Oklahoma Election 2010: July 2010 Archives

I'm asking; I don't have an answer, as I wasn't following the 5th Congressional District race. I invite my Oklahoma City readers to share their observations.

In James Lankford you have a political novice who puts together a conservative grassroots campaign to finish ahead of several more heavily financed candidates. Meanwhile, Randy Brogdon, an eight-year state senator and former city councilor, falls short in his quest for the GOP nomination for governor.

Undoubtedly it helped Lankford for two name candidates to be in the race, splitting the vote -- Brogdon had a higher percentage than Lankford -- but he still had to put together over a third of the primary vote, something insurgent congressional candidates in the 1st and 4th districts failed to do. Had a conservative Oklahoma City-area elected official (e.g. Leonard Sullivan, Mike Reynolds) also run for governor, enough votes might have been peeled away from Mary Fallin to force a runoff. As it was, a contentious congressional primary seems to have driven turnout in Fallin's district, entirely to her advantage.

More analysis as I have time, but three more thoughts for now:

* The folks who spent their time and treasure on also-ran congressional candidates in the 1st and 4th Districts would have been wiser to put that effort toward Brogdon's campaign.

* Oklahoma City Republicans don't seem to like voting for Tulsans. In 2006, two viable candidates for governor from Tulsa (Bob Sullivan, Jim Williamson) split a minority of the vote, while Ernest Istook sailed to victory without a runoff. During the late campaign, there was a proprietary vibe from many central Oklahoma conservative commentators: Fallin was their girl, and nothing was going to budge them from their support for her.

* The bloggers who are stomping and whining that Brogdon needs to get aboard the Fallin bandwagon RIGHT THIS MINUTE need to back off. Do you enjoy being pressured publicly? Does public pressure make you more likely to give in, or more likely to dig in your heels? And if he issues an endorsement now after getting peppered with demands from prominent conservative bloggers, are his supporters likely to view it as sincere or perfunctory?

I sense more triumphalism in those demands than genuine concern for party unity. Edmondson's early endorsement of Askins was necessary to rule out a recount or a challenge of the results. The Republican results were clear. These Fallin supporters seem to be paying more attention to Brogdon now than they did before the primary. If he wasn't important enough to be worthy of a debate before the primary, why is his endorsement so important now?

If Randy Brogdon is to provide a credible endorsement that energizes his supporters on Fallin's behalf, he will have to do it on his own terms and in his own time. Give the man some respect and some space.

I made it to three different watch parties last night, starting at Randy Brogdon's, then Judge James Caputo's, then finished the evening at Congressman John Sullivan's, watching the final numbers come in on the incredibly close Democratic nomination for Governor.

I got home late, had family business to attend to, and today there's a heavy load of work-related activity, so I won't have much analysis until later in the week, I suspect. Turnout looked to be quite low in my precinct when I voted at around 1 p.m., but evidently it picked up, as numbers in our part of the state were substantially heavier than four years ago.

While I'm disappointed in Randy Brogdon's defeat, it's important -- for the sake of next year's redistricting if nothing else -- for Republicans to unite behind Mary Fallin. It will be an interesting race; a battle between two former Lieutenant Governors. The Democrat nominee made government regulation of salaries the theme of one of her ads. I am told that Jari Askins is very personable and works very hard at campaigning. She may well be a tougher opponent for Fallin than Edmondson would have been.

I am very happy to see Ayatollah Drew Edmondson's political career come to a halt.

That's all for now. I'm working on a piece about how I'd run a statewide primary race, based on observations in this election. Meanwhile, feel free to chime in in the comments.

Happy Election Day! Polls open across Oklahoma at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Results should start rolling in soon after. The state election board website will update results as they are received from the county election boards. These will lag the results from media sources, as TV and radio stations send runners to precincts to read the results, which are posted on each precinct door shortly after the polls close. To be included in the state election board's numbers, a precinct's results have to be taken to the county election board to be read into the state election computer system.

The Tulsa County Election Board promises to have live Tulsa County election results on the web.

A few resources as you go to vote:

If you run into any difficulty voting or spot any irregularity, contact the your county election board. The phone number for the Tulsa County Election Board is 918-596-5780.

Posted 1:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 27, 2010. Postdated to remain at the top of the blog through poll closing time.

A couple of longtime conservative activists in Tulsa have endorsed Randy Brogdon for Governor and John Wright for Lt. Governor. I received their endorsement via their email list; they gave me permission to reproduce it but not to use their names because it might create the impression of an endorsement by a non-profit with which they are associated. I thought the points they made were worth passing along, even without their names.

Randy Brogdon

1. Randy Brogdon is a born-again Christian who readily shares his testimony. His testimony is a video on his website http://www.randybrogdon.com . He and his wife have worshipped at Woodlake Assembly of God Church for 40 years where he and his wife have taught Sunday School classes and Randy has served on the church board.

2. Brogdon has spent the last 30 years building and managing successful businesses.

3. Brogdon was elected Mayor of Owasso and was elected state Senator where he has served for 8 years. As a state Senator, he has supported limited government, lower taxes, free market solutions to economic problems, and the U.S. Constitution. His tax reform plan includes eliminating the income tax on individuals and businesses, adopting an end-user consumption tax on sales and services, and exempting groceries and prescription drugs from state tax.

4. He has a pro-life, pro-family voting record and supports the right to keep and bear arms. He is endorsed by Gun Owners of America for his leadership in protecting our Second Amendment rights. He is the first state Senator in 20 years to receive a 100% mark on the Oklahoma Conservative Vote Index.

5. He is opposed to ObamaCare and is the author of the state question on the November 2010 ballot allowing Oklahomans to opt out of the federal socialized health care plan.

6. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Donna, for 37 years. They have 2 grown sons and a daughter-in-law. Donna openly shares her Christian testimony, as well as a story about Randy cutting his own salary several times so he would not have to lay off any of the employees of his business.

7. We personally know both of the major Republican candidates running for Governor. In our opinion, Randy Brogdon is one of the most qualified candidates to run for Governor in many years. He loves the Lord, his country, his family, and the people of Oklahoma. Unlike many in political office, he has a backbone of steel, and he expresses the courage of his convictions passionately and articulately. He does not bow to the will of special interest groups.

John Wright

1. John Wright was elected in 1998 to the state House of Representatives. During his 12 years of service in the state House, he has been voted into leadership by his colleagues 4 times. His Cumulative Average is 91% on the Oklahoma Conservative Vote Index.

2. Before he was in the state legislature, he had a successful career in marketing and sales, where he won awards for his achievements.

3. He and his wife Debbie are long-time members of Victory Christian Center, where they have taught Sunday School and Victory Bible Institute classes. In 1991 John went to St. Petersburg, Russia, as a volunteer on a Victory short-term missions trip. He saw first-hand the devastation in Russia brought about by socialism and communism. He has stated many times that the Russia mission motivated him to run for office in order to preserve our liberties.

4. As Lieutenant Governor, John's goals are to develop state infrastructure, encourage tourism, encourage people to pursue higher education, and encourage the traditional, marriage-based family. His website is http://www.movingoklahomaforward.com.

Republican Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel has published on his website a detailed response to an attack mailer from his primary opponent, former County Assessor Cheryl Clay. Yazel says that Clay's statements are lies, and he rebuts each point at length.

Some of the points made by Yazel in his rebuttal:

  • "There are 7 other county offices that have higher salaries [than the Assessor's Office], and that doesn't include the 'one-time longevity payments' (a.k.a. tax-funded Christmas Bonuses), which amounted to about $785,000 for 909 County employees. None of these were paid to employees within the Assessor's Office. "
  • The number of Assessor's Office employees is 16% less than when he took office, but managing a workload that has grown by 12%. 83 of his 84 employees are Certified Appraisers.
  • The Assessor's Office has an attorney on staff that specializes in Ad Valorem tax disputes, as allowed by law. Cheryl Clay also had an attorney on staff, as did Jack Gordon, her handpicked successor.
  • An outside law firm was used seven years ago, before an attorney was added to the Assessor's Office staff, to defend and win a multi-million dollar valuation case, the "first time in almost a decade a case had been won for the taxpayers."
  • The Assessor's Office software system is the same system in use in Oklahoma County [and the Oklahoma County Assessor, Leonard Sullivan, has an awesome website -- MDB], is fully backed up and compatible with county systems. "The only problem for county data was created by the County Clerk when her office ceased to place parcel numbers on recorded documents, contrary to state law. (This has been an ongoing issue in excess of 18 months now, and is finally being fixed at a heavy expense to the County Clerk's budget.)"
  • "[Yazel] has persuaded the Budget Board, by vote of 8-0, to pass much needed budget reforms. Most recently, the Board passed an action to place Assessor data on the Internet for all to use without paying the previous required monthly fee to the county.

I'm very pleased to read that last point. Oklahoma County has been well ahead of Tulsa County in making public data truly accessible to the public. Ken Yazel understands that "public = online."

You can read the full rebuttal after the jump. I'm proud to endorse Ken Yazel for reelection as Tulsa County Assessor.

The News on 6 examined congressional candidate Nathan Dahm's rebuttal of Congressman John Sullivan's debunking of false claims about his voting record. The News on 6 story specifically labeled Dahm's claims "misleading" regarding Sullivan's 2008 stimulus vote and his immigration record:

Challenger Nathan Dahm responded with what he calls, "The Actual Truth," where he links to a 2008 Sullivan vote for a stimulus bill, sponsored by Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the House.

A News On 6 investigation showed the Dahm claim is misleading.

Sullivan voted in 2008 for the George W. Bush Stimulus, which was really $600 income tax breaks for taxpayers....

Dahm's website says Sullivan talks about reform not enforcement. It links to an article that quotes Sullivan talking about the DREAM Act, which would allow young illegal immigrants to earn conditional citizenship by completing college or two years of military service.

Again, this is misleading.

The article Dahm's referring to was published in June on the Hispano de Tulsa website.

A translation of the article quotes Sullivan as saying he hasn't "forgotten" about the DREAM Act, not that he supports it.

And on Sullivan's website it plainly states that the Congressman opposes backdoor amnesty attempts like the DREAM Act.

Yes, it's a little more than 24 hours before the polls open, but there are still things you can do to help your favorite candidates in Tuesday's Oklahoma primary. For example, if you're a Tulsa area supporter of the Randy Brogdon, you can call Billie at 638-9977 to volunteer for such final-day tasks as taking information to voters, providing rides to the polls, and waving signs at intersections.

You can usually contact your favorite candidates through their websites; I've provided links to the Republican statewide and local candidates in my 2010 primary voters' guide.

From the Tulsa Beacon, in support of incumbent County Commissioner Fred Perry:

Commissioner Fred Perry has made some good decisions in his first four years. He is moving toward more openness and he has helped make progress at Expo Square.

From Dan Hicks via email and in the Beacon's letters section, in support of challenger Drew Rees:

I always enjoy the election season, as we see those creative little yard signs pop up like mushrooms throughout the city. This year we have a new winner. The orange and yellow DREW REES sign is without question the best political yard sign I have ever seen. The sign is good, but the candidate is even better. I had the opportunity to sit down with Drew Rees, and found him to be extremely bright and knowledgeable about issues involving Tulsa County. He is honest and sincere, and he passed the conservative test. What's that? Well, that means he is pro-life, he voted against the River Tax, and he intends get the County out of the sales tax business. Drew also shared with me how he came to know the Lord as a student at OSU. I am enthusiastically supporting Drew Rees as the conservative choice for Tulsa County Commissioner.

The Tulsa Beacon published two letters each in support of Perry and Rees in last week's edition. I have yet to see any endorsement of Michael Masters, the third candidate in the race, which will either be decided on Tuesday, if a candidate gets more than 50% in the Republican primary, or else in the August 24 runoff.


Fred Perry's endorsements page
Drew Rees's endorsements page

STILL MORE: District 3 resident Steven Roemerman makes a tough call:

Wow, so Fred Perry DID NOT score points with me with his handling of a recent open records request by Ruth Hartje. (Google it)

Also I really, really do not like how Perry has attacked Tulsa Council's attorney Drew Rees (his opponent), for his counsel to the council regarding the recent open meeting act controversy. (again...Google it) I may not be voting for Drew Rees, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I've always been extremely impressed with Drew's professionalism and dedication to the law. I've been watching him give good advice to the council for may years now; Rees would never give advice to the council that he thought was illegal. I believe that these attacks are unfair and unfounded. On this basis alone I just almost want to vote for Drew Rees.

However, Drew Rees is using Jim Burdge to run his campaign, and if that wasn't enough he is being endorsed by Randy "You're Toast" Sullivan.This is not good! And then if that weren't enough, I was not impressed with how he answered some of the questions from the OK Safe Voter's guide questions. I felt that he was parsing on some of his answers. And really, I like him where he is. He is doing great work for the City!

Click to read Steven's conclusion and the rest of his voting guide.

Congressman John Sullivan, facing his first significant primary challenge since his first election in 2001, sent out the following email Saturday rebutting false claims about his voting record:

Dear Friends and fellow Republicans:

I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to address a couple of issues that have come up in the last minutes of this campaign.

My opponents have sent mail to many of you, making false and baseless attacks on my record of consistent, conservative leadership in Congress.

I wanted to go through a few of the things they've said and tell you the truth.

They say that I "support Planned Parenthood."

Truth is: I have a 100% voting record with National Right to Life. No one is more pro-life and dedicated to the pro-life movement than I am. In fact, I support the Pence Amendment which strips all federal funding from Planned Parenthood.

They say I "voted for the stimulus."

Truth is: I never voted for the stimulus or any stimulus dollars for any federal project. In fact, I have a 91% voting record with the Club for Growth and received the Defender of Economic Freedom Award this year. NO REPUBLICAN IN CONGRESS VOTED FOR THE STIMULUS. PERIOD.

They say I "vote in lock-step with Nancy Pelosi."

Truth is: I have a 100% legislative score with the American Conservative Union. I was honored to earn the Defender of Liberty Award with the A.C.U. this year. That is the highest score in the Oklahoma delegation serving in Washington. I don't support Nancy Pelosi's agenda, I never have, I never will.

They criticize me for checking into the Betty Ford Center last year.

Truth is: I won't apologize for my treatment at Betty Ford. It was the best decision I could make. I appreciate the thousands of you who have reached out in support of me and my family.

They say I "support a national police force" and that I "authored a bill to create a health care bureaucracy."

Truth is: I support small government. I introduced a ground-breaking bill this year to limit the size of the federal government. I don't support nationalization of police forces and I will stand in the way of any efforts to create such systems.

I also voted against the sweeping health care legislation passed by the Democrat controlled House this year. That bill grows the federal government and I believe it goes against the Constitution in its scope and reach.

And lastly, and possibly most ridiculously, they say I "support amnesty for illegal immigrants."

Truth is: You will never find a candidate with a stronger anti-illegal immigration stance than me. I have an A+ rating with NumbersUSA, the foremost advocate on immigration reform in the US. I have worked tirelessly with Tulsa Sheriff Stanley Glanz to establish the 287(g) program which cross-deputizes deputies to rid our communities of the most dangerous criminals on the streets today. This is the most ridiculous and baseless of their lies.

I've never seen the kind of despicable lies told by my opponents as I have seen in this election cycle.

It's disappointing to see members of my own party resort to the politics of personal destruction.

In this campaign, I have never publicly stated a negative word about my opponents. I'm running on my record, they are running on their rhetoric.

The proof will be seen on Tuesday.


John Sullivan

For more information on my consistent, conservative voting record please visit my website at www.johnsullivanforcongress.com/about/buzz/

Just yesterday I received an email with the subject "JOHN SULLIVAN WANTS TO GIVE OUR CHILDREN AND OUR PROPERTY TO THE GOV.", falsely claiming that he voted for two bills to expand the size and scope of federal government control and power -- the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (H.R. 146) and the G.I.V.E. Act (H. R. 1338). In fact, he and all the Republicans in the Oklahoma delegation voted AGAINST both bills, which nevertheless passed and were signed into law. (Dan Boren voted against H.R. 146 but for H. R. 1338.)

Here are links to the details:

Major Congressional Actions on Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (H.R. 146)
House roll call on Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (H.R. 146)
Senate roll call on Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (H.R. 146)

All Oklahoma congressmen and senators also voted against the Senate version of the bill, S. 22, which died in the House.

Major Congressional Actions on Serve America Act (aka the G.I.V.E. Act) (H.R. 1338)
House roll call on Serve America Act (aka the G.I.V.E. Act) (H.R. 1338)
Senate roll call on Serve America Act (aka the G.I.V.E. Act) (H.R. 1338)

The Senate version of the bill died in committee.

As I told my correspondent, "Whoever is feeding you this information is either very sloppy with their research or very dishonest."


So now, Sullivan's accusers are saying that because he voted for an earlier version of H.R. 1388, he wants to turn our children into brownshirts. Here's the earlier version of the bill that Sullivan and other Oklahoma Republicans voted to approve. It was a lengthy amendment to existing legislation involving existing service programs like VISTA and Americorps. Here is the version that Sullivan and all other Oklahoma Republicans voted against. A quick comparison of the tables of contents of the two versions reveals sections added and deleted between the version that originally passed the House and the final version that went to the president.

Likewise, the original version of H.R. 146 that passed the House (with the support of the entire Oklahoma House delegation) was called the "Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Preservation Act," a six-page bill authorizing Dept. of Interior grants to protect battlefields. The version that came back from the Senate was the 446-page Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, and the entire Oklahoma delegation voted against it.

Sullivan did vote for the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, but this stimulus involved giving money back to the taxpayers, not spending on pork projects. While making the Bush tax cuts permanent would have been the better path, that wasn't going to happen with the Democrats in the majority. A tax rebate was better relief than nothing at all.

Sullivan voted for the October 2008 TARP bailout, along with 90 other House Republicans. Frank Lucas was the only Oklahoma congressman to vote no, and our two Senators split -- Coburn voted yes and Inhofe voted no. I was disappointed with that vote, it was the wrong decision, and Sullivan, Cole, Fallin, and Coburn should have known better than to be panicked into voting for it. In December 2009, Sullivan called for the Secretary of the Treasury to end TARP and return the funds (including those paid back) to the Treasury for debt reduction, rather than spend surplus funds on a jobs program as the Democrats wanted.

When TARP was enacted, the public debt limit was increased to $11.3 trillion. Since January, the national debt has increased more than $1.4 trillion, and Congress is now set to consider a debt limit increase of up to $13.2 trillion, the fourth debt limit increase since July 2008. Not spending the remaining TARP funds, $246 billion according to the last SIGTARP quarterly report, will reduce the already staggering amount our nation is borrowing.

SIGTARP also reported repayments of $72.9 billion, $9.5 billion from dividends and interest and $2.9 billion in proceeds from sale of warrants. All of these TARP receipts and future receipts must be devoted to debt reduction rather than spent on further government interventions or other programs. While estimates vary on the final cost to the taxpayers from TARP, all estimates are that the taxpayers will lose billions of dollars and that there will be no profit from TARP. Ensuring every dime of income goes to debt reduction reduces the taxpayers' ultimate loss.

The first TARP program, the Capital Purchase Program, offered taxpayers the greatest opportunity to recover their investment. Additional programs added to TARP, such as assistance to the automakers and AIG, carry much less assurance for the taxpayers, and the mortgage modification program will result in no recoupment for the taxpayers. The longer the remaining unspent TARP funds and revenue remain on the table, the more money that will be spent and not recovered. The emergency has ended, and TARP must end as well.

No time to write today, but here's a worthwhile piece of writing about GOP gubernatorial candidate Mary Fallin by Richard Engle:

I commented to a candidate for State Senate [at a candidate forum] that his non-committal and non-specific answer to one of the questions on our survey was "Fallin-esque." The assembled roared in laughter as they all immediately recognized the resemblance to the Congresswoman's standard line when questioned on matters of public policy.

I didn't intend to coin a new term, it was just so typical of what we hear from her. My experiences with Mary Fallin go back to when she was new to the State House and speaking to the Central Oklahoma Young Republicans (moderated by its Chair of the time - Kevin Calvey) where she spoke in glowing terms of favoring "good things" and being opposed to "bad things." Even then we couldn't get a decisive answer from her. I specifically remember one Young Republican asking her about Senator Don Nickles plan to allow for Medical Savings Accounts. This was during the Clinton Health Care drive. Mary had no difficulty predicting that her audience expected her to oppose the plans of the President and she did so with no reservations. Her reply regarding Senator Nickles' idea was as lacking in resolve as just about everything I have heard from her in the years to come. She told us that she was "looking into it."...

She says what she can predict will please her audience even if it contradicts what is said to another audience. At one point she spoke to a group of how the Obama stimulus created no jobs, then days later spoke glowingly of how the Obama stimulus created jobs in Oklahoma....

Read more at the website of the Oklahoma Constitution

Meanwhile, Mary Fallin is saying on the campaign trail that she won't use tax cuts to improve the economy:

U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Oklahoma governor, said she would not support further cuts to the state's income tax rate until Oklahoma's economy has rebounded from dwindling revenue collections and a national recession."...

"At some point in time, hopefully when we grow our economy and we are back on track, then we can look at lowering our taxes so we can be more competitive with states like Texas and other states that have lower or no income taxes," Fallin said.

The response from GOP rival Randy Brogdon: "How does Rep. Fallin plan to improve the economy with tax cuts, if she won't cut taxes until the economy improves?"

The same press release from the Brogdon campaign notes the vagueness of the "plan" announced in Fallin's recent TV commercials:

While her goals are laudable, not enough specifics are offered to be taken seriously.
  • Create More Jobs - We thought Rep. Fallin had learned that small businesses create jobs, not government. Perhaps that is her plan, create government jobs.
  • Bring Business to Oklahoma - The plan here is for Rep. Fallin to draw business here with her strength of personality?
  • Reduce taxes on families and small businesses - If this is the catalyst for creating jobs and attracting business, those goals will have to wait. Because Rep. Fallin has made it clear she wont cut taxes until the economy improves.

The Fallin plan seems to bear some resemblance to the underpants gnomes' plan for economic development:

  1. Collect underpants
  2. ???????
  3. Profit!

By contrast, Randy Brogdon has a specific plan for reform on both the revenue and expense side:

Brogdon's Spending Reform:
  • Limit annual spending increases to percent change in inflation and population, so government doesn't grow faster than the economy.
  • Double reserve funds, and restrict access to these funds so they can only be used in times of budget shortfall.
  • Revenue collected in excess of the limit can only be spent on one time capital improvements. This will help repair roads and bridges without bloating the budget baseline.

Brogdon's Tax Reform

  • Phase out the Income Tax on businesses and individuals.
  • Adopt an end-user Consumption Tax on sales and services.
  • Exempt groceries and prescription drugs from any state tax.
  • Eliminate Tax Credits, which favor some businesses at the expense of others.

Brogdon says he wants to address spending first, and proposes a stricter spending limit. Both candidates say they want to create a business friendly environment, Brogdon says he can accomplish that by switching from the income tax to an end user consumption tax (sales tax) and ending tax credits as a economic development crutch. Fallin is not so specific.

Early voting for the Oklahoma 2010 primary begins today, Friday, July 23, 2010, at your county election board headquarters. The Tulsa County Election Board is at 555 N. Denver Ave., just north of downtown Tulsa.

Here are the dates and times for early voting this year:

Friday, July 23, 20108 am - 6 pm
Saturday, July 24, 20108 am - 1 pm
Monday, July 26, 20108 am - 6 pm

On Election Day, Tuesday, July 27, 2010, polls will be open from 7 am to 7 pm.

Every registered voter in the state has a reason to go to the polls. Not only are there Republican and Democrat primaries for statewide offices, but all voters, including independents can vote for District Judge.

I had hoped to give you a detailed rundown of the pros and cons of the candidates in each race and the rationale behind my choice, but I have run out of time. (Spending most of Wednesday in the hospital and most of Thursday recovering from spending most of Wednesday in the hospital did not help.) But for those of you who have asked, here is how I plan to mark my ballot next Tuesday:

GovernorRandy Brogdon
Lt. GovernorJohn A. Wright
State Auditor and InspectorGary Jones
Attorney GeneralScott Pruitt
State TreasurerOwen Laughlin
Superintendent of Public InstructionJanet Barresi
Commissioner of LaborMark Costello
Insurance CommissionerJohn Doak
Corporation CommissionerDana Murphy
U. S. SenatorTom Coburn
U. S. Representative, District No. 1John Sullivan
County AssessorKen Yazel
County TreasurerDennis Semler
District Judge, District No. 14 - Office No. 3James M. Caputo
District Judge, District No. 14 - Office No. 13Bill Musseman

Some of these were close calls, and my choice for one candidate doesn't necessarily mean that the opposing candidate is a bad choice.

Here's my 2010 primary voters' guide, with links to candidate websites and Twitter accounts.

Endorsements elsewhere:

Jamison Faught (aka the Muskogee Politico) has published a list of his endorsements, with some detail about his rationale in each case. I don't agree with all his choices, but it's worth reading.

The Tulsa Beacon endorsements are here. In the Beacon's editorial category, you'll find specifics on specific races.

The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC) made their primary endorsements back in April. OCPAC's Charlie Meadows has just posted his personal picks, which includes most of the contested Republican legislative primaries.

Steven Roemerman has posted his choices in the Republican primary, including the hotly contested Tulsa County District 3 Commission race.

CHS polling AG race

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My wife just got polled by CHS, leading off with heard of/favorable/unfavorable questions for the two candidates for Attorney General, followed by preference questions on several of the statewide races (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Superintendent, and Corporation Commissioner), followed by heard of/favorable/unfavorable questions about Janet Barresi and Todd Lamb. Before I handed my wife the phone, I asked who had commissioned the poll and if the results would be published and the answers that came back were ambiguous, which leads me to believe that this is an internal campaign poll for several candidates who are clients of the same consulting firm.

District Attorney Tim Harris and former assistant DA Joy Pittman Mohorovicic have endorsed Special Judge Bill Musseman for District Judge, District 14, Office 13, the open seat being vacated by Judge Deborah Shallcross.

Here is the endorsement letter sent out by Harris:

Dear Friends,

I don't often make personal recommendations in political elections, but I feel compelled to tell you about a colleague and outstanding former assistant district attorney who is running for District Judge in the primary election on July 27.

For more than a decade, it has been my privilege to work with Bill Musseman as a prosecutor in the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office.

Beginning in 2005, Bill served as Chief of Homicide and Major Crimes Prosecution and has tried more than 80 felony jury trials, 30 murder trials and ten death penalty trials.

He had tremendous success as a prosecutor and served with integrity, professionalism and compassion for victims of crime. In December of 2009, he was selected to serve as a Special Judge. It was a loss for my office, but Bill Musseman will continue serve the public with honor and distinction as a Judge.

I know Bill's experience and legal knowledge will make him a fine District Judge who will serve our community well. Too often, voters are hard-pressed to find adequate information to make informed decisions in important judicial races.

We need men and women of integrity like Bill Musseman on the bench! Please join me in supporting Bill Musseman for District Judge.

Tim Harris

Here is the endorsement letter sent out by Mohorovicic, who also served a term as chairman of the Tulsa County Republican Party:

Dear friends,

I wanted to send you an email to tell you about my friend, Judge William Musseman. I worked with Judge Musseman at the District Attorney's office for over two years. He was my direct supervisor for over one year. He was a great boss and a great mentor. He is an honorable man and an extremely good attorney. He was the hardest working assistant district attorney at that office. He was chief of major crimes and handled most of the difficult cases that came though the DA's office. The most important thing that I ever observed about him was his fairness. He has a lovely family and is a strong Christian.

Last year, Judge Musseman was appointed to a special judge position in Tulsa County and has quickly become admired for his ability to know, understand and rule correctly on Oklahoma Law.

I wanted to send this email mainly because I know that before I worked at the courthouse, I had no idea who to vote for in judicial races. I can honestly tell each of you that Judge Musseman is one of, if not the best, judge in Tulsa County and I am proud to vote for him.

Please feel free to visit his website at www.billmusseman.com for more information.

Thank you so much for your time.

God Bless,

Joy Mohorovicic,
Former Chairman of the Republican Party of Tulsa County

We don't get much information about judicial candidates, so personal endorsements from people I trust about a candidate's work ethic, integrity, and values are especially helpful.

One more piece of information: Musseman is registered to vote as a Republican.

MORE: My guide to the 2010 Tulsa County district judge election process.

The other day the following post by a Facebook friend who is a former Democrat legislator:

So, we have a repuke who opened 2 private schools running for superintendant of public education. Anyone see something odd about that?

Repuke? Oh, nice, as Onslow says.

The attempted slam (which failed for inaccuracy) was aimed at Janet Barresi, a Republican running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Barresi helped to open two charter schools, which are not private, but public, funded with public funds and under the sponsorship of a public agency, usually the local public school district.

When I pointed this out, the response was that charter schools "can be set up in such a way so that it denies equal opportunity."

How so? At Harding Charter Prep School (one of the schools that Janet Barresi helped to start) 77% of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, and nearly half of the student body is African-American (24%), Hispanic (11%), or Native American (6%). The numbers are about the same at Independence Charter Middle School (the other school Barresi helped found, and the first charter school in Oklahoma). And over 90% of the graduating class is headed to college. It looks to me like Janet Barresi has been helping to create opportunity for Oklahoma City students. We should want more of that, shouldn't we?

According to Newsweek, which ranked Harding Charter Prep 69th among the top high schools for 2010: "There are no requirements as to which students can attend; it is a public school. There are no tuition fees. No entry test is required, nor interview or audition."

From a Janet Barresi press release about the Newsweek ranking:

"When we founded Harding, the naysayers claimed low-income students could not handle the rigor of a college preparatory curriculum," said Barresi, a Republican candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. "After seven years of operation, it's clear the critics were wrong and the Newsweek ranking is further proof of that fact. I believe we can now take the lessons learned at Harding and apply them to all Oklahoma schools to benefit every child in the state. My mission is to make every local public school so successful that it is parents' first and best choice for their children."...

"Harding's success is not based on cherry picking students, but is the result of successful teaching strategies that can be employed anywhere," Barresi said. "When you set high expectations, children will rise to the challenge - my experience with Harding proves it. I am very proud of Harding's students, but I believe all Oklahoma children are capable of similar achievement. My goal as state superintendent will be to raise the performance of all Oklahoma schools."

(I think it's wonderful that the charter school uses a historic school building and the school's historic name, connecting present-day students with a legacy that spans over 80 years.)

I'm excited about having Janet Barresi's vision, drive, and experience at work to improve education for all Oklahoma children. I hope you'll join me in voting for her for State Superintendent in Tuesday's Republican primary and again in the November general election.

The Tulsa Area Republican Assembly (TARA) is one of several local GOP clubs. They operate independently of the local party organization and hold monthly meetings that often feature elected officials or candidates as speakers. TARA is affiliated with the Oklahoma Republican Assembly (OKRA) and the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), a group that calls itself the "GOP Wing of the Republican Party."

Tonight at their monthly meeting, TARA members voted to endorse Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel for reelection and David Brumbaugh, who is running for House District 76 in Broken Arrow, an open seat currently held by John Wright. No other endorsements were made, even though there are primaries in two county commission races, the county treasurer's race, State House Districts 66, 68, and 74 and State Senate District 34. Under NFRA rules, two-thirds of the members must vote in favor of an endorsement, and local chapters may only endorse in local races, deferring to the state organization in statewide races.

(I am told that OKRA is somewhat in disarray after the death of former State Rep. Tim Pope, who had been the group's president. In years past OKRA has held an endorsing convention prior to the primaries, but that won't happen this year.)

Following the meeting, I had a cordial chat with State Rep. Ken Miller, candidate for State Treasurer, about whom I wrote yesterday. More about that later.

Although Republican gubernatorial candidate Mary Fallin refuses to do a televised debate with her opponents, there are video and audio clips of joint appearances and candidate forums at which she, Randy Brogdon, and the other two GOP candidates discussed issues. Here's a clip from a Comanche County Republican meeting. The question from the audience was, "Will you be tough enough to deal with what we've got to deal with in Washington?"

In this context, Brogdon brought up Fallin's vote for the bailout (Troubled Assets Relief Program), and Fallin defended her vote in favor: "Until you've been there and you've been in the situation and you understand the details and the facts...." She went on to describe the dire warnings of financial system collapse from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulsen that persuaded her to vote for TARP. But then Fallin expressed shock and dismay at the outcome:

Now, did they do what they said they were going to do with the money that was used for TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Fund? No! And we were all disgusted about that.

But Fallin gave no indication in her response that in the future she'll be more skeptical when business leaders come to her, hat in hand, asking her to use our tax dollars to pay for their poor judgment.

We did the best we could with the information that we had at the time, but we can't help what they did and didn't keep their words after the face.

In his rebuttal, Brogdon brought the issue back to the original question: "Are you going to be tough?" He noted that spoke in opposition to the bailout vote at the time, and he would not have voted for it because it was unconstitutional. Fallin can be heard butting in to say, "That's the easy way out." The audience expressed its disapproval.

It takes toughness to stand firm on the principles of constitutionally limited government and free markets when lobbyists and campaign contributors are either telling you that the sky is falling and the only cure is to give them tax dollars. Fallin may be tough enough, as she claims to be, to resist left-wing lobbyists, but it appears she is not tough enough to resist self-serving panic-mongering from corporate interests who want welfare to cushion them from the consequences of their bad decisions.

I can forgive a vote for TARP, but it would be easier to forgive with an acknowledgment that it was a bad decision, with a promise to exercise greater skepticism, and with a renewed commitment to let the Constitution control her decisions.

MORE: In Part 1, Fallin gave a roundabout (and somewhat patronizing) answer to a question about potential conflicts of interest involving her lobbyist daughter. In response to a question about keeping jobs from leaving Oklahoma for Texas, Brogdon says, "It's time for politicians to stop faking you out that politicians can create jobs." Brogdon called for challenging the status quo and an end to the use of targeted tax credits to stimulate economic development, which he called "corporate welfare... legal plunder... immoral." Subsidies, he said, are bankrupting our nation and our state. Instead, reform should work generally to reduce the costs government imposes on job creation.

In two statewide primary races, the leading Republican contenders were both members of the Oklahoma Legislature in 2008. The top candidates for the GOP nominations for Lieutenant Governor and State Treasurer were on opposite sides of the 2008 expansion of the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Act to include professional sports franchises, part of the effort to "lure" the Oklahoma City residents who owned the Seattle SuperSonics to bring the team to Oklahoma City.

State Rep. John Wright and State Sen. Owen Laughlin were wise and principled enough to vote against the giveaway; State Sen. Todd Lamb and State Rep. Ken Miller voted for it.

(In case you're wondering, State Sen. Randy Brogdon also voted against the NBA giveaway. Anyone remember whether Congresswoman Mary Fallin backed Maps for Millionaires or SB 1819?)

According to a February 2009 press release from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Professional Basketball Club LLC, owners of the Oklahoma City Thunder, qualify for a maximum benefit of over $100 million dollars over 10 years. That's money that the Thunder owners would otherwise be paying into the state treasury.

The idea behind the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Act, passed in the 1990s, is to offset some of the costs that businesses face when adding new employees and to make Oklahoma more attractive for companies to relocate or expand. Certain types of jobs and businesses are targeted -- mainly jobs involving skilled labor or high technology and companies which bring new dollars into the state by selling their products and services out of state. (Here's the Oklahoma Department of Commerce guidebook on the program.)

Expanding this act to subsidize an NBA team completely subverts the original purpose of the act, and I was disgusted that so many Republicans -- particularly Tulsa Republicans -- voted in favor of the expansion (SB 1819, 2008 legislative session). I wrote at the time:

The idea [behind the Quality Jobs Act] is that these companies are bringing dollars and good jobs into the state, and the resulting increase in payroll and consumer spending will bring in more than enough new revenue to the state treasury to compensate for the payroll rebates.

An NBA team doesn't fit those criteria, no matter how much it may boost our state's self-esteem. Instead of bringing new revenue in from out of state, a pro basketball team will merely reapportion the way Oklahoma City residents spend their disposable income.

Study after study shows that a major league sports team doesn't grow the local economic pie; it simply competes with other entertainment and leisure businesses for a share of the same pie. The Sonics owners made that very case in a Seattle courtroom, as part of their effort to break the lease on Seattle's Key Arena, arguing that the team had a negligible impact on the local economy.

It gets worse:

A couple of special provisions were added to the Quality Jobs Act to make it an even sweeter deal for the Sonics and a much worse deal for taxpayers. While the tax rebate usually only applies to salaries that are taxable in Oklahoma, the Sonics will still get the rebate "regardless of whether Oklahoma income tax is or will be due on such wages." So we'll be paying the subsidy on a player's salary, even if he maintains residency and gets paid in Washington state, which has no state income tax.

And while Quality Jobs rebates are limited to 10 years for all other industries, sports teams get rebates for 15 years. All this for 41 home games a year....

[A press] release [from Speaker Chris Benge] reveals we're paying a high price for [national] exposure: In return for the $60 million subsidy, "[i]t is estimated that local and state tax revenue to the state over a 15 year period will be $11.2 million." That's a revenue loss of $48.8 million.

I've known John Wright for many years and know him to be a consistent, across-the-board conservative and an honorable man, so I was already inclined to support him for Lt. Governor. His vote against SB 1819 confirms my judgment that he will make decisions in the best interest of all Oklahoma taxpayers. He won't be swept away by emotional appeals or lobbyist pressure.

I was undecided in the State Treasurer's race, not knowing either candidate personally. Both claim to be fiscal hawks.

Owen Laughlin voted against SB 1819 and for fiscal sanity. In the current campaign, he offers a plan to improve the state's budget by $100 million a year, without raising taxes.

Ken Miller says he "has never supported a tax increase," but by voting to give money to the Thunder, he certainly made life harder for the vast majority of Oklahomans who will never see any fiscal or cultural benefit from an NBA team. Miller says on his campaign website, "The best thing the state government can do to encourage economic growth is to simply stay out of the way of private citizens," but his vote for SB 1819 undercuts his claim to that creed. Thunder co-owner Clay Bennett's endorsement is prominently featured on Miller's site.

While Miller and Lamb would both represent an improvement over the current Democratic occupants of the offices they seek, they failed a crucial test on an issue that will only grow in importance during these tight financial times -- how should government be involved in encouraging private business expansion.

Way back in 2008, I wrote:

None of the supporters of SB 1819 are likely to pay come election day -- the benefits are concentrated and the costs are diffuse -- but I will be keeping this vote in mind should any of them seek higher office. How someone voted on SB 1819 is an indication of that legislator's susceptibility to lobbyist pressure and view of the proper role of government in economic development.

BACKGROUND: This BatesLine entry includes an excerpt from a study showing that having a pro sports franchise tends to decrease a community's per capita income. Why does this happen?

First, consumer spending on sports may simply substitute for spending on other types of entertainment--and on other goods and services generally--so there is very little new income or employment generated. Sports fans that attend a game may reduce their visits to the movies or to restaurants to free up finances for game tickets and concessions. Patrons of local restaurants and bars who come to watch the games on television also are likely to cut back on their other entertainment spending.

Second, compared to the alternative goods and services that sports fans may purchase, spending related to stadium attendance has a relatively small multiplier effect. This is because spending at the stadium translates into salaries for wealthy athletes, many of whom live outside the city where they play. High-income individuals generally spend a smaller fraction of their income than low- and middle-income people--and much of the spending professional athletes do occurs in a different community than where they earned it. So the money paid to players does not circulate as widely or abundantly as it would were it paid to people with less wealth and more attachment to the city.

MORE: Earlier this year, State Rep. Ben Sharrer (D-Pryor Creek) explained his vote against the NBA giveaway:

Two years ago I represented your interests by fighting against extending the [Quality Jobs] Act to professional basketball franchises. I just didn't think it seemed right that your tax dollars should be sent to wealthy businesspeople for a team in Oklahoma City when most my constituents would never see a game from courtside or a luxury box, much less a seat in the nosebleed section....

You don't get credit as being an owner, but I've heard your tax dollars will pay the Thunder owners nearly $6 million this year. Gee, that amount of money would have saved nutrition programs for senior citizens across our state this year.

I'm dealing with blog guilt. I look at my blog and feel guilty for not updating it. Then I start to write a blog post and feel guilty about all the non-blog things I should be doing instead.

I was at a candidate's volunteer event today and someone was surprised to learn that I don't blog for a living. He had assumed that, because of all the content I produce, I must be doing this full-time. (It doesn't seem to me that I produce all that much content these days.) I assured him that that was not the case. I have a full-time, mentally-demanding, private-sector job that pays the bills and doesn't leave me with much energy when I finally have time to sit down and write. The time I spend on this I really ought to be spending (1) asleep, (2) playing with my kids, (3) doing housework, or (4) doing yard work.

I am not a trust-fund baby. No foundation is paying me a stipend so I can research, think, and write full-time. The only income this blog brings in comes from readers hitting the tip jar or people buying ads. It's enough to cover the hosting and domain costs and some research expenses. I'm grateful for and encouraged by the five people who contributed in response to my appeal, but it's clear that I'm not going to be able to feed, clothe, house, and educate a family of five by blogging about local issues. I suppose I should be thankful there wasn't a bigger response; if there had been, I'd feel guilty for not blogging more.

All that said, I don't have anything new for you from my metaphorical pen, but I can offer you some interesting links elsewhere about the 2010 Oklahoma election:

Steven Roemerman lives in Tulsa County Commission District 3, and he's received mailings from two of the three Republican candidates for that seat, incumbent Commissioner Fred Perry and Tulsa City Council attorney Drew Rees, with an interesting contrast in endorsements. Roemerman writes of Rees's piece, "I've never had a piece of campaign lit so thoroughly convince me not to vote for someone before, while at the same time making me hungry for the sweet sweet combination of chocolate and peanut-butter." Click through, read the mailers, and see if you can spot the missed opportunities. Sad when a consultant's connections and preferences are allowed to override his candidate's best interests.

Mike Ford has the scoop on David Hanigar, "Republican" candidate for State Auditor. Hanigar only recently changed his party registration and was a significant donor to several Democratic state officials, including disgraced and convicted former State Auditor Jeff McMahan.

Jamison Faught has been scrolling out his endorsements for statewide candidates in the upcoming Republican primary.

Oklahomans for Life has posted their July 2010 newsletter which contains the responses to their candidate survey.

Mike McCarville has dueling commercials and dueling press releases from the campaigns, including the latest dust-up between Scott Pruitt and Ryan Leonard, Republican candidates for Attorney General.

And finally, Irritated Tulsan offers a "urinalysis" of the dispute between Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr and the Tulsa City Council.

The Randy Brogdon for Governor campaign is calling on supporters to volunteer their time on Saturday morning, July 10, 2010, to get his message out to voters in Tulsa-area neighborhoods. There are only 17 days left until the July 27 primary election.

Where: Meet at 4444 E. 66th, Suite 100E, Tulsa OK
When: Saturday, July 10, 2010, 7:30 am to 1:00 pm

Stop in any time during the above hours to pick up the materials and information you need. Donuts, coffee, and yard signs will be available from opening until they run out. (Early bird gets the donut.)

There's the information; here's some motivation:

One of the sad realities of political fundraising is that biggest checks are almost always given out of direct financial self-interest. If an elected official has the power to make decisions that will either add or subtract millions from your company's bottom line, a $5,000 check is a worthwhile investment. If a candidate for that post has indicated a willingness to give you a special seat at the table in exchange (it is strongly implied) for campaign funds, writing that check is a no-brainer.

A CEO is not going to be as excited about writing a big check for a candidate who expressly promises to reduce government's power to shape the economy and who rules out making special deals that benefit a favored few at the expense of the general taxpayer. It's a classic case of concentrated benefit, diffuse cost: Those who will receive the concentrated benefit will invest resources to secure it; those who will bear a diffuse share of the cost won't be as strongly motivated to invest resources to oppose it.

In this year's election, that dynamic favors the kind of candidate who holds a special summit for "stakeholders" -- lobbyists and special interest groups -- and it works against a candidate like Randy Brogdon, who has a history of opposing special deals for special interests.

Now, there are more ordinary people who bear a share of the costs of these concentrated benefits than there are those who enjoy them. We can out-give them and out-work them. We can out-vote them, too, but most taxpayers are blissfully unaware of what's being done to them in the name of "economic development" and "public-private partnerships." Most voters don't understand this fundamental difference in philosophy between the two leading contenders for the Republican nomination for Governor.

There's another dynamic that has to be overcome: The bystander effect. When help is needed, the more people available who might help, the less likely it is that any of them (or enough of them) will:

[A] major obstacle to intervention is known as diffusion of responsibility. This occurs when observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything.

With the demands of work, home, and family, and the understandable desire to relax and enjoy the summer, it's easy to hope that other people will carry the burden of helping your favorite candidate win the election.

But it's not going to happen. That hope assumes that the campaign is near the point of having enough volunteers and enough money to get their message to the voters. A statewide, grassroots campaign is ALWAYS going to need more volunteers and more money.

If you want to see Randy Brogdon on the ballot in November, you need to give your money and your time now. No one else is going to make up for what you can give.

Randy Brogdon has been a resolute, uncompromising friend of Oklahoma's taxpayers. He's the primary sponsor and advocate for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. (We'd be so much better off during this tough economy if TABOR had passed, and we had restrained state spending during the good times.) He was one of the few politicians willing to take a stand in opposition to the 2007 Tulsa County sales tax increase for river projects.

Randy Brogdon has been standing up for our interests at the State Capitol. If you appreciate his work, if you want to him to be Oklahoma's Governor, now is the time to stand up for him.

First of all, many thanks to Gene Kaefer and Will Buthod, who responded to my question (Voters' guide? What's it worth to you?) with an affirmative response. Thanks to their generous gifts, I was able to sign up as a premium member of Rasmussen Reports. Their gifts were enough to pay for three months access; one more, and I'll be able to keep the membership through Election Day. A premium membership gives me access to the "crosstabs" of Rasmussen's recently released poll of Oklahoma voters, which show how subgroups of the sample of likely voters responded to each question. There are some interesting details in there that don't show up in the publicly-released "top line" numbers; I hope to have some analysis posted for you in the next couple of days.

Before I begin getting into my thoughts on each race, here's a rundown of the races that every Oklahoma Republican will see on the July 27, 2010, ballot, with the name of each candidate, hometown, age, website, and Twitter account. (The Tulsa County Election Board has sample ballots in PDF format; use the table to find the ballot for your party registration and precinct number.) The order below is the order in which the candidates appear on ballot style 52, which covers much of Tulsa County:

Randy BrogdonOwasso56randybrogdon.com@randybrogdon
Roger L. JacksonOklahoma City59jacksonforokgov.com@jacksonforokgov
Mary FallinEdmond55maryfallin.com@maryfallin
Robert HubbardYukon65hubbardokgov2010.com@HubbardOKGov10

Bernie AdlerOklahoma City78bernieadlerforltgov.net
John A. WrightBroken Arrow55movingoklahomaforward.com@johnwright2010
Todd LambEdmond38votetoddlamb.com@VoteToddLamb
Paul F. NosakTulsa39
Bill CrozierHinton63

Gary JonesCache55jonesauditor.com@jonesauditor
David HanigarEdmond66hanigarforauditor.com

Ryan LeonardOklahoma City38ryanleonard2010.com@Ryanleonard2010
Scott PruittBroken Arrow42scottpruitt.com@ScottPruittOK

State TreasurerTownAgeWebsiteTwitter
Ken MillerEdmond43kenmillerfortreasurer.com@ken4treasurer
Owen LaughlinEdmond59voteowenlaughlin.com@OwenLaughlin

Superintendent of
Public Instruction
Janet BarresiNorman58janetbarresi.com@janetbarresi
Brian S. KellyEdmond46

of Labor
Mark CostelloEdmond54markcostelloforlabor.com@costello4labor
Jason ReeseOklahoma City31reeseforlabor.com@ReeseforLabor

John P. CrawfordOklahoma City78johncrawford.us
John DoakTulsa47votefordoak.com
Mark CroucherJenks52croucher2010.com

Tod YeagerDel City54todyeager.com
Dana MurphyEdmond50danamurphy.com@danamurphy2010

U. S. SenatorTownAgeWebsiteTwitter
Evelyn L. RogersTulsa57evelyn-rogers.org
Lewis Kelly SpringHugo62springforussenate.com
Tom CoburnMuskogee62coburnforsenate.com@CoburnForSenate

U. S. Rep. Dist. 1TownAgeWebsiteTwitter
John SullivanTulsa45johnsullivanforcongress.com@Team Sullivan
Patrick K. HaworthTulsa41haworthforcongress.com@PatrickHaworth
Kenneth RiceTulsa44kennethrice2010.com@Rice4Congress
Fran MoghaddamTulsa68franforfreedom.com@fran4freedom
Nathan DahmTulsa27nathandahm.com@NathanDahm2010
Craig AllenTulsa51craigallenforcongress.com

Tulsa County AssessorTownAgeWebsiteTwitter
Cheryl ClayBixby66cherylclay.com
Ken YazelTulsa65kenyazel.com

Tulsa County TreasurerTownAgeWebsiteTwitter
Ruth HartjeBixby47ruthhartje.com@ruthhartje
Dennis SemlerTulsa53

Tulsa County Commission Dist. 1TownAgeWebsiteTwitter
Tracey WilsonSperry50
John SmaligoTulsa34

Tulsa County Commission, Dist. 3TownAgeWebsiteTwitter
Drew ReesTulsa41drew-rees.com
Michael MastersBixby30michaeltmasters.com@MastersDist3
Fred PerryBroken Arrow70reelectfredperry.com

Judge, District 14, Office 3TownAgeWebsiteTwitter
Mark A. ZannottiTulsa48
James M. CaputoOwasso51
Clancy SmithTulsa67

UPDATE: Earlier this month, Clancy Smith was appointed to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. While her name will appear on the ballot, she is no longer a candidate for re-election to the District Court.

Judge, District 14, Office 13TownAgeWebsiteTwitter
Carl FunderburkTulsa52judgecarlfunderburk.com
Bill MussemanBroken Arrow38
C. W. Daimon JacobsTulsa63
Caroline WallTulsa46wall4judge.com
Theresa DreilingTulsa68@JudgeDreiling

UPDATED 2010/07/23 with Tulsa County races.

MORE: Information on early voting and my primary picks are here.

You know a candidate is dodging debates when the mainstream media finally takes notice. From an Associated Press story:

But one of the campaign's front-runners has been conspicuously absent from a series of recent high-profile forums sponsored by The Oklahoma Academy.

U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, the presumptive favorite in the four-candidate race for the Republican nomination for governor, has skipped each of four gubernatorial forums sponsored by the nonpartisan policy group, including one on Wednesday where her absence was noted by one of two Democrats seeking their party's nomination.

"You deserve to have the candidates come before you and answer your questions," Democratic Attorney General Drew Edmondson told a crowd of more than 150 students, voters and campaign workers during the forum at Lawton's Cameron University.

If Mary Fallin can't stand up to questions, if her ideas can't stand up to scrutiny in the primary, how will she manage to prevail in November over a tough Democratic opponent with a legendary political name.

Fallin skipped another event tonight, the Tulsa Tea Party Congress, sponsored by the USA Patriots. By my count, at least 400 people were in the main hall at Tulsa Technology Center's Lemley Campus, with more milling around the candidate booths in the corridor. It was a very well organized event. Although it ran more than two hours, the audience was attentive, and nearly everyone stayed until the very last speaker.

Fallin was one of the few serious statewide candidates not in attendance. U. S. Sen. Tom Coburn was first to speak, followed by U. S. Rep. John Sullivan, along with two of his primary opponents, Patrick Haworth and Fran Moghaddam. Candidates for county office and state legislature spoke -- incumbents and challengers alike. For most of the statewide races, at least two candidates were in attendance: John Wright and Todd Lamb for Lt. Gov., Ryan Leonard and Scott Pruitt for Attorney General, Owen Laughlin and Ken Miller for State Treasurer, Jason Reese and Mark Costello (represented by his daughter) for Labor Commissioner. In other races, the front-runner was in the room: Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy, Gary Jones for State Auditor, Janet Barresi for State Superintendent, John Doak for Insurance Commissioner

The only candidate for Governor to appear was Randy Brogdon, who received one of two standing ovations of the evening (Coburn received the other).

According to Cris Kurtz, one of the organizers, all candidates (of any party, although only Republicans chose to participate) were invited. A candidate had to register and pay a fee in a timely fashion in order to speak and have a booth; the fees were to cover the cost of renting the facility. I can't imagine why a Republican would stay away from this gathering of engaged, passionate voters.

Actually, I can imagine: Fallin may feel she has to avoid head-to-head comparisons between herself and Brogdon to hold on to her lead and win the primary. Brogdon comes across as knowledgeable, passionate, positive, and personable. Fallin seems distant, detached, almost robotic at times.

What's Fallin doing instead of attending a gathering of grassroots activists? She's preparing for a big meetup tomorrow morning with lobbyists, PACs, and special interest groups. According to a Brogdon campaign press release:

Promising that they "will play a vital role in moving Oklahoma forward next year," Mary Fallin has invited lobbyists, Political Action Committees, special interest groups, and their checkbooks, to an audience before her.

Fallin's lobbyist summit will take place 10:00 AM Wednesday, July 7th at the offices of the Oklahoma Dental Association. The invitation, signed by Fallin's Campaign Manager, called lobbyists and PAC's "stakeholders in the process."

Having already collected hundreds of thousands from special interests, the Fallin for Governor Campaign seems to be dropping any pretense. Openly declaring they are the campaign catering to special interests.

No indication was given as to why lobbyists and special interest groups deserve to play so vital a role in Oklahoma's future. Mary Fallin also failed to clarify whether lobbyist's status as "stakeholder" is intrinsic, a right given by God, or if it is conditional, requiring the purchase of a "stake."

The term stakeholder, as traditionally used in the English language in law and notably gambling describes: a third party who temporarily holds money or property while its owner is still being determined.

Does Representative Fallin intend for these invited special interests to hold money or property while state government and its citizens struggle over the right of possession?

Of course, in government the term "stakeholder" refers to: only those who benefit from, or seek influence over, government activities. That certainly describes a lobbyist.

Tomorrow, lobbyists from around the country will descend on Oklahoma City, sit in the presence on the presumptive Governor and find out for themselves - the price of a "stake."

If Mary Fallin is Governor it is pretty clear who will be running the state!

We've had to fight against special interests influencing Republican local officials, trying to raise our taxes and cut special deals. Thanks to his tax problems, we were able to dump Lance Cargill before he could do too much damage to the Republican brand, with accusations of a pay-to-play operation being run out of the Speaker's office.

A state government run by the lobbyists and special interests is no better with Republicans in charge than with Democrats. As a matter of fact, it's worse, because Republicans ought to know better than to sacrifice the general welfare of the people they were elected to serve in favor of the interests of a favored few.

As is usual about three weeks before an election, I've received several requests for a voters' guide. Already voters who plan to be out of town are getting ready to cast an absentee ballot, and there are a lot of competitive races and unfamiliar names on the Republican primary ballot. Even before I had a blog, it was common for friends to ask my opinion in the run-up to election day.

I'm happy to be of service, and I'm honored by the trust BatesLine readers place in my judgment. But it takes time to do the research (although I'd be doing some of it anyway, for my own use in voting) and to turn that research into writing. My family and my employer have dibs on my time, and it seems my free time is quickly eaten up with yard work and laundry, and I'm behind on both. There's money invested, too, in hosting and domain fees, and there's often some expense in doing research.

So before I invest that time in gathering and presenting this information to you, let me ask you, dear reader. What's it worth to you?

If the information you get here on BatesLine, particularly during election season, is valuable to you, there are some tangible ways to show your support:

The first way is to hit the PayPal tip jar over on the right sidebar. You can use your PayPal account or a major credit card to make a contribution to BatesLine. I don't have any totebags to send you in return, but I'll publish your name and donation amount on a list of contributors which will be prominently linked through election season (unless you ask me to withhold either name or amount).

The second way is to buy an ad on BatesLine. BatesLine readership is always at its highest in the run-up to an election, so it's a great time for a candidate (or any business that wants the attention of politically active Oklahomans) to run an ad. Even if you're not a candidate, you could still run an ad in support of your favorite candidate. (You're responsible for reporting it as an in-kind donation to the campaign.) Ads start as low as $30 a week for a text-only spot, $50 a week for a small ad with text and an image. There are discounts for multiple weeks.

Finally, if you need a good webhosting company, click the ad for bluehost. I get a small commission for new clients who sign up via my link. I've used bluehost for years, and I highly recommend their service.

It's tempting to pull a Gene Scott here and threaten to withhold my opinions until you people GIT ONNA PHONES and demonstrate the value of the teaching.

But I won't. I'll be forming my own opinions one way or the other, and you can be sure I'll share them with you between now and the primary. If you're smart, you, your company, or your candidate will be taking the opportunity to gain visibility with the thousands of Oklahoma voters who'll be dropping by.

(NOTE: I reserve the right to reject ads or contributions. Reasons for rejection may be arbitrary or capricious but more likely will be so I can avoid posting something on my blog that advocates for a cause or a candidate that's anathema to me.)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma Election 2010 category from July 2010.

Oklahoma Election 2010: June 2010 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma Election 2010: August 2010 is the next archive.

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



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