasons and more, but especially his inexcusable defense of abortion-giant Planned Parenthood, I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee. I value my convictions more than that.

I will be supporting Ted Cruz in Oklahoma's primary (my reasons here), but if another candidate has a better shot at stopping Trump in your state, by all means vote to stop Trump.

Recommended reading from authors with similar points and additional data on Trump: Erick EricksonDana Loesch, U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, and Matt Walsh.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sen. Ben Sasse: Open Letter to Trump supporters

Freshman U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska)


To my friends supporting Donald Trump:

The Trump coalition is broad and complicated, but I believe many Trump fans are well-meaning. I have spoken at length with many of you, both inside and outside Nebraska. You are rightly worried about our national direction. You ache about a crony-capitalist leadership class that is not urgent about tackling our crises. You are right to be angry.

I’m as frustrated and saddened as you are about what’s happening to our country. But I cannot support Donald Trump.

Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton. I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option.

Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. Much like President Obama, he displays essentially no understanding of the fact that, in the American system, we have a constitutional system of checks and balances, with three separate but co-equal branches of government. And the task of public officials is to be public “servants.” The law is king, and the people are boss. But have you noticed how Mr. Trump uses the word “Reign” – like he thinks he’s running for King? It’s creepy, actually. Nebraskans are not looking for a king. We yearn instead for the recovery of a Constitutional Republic.

At this point in Nebraska discussions, many of you have immediately gotten practical: “Okay, fine, you think there are better choices than Trump. But you would certainly still vote for Trump over Clinton in a general election, right?”

Before I explain why my answer is “Neither of them,” let me correct some nonsense you might have heard on the internet of late.


***No, I’m not a career politician. (I had never run for anything until being elected to the U.S. Senate fifteen months ago, and I ran precisely because I actually want to make America great again.)
***No, I’m not a lawyer who has never created a job. (I was a business guy before becoming a college president in my hometown.)
***No, I’m not part of the Establishment. (Sheesh, I had attack ads by the lobbyist class run against me while I was on a bus tour doing 16 months of townhalls across Nebraska. Why? Precisely because I was not the preferred candidate of Washington.)
***No, I’m not concerned about political job security. (The very first thing I did upon being sworn in in January 2015 was to introduce a constitutional amendment for term limits – this didn’t exactly endear me to my new colleagues.)
***No, I’m not for open borders. (The very first official trip I took in the Senate was to observe and condemn how laughably porous the Texas/Mexican border is. See 70 tweets from @bensasse in February 2015.)
***No, I’m not a “squishy,” feel-good, grow-government moderate. (I have the 4th most-conservative voting record in the Senate: )

In my very first speech to the Senate, I told my colleagues that “The people despise us all.” This institution needs to get to work, not on the lobbyists’ priorities, but on the people’s:

Now, to the question at hand: Will I pledge to vote for just any “Republican” nominee over Hillary Clinton?

Let’s begin by rejecting na├»ve purists: Politics has no angels. Politics is not about creating heaven on earth. Politics is simply about preserving a framework for ordered liberty – so that free people can find meaning and happiness not in politics but in their families, their neighborhoods, their work.


Now, let’s talk about political parties: parties are just tools to enact the things that we believe. Political parties are not families; they are not religions; they are not nations – they are often not even on the level of sports loyalties. They are just tools. I was not born Republican. I chose this party, for as long as it is useful.

If our Party is no longer working for the things we believe in – like defending the sanctity of life, stopping ObamaCare, protecting the Second Amendment, etc. – then people of good conscience should stop supporting that party until it is reformed.


Now, let’s talk about voting: Voting is usually just about choosing the lesser evil of the most viable candidates.

“Usually…” But not always. Certain moments are larger. They cause us to explicitly ask: Who are we as a people? What does the way we vote here say about our shared identity? What is actually the president’s job?


The president’s job is not about just mindlessly shouting the word “strong” – as if Vladimir Putin, who has been strongly bombing civilian populations in Syria the last month, is somehow a model for the American presidency. No, the president’s core calling is to “Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution.”

Before we ever get into any technical policy fights – about pipelines, or marginal tax rates, or term limits, or Medicare reimbursement codes – America is first and fundamentally about a shared Constitutional creed. America is exceptional, because she is at her heart a big, bold truth claim about human dignity, natural rights, and self-control – and therefore necessarily about limited rather than limitless government.


America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world because our Constitution is the best political document that’s ever been written. It said something different than almost any other government had said before: Most governments before said that might makes right, that government decides what our rights are and that the people are just dependent subjects. Our Founders said that God gives us rights by nature, and that government is not the author or source of our rights. Government is just our shared project to secure those rights.

Government exists only because the world is fallen, and some people want to take your property, your liberty, and your life. Government is tasked with securing a framework for ordered liberty where “we the people” can in our communities voluntarily build something great together for our kids and grandkids. That’s America. Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of speech – the First Amendment is the heartbeat of the American Constitution, of the American idea itself.


So let me ask you: Do you believe the beating heart of Mr. Trump’s candidacy has been a defense of the Constitution? Do you believe it’s been an impassioned defense of the First Amendment – or an attack on it?

Which of the following quotes give you great comfort that he’s in love with the First Amendment, that he is committed to defending the Constitution, that he believes in executive restraint, that he understands servant leadership?

Statements from Trump:
***“We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”
***“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. They were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak…”
***Putin, who has killed journalists and is pillaging Ukraine, is a great leader.
***The editor of National Review “should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him.”
***On whether he will use executive orders to end-run Congress, as President Obama has illegally done: "I won't refuse it. I'm going to do a lot of things." “I mean, he’s led the way, to be honest with you.”
***“Sixty-eight percent would not leave under any circumstance. I think that means murder. It think it means anything.”
***On the internet: “I would certainly be open to closing areas” of it.
***His lawyers to people selling anti-Trump t-shirts: “Mr. Trump considers this to be a very serious matter and has authorized our legal team to take all necessary and appropriate actions to bring an immediate halt...”
***Similar threatening legal letters to competing campaigns running ads about his record.

And on it goes…


Given what we know about him today, here’s where I’m at: If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, my expectation is that I will look for some third candidate – a conservative option, a Constitutionalist.

I do not claim to speak for a movement, but I suspect I am far from alone. After listening to Nebraskans in recent weeks, and talking to a great many people who take oaths seriously, I think many are in the same place. I believe a sizable share of Christians – who regard threats against religious liberty as arguably the greatest crisis of our time – are unwilling to support any candidate who does not make a full-throated defense of the First Amendment a first commitment of their candidacy.

Conservatives understand that all men are created equal and made in the image of God, but also that government must be limited so that fallen men do not wield too much power. A presidential candidate who boasts about what he'll do during his "reign" and refuses to condemn the KKK cannot lead a conservative movement in America.


Thank you for listening. While I recognize that we disagree about how to make America great again, we agree that this should be our goal. We need more people engaged in the civic life of our country—not fewer. I genuinely appreciate how much many of you care about this country, and that you are demanding something different from Washington. I’m going to keep doing the same thing.

But I can’t support Donald Trump.


Ben Sasse

My Endorsement: For Ted Cruz

This Tuesday, I will cast my vote for Ted Cruz for President.

On the issues that are most important to me, Ted Cruz has the right positions. He's firmly pro-life, he's a strong defender of religious liberty, and he is an advocate for the 2nd Amendment. Cruz is for lower taxes, and he will repeal ObamaCare and other unconstitutional actions the current president has taken.

These are things that most of Republicans all claim allegiance to, but Ted Cruz has proven that he will hold to these positions.

Ted Cruz does not compromise on core values and principles. One of the biggest problems Republicans have in Washington today is too much "deal-making". Republicans have told their base that they would hold the line on any number of issues, only to melt under pressure and cave to the Democrats. Unlike the vast majority of Republican officials in Washington, Ted Cruz has a backbone.

For years, presidential candidates have gone to Iowa and kowtowed to the ethanol industry. Ted Cruz campaigned in Iowa against the ethanol mandate, was fiercely opposed by the major figures in that state -- and won in spite of it all.

Ted Cruz does not do go-along-to-get-along. He's stood firm against ObamaCare, even when other Republicans caved and funded it. He's stood firm against Obama appointees, even when other Republicans said "elections have consequences" (ergo, we should approve Obama's picks). He's not afraid to be the only one standing up for the right. He's gone through the fire, and not compromised his convictions.

Ted Cruz is a genuine Christian. He's unafraid to discuss his faith and how it forms his worldview. He doesn't just pay lip-service to his faith, he lives it out. He's an evangelical (a Southern Baptist) who understands the importance of Christian values in government, and the influence Biblical principles played in the formation of America.

One of the most important issues of this race will be the Supreme Court, especially with the recent death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia. Ted Cruz won't repeat the mistakes past Republicans have made in nominating squishy-conservative justices -- his appointees will be strict constitutionalists like Scalia.

The establishment and liberals in both parties hate him. Jimmy Carter doesn't like Ted because, unlike Donald Trump, Cruz is "not malleable". Robert Reich says that unlike Trump, Cruz has firm principles and "is a true believer". Sounds good to me.

I'll try to post more on this later (UPDATE: read here), but the Republican Party needs to stop Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz is the only candidate who has and who can do that.

Faced with socialists on the Democratic side, and an authoritarian/liberal front-runner on the Republican side, Ted Cruz is the conservative for me.

This Tuesday, I urge you to vote for the consistent and courageous conservative -- Ted Cruz.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck making stops in Oklahoma on Sunday

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has announced three stops in Oklahoma on Sunday:

Cruz will be at the Central Park Hall at Expo Square (map) from 12:30pm to 2:30pm. Doors will open at 11:30am. Reserve a ticket at this link.

Oklahoma City
Cruz and special guest Glenn Beck will be at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center (map) from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Doors open at 3:15pm. Tickets are limited for this location -- reserve a ticket at this link.

Cruz will be at the Comanche County Fairgrounds, Annex Building (map) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Doors will open at 6:30pm. Reserve a ticket at this link.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Rubio adds Oklahoma endorsements, picks up most of Jeb's support

The Rubio Campaign Announces Oklahoma Leaders Supporting Marco

Today, the Marco Rubio for President campaign announced a growing list of Oklahoma leaders supporting Marco. Marco continues to build on his momentum, and conservative leaders across the country are joining him and helping him share his message.

“I’m so proud that my fellow legislators, Republican leaders, and Oklahoma entrepreneurs would stand with me in supporting Marco Rubio,” said State Senator David Holt, Rubio's Oklahoma campaign chairman. “Now is the time for true Oklahoma conservatives to rally behind Marco because a vote for anyone else is a vote for Donald Trump. With so many pressing issues facing our nation abroad and at home, we need a true conservative leader who is prepared, can win in November, can unite our country, and lead us into the future."

“I know that all of these leaders will be encouraging our friends, neighbors and constituents to vote for Marco this coming Tuesday, because if they do, we will get a nominee that can beat the Democrats and usher in a new American century,” said Sen. Holt.

Oklahoma Leaders Supporting Marco: [blogger's notes in brackets] 
State Senator David Holt, State Chairman
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe
U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin
Former Governor Frank Keating
Former U.S. Congressman Steve Largent [new]
State Treasurer Ken Miller [new - previously Bush]
State Senator Larry Boggs
State Senator Corey Brooks [new - previously Bush]
State Senator Brian Crain [new]
State Senator Kim David
State Senator Eddie Fields
State Senator John Ford [new]
State Senator Jack Fry
State Senator A.J. Griffin
State Senator Darcy Jech [new]
State Senator Clark Jolley [new]
State Senator Mike Mazzei [new]
State Senator Ron Sharp [new]
State Senator Wayne Shaw
State Senator Frank Simpson
State Senator Jason Smalley
State Senator Roger Thompson
State Senator Ervin Yen
Representative Leslie Osborn
Representative Josh Cockroft
Representative Lee Denney [new - previously Bush]
Representative Randy Grau
Representative Katie Henke
Representative Dan Kirby
Representative Mark McBride [new - previously Bush]
Representative John Michael Montgomery [new - previously Bush]
Representative Casey Murdock [new - previously Bush]
Representative Terry O’Donnell
Representative Paul Wesselhoft
Representative Harold Wright
The Honorable [Agriculture Commissioner] Jim Reese
The Honorable [Secretary of State] Chris Benge [new]
Larry Nichols
Fred Hall
David Rainbolt
Bob Funk, Sr.
Dana Weber
Francis Rooney
Tom Love

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Oklahoman Poll: Trump 29%, Rubio 21%, Cruz 20%, 18% undecided

A new poll by Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates (commissioned by the Daily Oklahoman) finds Donald Trump continuing to hold a lead in Oklahoma, ahead of next week's primary.
The Oklahoma/Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates
400 likely Republican voters, conducted Feb. 22nd-23rd, MoE +/- 4.9%

Donald Trump - 29%
Marco Rubio - 21%
Ted Cruz - 20%
Ben Carson - 6%
John Kasich - 5%
Undecided - 18%
Other - 2%

18% undecided is a very large amount for this late in the game. For comparison, the most recent Oklahoma poll done by SoonerPoll had 7.7% undecided. Trump, Rubio and Cruz are making stops in Oklahoma between now and Sunday, each hoping to make tip the state into their win column on Super Tuesday.

Insurance Commish Doak endorses Cruz for President

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak Endorses Ted Cruz for President

HOUSTON, Texas – Presidential candidate Ted Cruz today announced the endorsement Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak.

“I am thrilled to announce the endorsement of such a respected Oklahoma leader,” Cruz said. “Commissioner Doak is a courageous conservative who has led the fight against Obamacare in Oklahoma, stands firm in his pro-life advocacy and has operated his agency under budget, returning $28.5 million in unspent funds to the state treasury. He joins an impressive group of conservatives supporting our campaign in Oklahoma, led by Congressman Jim Bridenstine.”

“Ted Cruz is the trusted, consistent conservative we need in the White House," Doak said. "We can count on him to stop Obamacare, restore the rule of law, and follow the Constitution. I am honored to support him for president.”

In 2011, John D. Doak became the 12th Insurance Commissioner of Oklahoma.  He was sworn in to office for a second term on January 12, 2015, after receiving 77 percent of the vote. Doak is actively involved with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and currently serves on the Executive and Government Relations Committees.

Doak agrees with Cruz that regulation of insurance needs to be left to the states. Doak has been a small businessman and executive in the insurance industry for over two decades.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Club for Growth to run anti-Trump ads in Oklahoma

Club For Growth Action is starting to run $1M worth of ads in Arkansas and Oklahoma attacking Donald Trump's liberal record.

While most of the Republican candidates and super PACs have been focused on attacking everyone not named "Donald Trump", Club For Growth has done yeoman's work exposing Trump for the liberal he really is. Their ad campaigns in Iowa and South Carolina cut Trump's poll numbers when little else would.

The most recent polling in Oklahoma had Trump with a narrow five-point lead over Ted Cruz, and in the most recent Arkansas poll Trump trailed Cruz by four points.

Sanders, Rubio, Trump and Cruz coming to Oklahoma

With "Super Tuesday" coming up next week, presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are planning stops in Oklahoma.

Alabama, Alaska (Republicans), American Samoa (Democrats), Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota (Republicans), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming (Republicans) all vote on March 1st. 689 delegates are up for grabs on the Republican side, and 1017 are at stake on the Democratic side.

Bernie Sanders will be in Tulsa on Wednesday afternoon. Details and tickets here.

Marco Rubio will be in Oklahoma City on Friday afternoon. Details and tickets here.

Donald Trump will be in Oklahoma City on Friday evening. Details and tickets here.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine told KFAQ that Ted Cruz will be in Tulsa on Sunday (no details have been announced yet).  UPDATE (2/24): Cruz will make stops on Sunday in Tulsa (12:30pm), Oklahoma City (4pm), and Lawton (7:30pm).

Amash: Why I Trust Ted Cruz

Why I Trust Ted Cruz 

As a libertarian Republican, I have spent several months promoting the candidacy of my friend Senator Rand Paul, who is, in my view, the most passionate defender of our rights on the national stage today. Since his departure from the presidential race, I’ve been asked many times: what now?

It’s easy to withdraw from politics when the positions and priorities of the candidates do not precisely mirror our own. But we owe it to our beliefs to find constitutional conservative political allies who not only respect our philosophy but also fight for our views to be heard.

We have found such an ally in Senator Ted Cruz.

Ted is not a libertarian and doesn’t claim to be. But he is a principled defender of the Constitution, a brilliant strategist and debater who can defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election, and the only remaining candidate I trust to take on what he correctly calls the Washington Cartel.

The recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia reminds us of the importance of electing a president committed to nominating justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Because the Court has not lost a conservative in many years, this selection may become the most influential act of the next president. Replacing Justice Scalia with a poorly chosen justice could alter our country’s identity on critical issues such as education, health care, criminal justice, privacy, and even the very meaning of the Constitution.

In this regard, history has given us a uniquely qualified candidate—Ted Cruz served as a Supreme Court clerk (an extraordinarily selective job held each year by fewer than 40 lawyers who work directly with the justices to shape the Court’s opinions) and has the rare distinction of having argued many cases before the Supreme Court. The importance of these credentials cannot be overstated in the current context.

But the Supreme Court is not the only thing at stake. Our entire constitutional system is under threat.

An effective president for the people is going to face massive fights with the lobbyist class and Washington elites. It is not enough for a president to have smart advisers and well-rehearsed lines. Whether or not we agree on every issue, libertarian and conservative Republicans must choose a president who has the courage to stand up for the American people in the face of relentless attacks. Ted has shown that he is a true leader who can defend the principles of our constitutional republic, takes libertarian ideas seriously (even when he disagrees), and will not back down from the battles that must be fought.

Since Ted arrived in the Senate, he has stood shoulder to shoulder with the House Freedom Caucus, of which I am a member. Ted has consistently led the fight in the Senate against the Washington Cartel’s trillion-dollar omnibus spending bills. And while his Senate colleague Marco Rubio pays lip service to inclusivity while actually advocating unwelcoming and unpopular GOP positions from past decades, Ted Cruz recognizes that we grow the Republican Party by embracing new approaches that genuinely reflect our support for limited, constitutional government.

Take, for instance, Ted’s opposition to cronyism and corporate welfare. Unlike his competitors, Ted understands that when we allow the government to pick winners and losers, the American people lose. He isn’t afraid to challenge the rampant corruption in Washington, and he isn’t afraid to champion economic freedom. Ted won the Iowa caucuses with a principled stand against subsidies, even though pundits warned that no one could win the state without pandering to the ethanol lobby.

On civil liberties and foreign policy, Ted and I don’t always agree. But he was one of only ten Republican senators to stand up for our rights by supporting Rand Paul’s amendment to kill the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015—also known as CISA—a cyberspying bill that violates the privacy of all Americans. And Ted has been a stalwart defender of our Fifth Amendment right to due process, strongly opposing the government’s asserted power to indefinitely detain Americans without charge or trial.

Like me, Ted believes that the United States must be well defended and respected around the globe. He stands with our troops and will not put them in harm’s way unless necessary to protect our country. Unlike some other Republican candidates, Ted opposed intervening in Libya and voted against arming Syrian rebels, and he will not use our Armed Forces to engage in nation building.

To defend liberty, we must defend our Constitution. I’m supporting Ted because, knowing him personally and having served with him in Congress over the past few years, I trust him as a conservative ally who consistently listens to my perspective and stands firm for what he believes is right.

Justin A. Amash is a Republican member of Congress representing Michigan's 3rd District.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Review: 'You Will Be Made To Care'

"You will be made to care."

It's a simple phrase conservative writer Erick Erickson coined that perfectly embodies the attitude and intent of the religiously-secular Left, which is bent on overthrowing the Judeo-Christian values that have characterized the West for nearly two millennia.

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was, in many ways, an American success story. He grew up in poverty, in the all-too-common tragic situation of a family abandoned by their father. Despite all he had going against him, young Kelvin had a dream - to become a firefighter.

His dream became reality, when he became the first African-American firefighter on the Shreveport Fire Department. It didn't end there. Cochran went on to become the Fire Chief in Atlanta, Georgia, even serving two years as the United States Fire Administrator (appointed by President Obama). Driven by his Christian faith, Kelvin Cochran strove to serve with excellence.

Cochran had the audacity to actually voice his beliefs. In a book he wrote aimed at encouraging Christian men, Cochran briefly referred to the basic Christian teaching that all sex outside of marriage, including homosexual acts, is sin.

For this "crime", he had to be made to care. When homosexual activists hurled accusations of "discrimination" and bigotry, Cochran was suspended, fired from his job, and had his name dragged through the mud.

In their new book You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family and Your Freedom to Believe, authors Erick Erickson and Bill Blankschaen run through examples of Christians who have been "made to care", and identify actions the Christian community needs to take. As part of the book launch team, I was given a free advance copy to read and review (you can pre-order it here and receive a special bonus package).

In this new war on Biblical marriage and sexuality, Erickson and Blankschaen write that "Christians will be made to care — either for the world or for Truth. There can be no neutrality on this issue."

It's not enough to simply not care about homosexuality and other aberrant lifestyles; the new "mafia" demands we celebrate and embrace it. The new deviant lifestyle is that of Bible-believing Christians. According to Erickson and Blankschaen, the sidelines are gone, and everyone will be forced to pick a side in this conflict.

The strategy of the secularists is to isolate, silence, and punish all those with differing views. The new "tolerance" will not tolerate other beliefs. Secularism is the new state religion (Erickson and Blankschaen call it "the anti-religion religion"); rather than divine Providence, it worships divine Progress.

Biblical and doctrinal illiteracy has weakened the western Church. The watered down "seeker-friendly" approach to church growth has been detrimental to the strength of Christian culture. In an interview for the book, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias pointed out that, "Not only was the message being diluted, the method was becoming highly suspect. The commercialization of the Gospel lost the Gospel in the process."

Fundamental teachings of the faith are must be reinforced from the pulpit and at the kitchen table. Christian community needs to be rebuilt, families need strengthened, and believers must engage the culture around us. Truth has never been popular, and never will be, but the command to be salt and light still applies. We speak up in the face of evil because our faith demands it. Christianity is not a private faith; we are to live it out.

This is a long-term battle. We've gotten to this point because the Secularists applied long-term perspective and goals to their war. The fight to protect religious liberty is important, not just for us, but for future generations.

You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family and Your Freedom to Believe is a great read, and important given the times we live in.

The book officially launches on February 22nd. If you pre-order before then, you will receive a special bonus package:

  • Chapter One of You Will Be Made to Care — “The Audacity to Believe” — Start reading the book right away! (PDF)
  • Exclusive Audio Interview Collection – Go behind the scenes with more than 11 hours of in-depth interviews featuring Russell Moore, Ravi Zacharias, Kevin DeYoung, Ed Morrissey, Nancy Pearcey, Kelvin Cochran, Barronelle Stutzman, and more.
  • The Resurgent Believer: 21 Daily Devotionals to Reinvigorate Your Faith – Erick Erickson (PDF)
  • The Believer in the Public Square:  A Sermon by Erick Erickson (PDF)
  • “Faith Makes Your Story Worth Telling” — Reinvigorate your faith with this challenging chapter from Bill Blankschaen’s latest book A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life. (PDF)
  • The Resurgent Family Cookbook — Enjoy some of Erick Erickson’s favorite recipes as you gather together to form the authentic faith communities we so desperately need. (PDF)
  • Social Media Images — Get a free collection of social media images perfect for sharing your passion for freedom and your faith with the world. Let them know you will continue to speak the truth in love!

You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family and Your Freedom to Believe can be pre-ordered on Amazon ($18.11), Barnes & Noble ($18.47), Books-A-Million ($27.99), and ($17.99). After pre-ordering, enter your purchase information at to get the bonus package.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

SoonerPoll: Trump 30%, Cruz 25%, Rubio 21% in Oklahoma

414 likely voters registered Republican, conducted Feb. 6th to 9th.
MoE +/- 4.81%. Numbers in parentheses are from Jan. 17th-19th survey (PDF).

Donald Trump - 30.4% (35.1%)   -4.7%
Ted Cruz - 25.4% (25.0%)   +0.4%
Marco Rubio - 21.0% (9.6%)   +11.4%
Ben Carson - 5.6% (7.8%)   -2.2%
Jeb Bush - 4.6% (4.4%)   +0.2%
John Kasich - 2.9%
Carly Fiorina - 1.5% (1.3%)   +0.2%
Chris Christie - 1.4% (3.1%)   -1.7%
Jim Gilmore - 0.0%
Unsure/Other - 7.7% (7.0%)   +0.7%

The latest SoonerPoll tracking of the Republican presidential candidates continues to show Trump leading, but the effect of those dropping out of the race and the decline of others may spell problems for him through Super Tuesday.

Donald Trump seems to be stuck.  While currently at 30 percent of the Republican electorate, he has not been able to break 35 percent which has been his high among the last four SoonerPolls since September of last year.

“Early on, Trump’s been able to channel the anger and frustration felt among Republicans toward President Obama,” said Bill Shapard, founder of the SoonerPoll, “but anger and frustration can only take you so far in a presidential race.”

Link: Toplines and Crosstabs

The poll also reflects the impact of two Republican candidates who have dropped out since the last poll was taken, Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee.

Those undecided have increased three percent since the last poll, but it should be noted that the 7.7 percent of Republicans who are now undecided is extremely low compared to 28 percent undecided in the Democratic ballot.

The greatest change in this poll is Marco Rubio, who rocketed to 21 percent from 10 percent just a week and half ago after initially falling seven points since November.  Rubio has been performing well in national polling as well and went under attack at Saturday’s debate in New Hampshire.  It should be noted that this poll started fielding on Saturday before the debate and ended Monday night, so it includes support of Rubio before and after his much criticized debate performance.  Some national polling since the debate has shown some negative impact while other polls have not.

Ted Cruz had been on a steady climb since the first poll last November and remains at 25 percent since the last poll a week and half ago.

Ben Carson continued his decline, falling another 2 points since the last poll where he experienced a 10-point fall from the November poll, and a combined drop of nearly 17 points since last September.

Liberal and moderate Republicans, which only makes up one-in-four Republicans, favor Trump while all three top vote-getters almost evenly split the conservative Republican vote, which is 70 percent of the electorate.

None of the candidates have an edge among male or female voters, but Trump leads among Boomers and Seniors — the largest voting block — by four to nine points which is helping him maintain his lead.

“While there is a lot movement in this poll, Trump, who remains the front-runner with a small lead now, is not benefiting from it,” said Shapard.  “The lose of two more candidates and Carson’s decline… these votes don’t appear to be going to Trump.”

Shapard went on to speculate that as the field narrows the consolidation could push one or two other candidates beyond Trump, who has only been able to remain the front-runner because of a large field of candidates.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Trump, Sanders win New Hampshire by large margins

The polls have closed in New Hampshire, and Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have handily won their respective primaries in the state.

As of 8:40pm CST, Sanders had 60.4% to Hillary Clinton's 38.6%, while Trump had 33.4% with John Kasich running second at 16.9%.

The real question of the night, which remains to be answered, is who will end up in third, fourth and fifth place on the Republican side. Marco Rubio had been widely expected to take second place, but is currently trailing in fifth.

On the Republican side, candidates have to get 10% in order to receive delegates. Christie, Fiorina and Carson are well below that threshold, but earlier in the returns Rubio was flirting with dipping below as well.

If Ted Cruz maintains third-place, that is huge. He was not expected to play well in moderate-heavy New Hampshire, and three of the more moderate candidates practically lived in New Hampshire during the campaign (Kasich, Bush and Christie).

Monday, February 08, 2016

Muskogee County GOP Offers Scholarships

Muskogee County GOP Offers Scholarships

The Muskogee County Republican Party is accepting scholarship applications from graduating high school seniors who reside in Muskogee County. Over the years, the MCRP has bestowed at least 25 area students this monetary award, including six in 2015. To apply for the scholarship, applicants must first meet the criteria below:

  • Must be a 2016 graduating high school senior and attend college the Fall semester of 2016
  • Must be a resident of Muskogee County
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0
  • If 18 years of age, MUST be a registered Republican prior to submitting application
  • If student is not 18, one parent must currently be a registered Republican

Students meeting the above criteria may mail a completed application to P.O. Box 2278, Muskogee, OK 74402, or e-mail it to no later than Friday,
March 11, 2016. An appointment will then be set prior to April 1st for a mandatory interview with the MCRP Scholarship Committee to assist in determining the scholarship winners.

Public announcement of scholarship winners will be made at the 2016 Lincoln-Reagan Dinner hosted by the Muskogee County Republican Party on Thursday, April 21st , at the Indian Capital
Technology Center (ICTC) Conference Center. The keynote speaker will be Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Scholarship recipients are requested to attend this event and will receive free admission for themselves and their parents.

Applications are available at every Muskogee County high school.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

FPIO hosting scholar to speak on the Economic Impact of Natural Marriage

FPIO to host marriage scholar Brad Wilcox on the positive 
impact natural marriage has on economic success
 Contact: Timothy Tardibono, FPIO President at or 405.664.6514

OKC—The Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma will host marriage and family scholar Brad Wilcox in OKC on Tuesday, February 9 to discuss his latest research findings on why natural marriage matters for the economic success of states and the well-being of children.

Timothy Tardibono, President of the Family Policy Institute expressed excitement about Wilcox’s visit, “Professor Wilcox is one of America’s preeminent scholars on natural marriage and the positive impact intact families have on people, communities and states. At a time when Oklahoma’s budget continues to stagger, Professor Wilcox will elaborate on the economic benefits natural marriage promotes and why policymakers and community leaders should encourage natural marriage and stable father-mother parenting.”

Tardibono continued, “In fact, Wilcox’s new report--Strong Families, Prosperous States--finds that if Oklahoma enjoyed 1980-levels of married parenthood, its per capita GDP would be 2.5% higher, its median family income would be 5.6% higher, and its child poverty rate would be 8.5% lower. Wilcox concludes ‘What’s clear from the data is that Oklahoma’s economy would be in better shape if Sooner families were stronger.’”

Wilcox will be speaking at 2:00pm at MetroTech’s Springlake Campus at 1900 Springlake Dr. in OKC.

Also at MetroTech at 3:30pm, Professor Wilcox will be presenting the findings of his new book: “Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love & Marriage Among African Americans and Latinos.” “Soul Mates” is the first book to chronicle the vital role that churches are playing in contemporary America among Black and Latino families. Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with American families, Wilcox shines a spotlight on the many happy couples that are benefiting from their regular participation in a spiritual community. Wilcox’s findings demonstrate that couples who attend religious services regularly, regardless of denomination, are much more likely to enjoy strong relationships.

For more information and to register, visit:

Wilcox is a senior fellow of the Institute for Family Studies, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a member of Oklahoma's Research Advisory Group where he provides guidance to the nationally respected Family Expectations and Project Relate programs and strategies.

The Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma is a non-profit, non-partisan organization which seeks to protect families and strengthen communities by advancing positive cultural and societal initiatives that will improve the well-being of Oklahoma’s children and families.

Ted Cruz wins Tulsa GOP and Muskogee GOP straw polls

Texas Senator Ted Cruz won presidential primary straw polls held at both the Tulsa County Republican Party precinct meetings and the Muskogee County Republican Party precinct meetings.

Tulsa County GOP Straw Poll (Thursday, February 4th - 600 votes cast):
  • Ted Cruz - 220 (36.7%)
  • Donald Trump - 173 (28.8%)
  • Marco Rubio - 103 (17.2%)
  • Ben Carson - 65 (10.8%)
  • Carly Fiorina - 10 (1.7%)
  • John Kasich - 10 (1.7%)
  • Jeb Bush - 9 (1.5%)
  • Chris Christie - 6 (1.0%)
  • Rand Paul - 3 (0.5%)
  • Mike Huckabee - 1 (0.2%)
Muskogee County GOP Straw Poll (Saturday, February 6th - 30 votes cast):
  • Ted Cruz - 12 (40.0%)
  • Marco Rubio - 9 (30.0%)
  • Ben Carson - 4 (13.3%)
  • Donald Trump - 2 (6.7%)
  • Jeb Bush - 1 (3.3%)
  • Carly Fiorina - 1 (3.3%)
  • Undecided - 1 (3.3%)

Friday, February 05, 2016

Tomorrow: Muskogee GOP Precinct Meetings & Straw Poll

From the Muskogee County Republican Party:

Precinct meetings for the Muskogee County GOP will be held at 9am on Saturday, February 6th. They will be held at the Muskogee Public Library, in the Grant Foreman meeting room on the second floor.

We are planning to conduct a Presidential Primary Straw Poll, so come and support your preferred Presidential candidate! We will also be hearing from local candidates for office.

Precinct meetings are the first step in becoming qualified to attend both the District Convention and State Convention later in the spring, where we elect delegates to the National Convention who officially vote for our presidential nominee.

Precinct meetings are open to any and all registered Republican voters in Muskogee County. Come on out and join us! Tell us on Facebook if you're planning to come.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Cruz Pollster: Three Thoughts on the Iowa Polls

Three Thoughts on the Iowa Polls
by Bryon Allen, Partner/COO at WPA Opinion Research

So Ted Cruz won.  That was unexpected to a lot of people, included otherwise very good pollsters like Ann Selzer (who conducts the Des Moines Register poll) and Douglas Schwartz (who is the head of the Quinnipiac poll).

The cat is pretty much out of the bag now though that it wasn’t unexpected to us and I’m betting it wasn’t a surprise to a lot of the other campaigns’ pollsters.

So what was the difference and what does it tell us about polling Iowa?

1. Sampling the Iowa caucuses is really hard.

Most of the public polls used a methodology based on calling all Iowans or all registered voters and then letting them self-select as likely to caucus

This is a good methodology for some elections.  It’s a lot like what we do in a general election setting.  But it’s not a good way to poll a caucus.

The problem for these polls in the caucus is that they wind up including a large number of non-voters in their samples.  There is a lot of research showing that people overstate their likelihood to vote, especially people who don’t have a history of voting already.  Given the high effort required to participate, overstatement in a caucus is likely even higher.

In many cases these problems don’t matter—if the unlikely voters screening into the survey have the same opinions as likely voters, the results will still be consistent with reality.  But this year in Iowa was different.

Trump was increasingly rejected by traditional caucus attendees, especially after his decision to skip the final debate.  But his numbers in the polls were buoyed by a group of voters who do not typically vote in the caucuses but were strongly attached to Trump.

In a case like this, the bias of the public polls toward including too many non-caucus goers in their samples became impossible to overcome leading them to substantially over-state support for Trump

2. Field period mattered more in Iowa this year.

The Des Moines Register poll, Quinnipiac, and others conducted their interviews over a period that spanned much of the last week before the caucus.  I said yesterday that this may have been a problem and it turned out to be.

In most years, the arguments have all been made well in advance of the last week.  While some things can change and some voters will change their minds, it’s rare for a major shake-up of the race to happen in the few days before the caucus.

But this year, once again, was different.  The last week saw Trump skip the final debate, a move that cost him substantially with traditional caucus goers.  It also saw the first real opportunity for voters to see the non-Trump candidates debate the issues rather than participating in a circus.

Both of these things moved the numbers and most of the public polls missed this effect by releasing data based substantially on pre-debate interviews.  If they had polled post-debate and into the weekend, they would have seen what we saw and drawn very different conclusions about the state of the race.

3. No, polling is not dead or on life support or whatever.

Sometimes I worry that I am part of the most hated profession in politics (which would be the most hated profession in a hated field…grim).  The only thing that’s going to keep pollsters from being first against the wall when the revolution comes is that there are still lawyers in the world.

Inevitably we’re already seeing a raft of “polling is dead” stories.  But polling is not dead and the fact that some pollsters got Iowa wrong for a couple of completely explicable reasons is not an indictment of the entire field.

What last night does suggest is that the same methodologies can’t be applied across all elections.  The public pollsters need to do what most campaign pollsters did years ago and develop different models, sampling protocols, and methodologies for different types of races.  It’s not a one-size-fits-all world out there and things like special elections and caucuses require a more sophisticated approach than do high-turnout general elections.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Jarrin Jackson: A Fair Question

Why (not) me?

A woman challenged me the other night, demanding to know what I have done that qualifies me for Congress. It’s a fair question. I am young (30) and fresh out of the Army, an unusual combination for a Congressional candidate. But her question implied the military is just about following orders, no thinking required, not a real job, and one providing experience that’s not relevant.

Let me reply.

First, I graduated from West Point in the top 15% of my class. That’s an achievement given how hard it is just to get in. It’s even more of an achievement for me, someone not so naturally gifted, to compete well against 1,200 exceptional, high-energy cadets. It shows a measure of work-ethic and intelligence all members of Congress should have.

Second, I fought. In the thick of it. Make of that what you will, but the freedoms and duties contained in our Constitution are not matters of lip-service to me. They’re personal. They should be personal to all members of Congress.

Third, I led from the platoon to the company levels; single digits to as many as 350 warriors. My duties were like those of a CEO. Not only did I conduct and oversee operations and planning, but I constantly assessed my unit’s strengths and weaknesses, innovating strategies and tactics while being responsible for equipment bought by American taxpayers worth hundreds of millions of dollars. If successful enterprise experience is a good indicator of political worth, this compares.

Fourth, I looked out for my soldiers. Battlefield success was paramount, but I did other tasks. I fired under-performing soldiers and dealt with the guilt of taking away a family’s paycheck. I helped performing soldiers manage their finances, plan their career, balance their home/work schedules, adjust for their personal issues (sick kids, divorce, PTSD), fight bureaucracies about their pay, healthcare, and living arrangements, and, during deployments, did my best to make sure they stayed on task and all came home alive. I put performing Americans first and everyone else second.

Fifth, I experienced the best and worst of mankind many only read about. Poverty, primitivism, gore, hopelessness, injustice, hatred, totalitarianism, tyranny, evil, heroism, sacrifice, unity, loyalty, professionalism, human dignity, good. I understand from experience why America’s way is the best way.

Sixth, I served as a battflefield ambassador of American foreign policy, brokered international tribal security agreements, solved problems, studied economies, learned Pashto, learned Islam from an Afghan mullah, slept on freezing Himalayan mountaintops, negotiated for lives, made life and death decisions under fire, sent home in a body bag a young soldier whose family I later cried with, rescued hostages from jihadists, called in airstrikes, the list goes on.

How much of this is relevant voters will decide. To those who compare candidates on the basis of what we have done, it is a start. I’m running for Congress because Congress is failing our people. We need leaders who won’t.

Jarrin Jackson is running for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District. Learn more by visiting

Monday, February 01, 2016

Iowa: Cruz surges past Trump for the win

The Iowa polling average had the race at Trump with 28.6%, Cruz behind at 23.9%, and Rubio sitting in third with 16.9%.

As of 11:30pm CST, Ted Cruz has 27.7% (+3.8%) to Trump's 24.3% (-4.3%) and Rubio's 23.1% (+6.2%). Donald Trump, who to this point looked like a nigh-invincible giant in the polls, and who touted that as practically his primary qualification, has been felled by a Texan lumberjack.

Cruz has been the only candidate to really draw blood on the debate stage with Trump. His punches have landed when nobody else's really did (looking at you, Jeb).

As I said in my January 21st post, "The only time Donald Trump can be stopped is in Iowa, and the only candidate that can stop him is Ted Cruz." Ted Cruz did just that. If Donald Trump had won tonight, he would have been unstoppable.  Instead, Trump now looks vulnerable. His air of inevitability (previously ripped from Jeb Bush) is gone.

New Hampshire is a different ballgame from Iowa, but Trump's mantra ("I'm ahead everywhere, I win all the time") has been crushed.

Ted Cruz had a huge night in Iowa, and because of that we have a chance to stop the madness that is 'Trump fever'.

Full Iowa results (1675 of 1682 precincts reporting):

  1. Ted Cruz - 27.7%
  2. Donald Trump - 24.3%
  3. Marco Rubio - 23.1%
  4. Ben Carson - 9.3%
  5. Rand Paul - 4.5%
  6. Jeb Bush - 2.8%
  7. Carly Fiorina - 1.9%
  8. John Kasich - 1.9%
  9. Mike Huckabee - 1.8%
  10. Chris Christie - 1.8%
  11. Rick Santorum - 1.0%
  12. Other - 0.1%
  13. Jim Gilmore - 0.0%

Music Monday: "My Story"

This week's Music Monday is My Story, by Mike Weaver (of the contemporary Christian band Big Daddy Weave) and Jason Ingram. Although contemporary Christian music isn't ordinarily my thing (I prefer a more classical, choral style of Christian music), the lyrics to this song are really good.