Ronda’s Recommendations for 2016 Primary Elections

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Around election time I receive many requests on either how to vote or who to vote for. Following are the candidates I support. These are my views only and are not necessarily the views of Tulsa 9.12 Project leadership or members.

Feel free to carry this into the voting booth with you, share it with your friends and family – one of the best things you can do as Election Day draws near is to remind people to get out and vote. These are typically low voter turnout elections so EVERY vote counts!

Congress CD1 – Jim Bridenstine

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Bridenstine. He is a man of his word. A man of courage, conviction and boldness, with the heart a servant. He is a true representative of the people and our Constitution. We sent Bridenstine to Washington, DC, to make a difference and to be a voice for conservative principles and values; he has done all that and more! Bridenstine has earned my support and my vote! I trust Jim Bridenstine.

Oklahoma State Senate

SD25 – Joe Newhouse

SD25 is currently held by term limited state senator Mike Mazzei. In fact, I ran for this seat 4 years ago. I am encouraging my friends and neighbors in SD25 to cast their vote for Joe Newhouse. I first got to know Newhouse when he worked in Congressman Bridenstine’s office as a Field Representative, and is currently one of the youngest men to have achieved the status of Commander in the Navy Reserve, serving as a military advisor to NATO. Newhouse will bring to the state senate the same qualities of courage, boldness and discipline Representative Bridenstine brings to his congressional office. His loyalties will lie with the Constitution and the citizens of SD25, not to special interests and lobbyists.

SD33 – Nathan Dahm

Nathan Dahm is currently running for re-election in SD33, which just so happens to be my senate district. Dahm has proven to be a man of his word through his tireless fight to protect and advance our liberties. He too is a man of courage and boldness, taking on the issues that fight to protect life and liberty. Nathan stands for what I stand for, the Second Amendment, balanced budget, lower taxes, pro-life and smaller government and he fights for these for all Oklahoma citizens in the state senate. I proudly stand with Nathan Dahm and encourage others to also.

SD37 – Dan Newberry

Dan Newberry is currently running for re-election in SD37. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to work with Newberry on issues related to budget, life, Medicaid expansion, tax credits, etc.. I believe Newberry has a heart to do what’s right for Oklahoma and though we have had more than one occasion to disagree, we put aside our differences to work together when and where we can. If you live in SD37 I would encourage you to support Dan Newberry for state senate.

SD39 – Amanda Teegarden

Amanda Teegarden is running for the open seat left vacant by term limited state senator Brian Crain. There is no candidate more qualified to serve as state senator than Amanda Teegarden.  Amanda is my friend and my mentor; she taught me and hundreds of others how to read and understand the language of a bill, how to effectively call and write our legislators and how to be a citizen activist/lobbyist. Because of her hard work and dedication as a citizen activist and executive director of a non-profit organization we were able to convince Governor Fallin to return $54 million in an Early Innovator Grant tied to the Affordable Care Act and because of Teegarden’s determination and diligence we were able to keep ObamaCare Exchanges out of Oklahoma. She believes strongly in an open and transparent government, she understands the issues and is committed to conservative solutions. Teegarden is a constitutional conservative, she will fight to protect our privacy and our property.  If elected, Teegarden will read the bills before casting a vote, will determine if we can afford to enact legislation based on needs, not wants, and will work towards the best interests of her constituents, not special interests or lobbyists. Amanda Teegarden was recognized by her peers at the first Defenders of Liberty Grassroots Activism Awards, as the recipient of the Samuel Adams Statesman of the Year Award for her leadership, research, activism and willingness to teach others.

Oklahoma State House

HD67 – Scott McEachin

Scott McEachin is running for term limited representative Pam Peterson’s open seat. Scott has been a friend for a number of years and participated on Tulsa 9.12 Project board until he announced he was running for office. I have supported McEachin since he first decided to run for office because I have witnessed firsthand his dedication and support of our founding principles in the way he lives and speaks. He will advocate for policies that restore the proper balance between Washington DC and the citizens of Oklahoma. McEachin is active in his community through involvement with his church and conservative organizations. He and his wife Debbie have a heart for our community and our state and they live that dedication through their hard work and support. Scott McEachin is a constitutional conservative.

HD70 – Ken Walker

Ken Walker is currently running for his third term in HD70. Walker works to modernize government through consolidation of dozens of Authorities, Boards, Trusts and Commissions, saving tax payers Hundreds of Thousands of dollars. He Co-Authored HB3218 which ends the current end of the year tests for high-school students and drastically reduces the number of tests for grades 3-8, and he Co-Authored HB2957 which puts the power back in the hands of the local school districts of how they evaluate their teachers. If you live in HD70, I recommend Ken Walker.

Tulsa County Sheriff – Luke Sherman

 I voted for and supported Luke Sherman during the special election earlier this year to replace Sheriff Stanley Glanz. I support Luke again as he is running for the full four year term and has the support and endorsement of most of his opponents from the special election. As a Tulsa Police Officer, Sherman has served our community with honor and integrity. He has the personality and demeanor to lead the Sheriff’s Department, restoring pride, confidence and honor to the office of Tulsa County Sheriff. As Sheriff, Sherman has stated that should the need arise, he will take a Constitutional stand against the overreach of the federal government. He will have our back. He has my vote!

 Tulsa County Clerk – Michael Willis

Tulsa County Clerk is an open seat because our current County Clerk is not running for re-election. I will be casting my vote for Michael Willis. Michael currently serves as the Chief Deputy County Commissioner and Public Information Officer at Tulsa County. Having observed Willis in a variety of settings and speaking with him on a number of issues, I believe he will do a great job as our County Clerk – he has a heart for our community and a desire to serve.

Tulsa County Court Clerk – Don Newberry

 Tulsa County Assessor, Ken Yazel said it best, “Don is the most qualified candidate for Tulsa County Court Clerk. He has worked in the Tulsa Assessor’s office for the past six years, serving Tulsa County citizens with loyalty and professionalism. Don currently manages our Title Research Department and his professionalism has been nothing but exemplary. His ingenuity and business mind combined with his management skills and education is exactly what this County needs in an elected official.” I will be casting my vote for Don Newberry for Tulsa County Court Clerk.

Tulsa County Commissioner – Toss up

I am undecided on this race and may just flip a coin to determine who to vote for. I believe either one will serve us well bringing new ideas and vision for Tulsa county. One the one hand, Turley has worked in county government and is familiar with procedure and protocol while having an understanding of the needs of Tulsa County. On the other hand I have known Grable for a number of years and have spent time listening to his thoughts and ideas and I believe he has a future in politics. His experience in having worked at the state capitol would be beneficial to the office of County Commissioner.  Full disclosure: I have donated to Grable’s campaign.

City of Tulsa Mayor – Dewey Bartlett

I stand in support of Dewey Bartlett for mayor. While we may not always agree, we respect one another’s opinions and are willing to have an open dialogue regarding ideas and differences. Bartlett assumed the financial and organizational disarray of Kathy Taylor’s time in office and has done a good job of moving Tulsa in the right direction. Democrats are lining up behind Bartlett’s opponent, GT Bynum – Kathy Taylor, Karen Keith and former Congressman John Sullivan – okay, so Sullivan is registered as a Republican but he did endorse GT Bynum and then there’s his voting record. Yes, there are other candidates in the race but the reality is, this is a two man race and I am supporting the more conservative candidate of the two. Bynum will continue to push his progressive agenda, has stated that he supports the Boren 1% sales tax, and will behave like a college kid with daddy’s checkbook, spending our tax dollars faster than they generate. We don’t need a lobbyist indebted to special interests, willing to grow the size and scope of government on the backs of our children and grandchildren. We need an adult in the office of mayor, willing to make the tough decisions while working to make Tulsa a better place to live, raise a family and eventually retire. Let’s keep a good thing going – Vote Dewey Bartlett for Mayor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Summary of LWV SD 39 Forum

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Thursday evening, June 9, the League of Women Voters held a public forum for Senate District 39 candidates at the OU Tulsa campus. Senate District 39 is currently held by term limited Brian Crain, which makes SD39 an open seat.

Three candidates participated in the forum – Dave Rader, Amanda Teegarden and Alan Staab, approximately 40-45 people attended the forum. The questions came from the audience, read by the moderator and the time keeper kept everything running smoothly. The League of Women Voters did a great job and a great service to our community by hosting this event.

The questions asked were very thoughtful and the answers provided insight into the differences between the candidates. The first question was “were the candidates familiar with the legislative process and if not, who would they look to for guidance?”  Staab answered first, stating that he would rely on friends and other legislators to educate him in the legislative process. Rader said he will find like-minded individuals within the legislature to teach and mentor him, while Teegarden reminded the audience that through her work as a citizen activist she has already spent most of the last ten years learning Oklahoma policy and procedures for herself.

On education and budget issues, all agreed that these are the top issues affecting our state.  Rader is in favor of allowing school boards to raise the debt bonding limit from 10% to 15%. Teegarden explained that currently 51% of the state budget goes to education, appearing as a single line item on the budget; she would like to carve out a dedicated funding stream for classroom instructors and require transparency about all sources of revenue and education expenditures, which currently appear to be top heavy in administrative costs. Staab was in favor of increasing the general budget item for education and was fully supportive of the cigarette tax as well.

Of course, the Boren 1% sales tax was brought up. Both Staab and Teegarden were opposed to the regressive tax. Rader’s response was non-committal in that he said it didn’t matter how he votes and would not answer with his opinion on the matter.

When asked about mental health in Oklahoma, Rader didn’t give a clear, straight answer. He did say that maybe Insure Oklahoma was the way to go but that all options must be considered. Staab was in favor of expanding Medicaid for the purpose of receiving more federal funding and as stated earlier, he favors the cigarette tax. Teegarden is opposed to Medicaid expansion due to the current national debt and the fact that there is no money to fund expansion, and that she supports more health care freedom of choice in Oklahoma.

One question was regarding their opinion as to what was the most significant piece of legislation from this last legislative session. Teegarden stated that SB1552 was probably the most significant bill of the session and that it was unfortunate that Gov. Fallin had vetoed it.  Rader was in agreement with Teegarden in regard to SB1552. Staab voiced his support of the cigarette tax and touted it as the most important bill (it was defeated).

When asked how each candidate would build consensus with their fellow legislators, Staab mentioned his ability to build relationships, and stated that if he wins the election, he and his wife will move to OKC and purchase season tickets to the Thunder games to represent the people of Tulsa. Rader cited his experience as a player and coach to begin consensus building. Teegarden stated that finding consensus is not the goal of a legislator, that there is usually a right and wrong and that, “legislation is either good or bad.  The job of a state senator is to uphold the oath of office, and defend and support both the US and state constitutions.”

It was a good evening with engaged citizens. The evening offered insight on the candidates of SD39, some similar, some vastly different.

Smart Meters – Take them or else!

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NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op appears to be in a race to complete the installation of Smart Meters before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), votes on the cost for customers to opt out of receiving a Smart Meter. This has resulted in three different occurrences between NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op customers who have expressed opposition to the new meters.

Monday, October 5, NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op jumped a locked gate and replaced the analog meter with a Smart Meter at Mr. Chuck Clawson’s home. Mr. Clawson had expressed to the electric co-op that he did not want his meter replaced on more than one occasion. Knowing Mr. Clawson’s objection to the installation of a Smart Meter, the electric co-op waited until Mr. Clawson was not home, jumped his locked gate and changed out his meter.

Tuesday, October 6, NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op forced the installation of a Smart Meter on another customer who had rejected the new meters, Ms. Marlene McClelland. Ms. McClelland made her objections known to the electric co-op regarding the new Smart Meters through phone conversations, face-to-face conversations as well as a sign on the meter clearly stating that she wanted to retain her current meter and not receive a Smart Meter. Once again, with full knowledge of Ms. McClelland’s objection, the NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op forced her to receive a new meter by changing the meter when Ms. McClelland was not home.

Also, on Tuesday, October 6, Mr. Randy Love’s electrical service was terminated due to his refusal of receiving a Smart Meter. NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op went to Mr. Love’s home on Monday to replace his meter, Mr. Love declined the installation to which he was then informed that if he did not allow for the meter to be replaced they would come the next day to retrieve their property (meter) and leave Mr. Love and his family without electrical services. NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op returned on Tuesday, stated they were operating under Oklahoma Corporation Commission guidelines (though they couldn’t state specific guidelines), that no opt out option is available and they were removing their property (electric meter), leaving the Love’s with no electricity.

NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op is regulated by the OCC.  The Opt out case at the OCC has received the administrative judges’ opinion and awaits the Commissioners approval which is expected within a few weeks.  It would appear that NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op is trying to deploy their Smart Meters before the OCC decision.  Will the Opt out fees be too punitive to have a meter removed once installed by NE Co-op.   Considering that NE Oklahoma Electric Co-op has a monopoly on electrical services in that area should they be allowed to force customers to receive a Smart Meter that the customer believes will threaten their health, safety and privacy within their home?  Since when, does a Corporation or a Co-op have the right to put a non- grounded, telecom device which collects and transmits personal  data on private property without any due process? No federal or State law mandates the deployment of these problematic meters.

Tulsa County Grassroots Republicans Speak Out

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For years the grassroots have battled issue after issue in Oklahoma and witnessed recent victories in our fight against ObamaCare Health Exchanges in Oklahoma, in repealing Common Core, opposing National Popular Vote and fighting to keep the Presidential Primary date on Super Tuesday in Oklahoma. Additionally, we have made great strides in getting more and more grassroots individuals active and involved at all levels of the Republican Party process from precinct chair to county chair and finally to our newly elected State Party Chair.

Of course this means that those who continually oppose the grassroots movements are upset that they are not the only ones at the table anymore. We see this in the vindictive and underhanded division going on right now within the Oklahoma Republican Party against our new State Party Chair.

While we do not seek to elevate these petty claims any more than necessary, we do see a need to clarify that the grassroots in Tulsa County seems to be currently misrepresented. Many of us in Tulsa County do not agree with the statements made by our County Chair. We stand behind the decisions that Chairman Brogdon has made and see through the attempt to undermine his leadership by equating junior high politics to major issues like racism and domestic violence. The grassroots focuses on the issues for a reason and we look forward to working with the new chair on issues and growing the Republican Party during the next two years.

The Art of the Witch-Hunt

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In politics there are two ways to win: by merit or by destroying your opponent. Rarely does one win by merit. What is more common is the art of the political witch-hunt. The key to a good witch-hunt is public frenzy. Find something the public will emotionally connect to and pursue the victory at any cost, destroying whatever human capital is in the way.

For a state that has spent most of its existence controlled by Democrats, we are no strangers to the witch-hunt. All one needs is a good accusation and in the age of social media, the dogs are sent off. For the past few weeks, some in the media and some in the legislature have latched onto a political witch-hunt against the new administration of the State GOP. The motives vary from personal vendettas to self-promotion. Facts matter not when political egos are at stake.

What matters is that the victim is bullied publicly by as many as can jump on the bandwagon. Public opinion must be swayed so that whatever happens, the monsters on Maple Street are summoned into existence.

We are seeing the mob mentality emerge with one faction of the party going after the new State GOP Chair and his Political Director, TC Ryan. I have worked closely with Mr. Ryan on numerous meetings, conferences and events, he is a good and honorable man; a man of his word. He has organized minority outreach seminars for the County Party. He arranged an ice cream social event to unify behind our Republican nominees. He has promoted the principles of the party in various positions and across the entire state, building bridges between various groups around Oklahoma. Yet despite all of his accomplishments, despite those who know the man he is, the witch-hunt has begun and the only thing that matters is that he is bullied out of the party and cast aside once the mob is finished.

As Republicans we believe that our past does not define our future. We have always been the party of God’s grace and of hard work. We have seen both exhibited in TC’s history of assisting the party. Our conservative values and emphasis on the individual should enable us to examine the situation and forgo following the crowd. I am proud to call to TC a friend and stand by him and OKGOP State Chairman Randy Brogdon during this ridiculous personal attack.

#IStandWithTC

#IStandWithRandy

New Day

Actions Have Consequences – Or Do They? Will the Tulsa Chamber hold Mike Neal accountable for his Actions?

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Last week an invitation was issued for a fundraiser in honor of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, (best known for selling her vote in support of PPACA (ObamaCare) for $300 million in additional concessions to support Louisiana’s Medicaid system, which became known as “The Louisiana Purchase.”), one of the most liberal senators in Washington, D.C., to be held at none other than Tulsa’s former Mayor, Kathy Taylor’s home. Mike Neal, Louisiana native, President and C.E.O. of Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce is one of the co-hosts of the Landrieu fundraiser. This is not surprising and not out of the ordinary and in the grand scheme of things it would appear that everything was on the up-and-up, until you get to the letter written and signed by Mike Neal on Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce stationary, in his official capacity as President and C.E.O. Invitation and letter

All hell broke loose when the invitation, coupled with the letter was made public. The outcry of the citizens and an Open Letter signed by the entire Oklahoma delegation was heard loud and clear. All seven members of the Oklahoma delegation expressed their surprise and disappointment at the letter written on Chamber stationary, inviting Chamber members to a fundraising event for Senator Landrieu. In their Open Letter to Chamber members they expressed their displeasure with the Tulsa Chamber for “benefitting an out-of-state Democrat running for U.S. Senate. This is not only one of the most competitive races in the country, but a race that will determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.” The letter from the delegation goes on to say, “Contrary to the Tulsa Chamber letter, electing Mary Landrieu is not good for American energy policy, Oklahoma business, or the Tulsa region. Rather, she will keep Harry Reid in charge of the Senate and allow him to continue to block key energy legislation that would benefit our nation, our state, and our region.” Delegation letter to Chamber

What on earth was Mike Neal thinking? Neal abused his office by using his position at the Tulsa Chamber to influence members of the Chamber to attend a fundraiser for one of the most liberal senators in the U.S. Senate by using the Chamber mailing list, Chamber letterhead, the Chamber staff and resources. Through his participation and support of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, it appears that Mike Neal wants to keep Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader, a view that does not represent the values and principles of Tulsa and the surrounding communities.

It seems to be the status quo for the citizens in Tulsa and the surrounding communities to not have their principles and values represented by the Chamber of Commerce. Just last legislative session, Mike Neal and the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce led the charge to raise taxes, supported comprehensive immigration reform, expansion of Medicaid, supported and lobbied for the full implementation of Common Core State Standards, and pushed for more of our tax dollars through state-wide bonding for the building of a Pop Museum, by pushing the One Voice Agenda and its contrary beliefs to conservative Oklahomans.

It is past time for the Chamber to quit being involved in politics. They recruit and fund candidates that will champion the Chamber’s agenda, regardless of what the citizens of Oklahoma want. It is one of the reasons it is so difficult for citizens to get conservative legislation passed. The Chamber hires lobbyists to work against the will of the people to promote crony capitalism, giving unfair advantage to big corporations. It is time for the Chamber of Commerce to go back to what its original intent was, to assist small businesses, to encourage commerce and to once again be the champion of the small business owner.

Neal’s response to this debacle reads more like he was “sorry for getting caught”, or the ol’, “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission” type of remorse. Mike Neal should resign his position as President and C.E.O. of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce effective immediately. As President and C.E.O, he knew what he was doing was wrong and unethical, and yet he chose to do it anyway. The Tulsa Regional Chamber is taxpayer funded (in part), which is unusual for Chamber of Commerce funding. The citizens should be able to call for Neal’s resignation and demand that no more tax payer dollars go to fund this organization – let it be funded by its membership the way most chambers are. Chamber and Neal response

Will Gov Fallin Live Up to Her Word to Sign HB3399?

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March 21, 2014, following a meeting where Governor Fallin was the keynote speaker, I approached her about signing HB3399. It was the last bill remaining alive this legislative session, so I ask using the specific bill number. She agreed to sign HB3399 if the bill made it through the House and Senate and to her desk. She has until Saturday, June 7 to sign the bill or it defaults to a pocket veto. Is our governor a woman of her word? Time will tell.