Friday, June 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Grace!

This young lady came in today wearing a sticker that said "I'm 18 today" and asked for a voter registration application. Her mom said that this was just one of her birthday activities and that she has been looking forward to this day when she can share the privileges of voting with her daughters. Today was Grace's 18th birthday and voter registration day.

Do you remember when you registered to vote? Do you remember the first time you voted?
Todays Talking Points

Key Point: The five year record of Bush Republicans is a catalogue of incompetence and misleading, and the American people have paid the price. From Iraq to Katrina, from gas prices to health care costs, from the minimum wage to Medicare part D, it is time for a new direction.

Real Security
The Hamdan decision was a stunning rebuke of the Bush Administration's reckless anti-terror policies. Now it is time for tough AND smart policies to secure America.

We must do everything we can to protect Americans from terrorism and keep terrorists in custody.

As the Supreme Court ruled, we can fight terrorism in a way that is consistent with the Constitution and core American values.

By exceeding his authority, the President has created legal uncertainty that makes America less safe. He needs to work with Congress now to ensure that we have a sound legal process to punish captured terrorists.

Stem Cells
Millions of Americans hold out the hope that stem cell research will provide new cures for diseases. Bush Republicans have made them wait for too long.

There is finally an agreement to move forward on stem cell legislation. The Senate has already waited over a year to act. The American people expect it will not wait three more months.

The Republican leadership should take up this legislation in July so that the wait can end for millions of Americans.

Five years of Bush Republican incompetence has left America's borders unsecured and our immigration system broken.

It is time for tough, comprehensive immigration reform to secure the borders and enforce our laws.

Democrats have announced they are ready to move forward-the ball is in the Republican court.

President Bush told the American people he supports comprehensive immigration reform. Now he must tell Republicans in Congress to stop obstructing it.


The Re-Elect Brad Henry Campaign launched a new website today. See it at

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dear Oklahoma Family,

Please join fellow Democrats on July 29, 2006, for our nationwide DEMOCRATIC FAMILY REUNION—to officially KICKOFF this election year 100 days before November 7, 2006.

6 PM TO 9 PM



We’ve invited Oklahoma’s First Family to the event and we want your family to join us! We will take a “family” photo at 7 p.m. I hope you will bring your family to this FREE event.

We will have music, games, moonwalks for the kids, cold drinks, and political speeches all lined up for your enjoyment. Just bring a “picnic” with you, a lawn chair if you want, and plan to have an old-fashioned fun evening catching fireflies, listening to music and more.

You can RSVP online at or by calling 405.427.3366.

See you there!

Lisa Pryor, Chair
Oklahoma Democratic Party

P.S. The first fifty individuals to show up will get a free T-Shirt!


The Alfalfa County Democratic Party is inviting all Democrats to their FREE WATERMELON feed at 7 p.m. July 14 at the Carmen City Park. John Herold has extended a special invitation to Democrats in Woods, Major and Alfalfa Counties.

I wonder which candidate will win the watermelon seed spitting contest!?!!!????

This letter to the editor from Kay County Democratic Party Chair Bret Carter was published in the Ponca City News yesterday.

Letter to the Editor- Be a Democrat

While Americans worry about the costs of college tuition and health care, and while many Americans and Oklahomans worry about just their getting family through every day when working for minimum wage, the Bush Republicans have turned a blind eye to the real issues affecting everyone. We can do better, and Democrats are leading the way.

While health care costs have risen 41 percent since 2000, making it unaffordable for many working families, children, and elderly, the Bush Republicans have insured record profits for pharmaceutical manufacturers. We can do better, and Democrats are leading the way. Democrats will address the affordability of health care by fixing the Republican prescription drug program and making insurance more affordable for both employees and employers.

While college costs soared, making a college degree impossible for children wanting to live the American Dream, the Bush Republicans have slashed federal financial aid for college students. In Oklahoma alone, tuition has increased by 71 percent , into including books, housing, and food. We can do better, and Democrats are leading the way. Democrats have a plan to make college more affordable for Oklahomans by making college tuition deductible, expanding Pell Grants and lowering the cost of student loans.

The economy that Bush Republicans have created is not working for Oklahoma families. Since 2000, 27000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Oklahoma, and 69000 people are looking for a job. The minimum wage is at the lowest level in 50 years (when evaluated against the costs of living), so the theory that lower wages create jobs has been proven tragically wrong, and has cast many families into a position where every day they awaken wondering if they can feed their family and praying that no one gets sick. We can do better, and Democrats are leading the way. Democrats are fighting to repeal the tax giveaways that move jobs overseas, to restore the fiscal discipline of the 1990s, and to increase the minimum wage to $7.25. The minimum wage change alone would benefit 183,000 hardworking Oklahomans.

It is time for Americans and Oklahomans to wake up, to get involved, and to push our elected officials — who are supposed to answer to us — to do what we need done! Democrats will work to restore the dignity of our elderly, the opportunities of our youth, and the stability of American's middle class — all of which are being destroyed by Bush Republicans.

I believe that registering as a Democrat and being an active Democrat and being sure to let our elected officials know what we want is the path to returning Oklahoma and America to the true Democracy it was designed to be! Get active today!

Bret Carter


Kay County

Democratic Party

What is your local newspaper publishing? Do you agree with it? If not, tell us about it!

This is a letter that was send to me by a very nice and kind lady in Oklahoma, Miss Awnalee

In the November election of 2000, 22 million unmarried women who were eligible chose not to vote! Since then, life in our USA for the majority of the people has gone from hopeful to hopeless.

Almost everything costs more and wages have not increased at the same rate. Many have lost their jobs because companies get tax breaks when they take jobs out of our USA. Each time one powerful corporation or one wealthy person gets another tax cut, thousands upon thousands of middle income and low income people suffer.

Many public education and health care programs ate being eliminated due to lack of funding. Oklahoma roads and bridges are falling apart and low income widows are being evicted because there is no money to pay the electric bill.

Studies indicate that Oklahoma has the most hungry children in America. Oklahoma is also dead last in vaccinations against childhood diseases.

The religious community can neither finance nor provide all the care our people need. Research indicates something we already knew, the most wealthy give the least to charity. So don't count on charitable organizations; their bank accounts are also suffering. All bullies have one thing in common. They want those they abuse to believe they are helpless to stop the harassment and improve their lives. This is not true. Together, we women can make a positive difference in our state and our nation!

These bullies have not yet taken away one of our most important freedoms. We can still V-O-T-E. Except for about three different faiths that do not participate in this process and the women serving time in our prisons, the remainder of us have no good excuse for not voting.

There are three different voter registration forms. One is for regular applicants. Another is for those who are not available to vote on election day. And yet another is for those who are disabled to the extent that they can not travel to their precinct’s voting location.

There are brief periods of time that you can not register to vote or change from one political party to another. If you are not registered to vote, please do so at your earliest convenience. Voter registration forms are available at the post office, public library, motor vehicle office, and many other state and federal offices.

To become a well informed voter - read, listen, and think. Do not rely on one television or radio station or one newspaper. You man receive only one political viewpoint. Read! Visit your public library. Learn about the different political parties. Know which one supports the people and which one supports the powerful corporations and the wealthy.

I hope you will choose to take these first steps toward helping make our neighborhood, our city, our county, our state, and our nation a better place for all THE PEOPLE OF our USA!
-Miss Awnalee


It's time to put pencil to paper and connect the dots between Karl Rove and the K Street lobbyists in Washington and the Oklahoma GOP. Some news sources have been making a case for a "pay to play" scheme operated out of the state capitol, a scheme that connects the dots between Ernest Istook, Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove, Todd Hiett and others. Now GOP wannabe Guv Bob Sullivan has signed onto Grover Norquist's dotted line with the extremist Americans for Tax Reform group. Norquist and his gang are the ones who want to shrink government down to the size that you can "drown it in the bathtub." [Why do they hate government? Why do they hate public schools and highways? Why do they hate America?]

And now you too can connect the dots between these DC politicos and the local GOPers . . . it's easy . . . Tom DeLay . . . Karl Rove . . . Scooter Libby . . . Grover Norquist . . .Ernest Istook . . .Todd Hiett . . . Bob Sullivan . . . spooooooky.

YOUR VOTE COUNTS Today on News 9

Rep. Richard Morrissette takes aim at the Republicans on college tuition, minimum wage, and unethical advertising today between 4 and 5 p.m. on News 9's Your Vote Counts.

Watch it then tell us what you think.

I've been saying that MAJORITY MATTERS whenever people ask about fighting for control of the State Senate....we all know it matters but how does it matter? Yesterday's SCOTUS ruling is a good example of why it matters which party is in the majority. And I doubt that anyone is surprised that Bush's Supreme Court would rule yesterday on the side of disgraced GOPer Tom Delay's Congressional redistricting plan for Texas?

Here's the headline and lead paragraph from the Washington Post:

Justices Affirm GOP Map For Texas Other States May Follow Suit
By Charles Lane and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, June 29, 2006; A01

The Supreme Court upheld most of Texas's Republican-drafted 2003 congressional redistricting plan yesterday in a ruling that could prompt majority parties in other states to redraw political maps to their advantage. Read the rest of the article here.

We well remember when Texas Democrats crossed the border in order to quash a vote on this issue. And now some states are taking a hard look at this issue and are pushing for non-partisan redistricting. It's something we should consider in Oklahoma.

So grab a handful of M&Ms and think Majority Matters! Because they melt in your mouth, not in your hand, you'll have time to tell us why Majority Matters to you. Comments are open.

I listened to Senator Barak Obama on tv early this morning discussing yesterday's speech calling on Democrats to speak authentically and contextually about their faith. Amen and amen.

The Washington Post reported it this way:

Obama: Democrats Must Court Evangelicals
Washington Post
June 28, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.

"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,'" he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."

Obama, the only black in the Senate, drew national notice even before arriving in Congress last year, and has occasionally used his visibility to scold members of his own party. Widely sought as a fundraiser for other Democrats, Obama responded with a noncommittal laugh this spring when asked whether he wants a spot on the national ticket in 2008.

His speech included unusually personal references to religion, the type of remarks that usually come more readily from Republicans than Democrats.

"Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."

Obama said millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews have traveled similar religious paths, and that is why "we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. ... In other words, if we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway."

Obama coupled his advice with a warning. "Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith: the politicians who shows up at a black church around election time and claps _ off rhythm _ to the gospel choir."

At the same time, he said, "Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

Obama mentioned leaders of the religious right briefly, saying they must "accept some ground rules for collaboration" and recognize the importance of the separation of church and state.

© 2006 The Associated Press

As for me, my faith and family values taught me to live by the Golden Rule and to respect the wall of separation between church and state. How about you?
All in One Place
Canadian County Hosting Forum for 22 Candidates

Don't Miss It!!!!

Twenty-two local, legislative, and statewide candidates will participate in a candidate forum in Canadian County Saturday, July 8 at Redlands Community College, 1300 S. Country Club Road, El Reno. The Bean Supper "Eat and Greet" begins at 6 p.m. and the candidates will speak from 6:45 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. Sponsorships are also available. For more information contact Jody Harlan at 405.354.3189 or

This is a one of a kind event with so many candidates in one place at the same time. Thanks to Jody and the Canadian County Democratic Party for organizing this opportunity to hear some of Oklahoma's greatest Democrats, all in one place.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan Comments on Signing of Budget and Tax Cut Bills

“Governor Henry’s signature of the budget and tax cut bills approved by the Legislature during last week’s special session is a victory for all Oklahomans.

“This year’s budget ensures that our classrooms will continue to be guided by the best and brightest teachers in the country, that our communities will be a safe place for Oklahomans to live, work and raise their families, that our senior citizens get hot meals at senior centers across the state, that our roads and bridges receive much needed repairs and that small business owners can offer affordable health insurance to their hard-working employees.

“The final tax cut package includes tax cuts for all Oklahomans. Including an increase in the standard deduction to the federal level, will put more money back into the pockets of middle class families, ensuring Oklahoma’s economy will continue to grow and prosper.

“In this budget debate not everyone got everything they wanted, but the compromise agreed to by both parties shows that we are doing our part to move Oklahoma forward.”

(This press release was issued by the Senate Communications Office.)


Working women know the importance of a good job in a just economy. We value jobs where our pay keeps up with prices. We value an environment where lawmakers listen to working people -- not just big corporations. We value an economy where one big medical expense doesn't wipe out a family's life savings. And whether you work in or outside of the home, this survey is our chance as working women to be heard!

The Ask a Working Woman survey is sponsored by the AFL-CIO, the largest organization of working women in America, and Working America, a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Responses from the survey are used to educate every U.S. representative and senator as well as state and local officials around the country on Labor Day.

To take the survey go to:

Congratulations to the Young Democrats of Oklahoma on a successful fundraiser last night. Since I was in Ponca City I couldn't attend but I've heard great stories from the event. Thanks to the following event sponsors for their support and belief in Young Democrats:

  • Democratic Leader Rep. Jari Askins
  • Senator Bernest Cain
  • George Krumme
  • Governor Brad Henry
  • L.L. James Printing
  • Oklahoma County Commissioner Jim Roth
  • Daniela Newville
  • Ken Nance
  • State Treasurer Scott Meacham
  • Rep. R.C. Pruett
  • Rep. Joe Dorman
  • Rep. Ryan McMullen
  • Rep. John Auffet
  • DNC National Committeewoman Betty McElderry
  • Speaker Larry Adair (retired)
  • Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairwoman Lisa Pryor
  • Candidate for State Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields
  • Candidate for Lt. Governor Pete Regan
  • Candidate for State Senate Andrew Rice
  • The Chickasaw Nation


According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, women are twice as likely as men to be minimum wage earners. Minimum wage is now at its lowest level in 50 years making it nearly impossible for minimum wage working women to pay for basic necessities. It would take a full day's pay at minimum wage to pay for one tank of gas, and most minimum wage workers are the major breadwinners within their families. [House Education and Workforce Committee]

Every day millions of American women work hard and play by the rules to try to ensure a better life for their families. The shameful reality is providing the basics on a minimum wage that amounts to $10,700 a year, struggling to make ends meet while health care costs, child care costs and gas prices continue to increase. Women minimum wage workers deserve a decent wage they can live on, and the fact is that today's minimum wage is indecent.

A non-partisan survey, showing that 77 percent of Americans believe raising the minimum wage should be a priority, provides further proof that Republicans are out of touch with the values and priorities of a majority of Americans. [EPI]

Our choices reflect our values and, once again, Republicans actions have shown that their actions do not value all Americans.

Today's Talking Points

Key Point: Bush Republicans have no plan for the war in Iraq, and their incompetence is making America less safe. Democrats, America's Generals, and the Iraqis agree it is time to change course in Iraq and begin the phased withdrawal of US troops. With new and growing threats around the world that must be addressed, it is time for a new direction.

Five years of Bush Republican incompetence has made America less safe, and it is time for a change.
Bush Republicans have no plan for the future in Iraq. They stand for failed policies, and won't even condemn amnesty for terrorists who kill American soldiers.
Democrats, America's Generals, the Iraqi government, and the American people all agree that it is time to change course in Iraq and begin the phased redeployment of US troops.
New and growing threats around the world, from Iran to Afghanistan, North Korea to Somalia, will not wait for Bush Republicans to choose to meet them. The Democratic Real Security agenda is the tough AND smart plan to protect America's national security

Five years of Bush Republican incompetence has left America's borders unsecured and our immigration system broken.
Democrats believe it's time for tough, comprehensive immigration reform to secure the borders and enforce our laws.
If President Bush is as committed to comprehensive immigration reform as he claims, he will pick up the telephone and tell Republicans in Congress to stop obstructing it.

Minimum Wage/Congressional pay raise
Congress is supposed to serve the people, but Republicans in Congress are ready to serve themselves.
Last week Bush Republicans rejected increasing the minimum wage. Now they're ready to give Congress a pay raise.
At a time when Americans are working more and making less, a Congress that is working less does not deserve to be making more.
Democrats believe Congress should not get a pay raise until it has raised the minimum wage for hard-working Americans.
Custer County Holds Standing Room Only Event
By Mack Miller

The Custer County Democrats held their first fundraiser tonite. The banquet room at the Mark Restauarant in Weatherford had standing room only.
Additional chairs were brought in, the room was full and people were standing.

Lt. Governor Candidates Senator Cal Hobson and Representative Jari Askins were present and allowed to speak. Also present was a representative from State Auditor Jeff McMahan's campaign, Tony Wilson (campaign manager for CD3 congressional candidate Greg Wilson), Senate District 38 Candidate Josh Woods, Senator Gilmer and Wanda Capps, and State Representative James and Yvonne Covey.

Featured speaker Frosty Troy was great as usual, bringing himself to tears once during his speech. Frosty even took questions at the end. The great `tell it like it is' speaker drew 2 standing ovations. He urged all Democrats to stand up and be proud to be Democrats. Frosty said he had spoke recently to a group of Young Republicans. "They must have wanted to hear the truth for a change," said Frosty. He told the Republicans present, "I will speak slowly so you can all understand what I am saying". Senator Hobson admitted he had made Frosty's list of the `5 worst senators' once.

Congratulations to Custer County Democratic Party officers for a VERY successful fundraiser tonight!

Why These Elections Are So Important

You hear it everywhere, from Democrats and Republicans, "this is the most important election in your lifetime". I say every election is important -- the election for school board, junior high student council, your neighborhood association and PTA board, your church board, the state house, county courthouse, Congress and the White House. Of course it is important, but why? Who cares?

Illinois Senator Barak Obama puts it this way:
These elections will determine who controls Congress and whether the priorities we share are addressed in Congress or whether we continue to fall farther and farther behind. Will we finally address the health care crisis in this country? Will we finally declare ourselves independent of Middle East oil? Or will we have the same old policies that favor the special interests?

And in Oklahoma, these elections will determine who controls the State Senate and whether the priorities we share are addressed in the State Legislature as we move into our centennial year. It determines whether Oklahoma children will have access to the best public education and health care. It determines if our working families will have jobs that support their families; it determines if we raise the minimum wage. It's about PEOPLE and PRIORITIES. Which will it be? A generous, open-minded approach from the Democrats, or something else from the Greedy Old Party?

How about you? Why are the 2006 elections important to YOU?

Kay County Summer Celebration

Congratulations to Bret Carter for a very nice event for Kay County Democrats in Ponca City last night.

All three Democratic candidates for 3rd District Congress were there -- from what I could tell they are all familiar with the folks there which means they've been working the district for some time. Since there are three candidates, does that mean that the Republican is three times as bad? I guess we could look at it that way! Thanks to all three of them for pointing out the deficiencies of the Bush Republicans; and yes, that includes the Congressman from the 3rd District. Thanks for putting your name on the ballot - Greg Wilson, Sue Barton and John Coffee Harris.

Sending representatives to the event were Governor Brad Henry, Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland, and Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

The three Lt. Governor candidates attended other events last night (I heard Jari Askins and Cal Hobson were both at the Custer County event in Weatherford.) Representing Pete Regan in Ponca City was his brother-in-law Kyle Dean. Yancy York was in town for Jari Askins. Don't forget the Lt. Gov. Candidate forum sponsored by the ODP and moderated by the KGOU news director will be July 6 at Langston University - OKC on North Lincoln Blvd. BTW, there is a fourth Democratic candidate, Jim Rogers, but he has informed me he does not participate in forums and is not attending these kind of fundraisers. He has declined our invitation to participate in the forum.

Candidate for County Commissioner Chuck Webb sat at my table. Good luck Chuck!

It was sure good to see former Senator Paul Muegge, a Profiles in Courage winner. And it was also good to see Scott and Margi Cooper. They live in Stillwater, but Scott works in Ponca City. Margi joined the ODP Yellow Dog Democrats Club last night. Thanks Margi! And I was going to say she was the newest member, but following the meeting Emily Hall signed up as a member. Thanks Emily! And I might add that Emily is our youngest Yellow Dog Democrats Club member.

3rd District vice chair Anita Norman was there inviting Kay County Democrats to participate in the district's retreat in Stillwater in August. I hope they turn the town blue!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Everyone is working to elect Democrats

Today Jason McCarty is headed to Stroud and Lisa Pryor is on her way to Ponca City. These trips are not made in vain they are trying to elect Democrats. In fact, the whole state is running around crazy and this office is not any different. Courtney Ruark, Teresa Hill, and I have been to many different places in the last week promoting The Democratic Party. The office is buzzing with candidates and voters calling to ask questions.

One of the ways I found to calm down a little bit is to bring Franchesca to work with me. She is my Bichon Frise and is two months old. She is the sweetest little thing and she reminds us to also have fun when we are working.

One thing that I love is people now look for her. There is not a time Connie Dodson (candidate in house district 23) does not stop by on her way upstairs to talk to Matt to ask if Franchesca is here! She puts a smile on my face and everyone who walks in our office. I just wish she could come to work with me more often.

Here is a picture of Franchesca hard at work for Democrats!

I was pleased to keynote the Latimer County dinner Staurday night ( always happy to go there as it means I can spend the night with my Dad in Heavener!) and Wilburton was home to 150 fired-up Democrats that evening. Governor Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry made it to the event at the end of a long day of campaigning and received standing ovatons and cheers. Steve Brinlee was fantastic to work with as the county chair and emcee for the event. Feel free to invite me back for more of that good barbeque anytime!
Candidate Forum

The Concerned Clergy for Spiritual Renewal is hosting a Community Forum on Thursday, July 6 at Fairview Baptist Church beginning at 6 pm. This forum will include candidates seeking office in state and local elections. The forum is free to the public. Each candidate must pay a registration fee of $75.00.

Pastor J.A. Reed. Jr. the president of the CCSR is hosting this semi annual event. This is one of many ways that the CCSR interact with the community. This is also an opportunity for concerned citizens to meet and greet candidates, ask questions and become informed on current issues.

The following candidates have been invited.

Candidate for Judge District 7, Office1 – Oklahoma
Malcolm M Savage
Kenneth C. Watson
Nathan J. Gigger

Candidates for Senate District 46
Drew Dugan
Rhonda Rudd
Andrew Rice

Candidates for Senate District 48
Willia Johnson
Connie Johnson

Candidates for House District 97
Mike Shelton
Jesse Jackson
Lorenzo Allen Thompson
Christine Byrd

Candidates for House District 99
Tom Nash
Wayne Chandler Jr.
Larry Foster II
Greg Nelson
Anastasia Pittman
Willard Linzy, Rep.
J.M. Branum, Ind.

The primary election is Tuesday, July 25. For more information, contact Fairview Baptist Church at (405) 232-1621. You can also contact me at (405) 427-3366.
You are invited to the
Oklahoma Democratic Party's

Lt. Governor
Democratic Candidates Forum

July 6, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Langston University, OKC
4205 N. Lincoln Blvd.

Featuring KGOU radio award winning news director Scott Gurian as forum moderator.

Confirmed participants are Jari Askins, Cal Hobson, and Pete Regan.
Candidate Jim Rogers declined participation.

For more information, contact Jason McCarty, ODP Communications Director, at 405.427.3366.
College Tuition

Let's talk about college tuition today.

We'll have four children at OU next fall and one will be graduating in December from Florida State University -- that makes five in college at the same time - four undergraduates and one in graduate school. (And don't ask, we don't get a group rate!)

Personally, I think every student should have the opportunity to attend college. As for OHLAP, I think every 8th grade student should be signed up and's theirs to lose. If they keep up the grades, stay out of trouble, and want to attend an Oklahoma college or technology center, they can do it. We should encourage our children to get the best education start and then finish their degree or certificate program....I dare say there are few college graduates in prison....seems that education is the key to success....and a productive life...BUT, it will cost us, all of us. BUT, then again, we will all benefit from an educated citizenry. What are the costs of not educating our children? of not providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful?

So, it's about the COST. Which gets back to the idea of TUITION. Who decides? In Oklahoma the state regents and college presidents determine tuition. The state legislature gave that authority to them in 2003, wisely removing it as a political football. Yesterday Governor Henry vetoed a bill that would have given that authority back to the legislature. OU President Boren and OSU President Schmidly both applauded Henry's veto and noted they are both trying to keep tuition increases as low as possible.

FYI, estimated costs for an Oklahoma resident student at OU for 2005-2006 is $12,436. Check it out at Want to go to OSU? Check out their tuition and fees at

What do you think?
Custer, Kay, and YDO

Democrats in Custer County and Kay County will gather tonight for fun, fellowship and fundraising.

Frosty Troy will speak to Custer County Dems at 7 p.m. at The Mark Restaurant. There's nothing better than Frosty in campaign season! If you haven't heard him recently, drive over to Weatherford and help out the Custer County Democrats, you'll be glad you did! If you go, post details here following the event, so those of us who will be somewhere else will have the benefit of Frosty's latest barbs. Jonathan Carter is doing a fine job as the Custer County Democratic Party Chairman.

I'll be at the Kay County Summer Celebration at the Ponca Townsite Company tonight. I don't hold a candle to Frosty, who does, but I'll have a few things to say about the incompetence of the Bush Republicans and the Democrats' vision for America. Bret Carter is also doing a nice job as Kay County Democratic Party Chairman.

If you can't make it to Weatherford or Ponca City, take a few minutes to drop by the Young Democrats of Oklahoma fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Oklahoma Asphalt Pavement Association, 3500 N. Lincoln, OKC.

(Do you have a Democratic Party function planned? Let us know so we can post it to the calendar. Email Lindsey Cox at

Monday, June 26, 2006

In a word: From Honest to Incompetent

Bush's personal image has weakened noticeably, which is reflected in people's one-word descriptions of the president. Honesty had been the single trait most closely associated with Bush, but in a March survey "incompetent" is the descriptor used most frequently.

Incompetent leadership leads to incompetent government.

In the July/August 2006 edition of Washington Monthly Alan Wolfe asserts that "Contemporary conservativism is a walking contradiction. Unable to shrink government but unwilling to improve it, conservatives attempt to split the difference, expanding government for political gain, but always in ways that validate their disregard for the very thing they are expanding. The end result is not just bigger government, but more incompetent government.

What's your one-word description for the president?

I heard glowing reports about the food, fun and speeches from Saturday's Adair County Democratic Party Rally.

The crowd was estimated at more than 300 for the BBQ and keynote speech by Governor Brad Henry. Senator Jim Wilson was the emcee.

Atha Jean Pettigrew was recognized as Adair County Democrat Activist of the Year. Other nominees included Jack Adair, Aaron Barton, Danny Benoit, Sam Chandler, Kenny Davidson, Virginia Ford, Vivian Garrett, George Hensley, Leonard Jones, Bruce Morris, Neil Morton, Regina Ruckman, Billy Jack Smith and Burlan Woods.

Event sponsors included Bill and Linda Langley, Rick and Suzanne Doherty, Danny and Jessie Curtis, Larry and Jan Adair, Mike Wininger, Jim Bennett, Rhondas Pritchett, Morris Jones, John Pettigrew, Danny Braden, Jan Huffman, Jim and Mary Bagby and Danya Curtis.

Congratulations to Chairman Danny Curtis and Co-chair Deanne Watt!
Pride Parade in OKC

Yesterday, I was among many people with my lawn chair camped out on the side of the road waiting for the parade to pass.

It was the first Gay Pride Parade I have ever been to, I wanted to get a good seat so I was early. It was a good thing because it was crowded and well worth the wait. There were democratic candidates in the parade so it was also nice to see people I knew participating. Casey Davis, Al McAffrey, Rhonda Rudd, Andrew Rice, and Jim Roth all took part in the festivities.

Several of the floats who passed handed out social and educational literature. So it was not just about fun.
Today's Talking Points

Key Point: Bush Republicans launched hollow political attacks when Democrats offered a real plan for the future in Iraq. But that was last week. Democrats, Iraqis, and General Casey all have concluded that the mission in Iraq must transition and success requires beginning the phased redeployment of US troops. Bush Republicans stand for no plan and no end, and they stand alone.


Bush Republicans stand for nothing in Iraq but failed policies and staying forever. They won't even oppose amnesty for terrorists who kill American soldiers.

The America people want accountability, they want oversight, and they want a real plan for Iraq.

Military leaders and Democrats are on the same page -- that success in Iraq requires transitioning the mission and beginning the phased redeployment of US troops.

Bush Republicans have no strategy for Iraq except slogans. In the fourth year of the war, it is time for a change.

Flag Burning

At the gas station, at the pharmacy, and at the grocery store every day, Americans face real challenges. In Washington, Bush Republicans aren't paying attention.

Bush Republicans are against raising the minimum wage, they don't think energy independence is a priority, and instead of making college more affordable they want to tackle flag burning.

Democrats believe the first priorities of Congress should be the first priorities of the American people. Bush Republicans are out of touch, and it's time for a new direction.
Minimum Wage

Last Monday morning RAISE Oklahoma supporters rallied at the state capitol then took to the marble halls to convince legislators of what Oklahomans already know....the right thing to do is to increase the minimum wage. Linda Murphy and Chris Heldenbrand have been the leaders in this effort and are to be complimented for their efforts. Special thanks also to Rep. Richard Morrissette, Rep. Jari Askins, Senator Debbe Leftwich and Senator Cal Hobson for supporting these efforts to raise minimum wage.

At the same time Senate Democrats in Washington tried to raise the federal minimum wage, which stands at just $5.15 an hour. It has not been increased in nearly a decade, and at its current stingy level, the rate flies in the face of Americans' belief that those who work hard and play by the rules will be rewarded.

A minimum-wage worker earns just $10,700 a year, nearly $6,000 below the poverty line for a family of three. Americans across the political spectrum strongly support the minimum wage, and believe it should be significantly higher.

A recent poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 83 percent of Americans favored increasing the minimum wage by $2.

If you have not yet signed the RAISE Oklahoma petition please call them today and offer your support for those who work hard and play by the rules. The number is 524-0522. Visit them at RAISE Oklahoma.
ODP Chair Expects Primary Campaigns to Focus on Issues

Political campaign rhetoric is heating up as the
calendar nears the primary election day on July
25. With just four weeks to go until the primary
election candidates across the state are turning up
the heat on their efforts to persuade voters that
their experience and leadership is worthy of your
vote, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Lisa
Pryor said today.

Voters deserve the facts about issues and
experience, Pryor said. It's our expectation that all
of our candidates will deliver the facts with integrity
while focusing on the issues and keeping an eye on
the prize of winning elections in November.

There's a lot of talk these days about clean
campaigns and I have confidence that our
candidates will give voters the information they need
to make election decisions based on facts rather
than personal attacks and innuendos, Pryor
said. As party chair I am most interested in
presenting the voters with candidates who run on
their credentials and public record of service.
Candidates who adhere to our party's core values of
respect and responsibility should have no problems
earning votes and the position of nominee.

She said half-truths, deceptions, innuendo and
personal attacks cheapen the democratic process
and cheat the voters of information they need to
make good decisions.

I invite the public to participate in the numerous
candidate forums being hosted throughout the
campaign season. Look the candidates in the eye,
shake their hand and ask them the hard questions,
and wait for their answers --- then you'll know who
will best represent you, she said.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hey Neighbor, Are You Registered?

Ask you friends and neighbors if they are vote....Friday, June 30th is the last day to register to vote for the primary elections July 25th.

Other key VOTER REGISTRATION information includes:

Voter registration applications may be submitted at any time. However, a valid application must be received at a motor license agency or a designated voter registration agency, or postmarked (if submitted by mail), more than 24 days prior to an election in order for the applicant to participate in that election. Deadlines for submitting valid voter registration applications prior to the 2006 statewide elections are as follows:

For Primary Election
Friday, June 30

For Runoff Primary Election
Friday, July 28

For General Election
Friday, October 13

Click here to download a Voter Registration form from the Oklahoma State Election Board.
Congress is Broken, Send a Doctor

So says Dr. David Hunter, Democratic Congressional candidate for the 5th District, who was a table sponsor for the recent Carl Albert Awards Dinner in Oklahoma City. The good doctor has sponsored tables at every Democratic event I've attended in the 5th District since announcing his candidacy. Hunter and his wife Dianne posed for this photo taken by Tim Reese at the event. Get more information about Dr. Hunter and his campaign at Hunter for Congress. Dianne told me at the event that she was a former American Airlines flight attendant, a union member. Don't take this couple for granted. They understand service and leadership.
Hancock Exposes Hiett's "Get Lost Little Children" Values

"Since Hiett has opened this door of being such a good Christian, one has to ask what has he done for the least of these?"

is the headline on page G2 of today's Tulsa World. The quote is from Ken Hancock's letter to the editor that questions Hiett's latest political commercial that alleges "souls will be saved" if he's elected. Hancock is it below:

"The latest political commercial by Todd Hiett is geared to get the Christian vote. It points to what a great Christian he is by all the works that he has done. Christians know that not every one that says "Lord, Lord" is an actual Christian. By giving land to a church or helping to pass stronger anti-abortion legislation or being against gay marriage does not make one a Christian. Works do not get one into heaven.

Since Hiett has opened this door of being such a good Christian, one has to ask what has he done for the least of these? Let's see, he wants to give large tax breaks to the most wealthy when he knows that the state has one of the highest levels of children living in poverty who go to bed hungry and without health care. He knows that we do not have adequate care for the mentally ill in the state. He knows that we have an educational system that is underfunded to which all the poor children will have to go.

It is so easy to fight for the unborn in the name of Jesus, but it is sometimes very difficult to take care of the little children who are already here. Suffer the little children to come to me is what Jesus said. Hiett seems to be saying to these little children to get lost.

People were first called Christians because they acted like Christ. Can we really lay that title on Mr. Hiett?"


No matter what a Democratic candidate says or does, no matter what record a Democrat runs on, the Bush Republicans and the GOP (greedy old party) disparagingly call all Democrats liberals. . . . as if this was a bad thing . . . . well, it's not.

When I was growing up and would ask my parents "what does this word mean?" they wouldn't tell me, instead they referred me to the dictionary, of all things, a parent directing a child to the dictionary!!!! So, according to Webster's Dictionary "liberal" means:

Main Entry: 1lib·er·al
Pronunciation: 'li-b(&-)r&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English lEodan to grow, Greek eleutheros free
1 a : of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts <liberal education> b archaic : of or befitting a man of free birth
2 a : marked by generosity : OPENHANDED liberal giver> b : given or provided in a generous and openhanded way liberal meal> c : AMPLE, FULL

So, the next time someone tries to use "liberal" as a perjorative (if you don't know what it means, look it up) think ah, yes, liberal means free, generous, and open.

And I ask you, which do you prefer? generosity or greed? freedom or bondage? full or empty? openhanded or closefisted?

How about sharing some of your examples of liberal generosity?

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on Flash Point

Democratic candidate for Congress Bert Smith was the guest on KFOR-TV's Flash Point this morning. (Dr. David Hunter, the other Democratic candidate in the 5th District race for Congress was invited but was in surgery when the show was taped Thursday according to host Kevin Ogle.)

Bert was the Democratic nominee for the 5th in 2004 against Ernest Iscrook. He told viewers today that he is the only candidate in this race who takes the same view that Congressman John Murtha is promoting and that is to strategically redeploy our troops out of Iraq. Like Murtha, Bert is a combat veteran. And, Bert's son has served two tours in Iraq. More than you can say for any of the other candidates in this important race.

For more information about Bert's campaign visit his website at Bert Smith for Congress.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Synar BBQ

The crowd at the Mike Synar Memorial BBQ today at Rogers Point Park north of Catoosa was treated to great music (the little girl who sang Jesus Loves Me was adorable and the big girl who is Miss Grand Lake performed a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner), a slight breeze, good BBQ (especially those hot links), cold soft drinks and great political speeches! (No not from a stump but from a trailer decked out in red, white, and blue bunting . . . so does that make them stump speeches or trailer speeches?)

Thanks first of all to Larry and Jan Adair and Freida Wilcox and all of their volunteers for putting on an old-fashioned political rally. . . . the temperature and BBQ were not the only thing hot there today. . . . with local, county, district, and statewide candidates all gripping and grinning the political season is obviously heating up.

2nd District Congressman Dan Boren was the keynote speaker and a crowd favorite.

Governor Brad and First Lady Kim Henry took the "stage" and the Governor made a personal plea for votes from all attending the event. It was clear that he has the support of these Democrats and for good reason - take a look at his record! This Governor has made great progress for the state of Oklahoma and he deserves four more years.

State Treasurer Scott Meacham took to the stage and let the folks know that their money is in good hands with him. . . .the treasurer may be a first-time campaigner but he knows his way around finances and has done some amazing things with our money -- he deserves a full term as state treasurer. Meacham's wife Susan and son Evan were campaigning with him today.

Leah Henry was there also, campaigning for her dad, Brad Henry.

State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland was joined at the event by her husband Jim East and son J.R. Kim is doing a fantastic job at the Insurance Department. . . . so --- you haven't heard about it recently --- that's a good thing! She has restored integrity to that office and has a very high standard of accountability and responsibility toward Oklahoma's consumers.

Cody Graves, former Corporation Commissioner, was there with his son Ben seeking another chance to protect Oklahoma consumers from the commission office. You should hear him talk about Bob Anthony . . . hey, have you seen any Anthony's stores recently? Nope. Well, there's a reason, just ask Cody, he has the details.

Lt. Governor candidate Pete Regan and his Yellow Dog Democrat wife Amy (in Democrat circles that's a real compliment) were accompanied by Pete's campaign chair --- former Governor George Nigh. Pete always introduces Amy as a Yellow Dog Democrat; they met at a Young Democrats meeting at UCO and have been working to elect Democrats ever since.

Some of the candidates were held up in a single lane traffic jam on the turnpike west of Tulsa and arrived a little later than expected and a few of them made a detour in Bristow to the Little Deep Fork Democrats Club Rally and Chili Cookoff.

Lt. Governor candidate Jari Askins was making the rounds of all the events today, she arrived in a helicopter! And her campaign kept the cold bottled water coming to participants --- thanks Jari for that; I saw more than a couple of folks feeling the heat and the H2O really helped.

Lt. Governor candidate Cal Hobson was one of those who took a short detour in Bristow so was represented by his wife Elaine on stage but he arrived in time to shake hands and ask for those precious votes.

Lori McMahan represented her husband State Auditor Jeff McMahan at the event. Lori is a 5th grade teacher --- we need more public servants like Jeff and Lori --- part of the Good Government Gang, they are great Democrats --- give Jeff four more years as an auditor with experience in state government (not partisan politics ie that balding guy who's running around the state running his mouth making up stuff about good people).

There was a pretty nice group from the 3rd District there today too . . . Mack Miller, Anita Norman, and Charlie and Juanita King. Charlie was a former chairman of the 2nd District before Keating redrew all the maps and messed up the state.

Tulsa County chair Patty Basnett was there as was Jason McIntosh. Jason was there with House candidate Steve Gallo.

It was nice to see folks from the southern end of the district there also (that's you Cerita!!!!) Rogers County, Mayes County and Adair County were well represented as was Cherokee County and Muskogee County (hi Isabel Baker!).

House candidates Kenny Weast and Chuck Hoskin were there looking for votes and support. These guys are running against each other in the primary; I didn't see the third candidate Henry Flanders but he may have been there.

Sean Burrage was there with his family.

Notice the trend here. . . . .Democrats in public with their families . . . . .Democrats with family values . . . . .Democrats who value their families . . . . .

Today was one of the first of many, many "speakings" scheduled throughout the summer. Be sure to check our ODP calendar often for an event coming near you. Our staff is eager to meet you this summer and to work with you to elect our great Democrats.


It was good to see friends this morning at the AFL-CIO COPE convention in OKC. Jim Curry and Myrna Burnam are strong, balanced leaders and I sincerely appreciate their efforts on behalf of working Oklahomans. Betty McElderry and I attended the opening ceremony this morning . . . . which by the way includes the Flag Salute and an invocation. I really like the way AFT member Lynn Green "invokes". I just get the idea that someone is listening to his very humble words and gracious admonitions. I was particularly glad to shake hands today with Tim O'Connor, Teresa Hill, Harry Ashbaugh, Ted Metscher, Carl Owen, Jesse Isbell, John Brown, John Gaines, Patty Bessen, Teresa McMillen and many, many others. And I was particularly thankful for the warm welcome afforded me as state party chairman. Thank YOU all for your encouragement! (After Betty and I left a parade of candidates spoke to the convention, seeking endorsements and encouragement for the upcoming elections. Maybe someone will post those endorsements at the appropriate time and place.)
"An Inconvenient Truth" for Oklahoma

Last night I watched Al Gore’s new movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” There were only six vacant seats in the whole theatre! Thanks to our ODP staff Courtney, Lindsey, and Jason who organized a group of Yellow Dog Democrats to see the movie together. Now for my review:

Part personal journey, part slide show, it is a remarkable achievement. Riveting. Powerful. Important. Believe it or not, Al Gore is terrific. He is no longer “that” Al Gore. Listening to “that” Al Gore for two minutes was painful. Listening to “this” Al Gore for two hours is refreshing and inspiring. This Al Gore is clearly a liberated man, a man who has found his balance and his passion. A man who uses his head and speaks from his heart. Forget what you may have thought about Al Gore, “An Inconvenient Truth” is a movie everyone needs to see. And that includes Oklahoma’s senior Senator, James Inhofe.

After all Senator Inhofe, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, is in the movie. Mixed amid Gore’s forceful presentation that explains the toll global warming is taking on our planet, there’s Jim on the big screen, spewing his usual mindless global warming claptrap. Our Jim, who famously said, “Global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetuated on the American people.”

It should be no surprise that “An Inconvenient Truth” proves Inhofe spectacularly wrong about global warming and further solidifies his position as one of the leading nuts in the United States Congress. Gore’s measured and convincing argument is so powerful that Inhofe is exposed for the fraud that he is within just a few seconds.

Which brings me to my point. Jim Inhofe needs to be called out for his consistently indefensible statements, starting with global warming. Jim Inhofe needs to watch this movie. Not that it will change him. Not that he will finally find wisdom, or make us proud. No, Jim Inhofe needs to watch this movie so he can see how he and others like him are destroying our planet. So he can see how damaging ignorance and power, in combination, can be. So he can see how tragically misguided he has been as a lawmaker.

Inhofe won’t do it on his own, so let’s send him some encouragement. Let’s bombard him with demands to see “An Inconvenient Truth” and challenge him to conduct a thorough, non-partisan Congressional hearing on global warming. And, if he doesn’t, let’s demand that he provide us a written response, an open letter to the children of Oklahoma, including his own grandchildren, explaining why he thinks he shouldn’t. Write your demand letter and send it to:

The Honorable James M. Inhofe
United States Senate
453 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3603

Or contact him via:
FAX: 202.228.0380
E-Mail (through his Senate website):
Phone: 202.224.4721

The inconvenient truth is that global warming is real and endangers our Earth. Now, let’s make life in Jim Inhofe’s world uncomfortable. It’s only fair that we shame him – Jim Inhofe has been embarrassing the people of Oklahoma for years.

Friday, June 23, 2006 has a post called "50-State Strategy: Oklahoma Online" that's worth checking out...

4th of July

Fireworks, watermelon, lightning bugs, mosquitoes, politicians, flags, parades, volleyball, homemade ice cream, swimming pools, baseball, the Boston Pops. . . .what's going on in your community to celebrate Freedom on the 4th of July?
Checklist for Change - Re-Airing

If you missed the nine Democratic women of the U.S. Senate on Larry King Live on Wednesday night... you're in luck!

On Sunday, June 25, the episode will re-air on CNN at 8 pm CST. Tune in and hear them talk about their "checklist for change."

(And, no worries, Desperate Housewives is a re-run.)

We took our children to the Huey Lewis and Chicago concert last night at the Zoo of my all time favorite songs is still "Saturday in the Park". Which reminds me of this Saturday's activities in parks across the state featuring our Democratic candidates.

The Democrats of the 2nd Congressional District are hosting the Mike Synar Memorial BBQ at Rogers Point Park between Catoosa and Claremore from noon to 3:30 p.m.

The Little Deep Fork Democrats Club is hosting a Democrat Rally and Chili Cookoff at Bristow Park from noon to 3 p.m.

The Latimer County Democrats are hosting a BBQ and candidate forum at 7 p.m. at the Choctaw Community Center in Wilburton.

The Adair County Democrats are hosting a free BBQ brisket dinner in Stilwell at 6 p.m. at the Adair County Fairgounds and Park, 1/2 mile east of the railroad tracks on HWY 51.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Don't Be Ashamed

Yesterday, while in Jackson County, Lindsey and I had a great conversation with the activists there. We were there to do a training, to try to get more Democrats involved at the precinct level. While talking about recruiting volunteers, the women said that lately the Democrats in the county were ashamed to let their neighbors know they were Democrats.

Why have we let the Republicans create an atmosphere where we are afraid to voice our opinions and share our views?

We can’t let them win without a fight anymore.

We can be proud to be Democrats.

Sweet Pea Abernathy
told us of the Democrats who were changing their registration to a supposedly more acceptable “R.” Jane Oden told us about some of her friends, who were so fed up with both parties that they didn’t want to identify with either. We talked about how Republican politicians were their own worst enemy right now, but that people like Jane’s friends were looking for a positive message, not just a party to vote against.

As Democrats, we don’t believe in the politics of distraction. As Democrats, we focus on the issues that face Americans and Oklahomans every single day: healthcare, education and a living wage. As Democrats, we care about people. As Mary Ann Appleby said yesterday, “the Democrats have always been for the downtrodden.”

And we shouldn’t be ashamed of that. We have always fought for the underdog, and now is not the time to stop.

Barack Obama agrees, and says it much more eloquently below:

“The time for our party's identity crisis is over. Don't let anyone tell you we don't know what we stand for and don't doubt it yourselves. We know who we are. And in the end, we know that it isn't enough to just say that you've had enough.

So let it be said that we are the party of opportunity. That in a global economy that's more connected and more competitive - we are the party that will guarantee every American an affordable, world-class, top-notch, life-long education - from early childhood to high school, from college to on-the-job training.

Let it be said that we are the party of affordable, accessible health care for all Americans. The party that won't make Americans choose between a health care plan that bankrupts the government and one that bankrupts families. The party that won't just throw a few tax breaks at families who can't afford their insurance, but modernizes our health care system and gives every family a chance to buy insurance at a price they can afford.

Let it be said that we are the party of an energy independent America. The party that's not bought and paid for by the oil companies. The party that will harness homegrown, alternative fuels and spur the production of fuel-efficient, hybrid cars to break our dependence on the world's most dangerous regimes.

Let it be said that we will conduct a smart foreign policy that battles the forces of terrorism and fundamentalism wherever they may exist by matching the might of our military with the power of our diplomacy and the strength of our alliances. And when we do go to war, let us always be honest with the American people about why we are there and how we will win.

And let it be said that we are the party of open, honest government that doesn't peddle the agenda of whichever lobbyist or special interest can write the biggest check. The party who believes that in this democracy, influence and access should begin and end with the power of the ballot.

If we do all this, if we can be trusted to lead, this will not be a Democratic Agenda, it will be an American agenda. Because in the end, we may be proud Democrats, but we are prouder Americans. We're tired of being divided, tired of running into ideological walls and partisan roadblocks, tired of appeals to our worst instincts and greatest fears.”

(emphasis mine)
Bush Republicans Pander to Their Base

Over the last 24 hours, Congressional Republicans have made very clear their real agenda for the American people. Congressional Republicans are running away from tough decisions and instead are desperately pandering to their base to improve their political standing in November. After refusing to raise the minimum wage after nearly a decade, Senate Republicans again thwarted efforts to raise the economic standing of millions of Americans who live below or near the poverty line. In the last 24 hours, House Republicans also abandoned efforts to renew the Voting Rights Act, even after many of them embraced the extension less than a month ago on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Let's be clear, in 24 hours we saw everything we need to know about the real Republican agenda and just how out of step they are with America's values. Republicans in Washington have resorted to partisan political games to deny an increase in the minimum wage that would have directly helped millions of hard working American families. Congressional Republicans have no real agenda or ideas to offer America. Now they are holding the Voting Rights Act hostage, refusing to ensure the right to vote and have that vote counted for every American, so that they can pander to the extremists in their party. This Republican agenda of desperate political tricks represents a real threat to America's values. Democrats offer America a new direction.

P.S. I like panda bears and I loathe pandering politicians. If the Republicans have their way, Democrats, like the magnificent panda bear, will be an endangered species. No more pandering!
Sullivan's 65% Solution Fails the Test

A report released today by the Citizens Policy Center raises serious concerns about a ballot initiative to keep at least 65 percent of public school money in the classroom.

The report, published by the Citizens Policy Center, a non-partisan Oklahoma policy organization, says there is no evidence to prove that forcing schools to put 65 percent of funds in classrooms has any positive effects on student achievement.

“If Oklahomans are looking for a mandatory spending plan for schools as an accountability measure there are better research-based approaches,” the report states. “Although improving student achievement and public schools is vitally important, this is a one-size-fits-all mandate on our school districts and conflicts with the notion of local control.”

The CPC study, “Why the 65% Solution is No Solution for Oklahoma,” says that any real accountability solutions for schools must recognize that student success comes from a range of programs and services in a community and not solely from classroom instruction.

“We see this ballot initiative as a marketing gimmick with little relevance to the success of students or the quality of instruction in our classrooms,” said Roy Peters, CPC board chairman. “We believe the people of Oklahoma want to address education reform in proven ways that will make a real difference for students. Our research says the mandate would do more harm than good.”

Student success is determined by a number of factors, including factors that would be not be included under the school-funding mandate, according to the study. “Our research confirms that school counselors, principals and teacher training directly impact student achievement,” Peters explained. “These areas would not be included in the 65 percent funding mandate.”

Agreeing on a definition of “classroom instruction” is another problem with the ballot initiative. Under the Oklahoma ballot initiative, classroom expenses would not include transportation, cafeteria, utility, maintenance, nursing and administrative costs.

School Matters, a service of Standard and Poor’s, the nationally recognized bonding firm, analyzed district level spending and student achievement data from nine states and found that “student performance does not noticeably or consistently increase at 65 percent or any other percentage spent on instruction.”

Just last week, supporters delivered eleven boxes of petitions to Secretary of State Susan Savage’s office for counting and validation. The initiative petition drive is part of a national effort from an organization called First Class Education.

Copies of the report are available at

Checklist for Change

Yesterday was a big day for Democrats, for women and for families. Our nine US Senators launched a new initiative....Democratic Women for Change. They've made a list, checked it twice, and they've found who's naughty or nice.....and I bet you know who's on the nice list!!! (Hint: it's not the Bush Republicans.) As women they know that to get things done you start with making a list. As US Senators they know that someone has to be accountable and responsible for getting things done on the list. They have pledged to get things done for America, for families, for women. Click here to check out their list and learn more about the initiative. The Senators took their show on the road last night on Larry King Live. To read the transcript of their interview click here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Democrats in Congress offer a New Direction, putting the common good of all Americans first for a change, and Democrats in Congress will:

Fix the prescription drug program by putting people ahead of drug companies and HMOs, eliminating wasteful subsidies, negotiating lower drug prices and ensuring the program works for all seniors; invest in stem cell and other medical research.

Crack down on price gouging; eliminate billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop American alternatives, including biofuels; promote energy efficient technology.

Raise the minimum wage; repeal tax giveaways that encourage companies to move jobs overseas.

Make college tuition deductible from taxes; expand Pell grants and cut student loan costs.

Prevent the privatization of Social Security; expand savings incentives; ensure pension fairness.

Restore the budget discipline of the 1990s that helped eliminate deficits and spur record economic growth.

Learn more at

Mr. Bush's Wrong Direction

Want to tell your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and anyone else who will listen just how the Bush Administration and the Republican Majority in Congress have taken the country in the wrong direction for Americans and their families?

Consider this. . .

Rising Health Care Costs

Under the Bush Administration and the Republican Majority in Congress, the cost of family health insurance has risen more than 70%, or an average of $4,500 per family, and 6 million more Americans are uninsured. Meanwhile, the Majority has enacted a confusing and costly prescription drug benefit that prohibits Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices, has cut funding for medical research, and has prohibitied federal funding of a real stem cell research program.

Rising Energy Prices

Gas prices have nearly doubled and exeed $3,00 per gallon in many places, and dependence on foreign oil increased to 60%. Meanwhile, the REpublican Majority has blocked efforts to ban price gouging, rewarded oil and gas companies with billions in new subsidies at a time of record profits, and opposed investments in alternative fuels and energy efficient technology.

Rising Economic Insecurity

Real family income has fallen every year of the Bus Administration, while CEO compensation has soared. Meanwhile, the Majority has blocked any increase in the minimuy wage for 7.5 million workers, while rpoviding billions in corporate tax subsidies that encourage sending jobs overseas.

Rising Deficits and Debt

The Majority has turneda projected $5.6 trillion budget surplus into a $3.2 trillion budget deficit and put us on course to double our national debt to nearly $12 trillion by 2011.

Rising College Costs

Tuition has increased by $2,000 (57%) at public universitites ad by $5,000 (32%) at private universities since the 2000-2001 school year. Meanwhile, the Majority has cut $12 billion from college student aid, increasing the costs of loans; has frozen Pell Grants for higher education; and has failed to extend the college tuition tax deduction.

Rising Retirement Insecurity

The Majority has fought to privatize Social Security, which would have cut benefits for the middle class and added trillions to our debt, and failed to protect workers' pensions while CEOs receive hundred-million dollar retirement packages.


We are growing our volunteer base here at the Oklahoma Democratic Party and have opportunities available to help us elect Democrats every day. Whether it's answering phones, making phone calls to Democrats, stuffing envelopes, knocking on doors, talking to candidates and activists, or doing data entry, there is work to do every day. Many of our volunteers work an afternoon or morning every week; some work only a couple of hours a week, while others have signed up for special projects.

If you have not yet signed up to volunteer with us or with one of the candidate campaigns please do so today by emailing Lindsey Cox at

Lindsey and Courtney Ruark, one of our DNC Partnership Project staff, are working with our volunteers and interns.

These volunteers have helped us in the office the last couple of weeks:

  • Chelsea Southerland
  • Chris Bryant
  • Troy Green
  • Marjean Mitchell
  • James Henson
  • Dwight Clark

BBQ, Boren, and Brad

Don't forget the CD 2 Mike Synar Memorial BBQ on Saturday at Rogers Point Park, Catoosa. Featured guest speakers are CD2 Congressman Dan Boren and Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry.

Event organizer former Speaker of the House Larry Adair told me yesterday they are expecting about 300 people for the noon to 3:30 p.m. event. Sounds like a great time for Democratic fellowship and fun. Don't miss it. This is an old fashioned all-you-can-eat BBQ and political speakin' fundraiser....$15 sounds like a good deal to me! I posted a map to the event on an earlier post here at OK Blue Notes.

SD 16

A 3-way contest for the Democratic nomination in SD 16 is heating up in the Norman area. The seat, being vacated by term-limited Senator Cal Hobson, is drawing attention statewide as three men vie for the opportunity to face a Republican in November.

In alphabetical order, the candidates are:

All three have websites. Click on their name above and read about their views for the district.

If you have a story to share about one of the candidates, please post it as a comment on this thread.

A Trojan Horse Called TABOR

The disastrous so-called Tax Payers Bill of Rights (TABOR) initiative petition campaign challenge is winding down and if all goes as expected it will go the way of its companion eminent domain petition.

In a 6-3 opinion yesterday the state's Supreme Court struck down an initiative petition to protect landowners in eminent domain actions, saying it violates the constitution because it deals with more than one subject.

Both petitions were circulated by Oklahomans in Action. We've heard stories of out-of-state felons serving as petition circulators and that thousands of the signatures gathered were unverifiable --- which should sink this effort to destroy our state.

The Alliance for Oklahoma's Future is the watchdog for this "bill of goods" and if they are successful in stopping TABOR from being on the November ballot Oklahoma we will all be grateful.

Read more about this trojan horse and the Alliance read this at the Progressive States Network.

Oklahoma's Citizens Policy Center is also doing work to stop TABOR.
Congratulations to Roger Ballenger and the Senate Democrats

Democratic candidate for Senate District 8 Roger Ballenger won't have a Republican challenger after all.

Ballenger, an Okmulgee County commissioner, will represent state Senate District 8 in the regular session of the Legislature that begins in February after Jeremy Moore, a Beggs Republican, withdrew from the race for the District 8 seat, leaving Ballenger as the only candidate.

The seat is being vacated through term-limits by Senator Frank Shurden who is now running for the Democratic nomination for State Labor Commissioner.

The seat is one of seven "open" Democratic seats. The other six are
  • SD 2 (Mayes* and Rogers* counties);
  • SD 10 (Kay*, Osage*, Pawnee, Payne*, Tulsa*);
  • SD 12 (Creek*, Okfuskee);
  • SD 16 (Cleveland*, McClain*);
  • SD 26 (Beckham*, Caddo*, Greer*, Jackson*, Kiowa, Tillman, Washita)
  • SD 46 (Oklahoma*)

* partial counties

Complete candidate brackets can be viewed on OKINSIDER at