Archives for posts with tag: Oklahoma Politics

I live in Oklahoma House District 94.

Our district is fully within Oklahoma County, and Del City is one-third, with Oklahoma City encompassing the remainder. Most of us consider ourselves Mid-Del, I suppose, though folks south of I-240 might think of themselves more as a part of Moore.

Anyway, there are about 37,000 of us in the district in general. That, of course, includes children and others not eligible to vote, but 19,238 of us were registered as of 01 November 2018 (for the general midterm election). Thus, 52% of residents (whom the Congresscritter is to represent), can vote.

I’m guessing, since my half-hearted effort to look it up revealed nothing; if there are 10,000 residents under 18, then our registered percentage is roughly 72%. Seems decent, but I’m not looking up anything to make a comparison.

8,634 D; 6,707 R; 108 L; 3,789 I (registered voters in our district)
44.88%; 34.86%; 0.56%; 19.70% (percentage of registered voters)

It is sad that so many want to identify with the overtly self-serving major parties. It is sad that so few are willing to identify with the party that stands for the liberty of the people and restrictions on the government. It is not surprising many Okies identify as independent. Most of us are, but politics is politics. Tribalism is instinctive, but we rational and educated adults should be able to do better.

ABSENTEE MAIL EARLY VOTING ELECTION DAY TOTAL
JASON SANSONE (REP) 279 118 3458 3855 39.61%
ANDY FUGATE (DEM) 488 317 5072 5877 60.39%
Total 767 435 8530 9732

The table above is cut-paste from the State Election Board’s official results. Roughly 43% of the district registered voters he represents voted for Andy. Less than a third (31%) of all residents he represents voted for him. I suspect most of the Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents, and some minority of Democrats feel unrepresented (at least at the gut level). That is our system. I do hope it helps Andy keep perspective and a sense of humility.

I’ve friended Andy on Facebook. I have higher hopes for him than our prior representative. We shall see. Still, I honestly suspect that even if Andy treats nearly all his representees with respect and reasonable attention, he is still going to be voicing positions that most of us do not agree with, at least on most subjects. (The situation is similar or reversed in most districts.) Again, that is our system.

How does this situation qualify as a representative democracy?

Our system is broken. It isn’t working. Leaving our system as-is proves we are lobotomized sheep, willing to be fleeced by the political bosses.

By the way, I’d register Libertarian, but I just can’t accept the party system in general. I cannot condone the party system by registering in one of the parties. Thus, I have my registration as an independent.

That causes restrictions for votes. The party system restricts voters in primaries and other “party” elections. Not being an active member in good standing of one of the parties results in one being shut out from most of the political process. Again, a broken part of our system. It is broken and unjustifiable. It needs to be fixed.

The parties get to set their own voting rules for the “party” elections, and they change often. Generally, they won’t let voters registered with a different party to vote on their ballot, but sometimes they allow those registered as independents.

Ideally, our representatives study the legislative issues that arise in the legislature, and, hopefully, they consider our suggestions, weigh alternatives and arguments for and against, and they raise these issues in the legislature for us. Ideally, they spend most of their time improving existing laws, repealing bad laws, and improving the liberty of the citizenry while reining in and restricting the long arm of the law to infringe on the liberty of the citizenry.

Party politics and rules encumber the process and restrict our representatives, especially when in the minority party, but the idea is they take our input, add in all they can learn, and make the best decision they are capable of. If Andy does that, I’ll be satisfied. I’ll feel I’m represented.

Party politics stand in the way, especially for aspiring pols. Scott Inman is a good example. I supported his opponent each of the seven elections he ran for. (Eight if you count his abortive run for OK Governor.) Despite opposing him, I found him to be a great guy, and I liked him. There was even an off-year when I got so annoyed at the OKGOP that I told Scott I was going to support him. Apparently, I had bad timing. That is when Scott stopped listening to me. He became a grandstander, continuously beating the drum for the Democratic Party, continuously denigrating, deriding, and accusing all who weren’t in line with his stances (which seemed fully aligned with DNC policy). Scott went so far as to unfriend me, and block me, on Facebook, deleting many of my comments on his page. (I am (and was) a legal and voting resident of his district. I had known him (as a politician) since 2003, actively (generally cordially) engaging him often.)

It didn’t take me long to realize Scott was first a politician. It truly disappointed me as he more and more routinely threw his constituents under the bus in order to advance his standing in Democratic Party politics. He had his sights set on the highest ranks of Democratic politics and office. His whole strategy of campaigning his last four years in office (and make no mistake, it was a 24/7 campaign from just after the 2014 elections) were aimed at the Oklahoma Governorship, followed by a jump to national politics in the course of time.

Perhaps my opinion is colored by his treatment of me and so much of what I try to stand for. Regardless, I see him as a quintessential example of what is wrong with US politics and what our representative democracy has degenerated to. Scott seemed to represent the district honestly his first four years. He grew more vocal and more confrontational as he became more prominent in the Democratic Party, both in Oklahoma and nationally. He proved to be corrupted by his power. He ruined his life and family because of it. He failed to represent his professed Catholic faith. He did not represent the people of District 94 in any reasonable and honest way his last four years in office, especially for those who are not staunchly aligned with the DNC.

Following up, on 06 November, shortly after the polls closed, I walked over to our precinct to review the vote-tally that is always posted in the window by the door. Two fellows were eagerly helping the pole official complete the task. (I mean that complementarily; they were being appropriately helpful.) They quickly took a couple of notes and snapped a couple of photos, and they were hurrying on (obviously collecting information for a campaign or party). And, I recognized the voice of Scott Inman. As he hurried off, I queried. His associate heard me and responded in the affirmative. That caught Scott’s attention, and he waved and shouted, “Good to see you,” as he hurried to their vehicle. I asked how life was going, and he replied, “Quite well, thank you, but we must hurry to the next precinct.” Fair enough, but no, his life isn’t going well at all by any standard I hold. Oh well. Not my business. Not my call. Regardless, it shocked me that I would see him in our district. After his fall from grace, Scott reportedly moved to Tulsa as a banking executive. (Tulsa World) I still cannot fathom why he was collecting poll results in his old district so far from Tulsa. I assume his disgrace has been forgotten by the Democratic Party. I won’t be surprised if I start seeing his name in the news again.

I’ve waxed too verbose. I’ve vented, but I mean it. I’ll never succeed in politics if I unwisely decide to try, because I’m too open, too transparent. I have no intention of changing that. I’m getting better at keeping my mouth shut (face to face), but when asked, I’m going to be as clear, and honest, and open as I can be.

Here is looking forward to representation by someone more focused on representing us than on headlines and securing votes for higher office. Andy Fugate, we are counting on you.

 

State Totals 781,091 D; 1,003,182 R; 8,675 L; 327,895 I; Total 2,120,843
Oklahoma’s 2017 estimated populate was 3,930,864. (Approximately 54% of residents are registered to vote.)

 

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The wiki article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Oklahoma is brief, but it includes details that should lower the heads of all Oklahomans. We aren’t like that in most regards, but we didn’t always do so well.

One key fact is the state was run by democrats since the beginning. The leaders of Scott Inman’s party ran this state, and they buggered it up pretty bad in over a century. Scott Inman is minority leader in the Oklahoma state house, and he is term-limited after this next election. Public records indicate he has in the neighborhood of a quarter-million in his war chest. Jason Sansone filed to run against Inman, but his funds available will probably be a tenth of Inman’s. Money is unlikely to be a deciding factor, but if it comes to it, I’m sure the state Democrat party would back their leader.

Inman is nearly certain to fill the 12-year max, and he will probably run for statewide office in 2018. His name is being dropped already as the likely Democratic nominee for Governor. Radio hosts even talk that way when interviewing Joe Dorman, last round’s governor candidate, and Dorman has expressed his intention to run again.

I’m not sure what I think of Dorman, overall, but he shoots straight. He is also in favor of drug legalization, but you might have noticed I’ve concluded the war on drugs failed; it was mostly racist anyway, more a war on the poor than anything else. So, I favor drug legalization too. The system is broke. There are no viable alternatives to a fix other than legalizing it and working the new problems from that. Those new problems can’t be worse than the mess we have now.

Inman is a solid guy. Not much negative can be said about him, except that he is a politician, and his party seems to come before anything else in his public presentation. The only real complaint I have of him is he is one of them. One of the politicians that thinks politics can fix things, and if you only give him and his party the power to do it, they will fix everything.

Of course, there is that truism that power corrupts.

Sadly, nearly all politicians are like that. They think they just need a little more power, one more law, a little more revenue to spend, and everything will get better.

Of course, it won’t.

It so happens that the government and politics cannot fix the problem because the government and politics are the problem. Power and authority, authoritarianism, cause nearly all the problems that most of us deal with throughout our lives, at least all those problems we can’t actually do something about on our own.

My main point in my writing here is that Scott Inman keeps saying the problem is those Rs. He keeps saying if the Ds were in charge everything would be better. I see a lot of comments on his Facebook page that indicate many people agree with him.

I point out that the Ds had well over a century to set things wrong in Oklahoma, and they set them wrong in a lot of ways. The Rs have had scarcely 10% of that time to try to set things right. Sadly, they have made a poor show of it, but one can hardly pass judgement so soon.

Still, a good way to gain headlines is to blame the opposition and loudly spin anything and everything they are doing wrong. Representative Inman has been very good at that a few times, so much so that I was embarrassed to admit I live in House District 94. (Not because of the failings of the Rs, but because of the lack of responsibility in the words of my representative.)

I’m sure he will pivot to positive in just about two years, but for now, negative gets headlines.

I almost supported him for a while, several months ago. The Rs were making quite a mess of things, and it just seemed reasonable to support the opposition. I reached out, especially when he seemed offended at some of my comments in social-media. I was hoping for some push for compromise and reason. All I got was finger pointing. It has only gotten worse.

I have no plans regarding writing more about politics. Maybe more, maybe not. I’ll probably write if I do much digging and come to any conclusions. I mostly write to see what I think. I have no illusions of persuading anyone to my views. Life just isn’t like that. Emotionalism, rhetoric, polemic, sensationalism, and the like can push mobs and sway crowds, but sound reason never wins the day. Sound reason is rarely even accepted as such, must less accepted as persuasive.

I’ve become disillusioned and cynical with regard to politics and government on the whole. Such are the past, and the past is dead. Sadly, before the powers that be actually expire, there will be suffering and death. The Gods of the copybook headings, with terror and slaughter return!

I do pray that it will be less severe than the global conflagrations of war of the twentieth century. Perhaps the pains will birth a new sense of brotherhood and respect for the person, each individual. Perhaps we will begin to see that each is invaluable beyond our mortal concerns.

I’ll be voting for James Lankford in the upcoming primary for Oklahoma US Senate.

I record here my story of why.

I grew up in southeast Kansas, and I consider the Tri-States my home. That is, I consider myself a native of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Oklahoma has been our residence for several years now, and Kevin Calvey was the first politician I came to know personally. I found him to be, above all, a good man. Read the rest of this entry »

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