Friday, December 26, 2014

How To Spot Two-Faced Politicians

 Murphey's Law
  Rep. Jason Murphey enjoys (okay, maybe 'enjoy' is the wrong word) a unique vantage point for ascertaining the true nature of some of his colleagues at the Oklahoma state capitol. This week he shares some insights for the sake of constituents who think a lawmaker' word is his true bond.
  His article is illustrative of the brazen hypocrisy and double-dealing ways of the halls of the legislative building.
          How to spot a 2-faced politician...     ©2014 Netflix
Murpheys Law: Two-faced Politicians
..."The large, faith-based group gave their attention to their speaker, an elected official, who to the casual observer appeared to be an individual of faith, motivated by the right reason and representing the important values for which this group spends much time and energy advocating.

But, those of us who are positioned to carefully observe the day-to-day activities of the political class knew the truth. This particular speaker is an extremely intelligent, shrewd politician who is one of Oklahoma's best at playing the taxpayer-funded political game...

As the chairperson of an important legislative committee, this person isn't content to just raise campaign contributions from one side of the issue, but is instead one of the most skilled politicians at perfecting the art form of shaking down lobbyists from both sides of a given point of view.
I suspect few if any of those who attended the faith-based event on that day had any idea of the facts described herein. They likely returned to their homes convinced of the politician's faith and support for issues of importance to them, completely unaware of the complicated taxpayer-funded game played by this person. But, in reality, they had just witnessed the work of one of Oklahoma's most clever politicians."

Read more at Murphey's Law 
David Van Risseghem

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Redefining the Drug War

 At this point, I am not willing to support a complete decriminalization of all recreational drug laws. In various writings of our founding fathers, we read the word "experiment" used to describe our new government. I see that same experimenting going on to this very day.  So it seems prudent to continually review our nation & state's public policy regarding issues which we are performing terribly at. So if you ask me about trying another tactic, I'll gladly take interest. But it has to produce practical results.
So many libertarians miss a key component in persuading folks to rethink a strategy on various banned herbs.  If I was going to embark on a new course, it would start with the herbs. Here is how I would define the issue to the public:
  1.  First of all, we will always need to be vigilant about public safety and the legitimate need to keep laws about endangering the public through personal intoxication. We need to speak passionately about the current inability to focus law enforcement assets on public safety because too much of our assets are paying for nonviolent simple possession incarcerations. Our courts and prisons are spending billions on exacting a punishment for things which are no more dangerous than a fella having a 6-pack in the refrigerator.
  2.  Secondly, our juvenile population needs to be protected from exploitation by those who would distribute these banned herbs.We need to take a lesson from Bill Clinton's success with "soccer moms". He didn't just talk in "Washington speak" . Women 'felt' his compassion. He stereotype "I feel your pain" language was very effective. These moms want a safe society for their kids!
  3.  A very strong argument can be made that our economy will have a HUGE SURGE of prosperity as this commerce is subjected to the same tax code as other retail items. The added revenues from this alone will fund extra cops who can patrol neighborhood schools, parks, & shopping districts. Kids can be much safer in our communities with a proper realignment of community and state policies on banned chemicals.
  4.  The organized crime associated with the huge industry is causing so much secondary crime. Even unrelated conflicts are being settled among gangs through drive-by shootings and other hit squad activities. They won't call the police when their home is broken into, because they do not want law enforcement tipped off about their associations or possessions. So they hire someone to exact a punishment upon whomever they guess is responsible.Marijuana is the biggest cash-cow of the criminal underground. Just adopting a Colorado reform would help defeat organized crime in the same way Al Capone was brought down by the end of liquor prohibition.
  You can argue your personal rights all you want; but if your emphasis is selfish, the soccer mom will also be just as selfish in her demands that the whole society abstain for the sake of her own kids. I'm not saying the personal rights argument isn't valid. I'm just saying it isn't going to win over anyone except the guy who's already secretly consuming banned herbs.
  And it just might be better to call this an experiment with a new public policy. Folks might be willing to try this new tact on a temporary basis. A person who is convinced of the correctness of this new public policy ought not be afraid that the practical results won't make their own convincing argument within 3 years.
David Van Risseghem

Monday, December 22, 2014

Making Room for Conservative Growth

  As a transplant from Liberal Minnesota, I spent much of the early 80s being a college kid and active student of the Oklahoma lifestyle.  What stunned me most is that Oklahomans didn't try so hard to run each other's lives. We didn't see the same mandate for state controls, and we are generally insulted that the eastern liberals in Washington display such an arrogant smugness to dictate every aspect of daily life.
  Then I joined the Republican party when Ronald Reagan used his superior communication skills to help me realize that freedom meant more than just surviving a global cold war. It meant that my own government was a potential danger to my freedom. That I should resist the well-intentioned big govt. fixes, because they often become the worst intrusions. And we can't seem to get rid of added bureaucracy once it becomes entrenched in the federal code and budget.
  Then I joined the Pat Robertson campaign, in 1988. I was not alone. Robertson escorted masses of new Evangelical Republicans into local and state party rolls.
  Did the old party regulars like the new life-blood of social conservatives? Yes, and no. Many were the voices of folks who felt threatened that the OKGOP would become a cult. They were convinced that the Evangelical conservatives would usher in Ayatollahs to rewrite the party platform from a fundamentalist filter.
  The latter 80s & into the mid 90s were a time of uncomfortable party distrust. We overheard so many insulting jokes about our passion and values. but it was also the beginning of a massive wave of political success. It took 25 years, but we learned to get along (mostly) and find our mutual values.
  Now we are met with a new friend, who's really not new at all! the Goldwater Republicans became the base of the Reagan Revolution. There was a time when establishment Republicans (including GHW Bush) used scary rhetoric to seek to diminish Reagan from within party ranks. (remember 'voodoo economics'?)
It was Reagan's Libertarian principles which the moderate factions used in an attempt to paint him as a nut. But after 8 years of Reagan, they all claimed that they were really his allies all along? Hmmm?
  In a 2012 party battle over state delegates, I told several party leaders; 
"I recall a time when I and my social conservative allies were seen a a grave threat to the OKGOP. We were treated horribly by some and much maligned for the reforms we felt passionate about."
I went on to conclude; 
"I don't want to treat the Libertarian faction with the same disgusting behavior that I and my evangelical brethren were treated to!".
  I feel that the 80s & 90s Evangelicals added a lot to the party. And I know we all helped enact a political revolution of the Sooner State.
  I also feel the Libertarians of today are forwarding some good ideas in many areas. They warned us that the 'Patriot Act' could result in some hideous spying and taxing abuses of the federal agencies; which came to be true. They warned us our monetary and lending policy would usher in the 2nd American Great Depression long before the Fall 2008 crash. They warned us that the same social & behavioral morals which we sought to enforce by legal code could be flipped so as to force us to pay the bill for aborting babies, & other contraceptive aids.
  Now we know there are good and bad ways of implementing any ideas. There are brilliant thinkers in every movement. Without good communicators, however; even the greatest principles will fail to be implemented because trust is essential to a democracy. Citizens need to know that a leader cares about the fears and aspirations of folks who feel vulnerable to the effects of the public policy of every level of government.
   So intellectual debates alone, will not win the day. We need to learn from Reagan's legacy and make every effort to communicate in a far superior way, so that all the rhetoric and demagogue of the left will fail to dissuade the public from their trust in conservative policies for governance. 
David Van Risseghem

Friday, December 19, 2014

RNC Sets New Rules For Presidential Race

  National Review recently reported on little-known rule changes made by the Republican National Committee members.
  1. States selecting before March 15 will be restricted not to allow winner-take-all. All statewide delegates will be awarded proportionately.
  2. States selecting after March 15 can award winner-take-all statewide delegates.
  3. Caucus states must award statewide delegates proportionate to Caucus night results.
  While the first 2 rules we  listed seem to support candidates with lasting power (well-funded/dedicated following), the 3rd item seems to reward movement candidates with broad popularity within conservative party circles.
  Oklahoma was run by similar rules in 2012. While Rick Santorum led throughout the primary campaign, his win only garnered slightly more than 1/3 of the delegates. Gingrich came in 3rd, behind Santorum & Romney, but collected nearly as many delegates as Santorum. Ron Paul did not meet the threshold for receiving state delegates.
  Efforts to mount a state convention coup will result in less real benefit to an ultra-committed small band of activists. 
  Iowa was a hotbed of scandal in 2012. First, the Romney campaign benefited from a willful refusal to report the most accurate totals (which put Santorum over the top). That led to a State Committee party fight and resignations. Then the Ron Paul team won everything at the state convention, and even removed the elected leadership from office a year early.
Read a detailed report at National Review,here.
David Van Risseghem

A New Kind Of Precinct Meeting

Several Precinct Meetings Will Look Much Different, This Winter.

After meeting with lawmakers, precinct members break
into groups at a central meeting of several precincts.
  A growing trend of change in the OKGOP county organizations will be effecting many active Republicans, this year. The State Executive Committee is granting broad approval to County Executive Committees, to move precinct meetings down the road a few miles and coordinate numerous clusters into an event which will give voters greater access to lawmakers and party officials.
  Several Legislative members are hosting events at Libraries, schools, & churches. this will take a good amount of hosting pressures off local precinct committees and make a more inviting atmosphere for new voters and potentially active party members. The county leaders of the party are looking for ways to better publicize the events and give newly organized precincts more on-site assistance for turning dormant precincts into new growth in the GOP.
A portion of the letter from the OKGOP leadership, to county leaders.
  The Sooner Politics research team scoured the pages of the OKGOP Rules and we are now convinced that the move is on solid ground with the stated rules of the party. The state leadership included an instruction for this, in their call for Biennial Precinct Meetings. Their wording is a bit inaccurate, in that they believe a county has this authority, but the rules state that only when the state executive committee grants this latitude (which they have) does the county leadership have authority to move Biennial meetings outside the precinct boundaries.
  Other regular precinct meetings are completely governed by that precinct's own leadership, but when the county issues delegate credentials to attend and represent the precinct's voters at a county convention, then the county can stipulate a number of requirements for how that precinct meeting is conducted. OKGOP Rule 5 seems to contradict the action, but the Biennial Precinct Event is governed by Rule 16.
  Like any other new initiative, this effort will have some resistance to change. Human nature being what it is, a few folks will see a sinister plot or a power-grab. But this is a discretionary act by county volunteers who are seeking ways to address both problems and opportunities.
David Van Risseghem
  Sooner Politics is looking forward to hearing from participants and several have said that the Oklahoma City Republicans have been using this format for several years.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Join the Party!


The Oklahoma Republicans
Want You To Join
& Make the Party Bigger, Better,
& More Enduring

  Next month, the Oklahoma Republicans will hold a massive number of local meetings to elect new leadership for your neighborhood, your county, region, and state. Almost every office is open for party elections.

  We will compile a public policy document (platform) elaborating the guiding principles we promote. you can help us write it!

  We will send delegates to the larger conventions and in most cases, you can be a part of that delegation (we do open delegations).
  • Do you have an issue you want to see changes in?
  • Do you want to run for political office some day?
  • Do you want to support political reform?
  The Oklahoma Republicans have county organizations run by good people who want to hear from you and invite you to your neighborhood's next meeting. But we need to hear from you, soon.
... We aren't 
controlled by
union bosses,
 mob rackets,
 or Ayatollahs

  All of the neighborhood (we call them a precinct) meetings will occur sometime in January and there are thousands of them, so I can't post them all on this page.

  We aren't controlled by union bosses, mob rackets, or Ayatollahs. We are a massive bunch of diverse folks from every age (some are in high school and some are in nursing homes). Some will meet at coffee shops while others meet in mansions. But all of us are dedicated to a better government which better serves the great people of Oklahoma.

  We love the freedom our nation was founded upon, and believe in the goodness that drives us to help carry the burdens of others, that can't be carried alone.
  Call your county leader, today. Refer to this link for your county's organizers.
   We will save a seat for you!
David Van Risseghem

Say 'NO' to Oklahoma Super delegates!

OKGOP Executive Committee Recommends Breaking Party Rules

  In the call to the 77 counties for selecting delegates, The OKGOP Letter officially calling for biennial convention, has openly recommended that the county chairmen consider picking delegates for or possibly in place of duly elected precinct delegations.
  On page 14 of the PDF file sent to the county chairmen, the letter  recommended a process to pick people who neither attend their local precinct caucus meeting, nor even communicate with them. Then they recommend that these unknown  individuals be allowed to seek credentials up to the week of the county conventions!
  This trick is not new. This is one of the ways Gerald Ford used his power and influence to defeat Ronald Reagan, in 1976, for the Republican nomination.  And Bush41 tried to do the same thing in the 1988 presidential primaries.
David Van Risseghem
Page 14 recommends violating permanent party rules.
  The OKGOP Rules state that a precinct has the sole authority to select it's own delegation. If no one holds a lawful meeting, no delegates are credentialed from that precinct. We all have equal footing and voting power in this Grand Old Party; and we need to keep it that way. Delegate credentials are not free tokens given away to reward contributions, political favors, settle debts, or any other unauthorized activity!

Post Note: I heard from 2 executives who both said they were only asked to vote on the time, date, & distribution on delegate votes.
If the executive committee is lying, I'd like Chairman Weston to set the record straight. Otherwise, since the letter recommends violating party rules; and the job description for state chairman is to enforce the party rules, then an impeachable offense has occurred.

Friday, December 5, 2014

How Many Prohibitions Do We Keep?

  As a 'teetotaler', I am glad our nation ended it's "war on liquor" 81 years ago. While I personally discourage leisure consumption, The abuse of the legal code for the sake of oppressing personal freedoms which we don't personally approve of, is really not in keeping with the founding principles of our nation.
  • We don't make atheism illegal. 
  • We don't make swinger clubs illegal. 
  • We don't make fortune-telling illegal.
  I urge continued prosecution of those who endanger the public or exploit children through liquor marketing and consumption, But if the fella next door sips a bourbon before bedtime, that's his business. I hope he sleeps peacefully.
  I'm just glad that organized crime was dealt a deadly blow by removing the prohibition amendment. Al Capone and other racketeers made millions off illegal liquor.
  Now if others draw a parallel between liquor then, and hemp, today; we might have an intellectually stimulating discussion... 
David Van Risseghem

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Can The OKGOP Leadership Do Better?

   As the Oklahoma Republican Party nears a state of full saturation in state government, the concern is not so much whether the Republican lawmaker is being heard, but rather; does the Republican politician even speak for the conservative electorate who sent him to the capital. There will always be the opportunist seeking to hitch his horse to the back of the party wagon. But that politician is primarily self-seeking, whose aim is principally to get himself re-elected.
   As the local town folk shake off the last bit of Democrat dust and seek leaders who will provide good government.  That goodness is also defined by how free the people can remain. 
  • How few regulations we bind upon the backs of producers. 
  • How little taxes we extract from income earners.
  • How efficiently we solve state challenges in cooperation with other private & public sector solutions.
  • How the great traditions and values of our diverse families are celebrated, rather than maligned.
   What message will our massive majority of elected officials support in unity and great resolve?  Can anyone command the respect and trust of the elected officials, so that the legislature produces sound conservative legislation? Is there a person with sufficient moral authority to insure that state agencies adopt regulations which reflect the strong commitment to liberty which our founding fathers fought & died for?
   I believe our Republican Party needs now, more than ever; to be disciplined in how we identify state challenges. Last Winter we watched a sneak attack of compromised Republican senators who sought to give away the Oklahoma Electoral College votes to a compact of mostly liberal states. It is reported that the OKGOP chairman (David Weston) voiced some displeasure in this sly maneuver. But the Bingman-controlled senate just ignored Weston altogether.
 Why is that?
   Even the local Republican party apparatus is confused by some of Weston's actions. This past Spring, Weston demanded the resignation of a County Chairman, citing a "state party rule" which bars her from her county chairmanship if she files for elective office. There is no such rule; and Weston should know this. To date there is no record of retraction or apology from Weston for seeking to prohibit the County Chairman of her full participation in the party (an infraction so serious that it should result in Weston's removal from office).
   Last Winter the party leadership planned one of the biggest formal fundraiser events, at the Tulsa Renaissance Hotel Ballroom. The details of the event eventually helped get the ball cancelled (postponed, but never rescheduled). Those details upset large numbers of Tea Party members because the headliner (Mike Huckabee) was promised a percentage of the event proceeds. But more specifically, the proceeds were earmarked to go to HuckPAC, where they would be redirected toward opposing the Tea Party candidates in states like Kentucky & Tennessee. Dinosaur senators like Alexander & McConnell were among the biggest intended recipients of  funds from the OKGOP Ball.
Senator Randy Brogdon
   We do have better options. We just need to encourage good leaders to come up to the platform and lead.  When I look around for better options, one name comes to mind. The Sooner State GOP has a rare opportunity to choose a well-known and highly respected former state senator for our next state chairman. Senator Randy Brogdon is said to be considering the race for GOP State Party Chairman. With sufficient rank-and-file support, we could see  a leader like Brogdon lay the groundwork for a successful effort to be the next state GOP chairman. And that is good news for conservatives who want political discipline and a clear conservative message to be promoted throughout the state and exported to the rest of the nation.
   The passion of the values voters, liberty advocates,  and the visionaries who see the potential in a state which puts off the bondage of mounting taxes, debt, and oppressive regulation; want a more effective leader who can channel the energy and conviction of the Tea Party into a Republican return to the sound governance which respects freedom and rewards the industriousness and ingenuity of the free market.
David Van Risseghem
   We need to do better than this current confused effort. We need a better state party leader whose capacity to lead is proportionate to the overwhelming majority of voters' choice.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Of Christianity and Liberty

  Pastor Chuck Baldwin posted a very well written and compelling thesis on the misguided efforts of contemporary preachers in the area of eschatology (end times prophecy). 

  "Now that the GOP has control of both houses of Congress in Washington, D.C., and with a pro-war Democrat in the White House, we can expect an escalation of foreign wars during the next two years analogous to those of the G.W. Bush years. And, unfortunately, most of the Christian war fever seems to be predicated on the erroneous John Hagee theology that modern-Israel is Bible-Israel and, somehow, it is America’s responsibility to fight all of Israel’s wars.
  The war fever demonstrated by too many Christians and conservatives is destroying our country. Endless wars abroad; hundreds of thousands of innocents killed--many of whom are our Christian brothers and sisters; trillions of dollars of deficit spending to fund these perpetual, unconstitutional wars of aggression; a burgeoning Police State at home under the rubric of “we are at war”; ad infinitum.
  Worse still is the way Christian war fever has turned the nations of the world, not only against America, but against Christianity. How are our missionaries supposed to take the message of the Prince of Peace to a people whom we have just bombed into the Stone Age, killing their parents, children, brothers and sisters, etc.?"
  Were we, as United States citizens, a meddling nation from our founding? Certainly not. We were the nation folks could remove to, in order to stay out of the destructive an violent aggressions of  other continents.
  Benjamin Franklin wrote a pamphlet called, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America.” It was intended to be a guide for Europeans who were thinking about relocating to this country. In it, he said, 
  “Hence, bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced.”
Franklin continued, 
“Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.”
Franklin went on:
   “And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects [Christian denominations] treat each other; by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favor the whole country.”
  Noah Webster (himself an outspoken Christian, of course), said,
 “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.”
Pastor Chuck Baldwin
Chuck Baldwin concluded with this;
I, for one, would never want a so-called theocracy administered by the likes of the vast majority of Christian teachers and pastors today. Are you kidding? Most of them can’t even govern a small congregation of believers who are ostensibly assembled under the same ideology, same eschatology, same ecclesiology, etc. Have you been to a church business meeting lately? You really want those people dictating national laws? God forbid!
No! There is no Moses on the scene today with new revelation dictating God’s will for the nation. That being said, there is no mistaking the fact that America has a deeply-rooted, rich Christian tradition.
America’s founders, even those who were not professing Christians, as we understand the term today, acknowledged that fact.

So, Liberty is, and ought be the message of our common heritage.
  • It is Liberty which Christ declared as he began his teaching ministry.
  • It is Liberty which Paul defined as the central mindset of our new testament principle of worship
  • It is Liberty which our diverse collection of colonies found as a binding principle to build a nation upon.
  • It is Liberty which flowed through every tenet of the Bill of Rights.
  • It is Liberty which drove our unequaled economic legacy through industry and trade.
  • It is Liberty which we have turned our backs on, in a return to totalitarian, socialist, and punitive legislative, executive, & judicial abandonment of all that history should have taught us.

David Van Risseghem

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Obama Looks For A New Political Base

Press Corp reporter: "Mr. President, Why are you planning to grant amnesty to millions of illegals?"
Obama: "Because they will do the jobs Americans don't want to do."
Press Corp reporter: "Like what?"
Obama: "Voting Democrat."

David Van Risseghem

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mullin Election Case May Become A Supreme Court Battle

The late Earl Everett, candidate
 Oklahoma's congressional delegation involves 5 Representatives, one of whom is Republican Markwayne Mullin, representing the traditional "Little Dixie" Democrat region and the Eastern side of Oklahoma.
  His little-known Democrat challenger was Earl Everett, a retired school teacher & Korean War veteran.  Earl died on Sunday, about 50 hours before the polls closed in the general election he was a part of.
  Now, the poorly-written state law indicates that a party nominee needs to be replaced by a substitute candidate (of the party's choosing), and the state is supposed to scrap the general election for that office & replace it with a special election involving all the living candidates plus the one replacement candidate. But the law seems silent about how to initiate the action? Does the dead person's party need to file a Contest Of Election with the state election board, in order to initiate the remedy? Or does the Governor have to be omniscient and even while campaigning in her own re-election she needs to be aware of the life status of every candidate in the state? If it's the governor's job to know and initiate all action, I can just imagine the resulting daily robo-calls to all party nominees:
  • [phone rings to candidate during a stump speech]: "Hello, this is the governor's office, calling  daily, to make sure every candidate is still alive. If you are alive, press 1 ."
  It would be sensible to assume the affected party needs to notify the election board that they no longer have a living candidate, even though voting is already underway. 
Wallace Collins
ODP Chair
  Everything seems to hinge on whether the Democratic Party filed the contest by Friday at 5pm. (assuming a contest is needed to trigger the nullification of the 2nd District balloting). The Oklahoma Democrat State Chairman, Wallace Collins, complained to the media, last Friday; but there remains no report of a filing of contest at the state election board.
"Hello, this is the governor's office, calling  daily, to make sure every candidate is still alive.
If you are alive, press 1 .
  It's sort of a "statute of limitations." and I do not believe it can be extended after the fact.    And it may be subject to certification by the 2015 State legislature, as was mentioned in the legal case involving the Tulsa District Attorney case (Kunzweiler v Jordan)
  This is going to be challenged by Democrats in Oklahoma District  court & deferred to  the Oklahoma Supreme Court. 

Badly-written laws result in governance by edict & questionable precedent.

  If this does result in a December ruling from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, it could trigger a  Federal case.
David Van Risseghem
  And this may even go to the US Supreme Court, because in Bush v Gore, the Federal ruling states that the power to determine a state's representation was given to the legislatures of each state and not the courts of those states.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Oklahoma Democrats Lose More Ground

Senate Democrat Caucus Shrinks

  The Sooner GOP took over at least 4 more State Senate seats on election day. Dstricts 2, 5, 8, & 26 were open seats formerly held by Senators Burrage, Ellis, Ballenger, & Ivester.
  Three of the districts are in eastern & Southeastern Oklahoma. The impact breaks down the traditional "Little Dixie" dynasty which had been the safest Democratic stronghold in Sooner Politics.
 What this means is that the entire senate Democrat caucus can all ride to the inauguration in my minivan. This is a stark contrast to the legislature of 30 years ago, when Gene Stipe had a firm grasp on all powers and made a good career and significant personal wealth from his elective successes.  Stipe recently died in a federal prison after being convicted for election related corruption charges.
  In other state political news, the GOP won all statewide and federal office elections for at least the next 2 years. The current majority in the Oklahoma House of Representatives will remain essentially unchanged with GOP officials holding all but around 29 of the 101 seats.

David Van Risseghem

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Night On The web

Bing Elections Website
National Results
   There are several web tools for keeping informed on the election night happenings.  Nationally, the Associated Press, Politico, and Bing have some great features. CNN & Fox News also do a decent job of covering the national scene.
The Old Google Elections interface. It was great for 2012
   Google Elections used to be my favorite, but they seem to have disappeared without a trace or change of address. Any web search for Google Elections will take you to their Google+ effort.
  The disappearance of Google is a big mystery. Bing and others will benefit greatly from this screw up. 

Oklahoma Results
NewsOn6 / News9
KOTV, in Tulsa, along with the sister station in OKC ( KWTV channel 9), have demonstrated a superior commitment of manpower and planning for the past few election cycles. But they are not the only player in town. 
  Local coverage got a big setback because of the state legislative action of a few years back.
Oklahoma Election Board
    Whereas county election boards used to release tabulated results immediately; they now have to send all data to the state election board. The backlog of data sits there until state bureaucrats get around to each of the 77 counties. Only after that data is confirmed and input, can the numbers be reported from the state election board. Lately that has added an hour or more of delay.
  Media outlets have filled in that gap with local poll-runners who capture neighborhood precinct results even before the precinct staff can return the box to the county election board office, in downtown Tulsa. But the poll-runners from media outlets only typically get less than 10% of the precincts.
Unless you tune in to the OETA network, you'll likely have to spend the evening watching NCIS, the Voice, or other pop culture offerings in order to get those little tidbits of partial returns and teases for their 10pm coverage.
  For radio coverage, KRMG of Tulsa has been a standard of news coverage. This year they partner with Fox23 to share the news crews. We'll see how well that works? KFAQ does a lot of talking, but their low-budget operation lacks a real news crew out in the communities.  
  Oklahoma City has KTOK & KOKC stations for news and talk. It's not clear how much real news can be expected from them.

30+ Bloggers are featured
  There are a massive number of bloggers providing great coverage and often they break news stories from the "smoke filled rooms" and party headquarters. is one of the best aggregate feed sources for over 30 conservative bloggers and news sources.
  Of course we have to add social media to the list of election coverage. Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets have extensive Oklahoma content, but you have to find and add yourself to each of the  groups found on these websites. SoonerPolitics has a page and discussion group on Facebook.
David Van Risseghem

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Obama Claims The Support Of Dorman & Others

A political cartoon photo depicting the allegiance
of Joe Dorman to the Obama political platform
  The October 20th edition of The Hill headlines a quote from Democrat president, Barack Obama.
  The very unpopular liberal president claims that the numerous Democrat candidates on next month's ballot have been supporters of his all along.
  He goes on to say that they support his liberal agenda.
  Oklahoma Democrat candidate for governor, Joe Dorman; has not commented on this latest "tip of the hand" coming from the head of his party.
  Yet the legislative voting record of Joe Dorman indicates that the president is accurate in identifying Dorman and others of pushing the liberal agenda from Washington, in the Oklahoma State House.
  Voters in the Sooner state are troubled by the thought that a stealth candidacy could extend the Obama agenda well passed the day when Obama leaves the White House.
David Van Risseghem
  The Oklahoma Democratic party is painstakingly trying to rebrand themselves as the image of midwestern conservatism. This effort includes wiping the word 'liberal' from their platform and plastering the state with photos of gun-toting, softball playing, members of the local PTA; who happen to run for political office.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Proclaiming Liberty In The Public Square

  Oklahoma is home to a spiritual culture with very specific values. Quite often the people have insisted on making laws which extent our common convictions into mandates.  But that shortcut has come back to bite us.
  •  Blue laws don't lead to more sincere worship on Sundays.
  •  Marriage restrictions haven't led to a low divorce rate.
  •  Drug laws have led to record incarceration. City, county, and state budgets are untenable in providing the food, shelter, medical, and legal expenses.

  At the heart of the crisis we must acknowledge that our spiritual return to legalism has impacted our view of the role of government. We must face the reality that we relied way too much on legalism in our culture.  Now, political forces are gathered and empowered to enforce laws which are antithetical to our Oklahoma values. We have no philosophical argument against this so long as we maintain that we were correct in doing the same practice.
  In the debut message of Jesus' public ministry, he attended synagogue on the Sabbath. When called upon to address the attendees, Jesus read from the prophecy of Isaiah;

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,"

  You can continue your legalism in your church if you want, but I would urge our culture to rediscover the Acts of the Apostles and the epistles to the early church.

  It would be very effective to rediscover the Libertarian message of the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul spent much of his letter to the Romans, in a discourse about spiritual liberty. His letter to the Galatians was even more blunt about libertarian tenants of the gospel message. The Book of Acts was continually confronting spiritual bondage to either sin, or the law of Moses. Peter, James, Paul, and other church leaders were continually pressing the issue of Liberty from both sin and the laws which had been ineffective to rescue people from bondage to sin.

David Van Risseghem

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ignoring Petty Politics For A More Pressing Struggle

The Cause Of Freedom

Boris Yeltsin fought a leftist tyrannical government in Russia.
Nelson Mandela fought a rightist tyrannical government in South Africa.

   But the struggle is not isolated to just a few nations. Every society needs to be aware of the lust for power which resides in the dark shadows of every government hall and palace. 
  Most leaders justify their actions in the name of state security. Both political ideologies will persuade the public that it's the other party which you ought to fear.  But in reality, every politician has a blindness to his own contributions to a statist tyranny. 
   Presidents from Andrew Jackson, Abe Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and every administration since them, have incrementally stolen chunks of freedom from the treasure we call "Our Declaration of Independence.

The cause of freedom is far more important
than a left-right argument over ideology.
The common people need  to resist
the ever-growing state master,
and their quest for power
at the expense of
our freedom

David Van Risseghem

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Oklahoma Supreme Court Violates Constitution

  Oklahoma has more than her share of corruption. The legacy of executive, legislative, and various county & municipal scandals are more shameful than we want to face up to.

The constitutional impact of the ruling
But the power-grab of this present supreme court is becoming very dangerous.  They were asked to rule on a constitutional issue of eligibility in a district attorneys race. The current abigious language of our poorly-written constitution seems to say that only one of the current candidates can lawfully be elected. When a legislature hikes the pay of an office, none of those legislative members can be elected to that office until their current term runs out (in this case, Nov. 19th).
  The candidate who's eligibility is being challenged, Fred Jordan; put together a legal team to make the argument that the real election doesn't happen on election day. Not the primary election, not the run-off, or even the general election day. And attorney Terry Simonson actually has some precedence for this untenable position. Some 70+ years ago  the Oklahoma Supreme Court said that the election really doesn't happen until the new legislature convenes in January (at least in a governor's election).
  Well, this current supreme court ignored both the language of the constitution as argued by the petitioners, and the arguments of the respondents, including Terry Simonson's notion and the previous court's precedence.
  Instead, they embarked upon a de-facto rewriting of the Oklahoma Constitution so as to make new restrictions which they believe is less ambiguous and more workable.

the current Oklahoma Supreme Court jurists
The major problem with that is, They do not have the power to re-write the constitution. That power is reserved to the PEOPLE.
  The Oklahoma constitution is a hodge-podge of over 150 amendments and so much ambiguity that we keep creating messes which require court rulings.
  The people of this state need a better-written constitution. But the people need to vote on the language and not leave it up to legislatures, courts, executive orders, or lawless mobs.
  The current court has demonstrated a basic lack of respect for the powers invested in the people. They wrote a new constitution and forced it upon us. It's supposed to be the other way around!
Justice Taylor
dissents ruling
  Judge Steven Taylor should be applauded for his dissent opinion that the Court “refused to properly construe” the Constitution in this matter. He found that the Court misconstrues the term “elected” to mean “assuming or taking office.”
  ”There appears to be a disconnect between the Court’s decision and the plain language” of the Constitution", Taylor wrote. “For Tulsa County, the Republican primary runoff will be held on August 26, 2014. No Democrat has filed for the seat. The winner of this runoff will receive a certificate of election, which will be issued…on August 29, 2014…Therefore, under Oklahoma election law, the certified winner of the primary runoff will be deemed elected to the position of Tulsa County district attorney.
David Van Risseghem

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ken Yazel Wins A Supreme Court Fight

Wealthy Tulsans are living out their retirement
 years in tax-exempt single-family "cottages"
 like this, at Montereau, in South Tulsa.
  The Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed with the Tulsa County Assessor that his office could hire it's own attorney to fight the possible appeal of a tax assessment dispute on a very costly piece of property.

  County Assessor, Ken Yazel, had battled The Warren Medical Research Center, Inc.; Montereau, Inc., and the Tulsa County Board of Equalization to put some valuable property on the tax rolls.  Montereau challenged the assessment and the Board of Equalization said the property was not taxable because of its nonprofit incorporation.
   Yazel  appealed that decision in district court ... Read the story at the Tulsa Beacon.
  The Oklahoma Supreme court has not yet heard the actual case. This ruling simply corrects a lower court's misapplication of state laws and regulations for the county assessor's office and procedures.
  The question that stumps the Tulsa County taxpayers is;
 "Why didn't Tulsa County's district attorney's office provide the needed legal representation?"
The Tulsa County Library lists the following information of the


Tulsa County Courthouse Annex
500 S. Denver, Room 116
TulsaOK 74103
Phone: 918-596-5836

  1. Fax: 918-596-5867
Contact: Debi Toliver, County Clerk Deputy.

  1. Chairman: Dr. A. Theodore Kachel, V. Chair: 
  2. Warren G. Morris, Member: 
  3. Ruth B. Gaines, 
  4. Sec: Earlene Wilson.

  • Excise Board meets as needed. Equalization Board meets daily to weekly depending on the number of protests filed. Meetings are usually held in Commission room 119, Tulsa County Administration Building.
  • A three member board with two distinct functions, as follows:
  • As the Excise Board, it functions as the watchdog agency which reviews all appropriations and requests of the county to determine if they are legal and adequately funded. The Excise Board computes the levies for all county municipalities and certifies them to the County Assessor; it apportions the millage; it reviews and approves the county budgets.
  • As Equalization Board, its duty is to equalize, correct, and adjust the tax assessment rolls to conform to fair cash value by adusting the appraised or market valuation of certain properties or correcting any errors it may discover.
  • Updated 5/10. Update req mailed 3/12, 3/13
Alternate Names: 
Equalization Board.
Excise and Equalization Board.
Excise Board.

 We cannot naively pretend that politics and money have no impact on the consistent application of justice. In a very real way, justice is purchased. We see a clear distinction between the verdicts and sentences that the courts hand out to the poor and the wealthy. Prosecutors are often compared to cowards when faced with a court case and a defendant with a high-priced crack legal team. Does Montereau's vast assets have any impact on the case?

  Is the cost of county govt. being carried on the backs of our less-affluent population? Should "for-profit" medical facilities pay property taxes just like "for-profit" auto repair centers or veterinary clinics? We don't generally celebrate higher taxes, but we do demand equity in how the current laws are being applied to all segments of Tulsa's society.
David Van Risseghem