Friday, January 30, 2009

Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele was elected RNC Chairman on the sixth ballot. He is the first black to be elected to the post. Read the entire story at:

I will watch with interest Governor Steele's leadership of the national party. He is moderate politically at best and has not been a big fan of the Christian right. He seems to pander to the big money in the party.
A real problem for the GOP in November was their unwillingness to embrace a STRONG GROUND GAME. TV, print ads, and new media are great for defining a candidate, but engaging the voter face to face is fundamental to winning races and the national party has abandoned that time honored strategy. Money is necessary in politics, but arms and legs on the street will beat money EVERY TIME if organized and executed with effeciency.
Ken Blackwell was a man that understood that premise--I'm not sure Steele does. As a party activist, Steele will have to convince me his interests are organizing the base and not using the Chairman's post as a stepping stone to further his political career. Republicans needed an organizer and a motivator at this point in time and I'm not sure Steele is the right choice, but I will reserve judgment until I see what his game plan is. If it's the same old raise money and hire consultants to spend it, then look for Republicans to stay in the minority in Washington for the next couple of decades.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekly Opinion/Editorial


by Steve Fair

President Theodore Roosevelt said, “We have one language here, and that is the English language, and we intend to see that the assimilation crucible turns our people out as Americans.”

At last count, over three hundred different languages are spoken in the United States, but over 90% of the U.S. population cites English as their first language. While English is not the official language of the Republic, thirty states have taken the matter into their own hands and passed legislation to designate English as the official language of their state. Oklahoma is not one of them, but not from lack of trying. In the 2008 legislative session, Representatives Randy Terrill, R-Moore and George Faught, R-Muskogee, introduced HB 3349, which didn’t make it to the Governor’s desk. A Senate bill that would have sent the issue to a vote of the people was stonewalled by Senate Democrats and did not make it either.

According to a 2008 Zogby poll, eighty percent of Americans favor making English the official language of the United States. In a Tulsa World poll taken last February, eighty eight percent of Oklahomans believe English should be made the state’s official language. Another poll conducted by Wilson Strategies showed eighty two percent of Oklahomans support English as the official language. It’s apparent the overwhelming majority of Oklahomans favor making English the official language in the US, yet some still believe designating English as the official language is a waste of time. Longtime CBS reporter, Bob Schieffer says, “Of course new citizens should speak English but why would Congress spend hours debating whether to make English our national language?” “Because it panders to their base and it keeps them from tackling substantial issues.” But Schieffer is wrong- this is not a petty issue. Terrill and Faught list three important reasons why English should be designated the state’s official language.

First, the state could be forced to provide taxpayer-funded service in languages other than English. According to Terrill, “there is currently no legal basis for denying someone’s request that the state provide service in another language, crating significant potential problems for the state.” In fact, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety was threatened with a lawsuit if they did not provide the written portion of a driver’s license test in Farsi, a Persian dialect and the official language of Iran.

Second, Terrill and Faught believe that making English the official language will avoid the cost and conflict of bilingualism and multilingualism. Mauro E. Mujica, CEO of U.S. English Inc, says, “Los Angeles County spent $3.3 million, 15 percent of the entire election budget, to print election ballots in seven languages and hire multilingual poll workers for the March 2002 primary. The county also spends $265 per day for each of 420 full-time court interpreters. San Francisco spends $350,000 per each language that documents must be translated into under its bilingual government ordinance,” according to Mujica. Multilingualism costs taxpayers big bucks and those that don’t recognize it are blind.

Third, Terrill and Faught believe that making English the official language will promote assimilation for immigrants. “The government should encourage immigrants to assimilate and Americanize—and becoming fluent in English is a cornerstone in that process,” according to Faught.

Last year, after Democrats in the State Senate voted down the proposal to send the issue to a vote of the people, State Senator Jim Williamson, R-Tulsa said, “Republicans have made the Official English proposal a priority for many years. We believe the people overwhelmingly agree that English should be our official language.

Senator Anthony Sykes, R- Moore, is introducing a bill in the Oklahoma State Senate this session that would designate English is Oklahoma’s official language. Passage would require Oklahoma government at all levels to conduct business solely in English. This would include all public documents, records, legislation, and regulation, as well as hearings, official ceremonies and public meetings.

One misconception about designating English as our official language is that it would outlaw other languages. Some of the thirty-nine Indian tribes in the Sooner state initially opposed the legislation because they mistakenly believed it would force them to quit speaking their tribal language. That is not the case. Sykes’ bill would allow for individuals and businesses to use whatever language they choose and it would have exemptions for the languages of the thirty-nine federally recognized Native American tribes. English has never been the only language in America. However, it has been and should remain our primary language and the official language of our government at all levels.

Teddy Roosevelt said, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americans. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. We have but one flag. We must also learn one language and that language is English."

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Weekly Opinion/Editorial
by Steve Fair
As President George W. Bush leaves office, his approval ratings are the lowest of any departing President since Truman. The economy is in a mess and we still have a great number of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republican political types don’t want Bush near them and Democrats ran their 2008 races against him. On the surface, it appears Bush’s legacy will be one of a failed Presidency, but history tends to be kind to those who occupy the Oval Office and display the courage to make tough decisions- right or wrong. Bush has that attribute—he is willing to make a decision.

No President since Roosevelt has faced the threat of Americans being attacked on our own soil. Bush responded quickly and decisively in the face of the 9/11 terrorist attack. No one would have expected America would go seven years without another attack, but that has been the case. Certainly President Bush made mistakes because he is human, but two major mistakes were the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the enacting of the Patriot Act.
The Patriot Act infringes upon every American’s personal liberty by granting government power to monitor a private citizen’s activities. It dramatically increased the scope of government and in the hands of politicians with a socialist agenda will no doubt be misused and have "unintended consequences." While Bush pushed for passage of the Patriot Act, this wasn’t just a GOP ideology. It took the support of both Republicans and Democrats to get the Patriot Act through Congress and to keep it in effect.

It is more than just a little bit of overkill for honest hardworking Americans to endure long lines at security checkpoints holding their shoes in their hand when the perpetrators of 9/11 were clearly illegal immigrants in our country. It’s like making all the class write sentences for chewing gum when the teacher knows the exact student who is chewing gum. The attacks of 9/11 should have been a wake-up call for stronger border security and immediate deportation for illegal immigrants, but instead government elected to punish everyone—citizens and illegal immigrants with the Patriot Act. America is at war and that requires sacrifices that may include allowing the government to have temporary access to documents and communication that may involve matters of national security. However, I’m afraid with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, these "temporary sacrifices" will be permanent. It is a sad fact our personal liberties have deteriorated under the Bush administration.

Another mistake of the Bush Presidency was the creation of a huge new governmental agency known as the Department of Homeland Security. This new cabinet level agency has such far reaching authority that it organizes their activities all the way down to the local level. Under the guise of security, the government monitors activities that were once off limits—ones that have nothing to do with the war on terror. If the government is so interested in our personal security, why is their so much resistance in Washington to the U.S. Constitution’s second amendment—the right to keep and bear arms?

The fact is government cannot guarantee anyone’s personal security. Only a sovereign Creator can do that and for government to arrogantly declare that we are safe only proves their ignorance. If you want proof read the story of Ahab in 1 Kings, a man who thought he was safe, but wasn’t. Our lives are in the hands of God and the sooner we realize that, the more at peace we will be. I thank God that President Bush was in the Oval Office during one of the most dark moments in our nation’s history, but I also understand God has kept us safe these past seven years, not President Bush, congress or the government.

In his final radio address to the nation on Saturday, President Bush said, "You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made, but I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions." Pulling the trigger is not always an easy task, but Bush is decisive and courageous. He is not a man who votes present or who doesn’t take a stand on an issue. I believe history will be kind to President Bush because of those attributes. As President Barrack Obama takes office, it remains to be seen if he will show the same leadership ability that President Bush has displayed. In the past, Obama has been unwilling to tackle the hard issues, but for the sake of America, let’s pray he succeeds.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dr. Coburn Says Congress’ Addiction to Pork and Fear of Debate are Undermining Change Agenda

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after the Senate Majority Leader used a rare Sunday session to hold a procedural vote on a $10 billion omnibus lands bill loaded with earmarks and provisions that erect new barriers to domestic energy exploration.

“Today’s action in the Senate shows that the greatest threat to change is a Congress that is addicted to power, pork and the politics of the past. In a time of economic turmoil, the United States Senate has bigger fish to fry than a pork-laden omnibus lands bill that puts parochial projects that spend $1 billion to rescue 500 salmon in California ahead of our serious economic challenges. We could face an historic $1.8 trillion deficit next year. Spending money we don’t have on many projects we don’t need is unconscionable,” Dr. Coburn said, adding that it is reckless for Congress to spend $10 billion on new parks and other areas when the National Park Service currently has a $9.6 billion maintenance backlog.

“I’m also disappointed the Senate Majority Leader refused to allow any amendments to this legislation and instead chose to hold a rare Sunday vote when few Americans are watching C-SPAN. Had the Majority Leader accepted my offer to limit debate and amendments in all likelihood this bill would have already passed the Senate with a full, open and transparent debate,” Dr. Coburn said.

Dr. Coburn noted that the bill contained the following egregious provisions. Dr. Coburn attempted to strike these provisions but the Majority Leader blocked all amendments.

  • A provision that takes 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil out of production in Wyoming, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The energy resources walled off by this bill would nearly match the annual production levels of our two largest natural gas production states – Alaska and Texas.
  • $3 million for a “road to nowhere” through a wildlife refuge in Alaska.
  • $1 billion for a water project designed to save 500 salmon in California. At this price, each salmon would be worth far more than its weight in gold.
  • $3.5 million to help celebrate the 450th birthday of St. Augustine Florida, in 2015.
  • $4 million to protect livestock from wolves that Congress helped reintroduce into the wild.
  • $250,000 to help bureaucrats decide how to designate Alexander Hamilton’s boyhood home.
  • $5 million on botanical gardens in Hawaii and Florida.

“The Majority Leader’s tactics will not diminish my insistence on open debate, but the Senate’s ability to come together to pass meaningful legislation. I’ve commended President-elect Obama, with whom I’ve worked with closely, for reaching out to Republicans because he understands that attempting to pass major legislation like economic stimulus packages or health care reform is impossible without soliciting a broad range of ideas,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Yet, the Majority Leader has blocked all but one Republican amendment in the past six months. If this trend continues, he will not strengthen his position but severely weaken his party’s ability to advance President-elect Obama’s agenda. Offering amendments is a right and responsibility of Senators, not a special privilege or scheduling inconvenience,” Dr. Coburn said.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Fellow blogger Mike McCarville has an interesting analysis on what could happen if Senator Coburn doesn't chose to seek reelection in 2010. Coburn is the most effective voice for conservatives in Congress and losing him would be a huge blow to not only Oklahoma, but to the nation. We need to encourage him to run for reelection. Read Mike's analysis at:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Personal observations from the Oklahoma Senate Opening Session
by Steve Fair
Milestone: An important event, as in a person's career, the history of a nation, or the advancement of knowledge in a field; a turning point.
Goal: The finish line of a race.

Forty-eight identical desks in eight neat rows grace the Oklahoma Senate Chamber as I enter the gallery at 11:30am on Tuesday January 6, 2009. The Chamber is completely empty and reveals nothing about the historic event about to take place. Not since the crack of a rifle signaled the start of The Run of the Cherokee Strip has Oklahoma experienced something so dramatic. The Cherokee Strip run opened seven million acres to homesteaders. Over one hundred and five years later Republicans are about to control both chambers of the Oklahoma legislature. January 6, 2009 marked the first time in Oklahoma state history the State Senate would be controlled by Republicans.

In the gallery a red/white/blue ribbon designated a section for Senator Coffee’s friends and family. The “Coffee” entourage filed in around 11:45am filling up nearly two full rows. About the same time, fellow blogger and videographer John Angiers set up his video camera in the designated media broadcast section to record the historic event. Angiers blog is

Paul Ziriax, the secretary of the Senate, makes his way into the chamber and begins preparation for the session. Ziriax was recently appointed Oklahoma Election Board Secretary. The Election Board secretary also has historically served as secretary of the Senate. A longhaired young man named Craig begins to place what I assume is the agenda on each of the desks. At 11:55am, Lt. Governor Jari Askins enters the chambers. Wearing a mid calf length black dress, she shakes hands with everyone on the rostrum. As Lt. Governor, she presides over the State Senate. Askins is smiling and cordial. She glances at her watch several times, possibly wondering why the Senate chamber is not filling up with members.

At straight up noon, Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant, arrives in the chamber. A large fellow with a big smile, Gumm shakes hands with everyone in sight as he strolls throughout the chamber. Gumm is an ambitious legislator with a reputation of being able to work across the aisle, but his motives seem suspect to me.

As the chamber and gallery begin to fill up, at 12:10pm, Senator Andrew Rice, D-OKC, makes his way into the chamber. Rice and Gumm seem to be the two Senators most intent on shaking hands and slapping every Senator's back before the session begins. Rice seemed to be accepting condolences from his fellow legislators on his US Senate race loss to Jim Inhofe. Rice nods as colleagues speak and grabs their forehands as he shakes their hand. Experience tells me Rice is either the most compassionate, caring member of the Senate or he is working to build alliances for the next rung on the ladder. Good judgment tells me it’s the later.

Like the midafternoon American Airlines flight from O’Hare to Will Rogers, the State Senate runs on its own schedule. The proceedings were scheduled for noon, but at 12:15pm, Askins calls the session to order. She calls on Chris Lowery from the Baptist General Convention to open in prayer. Paul Ziriax calls the role on the returning Senators- those who did not face reelection in 2008. He then calls the role for those who were certified by the Oklahoma State Election Board as winners of the 2008 races. All Senators answered present with the exception of Senator Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, who is recuperating from an automobile accident.

Senator Todd Lamb, R- OKC, nominated Senator Glenn Coffee, R-OKC, for the position of President Pro Tempore. Askins recognized Senator Charles Laster, D-Shawnee, the Minority Leader. Laster was relected in 2008 and is serving in the same seat that Governor Henry used to hold. Laster said he wanted to make the motion that Coffee be elected as President Pro Tempore of the Senate by acclamation. He added the Democrats wanted to “reinstate” the traditions of the Senate and implied recent Republican leaders in the Senate had ignored the “longstanding traditions of the body.” Laster missed a golden opportunity to be gracious—instead he took a poke at Coffee and the Republicans. This was a defining moment for Laster and he blew it—or maybe he didn’t. Perhaps he just revealed his true character or lack of it.

Lamb's motion was passed unanimously on a voice vote and Askins turned the rostrum over to the newly elected President Pro Tempore. After introducing his wife, Lisa, his four children, his parents, in-laws and friends, Coffee began his remarks by saying, “my being in this position is a testimony that you can’t out give God.” Saying he did not plan to be in this position ten years ago when he first came to the State Senate, Coffee called the Republican takeover of the State Senate “a milestone, not a goal.” Using an illustration from his upbringing, Coffee said his dad would often tell him to look in the pantry for a “coffee can’t.” “Of course, there were none," said Coffee, “ there were only coffee cans.” The persistence his parents instilled in Coffee made him have the attitude to “go out there and do it.”

Turning to the Democrats in the chamber, Coffee said he could respect and appreciate the view of the opposition. “This body will be about ideas,” he said. Wishing Senator Ivester a Happy Birthday, Coffee joked the takeover of the State Senate by Republicans was probably not what the Senator had wished for on his birthday. Outlining several important issues the Senate has pledged to take on, including tort reform, workers compensation reform, and establishment of an energy policy, Coffee concluded his remarks with the simple message, “At the end of the day, it’s about getting things done.”

Oklahoma voters have provided Republicans in the Oklahoma legislation with a great opportunity. The opportunity to govern as a majority—to put forward the agenda and to better the state. Will Republicans do better than the Democrats have the first century of our state’s history? They can’t do worse—Oklahoma is mired in the bottom five states in virtually every significant economic category and near the top in all the bad categories when compared with other states in the country. Democrats have provided no leadership to our state. But as seen at the federal level, when Republicans start to act like Democrats, the voters will respond accordingly.

After Coffee’s speech, Senator Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, came to the gallery to escort me to the reception. I shook hands with Senator Coffee and wished him the best—he’s going to need it. I hugged Lt. Governor Jari Askins, a gracious lady from Duncan that has announced her intentions to run for Governor in 2010. I seldom agree with Askins, but she is one of the most gracious elected officials I know. I ate a couple of cookies and had a glass of punch—some mixture of cranberry juice and ginger ale, got my photo taken with Senator Sykes (Watch this guy- he has ability) in front of the Senate chamber and headed back to work. Today I witnessed history in Oklahoma- a milestone—I hope it’s the beginning of a new era of true leadership in Oklahoma. I’ve worked for years in the trenches to see this day—both as a candidate and as a party official. I've distributed literature, put up signs, helped raise money, made phone calls, gave money and done countless other things to see this day. Don’t let us down—do what you said you would do!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekly Opinion/Editorial
by Steve Fair
In May 2008, Senator John Ford, R-Bartlesville, authored a bill that would have required anyone who voted in Oklahoma have proper identification. Ford’s bill did not even require a photo ID—a utility bill or check stub would have been sufficient for someone to vote. The bill fell one vote short of passage and it was along party lines. All twenty-four Republican Senators voted for the plan and twenty three of the Democrats voted against it. Senate Democratic leader Mike Morgan was AWOL and did not vote. If Morgan had voted no, Lt. Governor Jari Askins would have been required to cast a ballot on the issue. To justify his abstaining, Morgan said in a press release, "If you disenfranchise poor, minority and elderly voters, you can hurt Democrats."

How does requiring proper identification to cast a vote disenfranchise anyone? Why would anyone—no matter their party affiliation—be against a legitimate voter showing proper identification to vote?

Oklahoma Senate Democrats reasoning was that Ford’s bill was meant to help Republican candidates and would deter the elderly and others from voting because that demographic may not have identification readily available. To prove their point, Senator Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, said he had data to prove that Republicans gained three percent in states that had voter ID. I searched and no information was readily available regarding the impact of voter ID laws in U.S. elections.

When the US Supreme Court in April 2008 upheld an Indiana law requiring proper identification to cast a ballot, then candidate Obama said he was disappointed in the Supreme Court decision, calling it "wrong." He emphasized the law could suppress turnout among minorities and poorer voters. "I am disappointed by today's Supreme Court decision upholding Indiana's photo identification law -- one of the most restrictive in the nation," Obama said.

Why do Democrats fight so hard against voter identitification? Could it be because the current system benefits Democrat candidates? Democrat “Get out to Vote” organizations such as ACORN have been in the middle of numerous investigations for voter fraud. ACORN has a record of submitting fraudulent voter registration forms. Turning in "massive numbers" of duplicate registration cards. According to a federal indictment, ACORN workers in Missouri turned in voter registration cards for fictional characters, ones filled out by children and registration cards where the signatures had been forged. According to Stanley Kurtz of the National Review Obama’s ties to ACORN are long term and intimate. Kurtz says, “If I told you Obama had close ties with or Code Pink, you’d know what I was talking about. Acorn is at least as radical as these better-known groups, arguably more so.”

ACORN has two offices in the Sooner state—in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Fellow Oklahoma blogger Andrew W Griffin of the Red Dirt Report-- an excellent piece on ACORN activity in Oklahoma back in October. Griffin was allowed to examine an abandoned ACORN office in south OKC by the landlord after the group didn’t pay their rent. The facility had documents and files that indicated the group alledgedly planned to use some “bait and switch” tactics to register voters in the poor area. The office closed before they executed their alleged plan.

Opponents of voter ID say there is no evidence of any wide spread voter fraud and there is no need for voters to show identification to vote. I would agree that Oklahoma voters are for the most part honest, ethical, principled people who would never cast a ballot in someone elses name or vote twice in an election. But just because there is no evidence that wide spread voter fraud is occuring in Oklahoma, that does not mean pro-active, preventive, logical steps to prevent voter fraud should not be taken before fraud does occur. Ford’s bill doesn’t disenfranchise voters as Democrats suggest—it protects the sanctity of the voting process. Voter ID is not a partisian issue. Senator Ford plans to file a similar bill this legislative session. With Republicans now in control of the State Senate, it’s highly likely the bill will pass both houses and go the Governor’s desk. Governer Henry will be faced with the decision to do what is right or what is politically expediate—let’s hope he does what is right and protects the intregrity of the ballot box.
In light of what has just happened in Minnesota, it's clear that Democrats are more than willing to count ballots TWICE in order to win an election. Click on the link below to read about the Franken/Coleman Senate mess in Minnesota.
Ann Colter wrote an excellent article on this race a couple of weeks ago. click on the link to read: