Orwig Deserves Your Vote
Dana Orwig, a Democrat, deserves to be elected in her legislative race in House District 87. She will bring to state government a pro-education, pro-jobs stance that will help Oklahoma prosper.
Her opponent, Republican incumbent Trebor Worthen, has been a strong supporter of wacko state Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore), the ideological driven neo-conservative who places politics above the state’s interests. Essentially, Worthen is part of the immoral neocon crowd which has wreaked havoc in this country by trampling on people’s rights and privacy and taking the country into a botched and lost war on lies and distortions.
On her website, Orwig writes, “It is essential for Oklahoma to continue to build on the recent improvements that we have made in our education system. We must pay competitive salaries and continually refine our teacher training programs in order to have the highest quality professional educators available.”
Orwig is also a strong supporter of small business. While Worthen and the neocon cabal cater to the big corporations like Chesapeake Energy, Orwig recognizes Oklahoma’s economic strength rests with small business.
She writes, “In addition to attracting new jobs to Oklahoma, we need to hold on to the jobs we have by finding ways to help small businesses stay competitive and supporting the companies that are already here. Improved access to health care, a strong public education system, and maintaining our infrastructure will make our state a more desirable location for business.”
Orwig is an ordained Episcopal deacon and has worked in public and private education. Her husband is a physician at Oklahoma Veteran’s Affairs Hospital. House District 87 is in northwest Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma and the rest of the nation need to move past the mess created by so-called conservatives who have brought this country a lost war, hateful partisan politics, and corporate welfare. Orwig deserves your vote.
Has Istook Given Up?
You have to wonder if gubernatorial candidate Ernest Istook has given up. While his opponent, popular Governor Brad Henry has been running powerful television advertisements for weeks, Istook’s campaign has remained quiet. So far, Henry has outspent and outsmarted Istook. It’s been a rout. Polls show Henry far ahead of Istook.
Is Istook even in the state these days or is he off helping Utah get public transportation money?
Istook and his supporters obviously miscalculated the political landscape. When Istook decided to run, the Republicans still had some credibility left among their base and Oklahoma was a huge pro-Bush state. Polls show support for Bush has dropped off in Oklahoma, and people everywhere are fed up with the Republican-led Congress. Istook, of course, is still a part of that Congress.
Given the circumstances, you might think Istook would simply put up a good fight against Henry and then move into the lobbying business to continue to bilk taxpayers. So where’s the fight? Maybe it’s really that bad, and the GOP knows it.
Vote For Askins
There are a multitude of reasons to vote for Jari Askins for lieutenant governor. She’s a bright, moderate Democrat with much experience in public government.
But now add this reason: The Daily Oklahoman, as expected, has endorsed her opponent, Todd Hiett, a neo-conservative who led the Republican House majority last legislative session. The endorsement means the rich Oklahoma oligarchy—from the Gaylord family to the rich oil executives at Chesapeake, Devon, and Kerr McGee—will own Hiett.
Askins, on the other hand, will work for small business owners and regular middle-class people.
It’s Askins Against Hiett
Now that the runoffs are over, Democrats need to unite to beat a weakened Republican Party.
National polls shows Republican candidates are in trouble as the country approaches the November elections, but the question remains if this applies to Oklahoma as well. With our local conservative media serving as lapdogs for President George Bush and with wacko U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe calling the Iraq war a “miracle,” it is no wonder many Oklahomans still vote against their own interests.
I would argue for a full assault on the so-called moral values of the Oklahoma Republicans running for office here in this state, though many campaigning Democrats here will no doubt try to find middle ground. Meanwhile, the term “centrist” drifts ever rightward. Perhaps this is understandable given the state’s low college education rates and the predictable right-wing media propaganda we all have to endure here.
Jari Askins, who beat Pete Regan in the Democratic runoff for lieutenant governor, will trounce House Speaker Todd Hiett if she can show how Hiett’s policies and ideology have hurt, not helped, ordinary Oklahomans. This can be done. Democrats, including each and every Regan supporter, need to rally behind Askins with contributions and volunteer help.
Polls show Governor Brad Henry is popular with voters, but U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook remains a formidable opponent with name recognition. Istook is sure to press cultural wedges issues in his campaign, trying to attract Christian right-wing voters. Will the state’s politicized Southern Baptists ministers get behind Istook’s campaign and direct their church members to vote against their own basic interests—wages, health insurance, energy costs—in favor of wedge issues? That’s the million dollar question.
Inhofe’s Iraqi Miracle
So this is the entire Jim Inhofe quote circulating around the nation the past couple of days:
When referring to Iraq in a Tulsa World interview, our bizarre senator said, “"What's happened there is nothing short of a miracle." (Think Progress brought it to national attention in the blogging world.) Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of Americans think the war is going somewhat or very badly.
Inhofe is known throughout the nation as a right-wing nutcase, but, of course, a majority of Oklahomans do not seem to care. As the national media points out his outrageous comments, the state’s mainstream media leaves him unchallenged. It is as if not a single progressive or Democrat even lives in the state, according to the media.
All Oklahoma Democrats need to demand The Daily Oklahoman and The Tulsa World provide fair news coverage. These are biased, right-wing newspapers that continue to keep our state from prospering. They allow the Inhofes and Coburns to tarnish our state’s reputation.
Dugan Gambles Senate Bid On Racism
Drew Dugan, a Democrat running for state senate in Oklahoma City's District 46, has stooped to racist hatred in his last-minute campaign to win the seat. His campaign approach is ugly and disgusting, and it represents everything that is wrong with politics today.
Dugan’s campaign has been dormant for months. Where were his signs? What was his platform? Dugan is employed by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. Some political insiders speculated he probably had support from extremist conservatives in both parties. Political observers thought he would probably get some Republican money in an attempt to stop the progressive political mojo of Andrew Rice, the best Democratic candidate running for the seat.
Then in the last two or three weeks, his signs appeared. Then he sent out a mailer in the last day or two that can only be described as racist as he apparently gambles his entire campaign on an empty emotional appeal.
The mailer focuses entirely on illegal immigration. It features photographs of Hispanic-looking people working and a supposed Hispanic gang member. (To me, the workers look like hard-working people doing extremely difficult physical work. The “gang member” looks like an actor. ) It blames most of Oklahoma’s problems on “illegal Mexican immigrants” (note the word “Mexican” here), and it claims Dugan will do something about it. This is it. There is nothing else on the mailer about other issues, such as education, privacy rights or high energy costs.
Worried about your next electric bill? How come your employer can look through your personal emails and, in some cases, listen to your personal telephone calls? Is your kid going to have a decent teacher in the fall? These are legitimate issues, but Dugan wants to talk about how he hates people from Mexico.
The advertisement is racist, and it is a ludicrous idea that a newly elected state senator in Oklahoma could do anything, not one iota of anything, about illegal immigration, which is a federal issue. But Dugan promises to “punish employers” in Oklahoma (some of which surely belong to his own chamber) and stop “Mexican made methamphetamine and marijuana” from coming here. What a joke. The local chamber of commerce apparently supports this racist campaign approach or Dugan would not be doing it, right?
This inane drivel is the crux of Dugan’s campaign. This is his racist gamble. Unfortunately, this type of ugly, last-minute campaigning has been successful in the past. Just because it is pathetic and tragic, folks, does not mean it will not work.
Everyone should be opposed to this type of targeted racist hatred in a campaign. Why the focus on “Mexican,” a word the mailer mentions three times? Why not just refer to all illegal immigrants? It even includes a photograph of the flag of Mexico. People who belong to any historically marginalized group in this district should be especially worried about Dugan’s agenda.
The clear choice in this upcoming primary election is Andrew Rice, a progressive who will represent the majority interests in District 46. Rice has run an intelligent, real-issues campaign, trying not to fight with other supposed Democrats. Rice is willing to discuss the illegal immigration issue with anyone in the district. But Dugan has crossed a line into racial hatred. He should be called on it by every Democrat in the district.
The election is Tuesday, July 25. Rice supporters will make sure their people make it to the polls on what could be a miserable, hot summer day. (The most recent forecast calls for a high temperature in the mid-90s that day.) I believe Rice supporters are more motivated than those who want to follow the racist agenda of Drew Dugan. Dugan’s campaign of racist hate is just one more reason to support Rice.
Blue Oklahoma is up and running and has recently published its first diary entries. Please take a look at the site, which is still under construction, and submit your material. I personally will only post informational material on the site because I have Okie Funk here. But I would love to help people get their diaries going. This is a perfect place for people who do not want to hassle with their own blog but want a real progressive voice on the Internet.
All you need is a valid email to register. Your progressive diary can be anonymous if you like. Create an account right now and get going.
I think the blog will be especially helpful once the primary and runoffs are over, and we come together to fight Republican candidates.