Joe Newhouse for Oklahoma Senate District 25

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UPDATE 2016/06/24: Bob Jack contacted me this morning, and we spoke a short time ago, taking exception to some of the things I wrote below. I have made some additions based on our conversation which are highlighted below. FURTHER UPDATE 2016/06/25: At my invitation, Bob Jack has sent a reply, which I have appended to the end of this entry.

Oklahoma State Senator Mike Mazzei has reached his term limit. Four Republicans and a Democrat have filed for the open Senate District 25 seat.

Senate District 25 is mainly Bixby and adjacent parts of SE Jenks, western Broken Arrow, and south Tulsa, but there's a periscope that extends north between Sheridan and Memorial to near 31st Street, then veers east and north as far as 21st and US 169. It is part of a blatant gerrymander, divvying up Democrat-trending areas among several districts and transplanting Senate 33 from midtown Tulsa to Broken Arrow. Democrats have no room to complain because they did the exact same thing, if not worse, when they ran the legislature.

Joe Newhouse is my recommendation for Senate 25. I've had the opportunity to work with Joe on several projects, and I've seen his energy and enthusiasm, his diligence and organizational skills at work firsthand. He's personable and builds good working relationships. From our conversations over the years, I know that Joe Newhouse is strongly committed to his Christian faith (he and his family are part of River Oaks Presbyterian Church, part of the conservative Presbyterian Church in America), to his family, and to conservative, constitutional principles of government. Joe is a local, going to Broken Arrow Public Schools all the way through.

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Newhouse flew EA-6B Prowlers in the Iraq War, taught fighter tactics as an instructor at NAS Pensacola, earned a master's degree and certification as a Program Management Professional (PMP), served three years as a field representative for Congressman Jim Bridenstine, and is a Commander in the Navy Reserve, working as a military adviser to NATO.

Newhouse served in the private sector as a program manager, working with engineers and customers to bring multi-million dollar contracts to successful and timely completion. If elected, Newhouse would join State Rep. Chuck Strohm as a legislator with experience in flight simulation, an underappreciated but significant and growing industry in Oklahoma with potential to diversify our economy beyond oil and gas.

On his issues page, you can see Newhouse's thoughts on education funding and reform, defending against federal encroachment on our 2nd Amendment rights, rebuilding our roads and bridges, and supporting Oklahomans in the military -- active duty, reserve, and veteran.

The other candidates in the race have their fans. Craig Murray can boast of a maximum contribution from actor/comedian Rodney Carrington.

Lisa Kramer's list of donors include a couple of people who led the elitist effort to replace geographically elected councilors with citywide elected councilors: OSU-Tulsa president Howard Barnett and Ben Latham. The left-leaning "Blue Cereal" blog has written enthusiastically about Kramer; in her answers, she appears to oppose school choice.

Bob Jack, former senior VP and now adviser to Manhattan Construction Company, has the backing of individuals and PACs connected with the Tulsa Regional Chamber (which he served as a board member) and State Chamber of Commerce (where he served on the executive board), and he is a client of AH Strategies and Majority Designs.

UPDATE: Bob Jack has informed me that the information on his website about his service as an adviser to Manhattan is out of date. He cut all ties with the company some time ago.

Friends who know him tell me that Jack is a good man, a solid Christian gentleman. Some of the names on his contributor list are people I know through local church circles, and their willingness to support him financially speaks highly of him.

My concern is that because of his connection with Manhattan and the Chambers, Bob Jack will be inclined to see government-funded heavy construction projects (like the BOK Center) as the path to economic development and to look to the Chambers for guidance on taxation and state priorities. In a later entry, I will explain in some detail why the Chamber label on a candidate should be viewed by conservatives as a warning label.

To name one specific issue: Recall that Chambers of Commerce in many states and cities have lobbied to kill protections for citizens who believe that there are important distinctions to be drawn between a natural, normal marriage and a "same-sex marriage" and between a real woman and a "transwoman." While Bob Jack is likely on the right side of such issues personally, his Chamber allies are demanding that everyone jump on the "diversity" bandwagon, issuing surveys that equate sexual orientation and gender identity with race and ethnicity and measure a company's commitment to diversity by whether they give domestic partner benefits, sponsor or participate in gay pride parades, and prioritize giving contracts to LGBT-owned businesses. When Jack was a board member of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, did he support these "diversity" initiatives? Did he raise any objections? UPDATE: Bob Jack assures me that he is on the right side of those issues, informs me that he did indeed raise objections to these sorts of Chamber programs, and says that his service on the board of the Tulsa Regional Chamber was one of the duties of his job with Manhattan and not a matter of personal choice.

Better that we should have a state senator with experience in both the military and small business and without associations that might pull him away from his conservative principles. In that light, I can confidently commend Joe Newhouse to the Republican voters of Senate District 25 in next Tuesday's election.

UPDATE: Here is Bob Jack's response, published at my invitation.

1. As a born again child of God, Christ is central in my life

2. We have attended Bible Churches in Tulsa and prior to arriving in 1978 attended Bible Churches in the Chicago area. I have served in many capacities including Deacon, Treasurer, MissionsCommittee, Building Committee Member and other strategic planning committees. We currently attend Fellowship Bible Church and are active members, supporting that body. While at Tulsa Bible Church, my wife was very active in the AWANA program. [Personal detail redacted.]

3. My wife of 42-years and I have traveled on mission trips in the USA and outside our county serving those who needed some assistance.

4. My wife Alexis and I have raised 2 wonderful children, both products of public schools and graduates of OU and OSU. Both are successful and both caring Christians. We are soon to be grandparents, a moment that is overshadowing this election.

5. I am the Vice Chairman of the John 3:16 Board of Directors. I have a deep passion for those who have lost their way and need physical and spiritual help. That passion started as a child working with my Father in the rescue missions of inner city Chicago.

6. I retired last year after 11 great years at Manhattan Construction. I have no ties to Manhattan except for an occasional call regarding past projects or legal issues. I had always planned to leave Manhattan if and when I decided to run for public office to eliminate any possible conflict.

7. I was a member of the Board of Director for the Tulsa Metro Chamber (TMC) for several years representing Manhattan Construction. As the senior executive in the Tulsa office, I was active in various business and community organizations. I represented Manhattan in the community and enjoyed a very good reputation. To be clear, I was a company representative and not doing it for personal gain.

8. As a board member at the TMC, I did not agree with the position the majority took with regards to diversity issues and did voice my objection. I was asked to serve on the Mosaic Committee but declined on grounds that I did not agree with the effort. I believe that the diversity program is outside the core reasons a chamber exists.

9. With regards to any issue of sexual orientation, I refer you to Scripture as there you will find my position clearly defined. While I believe all are created in the image of God and all are His children, I believe we should follow Scripture and love one another. Never the less, Scripture commands us to speak in protest to what one believe are activities that are disobedient to God.

10. I was a member of the State Chamber Board of Director and a Member of the Executive Board while at Manhattan. The State Chamber is different than the Regional Chamber with efforts directed more at the legislative process.

11. I do whole heartily support those activities of the various chambers that improve our community and state. Creating an environment that attracts and promotes business growth, workforce development, lessen government over reach, and help create a strong economy are areas that I get passionate about.

12. I was a member of Leadership Oklahoma- Class XXVII. A year traveling the state with 52 uniquely different people from various political persuasions. People in that group quick knew that I was conservative.

13. I am 100% Pro-life as rated by Oklahomans for Life. I am the only candidate that can proclaim that rating. I believe life begins at conception and ends when the Lord decides our time, no exceptions. (I do support the death penalty in heinous crimes)

14. I am staunch defender of the 2 nd Amendment and received the "Aq" rating and endorsement of the NRA-PVF. No other candidate can make that claim.

15. I have been a registered Republican since 1968 in DuPage County, Illinois and since 1978 in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. I have never changed my party affiliation from party to party as have others in this race during the past 3-years.

16. I have received generous financial support and volunteer support for my campaign. There is wide range of individuals and committees that donated financially. All have trust in me to make good decisions and no one is expecting special favor.

17. I proudly consider myself a Ronald Reagan Conservative and subscribe to seven Reagan principles.

18. My decision making process is not driven from outward sources such as the Chamber and other special interest groups. I am a collector of facts, wanting to understand the issues before making a decision. Decisions I will make as a Senator will be well reasoned, based in facts and for the benefit of the State of Oklahoma and not a group with only their interest in mind. In business, I read and signed hundreds if not thousands of contracts and legal documents. I will read any legislation I may cast a vote for or against.

19. My campaign literature has been sent to inform the voters and not to feed them rhetoric, I'm a business leader with business solutions. I've spent 46-years in a very competitive industry leading big, medium and small companies. I have created job, hired thousands. Testimonies by those who have worked alongside of me will characterize me as a caring leader, willing to go the extra mile to help his team succeed. No other candidate in this race has these credentials.

20. I have always strived to be a man of integrity, high moral standards, courageous, dependable and honest. While we all fail as humans, I have personally set a high bar for myself and always will.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 22, 2016 10:53 PM.

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