Monday, July 28, 2008

What's Most Important About Tuesday's Election?

Invited to appear before OCPAC this Wednesday are the 3 remaining Republican candidates for the state senate who will face off against Democrats in November. They are former OSU President James Halligan who is running for the term limited seat of Mike Morgan. Running for the seat currently held buy Richard Lerblance (D-Hartshorne) is Kenny Sherrill of McAlister. Of all the Republicans running against Democrat incumbents, this could be the sleeper race. Mr. Sherrill is well known in the area and Lerblance is very liberal and easily offends people. The final invitee will be the winner of the Senate District 37 primary race in the Tulsa-Sand Springs area which will probably be Dan Newberry. This is the seat currently held by Nancy Riley, formerly a Republican who got her feeling hurt 2 years ago because Republicans didn’t nominate her for their Lt. Governor candidate. She got back at Republicans by switching parties. This seat is priority number 1 for the Republican Senators in the State of Oklahoma.


Log on to the OCPAC Blog and find the link to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. They have a story on their e-mail blast which is written by Dr. Walter E. Williams, the famed black economist from George Mason University and frequent guest host for the Rush Limbaugh show. Dr. Williams has written an article called, OKLAHOMA REBELLION, featuring State Representative Charles Key (R-Bethany-West OKC). This is a must read article about HJR 1089 authored by Key and passed by the House this past session. Unfortunately it languished in the Senate. Of course, if you are a subscriber to the Tulsa Beacon, Oklahoma’s conservative weekly newspaper, you could read it there as it is featured in the current edition.

The other item on the blog is the question of the week. What name would you pick for the new NBA team coming to OKC? I have listed two that were ideas of mine and two of those under serious consideration by the team. Of the latter two, I don’t care for Thunder, but I think Barons might just be reflective of the team’s owners. In Great Britain the meaning of the word was a title or degree of nobility; or a lord according to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Of course if you have a different idea, just go to the comment page and express yourself.

Often times the most important election is actually the primary elections. One reason is that some legislative seats are considered to be "SAFE" for the Republican party because of the registration numbers and past voting habits of the residents in a district. In those districts it would be very unlikely for a Democrat to have much chance of winning. In addition, many times the safe seats don’t even have a Democrat file for office. Therefore the selection of a particular Republican in the primary race is very important as to what kind of a lawmaker will serve in the legislature.

In addition, if the Republican primary voters select a liberal Republican like Dr. Doug Cox (R-Grove) or Shane Jett (R-Tecumseh) then the November election comes down to the lesser of two liberals. With the 2 mentioned above, a conservative Democrat may well govern better than either of these Republicans. In that case, what good is it to elect a Republican if you have a strong numerical majority in the legislature?

So how does a voter determine who is the more conservative candidate in a primary race? I would suggest it is not the positive "pink, puff and piffle" found in most campaign literature and political commercials? It is not the warm, fuzzy pictures of the kids, the over used "faith and family values" slogans, or the biggest campaign abuse of all is the use of the word "conservative." Often times that word is used by candidates who don’t even know the meaning of the word.
In reality the most important information to evaluate a candidate is what is commonly called "negative campaigning" or "mud slinging." In reality, the purpose of a political campaign is to understand the distinctions between the candidates. Unless it is pre-emptive, candidates will not tell anyone the information about themselves they don’t want the voters to know. That is the job of their opponents. Of course that goes both ways.

Here is where is gets touchy. What is the difference between important information that really defines the difference between candidates verses the lies, old information which no longer represents the position of a candidate, or irrelevant information which is meaningless to the person or how they will govern? That information is not always easy to distinguish and is why only well informed voters can do a good job of sifting through all the verbage to make a quality decision.

For instance, in house district 96, Lance Cargill’s old seat, opponents of Mike Idleman are making the case that Mike is or was a member of the NEA-OEA in an attempt to paint him in a negative light as most conservatives have little regard for either of these two organizations. It is true that Idleman was a member of both while teaching at an Edmond high school almost 10 years ago. However, Idleman got so fed up with those uniions that he resigned both of them while still teaching and suffered a great deal of pressure because of his decision. Today he can’t stand either of these two organizations, so is his past membership relevant? No, and in fact it might be good, kind of like an ex-smoker is often the person with the most zeal against smoking.
Another example is the race between Andrew Winningham and Jason Nelson in their effort to replace Trebor Worthen in the house district 87 race. Winningham has been exposing Nelson as a lobbyist who may not be able to win in what is expected to be a close race against the Democrat in Novermber. He has exposed Nelson as being a big advocate of corporate welfare, (he was a lobbyist for the owners of the Sonics) which is nothing more than socialistic re-distribution of wealth.

Winningham has also exposed many of the financial backers behind Nelson, such as Clay Bennent, Howard Barnett and even Pat Hall, former head of the Democrat party. Is that relevant information? Absolutely, as it may have a bearing on weather or not Nelson will be a puppet for these powerful people who often want tax dollars for their pet projects. Nelson has also been a lobbyist for and received contributions from at least one of the Indian tribes. Is that important? Absolutely, as it appears the tribes are on a quest to gain every more wealth as well as political control over the state of Oklahoma. Because of the sovereignty issue, tribally owned businesses have major advantages over businesses owned by the general population and you can bet those tribes don’t want any changes in the law that might weaken their growing power.
Of course Nelson, with plenty of money, has fired back exposing Winningham as a recent convert to the Republican party. Is that important? It could be if Winningham was little more than a political opportunist. However, after listening to him speak, it appears to me he has had a real conversion from liberal leanings to become a hard core conservative. In addition, he actually understands the definition of a conservative. Kind of like David Horowitz (former Communist, now public enemy number 1 of liberals on college campuses) or our good friend Russ Reinhardt who describes himself as a recovering liberal. Russ was a fan of Horowitz when they were both liberals and now a fan as they have both become conservatives.

In trying to wound Winningham, Nelson has fired back declaring, Winningham supported a presidential candidate who opposed an amendment to the Constitution to declare marriage as between one man and one woman. Is that relevant? It could be, though in this case it is not as Winningham is not for homosexual marriages but simply supported a candidate who believed in American Federalism, or in other words, it should be a state’s rights issue rather than a federal government issue. That was and is the position of both Ron Paul and John McCain, neither of them favoring homosexual marriages but both believe the issue should be handled at the state level. That way each state opposed to homosexual marriage would not be forced by the federal government or liberal judges to recognize the marriage of homosexuals in a state which did allow such. While I personally favor the constitutional amendment banning such marriages as an easy fix, I also understand the principle of federalism and know that the position is also correct.
Another example would be the pathetic radio commercials made by former lawmaker Leonard Sullivan, (former RINO nominee) who is standing by and supporting the liberal and incompetent Oklahoma County Clerk, Carolynn Caudill in her re-election bid. Sullivan, leader of the court house gang (Oklahoma County mafia) sounds like a little child, bringing up the old information about Stan Inman paying too much for a chair and that he and Brent Rinehart "CONSPIRED" to do all kinds of bad things to the county. Has Sullivan become a "black helicopter conspiracy theorist" or does he have some information he has been holding back, as any conspiring between Inman and Rinehart would have been a violation of the open meetings laws?

A big ata-boy to Mark Shannon, afternoon talk show host from 4 to 7 p.m. on KTOK 1000 AM. In the Shannons monologues, when it comes to what is going on with what he calls the court house gang of five, Mark really gets it. Shannon understands the power struggle that ensued when Rinehart and Inman tried to wrestle control of county government from the courthouse gang. They had the voting power on the budget board to cover for themselves from any performance audits that might uncover waste, fraud or corruption, especially centered around the sheriff’s office. A former popular talk show host never understand it regarding the struggle at the court house. He repeatedly called for them to all just get along and joked about calling for the Super-Nanny to come and teach everybody how to behave.

I could go on and on about these skirmishes in the political battles but suffice it to say, it takes a lot of work and effort to search for the TRUTH in these matters. Sometimes you are only dealing with half truths or irrelevant information. To be certain, it is not always easy to find out what is truth and what is not. Therefore the voters have a real challenge before them. As always, elections are first and most about the character and quality of the voters. Good voters elect good candidates, uninformed or misinformed voters are likely to fall for the meaningless pink, puff and piffle.

I look forward to seeing everyone this Wednesday

Charlie Meadows

1 comment:

Kyle Olbert said...

For the new OKC NBA team's name, I suggest the following:
The Aviators - celebrating Oklahoma's history as an aviation pioneering state
The AWACS - for Tinker (great sponsorship opportunities)
The Executioners - a fear-inspiring name for the team representing the state that invented lethal injection
The Wranglers - just because the Bulls/Wranglers game would be aweomse
The Stormriders - just sounds cool