Monday, June 25, 2012

Charlie’s Picks, primary elections of 2012

Many years ago, friends of mine knowing about my involvement in
politics, would ask me questions about up-coming elections. There got
to be too many to talk with by phone or in person, so I created
Charlie’s Picks. At first I would print and hand them out, but I now
use the internet. I do my best to research as much and as deeply as
possible and my picks represent those candidates I believe should win,
not necessarily the candidates with the best chance to win. Those
reading this may have information of which I am not aware and thus
they may differ with my picks and that is fine. You have permission to
forward these as they are simply my opinions. If you do not receive my
weekly e-mail, I invite you to send me an e-mail to and I will add you to our list. I try not to
send out more than 1 e-mail each week and will never loan, sell or
give your e-mail address to anyone else.

Before I get started, let me say we have the largest number of
competitive races against moderate to liberal Republican incumbents in
the history of the state. I don’t normally give much attention toward
Democrat candidates, simply because their platform, values and
performance is so contrary to good government.

CORPORATION COMMISSION  -  YOUR CHOICE  -  I don’t have any particular
angst toward Bob Anthony, but I do believe the number of days he
admits to missing at the office is troubling. I know he is elected to
do a job and much of that work can be done from home but I believe it
is important to be at the office at least enough to observe the
workings of the staff. I will personally vote for Brooks Mitchell
because I voted to establish term limits on statewide offices during
the 2010 elections. Technically, Bob’s 2 terms will not start until
after the 2012 elections. However, he has already served for 24 years
and I don’t see how I would be anything less than a hypocrite if I
believe in two terms for state wide offices and then vote to re-elect
Bob for a 5th term.

currently voting in Washington as the most conservative lawmaker from
Oklahoma. However, his misrepresenting Bridenstine in political ads is
over the top for me. I believe Jim Bridistine will at least be as good
and probably a better Congressman than John Sullivan.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE DIST. # 2  -  YOUR CHOICE  -  I believe there will
be a run-off in this race
and as such we will try to interview the 2 candidates in the run-off.
If you put a gun to my head and made me make a choice I would probably
vote for Dustin Rowe but I don’t want that to be considered an
endorsement. I would not vote for Wayne Pettigrew or George Faught. I
personally like Faught but his lifetime score on the Oklahoma
Constitution Newspaper’s Conservative Index of a 73 is too moderate
for what we need in Washington. It really settled it for me when he
switched his vote from Nay to Yea for the budget on Thursday afternoon
the day before the session ended this year. Once the budget passed,
conservatives in the legislature lost all their leverage toward
getting a family friendly tax cut or paying for some of the needed
items like a new Medical Examiners office or repairing the State
Capitol with money on hand rather than incurring more debt or doing
nothing. Faught’s inability to hold out for better government on the
state level tells me he isn’t ready for Washington where the need for
toughness is many times greater than at the state level.

LUCAS  -  I wouldn’t say this without finding out what Mr. Stump stood
for if I thought he had any chance of winning. This will simply be a
protest vote on my part. This past Friday, while listening to the
guest host on the Neil Boortz show he called out Frank Lucas as a
perfect example of the type of Republican who under votes his
conservative district. The host pointed out a new rating system from
the Madison Project which compares the average vote difference for a
Republican over a Democrat and then how often the Republican votes
with the Democrats in Washington. I believe Lucas’ average margin of
victory over a Democrat was 24 points but then he votes with the
Democrats 40% of the time. That would also jive with his usual score
of about a 60 on the New American Magazine’s Freedom Index. Log on to to see the
Madison Project’s expose on the 50 phony conservatives who call
themselves Republicans.

COLE. Please check out the above web site to see that Tom Cole is the
other Republican lawmaker from Oklahoma called out by the Madison
Project for being a phony conservative calling himself a Republican.
Cole is at the epicenter of the power elite establishment in the
Oklahoma Republican party. Nothing would help conservatism in the
state of Oklahoma more than to see him soundly defeated in a
Republican primary. If that were to occur, it would mean that Oklahoma
conservatives had matured and come of age. Unfortunately, he hasn’t
obtained much of an opponent in the Republican primary.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE DIST. #5  -  James Lankford won’t be on the ballot
until November as he didn’t draw a primary opponent. Though not
perfect (no one ever will be) Congressman Lankford is our best
Congressman from Oklahoma in my opinion and strongly deserves re-

Our members may have made a mistake on a couple of races out of all
the Senate and House candidates we interviewed, but the candidates
were close enough that I will not mention those races or make a
different pick


SENATE DIST. # 3  -  CYNDI McARTOR  -  Cyndi was a leader in the Tea
Party in the Grove area, though the organization may have been called
something other than a tea party. Over the past 3 years we have
exchanged several e-mail conversations and or phone calls. This will
be a difficult district to win in November and if we have any chance
to get a conservative in office, it will be Cyndi.

SENATE DIST. # 15  -  ROB STANDRIDGE  -  I am a little soft on this
endorsement which is primarily the Norman area as I don’t know much
about Mr. Haralson. We have had Dr. Beller speak at OCPAC in the past
and I really like Mr. Neidhart. However, when it comes to viability
and electing the most conservative person possible, many conservative
activists I know are in Mr. Standridge’s camp.

SENATE DIST. # 17  -  ED MOORE  -  Ed made some decisions 25 years ago
that probably weren’t the best, but as a Senator many years ago he
also had the most conservative score of any Republican and once was
awarded the outstanding Republican Senator by the Oklahoma
Constitution Newspaper. His survey was the best of the 4 candidates.
He was certainly the strongest conservative during our interview
process and deserves our endorsement. Though he sent in is survey,
Mike Jestes didn’t attend our interview process so he couldn’t be
considered for our endorsement. I know all 4 of the candidates and
know Mike the best, we have even had him speak at OCPAC on several
occasions. I believe this will likely require a run-off, but
regardless of who wins, this will be a pickup seat for the Republicans
and any of these men are going to be in the upper 10 top Republicans
at the Senate in my opinion. The district runs from Shawnee to Eastern
Oklahoma county.

SENATE DIST. # 25  -  RHONDA VULLEMONT-SMITH  -  Rhonda is a leader in
the 912 group out of Tulsa and is challenging the moderate Republican
Senator Mike Mazzei who has a lifetime conservative Index score of a
67. This will be a difficult race for Rhonda as big money and the
establishment is solidly behind Senator Mazzei. Rhonda has been very
active with a number of grassroots activists groups and will be a very
conservative Senator if elected.

SENATE DIST. # 33  -  NATHAN DAHM  -  This is a newly created seat in
the Broken Arrow area that was formerly held by the very liberal Tom
Adelson. It will be another pickup seat as the Democrats failed to
field a candidate. Mr. Dahm is supremely prepared to be one of the
best senators in the state of Oklahoma. He was just excellent at our
interview process and he certainly deserved our endorsement. My
greatest concern for Nathan is that he started a little late and may
not have the resources to keep up with the establishment candidate Tim
Wright or the deep pockets of Don P. Little.

SENATE DIST. # 37  -  MARK CROUCHER  -  Mr. Croucher is a serious
challenger to the establishment’s bought and paid for Senator Dan
Newberry in a district that covers parts of Jenks and Tulsa. Newberry
has a lifetime conservative score of 70 so he isn’t the worst
Republican lawmaker. However, the same Chamber Crowd and super pack
that are opposing Paul Blair are supporting Newberry. On Thursday
evening, June 21st Mr. Oklahoma Democrat George Kaiser hosted a fund
raiser for Senator Newberry along with the Tulsa Chamber pac and
others of the usual suspects. Why would Oklahoma’s wealthiest person
and close friend of President Obama’s support the Republican Senator
Newberry? The answer is rather simple in my opinion, can you say

SENATE DIST. # 39  -  KEVIN McDUGLE  -  Senator Crain won our RINO
(Republican In Name Only) award last year with a session score of a 40
and a lifetime score of a 60 on the Conservative Index. He is a big
government liberal with the word Republican by his name. Mr. McDugle
is a true conservative who is facing an onslaught of negative ads
similar to that of Paul Blair. This seat is one of the best hopes of
tossing out a liberal Republican, but only time will tell if the big
names at the State Capitol and the big money of the establishment can
save one of their bought and paid for lackeys.

SENATE DIST. # 41  -  PAUL BLAIR  -  I have written extensively on
this race as it is the most important and hotly contest Republican
primary race in the state. The race is between a powerful incumbent
verses someone with true leadership skills, someone who is willing to
take on the establishment. It is surreal that nearly $800,000 dollars
will be spent in a Republican primary on behalf of Clark Jolley to
close to $100,000 for Paul Blair. Jolley is probably the second most
powerful Senator in the state and the corporate welfare crowd can’t
afford to lose someone who has proven himself to be sold out to their
interests. Governor Fallin is also greatly influenced by the corporate
welfare crowd and as such really involved herself in this race.

SENATE DIST. # 43  -  YOUR CHOICE  -  I just haven’t had the time to
do much investigation on these candidates. If you put a gun to my head
and made me chose I would probably vote for Corey Brooks on the
limited information I have about this race. The one candidate that
really concerns me is Clark Southard as he fits in well with the
economic development (corporate welfare) crowd. This race, which
covers areas from Purcell to Duncan may well go to a run-off.

I will comment only on the House races of which I know 2 or more of
the candidates.


HOUSE DIST. # 20  -  YOUR CHOICE  -  The area is primarily McClain and
Cleveland counties. Bobby Cleveland, Gil Hensley and Paul Maus have
all attended or spoken at an OCPAC meeting one or more times over the
years. I know Bobby the best, but would probably vote for Paul Maus if
forced to make a choice. However, I am not so well informed on how
these fellows stand on the issues as to make that a hard and fast
decision. If I lived in the district I would know.

HOUSE DIST. # 23  -  JASON CARINI  -  Jason is a graduate of Patrick
Henry College, which was started  specifically for home schooled
students. Jason is very conservative and ready to go to make a
difference in Oklahoma in a district which encompasses Catoosa and
East Tulsa. Terry O’Donnell is the establishment candidate. A last
minute contribution by the Chesapeake Energy pac confirms this. Again,
can you say corporate welfare and control by the Oklahoma mafia!

HOUSE DIST. # 25  -  DONALD COLE GALLUP  -  This race covers the Ada
area. Mr. Gallup came before our members and was a little weak on the
abortion issue. However, he had raised only $400 dollars and our
members didn’t believe he was a viable candidate and thus didn‘t
endorse him. Representative Todd Thomsen scored a 63 on last year’s
Conservative Index and has a 61 lifetime average. He ranked 68th most
liberal out of the 70 Republicans. Also, the super pac and the
corporate crowd have flooded Todd with money and support! Seams like a
little overkill for a candidate who has little money. However, the
number of Republicans expected to vote in this primary is very low, so
Mr. Gallup has had a chance to be on the door step several times. I
would vote for Mr. Gallup in a heart beat.

HOUSE DIST. # 26  -  MICHAEL SHAW  -  This was a very close race
between Mr. Shaw and his challenger Justin Freeland Wood. Either of
these two men should be more conservative than Kris Steele of whom
they are going to replace in the Shawnee area.

HOUSE DIST. # 39  -  BOB DANI  -  This district is the North Western
area of Edmond and another race in which the corporate welfare crowd
has rushed in to keep a tried and true establishment lawmaker in
power. Our members easily endorsed Mr. Dani. Surprisingly, Governor
Fallin hasn’t come out in support of Marian Cooksey, her former
staffer. Therefore Lt. Governor Todd Lamb rode in to rescue
Representative Cooksey from a conservative challenger. Folks, if you
only had an idea of what a circular relationship the establishment
has, with someone in the establishment always watching each others
backs to keep those real conservatives from gaining power.

HOUSE DIST. # 49  -  YOUR CHOICE  -  The freshman incumbent,
Representative Tommy Hardin of Madill scored a 50 on the Conservative
Index, so we had high hopes for his challenger Mr. Dishmon. However,
our members didn’t believe he was viable as he hadn’t raised much
money. Also, he was just too loose on the abortion issue and he didn’t
seem to be very teachable.

HOUSE DIST. # 53  -  BRIAN GRAHAM  -  This is an open seat to replace
Representative Randy Terrill in primarily the Moore area. Both Mr.
Graham and Mr. McBride had good surveys and did well at our meeting.
In a runoff vote our members picked Mr. Graham who will make a very
good lawmaker if elected as I do not believe he will succumb to the
corporate crowd.

HOUSE DIST. # 60  -  DAN FISHER  -  This is a newly created seat which
runs from Western Yukon through El Reno on out to Hinton and down to
Carnegie. Dan’s opponent, Matt White, has the establishment’s favorite
consulting firm running his campaign. White is currently the Mayor of
El Reno. However, while on the city council in 1997 he was removed for
carrying a firearm into a liquor store. That is far enough back for me
to not care if he has turned his life around, but perhaps that is not
the case. In a rare show of tough love, Mr. White’s mother contacted
Dan about a week before the Republican state convention to tell Dan
that even though she loved her son very much, she was going to
campaign for Dan as she believed her son was running with the wrong
crowd and was just too far out there. She indicated that Oklahoma
didn’t need someone like her son in the state legislature. Dan is
supremely prepared to serve and if elected will be one of the most
positive forces in the State House. He is a very good communicator,
reasonable and his conservative credentials are solid. He is a gifted

HOUSE DIST. # 68  -  DARREN GANTZ  -  Representative Mulready scored a
70 on the Conservative Index last year so that was high enough for
OCPAC not to get involved in this race. However, I am always willing
to endorse a candidate I believe might be more conservative than
another. Over the years I have had many conversations, mainly through
e-mail with Mr. Gantz and believe he will be more conservative than
Representative Mulready. However, this former lobbyist and pick of the
establishment will be difficult to beat as big money and big names
have rushed in to make sure Glen is not defeated. Again, can you say
corporate welfare. The area includes Jenks and parts of adjoining

HOUSE DIST. # 70  -  KEN WALKER  -   This is an open seat in the Tulsa
area to replace the term limited Ron Peters. Ken did well at our
interview process and will do well if elected. However he does face a
well funded establishment candidate so it will be difficult to win in
this race. He has worked hard and has the backing of the conservative
Tulsa Beacon newspaper.

HOUSE DIST. # 79  -  YOUR CHOICE  -  Dr. Lois Jacobs had a good survey
but our members didn’t endorse her out of concern regarding her lack
of work and little money raised. She also had a very difficult time in
expressing herself and made me doubt that she would make a good
lawmaker. I think she is a fine person, but I will have to remain
neutral on her race, even though I really wanted to see Representative
Weldon Watson replaced as he won last year’s RINO award for the House.

HOUSE DIST. # 82  -  MIKE TURNER  -  Mike has a good shot at replacing
the proto-typical good old boy politician known as Guy Liebmann. Our
members overwhelmingly endorsed Mike and really hope he prevails
against Liebmann who scored a 63 last session and has a lifetime score
of a 61 on the Conservative Index. I believe Mike would have won this
easily, but Governor Fallin and the big super pacs rushed in to try
and save one of their bought and paid for lawmakers. Turner has a
great full page ad in the Sunday Oklahoman with his conservative
positions and endorsements from 3 constituents, one a bank President
and then Ray Ackerman, a mover and shaker in the OKC area who examined
Liebmann’s voting record and didn’t like what he saw. He has switched
from Liebmann to Mike Turner.

HOUSE DIST. # 84  -  SALLY KERN  -  One of the best lawmakers in the
state who rarely gets a fair shake in the media. Sally is actually
very well rounded. She is an unashamed Christian conservative,
probably knows more about what kind of reforms are needed to actually
improve the quality of education in the state than almost any other
lawmaker, perhaps even more that Education Superintendent Janet
Barresi. She almost always sponsors legislation to create a better
free market pro business environment. Her opponent is a city
councilman who should have never been elected to that position. His
campaign has been a confused mixture of calling for limited government
out of the right side of his mouth and calling for the state to do
much more for Bethany out of the left side of his mouth. Bethany has
the power to tax and do for itself. This past Saturday, the Occupy OKC
movement turned out to help with literature drops on the doorsteps,
partly claiming that Sally is funded by gambling and alcohol
interests. Sometimes real life is crazier than fiction. I suspect the
Occupy movement was brought into this campaign by Brittany Novatney,
Sally’s trans-sexual opponent from last year as Brittany has
represented some of the Occupy participants when they ran into trouble
in their protests. There is an old adage that you can tell a lot about
a person by who their friends happen to be. Based on his friends, I
don’t have a high regard for Mr. Moore. Hopefully, Sally Kern will
exceed 70 percent of the vote this time

HOUSE DIST. # 100  -  JEFF RENNER  -  Jeff is opposing Elise Hall, who
in the first session of her freshman term scored a 63 on the
Conservative Index. I personally like Elise, but she was a little weak
on our survey 2 years ago and was a little weak during her interview.
Jeff had a very strong survey and was very strong during our interview
process. It was disappointing to see Elise switch her vote on the next
to the last day of the session to vote for the budget after first
voting against the budget. As I said before, when that occurred,
conservatives in the House lost all their leverage to have a family
friendly tax cut and pay for needed repairs to the Capitol and build a
new Medical Examiners office. Jeff has the intestinal fortitude to
stand up to the establishment and I would have given him a good chance
at winning this race until Governor Fallin and the super pacs rushed
in to rescue yet another lawmaker they want to keep. I believe this
will now be difficult for Jeff to win as just too many citizens are
little more than political groupies, when a big name like Governor
Fallin gets involved they get stars in their eyes and it sways their

HOUSE DIST. # 101  -  A.J. BAILEY  -  He was a little weak on the
abortion issue and hadn’t raised much money when he came before the
members of OCPAC and thus we were concerned about his viability.
Therefore, he did not receive our endorsement as we have a
responsibility toward our members to be good stewards with the money
we raise. However, Gary Banz was on the RINO nomination list for last
year with a Conservative Index score of a 56. If I lived in the
district I would vote for Mr. Bailey without hesitation.


County government is a rats nest with the chief rat being county
commissioner Ray Vaughn and assistant chief rat being Leonard
Sullivan. I believe the next person they want to elevate to rat nest
status is Tim Rhodes. That way the circle of protection will be
unbroken as everyone’s backside will be covered. Both Charles Key and
Salome Vaughn have said that any of the candidates are capable of
running the office, but I believe only these 2 could be independent
and stay out of the rats nest. My pick for Charles is based on many
years of association and knowledge of his character, talents and
ideology. However, I also believe Salome would make a good county
official. If conservatives don’t rally around one of these candidates
(Charles) they could split the conservative vote and if a run-off is
required it could be between Rhodes and a fourth candidate. Please
consider that point.

point out a single short fall for current commissioner Brian Maughn.
Gordon Jeney is a very disciplined and hard working self made man. He
is a high achiever and has been successful at almost everything he has
done. In almost every way he would be a stronger person to have as a
county commissioner than Maughn. I also believe he would  resist being
sucked into the rats nest.


LOGAN COUNTY SHERIFF  -  JIM BAUHMAN  -  I personally believe Jim is
one of the best county sheriffs in the state if you believe in
balancing constitutional liberties with the duties to fight crime and
serve as the chief law enforcement agent in the county. Since being
elected 4 years ago he has increased response time and increased the
number of officers patrolling the roads of Logan County. A little over
a year ago I was the target of a death threat and extortion attempt. I
called Jim, sent him the information and within 2 hours he had worked
with contacts in the FBI and Secret Service to determine it was

under the former Democrat commissioner now turned Republican
challenger was like darkness compared to the job done since Mr.
Pearson won 4 years ago. Mike joined with dist 1 commissioner Mark
Sharpton to provide excellent governance for the county. They have
worked to reduce the county sales tax, and have greatly improved
county roads and bridges, though much more needs to be done. Mike is
hard working and has a vision to really improve our roads over the
next 4 years.

Folks, thanks again for your time and attention. If this has been
forwarded to you and you would like to receive the weekly e-mail on a
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politics, government and the culture war.

Charlie Meadows

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