Republican Rep. Colby Schwartz of Yukon announced today via Facebook that he will not seek reelection this year.
He wrote, “It is with a humble heart and deep appreciation for the the trust given to me by the people of Yukon and Canadian County that I announce my decision not to seek a 5th term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to serve the town where Brenda Black Schwartz and I both grew up and have always called home. I look forward to returning full time to the private sector while still serving the community of Yukon in other ways.”
Congressman James Lankford today defended the 2nd Amendment during an interview on the NRA’s Cam & Company show broadcast from the CPAC convention, Edwards is a former KTOK morning show host.
The two also discussed actions to hold Eric Holder accountable for the Fast & Furious scandal, the vote to hold Holder in criminal contempt of Congress and Lankford’s work on the House Oversight committee in challenging the Obama Administration’s unlawful targeting of conservative groups through the IRS.
ABC News lists today former House Speaker T.W. Shannon as one of eight leading conservatives to watch nationally.
Shannon is a candidate for the United States Senate and faces former Senator Randy Brogdon and Congressman James Lankford in the Republican primary in June.
Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, an Oklahoma City-based group, is paying for television ads and mail promoting Shannon, a former state House Speaker and the first black person to hold that position.
Shannon is a “champion” opposing abortion and supporting gun owners’ rights and was the “most conservative House Speaker in Oklahoma history,” a narrator says in an ad that began running yesterday on Tulsa’s NBC affiliate, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG. Shannon worked to overhaul welfare programs and cut taxes, the ad says.
“And we know T.W. Shannon will fight to finally end Obamacare,” the narrator concludes.
Oklahomans for a Conservative Future was formed Feb. 5 as a “domestic for profit business corporation,” according to a filing with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office.
The group paid $101,628 on March 1 for pro-Shannon direct-mail to the Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida-based firm Majority Strategies, Oklahomans for a Conservative Future said in a filing to the Federal Election Commission.
Shannon’s campaign aired 30-second and 60-second versions of a positive and mostly biographical ad 224 times from Feb. 19 to March 2, CMAG data show.
Shannon is competing with two-term Rep. James Lankford and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon for the Republican nomination in the first-round June 24 primary. Lankford had $515,000 in his House campaign account at the end of 2013, money that he can use on a Senate campaign. Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is vacating the seat next January, two years before his current term was to expire.
The Republican nominee will be overwhelmingly favored to win the Nov. 4 special election in Oklahoma, where President Barack Obama’s 33 percent vote share in the 2012 election was his third-worst showing among the 50 states.
The Expect More OK! Coalition is releasing the first video of a series of pro-common core ads today in an effort to urge Oklahoma lawmakers to stand strong in their support of higher learning standards in Oklahoma classrooms.
The announcement comes on the heels of the successful delivery of over 7,000 signatures to the Oklahoma legislature in support of the Common Core State Standards.
“Lawmakers were right to stand up for higher learning standards in 2010 and they shouldn’t back down now,” Brian Hunt, Executive Director of Stand for Children Oklahoma, said. “Politics has no place in Oklahoma classrooms and lawmakers should do what’s right for the children of this state.”
The ads will be released on social media and the web beginning today and are expected to continue at a steady pace in the coming weeks.
The first video in the series can be viewed on the Expect More OK! Coalition website www.expectmoreok.org or at https://vimeo.com/88372212.
The Expect More OK! Coalition for higher standards is a state-led alliance of state leaders, education, business, community, parent and child advocates, all of whom support, clear, consistent and higher academic standards in public education.
Governor Fallin today praised the Oklahoma House of Representatives for passing a tax cut measure. House Bill 2508 would cut the income tax rate from 5.25 to 5 percent beginning in 2016 provided personal income-tax revenues are equal or greater in fiscal year 2015 than revenues generated in fiscal year 2014.
“The House of Representatives took an important step today towards delivering meaningful, responsible tax relief to Oklahoma families,” said Fallin. “Reducing the income tax allows working Oklahomans to keep more of their hard earned money while helping to attract and retain jobs and businesses. It is an important part of our strategy to grow our economy and continue Oklahoma’s forward momentum.”
HB 2508, which passed the House 57-34, was authored by Representative Earl Sears. It now goes to the Oklahoma Senate.
Latest quarterly poll results indicate that President Obama is still very unpopular in Oklahoma, with his combined approval at 29 percent among likely Oklahoma voters. It’s still not the worst he’s been when, during the last mid-term election year, his approval sat at a rock bottom of just 26 percent. And, he may just be there again as his approval since last summer has been on a downward trajectory as another mid-term election year approaches.
But the question is, does anybody in Oklahoma, or elsewhere for that matter, care about the president’s approval in our little mid-America state? The president doesn’t come here often so you could say he doesn’t care about his approval among Oklahomans. For the better part of four decades, Oklahoma’s electoral votes have been a forgone conclusion, adding to the Electoral College column of any Republican on the ballot. Oklahoma isn’t an early primary state, so politicos in Washington, DC and political commentators elsewhere really don’t care about the president’s embarrassing showing in our reddest of red states.
Maybe there’s one group that should care: The Oklahoma Democratic Party. In yet another mid-term election, state party officials will have to endure all of their candidates, up and down the ballot, being tied to an extremely unpopular and liberal president, whether it’s justified or not. What some Oklahoma Democrat running in one of the one hundred seats in the State House has to do with a liberal Democratic president they’ve never met would be difficult for anyone to explain.
Yet, the Democrat ‘brand’ in Oklahoma is something they all share — for good or for bad, and the state party isn’t helping themselves much either. The Oklahoma Democratic Party of the 20th Century was much more conservative and reflective of those values that over half our electorate expresses every time SoonerPoll goes into the field with a poll. Today, conservative voters and officials have either abandoned the party or been driven out, and the Oklahoma Democratic Party of today doesn’t look anything like the party of David Boren or even Brad Henry, the state’s last Democratic governor.
This isn’t the case, however, in some other former Democratic strongholds in the nation. West Virginia for example, which has been trending Republican yet is conservative like Oklahoma, elected former Democratic governor Joe Manchin to the U.S. Senate during Obama’s term as president. Manchin ran as a conservative, never distancing himself from his Democratic roots, but rejected the president’s liberal direction and told West Virginians he’d ‘fight against the president when he need to.’
But, this doesn’t seem to be the case for the leaders of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. Repudiation of the president’s liberal agenda doesn’t seem to be in their dictionary; neither does the word “conservative.” After a quick search on the Oklahoma Democratic Party website, including its Mission and Constitution, the word “conservative” is not mentioned even one time.
Liberalism, it would appear, is their ideology by choice, and there is nothing wrong with that; unless you are trying to help Democrats win in a conservative state like Oklahoma. The Democrats, who had dominated state government since statehood, now find themselves with the smallest minority of representatives in state history and, if they continue not to care, they will find themselves with even less in November.
Mar 6 2014 | Posted in General
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Rep. Mike Turner announced today that he’ll seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Congressman James Lankford.
He joins a list of other Republicans seeking the seat, including Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, Senator Clark Jolley, former Rep. Shane Jett and former Senator Steve Russell.
“The main reason I’m running is that we need strong, active conservatives of a new generation who aren’t part of the status quo, but are there to work hard in Congress,” Turner said.
“After surveying the current field of candidates,” Turner said, “many people approached me about running. There simply wasn’t a true, ‘across the board’ conservative on issues ranging from taxes and spending, social issues, economic growth issues like tort reform, and immigration.”
“I’m not a lawyer or career politician,” Turner said, “and my background, values and beliefs all match this district.”
An Oklahoma City native, Turner holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Southern Methodist University. Turner grew up working as an electrician’s apprentice, crawling through attics and underneath floors to run wire. Today, he provides technical advice to inventors and start up manufactures with particular expertise in the automotive sector.
Turner defeated an entrenched, 8-year Republican incumbent to win his Oklahoma House seat in 2012. He personally knocked on the doors of over 10,000 voters in the process. Turner pledged not to take money from lobbyists or political action committees, refused a state pension and promised to donate half his legislative salary to schools and charities in his district. He kept these promises in office.
Turner has shown a willingness to buck leaders in his own party when they stray from conservative principles. Last year, Turner voted against the record-high state budget because “it spent too much and gave back too little in tax relief.”
While his opponents have collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbyist and PAC money over their political careers, Turner is once again refusing all such contributions in this race. Turner says he will also refuse the Congressional pension.
“I’ll work for the people of central Oklahoma, not the special interests in D.C.”
The 5th Congressional District seat includes most of Oklahoma County, along with Seminole and Pottawatomie counties to the east. The Republican Primary Election will be held June 24th.
GOPAC today announced the addition of Oklahoma Senate Majority Whip David Holt to its Legislative Leaders Advisory Board, composed of State Senate and House leaders who provide guidance to GOPAC.
“Senator Holt has distinguished himself in the Oklahoma Senate by successfully championing many pieces of conservative legislation, including lowering the state income tax and focusing tax dollars on core services that only government can or should offer,” said Frank Donatelli, Chairman of GOPAC. “We are honored to add yet another dedicated and innovative state legislator to our Advisory Board and look forward to working with him to advance conservative solutions to address the real challenges our communities face.”
“GOPAC has a long history of working to encourage and elect strong conservative leaders, and I’m honored to support its mission,” said Senator Holt. ”Oklahoma conservatives like Governor Frank Keating, Congressman J.C. Watts and Speaker T.W. Shannon have all been a part of GOPAC’s leadership through the years, and so I’m also pleased to be a part of preserving the strong bond between Oklahoma and GOPAC.”
Lt. Governor Todd Lamb kicked-off his reelection campaign today in Claremore and will proceed on a two day tour of the state. Surrounded by supporters and citing Oklahoma’s low unemployment rate, Lamb touted how Oklahoma’s implementation of conservative policies demonstrates to the nation and the world the effectiveness of conservative ideals.
“Our state is on the cusp of a real renaissance,” Lamb stated. “The work ethic of our people, a low-tax business environment for entrepreneurs, our Oklahoma standard of caring for our neighbors, and our God given energy resources make for an economic environment that is an example for the rest of America,” Lamb said. “As I visit with business leaders across the nation, Oklahoma is now on their radar. We are reversing the previous distorted images and are sending a message that Oklahoma is open to investment and productivity while still promoting the conservative values that bind our communities together.”
“Our conservative values and policies are creating a stronger, more prosperous Oklahoma. We are the envy of the nation. Over the past 5 years, Oklahoma has consistently been ranked at the top of numerous economic categories,” Lamb stated.
“It has not been easy getting here, and there is still more work to be done. That is why I am running for reelection,” Lamb continued.
“Together, we’ve lowered our tax burden, reformed workers’ compensation laws and invested in our highway infrastructure. But we still have work to do. We must renew our focus on public safety — the most basic role of government. We have to fight against job-stifling regulations of an ever encroaching federal government. And, we cannot remain static. Other states and nations are striving to become more economically competitive and we must press forward,” Lamb said.
The two-day campaign tour includes stops in Ardmore, Bartlesville, Claremore, Duncan, Lamb’s hometown of Enid, Lawton, and Ponca City. In each of his first three years in office, Lamb has visited each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties and is on pace to do so again this year.
“I want every Oklahoman to know they have a voice at our state capitol. One of our frustrations with Washington DC is we feel nobody is listening. I want to make certain that never happens in Oklahoma,” Lamb concluded.
Mar 6 2014 | Posted in General
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