Because You Asked…a voting guide for 2016

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Many have asked me how I will be voting and if I have recommendations, so I’m sharing with you the organizations and people I value for their research and explanation of state questions as well as how I plan to vote November 8th.

Let me preface this by saying, we need to think long and hard before we start adding stuff to our state constitution, which is what will happen with each ballot measure that passes, other than SQ790, which removes Article II, Section 5 of our state constitution.

We elect men and women to represent us in the legislature – let’s make them do the job we elected them to do, present and vote on legislation to make the positive changes we need in Oklahoma and not cement these changes in our constitution, making correction or change near impossible. Just a little food for thought.

Here we go! A few of the people/organizations I trust when looking for answers on the State Questions…

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), is a wonderful resource.  http://www.ocpathink.org/article/voters-guide-to-ballot-measures

As is, Oklahoma Conservative PAC www.oklahomacpac.org

I also trust Michael Bates at www.Batesline.com

I differ with these guys a little. On the State Questions, here’s how I will be voting…

SQ776 – Death Penalty – NO – we already have the death penalty in Oklahoma and just last session the legislature passed HB1879 which took care of this concern

SQ777 – Right to Farm – NO – it would supposedly provide protection to one industry, it is vaguely worded, the verbiage “compelling state interest” is not defined and the ballot measure is confusing.

SQ779 – Education TAX – NO! NO! NO! – Taxes Suck! Especially when the tax will do more harm to the state than it will do good for the teachers. Everyone agrees, teachers need a Voting and protest conceptraise, but there are better ways to make it happen. Less than half of the money of the projected revenues will go to teachers while almost 20% of it goes to higher education, which according to our state constitution has no responsibility for accountability or transparency on how the money is spent as they are not required to report it.

 

SQ780 – Justice Reform – NO – while I agree that we need justice reform in our state that is the role of our legislators and should not be placed in our constitution. Just last session our legislature passed 3 bills that dealt with Justice Reform. Let’s allow our legislators do their job. While I support the lessening of some charges from felonies to misdemeanors, this is not the answer. The consequence, should this pass will be an immediate overcrowding of county jails as those former felons will be pushed out of state prisons, but will still have to be locked up in already overcrowded county jails based on their newly reduced charges to misdemeanors.

SQ781 – Funding for County Programs – NO– contingent upon SQ780 passing – once again, we don’t need this in our constitution.

SQ790 – Religious Liberty – YES – this state question actually repeals the Blaine Amendment in our constitution. Last year the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the removal of the Ten Commandments from the capitol grounds, citing a portion of the Oklahoma Constitution which prohibits the government from using public property for the benefit of any religious institution (Blaine Amendment). This will also allow for more parental choice in education.

When Article II, Section 5, was placed in the Oklahoma Constitution, and similar “Blaine Amendment”-type provisions were added to other state constitutions, the framers wanted to encourage children to be indoctrinated in the state religion of the day (generic protestantism) and make it harder for families who wanted to educate their children in their own religion. The motivation for those who want to keep it today hasn’t changed, but the state religion has been changed (by the U. S. Supreme Court in the 1960s) to atheism and materialism.                Credit: Michel Bates

SQ792 – Alcohol Modernization – YESNOYESNO – it’s your choice. I understand the desire to bring our liquor laws up to date and more in line with the times, and I agree.confused-man1 In fact, I just spoke in favor of this state question at the Wagoner County GOP meeting and after listening to the discussion tonight and reading Michael Bates’ commentary, I believe I may reconsider. YES we need to update our liquor laws but if it won’t go into effect until 2018, we have time to allow our legislature to work on it, making the legislation and changes more concise and less confusing. Might I suggest flipping a coin on this one?

Judges and Justices (taken directly from OklahomaCPAC.org)

Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices:  Vote NO on Justices James Winchester and Donald Combs.  They are not just.  Overall, our State Supreme Court is progressive and activist.  It sometimes disregards our state constitution, and its opinions are inconsistent.  These two justices voted incorrectly on five out of six key votes, yielding a score of only 16.5%.

In the last few years, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has banned the Ten Commandments (Prescott v. Okla. Capitol Preservation Committee, 2015 OK 54), protected child rapists (Burns v. Cline, 2016 OK 99), protected abortionists (Burns v. Cline, 2014 OK 90), and protected sex offenders (Hendricks v. Jones ex rel. State ex rel. Okla. Dept. of Corr., 2013 OK 71).  Download this Judging Justices Flyer and give a copy to everybody at church.

Charlie Meadows provides the following recommendations on appellate judges based on his off the record discussions with attorneys, prosecutors, and lower court judges.

Judge Clancy Smith (State Court of Criminal Appeals):  Vote NO – Sources tell us that this Brad Henry appointee is very smart, but ideologically progressive to her core and way too nit-picky with jury decisions.

Judge Robert Hudson (State Court of Criminal Appeals):  Vote YES – Hudson is fairly new on the court.  He was appointed Payne county District Attorney by Frank Keating, replacing a corrupt DA.  Eventually he became chief of staff for Scott Pruitt.  He was recently appointed by Gov. Fallin to the Criminal Court of Appeals.  Hudson appears to be a serious Christian, and everyone consulted gave him very high marks.

Judge Thomas Thornbrugh (State Court of Civil Appeals):  YOUR CHOICE – The Court of Civil Appeals is the most difficult to evaluate because they do not settle many high profile cases.  Thornbrugh was the only judge on the court with whom some sources were not fully satisfied.

Judge John Fischer (State Court of Civil Appeals): Vote YES.

Judge Larry Joplin (State Court of Civil Appeals): Vote YES.

 As for the rest, I think you know how I will be voting. I will be voting my conscience, aligning myself with the candidate that best represents my principles and values. I must admit, the Supreme Court and the thought of Hillary Clinton as President are a YUGE part of my motivation.

hillarys-private-server-cartoon

 My recommendations in down ticket races (Tulsa area)…

 U.S. Senator

James Lankford

 

Oklahoma State Senate

Dist 25            Joe Newhouse

Dist 33            Nathan Dahm          

Dist 35            Gary Stanislawski

Dist 37            Dan Newberry

 

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Dist 12            Kevin McDugle

Dist 66            Jadine Nollan

Dist 67            Scott McEachin

Dist 74            Mr. Derby (David Derby’s dad)

Dist 76            David Brumbaugh

Dist 69            Chuck Strohm

Dist 78            Molly McKay

Dist 79            Weldon Watson

Dist 80            Dr. Mike Ritze

 

Tulsa County

County Commissioner Dist 2         Josh Turley

Tulsa County Court Clerk              Don Newberry

 

City of Tulsa

City Council Dist 9                           Eric McCray

 

 Hope this helps!  Happy Voting!

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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