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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sticky Saturday

The Oklahoma political scene is becoming increasingly sticky and there doesn't appear to be any hope in sight for respite. As we make the trek to July, then November, what was supposed to be a marathon has turned into a sprint.  Here are a few stories you need to wrap your head around:

PETTIGREW/SWITZER ALLIANCE TO BUILD NANNY STATE:  Mike McCarville has gathered an amazing set of stories relating to what is called InsureNet - a camera system coming to Oklahoma soon that will electronically verify whether or not you have auto insurance and fine your butt if you don't.  I've written about this before, but this is "through the looking glass" stuff and my question is - where are all the so-called conservatives in Oklahoma who should oppose such a program?  This is a must-read.  Former Represenative Wayne Pettigrew, since being defeated by Marian Cooksey can't seem to get enough of the taxpayer revenue stream...he ran and was defeated for Mayor of Edmond a while back, so now, he's involved in this Big Brother deal to make sure the coffers of government are filled.  Shame, shame, shame.

RYAN LEONARD MUST BE NERVOUS:  Well-liked former State Senator Scott Pruitt came out of the gates with his proposal to sue the federal government to recoup costs of illegal immigration incurred here in the great state of Oklahoma and within a few short hours, the Ryan Leonard camp took a shot at Pruitt, trying to accuse him of being less than aggressive regarding illegal immigration.  Going on the attack so early in the primary season is a serious indicator that there is trouble in the Leonard camp, nervous that Scott Pruitt may have been able to gain much-needed ground on his opponent.

It devolved quickly into Leonard's camp firing out press releases that were tantamount to grade school playground horseplay, attempting to call into question Scott Pruitt's conservative credentials.  Citing and misinterpreting a position on a particular Senate Bill, Leonard's campaign quotes a story from the Tulsa World regarding what they believe Pruitt's position on illegal immigration may be.  Pruitt's response was pretty simple and made sense to the average guy - the bill in question was for "those on the path to citizenship."  This fight will continue...

5TH DISTRICT SURPRISE!  First, Thompson went from the "sure thing" in the GOP primary for the 5th Congressional District to the Where's Waldo candidate.  Then, Kevin Calvey went up on media and stayed up, resulting in significant name reinforcement, catapulting him into front runner status.  And now, it appears as though political novice James Lankford is taking the GOP by storm.  

Lankford's presence has increased and it tells me two things:  The GOP candidates should all be pretty nervous because the sentiment is that most of them are viewed as "incumbents" in a way and have been part of the problems that have gotten us to the mess we're in right now.  Secondly, Lankford's rise in popularity can be directly attributed to the rise of alternative media's strength and the power of social networking tools.  Traditional media just isn't going to be enough in this election cycle because many participants in traditional media have "tuned out."   Lankford called me the other day, checking on the health of my wife and to see how things were going.  You have to respect that on many, many levels - particularly since some of the other GOP candidates were actually people who called themselves "friends" of my wife.  Very interesting indeed.

2ND ANNUAL BLUES JAM AND WAIL:  July 3rd, it's the 2nd Annual Blues Jam and Wail out at Paradise Farm.  Last year, Steven Jones and I put together an evening of food, relaxation and music - all designed to get folks together who had been having a rough year and just enjoy fellowship.  This year, we're doing the Blues Jam to benefit our brothers and sisters at the Mid America Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.  It will be a non-partisan celebration of our veterans as well as a blues and rock & roll smack-down.  We have a couple bands working on coming as well as the returning Seven of Swords.  Check out the website and get your butts ready to celebrate!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scott Pruitt's Plan

From Attorney General candidate Scott Pruitt's office:

Pruitt Announces Plans to Hold Federal Government Responsible for State Expenses Related to Immigration
Republican candidate for Attorney General, Scott Pruitt today announced that as Attorney General, it is his intention to bring a lawsuit against the federal government related to its failure to enforce immigration laws.  Pruitt will seek to recover at least the direct costs to the state that are incurred due to the illegal immigrant population.

“Far too often, the federal government has decided to pursue aggressive policies, such as the nationalization of health care, which I believe violate the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, while choosing to ignore the limited duties it should have.  According Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution, the Congress has the obligation, duty and responsibility to ‘establish a uniform rule of naturalization’ and our courts have interpreted this to mean that Congress also has the power to regulate immigration,” Pruitt, a respected Constitutional Lawyer, stated.

“However, you don’t need to look very far to see that they have failed miserably at this task.  In fact, they have failed so miserably, one has to wonder if they really have the resolve to do the job.  Even Congress has recognized that they are not doing their job.  Years ago, they created a federal program to help compensate states for the expense incurred for dealing with illegal immigrants incarcerated in state prisons.  Even here, they are paying only a pittance of the cost,” Pruitt continued.

In 2009, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) provided less than 1.2 million dollars to the state.  By the government’s own admission, the SCAAP program only covers 42% of the cost for incarcerating undocumented aliens that are convicted of felonies or multiple misdemeanors.  For those incarcerated for lesser offenses, there is no compensation.  Most estimates are that the cost incurred in Oklahoma’s corrections system was at minimum 7 and a half million dollars.  The costs in other areas such as health, education and other programs would undoubtedly top 200 million dollars.

“I can argue that the federal government, through its initiation of SCAAP, has admitted that they have the responsibility to provide this compensation to the state.  Yet they are only providing a small portion of the direct costs,” Pruitt stated.

 “The current situation places Oklahoma at a competitive disadvantage to other states that, because they are further from the border, do not have the illegal immigration problem we have.  Right now, the Oklahoma taxpayer is simply footing more of the bill for dealing with illegal immigration than are taxpayers in other states.  Since it is a national responsibility, this situation is wrong and it needs to stop.  At this point, aggressive court action appears to be the most realistic venue for rectifying the situation,” Pruitt stated.

“To me, this seems like a straightforward approach.  It is time for the people to use every means available, including the court system, to make our federal government more responsive,” Pruitt continued.

“It is my hope that this lawsuit will do more than simply recoup the dollars lost by Oklahoma taxpayers.  I am taking this aggressive approach as a way to encourage other Attorneys General and other conservatives across the nation to begin thinking differently about how we can reign in the federal government.  And, if it makes Congress and the President finally act and do something meaningful on illegal immigration, all the better,” Pruitt concluded.


A Poll By Any Other Name...

The Fish-Fry Straw Poll numbers came out and the Internet was buzzing with activity.  Then, within just a few short hours, State Senator Randy Brogdon came out with two new advertisements for his candidacy.  The Brogdon ads were well-produced, concise and informative regarding his desires for the future of Oklahoma and had some lower-third crawls showing the bills he authored to make his dreams come true.

The Fallin campaign released some numbers formulated by Cole, Hargraves, Snodgrass and Associates that showed Fallin leading the pack - not only within the GOP ranks, but defeating both potential Democratic contenders as well.  In the report, Pat McFerron writes:

“At this time, Mary Fallin holds a commanding lead over both of her well-known Democrat challengers. Against both Drew Edmondson and Jari Askins, Fallin has identical 22-point leads (52% Fallin / 30% Askins and Edmondson). Republicans line-up behind Fallin in both contests by a 9 to 1 ratio, while conservative Democrats (45% Fallin vs. 33% Edmondson and 52% Fallin vs. 27% Askins) break her direction in a decisive manner. Again, we see statewide support for the Republican ticket. In fact, Fallin leads both Democrats in urban (56% Fallin vs. 28% Edmondson and 54% Fallin vs. 29% Askins) and rural (49% Fallin vs. 32% Edmondson and 50% Fallin vs. 30% Askins) Oklahoma."
This is not going to be an easy race for anyone facing the juggernaut that is Congresswoman Mary Fallin.  According to a Sooner Poll, released April 20th, Fallin still has a commanding lead on Brogdon by 49.1 points.  (Read the report here.)

Brogdon's followers ("Brogdonites" as I like to call them) are very loyal - almost to a fault.  For some, it matters not what type of hyperbole they may be engaged in, they are ferocious in their attacks and unrelenting in their positions.  Some of the feedback from the Brogdonites I have heard have been rather humorous.  Here are just a couple, along with my commentary...

"Mary is not smart."  Mary is so "not smart" that she has yet to lose a campaign.  Mary has gathered around herself some of the best and the brightest in the campaign universe and her staff is pretty darned bright in the Congressional office as well.

"Mary is afraid to debate."  Mary may be many things, but "afraid" is certainly not one of them.  You don't get to Congress by being afraid.  Neither do you hold statewide office for as long as she did by being such.  Neither does one sit in as President of the Senate to force a vote while in the minority and call one's self "afraid."  Brogdon will get his debate and be stunned at just how much she knows and how well her people have done opposition research.

No one with more than 50 functioning brain cells can say that Senator Brogdon isn't working hard.  He has an astounding grass roots campaign and has become the talk radio darling in Oklahoma - as well as the candidate of choice for the Tea Party movement members.  But will that be enough?  Talk radio represents less than 3% of the radio listening audience as a whole in Central Oklahoma and won't be enough to generate the excitement to move numbers needed to defeat Fallin.

Pointing to the Rand Paul win in Kentucky, Brogdonites believe the change could be facilitated here as well.  Not as easy a sell in Oklahoma because Mary Fallin still has very high approval ratings with the rank-and-file Republican and the more attacks there are on Mary, the more solid her base becomes.  Mary has been exceptionally loyal to the GOP and throughout her career, has put forth an effort to support many down-ticket races and it has obviously paid off.

But Brogdon can pull off an upset.  In this political climate, anything is possible.  Were his supporters and advocates to begin sharing a message that is positive, that shows his plans and desires to grow the state and to lay off the attacks, he could win some of those Mary supporters.  It's hard during a campaign NOT to tell people why NOT to vote for your opponent, particularly if you think you have the moral high ground, but as a brilliant man once told me, "You have to tell people why to buy your product before you tell them why not to buy that of your competition."

Poll numbers will fluctuate and once the debates have begun, there will be movement and the numbers for the gubernatorial candidates will begin to take shape and become more realistic. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Help is still needed...

There is an enormous amount of work being done to help the victims of Oklahoma's tornadoes and your help is still needed.

A friend of mine, Carrie Corbin, has put together some information for you to review.  I highly encourage you to volunteer - I know I will be, as will my family.  To those that much is given, much will be required, as it were:

    1.    We've been designated an official partner of American Red Cross!
    2.    We need families! If you know of anyone affected by the tornadoes, please go ahead and give them the information - but it's also okay to give them mine or Lori's number as well. We just don't want the numbers published anywhere except with media.
    3.    We desperately need volunteers! We still have truckloads of donations coming in and we need help organizing. Right now, its fairly organized, but my volunteers are still struggling trying to figure out where to put stuff, which means families will have a hard time finding exactly what they need.
    4.    We are still accepting donations!
    5.    Warehouse is scheduled to stay open through next Sunday. Hours are now 10 - 7 through Sat & 12-5 next Sunday. Will stay open longer if there is need and we have enough volunteers.
    6.    Volunteers can work 2-3 hour shifts (or longer if you just wanna) anytime from 10-7. If there are definite times you might can help, please let me know or email okdonations@yahoo.com.
    7.    We are looking for corporate sponsors to assist with volunteer efforts. Currently talking to AT&T, Wal-Mart, & Chesapeake but nothing definite with any of them. If your company would like to allow employees to volunteer, please let me know.
    8.    Updated Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=117814588256998&index=1
Media Coverage:
    •    Mike Jones: http://bit.ly/9XT948
    •    Channel 9: http://www.news9.com/Global/category.asp?C=116601&nav=menu681_4
    •    Channel 5: http://www.koco.com/video/23568933/index.html
    •    NEWSOK: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-tornadoes-donation-warehouse-schedules-hours-to-assist-victims/article/3461049
    •    Edmond Sun: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-tornadoes-donation-warehouse-schedules-hours-to-assist-victims/article/3461049 
(note: Insurance verification is NOT needed for victims to receive assistance)

Profound Republican Ad

This is a very well-produced ad.  Take a look...

So far, it would appear as though the American people are responding.  Tired of the business as usual candidates for public office, tired of broken promises and tired of seeing our tax dollars used on programs and institutions that are neither Constitutional nor realistic.

SPECTER of things to come?

Rand Paul wins...a Tea Party candidate.  Arlen Specter gets the boot.  Is this a picture of things to come?  Has the Tea Party movment struck a chord with voters nationally?  Will it impact the Oklahoma races?

We shall see...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Setting the record straight (again)

It has come to my attention that a significant number of people have contacted the management of Clear Channel Communications in Oklahoma City in an effort to encourage them to bring me on board as their afternoon drive host.  It has also been implied that somehow I have been involved in encouraging this to take place.

It is deplorable that I find myself forced to set the record straight once again...

I have not encouraged anyone at any time to contact Clear Channel Communications nor will I.  I appreciate the number of "fans" I have out here in Central Oklahoma who would love to hear me back on the air regularly, but I don't believe that now is the time, nor is KTOK the station at this time.  We are all grieving the loss of the legendary Mark Shannon and that should be our focus right now.

While I am sure that I will be back on the air at some point, chances are that it will not be on KTOK.  I have the utmost respect and admiration for the Clear Channel cluster in Oklahoma City - including the incredible format change of 94.7FM The Brew and have stated as such many times previously.

I have no idea who will be the new afternoon drive host on KTOK eventually, but whomever it is will have to follow in the wake of two legendary radio talents that are heretofore unmatched - Mike McCarville and Mark Shannon.  As Lee Matthews has so eloquently put it last week, the time will come when it is right for a replacement and he will make that final decision. 

I do appreciate the massive number of emails I have received and I thank you for your continued support and friendly banter back and forth but I can assure you that Lee Matthews will handle the microphone just fine until the time has come for him to find an adequate replacement for Mark Shannon.  And it most assuredly will not be yours truly.

I encourage you to continue to listen to News Radio 1000, KTOK, but I also encourage my "fans" to no longer contact Clear Channel Communications management regarding my getting on the air.  I frankly do not want that job.  But thanks anyway.

He's Baaaaaack!

Arguably one of the best talents in all of talk radio, a legend and in some circles a myth, he is coming back to the airwaves on a regular basis.  Not only has he been the recipient of of the Oklahoma Rifle Association Media Award, he received so many times they named it after him.  Afternoon drive time talk shows in Oklahoma all have his thumbprint on them and now, you can hear him once again...

It's Mike McCarville on NRA News' radio programming Monday through Friday.  From his website:

Mike and I went head-to-head prior to his retirement and I can tell you that he is without question, one of the best in the business and clearly one of the best Clear Channel Communications will ever have had on their frequencies.  KTOK will never be able to match Mike's ability to recruit and retain talent and then, teach them to be the best.
Mike McCarville has become part of the new Sirius/XM Patriot Radio schedule unveiled by the satellite radio consortium on Monday.

McCarville is a featured commentator and political pundit on the National Rifle Association's "Cam & Company" show that airs video and audio at NRANews.com and audio to the new combined worldwide satellite radio audience on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 144 from 8 to 11 p.m. CDT weeknights. Host of the show is former KTOK morning drive host Cam Edwards. McCarville is a former KTOK talk show host and program director.

Mike will have a potential 7 MILLION listeners.

Congrats to Mike!   Hit his blog HERE and tell him congrats!

Monday, May 17, 2010

(Mon)Day in the Life...

It started with the storms and the insanity ensued from that point.  In the midst of the storm, I jumped out of my truck and ran to the opened garage, and then, SLAM.  My head hit the only partially opened garage door.  No blood, no dizziness...just an ouch. 

Then, Monday hit.

Automotive difficulties, followed by three trips to Autozone (great people, by the way - special thanks to Dave for his knowledge).  So, what have we missed thus far today?  Let's take a look...

**Miss America Flap. Depending upon whom you talk to, the issues revolving around why Miss Oklahoma didn't win really comes down to the fact (yes, I'm saying this out loud) that no one really gives a rip about Miss America. It's not aired on the Big 4 (Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS), it has a second-rate host and it has become little more than an exercise in political correctness. So, again - who really cares? It's not like Miss America is going to solve our problems with terrorism, illegal immigration, jobs, the economy, the housing bust or even have a clue about the Supreme Court. In other words, it's about as useful to our nation as American Idol. Yeah, I said it.

But Miss Oklahoma, first runner-up, is absolutely gorgeous to be sure.

**Stephens County Straw Poll!  Kudos to the Muskogee Politico for posting the straw poll results from the Fish Fry.  Some surprises here, friends, but let's not forget this IS just a straw poll.
Fallin - 48.3%
Brogdon - 47.2%
Robert Hubbard - 1.1%
Undecided - 3.4%

Brogdon appears to have picked up some friends down there in Duncan-town.  And what is really surprising is the fact that less than four percent are undecided!

For the rest of the straw poll results, check out the Musings of a Muskogee Politico here.

**KTOK's Ernest Istook.  Former Congressman Ernest Istook filling in for Lee Matthews today was pretty wild.  I used to have the former 5th District Congressman on my show every week and now working for the Heritage Foundation in our nation's capitol, Ernest has been a conservative stalwart, talking policy and pushing the envelope and attacking President Obama with impunity.  Congressman Istook has a great set of pipes, I tell you.

More to come...