Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Super Tuesday Saved!

 Oklahoma Lawmakers Reject Weston's Effort To Delay Oklahoma Primary Several Weeks. 

On the first hearing date, Sooner Politics
publisher, David Van Risseghem testified to
the committee and the measure was then
tabled by the sponsor.
  Election Secretary, Paul Ziriax looks on.
  Senator Brogdon, back at the capitol, to make the case
against the Weston Bill. Brogdon blamed Weston for
excluding hundreds of state GOP leaders from input.
 An impressive group of Republican Leaders in Oklahoma came to the Capitol to save Oklahoma's Super Tuesday Presidential Primary. Only OKGOP Chairman, David Weston and his vice chair, Sara Jo Odom, were willing to speak in defense of the idea to vacate Oklahoma's early primary leadership role.
  The first act of the bill's sponsor, Rep. Gary Banz, was to again move the target date and set up an additional election date even though the cost of these elections is about $1.2 million dollars. Banz thought the date might make his bill more acceptable to Republicans, even though it would add more costs to the state and lead to cuts in other areas.
  No one  stood in his way, but I did ask him why he asked the committee to flip to his April election date just last week, only to flop back to the 4th Tuesday in March, just a week later.
Oklahoma's National Committeewoman,
Dr. Carolyn McLarty refutes Weston's claims
  When the bill was finally moved for passage, Banz was quick to urge for input from the OKGOP Chairman and others. It was a great contrast from just one week ago when Only Ronda Vuillemont-Smith​ and myself were showing any interest at the hearing.
  Senator Randy Brogdon​, a strong contender for the OKGOP Chairmanship election just 10 days from now; effectively conveyed that the current chairman has avoided any opportunity for the OKGOP State Committee to be informed of or vote on a policy statement in regard to a major move like this. Randy Brogdon​ responded to the House sponsors desire for more party input by showing that the bill's proponent in the GOP has been the very one keeping such input from happening.
  Mark Thomas and Rep. Mike Reynolds spoke of the national prominence that Oklahoma has secured in the past 28 years by being a charter member of the Super Tuesday Southern group.of states. Former Rep. Porter Davis spoke of the danger of being a "winner-take-all" contest.
Weston; "This is not the hill I'm prepared to die on".
  Rep Bobby Cleveland and committee member, David Dank, also echoed the points and challenged Banz's notion that "only a couple of agitators are stirring up opposition". Dank was insistent that the curent arrangement "is not broken".
   Oklahoma's National Committeewoman, Dr. Carolyn McLarty added her voice to the effort to save Super Tuesday. She countered the claims floating through the capitol halls which say Oklahoma is currently out of compliance with an RNC mandate to raise the minimum voter support to 20%. She stated that there is a cap of 20% on thresholds during the early March  contests and Oklahoma's 15% is perfectly acceptable to the RNC.
Oklahoma Grassroots Project founder,
Former Representative, Porter Davis
  David Weston's presentation echoed Rep Banz's plea for more time to present the question to the State Committee and State Convention.  But Weston summed up his pitch by saying "this is not the hill I want to die on.", then he walked out of the room.
  Vice Chair, Sarah Jo Odom, had a less persuasive pitch, and she too, walked out; leaving Rep. Banz alone in a room with many opponents.
  Rep. Dank called for additional time for the committee members to debate. He was given a minute, then Banz responded for the last time.
  When the vote was recorded, Only Rep. Joyner, who was silent throughout the 2 weeks, gave support to Banz. the other 5, including 2 Democrats, decided to leave the current calendar in place.
House Elections & Ethics Committee,  setting up the hearing
room. Rep David Dank (foreground) died a couple days later.
    The OKGOP may still have some debate regarding the threshold issue. Weston may want to move it up to 20%, so that any candidate falling below that vote tally will not receive any delegates awarded
David Van Risseghem

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