Information on the 2008 Election

Judges

INFORMATION ABOUT JUDGES ON THE
GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT NOVEMBER 4, 2008

The following is information on the judges who will be on the ballot November 4. This information comes from several sources including attorneys and people who know some of these judges or how they have ruled on certain cases. Voters will be asked to RETAIN or NOT RETAIN each Judge.

EXPLANATION OF THE RETENTION PROCESS: If any Judge is NOT retained by a vote of the people, THE GOVERNOR will appoint a replacement! The procedure is a Judicial Nominating Committee will submit 3 names to the Governor from which he will choose 1 to fill the vacancy.

NOTICE: PLEASE REMEMBER THE COMMENTS IN THIS SECTION, AND PARTICULARLY THOSE IN RED, COME FROM SEVERAL SOURCES AND ARE NOT MINE. THESE COMMENTS ARE THE OPINOINS OF OTHERS AND ARE NOT NECCESARILY MINE. Vote the way you see fit. My goal was to gather information to help others to be able to make an informed vote.

These are nonpartisan judicial retention races. Voters may vote either to retain or not retain these judicial officers. Voters vote separately on each justice or judge; they are not running against each
other.

JUSTICE OF THE OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT
~All 3 of these Judges voted to allow Gene Stipe to draw his full retirement benefits from the state. The decision WAS NOT based solely on law; it did involve a judgment call. The issue was whether Stipe violated his “Oath of Office.” The Retirement Board said he did violate the oath and gave him a reduced benefit. The case went to a District court where it was decided to give him full benefits. The Retirement Board appealed to the Supreme Court. The State Supreme Court in a 7-1 decision said the retirement agency gave too much weight to the loyalty oath, which is separate from the oath of office and therefore upheld a lower court’s decision to give Stipe his full retirement benefits. I went into detail because this was the only issue raised about these Judges at this time.

That being said below is some facts about these men.

DISTRICT 1 John F. Reif appointed by KEATING to Civil Court of Appeals…appointed by Henry to Supreme Court. very good Judge, Christian man, very fair in his decisions.
DISTRICT 6 Tom Colbert appointed to Supreme Court by KEATING. Usually votes with the conservative view, regularly attends Church.
DISTRICT 9 Joseph M. Watt appointed by WALTERS is a good man with a lot of integrity and usually sides with the conservatives.
JUDGE OF THE OKLAHOMA COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS
DISTRICT 2 Charles A. Johnson. No negative information
DISTRICT 3 Gary L. Lumpkin…good man, conservative

JUDGE OF THE OKLAHOMA COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS
DISTRICT 1, OFFICE 1 Jerry L. Goodman FULL RECOMMENDATION TO REMOVE FROM OFFICE
DISTRICT 1, OFFICE 2 Jane P. Wiseman FULL RECOMMENDATION TO REMOVE FROM OFFICE
DISTRICT 2, OFFICE 2 Keith Rapp no negative information
DISTRICT 3, OFFICE 2 John F. Fischer no negative information

STATE QUESTIONS FOR GENERAL ELECTION November 4, 2008

STATE QUESTION NO. 735 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 343

This measure amends the Oklahoma Constitution. It adds Section 8D to Article 10. The measure takes effect January 1, 2009. It creates an exemption from personal property tax. The exemption would be for the full amount of taxes due on all household personal property. The exemption would apply to certain injured veterans. It would also apply to those veterans’ surviving spouses.

To qualify for the exemption an injured veteran would have to meet certain requirements. First, a branch of the Armed Forces or the Oklahoma National Guard would have to have honorably discharged the veteran from active service. Second, the veteran would have to be an Oklahoma resident. Third, the veteran would have to be the head of the household. Fourth, the veteran would have to be one hundred percent permanently disabled. Fifth, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs would have to certify the disability. Sixth, the disability must have occurred through military action or accident, or resulted from a disease contracted while in active service. The Legislature could pass laws to carry out the exemption. Such laws could not change the amount of the exemption.

STATE QUESTION NO. 741 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 344

This measure amends the Oklahoma Constitution. It would add a new Section 22A to Article 10. This section is related to exemptions from property taxes. It would require a person or business to file an application for an exemption. No exemption could be granted prior to filing an application. The Legislature may write laws to carry out the provisions of this section.

STATE QUESTION NO. 742 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 345

This measure adds a new section to the State Constitution. It adds Section 36 to Article 2. It gives all people of this state the right to hunt, trap, fish and take game and fish. Such activities would be subject to reasonable regulation. It allows the Wildlife Conservation Commission to approve methods and procedures for hunting, trapping, fishing and taking of game and fish. It allows for taking game and fish by traditional means. It makes hunting, fishing, and trapping the preferred means to manage certain game and fish. The new law will not affect existing laws relating to property rights.

STATE QUESTION NO. 743 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 346

This measure amends Section 3 of Article 28 of the Constitution. It requires a customer to be twenty-one and physically present to purchase wine at a winery, festival or trade show. The measure changes the law to allow certain winemakers to sell directly to retail package stores and restaurants in Oklahoma. The change applies to winemakers who produce up to ten thousand gallons of wine a year. It applies to winemakers in state and out of state. Those winemakers may not also use a licensed wholesale distributor. They must sell their wine to every retail package store and restaurant in Oklahoma that wants to buy the wine. The sales must be on the same price basis. The sales must be without discrimination. Those winemakers must use their own leased or owned vehicles to distribute their wine. They may not use common or private carriers. If any part of this measure is found to be unconstitutional, no winemaker could sell wine directly to retail package stores or restaurants in Oklahoma.