151 Band

Friday, October 08, 2010

"I'm You." Again.

The new Christine O'Donnell ad. She didn't go to Yale, by the way.  Nor did she inherit millions.

I don't care what you say about Christine...she's a little hottie. And though she's not doing well in the polls right now, this ad makes her seem approachable and not the loon many have made her out to be. Of course, she is a little nutty, but we like our hotties to be just a little crazy, don't we?

Perfect Example of Government Disaster

Michael McNutt knocked it out of the park with his story in the Oklahoman about a House panel investigating legal costs for two of my favorite government money-suckers:  The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.  Gorilla Rants has brought to your attention previously the deplorable condition of much of the Department of Human Services and if you've been alive and breathing in Oklahoma, you know for a fact that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation needs an audit as badly as Obama needs a teleprompter.

Concerning DHS, McNutt writes:
Charlie Waters, general counsel for the Department of Human Services, said his agency has paid about $2 million the past two years to a Tulsa law firm to defend a major class-action case filed in federal courts by attorneys from Children's Rights, a national child advocacy group, and four other law firms. The lawsuit seeks to place the state's foster care and child welfare system under a federal court order because of alleged violations, he said.
Waters said the firm, Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison and Lewis, was paid $958,455 during the 2010 fiscal year.

This is a very telling story...look at the names mentioned of the above mentioned law firm.  Sound familiar?  DHS is a disaster.  While some branch offices seem to run rather well - in spite of the lack of efficacious leadership from Howard Hendrick (a Frank Keating appointee, mind you), the news is replete with stories of children who have been placed in danger and some have lost their lives as a result.  Oklahomans should, in my opinion, be supportive of any legislative move to audit DHS and eventually, get rid of current leadership with impunity.

And then the story moves on to ODOT, where we find Gary Ridley (probably the state's highest paid bureaucrat) basically whining about the House panel where he feels "ambushed."
Gary Ridley, who serves as director of both the Transportation Department and the Turnpike Authority, was in the meeting but not given a chance to respond. He said after he left the meeting he felt he was ambushed.
"We certainly were not advised ahead of time that they were going to bring up specific cases," he said.
It's hard being Ridley...accountability is not something I would argue he is used to.  With Oklahoma being at the bottom of the infrastructure totem pole, Ridley and the administrative staff have a long way to go before they can whine about being "ambushed."  You would be hard-pressed to find anything of value where ODOT is concerned, with the exception of perhaps the men and women on the front lines, working their asses off during the hot summers while Ridley and his entourage make excuses.  And I find it absolutely fascinating to find out the Ridley also works for the Turnpike Authority.  The way I look at it, Ridley must have some dirt on someone in high places to be able to keep both jobs...Oklahoma is well known for its horrible infrastructure.

Kudos to Representative Mark McCullough for putting the screws to these bureaucrats who seem to think that taxpayer dollars are an entitlement to them, and a hat-tip to one of the only reasons anyone actually buys the Oklahoman any more - Michael McNutt.

Read the entire story here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Term Limits? Yes, Please.

Term limits.  In Washington, it just isn't going to happen because the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional for federal candidates.  But that isn't the case for state candidates and I think there are two things that could potentially clean up some of the mess we find ourselves in right now.  They are not the "silver bullet," but it's a start.  Term limits and meaningful campaign finance reform right here in Oklahoma.

1.  Term limits.  Sure, we have term limits in Oklahoma.  Two terms for the Governor, 12 years for the House and the Senate.  We need term limits for every statewide office and those term limits should include time already served.  If a candidate has served for 12 years in the House or Senate (or any combination therein), it should apply to whatever office they seek.  For example, a candidate who served 6 years in the House and runs for Governor, that candidate will only get to serve for 6 years if elected.  Pretty damned simple if you ask me.  And yes, elected officials who have already served for 80 years should be included as well.  Don't give me the crap about "we have term limits opportunities every election cycle" either because the system itself favors the incumbents.  They weild the power, and their consultants have their hands on the lobbyist and insider money.  It is a ridiculous argument, left for the purists at the 50,000 foot level who can't see what's going on down here on planet earth.

2.  Campaign finance.  I believe there should be no limit to campaign contributions whatsoever, however, any campaign contribution should be listed within 24 hours and made public.  If the Chickasaw Tribe wants to give $500,000 to Congressman Cole, they should be allowed to - but we need to know about it.  If trial lawyers want to give Brad Henry $500,000, they should be allowed to - but we need to know about it.  

We're in a mess, people, but we just don't see it.  The average voter is so pissed off at Obama and his insane policies that they are willing to get behind just about any Republican candidate regardless of whether or not that candidate's brain generates enough electricity to keep his/her heart going.  Realistically, it's all cyclical.  I predicted on WKY after the last Bush election that Democrats would take over if Republicans didn't fulfill their campaign pledges, and it happened.  The Democrats have not fulfilled their campaign pledges and now, the cycle of political life continues.  After Republicans sweep this election cycle, their promises will not be kept and after we elect a Republican to the White House in 2012, 2014 will be a Republican massacre.

Until we get some real candidates with real experience from within the private sector to run for office, until we stop believing the hype from either party and start looking at facts ourselves, we're participants in this train wreck we call politics.  But we kind of like it this way right now, don't we?

Biggest Endorsement Yet

United States Senator Jim Inhofe has endorsed Congresswoman Mary Fallin for Governor and without question, this is the biggest endorsement and probably the most significant for Fallin to date. 

People say that Democrats don't like Senator Inhofe - they are wrong.  This is a monster of an endorsement.  Period.  Jari is done with this one.

Perhaps it's time to start addressing Fallin as Governor Fallin...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Mary Ain't Jari and Jari Ain't Mary (Glad We Have That Settled)

It was really only a matter of time, folks, before the GOP lashed out against all of the independent websites against Mary Fallin and it appears as though the best and the brightest in the Oklahoma GOP has done their level best to draw distinctions between Fallin and Askins.

Fortunately, most of us with more than 50 functioning brain cells left know the differences between Mary Fallin and Jari Askins, but there are a few points brought out in this one-page website that I found very interesting.

First, on "Energy," the distinction is made this way:

Jari:  When given the chance, Askins didn’t stand up to Washington and issue a strong statement against Cap & Trade, legislation that would devastate the energy industry in Oklahoma.

Mary:  Unquestionably the most qualified candidate when addressing Oklahoma energy issues. Her 20 years of legislative experience both here and in Washington have prepared her to both fight back against Washington cap and trade policies and protect energy jobs in Oklahoma.

Maybe I missed something, but Jari Askins didn't generate her wealth through government paychecks, but as I recall (and I could be wrong), but I thought Jari Askins was/is a mineral owner and has made money through the oil and gas industry.  So, because Jari didn't hold a press conference bemoaning cap-and-trade, she is somehow not qualified on the issue?  One could argue that since Mary Fallin did virtually nothing about illegal immigration (as she promised during her 2006 and 2008 campaigns) that she is also unqualified as governor.  Which leads to...

Second, "Immigration."

Jari:  Refuses to support Arizona’s illegal immigration law. Supports the DREAM Act, an amnesty law backed by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Mary:  Supports the Arizona illegal immigration law and tough, common sense reforms to cut down on illegal immigration. Cosponsored a bill in Congress to beef up border security.

Now it gets fun.  Jari's support of the DREAM act is most assuredly problematic, but in many ways, it resembles the amnesty Ronald Reagan granted illegal immigrants.  And whether Jari supports the Arizona law or not is not a big deal to me...why?  Because each state is now putting together a patchwork of laws because the federal government has failed to do its job.  Istook was slammed by Henry for the same thing that Mary should be criticized for during her four years in Congress.

Yes, Mary "cosponsored" legislation, but I remember that Mary promised (yes, promised) that she would author (not cosponsor) legislation that would deal with the biggest issue, motivator for illegal immigration:  The 14th Amendment.  To "beef up border security" is political-speak for "let the next Congress deal with it." 

Look, let's be honest here.  Jari Askins scares the crap out of the GOP because she has the money to run a serious race and she will do just that.  I have already predicted that Mary will win the race and ironically, it will be because of the "anti-Washington" sentiment right now.

Congrats to the new GOP Chairman, Matt Pinnell, for leading the charge and putting forth some serious effort for a statewide candidate who will probably win.  Now, he needs to concentrate on other statewide candidates wherein the offices hold serious power and where we need accountability - like the State Auditor and Inspector, or Labor Commissioner.  We're waiting, Matt...

Wednesday (Not So) Happiness

The mainstream media has been labeled as deplorably negative, wickedly biased and often blamed for influencing the negative attitudes Americans have towards pretty much everything in life.  But negativity knows no political boundaries and today, let's share some of the unbelievable headlines from the Drudge Report - a decidedly conservative news catch-all:

"Private Sector Hiring in Sept. Falls 39,000"
"POLL:  Working-class whites shun Dems"
"Middle Class Slams Brakes on Spending"
"GOLDMAN SACHS:  Economy 'fairly bad' or 'very bad' over next 6 months"
"New Yorkers' Income Falls for 1st Time in 70 Years"
"More:  25 NATO fuel tankers attacked in Pakistan"
"Murder Captured By GOOGLE Street View Car"
"Tourist dies after he was pulled from water ride at SEA WORLD"
"Limbaugh Calls President Obama 'Jackass'"
"Saudi Prince strangled servant at London hotel"
"UFO closes Chinese airport"

I don't know about you, but that's some doggone depressing news. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Christine Responds

Here is the latest Christine O'Donnell ad....
"I'm You."

Lankford Disappointed - But In Whom?

I wasn't really sure how to take a recent story in the Oklahoman concerning the 5th District Congressional candidates and their dialog at Oklahoma City Community College.  On one hand, camp counselor-turned Congressional candidate James Lankford expressed his disappointment about Congress adjourning without a budget deal.  On the other hand, faulted Congress for not doing anything about the Bush tax cuts.  Here's a snippet:
The Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District seat Monday criticized the Democrat-controlled Congress for adjourning last week without approving a budget. He also faulted Congress for not dealing with tax cuts that are scheduled to expire by the end of this year.
"If something doesn't occur when this lame-duck Congress comes in November or December, all of our tax rates go up,” said James Lankford, of Edmond. "It's one of the most basic things to be able to deal with. Those are issues we're going to have to deal with in the coming Congress.”
Though he blames a "lame-duck Congress," it was Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District Representative who missed the vote that very possibly could have changed the outcome.  The story continues...
Lankford said Congress has known about the tax-cut deadline since 2001, when Republicans inserted a provision in the bill that said the cuts would expire at midnight Dec. 31 unless extended.
I don't understand who he is disappointed in more - "lame-duck Democrats," or the Republicans in Congress who have apparently been too busy campaigning to do that which we elected them to do.  And how will James be any different?  These are the questions Republicans like me want answers to, but have resigned ourselves to realize that the answers will not come in this election cycle.

Kudos to the Oklahoman for covering a story in a race where the outcome is pretty much a fait au compli. 

Monday, October 04, 2010

Cooler Temperatures, Hotter Campaigns

During the summer months, it is the true believers who get out and knock doors.  I've seen volunteers over the summer for former Congressional candidate Mike Thompson, former Independent Congressional candidate Dave White, former Treasurer candidate Owen Laughlin and even some for Mary Fallin out knocking doors and bearing the brunt of the humid summer heat for their candidates.  But with the cooler temperatures, one can expect a deluge at the door.

On the Republican side, I've seen supporters of Gary Jones for Auditor out and about already this past weekend, I've heard reports from Tishomingo that the Breechen campaign against Jay Paul Gumm has hit high gear, I've heard reports from Tulsa that the Doak campaign is full-tilt and of course, the cooler temps this weekend also brought out some of the Billy Coyle supporters as well.

November 2nd will have record numbers at the polls and October will see record numbers of door-knockers in key precincts throughout the state.