Monday, June 30, 2014

Oklahoma Citizens Beat Back Obama's Plot

  I want to thank David & Barbara Green for expending personal assets on my behalf, to press the constitutional protection of laity to actually live out their faith in the marketplace. Oklahoma has been blessed to have such solid businesses grow from within our midst.
  It grieves me that the leaders of religious structures only spoke up when their church entity was coerced into sinful acts. The various "men of the cloth" demonstrated, to various degrees; a self-absorption with building their own religious empires, but showing very little concern for the devout "sheep of their fold" when the wolves of oppression were coercing them to deny the very practical daily expressions of their faith. 
  I am grateful that the courts have consistently upheld the rights of congregants to actually live true to their spiritual convictions.  A narrow 5-4 ruling of the high court is seriously troubling and the language of this decision needs to be expanded to the person who is coerced to pay a government expense which also violates strict tenants of faith.
  If the oppressors of our civil liberties (at this time it appears to be the Obama regime), are successful in supplanting honorable jurists with lackeys of their own making, then America will cease to be the land of the free.

David Van Risseghem

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Preview Of the November Election

  Many of the key 2014 Oklahoma races are a big step closer to being decided. Oklahomans entered the primary season with a few federal & statewide seats already decided because no one contested an incumbent.
2014 Oklahoma Election Progress
Democrat 163K primary voters
 8115 E 112th St S, Bixby, OK 74008
Republican 265K primary voters
 2139 E 32nd St, Tulsa, OK 74105
 202 N Main, Fairview, OK 73737
 2103 Fm 171, Wichita Falls, TX 76305
 PO Box 998, Broken Arrow, OK 74013
Democrat - runoff needed 163K primary voters
 3301 E Forest Park Dr, Oklahoma City, OK
 8623 E Reno Ave Apt 5, Midwest City, OK 73110
Republican 265K primary voters
 16121 Windrush Pl, Edmond, OK 73013
10321 Walnut Hollow Dr, OkC, OK 73162
Republican - unapposed
 10630 S Erie Pl, Tulsa, OK 74137
Democrat 52K primary voters
 316 W Benge Rd, Ft Gibson, OK 74434
Republican 32K primary voters
 RR 1 Box 8255, Westville, OK 74965
 22815 Woodridge Dr, Claremore, OK 74019
 118 Fir Dr, Medford, OK 73759
Republican 66K primary voters
 Route 2 Box 136, Cheyenne, OK 73628
Democrat 28K primary voters
 3309 Elmo Way, Moore, OK 73160
Republican 48K primary voters
 104 Briarwood St, Moore, OK 73160
 3400 Enterprise Dr, Norman, OK 73026
Democrat - runoff needed  30K primary voters
 2109 Rushing Meadows, Edmond, OK 73013
 720 NW 16th, Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Republican - runoff needed 55K primary voters
 1313 SW 105th Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73170
 1712 Crossbow, Edmond, OK 73034
9904 N Charter Oak Cir, Edmond, OK
 Baan Thai #2817 324 Rachamanka Rd -
- Thailand, Nakhon Pathom, 73000
 2862 Classen Blvd, Norman, OK 73071
Democrat 163K primary voters
 708 W Apache Ave, Rush Springs, OK 73082
 820 NE 23rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
 1712 Timber Ridge Rd, Edmond, OK 73034
1232 SW 92nd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73139
 1111 NE 63rd #D, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Democrat 163K primary voters
 3015 Lakeside Dr, Oklahoma City, OK
Republican 265K primary voters
 5423 NW 132nd, Oklahoma City, OK 73142
Republican  - unapposed
 20237 SW Tinney Rd, Cache, OK 73527
Republican - unapposed
2834 S Utica Ave, Tulsa, OK 74114
Republican - unapposed
 1617 Durham Ct, Edmond, OK 73013
Democrat - runoff needed 165K primary voters
 13244 Hwy 82-C, Hulbert, OK 74441
 1701 N Mistletoe Ln, Edmond, OK
Republican 265K primary voters
 5713 E 103 St, Tulsa, OK 74137
Democrat 163K primary voters
 5862 S Pittsburg Ave, Tulsa, OK 74135
Republican 265K primary voters
 5901 N Santa Fe Ave, Edmond, OK 73025
Republican - unapposed
 9910 E 97th, Tulsa, OK 74133
Republican - unapposed
16431 Slick Rd, Kellyville, OK 74039

 While 2014 will be historical for the number of seats contested, the voters have a significant number of races decided for them.
  Jim Bridenstine, Scott Prewitt, Gary Jones, & ken Miller were not challenged electorally. Todd Hiett & John Doak won clear primary victories and were not challenged by any Democrat or independent candidates.
  Democrats will have statewide runoff elections to determine their candidate for Superintendent of Public Education and for US Senate in the unexpired term being vacated.
  The Oklahoma City metro area will send both Republican & Democrat voters to the polls for a runoff of congressional candidates in District 5.
Markwayne Mullin
 The steady growth of the Republican Party continues to demonstrate an overwelming advantage in most areas of the state. Only in District 2 were there more Democrats at the primary polls than Republicans. Incumbent Markwayne Mullin will seek a 2nd term to congress in this historically "Dixiecrat" part of East & Southeast Oklahoma.
  There was one very public rebuke and eviction in the June 24th election. State Superintendent, Janet Barresi was widely rejected for her administration of the state's public schools. Her advocacy of Common Core was repudiated by Conservatives and proponents of state independence in education standards. Liberals and school district administrators blasted her "grading the schools" initiative.  A groundswell of public support for school district flexibility began to emerge in legislative initiatives. Gov. Fallin could have received equal scrutiny, but she still won the primary election.

James Lankford
The most stunning victory came in the US Senate race to finish Tom Coburn's term. A young Baptist preacher-turned-politician rose to leadership in every arena of church and govt. service. His 57% in the primary was not expected. While some credit his record of service, others also point out the strong support of the state's Southern Baptists and thousands who send their teens to Falls Creek Baptist Church Camp, where he was a popular director.
  The "Tea Party" label became ambiguous in Oklahoma because nearly every Republican claimed to identify with the populist label. While originally the term identified with a strong opposition to federal bailouts of banks and others deemed "too big to fail"; it is now vaguely connected in media outlets with anti-immigrant, states' rights, privacy rights, and other social issues.
   Lost in the 2014 election is the issue of Federal mandated health insurance requirements and the massive federal deficit. the issues of marriage and abortion have rarely been debated or even referenced in campaign literature.
David Van Risseghem

Monday, June 23, 2014

Live election Night Coverage

   Sooner Politics will be live and up-to-the-minute with official State Election Board returns as they are posted.

   Our network of bloggers will be reporting from the many watch parties and from their own headquarters.
We'll be publishing reactions to the results and reflecting upon why the candidates fared the way they did.
   If you're at a watch party with your tablet or phone, log into to get all the latest info and news from around the state.
Our mobile web portal will include all the latest details and we welcome your comments via our Facebook page and discussion group.
David Van Risseghem

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Runoff 'Bump'

How voter's support will migrate in a runoff election

A study of the likely voters in the June 24th Republican Primary conducted a poll of very likely voters over the first 3 weeks of June, leading up to the Republican primary election. We were able to ascertain some significant information about how candidates will be effected by the consolidation factor of a runoff election, assuming that no candidate garners a majority of the primary vote. Candidates who drew at least 10% in the polls, are tracked in this migration study.
   The only race that is projected to avoid a runoff (according to a consensus of polls) is Jim Inhofe's bid for 4th term in the U.S. Senate.
   The unscientific voting sample was not indicative of who would prevail in the primary election, itself; but it does provide an insight into the mindset of the supporters of each of the candidates. you can study the  summary, here.

Over 90% of Chad Moody's support shifts to Dax Ewbank.
Over 80% of Dax Ewbank's support shifts to Chad Moody.
Over 80% of Mary Fallin's support shifts to Dax Ewbank.

Unexpired U.S. Senate
Over 60% of James Lankford's support shifts to Randy Brogdon.
Over 60% of Randy Brogdon's support shifts to T.W. Shannon.
Over 60% of T.W. Shannon's support shifts to James Lankford.

U.S. Senate New term
Over 40% of Eric Wyatt's support shifts to Jim Inhofe.
Over 50% of Jim Inhofe's support shifts to Eric Wyatt.

State Superintendent
Over 80% of Brian Kelly's support shifts to Joy Hofmeister.
Janet Barresi's support splits evenly between Brian Kelly & Joy Hofmeister.
Over 80% of Joy Hofmeister's support shifts to Brian Kelly.

These statistics are based upon the responses of  voters who were asked;
 "Who is your 2nd choice? Select the candidate you next prefer, if your first preference was not available.".
The internals of this polling data can be studied at Sooner Politics Polling. is not affiliated with "The Sooner Poll"
David Van Risseghem

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Legal Contortionists Fight to Save A Tulsa County Campaign

Asst. Tulsa D.A., Steve Kunsweiler
Rep. Fred Jordan
   A key ruling is being sought from Oklahoma's judicial branch regarding the language of the Oklahoma Constitution. At the heart of the issue is a controversy of what the meaning of 'elected' is. Tulsa Asst. District Attorney, Steve Kunsweiler is the petitioner.
   State Representative, Fred Jordan of Tulsa County; has a legal team promoting the idea that the state legislature actually does the electing sometime in next year's legislative session. Most citizens have come to understand that the electing happens over the course of the open polling hours on 'election day'. The state and county election boards certify the results hours and days after the election was held, but they did not do the actual electing.
   About 10 years ago, the Oklahoma legislature remained in office and in official 'special session' even more than a week after some of them were replaced in a November general election, So there is no basis to say that current legislators are done with their elective duties after the spring regular session adjourns sine die.
   A legislator cannot even resign his current office prior to a new election date because the constitutional language says he is not eligible util after "the term for which he was elected".
   A somewhat flimsy precedent ruling happened in the very early years of our state, when a judge ruled that the election of a statewide office gets certified by the new legislative body, in the opening of the next legislative session. But that process does not cover county elections. Currently, county election boards certify results and are accountable to some degree to the state election board.
   When an election is held (whether primary or general), state law calls for the successful candidate  to be certified (declared 'elected') on the following Friday.

"If no contest shall be filed by 5:00 p.m. Friday next following an election, the county election boards and State Election Board shall declare the result of such election and shall issue the appropriate lists or certificates to the successful party as provided by law. Provided, however, that no such lists or certificates shall be issued until the total of all returns has been verified, and a complete tabulation thereof made."

   And if no further general election is needed, a primary election's successful candidate is certified as the new office holder after it is determined that the time for filing to that office has lapsed (in this case, the filings closed on April 11th, 2012).

 "Certificates of Election may be issued to unopposed candidates after 5 p.m. on the second day following the close of the filing period."

Sen. Brian Crain
   The unprecedented situation here, is that 3 candidates were eligible at the time of their filing (in April), but legislative action is deemed to have made 2 of them ineligible on the last day of the legislative session (in May). So no clear controlling administrative authority is in place to make a ruling after the April eligibility contest period. This is why the courts are needed, to rule on the facts and the law.

   A separate legal issue, which has not been challenged, is the legality of an election ballot which offers the choice of a candidate whom everyone assumes is ineligible by constitutional restrictions. Senator Brian Crain took the initiative in recusing himself immediately after his legislative body passed an emolument (pay adjustment), in late May. Had this been a "plurality wins" election, a serious injustice would become very obvious. The election board opted not to order new ballots and Mr. Crain will appear on the ballot despite his withdrawal from the race.

   There are also national implications in this matter. The U.S. Supreme court can intervene, just as they intervened in Florida's 2000 general election for 25 state electors. The SCOTUS ruled that an election's rules and process cannot be changed after the fact. So despite the vague and ambiguous language of our state constitution, we are bound to it's terms during this election term. The only other legal remedy would be for the courts to set aside the election results and call for a new filing period and special election. During that time, the Governor could appoint an acting district attorney, just as Governor Keating did at the untimely death of David L. Moss, in the mid 90's. Tulsa was then served by Bill LaFortune, and later by Chuck Richardson; until Tim Harris was elected in the next term.
David Van Risseghem

Thursday, June 12, 2014

SoonerPolitics Interim Poll Report

  The Sooner Politics Poll of major statewide races was designed to provide more than just the front-runners in the June 24th Republican primary. It's unique value extends to determining the inevitable shifts that a runoff campaign will focus upon.
   We are able to identify some breaking trends more than a week ahead of the final tabulations. This is not a scientific poll, so we do not want to project any primary winners. We are simply trying to gauge the mindset of the likely voters as they prepare for some runoff decisions.

Oklahoma Governor

Dax Ewbank's supporters overwhelmingly move to Chad Moody
Mary Fallin's supporters lean toward Dax Exbank

Chad Moody's supporters overwhelmingly move to Dax Ewbank

U.S. Senate - Unexpired

Randy Brogdon's supporters move fairly split between Kevin Crow, TW Shannon, and James Lankford.
James Lankford's supporters clearly move to Randy Brogdon
TW Shannon's supporters move to James Lankford more than Randy Brogdon.
Kevin Crow's supporters move to Randy Brogdon

U.S. Senate

Jim Inhofe overwhelms the race but his supporters pick Eric Paul Wyatt 2nd.

Eric Paul Wyatt's supporters move to Jim Inhofe, primarily.

State Superintendent 

Joy Hofmeister's supporters overwhelmingly move to Brian Kelly

Janet Barresi's supporters move evenly to Brian Kelly & Joy Hofmeister

Brian Kelly's supporters move overwhelmingly to Joy Hofmeister

David Van Risseghem

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Sooner Politics Survey Is Commissioned

    Sooner Politics is conducting a poll to give the public some indication of how voters are likely to respond to the choices being offered at the June 24th Republican Primary, and how those voters will respond to a 2nd set of choices in the potential runoff election, should it become necessary.

    The science of Instant Runoff polling is essential to understanding how voters migrate to a new set of decisions in a runoff election.

    Oklahoma law requires that a nominee receives a majority of the votes cast in a primary election process.  Since some of the races involve several choices, it is usually very difficult for a candidate to surpass 50% of the vote in a party primary election.
    Many times an incumbent who falls just short of 50% in a primary will find it very hard to gather the additional votes in a runoff, because the re-election campaign is often seen as a referendum of sorts, about his representation. But a challenger who initially gathered more than a third of the initial primary votes will be far more likely to rally the supporters of another challenger to his cause. This poll is partly an effort to determine that likelihood in each of the races.
The Poll can be directly linked here:

Or you may take the poll, below. Please ask your fellow Oklahoma Republican voters to help us boost the participation and give all of us a more accurate indication of where things stand.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rush Limbaugh & Steve Largent Remember Virgil Cooper of Drumright

   Years after the Republican Revolution of 1994, Rush Limbaugh recounted the events that led up to the election which ended 40+ years of Democrat control of the House Of Representatives. He said the first signal of doom happened when a retired Democrat rural Oklahoma school teacher defeated the powerful incumbent liberal, Mike Synar, for the Democrat nomination.
   Cooper's primary & runoff campaign fund was less than $10K and he had no previous political experience or connections. It took place in the summer & fall of 1994, first placing in the primary, then an outright victory in a runoff.
Synar had failed to reflect the district's conservative values and over time, Synar had developed a dissonance to the complaints his representation had taken on.

   Steve Largent also entered politics that summer. The NFL Hall-Of-Famer also defeated 5 other experienced political leaders, winning an outright majority on primary night. The next day, Largent's team went to Washington to meet with Republican congressional leaders. Steve came back and told his Tulsa campaign team; 
   "I was trying to introduce myself but when they heard I was from Oklahoma, all they wanted to know was 'How did Synar lose?' and 'Who is Virgil Cooper?'" 
   Steve had been used to multitudes cheering him on in massive stadiums, so it took him aback when Washington was more enthralled with the prowess of a guy named Virgil Cooper of Drumright.

Wikipedia puts it this way:
   In 1994, Synar was narrowly defeated in a Democratic primary run-off election by Virgil Cooper, a retired high school principal. Though Cooper's campaign spent less than $20,000 itself, some money was spent by outside interests that were opposed to Synar, including the National Rifle Association, tobacco companies, and cattlemen. Cooper seized on Synar's connections with Japanese businesses with a bumper sticker slogan of "Sayonara Synar."
   Cooper won by just 2,609 votes out of 92,987 cast, a 51-49 margin. Cooper was subsequently defeated in the general election by Republican Tom Coburn by a 52-48 margin.
Oklahoma historian, Lee Wise put it this way:
   I remember Virgil Cooper. In 1994, Mike Synar was a Democratic Representative from Oklahoma. He was an eight-term incumbent
Virgil Cooper was a 71-year-old retired principal who ran against Synar in the Democratic primary. His total campaign expenditures (to my recollection) consisted of the cost of printing a couple of campaign signs which he attached to the sides of his pickup truck. His campaigning consisted of driving around town with his signs.
Virgil Cooper won. A complete unknown with a pickup truck defeated an eight-term incumbent.
Virgil Cooper went on to lose to Tom Coburn in the general election. The election was quite cordial and really a very happy evening in Oklahoma.

Memo to The One: never underestimate a man with a pickup truck! 
The Massachusetts Liberals:
Mike Synar receives honors from the Kennedy family
   The Sierra Club; a leftist political special interest for nature reserves; reported it this way;
   Oklahoma Rep. Mike Synar, D, one of Congress' leading advocates for federal grazing reform, lost a Democratic primary runoff Sept. 20 to a little-known retired school principal. Virgil Cooper defeated the eight-term congressman 52 percent to 48 percent. Ranchers cheered the defeat of the outspoken critic of "welfare cowboys' using public lands in the West, while environmentalists lamented the loss of a strong ally.
   "We're still stunned," says Sandra Rose, chair of Sierra Club's Oklahoma political committee. Rose says Synar, whose environmental voting record regularly landed him at the top of the League of Conservation Voters' list, may have fallen victim to a term limit initiative on the same ballot. "The people supporting term limits showed up in droves," she says. 
The Los Angeles Times reported it this way;

   Mr. Cooper May Go to Washington : Oklahoma: Former school principal, 71, defeated incumbent Rep. Mike Synar for the Democratic nomination. Victory surprised even his friends. 'We thought he was crazy' when he filed to run, one said.

   DRUMRIGHT, Okla. — Virgil Cooper's retirement was simple. He started each day with two pieces of toast and a cup of coffee, walked five miles, delivered meals to the elderly and hauled clothes to the Goodwill.And he always found time for the boys at Jo's Drive-In, a Main Street diner in the heart of Oklahoma's oil patch, where the talk started with football but almost always settled on politics.
   Cooper's dissatisfaction with government became personal. Three months ago, the 71-year-old former school principal stunned his coffee klatch by laying down $750 and filing as a Democratic candidate for Congress.
   "We thought he was crazy," said Howard Huff, an 81-year-old retired pharmacist in Drumright and one of the regulars at Jo's. "We thought he was just going to look into it."
Cooper did more than that. In one of the biggest upsets in Oklahoma political history, he defeated eight-term U.S. Rep. Mike Synar in the Sept. 20 runoff to win the Democratic nomination.
   He faces Tom Coburn, a Muskogee doctor, in the Nov. 8 general election. Democrats have held the 2nd District seat since 1922.
   While many congressmen are over 55, the American Assn. of Retired Persons is unaware of any first-time congressional candidates in their 70s.
   "It shows you can't stereotype people by age," said AARP spokesman Peter Ashkenas. "This demonstrates that whatever older Americans want to do, they can still do it."
   The upset rattled incumbents across the land, prompting White House spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers to remark that "this is a tough environment for incumbents."
Cooper, a World War II veteran, avid reader and community volunteer, was not as surprised.
"If you're surprised to win, you probably shouldn't be running in the first place," he said, showing a glimpse of his homespun philosophy that is fast making him a folk hero in Oklahoma's rural northeastern district.
   Educated at East Central University in Ada and the University of Tulsa, Cooper taught social studies and math for 34 years, the last 29 in Drumright, where he also coached basketball.
   He's been to Washington once, a few years back on a sightseeing trip with his wife, Ann, and he visited the offices of his Democratic representatives, Sen. David Boren and Synar.
   "Mike pointed into the office and said, 'Mr. Cooper, this is your office.' I decided to take him up on the offer," Cooper said with a chuckle.
The upset was largely the result of an anti-Synar climate brought on by a constituency that felt Synar had lost touch and was too liberal. In fact, Cooper introduced himself by saying, "I'm running against Mike Synar."
Perhaps anyone could have run against Synar and won, but only two other Democrats filed--Cooper and Bill Vardeman, a 71-year-old rancher from Ft. Gibson who missed getting into the runoff by 1% of the vote.
"I guess a lot of younger guys didn't want to get their heads beat off," Cooper said.  His candidacy led to a fascinating campaign.
   Cooper, with no political experience, tucked business cards under the windows of parked cars and drove an old pickup truck with a campaign sign on the back. Questioned about the validity of his campaign, state Democratic leaders often replied, "Virgil who?"
Synar ran television and radio ads claiming Cooper wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. Cooper, who draws Social Security, waited nearly two weeks to deny the charges.
   When he saw Synar a few days before the runoff, Cooper told him, "You just keep lying about me and I'll keep telling the truth about you, and we'll see who gets elected."
   Cooper won with 51% of the vote, even carrying Muskogee County, Synar's hometown.
   Cooper admits his lack of campaign experience led to "political blunders," but they are harmless, engaging blunders at that.
   He said at a news conference that his political idol was Dwight D. Eisenhower. When reminded that Eisenhower was a Republican, Cooper replied, "In World War II, if you said anything bad about Ike, you were through."
   He promised he would not take any out-of-state campaign contributions, but sheepishly admitted he had gone back on his word.
   "My wife's brother in Texas asked if he could send money, so I accepted his $50," Cooper said.
   Is Mr. Cooper ready to go to Washington?
   "Yes, I'd go to Washington, but Drumright would still be my home," he said.
   The campaign trail is taking him away from his other chores, such as serving on the pulpit committee at the First Baptist Church, which is looking for a new pastor.
   He hasn't been able to mow his lawn because of the number of national media inquiries.
But Cooper has no regrets.
   "If I had still been working, I probably would not have run because I'd have been busy with other things," Cooper said. "A lot of people out there have a lot more zip and zing than I've got. I wasn't trying to be a role model for any old folks. I just thought there were a lot of things we ought to stand up for."
   Tom Coburn narrowly defeated Cooper in the November general election. They were both non-experienced in political action and they were both conservatives in many senses of the word. Tony Lauinger of Oklahomans For Life said that his organization's cause is furthered by both candidates. The district had been solidly Democrat since 1920. With a few more bits of Cooper luck, we may never have heard about what Tom Coburn might do for Washington politics.

Fallin Makes The Case For Ewbank

Is Fallin Campaigning For Her Opponent?

  This election for Oklahoma Governor was Governor Mary Fallin's to lose. In the past 5 months she has demonstrated an unprecedented pettiness and dissonance which we have never seen in her before. Her strident lack of forthrightness on key legislative matters has put her squarely at odds with her party's platform, the conservative legislature, and the working families of this state.

  • At last check, Mary Fallin's office refused to state a position on the National Popular Vote bill. That bill is strongly opposed by the Republican Party and it's passage would permanently give away Oklahoma's voice in the nation's presidential election; by letting an interstate compact formula vote for us.
  • Fallen vetoed several bills this session including a 2nd amendment bill to protect a citizen's right to have their gun permits given a timely processing. Her statement indicates she vetoed it solely because the legislature didn't put her bills at the front of the legislative calendar.
  • Fallen vetoed a bill which would grant parents more involvement in their child's education at public schools.
  • Fallin has increasingly used executive orders to curtail our freedoms, simply because she's afraid to let us do things she admits to be ignorant about.
   It is good to have a choice, this month, in the Republican primary election.
Sooner Politics is especially pleased that there is an opportunity to express our disappointment with the character of the Fallin administration's erratic behavior. We believe many Oklahomans plan to mark the box for Dax Ewbank.
   Dax Ewbank is a fine man with a clear set of conservative convictions and a determination to keep our state on a solid path to greater liberty.
   If you need more information on this fine man, please visit his website and let him know what matters most to you and your family.