Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Congressman Jones, who is the only Democratic Congressman from the Tulsa area since 1948, explained how Democrats can build on our past successes to defeat the do-nothing Republicans in November. The wrap-up speech was given by Democratic Caucus Chair Ryan McMullen, and he did a great job of putting everything in perspective! Proceeds of the event are being tallied, and will be distributed to candidates on the November ballot in Oklahoma County. A link to photos will also be posted soon.
Thanks to everyone who made the evening a great success, including the outstanding committee that put it all together!
Occassionally we take a break from the work of politics and enjoy the simple things in life....like biscuits.
Mae Scott, chairman of the Carter County Democratic Party, shared this recipe with me today. I agree with her, these are some of the very best!
RED LOBSTER CHEDDAR BAY BISCUITS
Order an entrée from America’s largest seafood restaurant chain and you’ll get a basket of some of the planet’s tastiest garlic-cheese biscuits served up on the side. There are many recipes floating around out there and even one on the box of Bisquick. The problem with this one is, due to the shortening in the mix, the biscuits will not be fluffy or flakey.
2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix ¾ Cup cold whole milk
4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick) ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese
BRUSH ON TOP: 2 tablespoons butter, melted ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
½ teaspoon garlic powder pinch salt
1. Preheat you oven to 400 degrees
2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don’t want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add Cheddar cheese, milk and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don’t over mix.
3. Drop approximately ¼ cup portions of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
4. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the top of all the biscuits. Use up all the butter.
Sixty Nine Days, Sixty Nine Ways
Oklahomans go to the polls in 69 days to determine the future of our state. Will our state be lead by bold, progressive, visionary leaders or will it be pushed back into a dark and fearful corner of right-wing Republicanism?
Odds are good that Oklahomans, who are generally pragmatic populists, will re-elect our current Governor, Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney General, Superintendent, and Insurance Commissioner because they personify the good, effective government, integrity and responsibility that are at the core of Democratic values. With your help we'll elect a Democrat to serve as Lt. Governor, a Democrat as Labor Commissioner, and a Democrat to the Corporation Commission. Why? Because voters are tired of slogans and want substance. The candidates who deliver substance and results will earn the trust and vote of Oklahomans in November. Voters will elect candidates who are "conservative" as it applies to being a good steward of our state's air, water, and land and protecting our environment and resources. Voters have no choice there but to elect Democrats. And voters will elect candidates who take a positive and generous approach to protecting our state's working families and small businesses; again, no choice except to vote for Democrats.
But before we vote there's plenty of work to do. Do your part. Loan your yard to a candidates or two for the next 69 days. Use your extra cellphone minutes to make calls on behalf of a candidate or two for the next 69 days. Have an extra roll of stamps? Bring them to the ODP and we'll give you a list to send a reminder to about the elections. Been thinking about adding some exercise to your regimen and losing a few pounds, we can help by outlining a walking route in a precinct near you where you can talk to folks about the election and the candidates. But you can't help if you don't get involved. So, call us today,(405.427.3366), we'll help you find a way to be part of Oklahoma's Dream Team and our victory in November.
For more ways to help, visit www.100actions.com.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Tahlequah Daily Press
— Cherokee County Democrats have long been viewed as a decisive factor in more than a few elections, and some statewide candidates urged them Wednesday to continue that trend this November.
The local Democrat party officially opened its headquarters Wednesday afternoon, and realizing the significance, three statewide candidates – Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Labor Commissioner candidate Lloyd Fields and Corporation Commission candidate Cody Graves – stopped off in Tahlequah to start stumping for votes.
State Sen. Jim Wilson, who’s not on the ballot this year, announced Gov. Brad Henry will be in Tahlequah next week as part of a whistlestop tour. He will visit with local Democrats at the Restaurant of the Cherokees before making his way to the headquarters at 722 S. Muskogee.
“We wanted to do something to help educate the people before election day,” said Cherokee County Democratic Party Chair Don Brock. “Any Democratic candidate who is running in any part of Cherokee County will have material here.”
The walls are a reminder of who’s on the ballot now, with signs promoting the candidacies of Edmondson, U.S. Congressman Dan Boren, Fields and Graves. But they also tell the story of the party’s past with posters from the candidacy of former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
A table in one part of the room offers T-shirts for sale, along with campaign materials from an assortment of Democratic candidates. Above that table hangs a banner listing the names of Democratic office holders from the Cherokee County Courthouse to the national capital in Washington.
Isabel Baker welcomed those in attendance to the local headquarters. “I want to thank each and every one who showed up today,” she said. “We’re pleased to have our state candidates here.” Baker wanted everyone to know the political process is working. “And it will work clear through until November,” she said.
Edmondson, who considers Tahlequah a second hometown, said the state has a good slate of Democrat candidates this year. “It’s great to be home again,” he said. “I used to tell people I majored in river, but I meant that as a joke.” Edmondson did spend time on the Illinois River when he attended classes at NSU, but he told people it was a lot different than what folks see today. He said that’s a reason he’s in the fight to clean up the river.
Graves, who previously served on the Corporation Commission, said he faces an 18-year incumbent who’s been in office “since the ‘other’ George Bush was president.” He wants to get on the commission and work with Edmondson’s office to help people.
Fields’ campaign has been built on some Cherokee County firsts. He recalled his first speech after announcing his candidacy was delivered at the Restaurant of the Cherokees before the Democrat Women’s Club, and Wednesday he was meeting with people on the first day of the local headquarters’ opening.
Fields wants to get Democrats together for a caravan to promote the party before the general election.
Jerry Moore, fresh off winning the Democratic nomination for district attorney, promised to work as hard as he can to capture the office in November.
“I’ve hardly had time to catch my breath,” he said. “I’m taking this election very seriously.”
State Rep. Mike Brown said he’s worked for the past two years to give the people of House District 4 the representation they’re used to, and he wants to continue his work.
State Sen. Jim Wilson told those at the headquarters they need to tell people what they stand for. He also sees a need to get young people involved in the process.
Jennifer Davies, leader of a student Democrat group at NSU, said she and other members are very excited and have a lot of activities planned.
Brock said the headquarters will be open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A phone line, 458-5303, has also been set up so people can call with questions.
Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.
Nationalizing the Elections
With a little over two months to go, one thing is obvious about the elections of 2006: The Democratic Party is poised for a very successful November if we fight hard, work smarter, come together, and nationalize the election.
Nationalizing the election means making this election about the failed Presidency of George W. Bush and the abysmal record of the Republican-led rubber-stamp Congress. (In Oklahoma this means Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, John Sullivan and Ernest Istook; also Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe.) Make this election, from the courthouse lawn to the halls of Congress, about the dismal leadership of Bush Republicans (the ones in DC and the ones in Oklahoma too) their misplaced policies, lack of competence and utter inability to govern effectively.
This President has been a disaster. Already historians are writing that he is likely to be considered the WORST PRESIDENT EVER. His approval ratings are at consistently in the low to mid-30’s. Based on current Survey USA approval ratings, President Bush is at 50% approval or better in just four states: Utah (59%), Idaho (56%), Wyoming (52%) and Oklahoma (51%). In terms of electoral votes, if an election were held today, based on these approval ratings, out of 538 possible electoral votes, President Bush would receive 19. Nineteen votes.
While Oklahoma gives Bush his 4th highest approval rating at 51%, his disapproval rating in Oklahoma is 48%. And, look how high his disapproval is in states surrounding us. In Louisiana, 49%. In Bush’s home state of Texas 51% of the people disapprove of the way he is doing his job. In that bastion of hard-right conservatism just to the north of us, Kansas, 58% disapprove. Same in New Mexico: 58%. And, it gets worse. In Colorado 60%. In Missouri 60%. In Arkansas 63%. Now, that’s disapproval.
Overall, in the 50-state average, the Bush Administration is getting a big thumbs-down from 60% of the American people. But, as bad as the numbers are for the job President Bush is doing (with good reason), the figures are worse for the Republican-controlled Congress. The disapproval rating for Congress is consistently in the 70’s.
Now, is the time for Democrats to change the direction of our country and provide honest, effective, responsible leadership.
When you are out campaigning this year, or talking to your friends and family, remind them how the rest of the country is saying NO to Republican politicians. And, how Oklahoma should, too. (That means NO to Istook, Hiett, and the others.) Remind them that Democrats, not Republicans, truly stand for the best and most important of our American, and Oklahoma values.
Point out the disregard the hard right-wing Republicans have for our Constitution and our people. Need some examples? The misguided and mismanaged war in Iraq. Failure to secure our borders. The monumental national deficit. Tax cuts that help the rich and punish the middle class. The destruction of vital international relationships. Sky-high gasoline prices. Unwarranted, illegal spying on Americans. The flop that is No Child Left Behind. Jack Abramoff. Katrina.
Remind your friends and neighbors that a vote for a Republican at any level, from the Courthouse to the White House, is a vote in favor of a philosophy of governing that is irresponsible, ineffective and corrupt. The reckless and incompetent policies of the Bush Administration and Republican Congress is the kind of government you get from people who hate government.
But, the red tide of radical Republicanism is turning. Republican elected officials in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, fed up with the right-wing extremism of the Republican Party, have changed parties and found a home in the party of moderation and reason, the Democratic Party. I urge you to help us spread the good word. Reach out to every Democrat, moderate Republican and Independent, and invite them to join the Oklahoma Democratic Party in building a state that respects our rights, invests in people and builds community.
The far-right Republicans cannot be trusted to govern. The future of our state depends on regular Oklahomans to unite behind the Democratic Party.
Askins In Tight Fight with Hiett for OK Lt. Governor Race: In an election for Lieutenant Governor in Oklahoma today, 8/28/06, Democrat Jari Askins edges Republican Tom Hiett, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KFOR-TV Oklahoma City. 10 weeks to the 11/7/06 election, Askins gets 48%. Hiett gets 42%. Askins leads by 20 points among women and trails by 8 points among men, a 28-point "gender gap." Askins gets 80% of Democrat votes. Hiett gets 70% of Republican votes. Independents are split. Askins gets 2 out of 3 votes from both liberals and moderates. Hiett gets 2 out of 3 votes from conservatives. The incumbent Lieutenant Governor is Republican Mary Fallin, who is now running to succeed Ernest Istook as Representative from Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.
Henry's Re-Elect Bid
Henry Running Strong in OK Statehouse Re-Elect Bid: In an election for Governor in Oklahoma today, 8/28/06, incumbent Democrat Brad Henry defeats Republican challenger Ernest Istook 60% to 34%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KFOR-TV Oklahoma City. 34% of Republican voters cross over to vote for the Democrat Henry. Henry leads by 41 points among women and by 12 points among men, a 29-point "gender gap." Henry leads 8:1 among Democrats and 2:1 among Independents. Henry leads by 18:1 among liberals. Istook leads by only 2:1 among conservatives. The lower the voter turnout, the closer the contest. The election is on 11/7/06. Henry was first elected in 2002, defeating Republican Steve Largent. SurveyUSA was the only pollster to forecast Henry's win in 2002. Henry's 69% Job Approval Rating in SurveyUSA's most recent monthly tracking poll, makes Henry the 7th most popular governor in the country. Istook is leaving the U.S. Congress after 7 terms representing Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.
OK - Henry Calls on Fellow Governors to Urge Greater Federal Drought Assistance.
Gov. Brad Henry has sent a letter to nine of his fellow governors asking them to join in his request that President George W. Bush push to reauthorize dormant crop disaster and livestock assistance programs. Henry sent a letter last week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency asking that the programs be reactivated. Gov. Henry said drought and scorching temperatures had taken a heavy toll on much of the nation. http://www.channeloklahoma.com/news/9751621/detail.html
Monday, August 28, 2006
We still need people to volunteer their time tomorrow, August 29, 2006 from 4:30pm until 7:00 pm. We will have pizza and drinks for all of you who give their time. The ODP and your candidates will greatly appreciate your effort!!!
If you would like to volunteer tomorrow OR in the future please contact Lindsey Cox at 405-427-3366 or email LindseyCox@okdemocrats.org
Frosty Troy (second from right) was keynote speaker at the Creek County Democratic Party fundraiser Saturday night at Freddie's Steakhouse in Sapulpa. Troy is pictured here with (l to r) Joyce Toomey, Pat Toomey, Willene Wright, and Kathy Thompson.
Lt. Governor nominee Jari Askins (below left) visits with Payne County chairman Jim Huston at the Creek County event Saturday. Senator Nancy Riley (at right) and her husband Jerry Riley visit with George Krumme at the Saturday night event.
(From the Senate Majority Project)
As students were returning to school today around the country, Sen. James Inhofe did a little teaching of his own. On Friday, Inhofe conducted class during a breakfast meeting with Enid, OK community leaders. We should all be glad we weren’t in that classroom…
As usual, Sen. Exxon began his tirade by railing on all things pro-environment. According to the Enid News, he said that signing the Kyoto Protocol “would shut down agriculture, military, and oil production in Oklahoma.” The Protocol is an international agreement that sets mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Actually, catastrophic global warming is expected to have extremely adverse effects on the United States agriculture industry. According to a report done by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, agriculture regions, particularly those in the south, will face significantly lower grain yields and livestock production. The report notes that if the proper precautions are taken, the industry may be able to overcome the effects. This would obviously require an acknowledgement of the existence of global warming, which it seems Inhofe is miraculously unable to do.
Inhofe also somehow came to the conclusion that the US should withdraw from the United Nations. “I’ve been a critic of the United Nations since 1998. I have a resolution that says we will withhold our dues. We will withdraw from the United Nations.” Wow, Senator, way to fight the good fight. So much for the global war on terror, not to mention the crisis in the Middle East or the millions of Americans without healthcare. No, the UN is definitely the nation’s biggest problem.
Never mind that this “lesson” came from a man who doesn’t exactly have the best educational record. Inhofe actually lied about when he graduated from college, by about 14 years. Senator Senile confirmed in 1994 that he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa a full 14 years after he had originally claimed, in 1973, when he had already been elected to public office. Inhofe’s defense? He didn’t know anything about it until it was uncovered by the media. (Daily Oklahoman, 11/17/94)
Inhofe’s stop in Enid was part of a 30-county swing through his state. It’ll be interesting to see if he actually touches on the needs of his constituents, like the 20% of Oklahoma residents that are uninsured, or the environmental crisis that the state is facing, or if Inhofe will keep hammering on the issues most important to his corporate donors. After all, who has Inhofe ever really worked for? Oklahoma or oil?
Creek County's "What a Deal"
The program quoted Adlai Stevenson with "I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends...that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." What a deal that would be! The truth is, the Democrats in Creek County are right on with the issues and right on with their candidates.
What a pleasure to see our Democratic Dream Team in action Saturday night in Sapulpa at the Creek County Democrats annual fundraiser. Thanks to Jari Askins, Drew Edmondson, Jeff McMahan, Cody Graves, and Lloyd Fields for inspiring all of us with your integrity, humor, and responsible politics and good government. Thanks also to the Scott Meacham campaign and the Kim Holland campaign for sending representatives.
A big thanks also to Senator Ted Fisher for emceeing the event. Senator Nancy Riley, our newest Democratic Senator, was a special guest and a highlight of the evening when she said, "It's good to be home," in reference to her recent party affiliation change. I say, "It's good to have you home, Senator Riley."
Frosty Troy was the keynote speaker and his remarks, as usual, were as strong as an acre of garlic. His humor and humility combined are always appreciated at party functions. Nothing and noone escapes his quick wit and analysis.
The program further reminded us that "a politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation." Senator Ted Fisher has thought of the next generation throughout his tenure in the State Senate and he will be sorely missed.
Senator Fisher introduced Creek County candidates including John Mark Young, SD 12; Kathy Thompson, HD 29; Melinda Ryan, HD 30; and Roger Boomer County Commissioner District 3. Fisher also introduced the 3rd District Congressional nominee Sue Barton. Each of the candidates was allowed a four minutes "stump speech."
Special thanks to Creek County Chair Willene Wright and her host committee George and Edwynne Krumme, Senator Ted and Judy Fisher, Representative Danny and Debbi Morgan, John Mark and Debi Young, John and Shirley Harlan, Edmond and Sherian Slyman, Milton and June Skaggs, Marvin Wright, Charlie and Juanita King.
Anita Norman represented the CD3 officers and I was privileged to represent the ODP at the event.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Democratic Fun and Fundraisers
From Oklahoma County to Texas County to Latimer County and all points in between, Oklahoma Democrats are committed to big wins in November and are working together to raise money and spread our message of hope, trust, integrity, and leadership.
Last night Democrats gathered in Edmond, yes, Edmond to celebrate our past and to commit to the future under the leadership of Democrats. Former Congressman Ambassador James R. Jones was the keynote speaker at the sold out event. Congratulations to the organizers, now, get to work on the elections! Proceeds from the club's fundraiser event will go to support Democratic candidates in Oklahoma County.
Last night Democrats (and baseball fans) met at OKC's Bricktown Ballpark for an evening of fun and to support ODP's efforts to "load the bases for a Grand Slam Homerun" in November. Governor Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry were hosts and special guests for the event with the ODP. It was so good to see so many Democrats enjoying America's #1 pasttime, politics, well, uh, baseball! I was particularly glad to see so many young people out supporting the party. And it was really, really great to see so many individuals who are interested in moving this state forward under the leadership of Brad Henry. One couple brought their grandchildren to the event, "this is great for them, to see some baseball and meet the governor and to allow us the opportunity to support our Democrats," the grandfather said. "We're happy to drive from Latimer County" to attend this family event. Only complaint I heard was about the weather --- it was warm but by the 3rd inning there was a nice breeze. We saw Democrats from Pittsburg County, Ellis County, Cleveland County, Oklahoma County, Payne County, Canadian County and many others. Thanks for supporting the work of the Oklahoma Democratic Party!
Last night Democrats participated in a function for the Academy of State Goals in Tulsa. This group is a vision setting group that is working in a non-partisan manner to move the state forward. I am proud of our Democrats who give time and energy to this group and leave no good idea untested. I am proud of our Democrats who advocate for our communities, our families, and our state.
In the coming days find a place to serve your state, your party, and your community, for in the end, our efforts will harness a mighty force for good and our children will thank us for our commitment to good and effective government.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Campaigns and Majority Matters
On June 26th I issued a pre-primary press release that underscored the importance of substantive dialogue of issues rather than sloganeering and deceptive character attacks. I also posted it on this blog. Now we are through the primaries, and we have nominees to support.
We have only 73 days remaining until the election and we must put aside our differences and work together to elect Democrats in November. Any vote for a Republican is a vote for Bush, Cheney, Rove, Delay, Abramoff, Coburn, and the others who are part of a failed administration and a fiscally irresponsible Congress. Any vote for a Republican is a vote for a Republican majority at the state capitol and will allow Jimmy Todd and the KoolAid drinkers an opportunity to push our state back at least 50 years.
So, don't even think about it, don't threaten it, don't talk about it, friends don't let friends vote Republican. You may not agree with a candidate 100% and you may not approve of their campaign tactics, but folks we are up against Karl Rove and he doesn't play fair, he plays to win.
Pick a candidate, pick a race, and do everything you can to promote that Democrat, to invite others to work with you to mobilize Democrats to the polls in November. If you feel the urge to whine, to complain, and be angry, grab a handful of M&Ms and be reminded that Majority Matters. Yes, Majority Matters. Politics is not about one candidate, one issue, or one election, it's about moving an agenda forward and to do that we must have a majority. Majority Matters. So do good manners.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
We are spending $8 billion a month in Iraq. That's $2 billion each week, $267 million each day, or $11 million each hour. For what we spend in three weeks, we could make needed improvements in order to properly secure our public transportation systems. For what we spend in five days, we could put radiation detectors in all of our ports. And for two days in Iraq, we could screen all air cargo.
When will America wake up and realize that Bush's rubberstamp Republican Congress has not made us safer, has not secured our country from terrorists? Had enough? Vote Democrat. Vote against the rubberstamp Congress and vote for Democrats. Vote for Alan Gentges, Dan Boren, Sue Barton, Hal Spake, and Dr. David Hunter.
I love surprises--especially when it comes in the form of a dedicated volunteer! Pablo Kenney is a trooper. It does not matter if he is at school in Minnesota or here in Oklahoma he is working for Democrats.
I met Pablo for the first time last week when he was one of the few people who came to our organized phone banks. He made phone calls for two hours and today he came back for more!! I hope more dedicated Democrats will choose to walk into my office and surprise me by volunteering some of their time.
It’s a good day for believers of catastrophic global warming, or those with any logic whatsoever, and a bad day for Sen. Jim Inhofe…
After years of fighting off any and all efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, energy companies are finally starting to come around, according to today’s San Francisco Chronicle. As the article notes, “with growing public anxiety about climate change, major corporations are increasingly preparing for – and, in some cases, lobbying for – Congress to regulate emissions of heat-trapping gases.”
"The scientific evidence is real," said Betsy Moler, vice president for government and environmental affairs at Exelon Corp. of Chicago, an energy firm that supports a mandatory cap on carbon dioxide emissions. "When you have the likes of Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, a conservative Republican, and he says he has seen the changes in his lifetime in the Arctic, there is just no doubt that something has to happen."
This is a huge turn-around from an industry that traditionally supported the Bush administration and other allies (Jim Inhofe) in their staunch opposition to limits on carbon dioxide. You know it’s serious when the nation’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases join the effort to reduce their presence in the atmosphere.
The Boston Globe also noted this morning that “the movement to tackle climate change is finally growing large in this country, and at least part of it is beginning to get a little more outspoken.” And just a few days ago, as mentioned in the previous post, a new Zogby poll showed that nearly three out of four Americans are more convinced that global warming is in fact a reality than they were two years ago.
Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence that Americans want at least some progress on this issue, it has had no effect whatsoever on our favorite environment-hater Sen. James Inhofe. Yesterday, in a speech to Norman, OK businesses and government leaders, Inhofe hated on, well, everyone, but saved his best, as always, for global warming. Inhofe began with an assault on the Kyoto Treaty, a UN agreement that mandates cutbacks in emissions of greenhouse gases, arguing that it would lead to worldwide governance. He also added this gem: “Since 1999, science has refuted the concept” that greenhouse gases are causing global warming.
Really Senator? That’s probably why the leading industries that actually benefit from releasing these gases are agreeing to cap them, in an effort to reduce the effects of global warming. In fact, one of Inhofe’s top campaign contributors, BP, has been the industry leader in this effort, cutting its carbon emissions by 10 percent, according to the Chronicle article.
Will Inhofe call them Nazi propagandists too or is their money more important to him than that?
Henry On TV
I don't have time to watch much TV so I am glad that candidates are putting their commercials on their websites. Gov. Henry's first campaign commercial of the season went up yesterday. It's good --- really good.
You can see it on his website at www.henryforgovernor.com or on your local television channel.
Stay tuned for more, actually four more --- years that is!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Days until Election Day . . . . .
Oklahoma is one of 20 states that allow early voting before Election Day. Early in person voting for the General Election begins Friday, November 3rd and continues Saturday, November 4th and Monday, November 6th at your local county election board. To vote absentee contact your county election board.
Last night Oklahoma voters completed their selections for this year's nominees and we have a sweet dream team in place that will surely give the most ardent Republican nightmares.
- Congratulations to Jari Askins, our nominee for Lt. Governor.
- Congratulations to John Sparks, our nominee for SD 16.
- Congratulations to Tom Ivester, our nominee for SD 26.
- Congratulations to Ed Cannaday, our nominee for HD 15.
- Congratulations to Wayne Guevara, our nominee for HD 74.
- Congratulations to Anastasia Pittman, our nominee for HD 99.
The Bush Administration's public relations blitz leading up to the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina doesn't change the fact that their response to Katrina was disastrous and failed to keep Americans safe.
The federal government's immediate response to Katrina was marked by chaos, confusion and utter incompetence.
In the aftermath of the disaster, President Bush and congressional Republicans (including Tom Cole, John Sullivan, Frank Lucas, Ernest Istook, Tom Coburn, and Jim Inhofe) made many promises to the desperate residents of the region, but most have been broken.
Largely as a result, much of the Gulf Coast remains devastated, and residents continue to suffer from inadequate housing, health care and other basic services, and an infrastructure that cannot support badly needed economic development.
We cannot change the past, but we can control the future.
America can and must keep its promises to the Gulf Coast. It is time for a new direction, where despair and destruction are replaced by hope and renewal. It is time for Democrtic leadership in Congress. Vote Democratic in November.
SENATE MAJORITY PROJECT SPOTLIGHT ON: JIM INHOFE
New website highlights “everything that gets Jim Inhofe in hot water”
If you liked the outrageous rhetoric of Conrad Burns and George Allen, you’ll love the unhinged outbursts of the Joke from Oke.
Washington—Why should ‘06ers have all the fun? As the new website from the Senate Majority Project dedicated to Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) shows, irresponsible rhetoric in the U.S. Senate is hardly the sole property of the guys in tight reelection battles. In fact, Inhofe’s recent remarks on Iraq (“What’s happened there is nothing short of a miracle”), same-sex marriage (bragging about his very married, very heterosexual family) and global warming (whose advocates are, according to Inhofe, Nazi-like) make clear, there’s fun for everyone with the senior Senator from Oklahoma. And that’s just in the last couple months!
The new website, www.jiminhotwater.blogspot.com, is devoted to “everything that gets Sen. Inhofe in hot water.” In recent weeks, that’s included: his holding hostage a chemical security bill that would help prevent terrorists from turning chemical stockpiles into weapons; his continued crusade against clean air; and an interview this past weekend in which Inhofe called himself “wistful” for the days of the Cold War.
“Jim Inhofe’s over-the-top rhetoric gets him into hot water on a regular basis—and we don’t just mean his anti-global warming stance,” said Christy Setzer, communications director, Senate Majority Project.
Among the highlights of “JimInhotWater”:
Inhofe’s English-only amendment to the immigration reform bill was characterized as “racist” by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said of Inhofe’s amendment, “I really believe this amendment is racist. I think it is directed basically to people who speak Spanish.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 5/20/06) The amendment drew fire because it could make it more difficult for government agencies to communicate with people who speak other languages. (USA Today, 6/19/06)
He’s frighteningly out of touch!
During the Bosnian conflict, Inhofe said refugees from Kosovo were “very well off.”
After returning from a weekend trip to Albania, Inhofe described refugees from Kosovo as “very well-off” and “well dressed,” and said the real dangers were faced by US troops. This description differs dramatically with news reports and other testimonials. (Tulsa World, 4/27/99)
He uses the Nazi comparisons!
Recently, Inhofe has compared global warming to the lies told by Nazis during the Holocaust. In a 2006 interview with the Tulsa World, Inhofe criticized what he saw as the strategy used by those that believe in global warming. “It kind of reminds…I could use the Third Reich, the big lie.” (Tulsa World, 6/22/06)
JimInhotwater.blogspot.com is now live.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
In our society today, welfare mothers remain one of the most marginalized and powerless social groups. Since 1996, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs has strived to improve health care and financial assistance to members of our society that are currently dependent on the Welfare System. Many of those that are opposed to the welfare system or cash assistance to resourceless families often cite that this program is a drain on our economic system and that this program is likely to be manipulated by individuals that simply do not wish to find stable employment. The evidence to refute this claim is limitless and must be promoted in order to preserve the integrety of such a vital institution.
That fact of the matter is that the average number of tax dollars spent per welfare recipient is under $700 per month. On the other hand, it costs nearly $20,000 per month for each inmate that is housed in a state correctional institution. Many of the individuals that participate in welfare programs are likely to work in menial positions that offer minimum wage and few if any benefit. They are also more likely to rely on inefficient public transportation, low quality health care and child care, and work long hours under strenuous physical conditions. As a member of the democratic party, I am confident in noting that TANF has proved to be a comendable program that has reached out and touched the lives of a plethora of individuals who would have otherwise been left behind. Still, much reform will be needed in order to ensure that needy families will successfully be able to reintegrate after their federally allotted time on welfare has lapsed. As a society, we must come together in order to aid families by providing job training, education, stringently regulated child care services and transportation alternatives to welfare recipients.
Robinne Zeliznat is a Graduate student at the University of Oklahoma and an intern for the Oklahoma Democratic Party
Stamp the Rooster
A friend suggested today that we mobilize Democrats across the state to "Stamp the Rooster." Which, of course, means to vote straight Democratic since the rooster is the symbol of the Democratic Party on ballots in Oklahoma. Sounds good to me, and with the great slate of Democrats we have on the ballot this year, not a bad idea. As State Senator Jay Paul Gumm has said, "stamp the rooster 'til the feathers fly."
After the polls close tonight we'll know the complete slate for November and I will encourage everyone I know to "Stamp the Rooster" to insure that the party that cares about you and shares your values will lead us in 2007.
Remember to vote in the Democratic runoff today - and tonight go cheer on your favorites at their watch parties!
Jari Askins Watch Party
601 NE 14th, Oklahoma City
Peter Regan Watch Party
Santa Fe Train Depot
100 S E.K. Gaylord Blvd, Oklahoma City
Senate District 16 – Runoff
Tim Emrich Watch Party
On Asp, Campus Corner, Norman
John Sparks Watch Party
Berry & Lindsey, Norman
[From time to time we'll post comments about the herd of elephants occupying key positions under the title "Elephant Watch". ]
Today's elephant is U.S. Senator James Inhofe. Senator James Inhofe's term expires in 2008. There's much speculation about challengers, both Republican and Democratic. With views like his, it's likely that Oklahoma could again see a targeted Senate race. Read the following from today's Tulsa World, like a true conservative, Inhofe embraces the status quo. Meanwhile America is demanding a change, a new direction. It's time for Inhofe to go.
Read it here:
An article in today's Daily Oklahoman describes the political gamut of candidate questionaires from a variety of issue interest groups but stops short of calling some surveys what they are, push polls (and we've all heard too many of those recently.)
While a vote on a specific piece of legislation must eventually be yes or no, that vote is preceded by much reading, discussion, and educating on the issue at hand. Many candidate questionaires are designed to push their agenda while masquerading as authoritative voter guides.
Reader beware. It's what's between the lines and in some cases what's not said that is the most informative about a candidate. Voters and citizens have a responsibility to examine candidates from multiple perspectives and to always consider the source and the questioner's motives. We will likely see more of this in the coming days. Use the information to fill in the blanks about a candidate and then verify your conclusions, not based on slick political campaign brochures or tv commercials, but by talking to the candidate, listening to them address questions in public community settings and yes, watching them interact with others.
Questionaires can be helpful or hurtful. Candidates must be authentic and credible and must not be boxed into simple yes and no answers to complex issues facing our state. So if the issue is complex look for reasoned, balanced questions and thoughtful answers, don't be fooled by shortcuts.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Eric Proctor is challenging Mark Liotta for House District 77 and I predict he will be succesful because he is working hard and smart and he's raising money. He stopped by our office late today to give us an update about his campaign. This young man is dedicated to his community and to making life better in Tulsa. His ideas are authentic and his attitude is generous. For information about Eric visit his campaign website at http://www.ericproctor.com/ He will be part of creating a new majority in the House of Representatives.
GOP RHETORIC ON THE ECONOMY:
President Bush, Press Conference, 8/21: At his press conference, President Bush also stated, "I'd be running on the economy. ... I'd say, look at what the economy has done. It's strong."
· President Bush has the worst job creation record of any President since the Great Depression.
· The income of a typical American family has fallen every year of the Bush Presidency, and many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
· Under the Bush economy, at the same time that family incomes are stagnant or falling, the costs facing average families are rising - from gas prices to health care to college tuition.
· Gas prices have reached the second highest level in history, doubling to nearly $3.00 a gallon ($2.93); and the price of oil is nearly $72 a barrel.
· Family health insurance costs have risen by 70 percent (an average of $4,500 per family) since 2000.
· College tuition has risen by 57 percent at public universities and by 32 percent at private universities since 2000.
GOP RHETORIC ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY:
President Bush, Press Conference, 8/21: At his press conference today, President Bush stated that, in the November election, Republican candidates should run on the issue of fiscal responsibility and decreasing the deficit.
· President Bush and the Republicans have run up the three largest budget deficits in history.
· President Bush has presided over the worst fiscal reversal in our nation's history - turning a $5.6 trillion 10-year surplus into a $3.0 trillion 10-year deficit.
· Since 2001, President Bush and the Republicans have had to increase the national debt limit four times so far - increasing it by $3 trillion.
· Under President Bush, the national debt is projected to double to more than $11 trillion by the end of the decade - burdening our children and grandchildren for decades to come.
· President Bush's policies never achieve a balanced budget over the next 10 years - with a projected deficit of $485 billion in 2016 under realistic assumptions.
· President Bush has borrowed more money from foreign countries than the previous 42 U.S. Presidents combined.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Statewide -- Regan or Askins? Vote Tuesday.
Oklahoma Democrats will determine their choice for Lt. Governor on Tuesday. Be part of the decision. Vote Tuesday -- then on Wednesday put everything you have behind our Democratic nominees. We are poised to win in November and to win big. But we cannot do it without your help. Call our office at 405.427.3366 and sign up to volunteer with our campaign to elect Democrats in every county and every corner of this state. Join us Friday at Bricktown Ballpark as we load the bases for a Grand Slam in November. To help, call us, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the latest Pew Poll 2% of Americans say that terrorism is the number one issue of concern. That leaves 98% of Americans wanting to hear about something else from Congressional candidates -- like Education, Gas Prices, Healthcare, and Iraq. So why aren't Mick and Mary talking about these issues? (More importantly what are Cole, Sullivan, Lucas, and Istook doing about those issues?) Why are they beating the fear factor of terrorism? Maybe because they are out of the mainstream. They are on the lunatic fringe with the neo-cons who have worked for 40 years to divide America, to deceive Americans and to distort the truth. When will Cole, Sullivan, Lucas, and Istook find the moral center? They won't because they can't afford to leave their base and we can't afford for them to vote for us in Washington.
Vote Democratic in November. You DO have a choice - a new direction for America in DC or the status quo for America in DC? Vote Democratic for Congress.
Just watched Flashpoint's interview with Mick and Mary; what was clear is that they are both conservatives, whatever that really means, what wasn't clear were their answers to serious questions. Both have perfected the "artful dodge". That is, neither of them answer the questions asked, instead they pivot onto their canned talking points that do little to inform voters about their true grasp of important issues. Being a "conservative" might endear them to Republican primary voters but won't be enough to win in November. Polls indicate that people, even Republicans, have had enough of the extremist right wing politics -- the Washington way --- and plan to reject candidates and incumbents who embrace anything outside of the moderate middle -- the Oklahoma way. And neither Mick nor Mary dare claim to be moderate after spending hundreds of thousand of dollars telling us they are "conservative."
Vote for Dr. David Hunter for Congress. He has experience fixing problems and finding solutions to life threatening situations. Mary has experience cutting ribbons. And Mick, well, he has experience being mayor.
Love the city, love the politics! Mayor Daley addressed the DNC general session yesterday (maybe you saw it on CSPAN?). Also welcoming the DNC members was Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He's fired up about investing in education and working families in Illinois.
For a birds eye view of the meeting check out Tracy Russo's blog at dnc.org. Tracy was everywhere at the meeting, she even captured this photo of Oklahoma's National Committeewoman Betty McElderry at the Resolutions Committee meeting. And that's Sally Frasier in the Women's Caucus meeting. Jim Frasier, our National Committeeman, serves on the DNC Executive Committee. DNC member at large Kalyn Free hosted a reception on Friday night for INDN'S List where she announced that INDN's List is supporting the election of Native Americans to local and state office but ultimately expects to elect a Native woman to the US Congress. Ben Odom and I attended the Association of State Democratic Chairs meeting and I also attended a meeting for State Party Executive Directors. All six of Oklahoma's DNC members attended the General Session, including former ODP chair Jay Parmley who is now the coordinated campaign manager for Mississippi's Democratic Party. He has been working in Mississippi since last summer but maintains his home and ties to Oklahoma. Also attending from Oklahoma were Young Democrats Rachel Morse, Kathy North, and Alisa Cole.
Previewed these great videos at the DNC meeting in Chicago this weekend. Check out the DNC's Family Reunion video and a compilation of current political ads at http://dnc.org/a/2006/08/dnc_meeting_vid.php.
Democrats nationwide are excited about our candidates, and we are energized about the November elections. My colleagues from around the country are optimistic about our chances to regain control of state legislatures, of constitutional offices and of Congress.
Join us as we build Oklahoma's election day team by calling our office at 405.427.3366 or emailing us at email@example.com. We are ready to win, will you help?
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
My friend Emily just sent me this article, because the Oklahoma Democratic Party is already using this cutting-edge technology to reach out to younger voters. As you will see in the article, many candidates are using this social networking site to get volunteers, advertise events, and for fundraising. Our site has over 350 friends and counting.
Check out the AP article, "Candidates seek youths at Myspace," here.
And join in the newest technology by creating a profile at Myspace, and then friend us at www.myspace.com/okdems!
A federal judge ruled today that the government's warrantless wiretaps are illegal and must end immediately. An AP story quoted ACLU executive director Anthony Romero saying "At its core, today's ruling addresses the abuse of presidential power and reaffirms the system of checks and balances that's necessary to our democracy."
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor said the practice violates the rights to free speech and privacy.
The Bush Administration is expected to appeal the ruling, but for the time being, it looks like another nail in the coffin of the extremist, borrow and spend, big government gang.
Party with Edmond's Disco Democrats
Lots of events coming up and many, many opportunities to get excited about the 2006 elections. The Edmond Democrats Club and the North Metro OKC/Edmond Democratic Women Club are hosting a top rate event at Quail Creek Country Club next Friday, August 25th at 7 p.m. Ambassador James R. Jones, former 1st district congressman, is the keynote speaker. The Dems have lined up a great speaker, good entertainment, and have committed the proceeds to candidate support for Oklahoma County candidates. Purchase your tickets at www.edmonddemocrats.org or call 405.427.3366. Checks and credit cards are accepted. Tickets are $100 per person. Many candidates and state dignitaries are expected to attend the Party with the Democrats!
Made it to the Windy City, only it's not windy today, just hot and muggy. Will attend a training session this afternoon on The Democratic Message. We are unifying around a framework* for the 2006 election and will continue working with our party officials and grassroots activists to speak with a clear voice. Today's training is part of the 50 State Strategy and Partnership Project to train up our volunteers and our voters "until we're blue in the states."
Seems to me that our Democrats are bringing a message of hope and trust to our state. Our legislators, in the Senate and House, and our statewide constitutional officers offer proven leadership, accountability and responsibility. The message is clear, and very simple, Oklahomans can trust Democrats to lead and to govern - that's the framework for the Sooner State. It's was Democrats like Governor Brad Henry, Attorney General Drew Edmondson, State Superintendent Sandy Garrett, State Treasurer Scott Meacham, State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland, and State Auditor Jeff McMahan have proven. Oklahomans also know they can trust Lloyd Fields for Labor Commissioner and Cody Graves for Corporation Commissioner. And after Tuesday we'll add another strong Democrat to the slate in the Lt. Gov's spot. Every time I listen to our candidates I am hearing them talk about a record of achievements that prove, Oklahoma can trust Democrats. And every time I hear the other side, they are talking about how religious and conservative they are. If you have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars telling folks how religious you are, maybe something is wrong. Words or deeds? Talk or walk? And that brings me back to message. I'll listen carefully but I think we know what the message is, Oklahoma can TRUST us; they have since statehood and should all the way through our second century.
*framework, thanks George Lakoff for teaching us to think in those terms!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Bring your family to the ballpark for a night of fun with the Oklahoma Democratic Party! Join Governor Brad Henry in enjoying America 's favorite pastime and cheering on Oklahoma 's own Redhawks at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
On Friday, August 25, 2006 , we'll eat dinner at 6:30 pm in the Picnic Tent area in the outfield, and the game starts at 7:05 pm .
You will receive a ticket to the game, a hamburger and hot dog meal, and will help make sure that Democrats are victorious in November – all for only $25 a person.
Special will call ODP entrance located at the Deep Right gate.
To RSVP, or find out more information, call 405.427.3366 . Limited VIP Suite tickets with the Governor are also available.
In 2006, the ODP is dedicated to electing Democrats who will focus their legislative energy to develop solutions to improve our economy, enable working families to succeed, expand access to health care and protect education dollars. We are determined to improve our state’s education system, attract quality jobs and make health care accessible to those who need it most – our seniors, our veterans and our future children.
Oklahoma Democrats share Oklahomans’ values – honesty, hard-work, personal responsibility, public accountability and equal opportunity for all Oklahomans.
Oklahoma can trust Democrats to lead and to be good stewards of our state's resources.
We want to invite voters to return home to the Oklahoma Democratic Party. Watch the videos in the link below. These spots were made by State Senator Jim Wilson and speak to our values at the Oklahoma Democratic Party.
By John Greiner
Democrats got their first 2006 general election victory against Republicans on Tuesday by winning a drawing that puts their candidates' names first on the general election ballot.
Drawings for the top location on the ballot have been held by the state Election Board since 1996, when a federal court ruled the old system that put Democrats first on the ballot was unconstitutional.
More than 30 Republican candidates who ran in Oklahoma's 1994 elections sued to get rid of that law.
State Democratic Party Chairman Lisa Pryor represented her party, and former Republican state House leader Kent Frates represented the GOP at Tuesday's drawing.
It lasted a few minutes.
Two envelopes -- one listing the Democratic Party and the other the Republican Party -- were enclosed in a larger envelope.
Michael Clingman, state Election Board secretary, asked Pryor and Frates who wanted to draw.
"Ladies first," said Frates, an Oklahoma City attorney who served eight years in the state House of Representatives in the 1970s.
Pryor opened the larger envelope, withdrew one of the smaller ones and handed it to Frates.
He then opened it.
It contained the Democratic Party's name.
Does it really matter?
Clingman said it's difficult to make an argument that ballot position makes a difference when there are few candidates in a race.
It might make a difference if there were many candidates running for the same office in the general election, he said.
The drawing applies only to political parties.
There are voters who are registered as independents, but independent isn't a political party in Oklahoma.
Former state Rep. Bill Graves, R-Oklahoma City, was one of the main plaintiffs in the lawsuit that led to changing the system in 1996.
"We said it violated the equal protection laws of the U.S. Constitution," Graves said Tuesday.
Graves still prefers that candidates' names be rotated on the election ballots.
The federal lawsuit struck down a law first written by the Territorial Legislature in 1905, two years before statehood.
That laws required the Republican Party to be placed first on the ballot. It was changed in 1910 to require that the Democratic Party be listed first.
The law stayed as it was until 1992 when one word was added in anticipation of the state using voting machines statewide, election officials said.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Family Values and Culture of Life
You can bet your last tank of gas that the CD 5 candidates will talk about their family values, their faith, and their reverence for life in tonight's GOP candidate forum sponsored by KFOR-TV. Our Democratic nominee Dr. David Hunter will respond following the OKC event tonight. The accompanying cartoon pretty much puts it on the line as far as I am concerned. If you go, let us know.
Over in our next state neighbor, Arkansas, US Senator Mark Pryor is making a case for no more excuses in the war on terror. Read about it here. When will Oklahoma Senators Inhofe and Coburn stop making excuses for the Republican White House's failed leadership?
Razorbacks and Sooners both love their football and downright adore their coaches. But, if by halftime their teams aren't performing they take a look at the films and make adjustments --- they don't wait. Sometimes they change the plays and sometimes the players, and sometimes, it's the coach that has to change. Seems to me that politics and football are similar enough to take a lesson from this playbook. Something's gotta change.
Now, I understand that the war on terror has much greater significance than any football game, but as to strategy and leadership....winning matters.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Tulsa's Heart of the Party organization honored their 2006 Woman of the Year, Rae Weese, today at their annual Just Desserts event at the Martin Regional Library in Tulsa. Congratulations Rae!
HOP also recognized their three delegates to Oklahoma Girls State.
I had the privilege of speaking to the group before the recognitions. It was good to see Rep. Jeannie McDaniel there, she took a short break from doorknocking Sunday afternoon to be at the event honoring Democratic women in Tulsa. Also taking a break from doorknocking were Rae and Dennis Weese.
Ruby Taylor, President of the Oklahoma Federation of Democratic Women, drove over from Vinita. Good to see you Ruby! Anita Norman was there also, she's everywhere where women and Democrats are involved. Good to see you too Anita.
Tulsa County chair Patty Basnett was there as was former chair Elaine Dodd. (Elaine and I had a discussion about the use of the title "chair" and whether I preferred chair, chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson. I don't care, a chair is a piece of furniture and I prefer to think of myself in motion; titles aren't so important to me, but getting things done is important!)
Was good to see Don and Lois Ross from Tahlequah also.
This group really reaches out to Democrats in the region. Thanks for the opportunity to visit today!
The 3rd District Democrats gathered in Stillwater this weekend for our 3rd Annual Retreat. Friday evening we had a BBQ meal with all the trimmings at the home of Rollin and Marla Reimer.
Afterwards, we all sat outside under a big shade tree and listened to some great entertainment. Rep. Purcy Walker from Elk City has been gracious enough to entertain for us each year. He wooed everyone with his great voice. Then we had a surprise. Little Lucas Seleberty from Enid was with us. Lucas just turned 6 and he loves to sing.
Friday night was a good time for all and a great kickoff for our Democratic weekend in Stillwater!
Saturday morning began with a tour of Stilwater. The OSU bus left the Student Union a couple minutes after 9 (we found out later a couple more people just barely missed the bus). We went to the Washington Irving Museum. This was a fantastic museum and was very interesting. Had a lot of information about early day Oklahoma as well as a lot of other stuff. Several planned to go back there sometime. Then we went on to one of several Stillwater area wineries. We tasted some locally grown wines and were all treated to a tour of the winery and how it works.
Also Saturday morning, there was a training session called " The ABCs of Campaigning" by Bernice Mitchell. Bernice did a great job and those who attended were talking about it later. Thanks Bernice for all you did!
We ate at noon in the OSU Student Union with Rep. Danny Morgan offering our prayer of thanks. Everyone had time to finish eating then we had a special guest. Governor Brad and First Lady Kim Henry came to be with us. Our own President Pro Tem of the Senate, Senator Mike Morgan, gave a rousing introduction of the Governor. The Governor gave a great speech and highlighted the accomplishments of his administration. He also showed the differences between the `Oklahoma Way' and the`Washington Way'.
His vehicle was routed around several construction zones in Stilwater. He smiled great big and said, "Isnt it nice?" He credited Senator Morgan and the House leadership (Rep. Danny Morgan, Rep. James Covey, and Rep. Ryan McMullen) for their hard work in passing the higher education bond. The Governor told everyone he would be in each of their counties before the General election.
Thank You Governor and First Lady for being our Special Guests!
Our 3rd District Federation of Democratic Women President Debbie Thompson and other members of the Federation held a `Dollars for Door Prizes'. In a few minutes, money was raised for our 3rd District Senate Candidates and everyone had a lot of fun. First Lady Kim Henry drew the names from the basket.
We moved on to the beautiful OSU Student Union Theatre for the afternoon session. We began with a prayer by Rep. Ryan McMullen followed by the flag salute by Rep. James Covey. CD3 Vice Chair Anita Norman recognized all the elected officials present as well as all the Democratic Party County Officials, among whom was our State Chair Lisa Pryor. Thank You Lisa for all your help this weekend!
Our Keynote Speaker was our Attorney General Drew Edmondson. Edmondson gave a great speech and showed the difference between the Democrats and the others. He also showed how the Democratic principles are the values he learned as a young boy growing up and that each came from the scriptures. He received a Standing Ovation and his message was very well received. Thank You Attorney General Edmondson for being our Keynote Speaker!
Our other Speakers were Senator Mike Morgan, State Treasurer Scott Meacham, State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland, Lt. Governor Candidates Pete Regan and Jari Askins, Lloyd Fields was with us he had to get to another event and didnt get to speak, 3rd District Congressional Candidate Sue Barton and Our House Leadership (by the way, note that they ALL come from the 3rd District) Rep. Danny Morgan, Rep. James Covey and Rep. Ryan McMullen. If you left before Rep. McMullen spoke, you missed a GREAT speech! There are good things to come from our rising star! (Hope I didnt omit anyone)
We were running short on time and our retiring Senators were out campaigning with our candidates. Vice Chair Anita Norman recognized each one and displayed the plaques that had been made to present to each of our 3 retiring Senators and our late great Senator Robert S. Kerr. The plaques will be presented as soon as we are able to.
State Democratic Party Secretary Walter Jenny gave a presentation on "Every County Counts" and presented certificates to two counties. Congratulations Walter and Rose Ann! The Jennys spent their 17th Wedding Anniversary with us this weekend.
We thanked everyone for all their hard work in making this weekend a great success. Especially the Payne County Democrats, our sponsors, our speakers and all those who spent this weekend with us!
Your 3rd District Officers
Randy Krehbiel at the Tulsa World is writing an interesting series on campaign committee finance. Part 1 was yesterday, part 2 today. This is a multifaceted story that gets to the heart of modern day campaigns. Rep. Lucky Lamons (D-Tulsa) was quoted as saying in real estate it's location, location, location and in politics it's money, money, money.
One thing he hasn't written about yet is cash contributions. I hear at least one Republican legislator has repeatedly reported taking cash contributions exceeding the $50 limit from individuals. This isn't a "pass the hat" entry on the ethics reports but is tied directly to individual contributors in denominations of $100 to $500 and has been going on since 2002. Someone should look into this blatant disregard for the rules. Seems to be a pattern there and some bright reporter or concerned citizen could make a case for more than a slap on the wrist in this matter.
Another practice worth investigating is that candidate committees cannot legally give campaign funds to another candidate. A candidate committee can, however, give to a party organization. This too is an interesting trail to follow.
Read the Tulsa World stories here.
And take a spin through the Oklahoma State Ethics Commission website here.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Congrats to 3rd District Democrats for a great retreat in Stillwater yesterday and today. I'll have photos up soon but wanted to say thanks to Mack, Anita, Shirley, Marla, Rollin, Willene, Marvin, Kathy and Jim, Juanita and Charlie, Bernice and Earl for a great weekend. It was so good to see friends from Kiowa County, Kay County, Alfalfa County, Woods County, Texas County, Lincoln County, Logan County, Payne County, Canadian County and others.
Thanks to all the candidates and elected officials who showed up to inspire us to work even harder for the next 90 days: Governor Brad and First Lady Kim Henry, Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan, State Treasurer Scott Meacham, Rep. Danny Morgan, Rep. James Covey, Rep. Purcy Walker (what a voice!), Rep. Ryan McMullen, State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland, State Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Corporation Commission candidate Cody Graves, Labor Commissioner candidate Lloyd Fields, Sue Barton, and Lt. Governor candidate Pete Regan.
It was good to see Jim Davis, Debbie Thompson, Milt Lehr, Ed Long, Tom Litsch, Anne Morrow, Anna Belle Wedeman, Jody Harlan, Amber Burton, John Coffee Harris, Mack Boyle, Matt Latham, Jessica Ward, Mandy Winton, Kathy North, Ken Burton, Walter and Rose Ann Jenny.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Bill of Rights
Down in Norman Charles and Lyntha Wesner, along with other dedicated Americans, have launched a Bill of Rights campaign. This campaign is a class act, literally. They are placing bronze plaques that commemorate the Bill of Rights on both high school campuses in Norman. Read more about it at www.mainstreambaptist.blogspot.com. They have something special planned for Sept. 18th.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee has voted to adopt changes to the 2008 Presidential nomination schedule, adding two states to the pre-primary schedule. Under the proposed plan, the state of NEvada could hold a caucus (following the Iowa caucus) and the state of South Carolina could hold a primary (following New Hampsnire) in the "pre-window primary" period. The "regular" primary window would open February 5th. The proposal moves to the full DNC membership for a vote at our meeting August 18th in Chicago.
If approved, this would mean a primary for Oklahoma February 5th, 2008 or later.
Oklahoma's DNC members include ODP Chair Lisa Pryor, ODP Vicechair Ben Odom, National Committeeman Jim Frasier, and National Committeewoman Betty McElderry. Two other Oklahomans, Kalyn Free and Jay Parmley, serve as At-Large appointments to the DNC. Free heads INDN's List and Parmley is working with the Mississippi State Democratic Party.
Hugh Graham AKA Boggy Bottom Cowboy was in the office today. Hugh was elected secretary for the 2nd District at the July 29th Central Committee meeting. He is eager to open lines of communication with the Democrats throughout the 2nd District and is making a first step by establishing a blog for the Atoka County Democrats, he says a website is in the planning stages. If you want to talk back to Hugh and reach out to Atoka County Democrats check out this site http://atokacountydemocrats.blogspot.com/.
We know where Americans are, so where do OKC's Mick and Mary stand? Where do Democrats Gentges, Boren, Barton, Spake, and Hunter stand? For that matter where do Sullivan, Lucas, Cole and Istook stand? It matters to America. It matters to Oklahoma.
Summary of latest polls below:
Gallup Poll: 85% of Americans now say that a candidate's position on the war is extremely or very important, making it the most important campaign issue for voters this November. Republicans won't be able to run from their rubber-stamping of President Bush's war in Iraq. [Gallup, 8/2/06]
Washington Post-ABC News Poll: Americans Trust Democrats Over Republicans To Handle The War On Terror. The poll asked which political party they trusted more to "handle the US campaign against terror." Respondents preferred Democrats over Republicans, 46 to 38 percent. This is the third poll out of the last four done by the Washington Post-ABC News showing that Democrats have an advantage over Republicans on this issue. [Washington Post, 8/7/06; www.mediamatters.org]
Washington Post-ABC News Poll: Americans Do Not Approve of The Job Bush is Doing on the War on Terror. Fifty percent of respondents said that they disapproved of the way Bush was handling the war on terror. [Washington Post, 8/7/06]
Washington Post-ABC News Poll: Americans Trust Democrats Over Republicans To Handle The Situation in Iraq. The poll asked which political party they trusted more to "handle the US campaign against terror." Respondents preferred Democrats over Republicans, 43 to 40 percent. Four consecutive polls done by the Post have found that a plurality trust Democrats more when it comes to handling "the situation in Iraq." [Washington Post, 8/7/06; www.mediamatters.org]
Winston Group Poll: Americans Trust Democrats Over Republicans to Handle The War in Iraq. The poll asked which political party they trusted more to "handle the war in Iraq." Respondents preferred Democrats over Republicans, 46 to 44 percent. [The Winston Group, 7/25/06]
Washington Post-ABC News Poll: Americans Do Not Approve of the Job Bush Is Doing In Iraq. Sixty-two percent of respondents said that they did not approve of the way Bush was handling the situation in Iraq. [Washington Post, 8/7/06]
So where do Mick and Mary stand?
Where do Gentges, Boren, Barton, Spake, and Hunter stand?
Cherokee County Democrats invite you to the grand opening of their Headquarters at 722 South Muskogee Avenue, Tahlequah on August 23, at 2 p.m. For more information contact Cherokee County Democratic Party Chairman Don Brock at 918.456.1078.
Cherokee County is home to more than 16,000 registered Democrats, who are represented by Senator Jim Wilson, (D-Tahlequah), and Representative Mike Brown (D-Tahlequah) and Representative John Auffett (D-Stilwell).
What do you think? Do they matter? Do they make a difference? Are groups or individuals more important? Do newspapers and elected officials matter? Who is who? And who cares?
Ultimately, what's important is the individual "endorsement" of voters on election day. Before election day our state party officers are neutral in primaries and runoff elections but once the party has a nominee we stand with our nominee.
We are proud to stand with Governor Brad Henry, Attorney General Drew Edmondson, State Superintendent Sandy Garrett, State Treasurer Scott Meacham, State Auditor Jeff McMahan and State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland. We are also proud to stand with our nominee for State Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields. On the evening of August 22 we stand proudly with the winner of the runoff for Lt. Governor - either Jari Askins or Pete Regan.
We also encourage Oklahomans to support our Democratic nominees for Congress: Alan Gentges, CD 1; Rep. Dan Boren, CD 2; Sue Barton, CD 3; Hal Spake, CD 4; and Dr. David Hunter, CD 5.
So again --- What do you think? Do they matter? Do they make a difference? Are groups or individuals more important? Do newspapers and elected officials matter? Who is who? And who cares?
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Don't forget about the 3rd District Retreat that begins on Friday in Stillwater, home of Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan who held the Senate Democrats together when they were being bullied around by his highness Jimmy Todd Hiett, of Slick Road in Kellyville, soon to be former speaker of the house.
Mack and Anita have put together a great program and they've made considerations for the young and young at heart so take a road trip to Stillwater this weekend and join the fun with the 3rd District Democrats. Then put your work shoes on 'cause it's 90 days until the election. If you don't know what to do, check out www.100actions.com -- plenty of ideas there with specific ways you can help elect Democrats.
For more information email Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Enid Republican wrote that he will vote for Brad Henry for Governor in November. Read why at Daily Kos.
Take a few minutes to comment, there are many, many, many Republicans who have had enough of the right wing agenda that leaves Americans behind. We'll appreciate your vote in November and invite you to join with us now to support good government, be a Democrat.
Nearly 50% of voters turned out yesterday to give Democratic challenger Ned Lamont a victory over incumbent US Senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's primary. Our own state primary elections last month drew less than 25% of registered voters despite the fact that there were tight races on both sides for Lt. Governor. The runoff elections are on the 22nd and it's likely that turnout will be less than that for the primary. So yes, one vote can make a difference!
For some Oklahoma candidates, the primary election told the whole story for this campaign season.
- Democratic incumbent Senator Connie Johnson defeated Democratic challenger Willa Johnson 61% to 38% and will serve a full four-year term in the Oklahoma State Senate's District 48 since no Republican filed for this seat. This is the second time in less than 12 months that Connie Johnson beat OKC city councilwoman Willa Johnson.
- Also winning re-election by a wide margin was State Representative Rebecca Hamilton who bested challenger Pam Cross 75% to 25%. Both elections reflect a strong mandate by the primary voters to continue on with the proven leadership of these two women.
- Another big primary winner was Al McAffrey in OKC's HD 88. McAffrey ousted two Democratic primary challengers to win the whole thing to replace term-limited Rep. Debbie Blackburn.
- State Representative Mike Shelton will get another term serving HD 97 in OKC after defeating three other Democrats in the primary. No Republican bothered to file in this predominantly Democratic district.
- In SD 6 Senator Jay Paul Gumm got a second term when no one filed against him. And in nearby SD 8, Democratic candidate Roger Ballenger's Republican opponent withdrew giving Ballenger his first four-year term. In South OKC's SD 44 Senator Debbe Leftwich will get a second term after the Republican opponent withdrew.
- State Representative Joe Dorman, HD 66, scared off his Republican opponent so will keep his seat for another two years.
First reports from the Muskogee Town Hall with Congressman Dan Boren and Senator Tom Coburn indicate more than 300 people attended.
If you'd like to speak with Boren his Town Hall schedule for August is posted on his website at http://www.house.gov/boren/TownHallSched.shtml.
He will be in Okmulgee and Holdenville Thursday; Poteau, Stigler, and Sallisaw on Friday of this week.
OK County Democrats met last night at the ODP HQ where they are developing precinct mobilization and GOTV plans for the fall elections. Chair Kitti Asberry, vicechair Ron Wasson and secretary Lynn Greene are doing a great job leading this group that includes some of Oklahoma's most vocal and effective activists. These party officers always keep their eye on the prize of "electing Democrats". The county has a new website, designed by volunteer Jim Baggett. Check it out at OK County Democrats.
Senate 16 Five Spend $500K
The Norman Transcript is doing a feature series on the SD 16 candidates who spent $500K on the recent primary elections. Two Democrats, Tim Emrich and John Sparks are still vying for voters on the runoff ballot August 22. Senator Cal Hobson, who has occupied the seat for two decades, is term-limited and has not endorsed any candidate in the race, although it's a sure bet he'll back the Democratic nominee on August 23. Read the series by Scott Carter and Althea Peterson at the Norman Transcript.