Oklahoma Politics: February 2012 Archives

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?

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.

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.

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.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma Politics category from February 2012.

Oklahoma Politics: December 2011 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma Politics: March 2012 is the next archive.

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