Grassroots Gathering - OKCWe have a great opportunity for grassroots activists to get together again – rehash memories, tell stories, talk victories and defeats. A great way for us to stay connected. Many will be in OKC for the OKGOP state convention and we’d like to get together – you know, get the band back together, so to speak for the evening.

When: Friday, May 13 at 6:30 PM

Where: Old Surety Life Insurance, 5201 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Tickets available here:
https://grassrootsgathering-okc.eventbrite.com/

Dinner is being catered by Faculty House. Cost: $30

On the menu is:
Roasted Herb Chicken
Pork Loin
Potatoes
Vegetables
Tabouleh
Garden Salad
Bread Pudding
Carrot Cake

Reconnect with old friends. ALL are welcome (this is not a GOP event).

RSVP on facebook also if you wish

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Oklahoma Parent's & Children's Rights in Vaccines Bill on to Governor

Special thanks to Liza Longoria Greve, Casey Albertson Ohlsson & all who fought for Oklahoma Parent’s & Children’s Rights in Vaccines.

This note via Liza Longoria Greve on facebook:

Passed on its way to Governors desk! (Without Yen’s amendments!) The amendment to take our exemptions was tabled unanimously and the second one regarding VIS being enough was struck down. Thank you Senator Nathan Dahm and Rep. Randy Grau for authoring the first bill of its kind to empower parents with ingredients to help avoid allergic reactions and other balanced information prior to vaccinations. We are blessed to live in such a great state that values parental rights and informed consent!

[Editor’s note: I concur! It is good to have representatives that protect individual liberties. May there be more and an increasing awareness of the importance thereof!/sc]

www.facebook.com/okforvaccinechoice

'Libertarian Bill' Passes Legislature

County Commissioner, Marven Goodman reports the news on his social media account:

 ” SB896 just passed on a vote of 26-14. It is now going to the governor’s desk for the final step.

  SB896 modifies the current requirement that new parties must win 10% of the vote for President or Governor to stay ballot qualified as a recognized political party.

​  This modification lowers that requirement to 2.5%.
  Governor Fallin is expected to sign the bill into law.”

Potty Talk

Did all this bathroom nonsense start with a student? Was there a crime? I don’t think so. What came first? The bill to prevent LGBTs from using the potty of their choice or was it the LGBT push to create laws that “allow” it? Or to block potty policing bills? This seems like a NON […]

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Deputy Robert Bates shot Eric Harris while other officers held him down on the pavement. A jury recommends 4 years prison for the deputy.
  Deputy Robert Bates was found guilty of manslaughter and subject to a recommended 4-year prison sentence. He was immediately taken into custody and led away. His attorney, the famed Clark Brewster, had tried to say that ongoing health problems killed Eric Harris, but the jury did not find that reasoning plausible. The massive blast of a .357 pistol fired by Deputy Bates had filled up Harris’ lungs with blood and he expired within a couple minutes of the gun blast.
  Harris’ position on the Tulsa Sheriff’s office staff had also led to the overthrow of the entire 28-year administration of Sheriff Stanley Glanz.
The Tulsa Frontier has been following this case and has the most in-depth coverage: ​​
Congressman Jim Bridenstine Sponsors Key Provisions in National Defense Authorization Act

Congressman Bridenstine voted to send HR 4909, the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from the House Armed Services Committee to the full House this morning.  The bipartisan bill authorizes funding for America’s armed forces and sets Department of Defense policy.  Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act 53 years in a row.  

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“Restoring military readiness means lifting burdens on our military installations where possible and reasonable” Congressman Bridenstine said.  “The U.S. military takes great pains to comply with the many regulations imposed by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  ESA imposes costs on our military every day.  We need to balance those costs against the imperative of training and preparing the force.” 

The Congressman noted errors in the studies for the original listings of two species, the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the American Burying Beetle.  The LPC has already been de-listed.  Both species are subjects of repopulation efforts and are thriving.  Neither species is endangered or threatened, but both hinder military readiness.

Bridenstine further explained, “The McAlester Army ammunition plant in Eastern Oklahoma sits squarely in the Beetle’s known range.  The plant jumps through hoops every day to deal with the ESA requirements and future plans to expand and modify the plant are impacted, too.  We shouldn’t be burdening this Army ammunition plant or any other military installation for a species which is clearly thriving.

“There are seven military bases within the historic range of the Chicken, including in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.  All of these installations would face significant impacts if the LPC is relisted, particularly in terms of future expansion.  Before we jeopardize readiness, let’s give time for the state-based conservation program to work.” 

The amendment was approved as part of the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The bipartisan bill authorizes funding for America’s armed forces and sets Department of Defense policy.  Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act 53 years in a row.

Addictions & The War On Drugs

We can generally say that addictive behaviors are detrimental to human development and achievement. We can even see that many addictions are deadly.

  But does it therefore follow that the wisest course of action is to empower our government to outlaw addictions and exact punishments, fines, and other retributions; as a strategy to successfully end the scourge of addictive behavior in our society? And do we really want a society when police actions are so draconian?

  Or is it possible that our ‘war on drugs’ has added to the problem of addiction by sending it into desperate hiding? And has the government created a bigger economic problem by incubating a business environment where black market cartels can come in and set up shop? And the inevitable organized crime from black market cartels has therefore led to skyrocketing crime, harming people who had nothing to do with the cartel or the addictive behavior.

OKGOP Nearly Clinches Majority in 2017 Senate

 The Oklahoma Republicans are very close to clinching the majority in the Senate, just days after filing has closed. The senate holds elections on half of their seats, plus any special elections. So 25 of the 48 seats are up for grabs this year. Of the 23 seats not due for election, 18 are in republican hands and 5 are in Democrat hands.

  Of the 25 current races, the Republicans have secured 4, and the Democrats have secured 1. there are currently no Libertarians or Independents in office.

  The Democrats would have to win all 19 races they are filed in, to secure a 1-seat majority.

  There are 4 Independents challenging for senate seats this year. They could come into an important role if they are successful and the Democrats fall just short of an electoral miracle. The same is true for the Libertarians. There are 2 Libertarians challenging this year.

  The senate leader has been Brian Bingman. His seat is open and there will, therefor; be new leadership.

  There were 21 official challenges filed with the Oklahoma State Election board, for the 417 candidates seeking state office. 15 of the cases actually went before the tribunal of the State Election Board. (the other cases were dropped before their cause was called, in Monday’s hearing.
Some candidates represented themselves, but several secured the legal services of counsel.

PictureBrooke McGowan was the only successful defender of a candidacy who was not a professional litigator.

  Only 3 candidates sustained a litigated challenge and prevailed. One of them was Brooke McGowan of Shawnee. She faced off with Former Senate Pro Tempore, Glenn Coffee, representing his client, Senator Ron Sharp (the incumbent). Despite the intimidation of the setting and high-powered attorneys, McGowan pressed her case, introducing herself; “I’m not an attorney. I don’t have a law degree. I have a seminary degree.”

 McGowan masterfully began with the precedent set in previous cases on the docket; “You have clearly established that residency claims must be judged by intent.”. She went on to indicate (and I paraphrase);

  “I filed for office just prior to closing on our new home. Both our previous residence and our new residence are well within the district, but I chose to list the new home because that’s where I would be residing. But since the home had serious plumbing deficiency, we had to find temporary residence while new toilets were being installed. The Senator had my summons served to the vacant house while it was vacant. My intent is and was to be as accurate and true to intent, as I could.”

  Attorney Coffee then claimed that McGowan missed a redundant box on her original voter registration, some time ago. At that point, The Election Board Secretary, Paul Ziriax said that it would be a “high bar” to rule technically on this, since the oath signed by voters affirms the matters in the box. At that point Senator Sharp’s counsel looked petty and his case fell apart. McGowan was retained on the ballot on a unanimous vote of the 3-member tribunal.

PictureCoffee and Hammons exchange pleasantries while waiting for Setzer’s case to begin.
  A dramatic case was litigated as the last matter on the docket. the Democrat State Party Chairman, Mark Hammons, defended the candidacy of Joshua Setzer. The hearing room transformed into a venue of precedent proportions when the very statutes governing the election board were challenged. 
  Setzer is a recent party-switch and the state statute requires him to be a member of the party for 6 months before he can be a candidate in the name of that party. Hammons was the strongest proponent to represent Setzer because he essentially serves as a witness as well as counsel. Hammons insisted that only party rules should govern such matters, and the state has no compelling government interest in restricting Setzer’s 1st Amendment constitutional rights.
  The case is also made stronger by the fact that the Libertarian candidates only had to be registered party members for 15 days prior to filing, but Democrats and Republicans had to be registered 6 months prior.  The Board refused Coffee’s request for a delay in the hearing for 10 days. Coffee had thought he was going to earn easy money for this case. He expected a ‘slamdunk’ ruling because the candidate reregistered 5 months ago and did not dispute a failure to meet statutory requirements. When the board withdrew into executive session, they decided to wrap up these hearings today and pressed on. Then the boards’s retained counsel essentially became an ally for Coffee and defended the election board’s right to honor the statute, using several federal cases, including Citizens United and some Scalia opinions.
  The board rendered a split decision along party lines (2 republicans and 1 Democrat).

Oklahoma State Election Board
2016 CANDIDATES FOR STATE ELECTIVE OFFICE CONTESTS OF CANDIDACY  

Cause  Name  Office Hearing Decision
2016-01  Stone v. Alvarado  State Representative, District 89 4/25/2016  (Alvarado ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-02  Virgin v. Perry  State Representative, District 44 4/25/2016  (Perry ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-03  Enns v. Coleman  State Representative, District 41 4/25/2016  (Coleman withdrew, Contest withdrawn by petitioner)
2016-04  Rogers v. Conduff-Rogers  State Representative, District 98 4/25/2016  (Conduff-Rogers withdrew, Contest withdrawn by petitioner)
2016-05  Bennett v. Erb  State Representative, District 92 4/25/2016  (Erb withdrew, Contest withdrawn by petitioner)
2016-06  Leewright v. Scroggs  State Senator, District 12 4/25/2016  (Scroggs ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-07  Calvey v. Crawford  State Representative, District 82 4/25/2016  (Contest withdrawn by petitioner)
2016-08  Smith v. Hill  State Representative, District 87 4/25/2016  (Hill ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-10  Meredith v. Culver  State Representative, District 4 4/25/2016  (Culver ordered retained on ballot)
2016-11  Nichols v. Cole  State Representative, District 72  4/25/2016  (Cole ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-12  Marlatt v. Setzer  State Senator, District 27 4/25/2016  (Setzer ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-13  Sharp v. McGowan  State Senator, District 17 4/25/2016  (McGowan ordered retained on ballot)
2016-14  Sharp v. Sturgill  State Senator, District 17 4/25/2016  (Sturgill ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-15  Ford v. Brewbaker  State Representative, District 95 4/25/2016  (Brewbaker ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-16  McDaniel v. Donaldson-Hutton  State Representative, District 83 4/25/2016  (Contest withdrawn by petitioner)
2016-17  Loveless v. Vincent  State Senator, District 45 4/25/2016  (Vincent ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-09  Griffith v. Lynn  State Representative, District 45 4/25/2016  (Lynn ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-18  Etters v. Lynn  State Representative, District 45 4/25/2016  (Ruled moot; Contestee stricken in earlier cause)
2016-19  Moore v. Arnold  State Representative, District 96 4/25/2016  (Arnold ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-20  Baker v. Von Tungeln  State Representative, District 60 4/25/2016  (Von Tungeln ordered stricken from ballot)
2016-21  Matthews v. Knox  State Senator, District 11 4/25/2016  (Knox ordered retained on ballot)