Oklahoma Election 2012: November 2012 Archives

One of the most active social media accounts during the Vision2 campaign was @SayNotoVision2 on Twitter. I don't know who ran the account, but he or she was active on a daily basis, rebutting vague and misleading statements from proponents, and making the argument against Tulsa County's Vision2 sales tax scheme in clear, pithy comments.

@SayNotoVision2 announced on election night that there would be comments about the victory on Twitter at 10 am Wednesday morning. Here they are, in sequence from top to bottom:

@SayNotoVision2's victory speech

Anonymous Twitter account opposing Vision2 delivers a victory speech via Twitter.

Storified by Michael Bates · Thu, Nov 08 2012 11:26:28

First off, we want to thank those that worked longer hours to defeat #Vision2. Many taking time away from their families and jobs.Say No to Vision 2
You worked long hours and spent your own time and money to defeat #Vision2. Tulsa owes you their thanks.Say No to Vision 2
140 character limits don't make it easy to thank everyone individually. But, really, thank you for your efforts.Say No to Vision 2
#Vision2 was a horribly, let us repeat, horribly designed plan. Tulsans rejected it by wide margins.Say No to Vision 2
#Vision2 failed by a wider margin than the River Tax from 5 years ago.Say No to Vision 2
We respect @TulsaChamber as an organization that represents the interest of Tulsa businesses.Say No to Vision 2
We respect @TulsaChamber as a group working to create a better Tulsa.Say No to Vision 2
However, we will NEVER standby and watch our city & county governments be hijacked by special interests. #Vision2 was the epitome of that.Say No to Vision 2
We will NEVER standby and let @TulsaChamber use emotional blackmail as a scare tactic to intimidate voters.Say No to Vision 2
An honest and open approach works wonders with voters. Try it.Say No to Vision 2
We have Google, email, contacts, we know what goes on in the world and do not need you or any other group spreading falsehoods.Say No to Vision 2
It is high time @Tulsachamber & its leadership takes a long look in the mirror.Say No to Vision 2
If #Vision2 is your approach to dealing with Tulsa, you do not know this city, county, or its people. We will reject that approach.Say No to Vision 2
This wasn't about ballot language, or a PR firm, this was about a corrupt approach to solving Tulsa's problems. Voters said no.Say No to Vision 2
We know the importance of the airport to our regional economy. We value the jobs at American, Spirit, and IC Bus.Say No to Vision 2
At the end of the day, those are private businesses. Who must determine their own futures.Say No to Vision 2
Those facilities do belong to the people & a sensible plan to upgrade them must be developed.Say No to Vision 2
Tulsa County residents have 4 years to create an extension of #Vision2025 if they so choose.Say No to Vision 2
That extension is for the citizens of Tulsa County to decide. Not @TulsaChamber or any other special interest group.Say No to Vision 2
Bullying, threats, protection rackets, etc.. will not fly with us. Whether it's the Chamber or local leaders engaging in the practice.Say No to Vision 2
4 people: John Smaligo, Fred Perry, Karen Keith, and Mayor Bartlett could have prevented #Vision2. They didn't.Say No to Vision 2
Their failure of leadership has been noted.Say No to Vision 2
We will support any & all efforts to see all 4 removed from office at the ballot box. Tulsa deserves better than this.Say No to Vision 2
Until 2013, we are going hiatus. You can still tweet at us or send us a direct message.Say No to Vision 2
Again, thank you for your efforts in defeating #Vision2. We are proud of you, Tulsa, and Tulsa County.Say No to Vision 2
Until we meet again, may God bless Tulsa, and may God bless these United States of America. Thank you.Say No to Vision 2

I was in the KJRH 2 News studio election night, on a panel with news anchors Russ McCaskey and Karen Larsen and fellow analysts David Blatt of the Oklahoma Policy Institute and State Sen. Rick Brinkley to talk about state questions and other local results as they came in.

Here's our last panel segment, starting at 9:24 pm if I recall correctly, talking about Vision2. The Tulsa County Election Board didn't begin reporting any local results until about 9 p.m., so this is shortly after I got the first load results from about 20 precincts, showing strong swings to the "no" side compared to the 2007 river tax vote.

As we were getting ready to talk and watching live reports from the watch parties, I was delighted to spot my wife and kids at the Citizens for a Better Vision watch party at Tally's Cafe.

(Video after the jump, and you can also find it online: Vision2 fails to pass; supporters considering similar proposals for future ballots.)

I promise, I'll have more to say about all this very soon. As you might expect, all the chores that were deferred during the campaign are demanding attention.

Thumbnail image for IVoted.jpgHappy Election Day! Polls open in Oklahoma at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Tonight, I'll be on KJRH's election night coverage, part of a panel discussing state and local elections. While the main channel carries NBC's national coverage, KJRH's digital subchannel 2.2 (Cox Cable 222) will focus on state and local elections. It will also be streamed live over the internet.

You can find the your cheat sheet to the 2012 Oklahoma election here: BatesLine 2012 Ballot Card.

Statewide, Oklahoma will elect seven presidential electors, will vote on six state questions, and will vote on the retention of state supreme court justices and appeals court judges. The only statewide office up for election this year is Corporation Commission; Bob Anthony won his fifth six-year term in the Republican primary, and Patrice Douglas, appointed to fill the unexpired term of Jeff Cloud, did not draw an opponent for election to the remainder of the term.

All five congressional districts have a Republican, a Democrat, and at least one independent on the ballot.

Tulsa County races were all decided in the primary or runoff (or not at all in a couple of cases), so, as if to prove that idle hands are the devil's workshop, the County Commissioners decided to put a sales tax on the ballot four years before it goes into effect. The marketing name is Vision2, but on the ballot it's Tulsa county propositions 1 and 2, and you can read all about it here: http://www.batesline.com/vision2.

In the Tulsa area, there are contested State Senate races in District 11, where Democrat State Rep. Jabar Shumate faces Republican Dave Bell and independent Curtis Mullins for an open seat, and District 39, where Republican Sen. Brian Crain is running for his final term, being challenged by Democrat and neighborhood leader Julie Hall.

The main event among the metro area State House races is the rematch in House District 71 between Republican schoolteacher Katie Henke and Democratic social service lobbyist Dan Arthrell. Henke was certified the winner in an April 3 special election, but the discovery of a couple of ballots for Arthrell in a ballot box led a judge to throw the election out and leave the seat vacant until the regular election.

There are also contested elections in Wagoner County's House District 12 (incumbent Democrat Wade Rousselot faces Republican challenger David Tackett), House District 23 (Republican Terry O'Donnell vs. Democrat Shawna Keller for an open seat), House District 66 (incumbent Republican Jadine Nollan vs. Democrat David Phillips), House District 72 (incumbent Democrat Seneca Scott vs. Republican Randall Reese), House District 76 (incumbent Republican David Brumbaugh vs. Democrat Glenda Puett), and House District 78 (incumbent Democrat Jeannie McDaniel vs. Republican Paul Catalano).

Almost lost in the shuffle are two city council races -- non-partisan and for two year terms under the charter amendments passed last year. District 1 incumbent Jack Henderson, a supporter of Vision2, is being challenged by Twan Jones, an opponent of Vision2. In District 7, incumbent Tom Mansur is on the ballot but has taken a job in Ardmore and will resign his seat if elected; his challenger is Arianna Moore. If Mansur wins and resigns as he intends, a special election would be called, as the next election for this seat, under the amendment passed last fall, will be in 2014.

Results should start rolling in soon after 7 p.m. The Oklahoma State Election Board website will update results as they are received from the county election boards. Although results are posted on each precinct door shortly after the polls close, a precinct's results have to be taken to the county election board to be read into the state election computer system.

After some significant difficulties with the outside company that provided election night results earlier this year, the Oklahoma State Election Board has developed its own in-house capability; the templates are already online. Data nuts will be able to download results by precinct for the entire state in one download -- a huge improvement over the previous system.

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 12:11 a.m. Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Postdated to remain at the top of the blog through poll closing time.

For your convenience, here is a list of the candidates I've endorsed, will be voting for, or otherwise recommend in the November 6, 2012, Oklahoma general election.

As I have time, I'll add links to endorsements I've already made, brief notes about those I haven't previously written about. Here's a link to the archive of BatesLine posts about Oklahoma Election 2012.

President and Vice President: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. They have a sensible plan for putting our economy back on track. Just to send the author of Obamacare -- and countless other taxes and regulations into retirement -- will give business owners the confidence to create new jobs. On the world front, the weak response to the attack on our diplomats abroad demands that we fire President Obama.

Congress, 1st District: Jim Bridenstine
Congress, 2nd District: Markwayne Mullin

Although I didn't endorse either of these gentlemen in the primaries, we need as many Republicans in the U. S. House as possible if we're to have any hope of undoing the damage of the Obama years, starting with a repeal of Obamacare.

County questions (aka Vision2):

Proposition 1: NO
Proposition 2: NO

These taxes will not go into effect for more than four years, and will still be in effect until the end of 2029. Please note carefully what the ballot says. It's not what you've been hearing in all the ads.

Judicial retention:

State Supreme Court: NO on all. They think it is their place to stop Oklahoma voters from passing legislation that might be appealed to the Supreme Court. They're wrong.

State questions:

SQ 758: NO
SQ 759: YES
SQ 762: NO
SQ 764: NO
SQ 765: YES
SQ 766: YES

Legislative races in general: Never forget that when you vote for a legislative candidate (U. S. Senate, U. S. House, state rep, or state senator), you're also casting a vote for that candidate's party to control that chamber, to appoint committee chairmen and control the flow of legislation. I urge conservatives to vote Republican in legislative races. For all the disappointments we've had with Republican leadership at the state capitol, remember that it's better than the alternative. On the sanctity of human life, Oklahoma has made significant advances under GOP legislative leadership, passing bills that were routinely killed in committee when Democrats controlled the State Senate.

House District 71: Katie Henke. It's a choice between a smart, conservative Republican and a Democrat whose job has been to push for bigger government. The opposition to Henke has run a nasty and dishonest campaign against this thoughtful schoolteacher.

Senate District 39: If Julie Hall were a pro-life conservative Republican; or if Brian Crain were a staunch supporter of neighborhoods and a staunch opponent of corporate welfare, this would be an easy decision, but they're not, and it isn't. Republican Brian Crain has been a disappointment on issue after issue, and yet he carried the pro-life personhood bill in the legislature. Hall is the more sensible of the two on Vision2, and she knows from personal experience the importance of anti-SLAPP legislation to protect our freedom of speech.

Tulsa City Council District 1: Twan Jones, the challenger, who opposes Vision2. While I've supported the incumbent in many past elections for standing against the Cockroach Caucus, it appears that he has made his peace with the powers that be, supporting a regressive sales tax that does little to help his constituents. Time for a change.

How in the world can you fairly assess the value of intangible property? And if you can't fairly assess it, how in the world can you fairly tax it? That's why Oklahomans should welcome the opportunity to approve SQ 766 and abolish this arbitrary tax which has only been tolerable until now because it has only been applied to a small number of big companies.

SQ 766, proposed to Oklahoma's voters by the State Legislature, would strike nearly all of the very wordy Article X, Section 6A of the Oklahoma Constitution, and replace it with the following simple language:

Beginning January 1, 2013, intangible personal property shall not be subject to ad valorem tax or to any other tax in lieu of ad valorem tax within this State.

Article X, Section 6A, was added to the Constitution by State Question 460 to prohibit the legislature from levying ad valorem tax on specific categories of intangible property. It passed by about a three-to-one margin on the August 27, 1968, state primary ballot.

Once again, here's a quick summary of how I plan to vote on all the questions:

SQ 758: NO
SQ 759: YES
SQ 762: NO
SQ 764: NO
SQ 765: YES
SQ 766: YES

And once again we turn to State Sen. Rick Brinkley, who is graciously allowing me to post his analysis of and explanation of the history of SQ 766 here on BatesLine:

State Question 766 - Ends the Taxation of Intangible Property

This is Part 2 of my response to some of you who asked my opinion on the 6 State Questions on the Ballot on Tuesday. Part One dealt with changes in the Department of Human Services. Please look at my Wall if you would like to read that post and a three sentence history on why every year there are state questions on the ballot.

Failure for SQ 766 to pass will result in the largest tax increase in state history.

Please excuse my very elementary explanation of this issue:

Definition: TANGIBLE Property is property that you can wrap your hands around. If you own a McDonald's, Tangible Property is the building, the fryers, tables and Chairs, etc. INTANGIBLE PROPERTY is the "name" McDonald's (what is the "brand" worth?), Client Lists, Software developed by employees (A McDonald's Franchise may not be a good example for that one), and the institutional knowledge your employees possess, etc.

History: For years, counties did not really evaluate or charge tax on Intangible Property. However, the Board of Equalization assessed an Intangible Tax on large entities like Utilities, Railroads, etc. These companies are called "Centrally Assessed" companies, because they were not assessed on a County-by-County basis. It is important to note that even "Centrally Assessed" companies were not actually assessed a tax based on an actual determination of their Intangible Property, but rather it was calculated on a Unit Basis....meaning if your company was assessed at a certain tangible property amount, a certain percentage was calculated to be your Intangible Tax. Several years ago a company challenged its being taxed on intangibles to the State Supreme Court. They claimed it was unfair because other companies were not taxed for intangibles (just the Centrally Assessed Companies). The State Supreme Court ruled that not only was the Intangible Tax Constitutional, it could be assessed against all companies in the state as well as individuals.

Your Decision to Make: The question before you is "Should We Eliminate Taxation on Intangible Property?" My answer to that question is "YES." First, by the mere definition of "Intangible", it is not something that is easily determined and the variance from County to County and Assessor to Assessor could be great. How does the government assess the value of your company's name and then tax you on it? Also, please be reminded that these companies and, especially, small business owners have already paid income tax on the company's income and the salary they have paid themselves. Now, to "double dip" and tax them again on the Intangible Value of what they created seems inherently wrong to me. They will, of course, continue to pay Tangible Property Tax, Income Tax, Unemployment Tax, Payroll Taxes, etc. Plus, the taxes they pay as individuals.
We also should not pick and choose who pays Intangible Taxes. We either all pay them or none of us pay them, but we can't (in my opinion) say we only want certain companies to pay the tax and not others. We have also not addressed the issues related to taxation of Intangibles on individuals.

Opposition: The Oklahoma Tax Commission estimated the cost to eliminate the Intangible Tax would be approximately $50 million (meaning it would not collect approximately $50 Million of taxes on companies currently paying the Intangible Tax.) However, it provided no methodology for its calculations. Please remember, those companies which currently pay tax on Intangibles are really paying a "Unit Valuation" that the government uses to determine what they will charge them as their "Intangible Tax". It is not currently based on actual/factual determination of a company's Intangible worth. Those who oppose this state question do not want to see a reduction in the amount of money the state collects. However, many of them freely admit they also do not want this kind of tax to go into effect on individuals, small business owners, farmers, ranchers, etc.

It is impossible for the Tax Commission to estimate the magnitude of the taxes to be collected if Intangibles were to be taxed; however, some estimates put it between a $300 - $400 million tax increase.

My Opinion: State Question 766 needs to pass in order to be fair to Individuals/Businesses in this state, to prevent the largest tax increase in state history, and to help all businesses, especially small business owners, succeed.

Here's OCPA's analysis:

Summary: This measure would exempt all intangible personal property -- e.g. patents, inventions, formulas, designs, trade secrets, licenses, franchise, contracts, land leases, mineral interests, insurance policies, custom computer software, trademarks, trade names and brand names -- from property taxes. Historically the state has not taxed intangible personal property, except for some small instances of centrally assessed property for a small number of businesses. This measure is to respond to a recent Oklahoma Supreme court ruling mandating that all intangible personal property not specifically exempted is subject to property tax.

What's at stake: From a free-market, limited-government perspective, preventing property taxes on intangible personal property would serve as an incentive to entrepreneurship and prevent a massive intrusion of government into people's lives. Only ten states assess property taxes on intangible personal property as interpreted by the Oklahoma Supreme court and such an expansion of taxing authority would likely be the largest tax increase in state history. Things such as a person's interest in a public pension, the reputable name of a small family business, intellectual work during college and a host of other "intangibles" would now be subject to "valuation" and taxation by government bureaucrats. Ultimately, this state question is pretty cut and dry, a "Yes" vote ensures that all intangible property is exempt from property tax. A "No" vote subjects all intangible property to property tax.

State Question 765 is a legislative referendum to amend Article XXV of the Oklahoma Constitution by repealing sections 2, 3, and 4 and adding a new section 6. I support this question because it makes the Oklahoma Department of Human Services fully accountable to our elected officials and thus more accountable to the voters.

Those of us with long memories will recall Lloyd Rader's 31-year reign as head of the Department of Public Welfare. He was forced to resign after a series of national exposés revealed rampant neglect, the apparent use of patronage to control legislators who might have attempted to rein him in, and the use of state funds to hire detectives to follow and harass the reporters investigating him. A Tulsa Tribune political cartoon of the period depicted Rader as an octopus with his tentacles wrapped around the State Capitol. (One of Rader's few defenders after the scandal broke? State Sen. Gene Stipe.)

While there have been legislative reforms of the department, the constitutional structure that allowed such concentration of power and lack of accountability remains in place.

If you click that link, you'll see that there was some debate about how best to represent this question on the ballot, because the names currently in use for these agencies and roles don't match their constitutional names.

Here's a quick summary of how I plan to vote on all the questions:

SQ 758: NO
SQ 759: YES
SQ 762: NO
SQ 764: NO
SQ 765: YES
SQ 766: YES

State Sen. Rick Brinkley (R-Collinsville) has written an excellent article on why SQ 765 should be approved, and he prefaces it by explaining briefly why we have so many state questions each year. With his permission, I'm publishing it here at BatesLine.

State Question 765 - The Most Poorly Written of the State Questions on the Ballot.

Some of you have asked my opinion on the 6 State Questions on the Ballot on Tuesday. I will attempt to share some light on a few of them over the next several days. But, first, you have to have a bit of history on the reason there are state questions every year for you to consider. The State of Oklahoma has the longest Constitution of any state and ours is far longer than the constitution of the United States and most other Nations from around the world. Everything from the definition of Beer to the Flash Point of Kerosene is in the Constitution. In all practical senses, any change to the Constitution requires a vote of the people.

In the 1930s, what is now called the Department of Human Services was made a Constitutional Agency. This means that it answers to a Commission established in the Constitution and is subject to oversight by neither the Governor nor the Legislature, but strictly the Commission. The Department of Human Services currently employs over 7,000 people.

The State Question is written in such a way that it appears it completely does away with the Department of Human Services. In actuality, it does away with the Commission and makes the Department more accountable to the Governor and the Legislature. The number of children who have died while in DHS Custody and the number of Class Action Lawsuits filed in regard to poor performance are enough for most people to understand that with so little oversight this agency and its leadership have failed to deliver the services it needs to deliver with little fear of repercussion.

This is about policy and structure. There are thousands of DHS workers who are committed to their jobs and those that they serve and this should not be seen as an indictment of every DHS worker. Despite how poorly written the State Question is other laws already in place guarantee the continuation of the Department.

This State Question has wide bipartisan support, including support from former Commission members. In my experience, the only people I have read or heard who are against this state question are former Commission Members and former Top DHS Officials.

Those opposed to Question 765 blame the legislature for not funding the Department to the level they desire. Additional Funding will not correct the lack of Accountability and Bureaucracy that have failed to deliver the services our children and most vulnerable deserve. This enables Governor Fallin and future Governors to respond quickly to necessary changes that must be made in the Department. This places additional responsibilities upon our Governors to react to public outcry and not be forced to idly sit on their hands waiting for a commission to act.

Please vote "YES" on State Question 765.

(As an aside, you currently have approximately 8,000 children in YOUR CUSTODY. These are Children in Foster Care in our State. The people of Oklahoma are responsible for these children who have found themselves in your custody through no action of their own. We have a responsibility to provide for them the best we can and the best they deserve.)

If you're on Facebook, you can subscribe to Sen. Rick Brinkley's public updates, which are consistently thought-provoking and inspirational.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma Election 2012 category from November 2012.

Oklahoma Election 2012: October 2012 is the previous archive.

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