Oklahoma Politics: April 2010 Archives

In the Republican primary race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Shawn Hime, a former assistant to incumbent Democratic Superintendent Sandy Garrett, has attacked Janet Barresi in a fundraising letter for having contributed in the past to Democratic candidates. Barresi responded tonight with a press release, which you can read in full on Jamison Faught's Musings of a Muskogee Politico. Here are some key excerpts:

Contrary to his mudslinging, I am a lifelong conservative Republican and have been a staunch supporter of pro-life organizations and conservative Republicans - 86 percent of all my political contributions have been to Republicans and GOP organizations.

I have contributed to a handful of Democrats who (at least at the time) were supportive of education reform, particularly school choice. I have always been upfront about those contributions because I wanted to work within the system. When I saw that wasn't possible, I announced that I was running against Sandy Garrett - before she dropped out.

Hime also claimed in the letter that Barresi lacked experience working in education. In fact, Barresi helped start two very successful charter schools:

One of those schools, Harding Charter Preparatory High School, was named to Newsweek magazine's list of the best high schools in the country after only six years of operation. Last year Harding saw its first National Merit Finalist, another student named to the Academic All-State team and Harding students received $1.65 million in college scholarships. One hundred percent of our students graduated last year and 96 percent went on to college.

Their accomplishments came in spite of the fact that the majority of Harding students are from poverty level backgrounds. Twenty two percent of last year's class were the first in their family to graduate high school, and 65 percent were the first in their families to go to college.

As you can see, I don't believe in excuses. I achieve results. And I have no problem putting my record on education against the Garrett/Hime record anytime, anywhere.

DISCLOSURE: Given the huge banner ad on the sidebar, it's probably superfluous to point out that the Janet Barresi campaign is a sponsor of BatesLine.

Below a news release from the Randy Brogdon for Governor campaign. I have to say I've been disappointed at the readiness by some of his erstwhile allies to assume the worst about Sen. Brogdon and to take distortions of his statements as gospel truth. I've been disappointed to see this both from his fellow conservative Republicans and from the populist Democrats who were his allies in the fight to stop the Tulsa County sales tax for river development.

Randy Brogdon is as self-effacing, cheerful, and positive a politician as I have ever met, while remaining true to his well-considered principles. He doesn't deserve to be characterized as a wild-eyed radical, particularly by those who know better because they've dealt with him personally.

Oklahoma needs a governor who will face facts, who will deal straightforwardly with the problems we face, yet will do so in a gracious way. We need someone who knows state government, knows the laws and the constitution, and can do more than recite conservative catchphrases. Randy Brogdon can be that kind of governor.

A Statement from Senator Randy Brogdon

There Already is an Oklahoma Militia

Brogdon says historical context represented as personal opinion in news reports

James Parsons
Communication Director

Recent statements of mine regarding an Oklahoma militia have been misrepresented, taken out of context and are badly misunderstood. I have stated that the formation of and participation in, an Oklahoma militia is legal based on both federal and state law.

However, remarks I made in historical context were inaccurately reported as my personal opinion. Specifically, historical speculation about the frame of mind of the Founding Fathers as they wrote the Constitution was reported as if it were my deeply held belief. Then these misrepresentations were used to distort my true beliefs, while implying that I have violent intentions.

So let me set the facts straight about my beliefs on dealing with the federal government, the role of a militia in Oklahoma, and how best to effect change in government.

Both the First and Second Amendments of the U.S. Constitution protect individual participation in a militia. Membership in such a group is a form of self-expression, so our right to free speech comes into focus. The Second Amendment states, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Our Founding Fathers were suspicious of big, centralized government. However, nobody can mistake this statement as some sort of right to insurrection.

The fact is that Oklahoma state law already establishes and provides for, an "unorganized militia" as an officially recognized part of Oklahoma military forces.

ยง44-41. Composition of Militia - Classes.

The Militia of the State of Oklahoma shall be divided into three (3) classes: The National Guard, the Oklahoma State Guard, and the Unorganized Militia.

23. "State military forces" means the National Guard of the state, as defined in Title 32, United States Code, the organized naval militia of the state, and any other military force organized under the Constitution and laws of the state to include the unorganized militia (the state defense force when not in a status subjecting them to exclusive jurisdiction under Chapter 47 of Title 10, United States Code).

These statutes are not part of overlooked or arcane law. The legislature has rewritten this section numerous times over decades, most recently in 2007.

So undeniably, a militia in Oklahoma is not only legal - it already exists as a matter of fact.

No, Oklahoma does not need to activate the unorganized militia. If we ever do, it certainly won't be to invade Washington, D.C. In fact, Oklahoma's unorganized militia is prohibited from operating outside the state.

I do plan to fight what I consider to be an over-reaching federal government, but I will do it with the Constitutional tools provided by the framers. For years, I have advocated adherence to the 10 th Amendment as a weapon against big government.

As a legislator for much of the last decade I have routinely proposed new law. When enough of my Senate colleagues agree with me laws are changed or enacted, peacefully. Yet, this week, some people seem convinced that I would abandon the democratic process to wage actual war on the federal government which is simply bizarre.

I was saddened that some in the anti-militia crowd can be as irrational and violent as those they condemn. As this story developed over the week, I received as many as a half-dozen death threats, not only directed at me but at my family as well. One unpleasant person said they would only be satisfied when I am swinging from a tree. Hopefully, the thought was fleeting. The threats were forwarded to the OSBI for investigation.

Thanks to Ron Denton for the heads-up. The State House Appropriations and Budget Committee will vote tomorrow, April 8, 2010, on SB 1284, the Oklahoma Quality Events Incentive Act. The Tulsa Metro Chamber wants people to send emails to the committee members urging passage.

(To read the legislation, go here, type in SB1284, click retrieve, and then click Engrossed. That's the version that passed the Senate.)

I rewrote the Chamber's email:

I urge you to vote against Senate Bill 1284, the Oklahoma Quality Events Incentive Act tomorrow in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

This bill will is a giveaway to out-of-state businesses that compete with local entrepreneurs for the entertainment dollars of Oklahomans. The companies that will benefit from this act have no long-term or even short-term investment in our state. They are literally here today and gone tomorrow.

The Oklahoma economy is currently facing tremendous financial challenges. The best thing we can do to help our economy is provide a level playing field with lower tax rates and a more efficient government, thus creating a stable economic environment that encourages people to start and grow businesses. The road to prosperity is not paved with special deals for special people.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma Politics category from April 2010.

Oklahoma Politics: February 2010 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma Politics: May 2010 is the next archive.

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