Saturday, June 03, 2006

Last Night

Kudos to Tim O'Connor for a great banquet for Labor and Friends last night. I always hate to name names for fear of leaving someone out but I want you to know some of the politicos and candidates who were there supporting Labor.

Ben Odom and I enjoyed sitting with our staff; Teresa Hill, Courtney Ruark, and Lindsey Cox. (Jason McCarty was enjoying the festivities at Red Earth, so was there with us in spirit!)

As it turned out, Dr. Hunter, candidate for 5th District Congress, sat with us. (He also had the back cover ad in the program; I told him to bring his lovely wife to the next event and he said he would bring her to the Carl Albert Dinner next week.) Patricia Presley and Bert Smith, the other two Democratic candidates were also there ---- all three were working the room for votes in the July 25 primary. Bert was at the ODP earlier in the day wishing "bon voyage" to a bus load of local Democrats who were travelling to Little Rock this weekend to visit the Clinton Library. Someone will report on that excursion when they return to OKC.

(I do believe we can win the 5th District seat. Have you looked at the disapproval for Republicans in Congress lately? But everyone will have to work smart for us to win. What do you think?)

All three Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor were also there working the room --- it's always good to see Jari Askins, Pete Regan, and Cal Hobson. I shook hands with all three because one of them WILL be our next Lt. Governor! (Did you vote for your choice for Lt. Governor at yet?)

Speaking of primaries, both Lloyd Fields and Frank Shurden were there hunting for votes for the Democratic nomination for State Labor Commissioner. Again, make sure you shake hands with both of then, because one of them WILL be our next Labor Commissioner.

State Treasurer Scott Meacham was there as a major food sponsor. Thanks Scott! Campaigning with him last night was his lovely wife Susan and campaign manager Amy Sparks.

State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland was there. My she's done a great job restoring honesty and integrity to that office. She's been raising money and attending many, many local and county events throughout the state. What a leader she's becoming! And she's a Democrat! I think Emily Hall was there for the Holland campaign also.

State Auditor Jeff McMahan and his wife Lori were there. They are part of the good government group that we need to return to office in November.

Speaking of good government, Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel and Commissioner Jim Roth were both there. Folks who live in OK County should be very, very proud of the great work of those two men! We could add to that crowd by electing David Prater OK County DA. He and his wife Tamra were there in support of Democrats and Labor.

Senator Debbe Leftwich, Senator Connie Johnson, Senator Cal Hobson, Senator Frank Shurden, Representative Jari Askins, Representative Richard Morrissette, and Representative Rebecca Hamilton were there from the State Legislature. We all owe this esteemed group for their hard work this past session.

Other party "notables" or officers who were there included 5th District Chair Jeremy Hendricks, 4th District Secretary Judy Calhoun, and State Central Committee Affirmative Action Members Garland Pruitt and Louise Darrington.

My friend Anthony Douglas from the NAACP sat at the table next to us. It's always good to see Anthony! And speaking of friends, I think Barbara Royce personally greeted everyone who attended, what a great friend she is from United Way! Also spoke with Matt Jordan from AFSCME. I expect we'll see more of him in the near future. Welcome back to Oklahoma Matt. It was good to see Myrna Burnam, she's a former Carl Albert Award winner --- yet another great Democrat! Spoke to Carl Owen over the food line; I met Carl through the Wes Clark for President campaign in 2004.

Pat and Melanie Hall were there too. If you haven't made reservations for the Carl Albert Dinner next week, do it on Monday. We are almost sold out and we will honor Pat along with Sandy Garrett for their long time service to and support of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. Two great Democrats!

Legislative candidates I saw or shook hands with include Derrick Ott, Tim Emrich, Rhonda Rudd, Casey Davis, Anastasia Pittman, Larry Foster, Larry Gooch, Pat Potts, Jennifer Seal, Troy Green (one of my favorite people, he and his wife Nancy are great volunteers, not to mention wonderful people), and Wallace Collins. I'm quite sure others were there -- I think Nathan Powell was there but I only spoke with his charming daughter Ashley.

It was good to see so many young people there, most of them are working on campaigns this summer....they will be our future candidates so we must encourage them every chance we get. I saw James Henson, Jill Steger, Jason Ziesch, Emily Hall, Thomas Privett, Ashley Powell, James McSpadden, Nick Robinson (one of my former middle school students) and Zach Eddington (a former ODP intern). A special thanks to these young people for their hard work and dedication to our Democratic candidates and principles. Seriously, they are the future. ODP staffers Courtney and Lindsey have put together a My Space site for OK Dems to start a conversation and network of young OK Dems. Watch for a story on this soon.

Between Tim's introductions and Frosty's inspirational comments we enjoyed singing, eating, and campaigning. The two songs were Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" and the Labor anthem "Solidarity" (to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"). Frosty, not one to mince words, encouraged the Democrats to support Democrats and stop the infighting. He challenged all the Democrats to financially support the Party. He and Helen support it and will continue to support it. (We thank them for their strong financial support and for their ongoing witicisms and criticisms -- something about speak the truth to power.) Frosty encouraged the Democrats to stay true to our core and to not cave in to Republican lies and bullying. There's no sense in my trying to repeat the admonishments, there's no way I could say it like he did, so if anyone has a copy of his words, send them on and I'll post them here. Frosty's a strict believer in the separation of church and state, and he's a strong Catholic --- strong as an acre of garlic ---- and there's no doubt about his positions, just ask him and he'll answer. His words are salt and pepper to politics. (Can you imagine cooking without garlic or without salt?) Which brings me around to the food last night....great spread, kudos to the caterers. Several at our table really, really enjoyed the pecan pie. I decided however it wouldn't be worth the 500 calories per slice and ate another bite of cantaloupe.

If you missed it this year, make sure you don't next year. Labor and Friends!

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