Search results for: healthcare

This is a great day for religious liberty in America.  The Supreme Court has ruled, although more narrowly than many would prefer, that closely held companies do not have to leave their deeply held religious convictions at the door of their businesses.  I celebrate with the Green and Hahn families and offer my sincere appreciation for standing on their beliefs.

Permalink: http://bridenstine.house.gov//media-center/press-releases/congressman-jim-bridenstine-on-the-hobby-lobby-decision

 

Dax Ewbank for Oklahoma Governor Banner

Liberty is the Issue.

 

It is really that simple. We need a Governor that will govern the government, so that it will LEAVE YOU ALONE! Somehow that role has been reversed and governors and governments are micro-managing peaceful people as if they have forgotten where their authority came from in the first place!

A Dax Ewbank administration would be run by two simple principles:

Do everything you have agreed to do.

Do not encroach on other people or their property.

Permalink: http://r3publican.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/liberty-is-the-issue-dax-ewbank

Continue reading

Anna Flatt

   Oklahoma State Republican Party Chairman, David Weston, is reported to have demanded that Carter County republican Chairman, Anna Flatt resign from her party post, after declaring her candidacy for US Congress in District Four. Chairman Flatt is one of the active Republicans running alongside the incumbent, Tom Cole.

   The McCarville Report is quoting Chairman Flatt’s recount of the encounter with Chairman Weston.

   A Response from Anna Flatt To David Weston


Chairman Weston, 
  When you phoned me last Monday to demand I step down as Carter County Chairman as a result of my candidacy for the Congressional seat held by Tom Cole, you were adamant that there was a rule prohibiting GOP officials from taking a position in a primary, and that by filing as a candidate I was thereby taking a position in a primary. I assured you there was no such rule, and it was up to the Carter County Committee to determine whether I should step down. 
  Even though I will not be campaigning from the position of the Chair, I will absolutely comply with whatever the County Committee desires because it, and not the State Chairman, is the supreme Republican authority in this and every other county in Oklahoma. The Republican Party was set up much like our government, with the power at the lowest possible level: the individual.
  The individual directs the precincts, then the precincts direct the counties, the counties direct the states, and then the states direct the national GOP. Power in this party and in this country flows from the bottom up, and it is a grievous error to suggest or advocate the reverse. Somewhere along the way the Republican leadership, much like the government itself, lost sight of this fact, and many feel it’s time to steer the party back to its rules and its roots by putting the power back where it belongs: with the individuals. You told me that you would find the rule and phone me back. As I have not heard from you in several days, I can only assume you know now what I knew then: there is no such rule. Further, even a cursory glance at the Oklahoma State GOP facebook page reveals that the state party itself is not complying with this nonexistent rule even while it attempts to foist it on others. As of the date of this letter, the State GOP page still displays a large campaign poster championing John Doak for Insurance Commissioner despite the fact another Republican, Bill Viner, is challenging him for that office. Although, as we’ve covered, there is no rule against such side-taking, it’s certainly an example of the state party not practicing what its chairman is preaching to the rest of us.
   I’ve since heard from many other candidates who felt they were somewhere between “strongly encouraged” and outright “bullied” by you not to run. Speaking for myself, I certainly felt I was being bullied in an attempt to keep me from challenging an incumbent. I only wish I had thought to record the conversation so that individual Republicans could decide for themselves whether it was an appropriate tone for the State Chairman to take toward a Republican candidate for office and a dutiful County Chairman.
   The Republican Party is a private organization full of many great members to elect. Every single registered Republican is a potential candidate. I’ve done everything I could possibly do to encourage candidates to file, even ones I didn’t agree with ideologically, because I believe there are many different kinds of Republicans and that we are all valuable to the party. Fair and spirited competition is essential in giving voice to the voters, ensuring the cream rises to the top, and putting the best the Republican Party has to offer on display.
   From previous conversations, I understand you believe your job as State Chairman is to make sure Republicans are elected at all costs, that if there is a “strong” Republican candidate we should not risk losing the seat by nominating a “weaker” one. This is a popular position that you are not alone in holding. You told me I “could not see past the nose on my face” but maybe it is this “party-first” mentality that is short-sighted. I believe that stifling competition within the party, and by extension the country, has done and will continue to do far more damage than my desire to allow voters more choices ever could.
   Your way, and that of others who think like you, is to say that the voters can’t be trusted to decide what is best for them when given too many choices, in much the same way the government no longer allows Americans to make our own decisions about our healthcare, about what we grow in our gardens or put in our bodies, about our retirement savings, about who we can marry, about how many bullets we can put in our magazines or how big our Big Gulps are. Whether coming from the Oklahoma Republican Party or the U.S. government in D.C., top-down paternalism is a total abdication of our limited government, free market principles as Republicans and Americans.
   Many kinds of Republicans feel called to serve and file to run, many will not ever be elected. But that decision belongs with the individual Republicans, not with the State Chairman or any other party official. In some countries the politburo chooses which candidates the people get to hear from, but this isn’t one of them and, God willing, it never will be. Nasty phone calls from the Republican establishment serve only to prove the entire point of my campaign: that this party has become stagnant, lost its way, and is in desperate need of some new blood. I’ve said all along that I am certainly not the best candidate for the job, and I don’t think any differently now. But this experience has proven the value of free and open competition, and so I will continue my campaign despite your indignation, and do my best to ensure that every Republican candidate has a platform from which to speak and that every Republican voter has a chance to be heard.

Respectfully,
Anna Flatt 
Carter County Republican Party Chairman

I will take some effort to break down the Oklahoma Republican Rules in Three Parts:

  1. What are Carter County Chairman Anna Flatt’s duties & rights?
  2. What are Oklahoma State Chairman David Weston’s duties & rights?
  3. How are party rules within a county properly adjudicated?
Anna Flatt’s Duties and rights
  The Oklahoma Republican Party Rules go into significant detail about the county party structure and interaction. Each County is also encouraged to address county needs through their own additional rules, so long as the rules are properly approved at a county party assembly. I am not currently aware of specific Carter County party rules, so I will need to qualify my statements as potentially moot if a Carter County rule does go further into a related issue.
The only clear restriction I find in the Oklahoma State Party Rules would not apply until a Republican nominee is officially chosen through a lawful means (a primary election). At that point, Chairman Flatt is duty bound to not undermine that nominee through either running in the general election or endorsing someone else who is running against the party nominee.
  Most counties have an understanding that the party should, itself, stay neutral, but the individuals can endorse or campaign for themselves or others, but should not use their party leadership credentials for the benefit of one candidate. There is no specific rule being broken in this case. It is usually a self-imposed restriction for unity’s sake.

David Weston’s Duties and Rights

David Weston

  The party does have a rule against using party assets to aid someone who is in a contested primary. Ironically, State Chairman Weston appears to have violated this rule when he used the state website & email assets to promote a fundraiser for Tulsa mayoral candidate, Dewey Bartlett jr. while he was opposed by fellow republican, Bill Christiansen, in 2013. After significant complaints, The Weston administration also promoted a Bill Christiansen event. Perhaps that served to appease the candidates and Chairman Weston retained his office.
  But Anna Flatt’s letter makes a point regarding the use of state party assets to promote John Doak. It is a more serious concern, because party assets are being diverted to just one of the candidates. to the harm of another Republican candidate.

 Another serious violation of Party Rules may have occurred in Chairman Weston’s alleged demands.   

   Rule 3- Rights and Qualifications of Members and Officers

 (a) Members: All citizens of Oklahoma are invited to join the Oklahoma Republican Party to perpetuate this Republic. All qualified voters of this state who are registered Republicans are members of the Oklahoma  Republican Party, and shall have the right to participate in the official affairs and governance of the Republican Party in accordance with these rules as set forth herein. Such right shall be sacred and inviolate, and the willful disregard or abridgment of such right by an officer or member of any committee of the Party shall be deemed sufficient cause for the removal of such officer or committee member. 

   If it can be demonstrated that State Chairman sought to use his position to improperly & deliberately seek to abridge the County Chairman’s participation, then a “sacred” violation may call for adjudication by the State Republican Executive Committee and the larger State Republican Committee.

Proper Adjudication of Violations
   The party rules sate that generally, the same body which appoints or elects a party leader, has the authority to remove that leader. This means that Carter County’s Republican organization is responsible to oversee their leaders and their specific rules.
   If Anna Flatt has violated a rule, The Carter County Republican Executive Committee would have to make that finding and refer the matter to the Carter County Republican Committee to take appropriate action, such as a reprimand, restriction, or removal.
   These type of actions require a formal notice of impending action with a 10 day notice. The accused is given a full opportunity to defend themselves before the oversight body.

   Perhaps a simple clarification from Chairman Weston’s office will put this issue to rest. It is disappointing that this takes precious time and attention away from a candidate’s limited capacity, but if a rule is being broken, then it needs to be respected through proper enforcement of party discipline.  However; I am more likely to believe that David Weston is not being properly advised and does not fully understand the rules. I have studied these rules for over 20 years and I am still learning things every year.
  I highly recommend that party members be fully aware of the Oklahoma Party Rules, found here:

Anna Flatt

This Open Letter is published with the author’s permission. It was written recently by Anna Flatt, the Carter County Republican Party Chair, to Dave Weston, the Oklahoma Republican Party Chair. Anna is also an announced candidate for another slot in a contested Republican primary race for Congressional District 4 (election will be in June 2014).

By David Van Risseghem

  The Mental Health Association Of Tulsa Has Entered The Debate On The Tulsa Jail Bond Politics.
Executive Director, Michael Brose Addresses His Complex Response To The Jail Bond Vote.

   Like Michael,   many of us who serve in leadership for mental health advocacy are sorting out conflicting concerns about mental health treatment, and the format in which it is being delivered; or not delivered.
   I am the President-elect of NAMI Tulsa. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the largest advocacy organization for mental health issues. Our organization has not endorsed either side of the upcoming bond election, in Tulsa County. I happen to personally oppose the current jail bond and several others in NAMI are also concerned that the jail has encountered “mission creep” into  public mental health through criminalizing people who are experiencing a nervous breakdown.
Mr. Broce’s comments (printed in blue) are very insightful and I want his concerns to be further amplified.  I’m going to post Michael’s recent letter and give my own comments:
   Unfortunately, sometimes you have to swim upstream
   Over the past few weeks, I’ve been repeatedly asked about my thoughts regarding the April 1 tax extension vote to expand Tulsa’s David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center, and to improve its facilities and treatment for inmates impacted by severe mental illness.
   Mental healthcare is critical care. It needs to be available wherever and whenever it plagues humanity. To neglect it is to endanger the sufferer and every person within that person’s sphere of interaction. Most people with mental illness are NOT violent. But life-threatening concerns are always present. As the current trend progresses, one day, someone you love will likely face the criminal charge of being mentally ill.

   Like many issues in search of a simple answer, this question is complex. I do support Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s proposal for several reasons. First, Sheriff Glanz, and deputies who operate the jail, have no control over who is placed in the jail. They have to accept and care for whomever law enforcement charges and brings to the jail. Inmates can only be released if the sheriff receives an order from the court to do so. Second, the sheriff clearly recognizes inmates with severe and untreated mental illness committed crimes they would not have committed if they were receiving the treatment they desperately need in their respective communities.

   This is a very valid point.  The county sheriff houses inmates whom the sheriff has prosecutorial role. He and his deputies are charged with the duty to keep the inmates safe and keep the county safe. He is not responsible for the failures of the state in providing the preferred mental health facilities which many of these sufferers should should be treated at.
   Sheriff Glanz has personally witnessed bad things happening to people who are severely ill, and have been placed in his jail, almost always due to the absence of enough treatment beds in the community. Because of our failure, and the State of Oklahoma’s failure, to fund treatment beds adequately for Northeast Oklahoma, people who are severely mentally ill continue to be placed in his jail. He wants to properly care for them in an area where they are free from being preyed upon in the general population of inmates. The sheriff also wants to have the resources to properly train specialized officers who understand mental illness, and their special needs.
   Sheriff Glanz is personally named as a defendant in wrongful deaths. He does not get to choose the medical staff which treats the inmates. That is the county commissioners’ role. He does ultimately answer for the failure of his wardens and staff, when they fail. If their failure results in harm or death, then he cannot pass the blame on lack of resources. If he feels he cannot do his duties correctly, his duty is to resign his role.
   Is the sheriff’s proposal the long-term answer? No.
   Sadly, this is the reality of our refusal to properly fund treatment beds to serve the size and population of Northeast Oklahoma. We need to help the jail properly care for these inmates who live with severe, untreated mental illness at no fault of their own now. At the same time, we must organize all of our combined efforts to insist lawmakers begin investing in people who, if they receive the treatment they need in their own communities, become taxpaying, contributing members of the community. Sixty percent of Mental Health Association in Tulsa employees are doing just that — living in recovery with severe mental illness, because they secured adequate treatment in the community. Many of our employees have histories, and sad stories, of incarceration in jail and in prison. With adequate treatment, they live in recovery, pay taxes, have families, and they are gainfully employed. They are the fortunate ones. Right now, the jail is full of people facing charges because their severe mental illness went untreated and, subsequently, have committed non-violent and often petty crimes. On any given day, 33 percent of inmates in the jail will present with a severe mental illness, according to the Tulsa World’s own Julie DelCour. Simply put, these inmates were unable to secure adequate treatment in their community, and now they are behind bars.
   This is the “heart” of the Oklahoma issue. None of the problems will truly be resolved by a jail bond. In fact, it may take longer to bond and build a jail than for the state to appropriate funds to open treatment centers in existing facilities. Correcting the state funding problem this month, could result in a shrinking jail population in every county of our state, this year! The legislature is now in session. we don’t need to wait until the next bond election to fix the problem.

   The Mental Health Association in Tulsa supports the sheriff’s desperate appeal to support the tax extension vote. At the same time, we call on the sheriff, the Tulsa County commissioners, Mayor Dewey Bartlett, the Tulsa City Council members, and the whole of the community, to join forces, regardless of party affiliation, and insist together that Oklahoma lawmakers, and Governor Mary Fallin, invest in Northeast Oklahoma with the community-based treatment and beds we so desperately need. This isn’t about raising taxes. This is about investing in our people. Sadly, sometimes you have to swim upstream.  

   Some folks don’t care about treating mental illness, until their loved one becomes stricken within it’s hideous grasp. I, and many other mental health advocates urge every Oklahoman to look beyond the jail bond elections and help fix the statewide failure at the state capitol.  There are some who are using my arguments only to defeat a county tax increase. I am aware of that.
   If we don’t fix this problem right, we will see endless ballooning county bond issues and ever higher expenses in criminal justice funding, at a very wasteful misappropriation of effective treatment and a much worse record of successful recovery.


By Mental Health Association In Tulsa On March 27, 2014
By Michael W. Brose, MSW
Executive Director
Mental Health Association in Tulsa

Michael Broce and MHAT’s full messages are available at: http://goo.gl/48nYvD 

The Best Help For Mental Illness Is Not A Jail

County Budgets Pay the Price For State Govt. Failure Perhaps the most glaring example of legislative failure, in Oklahoma, is illustrated by the terrible abuse of the county jail. Tulsa’s jail is taking on a role that is was never designed for – nor should it be!  County jails are supposed to serve to protect […]

Source post >>>