February 2012 Archives

The City of Tulsa Planning Department will officially launch three small area plans this coming Tuesday night, February 28, 2012, at 6 p.m., at the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Ave, in Tulsa. (Doors open at 5:30, the program will go from 6 to 7, followed by Q & A.)

The targeted areas are Utica Ave between 11th and 21st Streets in Midtown (District 4), 36th Street North in north Tulsa (District 1), and Tulsa Hills / West Highlands in southwest Tulsa (District 2). Each of these areas faces unique development challenges. Along the Utica corridor, you have a conflict because there are developers (not the hospitals) who want to intrude into designated historic preservation neighborhoods (Swan Lake and Yorktown) to build medical office buildings and other commercial development.

There are also the expansion aims of the hospitals. At 11th and Utica there's Hillcrest, expanding into the surrounding Terrace Drive and Forest Orchard neighborhoods without much resistance and without much thought to pedestrian-friendly design or the appearance of the Route 66 frontage.

At 21st and Utica, St. John Medical Center has brought in Atlanta planning firm Perkins + Will, evidently in search of a smart, urban solution that protects the historic neighborhoods while meeting St. John's needs. Perkins + Will principal David Green and planner Heather Alhadeff led a meeting back on January 21st at the Central Center in Centennial Park to which neighborhood leaders were invited. Green and Alhadeff's presentation was an informative overview of the history of land use planning, and led me to feel that St. John's paying to have them involved was a sign of good faith from the hospital. Their only misstep, for which they apologized profusely, was using "PLANiTULSA in the promotional material for the meeting, making it appear that the hospital-sponsored event had some official city standing.

This small area planning kickoff on February 28 is, however, an official city meeting. From the city's press release:

These are the first three Small Area Plans to be conducted since the adoption and approval of the PLANiTULSA Comprehensive Plan. Small Area Planning is an important component in implementing this plan, and as with PLANiTULSA, citizen input is an important part of that process.

This event is open to the public and will include a concise, informative program about the Small Area Planning process and time for Q and A.

Oral Roberts University has posted video of their recent town hall events, sponsored by the ORU College Republicans, with Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich:

Rick Santorum speaks at Oral Roberts University, February 9, 2012

Newt Gingrich speaks at Oral Roberts University, February 20, 2012


From KJRH News, former Tulsa District 4 City Councilor Eric Gomez was arrested early Sunday morning, February 19, 2012:

Tulsa police arrested a former city councilor over the weekend for domestic abuse.

Forty-six-year-old Jason Eric Gomez was arrested at 1:05 a.m. Sunday.

According to the arrest report, Gomez was arrested for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor, interrupting or interfering with an emergency call and resisting arrest.

According to the county jail inmate record for Eric Gomez, he was released on $6,000 bond at 2:27 p.m. Sunday.

MORE: KRMG is also reporting the Eric Gomez arrest story. The News on 6 has more details about Eric Gomez's arrest:

Jail records show Gomez's wife told Tulsa Police that her husband had assaulted her and she showed officers her injuries.

She told police that when she tried to call 911, Gomez took the phone away from her. She said he then ran out of the house to a next door neighbor's home.

Tulsa Police say when they located Gomez, he resisted arrest and smelled of alcohol.

Gomez was booked into the Tulsa County jail on complaints of domestic assault and battery, resisting arrest and interfering with an emergency call.

He is set for a court appearance on February 28, 2012.

Santorum at ORU (MDB20793)SoonerPoll.com has released a poll of 300 likely Oklahoma Republican presidential primary voters (deemed likely because of voting history). 278 said they planned to vote in the March 6 Super Tuesday primary. Margin of error is +/- 5.66%. The survey occurred over a nine-day period (February 8 - February 16).

The result:Santorum 38.5%, Romney 23.0%, Gingrich 18.0%, and Paul 7.6%, with 12.9% Don't Know / Refused.

Because Oklahoma's primary is in March, the new national Republican rules require allocation to be proportional. 25 delegates will be allocated based on the statewide result, and 3 delegates will be allocated based on the result in each congressional district. You must have at least 15% to get any delegates, and if you break 50% you get all the delegates. Based on the results of this poll (and with the understanding that the congressional district subsamples are so small the margin of error is enormous), Santorum would get 12 statewide delegates, Romney 7, Gingrich 6. Santorum would win all the delegates in the 1st and 2nd CDs and two of three in CDs 3, 4, and 5. Romney would win one delegate each in CD 3 and CD 4; Gingrich would win one delegate in CD 5. The grand total would be Santorum 24, Romney 9, Gingrich 7.

If Santorum could get key endorsements in central and western Oklahoma (paging James Lankford), he would have a shot at sweeping all the delegates.

You may recall that in 2008, Mike Huckabee won the 1st and 2nd CDs, while McCain won the other three plus the statewide vote by a narrow margin.

Question 4 has got to be a typo. I hope the callers didn't read the question like this, but here's how it's presented in the poll result:

4. As you know, the Republican Presidential preferential primary election is February 5, 2008, do you plan to vote in that election?

planned_parenthood_mammograms.jpgThe Washington, D.C., based blog Alexa Shrugged weighs into the debate over the Obamacare mandate that would force church-owned institutions to fund insurance coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and abortion even if such funding violates the principles of the owners. Alexa has posted three installments in this series, marshaling facts, figures, and reason to counter some of the wild claims made by the left.

This issue is a gut check for conservatives: Will we acquiesce in the Left's framing of the issue (aided and abetted by the mainstream media) as a question of banning contraception or endangering women's health, and shrink away from any further debate in hopes the issue will go away? Or will we stay in the debate, defending religious liberty, keeping the focus on the egregious attempt by the Obama administration to force its values on religious Americans and the institutions they've built and funded with their own money? Precisely because this is a liberty issue, it ought to win the support of libertarians and social liberals and moderates. If you're an Obama fan, you may think government power will only be used to coerce conservatives to do what you want, but once that power is there, once the precedent is set, it could be used to coerce you to violate your own conscience.

Here are links and excerpts for the articles in Alexa's series so far:

Part 1: Controlling the Birth Control Debate

Hey liberals: You know that if the Obamacare law has the power to mandate the right to free birth control, it also has the power to ban it, right? As Rush Limbaugh said, "Obamacare could ban contraception. Once Obamacare is implemented, the government can make any change unilaterally it wants." As in, the next president, (oh, let's REALLY give them chills!) maybe Santorum, can not only change that mandate, but replace it with whatever other mandate he wants because the law gives him that power. As they say, "A government big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away."

If the government can force insurers to cover birth control for free, and can force you to buy health care, what CAN'T it force companies and citizens to do? I am very afraid that if the Supreme Court does not declare Obamacare unconstitutional we will find out.

Part 2: Debunking the Myth that 99% of Women Are Using Birth Control

First of all, if this is true, clearly there is no crisis of accessibility or cost - 99% is as universal for coverage as you'll ever get. And if 99% of women already have a way of getting or paying for birth control, then why in the world do we need to make it free through an Obamacare mandate?? ....

#5: The fact sheet says "only 7% of women aged 15-44 are at risk for unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives." This does not address WHY these women are not using contraceptives - maybe they don't care either way if they get pregnant - but Democrats seem to assume it is because they're not handed out for free. So, we're forcing EVERYONE to subsidize ALL women's birth control for Obamacare - including those who can pay, those who already get it free or at a discount - because up to 7% of women "at risk" are not using it???

Part 3: No, Planned Parenthood, Birth Control is NOT "Basic Health Care"

Unlike abortion, which stops a beating heart and ends a life, I am pro-choice when it comes to contraception. However, contraceptives are, on the whole, not a health care need, but a lifestyle want. The vast majority of women don't use contraception because they need to prevent pregnancy for their health but because they don't want children at that particular point in time in their lives, for whatever reason, that's fine to me...

Alexa lists a number of cancers and other dire side effects linked to hormonal contraceptives:

Even Planned Parenthood lists the serious and potentially fatal side effects for contraceptives with estrogen like the pill, the patch and the NuvaRing as heart attack, stroke, having a blood clot in the legs, lungs, heart, or brain, or developing high blood pressure, liver tumors, gallstones, or yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice). (Interesting aside - Planned Parenthood lists these risks under the section labeled "What are the Disadvantages of xxx" and not under "How safe is xxx." Seems like it should be the opposite. Or both.)...

I encourage you to click through and read all three articles. I've just added Alexa Shrugged to the BatesLine blogroll, so you'll see new items in the series as they're posted.

MORE: The Heritage Foundation's blog has excerpts from the testimony of two women, Oklahoma Christian University senior vice president Allison Dabbs Garrett and Calvin College medical director and physician Dr. Laura Champion, who testified last week at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate. A key quote from Garrett:

There is a vast difference between the right to make a purchase for oneself and requiring someone else to pay for it.

And another pithy quote on the topic, from Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) on Twitter:

If you want contraceptives to be a personal matter, you probably shouldn't force other people to pay for it.

There have been many comments on problems with the count in the straw presidential poll taken at the Maine Republican municipal caucuses. Results from certain caucuses were excluded because the caucus was held outside the dates specified by the state party rules. In one case, a caucus was delayed because of bad weather, but the state party opted to announce the straw poll results on the date expected by the media, even though not all caucuses had been held.

Some supporters of a certain presidential candidate are convinced that the problems were deliberately designed to favor the former governor of a nearby state and deprive their candidate of the opportunity to claim a win. Many seem to believe that a caucus straw poll is just another way to have a primary, and they're upset that the results can't be certified like a real primary election.

The way Maine selects its delegates is like nearly every other state Republican party -- a series of caucuses and conventions beginning at the local level and working up to the congressional district and state level where delegates and alternates to the national convention are elected. What makes Maine, Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri and other states different is that their elected national convention delegates may vote as they please. In Oklahoma and most other primary states, the national convention delegates elected at state and congressional district conventions are bound by the result of the presidential preference primary. (There are a few states, like Illinois and New York, where voters vote directly for delegates, who may be pledged to a specific presidential candidate.)

Before 1988, Oklahoma's delegates were unbound, as in Maine, but they were elected based on their allegiance to the candidate preferred by most state and district convention delegates. My recollection is that all of our delegates in 1976 and 1980 went to Reagan, despite a strong minority in 1976 that preferred Ford. (I was at the 1st Congressional District convention in 1976 at Nathan Hale High School Auditorium. Dad was the lone Wagoner County delegate and convention secretary that year, and in the minority as a Ford fan. In 1980 I attended both 1st District and state conventions.)

In the days when most delegates were unbound by primaries, it was important for caucus-goers to elect people they trusted, who shared their values, to be delegates at the county convention, and so on up the chain to the national convention. Someone running to be a national delegate might pledge to back a particular presidential candidate, but it was important to pick someone whose values you trusted, as the delegate always had the option of changing his mind at the convention. In the weeks leading up to the 1976 convention, Ford and Reagan targeted their campaigns at the 2,259 delegates, trying to hold on to their own and pry some loose from the other side. (The final tally was Ford 1,187, Reagan 1,070, Elliot Richardson 1, with 1 abstention. Here's the 1976 Republican roll call, as it appeared in the St. Petersburg Times, on Aug 20, 1976. All of Oklahoma's 36 delegates went to Reagan.)

In a state like Maine that doesn't bind its delegates, the straw poll is just an extra -- a way to check the mood of the state's Republican grassroots activists, using the excitement of the presidential campaign to boost caucus turnout, and fodder for a press release and national attention.

Here's a comment I posted at Maggie's Notebook and, in a slightly different form, in response to Slublog's post at Ace of Spades HQ:

I don't think this was by design at all. Precinct, county, and state Republican Parties are largely run by volunteers. In a year with less attention focused on every caucus, a sloppily tallied straw poll or a county convention rescheduled for weather would be no big deal.

It's important to distinguish between the caucuses and the straw poll taken at the caucuses. They're two different things. Even if there were no straw poll, even if there were a primary, there would still have to be caucuses as part of the process of electing Maine's delegates to the Republican National Convention. Municipal and county caucuses elect delegates to the state convention who, in turn, elect delegates to the national convention.

So if you're going to have all these Republicans gathering anyway, why not take a straw poll? And why not use the straw poll to drive up caucus participation?

What went wrong in Maine is that the national media, hungry for any numbers at all in a month without primaries, made a big deal out of the results, and the Maine party was unprepared for the onslaught of attention and the media's expectation of a rigorous result.

The only poll that really matters is a poll of Maine's elected delegation to the Republican National Convention. That won't be determined until May 6.


The Green Papers on the history of the formulas used to apportion national convention delegates to the states, and the origins of bonus delegates and super delegates.

St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press - Aug 19, 1976: 6th District Delegates Held Tight for Reagan: Describes a delegate who was a Ford backer but won his seat by pledging to vote for Reagan; he held to his pledge despite pressure to flip.

Spokane Daily Chronicle - Aug 19, 1976: State Delegate Gets Revenge: Anida Pithoud, National Committeewoman from Washington state, ousted from her post by conservatives at the state convention, delivered a seconding speech for Ford and was happy to see the Reagan majority the the Washington delegation disappointed. She complained that conservatives had been trying to take over the state party's central committee for 10 years and complained about the Reagan-bots in familiar terms:

She was one of only seven Ford delegates in the 38-member delegation. She maintained Reagan was able to capture the other 31 because of the participation of many people who "came in only on account of Reagan and will disappear now."

The (Pomeroy-Middleport, Oh.) Daily Sentinel - Jul 22, 1976: Reagan Raiding Ohio Delegates: Reports that Reagan had sent operative Jeff Bell to Ohio to lure away some of Ford's 91 delegates, while the Ford team went after Reagan's six Ohio delegates, arguing "that the President has a better chance of beating Jimmy Carter in November."

Vote for Anai Rios

| | TrackBacks (0)

anai_rios_25.jpgOklahoma just had an election, we'll have another in just a couple of weeks, then more elections in April, June, August, and November. It's a busy year for voting.

But I must call upon my fellow Tulsans and Oklahomans to cast one more vote today in the name of good citizenship. No ID required, you don't have to register, and you don't have to go to your neighborhood polling place. Just click on that photo, then vote for Anai Rios, the first name on the list, on the upper left.

Anai Rios, 25, from Tulsa, is one of 10 finalists in the "virtual casting" for Univision's Nuestra Belleza Latina 2012, a combination reality show and beauty pageant. This season, the two top vote-getters in the virtual casting election will fly to Miami to join 10 contestants selected at auditions around the country. This season's competition premieres on Univision on March 4, 2012. Each episode features competitions, viewer voting, and elimination of one of the contestants.

According to the website, voting is "in effect until February 20, 2012," which is Monday. But vote today, just to be sure, and then vote again tomorrow. I suppose you could even cast a separate ballot for her on every different browser on every PC you own.

Here's the video Anai submitted for the competition. I should probably mention that she is in her bathing suit for part of the video, just in case that would influence your decision to watch or not. Watching the video is not, however, a prerequisite for voting for Anai Rios.

Why is this worth an item at BatesLine, you ask? Anai and her family have been good friends of my parents for many years. (Also, it happens to be Rule 5 Sunday, in the tradition of The Other McCain. See his treatise, "How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog" for further explanation.)

So, my fellow Tulsans and my fellow Oklahomans, I am proud to endorse Anai Rios for Nuestra Belleza Latina contestant. Please vote early and often for Anai Rios.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will be speaking at ORU's Mabee Center next Monday, February 20, 2012, and in Oklahoma City as well. Here are the details from an email from the Oklahoma Republican Party:

Tulsa - 2:00 pm
Mabee Center, Oral Roberts University
7777 S Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74136

Oklahoma City - 6:30 pm
Jim Thorpe Museum
4040 N Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

This event is free to listeners of a certain talk radio station -- and everyone else.

Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich, September 11, 2010, S3016602

BatesLine photo: Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich introduce the premier of America at Risk: The War with No Name, at the Newseum in Washington, D. C., September 11, 2010.

Protect Your Voice

| | TrackBacks (0)

protectyourvoice.pngThe Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity has launched a petition drive to ensure that citizen journalists and bloggers enjoy the same legal protections that cover traditional news media. The initiative is called "Protect Your Voice."

It makes sense for a group interested in public integrity to get involved in this issue. As the Protect Your Voice website notes, citizen journalists are stepping into the gap left as mainstream media outlets shrink and redirect their resources toward stories more entertaining than, say, financial shenanigans at the State Capitol or crony capitalism at City Hall. These citizen voices could easily be driven out of the public sphere by legal threats.

I've been told that local politics and development are the riskiest topics you can blog about -- the cyber-equivalent of skydiving. It's easy for a U. S. Senator or U. S. President to ignore one pesky blogger; in a small town a single critic may be enough to launch the ouster of a town mayor or expose an underhanded school contract.

While the First Amendment freedoms of speech and the press, and the case law that protects those liberties, apply to all Americans alike, some states also have journalist "shield" laws that date back to the pre-Internet era and don't explicitly include those who publish news and opinion online or who write and publish independently of a traditional media institution. And too many public figures, judges, and lawyers need to be educated to understand that the First Amendment is for all of us. Nearly every state needs a tougher anti-SLAPP law to protect free speech against meritless lawsuits designed to intimidate critics into silence.

In a Washington Examiner op-ed, Franklin Center president Jason Stverak writes:

Media shield laws must be revised to make clear that bloggers and all citizen-journalists deserve the same protection as the city hall beat-writer at the local newspaper.

This is especially important, as technology and new economic realities have forced newspapers all over the country to cut staff drastically and in many cases, close up shop. The public now relies on citizen-journalists to perform an invaluable service to our democracy -- serving as government watchdogs.

While I encourage the updating of media shield laws for the sake of clarity, it is important to realize that blogs and all new media outlets were granted journalism credentials in 1938.

In the case of Lovell v. City of Griffin (Ga.), Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes defined the press as, "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion."

The delivery vehicle at the time of the ruling was a pamphlet being handed out by a Jehovah's Witness. I believe all reasonable people will agree that an electronic medium such as a website is at least on par with a sheet of paper when it comes to serving as a "vehicle of information and opinion."

I'd quibble with the phrase "granted journalism credentials" -- more accurate to say that Chief Justice Hughes formally recognized a universal freedom already inherent in the First Amendment.

If you appreciate what sites like BatesLine, Muskogee Politico, Roemerman on Record, WelchOK, and obscure local social blogs add to the public dialog, I urge you to sign the petition and lend your voice to protect our voices as citizens.

Peter Rudy of Oklahoma Watchdog has a couple of intriguing items:

Whatever happened to former mayoral chief of staff Terry Simonson? House Speaker Kris Steele appointed him to a municipal sales tax collection task force, and an interesting question came up at today's meeting of the task force:

The former Chief of Staff to Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett says he wasn't suggesting that food stamp purchases should be subject to state and local sales taxes, he just wanted confirmation of a rumor he'd heard that those purchases were not taxed....

When asked if he thought food stamp purchases should be taxed, Simonson said, "I don't have any other thoughts at this point other than to kind of, in my own mind, 'is that okay? is that fine?' People on food stamps obviously are on limited income. That's why they have food stamps. So maybe they shouldn't have to pay sales tax. Or should they? I really don't have any opinion because this has just come to my attention." He went on to say that it had never occurred to him that someone on food stamps wasn't paying sales tax.

I have questions, too. Is the City of Tulsa officially represented on this task force? Is Simonson unofficially representing his former employer?

Elsewhere at the capitol, there's a report that two Republican state reps, Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City and Harold Wright of Weatherford had a confrontation on the House floor Thursday over remarks made by guests to the House floor, remarks that Reynolds felt crossed the line into lobbying for legislation, contrary to House rules. The result, allegedly, was the sort of nose-to-nose confrontation you expect to see between a manager and an umpire on a baseball diamond.

Peter Rudy is a great shoe-leather reporter. If you're on Twitter, be sure to follow @WatchdogOK for the latest from the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Paper Tulsa

| | TrackBacks (0)

In case you missed it, Ilia Shvetsov, "Russian Sam" on Flickr, from Saint Petersburg, Russia, has built a 1:2000 scale model of downtown Tulsa out of paper --1st to 8th, Detroit to Denver. That link will take you to a Flickr photo set of the model, photographed from many angles.

Shvetsov's hobby of paper models of buildings began with Oklahoma City, and in 2010 he had the opportunity to visit OKC and launched a business to make commissioned city and building models. (His domain just expired, however.)

Downtown Tulsa

UPDATE: In response to an email question, Ilia writes that he shut down his website because there wasn't enough demand, but he continues with his hobby. He is currently working on models of Shreveport and Dallas.

MoneyNo commentary from me tonight, but I want you to read an excellent post by State Representative Jason Murphey on how lobbyist influence works and how state Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, who refuses to take campaign contributions from lobbyists, has documented their shifting influence.

Here's Costello on the numbers:

"In 2010, when Republicans held a majority in both chambers, the public employees' PAC contributed $102,750 to Republican candidates. This compares to only $57,750 donated to Democrat candidates in the same year.

"Until we became a majority in the legislature, the public employees' PAC was a long-time political enemy of Republicans; in 2004 the OPEA contributed $86,143 to Democrats in an effort to prevent Republicans from gaining a majority of House seats while contributing $2,500 to a handful of Republicans - a 34 to 1 ratio for Democrats. We won - they lost."

Making the important point that you don't need lobbyist dollars to win an election.

Now here's Murphey:

Since this last legislative week was the first week of the legislative session much of the work was in committees. Lobbyists aggressively work to influence the bills in the committee process because this is the vital first step to passing or defeating a bill. These lobbyists will fill committee meetings, feed questions to the members of the committee who are carrying water for them and will put great pressure on the other members to vote their way. They are professional relationship manipulation experts, and expert strategists and they know the pressure points to push to get a key lawmaker's vote. Their attempts to kill a good bill appear to be rather like a game to them. A team of lobbyist can point to a dead bill much like a trophy and use it as a warning to other legislators who might try to upset their deal. Anyone who believes those big campaign contributions don't factor into the voting consideration of some of the legislators is very much out of touch.

Read the whole thing.

Photo by Flickr user 401K. Visit their site at 401kcalculator.org

Pretty, pretty, pretty, and we get our first look at it tonight. Oklahoma's new election processing system comes with a fancy new election night reporting system, making it possible to see every race in the state -- from town trustee to president -- to see the results for each precinct as soon as it arrives at the county election board, and to know how each precinct and county has voted. It will make it much easier to analyze trends and project results.

Here's a direct link to the Oklahoma election night results website.

From a news release from the Oklahoma State Election Board:

Major features of Oklahoma's new election night results application include:
  • Click the "State/Multi-County" button for state office results and aggregated results for multi-county local offices.
  • Click the "County/Local" button to access a specific county's results page. (Note: County pages only include results for that county. For multi-county elections, aggregated results from all participating counties can be viewed on the State/Multi-County page.)
  • Results are available in graph or tabular formats.
  • Results may be viewed by county on the "State/Multi-County" results page, including viewing a map of the counties participating in an election.
  • Results may be viewed by precinct on each "County/Local" results page.
  • Results may be viewed by "type" - Election Day, Early Voting Absentee, or Mail Absentee.
  • Election results reports can be exported in a variety of formats, including XLS and XML.

IVoted.jpgTimestamp set to keep this post at the top until the polls close at 7 p.m.

It's school election day in Oklahoma, the first election for our new ballot scanners, the first election for newly drawn precincts. 73 of the 77 counties have at least one precinct open for an election.

Don't forget: The Voter ID law is in effect, so you'll need your voter ID card, driver's license, or other government issued ID.

House District 71 (roughly 21st to 81st, Lewis to Riverside) has Republican and Democrat primaries for the special election to replace former State Rep. Dan Sullivan. Katie Henke, a Republican, is my favorite candidate in that race -- her husband, Frazier Henke, is a good friend of mine, and I'm honored to be a part of her campaign team.

Every school district in the state has at least one school board seat up for election every year, but few are contested. Here in Tulsa County there are school board races in Tulsa (District 5, in the midtown/Edison High School area; Bruce Niemi's my pick), Skiatook, and Berryhill; bond issues in Jenks, Owasso, and Union. Elsewhere in the Tulsa area, there are school board races in Catoosa, Claremore, Wagoner, and Sapulpa.

Tulsa County Election Board has a precinct locator to help you find which districts you're in and where you should vote. The Tulsa County Election Board phone number is (918) 596-5780.

Rogers County Election Board has a brand-new website. The phone number is (918) 341-2965. Rogers County has had an especially tough time getting voters sorted into new precincts and getting new ID cards out, as the county adopted two different E-911 addressing schemes in a short succession. Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody has done an outstanding job of pulling it all together and doing so on a shoestring budget.

Tonight, for the first time, we'll be able to watch results come in precinct-by-precinct, and actually know which precincts are reporting. As soon as a precinct's ballot box arrives at the county election board, the results will be uploaded and tabulated. You'll be able to look at totals for any race in the state and drill down to individual precincts. Eventually -- hopefully in time for the presidential primary in three weeks -- they will have precinct maps as well as county maps showing results.

Tulsa County results by precinct

Unidentified ModelSome years ago, I suggested that the Tulsa Library or Tulsa Historical Society put the Beryl Ford Collection on Flickr as a way to make the photos easier to tag and to make it easy to collect comments and annotations that would add context to the pictures. Several world-renowned archives, including the Library of Congress, began doing just that, as part of the Flickr Commons project.

Unidentified Wedding PianistNow Tulsa Library has followed suit, posting over 1000 photos of unknown people and over 250 photos of unknown places on their Flickr account, and asking Tulsans and others to look through them and see if the photos jog any memories.

Oklahoma Tire and Supply: Unidentified Man, 1959

There are many fascinating photos, some intriguing, some laugh-out-loud funny. Many of the photos appear to be taken in and around the American Legion hall. There are some wedding pictures, pictures of manufacturing companies, photos of pro wrestlers, golfers, hockey players, and bathing beauties, photos of new houses, remnants of TV advertising.

Unidentified Barber and Customer

The photos were uploaded in full resolution, so you can zoom into the tiniest detail, and there you may find the clue that solves the mystery.

Here are a few favorites: Here's a steel guitar class for children. The little lady on the left end of the top row is barely bigger than her instrument, but she seems quite pleased about things.

Unidentified Individuals

And this photo seems to be from the same place on the same day -- it's Johnnie Lee Wills and Leon McAuliffe with a bunch of kids, one of whom has a book of music by Hawaiian steel guitarist Eddie Alkire:

Unidentified Group

I give this one the title, "You're next, tuna breath!"


MORE: Here's the description of the project from the Tulsa Library's blog:

TCCL now has a Flickr collection with sets for events, library locations, and special collections. Three sets in the special collections are devoted to the digital collections: local history, unknown people, and unknown places. Right now, local history is a small set featuring select images from the digital collections. The unknown people and unknown places sets consist of images from the collections that have little information. The Beryl Ford Collection, in particular, has thousands of images with little or no information. Resources to provide detailed descriptions and historical context for the many thousands of items in the digital collections are limited. With Flickr, we want to encourage user participation in the identification of the images and to make our resources more available, discoverable, and useful. We hope that both known and unknown audiences will want to comment, share, and engage in community conversations about our shared history. As an ongoing project, we will continue to add to the images that have been uploaded there. We invite you to take a look, let us know if you can identify any of the photos, and come back regularly to see additions.

Rick Santorum at ORU audio

| | TrackBacks (0)

Expect a Miracle (MDB20804)

Here is the complete audio in MP3 format of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's speech at Oral Roberts University's Mabee Center in Tulsa on February 9, 2012. The links lead directly to MP3 files. This audio came from my personal audio recorder, so the quality could be better. I'm posting it because no one else seems to have recorded or posted the intros, the Q&A, Santorum's closing remarks, or the final ORU disclaimer.

Rick Santorum listens to a question from ORU College Democrats president Jonathan Townsend (MDB20781) by Michael Bates, on Flickr

And if you prefer to download it all at once, here's the entire Rick Santorum at ORU program, from Kara Evans' first introduction to her final disclaimer.

Permission is granted to use excerpts of this audio, under the following conditions: (1) Provide a link to this entry; (2) cite www.batesline.com as the source of the audio; (3) email me at blog at batesline dot com with a link to where you've posted it.

ORU College Republicans president Kara Evans, State Rep. Pam Peterson applaud Rick Santorum as he prepares to speak at ORU Mabee Center (MDB20761) by Michael Bates, on Flickr

ORU College Republicans president Kara Evans, State Rep. Pam Peterson applaud Rick Santorum as he prepares to speak at ORU Mabee Center

Photos Copyright 2012 by Michael D. Bates. All rights reserved.

MORE: Don't miss Katherine Bates' guest opinion on Rick Santorum's visit.

CORRECTION 2012/02/12: I had erroneously listed Evelyn Rogers as a librarian at ORU. According to her response to the House 71 League of Women Voters candidate questionnaire, she is a librarian at TCC, and I have corrected the text below accordingly.)

UPDATE 2012/02/12: See below regarding an odd complaint about this entry which appeared (briefly) on candidate Lydia d'Ross's website.

In addition to a handful of school board races around Tulsa County, there will be a primary on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, to fill a vacancy in House District 71. The incumbent, Dan Sullivan, resigned to replace Kevin Easley as head of the Grand River Dam Authority. The primary will choose two candidates to compete head to head on April 3.

District 71 covers the area between Lewis and Riverside, 21st and 81st, minus a small section just southwest of 21st and Lewis (part of Precinct 71). The district has almost always voted Republican, but this time there will be a Democratic primary, too. Democrat Roy McClain was the only Democrat ever to represent HD 71, winning the general election in 2002 after a scandal involving Republican incumbent Chad Stites surfaced too late in the process for Stites to draw a Republican challenger. Dan Sullivan defeated McClain for re-election in 2004.

The north end of the district includes some very expensive neighborhoods; the south end includes some middle-class subdivisions and apartment complexes, many of which are subsidized.

Four of the Republican candidates are women; both Democrats and one Republican are men.

Lydia d'Ross is the Oklahoma State Director of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). She has a Master's in Public Administration from Regent University School of Government. She serves on the Tulsa County Republican Executive Committee and the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Katie Henke is a native Tulsan, a graduate of the University of Alabama in early childhood development, and formerly a teacher at the Little Light House, Montessori School, and Riverfield Country Day School. She has served on the Tulsa County Republican Executive Committee. Her husband, Frazier Henke, is president of American Bank and Trust and has served as chairman of the City of Tulsa Board of Adjustment and vice chairman of the Tulsa County Republican Party.

Bonnie Huffines is a songwriter of Christian worship music, a former owner and operator (for 16 years) of a state-licensed day care, is a board member of the Brookside Neighborhood Association, and is active in local Republican organizations. She and her husband John Huffines have a Christian ministry called Jesus Praise 24-7, which appears to have as its goal establishing places where worship would take place around the clock.

Gerald Lovoi is an attorney. He ran in the Council District 9 Republican primary in 1998. (I remember appearing at a couple of candidate forums with him.) He does not appear to have a campaign website; the link goes to his law firm website.

TCC librarian Evelyn Rogers is a perennial candidate.for office. It doesn't appear that she has a website this time around.

Among the Democrats, Dan Arthrell is the Community Service Council's Director of Public Policy and Intergovernmental Relations.

Robert Walpole is an attorney and doesn't seem to have a website.

Here's the complete list of candidates, with website links where available.


Lydia M. D'Ross, 48, 7742 S. Victor Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136
Katie Henke, 31, 2300 Riverside Drive Unit 5E, Tulsa, OK 74114
Bonnie Huffines, 60, 256 E. 46 St., Tulsa, OK 74105
Gerald J. Lovoi, 51, 3905 S. Norfolk, Tulsa, OK 74105
Evelyn L. Rogers, 59, 6710 S. Quaker Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136


Dan Arthrell, 65, 1626 E 36 Place, Tulsa, OK 74105-3222
Robert J. Walpole, 57, 1133 E. 36 St, Tulsa, OK 74105

History of HD 71 representatives:

Warren Green (R), 1964-1976
Helen Arnold (R), 1976-1982
Bill Clark (R), 1982-1988
Rob Johnson (R), 1988-1994
John Sullivan (R), 1994-2002
Chad Stites (R), 2002
Roy McClain (D), 2002-2004
Dan Sullivan (R), 2004-2011

MORE: The House District 71 League of Women Voters candidate questionnaire was completed by four of the five Republican candidates and both Democrats. Lydia D'Ross did not return a questionnaire. From the responses, particularly on whether to reduce or eliminate the state income tax, it's apparent that the general election will feature a clear contrast between the Democrat and Republican nominees.

Four of the five Republicans responded to the House District 71 Oklahomans for Life questionnaire. (Neither of the Democrats did, and, once again, D'Ross was the lone Republican not to respond.) Of the four Republicans who answered the questionnaire, three -- Henke, Lovoi, and Rogers -- hold pro-life positions across the board, while Huffines gave pro-life answers to 10 questions and did not answer the remaining two questions which dealt with life-saving medical treatment.

And here is a strange: Sunday morning, February 12, 2012, Lydia d'Ross's website included a special page, headlined "Bateline News" [sic], with a link to this entry and the statement: "Bateline news writes about Lydia without permission." (Click to see full-size, as it appeared on a smartphone screen.)


By the time, I learned about it, the page had vanished, but a remnant still appeared in the Google search results (click for full-size):


The search result excerpt read: "Correction requested for Bateline News to amend statements made without a candidates permission."

There may be some confusion here about freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

And stranger still, it appears that a reference to the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has vanished from her list of involvements on the home page of her website. A Google search for "hispanic chamber" site:lydiadross.net turns up three results, including her home page. The Google screen capture (click to view) shows "Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce" between "Greater Tulsa Hispanic Affairs, Chair, International Committee" and "Tulsa Hispanic Human Resources Association," but a visit to the site at 10 p.m. Sunday shows that the Hispanic Chamber reference has vanished from her homepage.

I'm still working on my comprehensive report of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's speech at Oral Roberts University. In the meantime, I'm pleased to introduce a new contributor to BatesLine, who provides her own concise and insightful perspective on Santorum's visit to Tulsa. (I'm especially pleased to have a contributor who needs no editing whatsoever.)

Santorum sincere, straightforward
by Katherine Bates, apprentice pundit
Special to BatesLine

Katherine-20120207-250px.jpgAuthentic. Sincere. Straightforward. People who heard Rick Santorum speak at the Mabee Center on February 9, 2012 used all of these words. During his short speech, he captivated listeners, and received over ten standing ovations. He could hardly get more than a sentence out without the audience applauding. He spoke clearly, and he conveyed his points very well. Santorum is an amazing speaker, and doesn't avoid talking about certain issues or topics like most candidates.

One thing that stood out was his speech on equality, and that our rights are endowed by our CREATOR, and not by the government. So should the government be able to take away our right to choose our doctors, and our health insurance, and our medications? His answer? No, absolutely not!

Another topic Santorum spoke about was Affordable Energy. With gas prices today, this topic appealed to everyone.

At the end of his speech, he answered questions for ORU students. He delivered his answers well, and was patient with each of them. Though other candidates might have cowered away from these topics, Santorum had an immediate and firm answer as each question was thrown at him. In my opinion, we need someone like Santorum, who had his values straight from the beginning, for the next president of the United States.

Katherine Bates, 11, is a Tulsa-based writer, the author and illustrator of The Toads' Spring Fling, a children's story book, and Katrina, a science fiction short story. She has studied writing with Tulsa-based author Gina Conroy at Augustine Christian Academy and the Institute for Excellence in Writing through the Classical Conversations homeschool program. She is a member of the Tulsa County Impact 4-H Club.

Photo by Bland Bridenstine

Niemi_School_Board.jpgAlthough two Tulsa school board seats are expiring, only one has a contested election next Tuesday, February 14, 2012. That's in School Board Office 5, where former State Rep. Bruce Niemi faces Leigh Goodson in a contest to replace incumbent Brian Hunt, who chose not to run for re-election.

Election DIstrict 5 can be described as 11th to I-44, Yale to the Arkansas River, minus everything northwest of 21st and Utica, and minus everything southeast of 41st and Harvard, plus a bit south of I-44 between Riverside and Peoria. (Here's a map showing all of Tulsa School's election districts.)

I wish I could tell you that a conservative Republican reformer is on the ballot, but both candidates are registered Democrats. One, Niemi, is an outsider running an issue-driven campaign fueled by a lifetime of involvement in education; the other, Goodson, is an insider running a personality-driven campaign -- pretty four-color pictures and glib generalities.

Without a doubt, Bruce Niemi is a liberal, and he and I disagree not only on national issues, but on some local and school issues as well.

But Niemi is not afraid to deviate from the party line. He was a vocal and visible supporter of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, pointing out that state spending had doubled between 1992, his last year in office, and 2005, when the TABOR initiative petition was being circulated. Niemi also supports limits on eminent domain, backing a state proposal that would have expressly prohibited government from using eminent domain to transfer property to a private entity.

Often, on matters of government transparency, accountability, and openness, conservatives and liberals can be allies, working together to defeat the insiders who nominally belong to the left or the right, but whose real driving interest is working the system for their own benefit.

Bruce Niemi believes that the school board should act as the governing body of the school system, overseeing and holding the administration accountable. That seems obvious, but too often a school board serves as a rubber stamp for the current superintendent and administration. (That's when you wind up with a mess like the Skiatook school scandal.)

Niemi appreciates the importance of schools to the fabric of a neighborhood, and I trust him to ensure that whatever is done with our closed schools, like Barnard and Wilson, is respectful of the neighborhood and of the school's history.

Niemi supports the expansion of charter schools, opposes the district's wasteful lawsuits against state school choice laws, and supports the idea of the "Tim Tebow" law, which would give homeschooled children equal access to extracurriculars at their local public schools.

Last Saturday morning, Republicans gathered at precinct caucuses across Tulsa County. Precincts in House District 70 had a joint meeting at the Herman & Kate Kaiser Library in LaFortune Park. Niemi took the time to come by and to introduce himself briefly. As an active grassroots Democrat, he could appreciate the importance of these little meetings. (Goodson didn't come by, nor did she send a surrogate.)

If you live in Election District 5, I encourage you to join me in voting for Bruce Niemi next Tuesday.

MORE: Tulsa Kids profiled Bruce Niemi and Leigh Goodson in the February issue.

The Augustine Christian Academy Show Choir will be delivering singing valentines next Tuesday, February 14, 2012.


Are you looking for something unique and extra special for the ones you love this Valentine's Day? Let them be serenaded by a group of very talented singers from Augustine Christian Academy's Show Choir. Prices range from $25 - $40. We'll deliver a song, a personalized card, chocolates, and a special dedication to a location of your choice within the Tulsa area. Deliveries will be offered from 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM on February 14th. Order early to get your preferred delivery time! All orders must be received by February 13th! Get your Singing Valentine order form by CLICKING HERE, or pick one up in the school office. Please call Mrs. Gale Post at 918-852-2040 for more information.

Here's the group singing "Unforgettable" this morning on Fox 23 Daybreak:

The more you pay, the more precise you can be with the delivery time. Proceeds support the ACA performing arts program, which is producing Hello, Dolly, April 19 through 22, 2012.

Straight from presidential candidate Rick Santorum's Oklahoma campaign team, here's everything you need to know about his visit to the ORU campus tomorrow, February 9, 2012:

Santorum_Rally_Sign.jpgThe ORU College Republicans are holding a forum for Rick Santorum at 1:30pm in the Mabee Center Complex. Come to the East entrance of the "Baby Mabee" Auditorium entrance. The doors open at 1pm. The University has always had a "no signs" policy in their buildings and we ask all the supporters to honor their wishes. Political Tshirts and hats are just fine. Be prepared to undergo security screening.

The students of the Govt. studies dept will be sitting in a reserved section. There is a good amount of open seating for the public. We will not honor saving seats, when the auditorium reaches capacity. First come basis, period.

Rick will have some time in the program for questions from the crowd. Have your questions written out concisely and with brevity. Don't include statements; just ask your question. The College Republicans will coordinate this process, so submit your questions to them when you arrive.

The event will be televised live on the web, at http://www.kgeb.net/. Tell your friends that they can view it on the web, if they can't attend.

The "Baby Mabee" is so called because it looks like a miniature version of the Mabee Center. Easiest access is from 81st Street east of Lewis Ave in Tulsa. The green arrow marks the entrance.

View Larger Map

UPDATE: Because of expected crowds, the Tulsa event has been moved to the "Baby Mabee", the TV production studio just to the east of the Mabee Center on the ORU campus, and the Oklahoma City event has been moved to the Magnuson Hotel and Meridian Conference Center, just south of I-40 on Meridian (this is several miles west of downtown OKC; Republicans will recognize it as the frequent location for state conventions).

santorum3.jpgRepublican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will be in Oklahoma this Thursday, February 9, 2012, for Oklahoma Republican Party "Victory 2012" events in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Here are the details:

Oklahoma City - 9:00 am
Magnuson Hotel and Meridian Conference Center
737 S Meridian Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73108

Tulsa - 1:30 pm
"Baby Mabee", east of the Mabee Center, Oral Roberts University
7777 S Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74136

Oklahoma GOP chairman Matt Pinnell writes:

We are thrilled to welcome another Presidential candidate to the Reddest State in the Country! If you can win Oklahoma, you can win the conservative vote nationwide. We welcome our Republican candidates to Oklahoma over the coming weeks as they compete to win our "Reddest State" primary.

The state party hopes to see all the GOP presidential candidates appear at Victory 2012 events in the weeks leading up to the March 6 Oklahoma primary.

The Oklahoma Republican Party is asking for you to RSVP if you plan to attend either event.

Oklahoma has such a strong homeschool community (today is Home Educators' Day at the State Capitol), that I'd hope for a big turnout by homeschooling families for their fellow homeschooling dad.

Some links of interest regarding the presidential campaign:

Newt Gingrich had to know that he was not going to finish first in Florida and Nevada, so why not be prepared with statement that puts a positive spin on the results in preparation for likelier victories in the south on Super Tuesday? Stacy McCain chalks it up to Newt's narcissism:

The characteristic trait of the narcissist is his inability to accept responsibility for his own failures. Everybody likes to believe that they deserve credit for their successes, but no one wants to believe that they are at fault when they screw up. This is normal. Yet the damaged ego of the narcissist makes it impossible for him to acknowledge his own contribution to his failures. He cannot even admit to himself that he is at fault, which is why he attempts to focus blame on scapegoats.

And so when Newt starts pointing the finger, blaming others for his failures, portraying himself as the victim -- of Goldman Sachs, "money power," George Soros, "the elite media," Mormons (!) and a "blatantly dishonest" opponent -- even his supporters ought to recognize these unseemly eruptions as symptomatic of Gingrich's narcissistic tendencies.

Why do you think I warned you against jumping onto his bandwagon?

Victor Davis Hanson thinks Newt should have stuck with what was working for him:

Newt Gingrich's post-Nevada caucus speech included about three minutes of inspired moments about issues and ideas in his usual imaginative and intellectually robust style. So why does he not just stay with that -- given that he often seems more dynamic and glib than Romney in his attacks on Obama, and not long ago gained ground despite the attacks against him? Instead, he now turns ad nauseam to the tired reasons why he loses -- yes, including lots of Mormons in Nevada -- and ends up as Richard Nixon not going to get kicked around any more.

Hanson offers Newt a history lesson for perspective:

I don't understand why he thinks now losing to Romney in 2012 is solely due to Romney's innate deviousness in a way McCain beating Romney in 2008 was not -- given that Romney was about the same in both 2008 and 2012. Gingrich seems oblivious to the fact that McCain's style and history gave him advantages over Romney's money and hardball in ways Gingrich's own proven liabilities apparently do not.

Of course, it was McCain's Turn in 2008, and in 2012, it's Romney's Turn. The "It's His Turn" phenomenon partly reflects, on the part of Republican state and local leaders in places like New Hampshire and Florida, a preference for the familiar and a desire to get on the winning team early, but it also reflects four years of political capital building -- attending fundraisers for state and local parties and candidates, and collecting IOUs to be redeemed when the primaries roll around. Newt could have been doing that for the last 14 years, as the man who led the first Republican takeover of the House in 40 years, but I suspect he hasn't done much of it.

The Nevada Republican Party finally has all the results in from its 1800 precincts, and Romney, as expected, finished first without about 50% of 32,961 votes cast. Turnout in this binding caucus poll fell far short of 2008, when Romney won 51% of 44,315 votes cast in a non-binding caucus poll (for entertainment purposes only, as they say when they publish sports book odds in the paper). Unsurprisingly, Ron Paul's best showing was in the Kingdom of Nye, Art Bell's home county, home to Area 51.

According to the Green Papers, Nevada's delegates will be bound proportionally to the poll result, with no minimum threshold. They calculate the result to be Romney 14, Gingrich 6, Paul 5, and Santorum 3. The BatesLine delegate count:

Romney 73
Gingrich 29
Paul 8
Santorum 3
Uncommitted 2 (Huntsman's NH delegates)

Romney still needs 971 delegates for the nomination, and no one can clinch the nomination before April 24.


Buzzflash asks, "Why didn't Ron Paul's caucus strategy work in Nevada?" Likely answer: You can't win unless you have more supporters than everyone else, no matter how stealthy or strategic you are:

The Paul and Romney campaigns were the only ones to have a legitimate ground game in Nevada. The fact that Paul didn't easily outstrip Gingrich, who lacked Paul's months of preparation, doesn't bode well for his long-term strategy.

This news is likely to shock a few Ron Paul supporters: A Bilderberger is the biggest donor to Ron Paul's associated super PAC.

The largest donor to a SuperPAC supporting Ron Paul is Peter Thiel, the sort of ultra-wealthy, super-national figure Paul and his supporters love to hate.

Thiel -- who gave $900,000 to the pro-Paul group Endorse Liberty -- made his fortune as the co-founder of PayPal; he was also an early investor in Facebook, and is now a major player in the world of high-tech venture capital. He's also a devoted libertarian and devoted Republican: He hosted a fundraiser for the confrontational gay conservative group GOProud at his grand apartment off Union Square in 2010.

Thiel is also a member of the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group, the elite, invitation-only conference that's the frequent subject of conspiracy theories.

Your opportunity to shape the Republican Party's principles, personality, and personnel begins with tomorrow's Republican precinct caucuses.

Republican caucuses for most Tulsa County precincts will be held tomorrow morning, Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 10 a.m. Most of the rest of Oklahoma will hold precinct caucuses on Monday evening, February 6, 2012.

For the sake of convenience and efficiency, most Tulsa County precincts will be gathering at central meetings grouped by State House district. Some, however, will be held in individual homes, as was the tradition in years past.

Here is the current list of Tulsa County GOP precinct caucus locations and precinct officers.

This is not a comprehensive list, but here are the default locations for the House District central meetings. There are many, many exceptions. Saturday at 10 a.m. is the default time, but again, there are many exceptions. Consult the link in the previous paragraph or contact Tulsa County GOP headquarters at 918-627-5702 for definitive information about a specific precinct:

HD 11: New Life Assembly of God, 12215 N. Garnett, Collinsville
HD 23: Martin Regional Library, 2601 S. Garnett, Tulsa
HD 29: Crossroads Church, 2525 W. Main, Jenks
HD 36: New Life Assembly of God, 12215 N. Garnett, Collinsville
HD 66: Charles Page Library, 551 E. 4th St, Sand Springs
HD 67: Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 E. 93rd St, Tulsa
HD 68: Crossroads Church, 2525 W. Main, Jenks
HD 69: St James Presbyterian Church, 11970 S Elm, Jenks (at 1:00 pm Saturday)
HD 70: Kaiser Library, 5202 S. Hudson Ave., Tulsa
HD 71: Brookside Baptist Church, 3615 S. Peoria Ave, Tulsa (at 2:00 pm Saturday)
HD 72: Kendall-Whittier Library, 21 S. Lewis, Tulsa
HD 73: Kendall-Whittier Library, 21 S. Lewis, Tulsa
HD 74: New Life Assembly of God, 12215 N. Garnett, Collinsville
HD 75: Southpark Community Church, 10811 E. 41st St, Tulsa
HD 76: Arrow Heights Baptist Church, 3201 S. Elm Pl, Broken Arrow
HD 77: Kendall-Whittier Library, 21 S. Lewis, Tulsa
HD 78: McKay Law Office, 2301 S. Sheridan, Tulsa
HD 79: Memorial High School, 5840 S. Hudson, Tulsa
HD 80: Arrow Heights Baptist Church, 3201 S. Elm Pl, Broken Arrow
HD 98: Southpark Community Church, 10811 E. 41st St, Tulsa

In Oklahoma, the main job of a Republican precinct caucus in a presidential year is to elect delegates to the county convention and to consider issues to include in the party platform. You can also put your name forward for consideration to serve on the county convention's platform, rules, and credentials committees.

On March 24, the county convention will elect delegates to the 1st congressional district and state conventions, and will approve a county platform. The 1st congressional district convention (on April 14) and state convention (on May 12) will elect delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

There will also be, at least in Tulsa County, a presidential straw poll that has as much weight and significance as the Iowa caucus presidential straw poll in January -- which is to say, it's non-binding. (Oklahoma delegates to the national convention will be bound by the results of the March 6 primary.)

Although precinct officials are scheduled to be elected only in odd numbered years, this year many precincts will also be filling vacant precinct officer positions, as the redrawing of precinct lines has moved some officers out of their old precincts and left some precincts without officials.

I'm hopeful that grassroots conservatives will show up to these caucuses to ensure that the Republican platform stands firm on conservative principles at all levels of government, rejecting on the one hand a squishy, apologetic, and barely conservative party and rejecting on the other hand a party in thrall to wacky conspiracy theories.

Newt Gingrich is challenging the plurality-takes-all allocation of Florida's 50 delegates to the Republican National Convention. Mitt Romney finished first in the January 31st primary with 46% of the vote, which means, according to rules adopted by the Florida state party rules, Romney gets all 50.

Republicans in Florida and from other states were complaining about the rule violation long before last Tuesday's primary. From January 25, in the Tampa Bay Times:

All it takes is a registered Florida Republican to file a protest with the RNC, and the party's contest committee would have to consider the issue when it meets in August just before the convention.

"August is going to be a very tense month for those of us on the committee on contests. We could be the group that everybody loves or everybody hates," said Fredi Simpson, an RNC member from Washington state who sits on that committee and also helped write the rules.

Like other RNC members, Simpson thinks the rules clearly bar Florida from being winner-take-all. At an RNC meeting in August, members of the Presidential Nominating and Selection Committee passed a resolution calling for the RNC to enforce its rules for proportional delegates on states like Florida that set primaries earlier than April.

"Florida ought to be proportional, and it is up to the RNC legal office to figure out how they do that. That was absolutely the intention when we wrote that rule," said Pete Ricketts, an RNC member from Nebraska who served on the RNC committee appointed in 2008 to draw up delegate selection rules for 2012....

Marc Cross, a GOP state committeeman from Osceola County, has already written to the RNC, urging it to review the matter, but the RNC has taken no action.

If Florida were allocated proportionally, Gingrich would be leading in delegates, by a big margin, and that lead would be guaranteed all the way to February 28, even if Romney got every single delegate in Nevada.

What's more likely to happen is a big mess that won't get cleaned up until right before the national convention in Tampa, and maybe not even then. The rules adopted by the RNC for the 2012 presidential primary process have succeeded in slowing down and lengthening the primary season, but the new rules failed to cover a number of scenarios, and the result could be a pre-convention mess involving a key swing state.

So let's explain the numbers first and then the rules mess.

In a statewide proportional allocation, Romney would have 30 Florida delegates, Gingrich would have 20, as Romney received roughly 60% of the combined Romney-Gingrich total. I'm assuming here the use of the typical 15% threshold, which a candidate would have to exceed in order to receive any delegates at all. Under that scenario, Santorum, Paul, et al., would not receive any delegates.

It should be noted that RNC rules don't mandate a maximum threshold to be considered proportional. Democratic Party rules mandate 15%, and many state Republican parties (including Oklahoma) have followed suit. New Hampshire uses 10%. Theoretically, Florida could've set 40% as the threshold; Romney would have received all the delegates under that scenario.

The two states combined, under the Florida GOP's existing rule: Romney 52, Gingrich 23. (Romney won 2 South Carolina delegates by winning a single congressional district.)

The two states combined, under a proportional rule for Florida: Gingrich 53, Romney 22.

Add in the New Hampshire results, and the revised total would be Gingrich 53, Romney 29, Paul 3, Huntsman 2.

(A combination of proportional allocation statewide and proportional allocation by congressional district would give yet a different total, but without results by congressional district, it's impossible to calculate.)

Florida has already been penalized for holding a primary prior to March 1. According to the rules of the Republican National Committee that govern the 2012 presidential nomination process, a state that binds delegates in any way prior to the March 1 loses half their allotted delegates, and their RNC members (state chairman, national committeeman, national committeewoman) won't be seated at the convention.

Florida's rules originally called for some of its delegation to be allocated winner-take-all by congressional district, and the remaining delegates winner-take-all based on the statewide primary result. But they also approved a rule that said, essentially, that if the RNC takes away half our delegation because of our early primary, we'll treat the remaining delegates as "at large" and will give them all to the statewide winner.

But there's also a rule requiring any state (except the four "carve-out" states) binding delegates prior to April 1 to allocate delegates proportionally. The rule doesn't specify how that should be done.

The four "carve-out" states are Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. They're allowed to bind delegates as early as February 1, and they're not subject to the proportionality rule. That's why Newt's challenge to the Florida allocation won't cost him any delegates in South Carolina, which was allocated winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district. Two of the carve-out states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, lost half of their delegates by going before February 1. (Iowa lost nothing, because they didn't allocate any delegates as a result of the caucus night straw poll. The real Iowa delegate decisions are made at the June state convention.)

The response by the RNC's general counsel to the question about Florida says, in effect, there's not much more we can do to them:

By holding its primary on January 31, Florida has violated Rule 15(b). Like the other states in violation, Florida is suffering the mandatory penalties under Rule 16: loss of fifty percent of its delegates and alternates, and the RNC members from Florida cannot serve as delegates. In addition, the RNC Rules Committee imposed every available discretionary penalty - penalties related to convention seating, guest privileges and hotel location. Thus, all of the penalties authorized under the Rules have been imposed on Florida.

The rules governing the 2012 process were the product of a committee appointed after the 2008 convention. Rather than have a fight at the 2008 convention over a new primary calendar, the convention rules committee rejected the recommended plan by the RNC rules committee, approved a rule creating a special committee to present a proposal for an up-or-down vote by the Republican National Committee.

Here is the rule change recommended by the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee in June 2010 and approved by the RNC in August 2010:

Rule No. 15: Election, Selection, Allocation, or Binding of Delegates and Alternate Delegates

(b) Timing.

(1) No primary, caucus, or convention to elect, select, allocate, or bind delegates to the national convention shall occur prior to the first Tuesday in March in the year in which a national convention is held. Except Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada may begin their processes at any time on or after February 1 in the year in which a national convention is held and shall not be subject to the provisions of paragraph (b)(2) of this rule.

(2) Any presidential primary, caucus, convention, or other meeting held for the purpose of selecting delegates to the national convention which occurs prior to the first day of April in the year in which the national convention is held, shall provide for the allocation of the delegates selected on a proportional basis.

(3) If the Democratic National Committee fails to adopt a presidential primary schedule with the dates set forth in Rule 15(b)(1) of these Rules (February 1 and first Tuesday in March) by December 31, 2010, then the dates in Rule 15(b) shall revert to the dates set forth in the Rules as adopted by the 2008 Republican National Convention.

You'll notice that they don't define the term "proportional basis."

The enforcement clause is Rule 16, which calls for the 50% penalty, loss of automatic seats for RNC members, and other potential penalties to be imposed by the RNC's standing committee on rules. That rule doesn't negate the "proportional basis" rule, but it also doesn't provide for additional penalties in the event a state violates both the proportional basis and calendar rules.

(You can read the complete Rules of the Republican Party here.)

Newt Gingrich is right to say that Florida has violated the proportionality rule. We'll see whether the Committee on Contests has the guts to enforce it.

Newsies-Logo-color-300x253.jpgI've been nominated, once again, for the Tulsa Press Club Newsie awards, in the category of Favorite Blog.

This is the second year for the Newsie awards, and categories cover news, weather, and sports in print, online, and on the radio and TV airwaves. (Here are the results from the 2011 Newsies voting.)

This year, they're differentiating between independent blogs like BatesLine and bloggers who work for mainstream media outlets (the Favorite Blogger category). The other entrants in the Favorite Blog category are TashaDoesTulsa.com, ArtOfManliness.com, and TulsaFood.com.

That's tough competition, and I wouldn't expect to finish in the top three, but I'm honored by the members of Tulsa Press Club who saw fit to nominate BatesLine, and, if you're so inclined, I'd be honored by your vote. Voting is open to the public, and you can vote daily through February 6. Here's a direct link to the 2012 Newsies ballot.

The awards ceremony will be March 1st at the Broadway, an event center on the east edge of downtown, at 720 S. Kenosha. (The building was formerly the home of Urban Tulsa Weekly, which moved last year.) Tickets are $15 for members, $20 for non-members. For reservations, call (918) 583-7737 or email mail AT tulsapressclub.com.

Florida turned out as expected, but as I wrote right after South Carolina, there's no need for anyone of the remaining candidates to head for the exits. Mitt Romney's campaign is restarting the inevitability bandwagon. Pundits are falling over each other to be the first to declare that it's all over, that there's no path to victory for anyone else. (Haven't the pundits ever heard of suspense? That people stay interested only until they know the final outcome?)

Those of us who bother to read the rules by which the game is played know that the 2012 campaign has just begun. Only 87 of a possible 2286 delegates have been bound to a candidate at this point. 59 delegates -- 7 in New Hampshire, 2 in South Carolina, and 50 in Florida -- have been bound to Mitt Romney. He needs 1,085 more to clinch the nomination, and the earliest possible date he can mathematically accomplish that (assuming all other candidates drop out now) is April 24. More likely, because of many proportionally allocated states, it would be late May or possibly June 5 before anyone could cross the finish line. (Click the graph to see it full-size.)


The Associated Press includes Iowa in its count, but Iowa doesn't elect delegates until June, and, as I noted before the caucus, there's no necessary or mechanical connection between the caucus straw poll results and whom the delegates will support at the Republican National Convention.

The AP count also includes certain "super-delegates" as pledged to candidates, presumably based on public declarations of support. The members of the Republican National Committee -- state party chairman, national committeeman, and national committeewoman from each state and territory -- are ex-officio convention delegates. A few states require their RNC members to be bound by the result of the primary, but most send their RNC members unbound. RNC members from states that have been penalized for holding a primary too early -- New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Michigan -- won't have a vote at the convention.

The basis for the above chart is in the BatesLine GOP Delegate Count spreadsheet. I've followed the comprehensive information on delegate allocation found at the Green Papers website, differing only in treating any delegates elected based on their declared presidential preference as bindable delegates. For example, the Green Papers treats all 66 Ohio delegates as unpledged because they aren't legally bound to vote for a particular presidential candidate at the national convention. My count treats all the Ohio delegates (except the three RNC members) as bindable delegates, since the delegates are nominated by a presidential campaign and would have a significant personal stake in voting for the candidate who made it possible for them to attend the national convention.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2012 is the previous archive.

March 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]