151 Band

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Democrats Make Gains Nationally and In Oklahoma

There was a time when the GOP referred to the Democratic Party as the "Tax and Spend Party."  To the average voter, it looks like the GOP was jealous of such branding and have taken it on for themselves.  This is evident by the increase of taxes including; fuel tax, gross production tax, tax on tobacco, and finally (of course) increased taxes on booze.  As this happens, we see this mass exodus of Republican "lawmakers" taking better paying jobs with the Feds and other government teats.  

This is the same party that once said that welfare was a bad thing, but corporate welfare is okay and being a perpetual burden on the taxpayers as long as you're elected and not terribly poor.  

Back in the days of WKY, I remember talking frequently about the reality that for most elected officials, it is the best job they will ever have and that holds true today.  The concept of being a "citizen legislature" has given way to the disturbing influx of Political Science majors who are beginning to show their lack of "real world" experience.  

But I digress.

Virginia, New Jersey, and even already liberal Washington State have seen a growth spurt in the number of Democratic elected officials and no one should really be surprised.  As Cal Thomas once said, "If Republicans are going to act like Democrats, you might as well vote for Democrats because at least then you know what you're getting."  There is a great deal of truth to that, you know.  

Many will blame President Trump for the increase of elected Democrats, but in Oklahoma, the increase in taxes and the amount of fraud that is being uncovered by State Auditor Gary Jones leaves no one to blame but the Republican leadership.  There was even questions about departments that were/are run by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb in terms of financial mismanagement.  But yet, there are more and more career Republican politicians who are looking for more opportunities to suckle from the taxpayer teat by either running for higher office or finding a taxpayer-funded bureaucratic job.

And we used to think lobbyists were bad.

Sure, there has been a lot of propaganda spewed about from both sides of the aisle regarding just how horrendous our budget situation is/was/will continue to be, but in the aggregate, our elected officials aren't losing any services.  They are still getting their medical coverage, their retirement funds, their salaries (highest paid part-time legislators in the country, by the way), and in some cases, the opportunity to pocket some taxpayer funds until they are caught.

Neither party is perfect and the way they are acting does nothing but underscore the reality that third party candidates are becoming increasingly appealing to the disenfranchised voters as it is.  But, there is still hope, my fellow Oklahomians.  We simply have to be diligent and call a pig a pig.  Ask hard questions of our elected officials and of those who desire to be elected officials and if they give us some bovine feces answer, call them out on social media and within your sphere of influence.  We can change the direction of Oklahoma government.  We just have to care enough to do so.

Of course, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Goobernatorial Gander

Yes, I know; it's been a while since I've written anything but I've not been feeling at the top of my game but here I am now.  What inspired me to open up the old blog-a-licious is the banter that has been tossed about by our candidates for Governor.  There are quite a few of them (12), but I will focus this column primarily on a handful of them that I think are noteworthy at this time.  

Let's roll up our sleeves and get nasty.

Dan Fisher:  Former legislator who has apparently been smitten with the idea of becoming Oklahoma's next, and first, abortion abolitionist Governor.  He probably learned how to cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees over unconstitutional legislation while serving in the legislature, which explains why that is pretty much his platform right now.  He has signs that say "audit everything" and that's kind of cute because there is a legitimate auditor in the race for Governor.  Fisher is a pastor and there are those who would argue that perhaps he has forgotten about the whole warnings to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 by running for office (again), but he is on a mission and like Jake and Elroy, he won't be stopped.  More than likely, he'll end up with around 5% - 8-% of the vote during the primary.  He's fun to watch though, that's for sure.  

Gary Jones:  If memory serves me, Gary was one of the first to announce his candidacy and on paper, he's probably the most qualified candidate to handle the difficult task of reining in the legislature and get the budget fixed.  Sadly, that is often not enough in the great state of Oklahoma to get you elected to a statewide or Congressional office.  Jones is our State Auditor and he has ruffled more than just a few feathers with some of his talk about streamlining the state government.  He himself has accomplished it within the office of the Auditor, but not many other agencies have done so willingly and without duress.  I've known Gary Jones for a number of years and he has always been an honest, upright man who doesn't shoot from the hip or shoot off his mouth for the sake of political blathering.  He is exceptionally qualified for the job, but it's going to be the toughest race he will ever face since Lt. Governor Todd Lamb is running.  

Todd Lamb:  There can be no doubt whatsoever that Todd Lamb is, by far, one of the most polished politicians in the state of Oklahoma.  His service as Lt. Governor has afforded him the opportunity to travel around the state in a largely ceremonial role, but everywhere he goes, Lamb leaves a very positive impression.  I meet him at an NRA banquet once and found him to be both genuine and knowledgable about state and local issues and he is a very dedicated family man (not to say that other candidates aren't).  He's intelligent and he surprised everyone when he cut across the grain and made comments that were in disagreement with Governor Fallin's budget positions.  Rumor has it that it angered much of the "Chamber crowd" and that there may be some question as to whether or not he can muster up a broad-based, centrist support system while pissing them off.  Todd will more than likely lead the race in fundraising and I predict, as of today, he is the candidate to beat.  

Mick Cornett:  To say that I was shocked to hear that Mick was running for Governor would be putting it mildly.  Mick boasts of the success he's had in the private sector with his business, but yet he likes being in the middle of the political fray.  Mick has run for Congress in the past and he looked a little like a deer caught in the headlights, but more than likely, he has a different consulting group handling his race and getting him polished on state issues.  His argument will be that he has brought the NBA to Oklahoma City and the success of the MAPS projects.  But, how will those things play in Honobia Creek?  Durant?  Tulsa?  Arnett?  Ada?  Rural Oklahoma is a significantly different animal than urban Oklahoma and his city charm may not play as well.  He is a long shot, but to count Mick Cornett out of the race at this point would be rather goofy.  He is a determined man who is dogged in achieving his goals.  We shall see.  [Note:  He doesn't have a website for his campaign, but there is his Facebook page.]

Just a few of my thoughts and there will be more to come very soon.


Ron "Gorilla" Black

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gubernatorial Gibberish & More

Some very familiar names have announced their desire to be top dog in the state of Oklahoma and there are very few surprises, if any at all.  Here are a few of my observations...

Gary Richardson, a Tulsa attorney and arch enemy of the Turnpike Authority, has decided that he's going to run as a Republican this time and his tactics thus far have been far different.  He has been posting on social media a multitude of religious affections that will apparently appeal to the religious right in the state and that is a voting block important for the GOP that is as necessary as oxygen.  

Lt. Governor Todd Lamb is the odds-on favorite for the post because of his connections to Frank Keating and the "Chamber Establishment."  He took a bold stand by separating himself from the desires of Governor Fallin to raise taxes to heal the budget wounds, and his staunch 2nd Amendment position in Oklahoma will help him a lot.  He already has a massive war chest of over $1million and money will continue to pour in.  

State Auditor Gary Jones has also announced his intentions to run and to be frank, he's probably one of the best candidates out there to fix the problems we're facing as a state.  He's a fiscal hawk and is not afraid to rock the boat where fraud and waste are concerned.  It was Jones, after all, that revealed the waste with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.  The test will be whether or not Jones can secure some of the right wing votes as well as the establishment GOP that Lamb has secured.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett has been rumored to be eyeing the Governor's Mansion, but it is still yet to be determined whether or not he can steal the Chamber money from Lamb.  Cornett brought the NBA to Oklahoma City (at least that is what the electorate believes) and he's extremely popular in Oklahoma County.  Could he get Tulsa County support?  Maybe.  Is he the guy to secure rural Oklahoma votes?  No way.

On the Democratic side, Scott Inman is going to run.  No.  Just no.  He doesn't stand a chance.  

Former State Senator Connie Johnson is running as well, but again, no.  She is way too far to the left to win statewide in Oklahoma, but someone has been telling her she can win.  That person deserves to be taken out to the woodshed because she is going to take money and votes from Inman who has a better chance than Johnson; as slim as that may be.

Some of the other madness I've been following:

Oklahoma City Mayoral race/non-race is kind of fun at this stage too.  County Commissioner Brian Maughan has announced and State Senator David Holt has also announced his desire to be the Mayor of Oklahoma City.  Why either would want to take the pay cut is beyond me.

Radio Shake Up continues.  KTOK let Jason Doyle go recently and it follows the trend that iHeart Media is trimming the sails so they can afford the syndicated programs for other stations such as KJ103 and the Ryan Seacrest show.  Jason was the afternoon guy and I had the pleasure of sitting in with him for a show.  He will be missed.  He has been replaced by the station program director, Lee Matthews.  Again.  Further up the dial, KOKC 1520am is plugging along with their mix of local and syndicated programming, seeing their program director Tod Tucker at the helm for some air time.  The market is ripe for radical change in talk radio and whomever jumps on the opportunity will profit.  

There will be more Gorilla Rants to come...

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Something Silly This Way Comes

Do you remember when the Oklahoma legislature actually looked at a bill that would allow fighting chickens to fight if they wore little boxing gloves?  Do you remember that?  I was the afternoon drive guy on the station formerly known as Supertalk 930 WKY when it happened and at first, I thought it was a joke.  Surely, the people of Oklahoma would never elect some idiot who is so desperate to keep cockfighting in the state that they would propose such lunacy?

They did, and he did propose that silliness.

Time has gone by and a lot has happened over the years.  We have lost voices such as Mark Shannon and most recently, the legendary Mike McCarville; both of whom would have been all over the fact that our state budget is messed up and the only solution really presented thus far has been to increase taxes and fees statewide.  While there is still a much more faint voice or two on the talk radio airwaves in Oklahoma, they are hardly strong enough to create real change and stop the flood of silliness.  Hell, some of the voices helped get the idiots we're dealing with in the legislature get elected in the first place.

For many who are elected to work under the apparently brain-damaging methane gas-filled dome, something terrible takes over and what the taxpayers are left with are a bunch of dopplegangers who are up for auction to the highest bidder.  Common sense and the "rule of law" is thrown out the window and sacrificed at the altar of self-righteous indulgence and egomaniacal emotional disorders. It's like there are a bunch of zealots who are trying to prove who is the most "righteous" and who is the most "caring."  Forget about authoring legislation that will generate legitimate revenue, but rather the focus is on social ills and "feel good" policies that are little more than political masturbation.

Silliness is the attitude of the day and until something changes in the media, we in Oklahoma are stuck with it.  Sure, there have been a few moments wherein folks like Kirby and Ralph Shortey are in the spotlight for their antics, but they are a rarity in the comedy of errors that has become our media delivery mechanisms.

Of course, it's just my opinion and I could be wrong...but I seriously doubt it.

Ron "Gorilla" Black