How Does One go from Having a Majority
to Losing by Nine Votes in Less than a Month?
Last week saw a record number of emails and phone calls asking why the Sooner Tea Party didn’t jump in on endorsing a candidate for Speaker of the House. The reason was that we saw a storm coming and it was one of those rare circumstances when saying nothing was the correct strategy. We did talk to a few House members, enough that word leaked out that we were not happy with Mike Jackson and would give Hickman a fair chance at proving himself like we did with Shannon in 2012 and 2013. And we provided the opposition with a key piece of information to help them gauge who would be the players in the game that might turn the tables on Jackson.
A 30 to 39 vote from the 72 Republican legislators told the story last week as the handpicked successor to former Speaker TW Shannon managed to chop a hole in his own boat and lose the Speaker election by a wide margin. Recall that Shannon won by three votes so a nine vote drop equaled a twelve vote spread between those that supported Shannon and those that supported Mike Jackson. That is nearly one third fewer votes.
Sources are saying that the revolution was a result of three factors:
- Freshmen legislators upset at pressure from lobbyist/consultant Fount Holland
- Mistakes made by Shannon’s lieutenants including Mike Jackson and Dennis Johnson
- And a series of phone calls made on the Sunday before the election by none other than Charlie Meadows and crew
Several legislators walked the vote rather than chance winding up on the losing side, a strategy that might not win them any friends with either side in the aftermath. When the dust settled Mike Jackson had a meeting with his followers and withdrew his candidacy for Pro Tem in the next election and allegedly stated that he would be leaving the legislature early to take the State Chamber position, assuming it is still open after such a defeat.
The signs of an impending coup started showing up shortly after our newsletter came out the night before opening session. Several phone calls from legislators told of the growing unease of the freshman class of legislators on accepting Jackson’s leadership because of his close ties to the State Chamber of Commerce. So when we were asked to provide the list of Representatives that voted for Shannon in the 2011 Speaker Designate election we didn’t think twice about sharing the info because the fact that Mike Jackson had already publicized his State Chamber position so far in advance gave us little doubt on what kind of session we were looking at.
The opposition focused around a coalition of freshmen legislators, rural legislators, and conservative legislators, reaching a high of 41 votes by one count. Rumors stated that Jackson was so confident of his win that he had his family show up at the Capitol for his swearing in ceremony but Hickman had family there too so he must have been confident as well. The Journal record had supported Hickman with an endorsement after paying lip service to the Shannon team’s modernization efforts the past year.
But legislative sources said that one of the largest factors was pressure from Fount Holland and Charlie Meadows; pressure that backfired by riling up a good list of legislators that switched sides in the last week before the election. A lot of House members were on edge after seeing pay raises given to the House Staff given without consultation with the caucus, ordering I Pads for the House members without consultation with the caucus then asking the House members to pay for the devices out of their office allowances, and a controversy over a "governance committee" pushed by Dennis Johnson left Mike Jackson standing at the church.
Shannon had made his share of mistakes with the biggest one being the disrespecting two of the three men that cast the deciding votes for him in 2011 by refusing to give them proper committee chairman positions. Some retribution occurred after the Speaker Designate election in 2011, not a lot, but enough that those that were punished hadn’t forgotten or forgiven.
But many readers will ask: who is Fount Holland? He is a former newspaper reporter that went to work for Coburn and then on to start a campaign consulting company in a short period of time. Holland was instrumental in getting the Republicans in power ten years ago but he appears to have allowed greed to override integrity in the last five or six years.
Holland worked with the former House Speaker Lance Cargill when Cargill was in office, raising money for Republicans but soon branched into Republican primaries to pick and choose winners and losers. Like all consultants he gets a percentage of campaign spending along with a retainer and a winning bonus. Much of the spending is done through his in house printing business, Majority Designs.
Holland hasn’t had a hand in things since Cargill was forced out of office up until Shannon was elected Speaker then sources say he got a bit out of control. Former Speaker Kris Steele was one of Holland’s clients, Neva Hill was Steele’s consultant so Holland had been out of power for some time until he latched onto incoming Speaker TW Shannon so Holland pulled out all the stops trying to get Shannon’s appointed successor Mike Jackson elected to fill Shannon’s position after he resigned. He rubbed many the wrong way with his pressure and lost his influence as a result.
The third reason for Mike Jackson’s defeat was laid at the feet of OCPAC leader Charlie Meadows for making a series of phone calls on Sunday pressuring legislators to support Mike Jackson despite the horrible voting record of both Shannon and Jackson and most of the House leadership team in 2013. Jackson and Shannon both scored a measly 1 point out of 100 on the 2013 RINO Index and Dennis Johnson, another Shannon Lieutenant that took a beating after pressuring House members scored only 23 out of 100 points. The freshman class had been led into some pretty poor scores by following Shannon and Jackson in 2013 so they were in no mood to listen when Charlie tried to pressure them into accepting Jackson, especially as the freshmen all knew that Jackson going to carry a lot of water for the State Chamber to pay for his upcoming six figure job with the State Chamber at the end of session.
One thing my father taught me was that one should never give an order that would be disobeyed. As a career NCO in the Army he understood that forcing people to work against their best interests or their common sense or their integrity is a fool’s errand. Charlie Meadows learned that lesson I hope after seeing his candidate get slaughtered by a 25% margin. The other thing that was working against Charlie was that the majority of the freshmen had seen OCPAC flounder badly in the past two years and watched Charlie flip flop on issues like Obama Care health insurance exchanges and even punish legislators for voting for unconstitutional legislation. The majority of the legislators likely think that Charlie is a bit nuts and erratic; hardly the man that you want trying to pressure elected officials to put a State Chamber toady into the Speaker’s chair.
Recall back to the 2011 Speaker Designate race where the outgoing Speaker Kris Steele was hung like an albatross around Hickman's neck. The kiss of death on that race was delivered by Steele and his lieutenants, in addition to Hickman's arrogance that prevent him from reaching out to the conservatives which would have won him the election over Shannon. Now not only has Fount Holland damaged his brand along with OCPAC being dragged down by Charlie's ill advised interference, but Fount Holland's main competitor Neva Hill has occupied Fount Holland's position in the new adminstration. After all Holland had Hickman as a client at one point until a falling out occured.
The transition hasn’t been 100% smooth as many complaints are coming in due to Hickman not being ready to lead. We believe that education is going to be his goal, Infrastructure and legislation aimed at education is going to be one of his priorities. It remains to be seen if he will keep the promises made during the Speaker’s race but he has already appointed Mike Ritze to an important Committee Chair and so far the legislators are saying he is accessible and is speaking in plain language.
HIckman himself has escaped scrutiny after his fall from grace in 2011 but now that he is sitting in the third most powerful chair in state government a lot of attention will be focused into looking into his background and finally being important enough that some of the rumors about him might be looked at a bit more.
Voter ID Challenge…Again
By Ms PM
Bumbling through our system of what is right vs. what is wrong we come to the issue of voter fraud stuck on the old simmering hotplate once again. Those on both sides are either looked upon as supporters of voter fraud to get their person elected no matter what it takes or minority haters and bigots’. Both views dance around the perimeter of how to fix the real problem rather than tackling the issue from the center where it actually lies. The bleeding heart sympathizers take on the belief that it is a hardship for minorities, they are singled out and their life is made more difficult when they are required to have a proven form of identification to vote. On the other side it is said that because of voter fraud everyone that votes should have to show proof that they are in fact who they say they are. The latter creeps into what is known as “a little unconstitutional is okay.”
Both views create bad consequences, one side breaks’ existing law and the other breaks down our Constitution and fuels tyranny over the very people that fight against tyrannical powers. It appears when people can’t name the real problem this merry-go-round of fighting against each other is doomed to continue. Lawmakers will appease anyone to get a vote and anyone plugged in to Oklahoma politics will continue the battle cry “my will, not yours, be done.” Isn’t there any lawmaker willing to follow our Constitution and insure a way to provide everyone with an ID so that this beast of burden can be put to bed once and for all? There isn’t a single person not burdened by laws and regulations in their daily lives and there are loud voices as to the unnecessary burdens they create. All of the legislatures need to put on their big panties and get it done! Every taxpayer pays a high priced burden of taking care of those who cannot or will not take care of themselves. Is it really too much to ask that our elections be fair, free from fraud and follow Constitutional lines?
talks about the reinstatement of a lawsuit that challenges Oklahoma’s voter ID law on the issue of constitutionality. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the voters when in the statewide election back in 2010 the law passed requiring all voters to show ID. Delilah Christine Gentges had sued the Oklahoma State Election Board and her new attorney, James C. Thomas, now says that he is challenging the law on the grounds that it places an undue burden on his client.
The original suit was filed by the Tulsa chapter of the League of Women Voters and had stated that the law “would raise a new barrier for Oklahoma residents and pose a particular hardship on the elderly, the poor and minorities.”
The lawsuit alleges that the law that was passed interferes with “the unrestricted right to vote.”
Unfortunately today’s world is full of fraud, lies and deceit encompassing government and citizens. The voters that passed the voter ID law are stuck in a sticky situation. Most obey laws, and take the time to vote in hope that their voice is heard. The unsettling part of this is by not having to show ID, the deceivers are allowed to break the law by voting under a false identity and are rarely caught or prosecuted. In a just society shouldn’t outcomes be lawful? Shouldn’t all people have the right to fair elections? When did our society decide that it is less important to have a true and honest election?
Researching this website
we were able to bring forth the hoops required to receive assistance here in Oklahoma. Applicants are required to fill out an application and schedule an interview.
What you will need to bring to your interview:
- proof of identity, such as driver license or school identification;
- Social Security number or card for everyone who wants benefits;
- proof of citizenship for everyone who wants benefits;
- proof of legal status for anyone who is not a U.S. citizen and wants benefits;
- proof of income for everyone living with you, such as pay stubs or award letters;
- proof of all resources, such as bank accounts, car titles, or land; and
- proof of your need for child care, such as your work or school schedule, and the name of the place you want to use to care for your child.
It does appear that in order for the elderly, poor and minorities to get assistance there is already some form of ID already acquired somewhere down the line. There is seemingly an undercurrent of “poor me and free rides.” Certain classes of people are exempt from rules and many have come to believe that they are entitled to things on the backs of others.
We aren’t talking about those sincerely down and out, they should be helped but we are talking about those that scam the system. The fact that there is an existing law dealing with voter fraud should bring forth an outcry for enforcement. There are ways to assist those that are considered “burdened” without placing the unintended consequence of “burden” on the rest of society. Why burden some when you can burden all? This scenario is common here in Oklahoma when laws are written and passed by lawmakers who don’t think things through. How can law abiding citizens be protected by fraudulent lawmakers in charge of fixing any fraud? We are stuck with this incompetence with little hope that government has the capability to protect people.
There was a time in history where women fought for the right to vote. They overcame those burdens a long time ago and refused to be the victim. It could be said that the Tulsa League of Women Voters is stepping back in time and branding Delilah Christine Gentges as a victim once again. It certainly is a strange and wimpy time we live in.
Liberal Traitors to Every Working Person in the State
The Senate email and calling list is at the bottom of all our newsletters. Please start calling and emailing the Senate and ask that this bill be killed off in Committee or not even called up for a vote.
Purposely Gutting the Constitution,
or Just Too Stupid to Represent the People?
We truly never believed that in our life time we would see our Senators vote to turn our Republican form of government into a Democracy. On February 12, 2014 twenty eight (28) of our Senators voted to take our votes for President of the United States away from an equal distribution based on votes earned, to a winner takes all based on national popular vote. By doing so they violated the very oath of office they took to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Oklahoma.
Most people believe that Oklahoma is the reddest state in the union, well they are wrong. We are a mostly Democratic state but the Republican party is growing, but in many counties in the state, we lag far behind.
We found this bill
that would gut the Constitution and turn us into a Democracy. We the People would like to know what gives these arrogant people the right to change our form of government without the vote or consent of the people. Just who do they think they are? Have they forgotten that they work for us? We are not their slaves.
We would like to know what incentives were given to Senators Fields, Halligan, Stanislawski and Wyrick to change their no votes in committee to a yes vote on the floor. If they hadn’t have been incentivized, it would have taken only one more vote for this bill to have been defeated. How much campaign money was promised by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce gentlemen?
We also found this article, 2014 Legislative Advocacy - LWV of Oklahoma
. We honestly cannot believe the League of Women Voters is supporting this bill. How can they honestly believe that this will bring a Presidential nominee into our state more frequently? How have they missed the visits of the previous nominee’s to our state? We think that they have missed a few visits in their calculations. Maybe they should pay more attention to the candidates that do visit this great state.
We found this partial conversation on a facebook posting between a county GOP group and Senator A.J. Griffin. It pretty much speaks for itself.
question Marlene to ask our Senator AJ Griffin why the HECK she voted for the popular vote. It flies in the face of a Constitutional Republic and major stand on DEMOCRACY, which our founding fathers warned us against and was brought out substantially in our Constitutional Class. America is not a Democracy and this popular vote moves us closer and closer to Marxism. Last year when this came up Art spoke to Senator Griffin on this subject and she agreed that the popular vote was bad. I want to know what has changed her mind. I am sure I know, just want her to tell her constituents why she flips on so many subjects. GAME ON>>>>