Monday, August 31, 2015

Oath Keepers Missouri Group Splits With National Leaders Over Urban 2nd Amendment Rights

  Sam Andrews; the high-profile leader of the St. Louis area Oath Keepers group, has split with the national organization. He argues that his group wants Ferguson law-abiding citizens to keep the same respect and rights as the friends of the Bundy ranch & the citizens of Ruby Ridge, Idaho. 

  The visuals of the Ferguson protests have created a PR problem for the national leadership. Veterans and law enforcement have been very troubled by the notion that an angry black protester might be constitutionally holding a gun.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Senate Judiciary Chairman Bans Opponents Of Forfeiture Abuse From Remote Tulsa Event

Updated Aug 31 9:21am
  After ignoring questions from senators and media, Senate Judiciary Chairman, Anthony Sykes, decided to push forward with plans to hold his committee's interim study at the rural Tulsa county law enforcement installation. Several law agencies are resisting the reforms called for by Senator Kyle Loveless,who authored a bill this year which would hold law agencies accountable for taking property from people not charged with any crime.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sen. Loveless Cancels Forfeiture Interim Study - Announces Tuesday Symposium Event At Capitol

Oklahoma Senate Press Release:

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2015

Loveless withdraws study request; hosts public panel discussion

  Sen. Kyle D. Loveless withdrew his request Friday for an interim study of civil asset forfeiture in Oklahoma. The study was scheduled for September 1 at the Tulsa Police Academy. The location of the meeting quickly garnered criticism from the public, committee members and the media.

A symposium at the Oklahoma state capitol will instead be held, from 9:00am to 4:30 pm 

The Funeral Details For Commissioner Mark Costello

St. Monica Catholic Church
2001 N Western Ave, Edmond, OK 73012
Date and Time: Saturday, August 29th
10:00 am 
please come early to allow orderly seating

Friday, August 28, 2015

2015 Defenders Of Liberty Nominees are Announced

36 Nominees
14 categories

  With 36 nominations submitted, this year’s Defenders of Liberty: Grassroots Activism Awards is bigger than ever! This year we will be giving away a record 14 awards! Be sure to buy your tickets today to honor our winners and to network with activists from around the state.

 Tickets to the event start at $35 and may be purchased here:

Here are your nominees:

Labor Commissioner's Family Seeks Protective Orders

48 year old Ginger R. Rogers and 26 year old Christian Costello are served protective orders
  Before the Costello family was safe to attend the state capitol honors for their departed, they had to get special court protections barring Christian Costello's girlfriend from coming near them. Law Enforcement is typically informed and standing ready to serve the papers on the individual being restricted. The emergency order of protection covers the Cathy and the other children. Restricted are Christian Costello and ex-con girlfriend, Ginger R. Rogers.

Jenni White: A Call To Reform Mental Health Public Policy

Here are some highlights of an extensive thesis by Jenni White, about the failed public policy for severe mental illness, in Oklahoma

  Like many, I imagine, I’ve had a hard time reconciling the death of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, because the sadness strikes on so many levels. Though it seems incalculable to ruminate on them all, one I hope will come to the forefront as a result of this tragedy, is the unbelievable hardship it has become to seek help for those with mental instability – a situation to which I’ve had a bit of exposure on both sides of the fence.

“Deinstitutionalization has gone way too far.”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A State Pays Respects To A Departed Leader

  State Labor Commissioner, Mark Costello's body lied in repose on the 2nd floor rotunda of the state capitol. 

Witnesses Speak About Coming To Mark Costello's Aid

The Oklahoman reports:

The Apprehension Of Christian Costello

WARR ACRES — Mike Walkup struggles to find the words for what he witnessed Sunday evening.
That’s when Walkup, a freshman English teacher and head wrestling coach at Putnam City High School, made a trip to a Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store on May Avenue in northwest Oklahoma City to grab dessert for dinner at his girlfriend’s house.

While shopping for ice cream, Walkup heard a commotion on the opposite side of the store. Stepping out from behind the shelves blocking his view, Walkup saw the gruesome scene of an older man on the ground being stabbed repeatedly by a younger man.
“Christian, stop!” Walkup heard.
“My mind instantly switched to thinking about what I could do to stop the situation,” Walkup recalled Tuesday.

Commissioner Mark Costello Lies In Repose At Capitol

Honoring A Great Man

  Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello's body is lying in repose in the second-floor rotunda of the state Capitol.

  The wooden casket is flanked by two state troopers and will be on display at the Capitol from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are asked to use the southeastern entrance to the Capitol.

A candlelight vigil will be held on the south steps at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Beloved Husband
Dedicated Father
Business Innovator
Admired Statesman

David Van Risseghem

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Costello family asks mourners to support Mental Health Group, NAMI Oklahoma, with memorial gifts.

Costello family asks mourners to support NAMI Oklahoma, with memorial gifts.

From: the Family of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello:

The outpouring of support from our fellow Oklahoman’s and others is a blessing to our family and a comfort during this very difficult time. For individuals wishing to offer their condolences, in lieu of flowers or other remembrances, it is our family’s preference that you consider a gift to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Oklahoma. This is something that Mark would have desired and is a fitting way to honor his memory. 
Include with your gift a notation that this is to remember Mark and his dedication to helping others. Your gift will make a difference. 

Old Friends Share A Close-up Of Mark Costello's Commitment To Fatherhood

From The Daily Beast:
Oklahoma Politician Never Gave Up on Killer Son

Commissioner Mark Costello and some of the rest of the Oklahoma attendees 
at the Americans For Prosperity National Conference, this past weekend.
  Mark Costello, the state’s labor commissioner, worked tirelessly for better mental-health treatment for his son, who fatally stabbed him on Sunday evening.
  The Oklahoma labor commissioner fatally stabbed by his 26-year-old son refused to give up on him. Instead, he struggled to find longer-term mental health treatment for the young man’s schizophrenia, sources told The Daily Beast.
“Mark was trying to do the right thing to help his son, Christian, because of his mental health issues. Nobody in their right mind would do what [Christian] did yesterday,” a source close to the family told The Daily Beast.  “Christian suffered some paranoid delusions regarding his parents, that they were plotting against him, that sort of thing,” the insider added.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Civil Asset Reform Gets Detoured To A Police Academy.

Sen Kyle Loveless held several meetings with citizen groups across the state, to prep for the Sept. 1st Interim Session.
  Sources close to Senator Kyle Loveless are indicating that next week's Senate Interim Study on Reforming the out of control forfeiture system, is hastily being moved to a remote Tulsa County reserve used by the Tulsa Police Department for their police academy and firing range.
Chairman Sykes of  the Senate Judiciary Committee
  We're awaiting a public statement by Chairman Anthony Sykes if the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This is perhaps the most volatile issue being dealt with in the off months of late summer. National experts are now having to scurry to make new travel plans, so they can be available to testify as expert witnesses. Some are already crying 'foul' and suspecting that politics have already corrupted the chances of having a real open and transparent process.

Mark Costello's Prophetic Mental Health Warning

Mark Speaks of the peril ahead, at a mental health summit, April 29th
By David Van Risseghem-

 "Society cannot ignore this problem,

and if it does so, it does so at its peril.”

  Those were words Mark Costello declared from the rotunda of the Oklahoma State Capitol.  His words became reality this week. His own peril was something he spoke little about. He did not want to add to the stress his son never really got relief from.
  I was with Mark and a statewide group of mental health advocates on April 29th. We were coming together to draw attention to the severe problem that exists in Oklahoma and is made worse by poor leadership at the state level.
  I am the president of NAMI Tulsa and lead one of the largest local affiliates in helping Oklahomans deal with the mental health challenges in their families. We also address the community impact and we advocate for more sensible policies to restore our loved ones, and our state.
  We saw little media coverage that day. Yes, the governor spoke with us, but Mark Costello asked to have a moment to add his call for solutions. He rarely talked about his son, even when just the two of us spoke alone. Mental illness has a way of consuming all the emotional energy from a family and when you have an opportunity to get a break from care giving, you really don't want to ruminate on the subject very much.
David Van Risseghem
Sooner Politics Publisher
NAMI Tulsa President
  But the Oklahoman came and had their video camera rolling, not knowing just how profound Mark Costello's 2 minutes would be.

Monday, August 24, 2015

RNC Relents: Feb 26 Debate Moves To Texas

RNC Chairman Priebus quietly changed the February 26th debate to Texas. No explanation was published.
  Of the massive number of GOP Presidential Debates, none of the original RNC venues were planned for the Traditional South. In January, the list stated that the Feb. 26th debate would be held in Florida. Even though Florida's primary was the better part of a month later, in the latter half of March.
1. Fox News
    August 2015
2. CNN
    September 2015
    October 2015
4. Fox Business
    November 2015
5. CNN
    December 2015
6. Fox News
    January 2016
7. ABC News
    February 2016
    New Hampshire
8. CBS News
    February 2016
    South Carolina
9. NBC/Telemundo
    February 2016 
The original RNC debate schedule (released Jan., 2015)

  But Feb 26th is in the final weekend prior to the traditional South's Super Tuesday. Sooner Politics and other publications complained that this appears to be an attempt at thwarting the political voice & power of social conservatives by putting the candidates in from of a Florida audience who would be more friendly to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
  Evidently the RNC has quietly changed their minds and is now selecting a Texas venue to host the NBC/Telemundo production. On June 3rd they issued  this update:
9. February 26, 2016
    Aired On: NBC-Mundo
    Location: Houston, TX
10. March, 2016*
      Fox News
      Aired On: Fox News
      Location: TBD
11. March 10, 2016
      Aired On: CNN
      Location: Florida
The August-2015 updated debate schedule

Who Wins?

 The social conservatives in the race will likely benefit from the midwestern issues and the Texas venue.
  The social conservatives in the race will likely benefit from the midwestern issues and the Texas venue. Texas candidates (there are 3 with Texas ties) will also enjoy a friendly home crowd. But NBC and Telemundo are not the most sympathetic host. It is set up to be perhaps the most hostile exchange between liberal media and the candidates. Get your tickets early. This is going to be a huge event.
David Van Risseghem

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Dispelling The Myth Of Violence In Mental Illness

  Professional psychiatric studies continue to reach the same overwhelming conclusion;

Mentally ill people are no more violent than the general population

  In fact, they are far more likely to be victims through their own vulnerability than to ever hurt someone else.  But if you factor in drug abuse, the mentally ill are just as prone to violent behavior as are anyone else who abuses drug substances (including alcohol).
  Public policy actually adds to the vulnerability of the mentally ill by singling them out and taking away their constitutional rights to self defense with certain arms. That includes many military veterans who spend years in battle, but get their hunting equipment confiscated because they once sought treatment for PTSD.

Reports Of Mark Costello's Deadly Conflict With Eldest Son

WARNING: Detailed description of violent attack.

"Sources say Costello’s son had reached out to his parents and asked them to meet him at the restaurant.
Police say it started inside the Braum’s with the suspect stabbing the victim and then proceded outside.
Patrick Spencer was driving on May when he saw someone he thought had been shot.
“We got a closer look and there was a guy chasing him with a knife,” said Spencer. “It was shocking and dramatic.” Spencer says the men circled the building a couple of times. He watched while he called 9-1-1.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Updated: Mark Costello Murdered By Son, Christian, 26

Mark Costello, on Election night, 2010, as Kolbe "Emory", Cathy, Caitlin, Ian, and Ana-Marie celebrate.
 Son, Christian, is not present, in this photo.

KFOR Reports:
[WARNING: detailed description of attack]

  Sources say Castello’s son had reached out to his parents and asked them to meet him at the restaurant.
  Police say it started inside the Braum’s with the suspect stabbing the victim and then proceded outside.
 Patrick Spencer was driving on May when he saw someone he thought had been shot.
  “We got a closer look and there was a guy chasing him with a knife,” said Spencer. “It was shocking and dramatic.” Spencer says the men circled the building a couple of times.  He watched while he called 9-1-1.
  “It was very cold you know the way he was walking after the victim. There was never any rush to the entire thing. There was another woman involved. We assume that’s his wife of the victim. She was running after them. But it was a very brisk walk type run,” said Spencer “At one point, the suspect stabbed the victim in the head. We saw that in front of us.”
  “He was pretty bloody and the wife was trying to get him in their vehicle to get him away from the suspect.” Spencer said.
  Spencer says it ended when a witness in the parking lot rammed the suspect with his vehicle, knocking him to the ground.  Several people then tackled him and kicked the knife away.
“They tied him up with belts and they were able to keep him under wraps until police got there.” said Spencer.
Dozen of witnesses were interviewed by police Sunday night, both Braum’s employees and customers.

News 9 KOTK Reports:

Police arrested Costello's son, Christian Costello, 26, in connection with the stabbing death, Officer Balderrama said.

Earlier in the day, two family members had a fight with one another and agreed to meet at Braum's. When the two arrived, one stabbed the other multiple times in the head and neck with a steak knife, police said.

The stabbing started inside the restaurant and continued into the parking lot, where other customers tried to stop the assault, police said.

Patrick Spencer was driving by and saw the two men walking around the restaurant. Costello was bleeding and his son followed him. Spencer witnessed Costello being stabbed in the head.

“It was shocking and dramatic and like I said, it was very cold and you could feel the sense of cold,” Spencer said. “Several people were able to step in and get the knife away from him and tackle him to the ground and they tied him up with belts.”

Mark Costello was taken to OU Medical Center, where he died.

  Authorities said Costello met with the suspect at the Braum's restaurant on May Avenue, north of Hefner Road. Police said they were inside the restaurant when Costello was stabbed. He stumbled out of the restaurant to get help, according to police.
  Police said witnesses saw the suspect continue stabbing Costello from behind and witnesses pulled the suspect off of Costello until authorities could arrive.
  Costello was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police have the suspect in custody and were interviewing witnesses Sunday evening.

KOTK News 9 Reports:

OKLAHOMA CITY - A state politician was stabbed to death Sunday evening at a northwest Oklahoma City fast food restaurant, sources tell News 9.

  Oklahoma Commissioner of Labor Mark Costello was killed Sunday evening after being stabbed at Braum's, 11224 N May Ave., according to sources.

  Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday, police were called to the Braum's in reference to a man stabbing another man inside and outside the restaurant.

Super Tuesday Goes On Steroids

Perhaps 25 states will make selections in an 11-day span.

Just 6 months from now, the 2016 Presidential nomination process will reach fever pitch. 

  It all starts Friday, Feb. 26th, with a hastily reshuffled presidential debate coming from a Texas venue. The next day, South Carolina looks to hold a Saturday primary.
  Then North Carolina will join Oklahoma, Texas, and the massive list of Super Tuesday (March 1st) states for a series of primaries and caucus events. Anywhere between 10 and 17 states are projected to hold selections in the first week of March.

Breaking down the Numbers of the Conservative Index

  The Oklahoma Constitution Newspaper has released their 2015 Conservative Index scores. All members of the 2015 legislature were scored for their votes on 10 key pieces of legislation which were selected by a conservative grassroots group(Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee). The group has partnered with The publication for many years, to select the bills so as to monitor action on a broad and balanced spectrum of conservative issues.

  We will break down the numbers in several ways:

Brad who?

  The 55th Oklahoma Legislature is vastly Republican. Only 7 senate Democrats were seated for most of the 2015 regular session. 40 senate Republicans served the entire session. The House of Representatives had 29 Democrats and 72 Republicans who served most or all of the session. Most of the current House Chamber have only served during the Fallin Administration (2011 session). That's an accelerated turnover. The 1990 Term Limits initiative limit members to 12 total years of legislative service. Only 50 of the 101 Representatives served when Brad Henry was governor.

Senate beats the House

The Senate held a higher composite score than the house. On a 100-point scale, the senators held an average 64.21 and median score of 70. The House of Representatives had an average score of 63.81 and a median score of 66.

We compared voting records by several factors, including regions of the state and years of service
Which region of Oklahoma is most conservative?

  The Senators and Representatives were analyzed by region. When comparing the legislators by which congressional district they serve in, we see the following:
Senators, by region:
Cong. Dist. 1: 65.5

Cong. Dist. 2: 66.89
Cong. Dist. 3: 67.89
Cong. Dist. 4: 59.6
Cong. Dist. 5: 61.8

Rural Senators: 64.81
Metro Senators: 63.43
Representatives, by region:
Cong Dist 1: 69.60
Cong Dist 2: 53.71
Cong Dist 3: 69.58
Cong Dist 4: 62.79
Cong Dist 5: 64.10

Rural Composite: 63.86
Metro Composite: 63.74
  So the North and West areas of rural Oklahoma are clearly the most conservative this session.

 Incumbancy Corruption?

 When we break down the chambers by years of service, we find that freshmen enter the Senate as the most conservative, but they quickly drop to the bottom of the charts during their 2nd & 3rd sessions. But those staying in office for 4 or more sessions generally are more conservative than the 'sophomores'.

Senators, by year:
members in 1st session 
( 6 'freshmen'): 71.84
members in 3rd session 
(11 'sophomores'): 62.91
members in 4th or more session
(31 'old vets'): 63.13
Representatives, by year:
members in 1st session
 (21 rookies): 61.24
members in 2nd-3rd session 
(11 'sophomores'): 71.64
members with 4th or more sessions
 (67 'old vets'): 63.33
 In the House of Representatives, we see almost the opposite is true. The freshmen members have been less conservative, but the sophomores are vastly more conservative (on average), and the longer termed members are slightly below the average in both chambers.

The best and worst trends

  We looked at each legislator's current score and compared it with a composite of the previous 2 years of service. Here is a graph of the top gainers and worst slides in conservative voting. This doesn't mean they are the best or worst members. It simply shows whose voting showed the biggest changes compared to their own previous 2 years.
David Van Risseghem

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Most of the current House Chamber have only served during the Fallin Administration

Monday, August 17, 2015

Oath Keepers Plan Armed Protest, in Ferguson, Mo.

Oath Keepers  keep peace in Ferguson  Robert Cohen / St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  Tim Farley, of the Red Dirt Report, posted up a weekend story of the Oath Keepers' next planned protest in Ferguson, Mo. He reports on the St. Louis chapter of Oath Keepers and their plan to arm the peaceful protesters with semi-automatic rifles, to protest the local police department's unconstitutional ban on bearing arms in the city of Ferguson.
Oath Keepers leader, Sam Andrews, with a local shop owner
  Sam Andrews, head of an Oath Keepers group in St. Louis County, Mo., confirmed the event will occur within the next “couple of weeks” to demonstrate to local enforcement officials the meaning and intent of Missouri’s open carry law.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Memorial For Journalist, Reid Mullins

  Thursday was a huge day in Oklahoma politics. But at the time, we didn't all know just how big it was. A major campaign swing from a conservative presidential candidate captured most of the headlines as he conducted 3 huge events.
Reid Mullins was a son of the Sooner state. A big fan of his local Putnam City traditions and a scholar of communications at Oklahoma University
  But far away from the crowds, on a quiet hospital bed, Oklahoma Journalist, Reid Mullins, left us. Reid was a big part of the media coverage of Oklahoma government and national political news. His commitment to the vocation of media distribution was unwavering to his final days.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Video Coverage Of Ted Cruz Rally, In Tulsa

Video Of The Entire Event is available here
  KFAQ Radio provided a live mobile video feed of the Big Ted Cruz campaign rally, at Tulsa's Union High Performing Arts Center. Pat Campbell emceed the event which included Jim Bridenstine and several elected officials.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Defenders Of Liberty Set to Honor Oklahoma's Great Citizen Activists

A night for honoring the citizen-advocates of Oklahoma
  It’s once again time to unite to recognize and honor grassroots activists for their hard work and dedication toward preserving liberty in our cities, state and nation. The Defenders of Liberty Grassroots Activism Awards is a way for grassroots leaders in Oklahoma to recognize volunteers who put in many hours of time and hard work to make our communities better and hold our elected officials accountable.

  This is the third year for this event and it looks to be larger than last year. The institute designates 12 awards to grassroots leaders across the state and recognizes the accomplishments of activists from various organizations. This year the awards will be held Saturday, September 26th at 6:30 at the Crowne Plaza: 7902 S Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74136.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sheriff Edwards Advocates Curtailing First Amendment Applications

Canadian County Sheriff, Randall Edwards
  credit: Tim Farley, Red Dirt Report
  The Oath Keepers Summit in Mustang drew several veterans and liberty activists, this Sunday. The event had it's share of conflicting messages and messengers. Here's a snippet from Tim Farley, of the Red Dirt Report:
“People who were burning the American flag should have been thrown in jail,” 
 - Sheriff Randall Edwards
"Edwards, known for his opposition to a legislative proposal that would change Oklahoma’s civil asset forfeiture laws, apparently doesn’t believe in the First Amendment.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rep. Jason Murphey Masters The Art of Representation

  Once again the Oklahoma Constitution Newspaper has released their annual Legislative scoring report. The Conservative Index is the most established Oklahoma legislator scoring system. They carefully pick a set of 10 key pieces of legislation which collectively indicate the conservative mindset (or lack thereof).  And once again Rep. Jason Murphey  has 'aced' the test.
  Look for the Conservative Index Annual Report, from the Oklahoma Constitution Newspaper. You may subscribe, here:

   I called Jason and we visited about this past session.

  Jason agreed to give us a few minutes of his time for a question/answer session. Here's our dialogue;
Sooner Politics: You keep scoring so well in the Oklahoma Constitution's Conservative Index. How do you do it?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sheriff & Senator Fight Over Seized Assets- And Both Are Claiming to Defend Constitutional Liberties

Update: Senator Kyle Loveless will also be speaking at the Oath Keepers Summit. This may be the first time that he and Sheriff Edwards share a stage.

Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards, and Oklahoma Senator
 Kyle Loveless battle over Civil Asset Forfeiture and who gets the loot.
  On Sunday, August 2nd, Oath Keepers is calling all Oklahoma military and veterans to a summit, in Mustang, OK. The stated purpose is to assert the veteran's unexpired oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. Law enforcement personnel are also emphasized for their constitutional oath to defend constitutional rights.
 But the choice of speakers includes one controversial figure. Sheriff Randall Edwards of Canadian County is listed to speak, but his department has come under great criticism for his public defense of the federal 'civil forfeiture' policy.

Oklahoma Veterans And Peace Officers Plan Summit For Freedom This Sunday

Patriot Summit this Sunday August 2nd, 2-6pm in Mustang, OK


  • Rep and Pastor Dan Fisher, 
  • Rep. Craig Moore, 
  • Sheriff Randall Edwards, 
  • Stewart Rhodes (Founder Oath Keepers) will be speaking at the event.
  • Followed up with discussions on CPT (Community Preparedness Teams).