I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What A World

It's been a little while, so I thought I'd better catch up and provide a little color commentary to the already jaded political and social landscape.  It's what you expect from me, so I choose not to disappoint.  Let's get after it, shall we?

POTUS:  What a train wreck.  How in the world we ended up with these two candidates is something that OU Political Science Professor Keith Gaddie will be writing about long into the future, but it befuddles the rest of us.  The Trump Train exists, in my opinion, as a rebellion move against the establishment of the GOP that has been virtually indistinguishable from the mainstream of the Democratic Party over the last decade.  Fortunately, we have three branches of government so two out of three will have to get us through the next four years.  I truly have no pony in this race at all and it looks like I may have to vote for the Libertarian just so I can preserve what is left of my tattered soul. 

Oklahoma County Sheriff:  This has turned into a barn-burner of a race, hasn't it?  The State Auditor released findings that basically showed that incumbent Democrat Sheriff John Whetsel has not been so adept at handling financial issues.  Of course, most of us with any functioning brain cells whatsoever have seen the disaster that is the Oklahoma County Jail; but at least we don't have to deal with Joyce Gilchrist any longer.  But I digress...  Representative Mike Christian is the GOP hopeful for the race and I've known Mike for a long time; we used to hunt and consume adult beverages together "back in the day."  I think I may even have some film from my old TV show with Mike on a hunt with us.  He has survived the turmoil of the Randy Terrill/Debbe Leftwich disaster that sent Terrill to jail.  Now, he is gunning for the Sheriff's badge.  This will be a close nail-biter of a race to watch and it's anyone's guess as to who will win this one.  

Oklahoma County Clerk:  David Hooten surprised everyone and found himself in a runoff with Carolyn Caudill and then he defeated her in the runoff.  Embattled former Speaker of the House, Lance Cargill, helped run the campaign and it is a pretty significant one to win.  There is a lot of taxpayer dollars involved in that office and a whole lot more than one would suspect.  Garnering the endorsements of two previous governor's, David Hooten will be facing the perennial Libertarian candidate, Chris Powell.  Hooten will run away with this race and soundly defeat Powell.  What will be interesting to watch, however, will be who Hooten brings into the County Clerk's office to work with him.  Who will be his Chief Deputy?  That pick will set the stage for either reform, or more of the same.  

As far as the Congressional races go, expect the incumbents to win easily.  The Oklahoma Congressional Delegation will remain in the grasp of the GOP as will House and Senate seats in the Oklahoma Legislature.

What a world in which we live.  God help us.

Of course, these are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

And Another Thing...

Sometimes, I really hate politics.  The underhanded nature of things, the back room deals, the secret support of questionable candidates, the cover-ups, and the big-mouthed blathering of pundits (myself included) make the process a messy, disgusting aspect of American life but I can't seem to back away from it.  Maybe it is just a part of who I am, or maybe it's my innate desire to stir things up that keep me interested and as someone who likes history, it's fun to watch it repeat itself.  While a free electorate is what our forefathers intended, it's kind of become something altogether different, hasn't it?  It's just a big pile of rhetorical goo and we have to choose between candidates whom we think will do the least amount of damage rather than the most good for the country.

On a local level, we have a battle for County Sheriff that looks pretty interesting, but more than likely, it will turn out to be a tempest in a teapot.  The incumbent Sheriff, John Whetsel, is looking to win re-election with ease primarily because his opponent hasn't defined himself or worked to change the impressions of days past.  Mike Christian is a State Rep who was embroiled in the controversy that saw former Representative Randy Terrill spend time behind bars.  Christian was rumored to have testified against Terrill to save his own hiney, and that's what the vast majority of the public can remember about him.  He doesn't have any substantial legislation that changed lives in Oklahoma, he hasn't cured cancer, and he has failed to get his message out.  Mike is a good guy, but his consultants haven't done him any favors. 
Another race is that of the County Clerk.  Carolyn Caudill was defeated in the Republican primary by David Hooten; a man best known for his musical abilities and meat sauces available in many area grocery stores.  He will face Libertarian Chris Powell who hasn't really put forth too much effort in the campaign.  Hooten will win this one in a walk and then he and his consultant Lance Cargill (yes, that Lance) will find themselves in strange territory in Oklahoma County government.  But then again, the voters could surprise us all and vote for Powell.  Probably not, but maybe.
On a personal note, if y'all are available, stop by Bourbon Street Saturday night and listen to the reorganized Signal 8 Band.  We kick off the party at 9pm and play until the bartender throws us out or tells us to shut up.  Katie, Cal, Merv, and myself invite you to take a break from politics, a break from the madness that is every day life and slip away to music mayhem with us.  We'll be playing some of your favorite classic rock tunes as well as a couple originals that Katie wrote herself.  In other words, you will have a blast and we hope to see you there.  

See you soon!

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Blair, Caudill, Reynolds Go Down

The Tuesday runoff election was one of the most entertaining to watch in a very long time.  While the voter turnout stank to high heaven, the results were surprising to say the least.  It's sad to see so few people heading to the polls but given the political climate, we should expect as much.  Campaigns have become mud slinging propaganda-fests that are void of truth and reality and most often filled to overflowing in lies and deceit.  

The 20-year incumbent in the County Clerk's office was unseated by a business owner who is best known for his trumpet and not for his prowess in political affairs.  Not only was Caudill defeated, but David Hooten beat her with an almost 2-to-1 ratio.  Caudill's office has been plagued with problems for many years; hell, I remember pointing out problems with her office back when I was the afternoon drive host on WKY.  There were those who thought I was being too mean, but it turns out that I was spot on in my analysis.  Caudill will, of course, get to take her retirement and ride off into the sunset but she will be riding out of town on a hog rather than a steed.  Hooten will take over in January and he will have his hands full.  Not saying that the County Clerk post is the most difficult and complex in all of County government, but it is certainly one of serious responsibility and sitting on the Budget Board to allocate dollars to and fro can be a daunting task.  Will he rubber-stamp the desires of the senior members of the Board or will he trumpet reform and accountability (see what I did there)?

Former State Representative Mike Reynolds ran for Cleveland County Court Clerk and was defeated by almost 1,000 votes by Marilyn Williams.  Reynolds was known for his "smaller government" stances while in the House of Representatives.  There were plenty Republicans in Cleveland County who were shocked that Reynolds lost to Williams and they will probably analyze that race for many weeks to come.  Williams went after Reynolds on her Facebook page calling him a "career politician," which is terribly ironic because Reynolds advocated for smaller government; except where he decides to run apparently.  No doubt we'll see Reynolds again somewhere because he is very active in the GOP and rather enjoys politics.  

The biggest and most fascinating race was Senate District 41 in Edmond where Air Force pilot Adam Pugh faced the Goliath that is the former football player-turned-pastor, Paul Blair.  Blair racked up a ton of endorsements including those from members of the State House and the former "Dr. No" of Congress, Tom Coburn.  In the past, an endorsement from Coburn almost guaranteed a victory. Blair even received the endorsement of Congressman Steve Russell who was involved in the capture of Saddam Hussein!  Blair also picked up the endorsement of former Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane and current Oklahoma County Democrat District Attorney David Prater.  Neither endorsement carried enough weight to push Blair beyond the relative newcomer, Adam Pugh.  Somehow, Pugh became the David of this David and Goliath match up and came out on top. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Good News Wednesday

Bad news, negative news, and depressing news have dominated this week and it has worn me slick.  Every now and again, we just need positive things to say to each other and to read about.  Today, I am doing my level best to provide something a little different to read and maybe put a smile on your face.  Let's start with police shootings...

Shootings:  The police officers killed in cold blood this last week were and are being memorialized in their communities and it is right that they be honored.  As a result of the shooting, those communities have largely rallied their support for the families of the officers and while their deaths are tragic and deplorable, people are starting to see just how dangerous the work of law enforcement can be and hopefully, are seeing how important a part of our society they are.  I know that I make sure that I stop and thank them whenever I see them for putting their lives on the line every day for people like you and me.

RNC:  Yes, it has been a circus and a series of mistakes and silly behavior, but we had the opportunity to meet the Trump family and get to know them just a little better.  So far, Donald's son has stolen the show and won the hearts of the GOP faithful.  See?  That's good news!  Oklahoma's Governor Mary Fallin will also get a chance to shine for a few minutes before The Donald's speech tomorrow evening as well, and let's face it; our Governor is a media darling.  

New 9 Street View (or something):  News 9 was showing off their new digital gadgetry for their helicopter today and to be honest, it's pretty cool.  As the camera man pans across the land, the streets and businesses show up superimposed on the area itself.  Imagine a see-through Google map overlay of the terrain and then, you will understand.  It is a big deal for law enforcement and for first responders who are chasing a bag guy, that's for sure  It is also going to come in handy on their storm chasing weather moments.  Plus, Oklahoma City is the first city to have such wizardry.  

Maybe I'm getting old or sentimental, but like the song goes, "we're all in this together," and political party doesn't matter where lives are at stake.  We all know better.   Let me leave you with this:

It could always be worse.