OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

August 25, 2012

Tulsa County VISION 2 – “We’ll Make Business FOR You!”

Tulsa County Commissioners – John Smaligo, Fred Perry and Karen Keith – voted on August 13, 2012 to put a proposed $748.8 M tax increase (oops! extension) on the November 6th ballot.  This huge tax package has been named Vision2.

Vision2 proposes an extension of the Vision 2025 tax passed in Tulsa County in 2003. Vision 2025 was “a one penny 13-year increase in the Tulsa County Sales Tax for regional economic development and capital improvements”. This temporary tax was to end in 2017.

However, Commissioners Smaligo, Perry and Keith, and the Tulsa Metro Chamber, apparently couldn’t wait that long to propose the extension of the already over-funded Vision 2025 tax package.  It looks like they have been working on this additional “vision” for the last year.

Projects described include capitol improvements and the establishment of a slush fund euphemistically called a “job incentive fund” to be used to bribe “businesses” to come to Tulsa.  Capital improvements are mostly for the benefit of a few private sector aerospace entities (American Airlines, and possibly Spirit AeroSystems).

Vision2 plans call for the establishment of yet another Trust Authority to manage the slush fund and distributions.

If passed, Vision2 will result in some pretty nice contracts for Chamber members.

From a document secured via an open record request:

“POSSIBLE REGIONAL JOB INCENTIVE GUIDELINES – SUGGESTIONS FROM THE INCENTIVE TASK FORCE

 A Trust Authority should be created and made up of a combination of Mayors, County Commissioners, and at-large business leaders from Tulsa County. It is recommended that the trust authority size be either (unclear) 7 members. A mechanism for confidential discussions during the initial stages of the project must be put in place so projects are not subject to open records until the project is ready to go public.”

A few of the available documents describing this tax are posted on the OK-SAFE Scribd page here: http://www.scribd.com/OKSAFE

The Vision2 Wish List –

OK-SAFE does not typically get involved in local tax issues, but given the direction of the economy, and the fact that the Vision 2025 tax was supposed to be a temporary tax, we cannot support this tax.  Vision 2025 is not set to expire for several more years, and those tax fund collections have already exceeded projected figures, yet there is no discussion of refunding the excess funds to the citizens. We recommend a NO vote on all Vision2 Proposals on the November ballot.

August 22, 2012

State Chamber Admits Running Campaigns – Thinks Tax Cuts Don’t Matter

[9/4/12 UPDATE to this post: Both Nathan Dahm (R-SD 33) and Ken Walker (R-HD 70) won the runoff elections on August 28th, 2012.  Since no Democrat candidates filed for these seats, the August 28th election decided these offices.  The Oklahoma Legislature will convene for the First Regular Session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature (2013-2014) on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:00 Noon.]

Uh, and for us, you know, political guys, you know, a lot of times we, you know, the legislature spends a lot of time talking about things that just don’t matter – I mean, they want to talk about tax cuts and all that stuff… So we’re going to have to figure out… how to help, uh, refocus maybe the legislators’ attention on things that are actually going to create jobs, versus worrying about tax cuts and tax credits and stuff like that.” [Chad Warmington, State Chamber]

OK-SAFE, Inc. – The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce held a lunch time Legislative Wrap Up Meeting on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at Northeastern State University, at the Broken Arrow Campus.

Manufacturers from the surrounding area were invited to attend, and Chamber President Fred Morgan and lobbyist Chad Warmington each gave presentations before taking questions from the audience.

Both Morgan and Warmington made statements that left little doubt as to the Chambers intentions, revealing what most in the grassroots already knew – that the Chamber is an agenda-driven institution, single-minded in its’ efforts to advance corporate interests only, operating virtually without conscious and with little or no regard to principle when it comes to policy issues.  The Chamber wants what business wants.  Period.

These Chamber representatives admit they actively find, recruit, and run the campaigns of, candidates who will vote the way the Chamber wants them to vote;  they call these recruits their “pro-business” candidates. (For those out there who still think there is a chance your Chamber-supported candidate will actually represent the interests of their home district, please understand – it doesn’t work that way.)

Fred Morgan, a former legislator/lobbyist, took over as President of  the  State Chamber a couple of years ago.

Morgan stated that before he came, “…we really weren’t very politically engaged.  But we know that in order to [unclear] that…we know that we need to be engaged and we need to be engaged not just at the policy advocacy level but we need to be involved in the political level as well. So we have engaged very heavily at the political level.  It’s a lot easier to lobby a legislator who shares your ideas, and your goals, and who knows something about business. And Chad is going to go through a lot of the projects, kind of sum up our political projects.” 

The Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want to waste a lot of time working with legislators who may not agree with them, so they’ve decided it’s better to pick and run their own guys; Morgan referred to this as being “politically engaged in the process.”

Warmington admits,“So we run campaigns, essentially, out of one side of our shop.”  His power point presentation detailed the State Chamber’s recent activities and projects on which they are focused.

Some of those activities include:

  • Finding and recruiting candidates to run for office, regardless of party affiliation
  • Running campaigns, including mail pieces – positive for their pro-business “friends,”  and negative for their opponents, called either “anti-business” or “trial lawyers” – and radio and phone calls (live).
  • Educating the newly elected candidates so they’ll vote the “right way” – called being “pro-business”
  • Partnering with the Research Institute for Economic Development, or RIED, a 20-year old special interest group, to rank legislators.  RIED is described here.  The annual RIED Report claims to score legislators on “business, jobs, and economic development”, but the criteria used to rank them is virtually unavailable.
  • The use of The Political Intelligence Report , a subscription information site to provide ‘intelligence’ to their members.  The Intelligence Report is also used to encourage or discourage campaign contributions, among other things.
  • The creation of “We Are Watching Them” website, for tracking votes and detailing a “top offenders” list of legislators who don’t vote the way the Chamber wants them to vote.
  • The creation of the Oklahoma Civil Justice Council, an evaluation system to criticize judges who render decisions that the Chamber’s corporate members don’t agree with.  The criteria is based on whether the judge’s decision “expanded or contracted” liability for businesses.

This recently-created Council has been criticzed by Rep. John Bennett, a conservative legislator, who pointed out that judges are supposed to be impartial.  In turn, Bennett is being targeted by the State Chamber for being “anti-business.”

Campaigns Without Conscious

Warmington was quite enthusiastic over the Chamber’s agenda – and without conscious, it seems, when it comes to how the Chamber conducts campaigns for their chosen candidates.  He never once mentioned the character assassination the Chamber engaged in while “defending” their “pro-business friends” during the recent elections.  Think this didn’t happen?  Just ask Pastor Paul Blair of Edmond, OK  who ran against the Chamber’s buddy Senator Clark Jolley, or Kevin McDugle of Tulsa who took on the progressive Senator Brian Crain in the primary elections this year.   The State Chamber demonstrated they have no qualms about running dirty campaigns and will work to provide political cover for their “friends”.

In Tulsa county, the State Chamber has endorsed these candidates in legislative runoff election, set for August 28, 2012:

  • SD 33 – Tim Wright
  • HB 70 – Shane Saunders

The grassroots supports the real conservatives Nathan Dahm (SD 33) and Ken Walker (HD 70) in these races.

[9/4/12 UPDATE – Nathan Dahm won the SD 33 election on August 28, 2012.  Ken Walker won the HD 70 election on August 28, 2012.  Neither office had a Democrat file so the runoff election decided these offices.]

The audio of the July 17th State Chamber meeting is available on America in the Balance on Truth in Focus internet radio – click on the July 20, 2012 podcast.    The transcript of this event is available in pdf format on the OK-SAFE website here.

Quotable Chamber Meeting Quotes:

“This ain’t your granddaddy’s State Chamber.”  

“… we have engaged very heavily at the political level.”

What we decided is that we couldn’t just wait and hope and pray that good legislators showed up at the Capitol… so we run campaigns, essentially, out of one side of our shop we don’t care what party you’re from,…”

“We have our legislative agenda…. [A]nd if they’re voting against the legislation the business community wants they you’re, you get a bad score…”

How do I get off your list?”  And I said, “It’s very easy, just kinda vote your way off the list… if you vote the right way, you’ll get off the list.”   

“I  mean, we absolutely helped switch votes.”

“Oklahoma Civil Justice Council is not directly related to the Legislature, it’s another project we wanted to point out. We’re doing the same thing with Judges and we’ve caught a little bit of heat for it.  It’s a brand new project that Fred uh, has, uh, been spearheading…. And we’re going to do the same job of evaluation system on Judges and all we’re going to judge Judges on are, do they expand or contract liability for businesses…?”

“But part of the problem is we spend all of our time to recruit good business candidates, we get them elected, we get them educated, we get them to vote the right way on a bill, and then the bill goes to the Supreme Court and gets struck down…. we’ve got some work to do making sure that the business community…. understand who these Judges are…”

“Representative Bennett came out and criticized us for having the gall to evaluate judges…”

“So, again, this is the, the RIED Score, many of you have seen it. It lists who got what…. so again, we go back to party affiliation, we don’t care what party you’re from – we just care that you’re voting for business.”

Uh, and for us, you know, political guys, you know, a lot of times we, you know, the legislature spends a lot of time talking about things that just don’t matter – I mean, they want to talk about tax cuts and all that stuff… So we’re going to have to figure out… how to help, uh, refocus maybe the legislators’ attention on things that are actually going to create jobs, versus worrying about tax cuts and tax credits and stuff like that.”

August 14, 2012

Runoff Elections are August 28, 2012 – Dahm, Walker and Key

Filed under: Network — Tags: , , , , , , — oksafeinc @ 2:19 pm

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Recent Republican primary elections in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties have led to several runoff elections, a few of which will decide the race.

RUNOFF PRIMARY ELECTION — August 28

Last day to register to vote ………………. Friday, August 3

Last time to request absentee ballot ……Wednesday, August 22, 5 PM

Early voting:

  • Friday, August 24,  8 AM – 6 PM
  • Saturday, August 25, 8 AM – 1 PM
  • Monday, August 27, 8 AM – 6 PM

To request Absentee Ballots you may call your county election board.  In Tulsa County call 918-596-5780. In Oklahoma County call 405-713-1515.

Two runoff elections of note in the Tulsa area are in Senate District 33 (Nathan Dahm vs Tim Wright), and House District 70 (Ken Walker vs Shane Saunders).  Another is the Charles Key vs Tim Rhodes race for Oklahoma County Court Clerk in the Oklahoma City area.

The grassroots favorites in these three races are Dahm, Walker and Key.  The Chambers of Commerce and political interest groups are backing their opponents – Wright, Saunders and Rhodes.

No Democrats filed for these offices.  The runoff elections decide the winners.

If you care about the citizens of Oklahoma and want real representation,  it’s pretty clear who to support in these races. (Hint – it ain’t the Chambercrats.)

The Tulsa Beacon newspaper has endorsed both Nathan Dahm and Ken Walker and has this to say about each:

Vote for Nathan Dahm in SD 33

“In politics, it’s always smart to follow the money.

In the Aug. 28 runoff election for Senate District 33 between Republicans Nathan Dahm and Tim Wright, there is a clear distinction in who is being backed by powerful political action committees and who is funded by ordinary people.

Dahm has received donations mostly of the $100-200 range from housewives, pastors, truck drivers and other regular people. They have given money to Dahm because they believe he will represent the people of the district and not powerful special interests.
Wright has taken money from the liberal George Kaiser (Bank of Oklahoma) – the richest man in the state. Wright got thousands from the chambers of commerce in Tulsa and Oklahoma City plus the Chickasaw Nation.

Wright’s list of contributors goes on and on. At least 18 political action committees have filled his campaign coffers.

Dahm has two PAC contributions: one for $300 and another from the most conservative group in Oklahoma.
With Wright accepting all this money, will he be indebted to these special interest groups? When their concerns are in conflict with the people of District 33 clash, will Wright do the right thing or bow to the wishes of these power brokers?

If history is any indication, this level of sponsorship comes with strings attached.” (Rest of article here.)

For more information on SD 33 (district map, etc.) and how to help with the Nathan Dahm campaign check here.

Elect Ken Walker in District 70

It would be easy for Republican voters in House District 70 to overlook the August 28 runoff election between Ken Walker and Shane Saunders.

That would be a mistake if you care about the future of Oklahoma.

Ken Walker is a genuine leader with the fortitude to stand up to the forces of special interests in Oklahoma City – even to those within the Republican Party. Nobody owns Ken Walker. His interest lies with the betterment of District 70 and the entire state.
Saunders lacks that independence. He learned his politics at the feet of John Sullivan – a career politician who was ineffective for over a decade in Congress and who catered to special interests who financed his multiple campaigns.
Saunders’ wife is the step sister of John Tidwell, Sullivan’s main political operative. Should Saunders win, you can bet similar connections of influence will come into play.

Ken Walker has a stellar military background (he was in military intelligence). He runs the Shepherd’s Guide Christian Yellow Pages, a wonderful evangelical business that has been successful for more than 10 years.

Ken Walker’s faith is genuine and deep.

Recently, Republicans have controlled both houses of the Legislature. The results have been disappointing, as promises of smaller government, tax cuts and abortion restrictions have been killed.” (Rest of article here.)

For more information on this campaign, click here.

Charles Key

The conservative grassroots favorite in the OK County Court Clerk’s race is Charles Key, a long-serving conservative member of the House.  Key has the endorsement of  two of his primary opponents and was the recipient of a fundraiser by Speaker-designate T.W. Shannon.  Tim Rhodes, who changed political parties on October 7, 2011 and ran as a Republican, has been endorsed by the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce.

The Key campaign has sent out this information for those interested in helping in this important race:

“This RACE is important because the court clerk is one of 8 persons determining how money is spent after it is collected from you, the taxpayer.  If anyone is needing an absentee ballot because they will be gone August 28th, the OK County Election Board will send them an absentee ballot.  The phone number is 405-713-1515.

Richard Allison is organizing a telephoning effort beginning August 20th. His plan is to have 2 shifts for several days.  Anyone wanting
to help will need to have a laptop.  For more details, time(s) and place … call Richard at 405- 550-6644.”

More information on the what the County Court Clerk position does and how to help with the Key campaign is here.

August 1, 2012

Arising in America – A Multi-Religion, Pseudo-Christian Religious Movement on the Horizon?

Filed under: Education, Faith — Tags: , , , , — oksafeinc @ 10:02 pm

There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ.  Scripture reads, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. ”  (John 14:6)

This is a basic Christian understanding – pretty straightforward and accepted by Christians the world over.

Until the world was assaulted by the global one-worlders and forced mandates of “tolerance”, “multiculturalism”, and the “many paths to God” ideology.

In the globalists’ one-world vision Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, is out and the “many-paths/many-gods” ideology is in.

This is contrary to God’s word.

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:9-11)

The truth is that there is only one Way to God and to achieve salvation  and that is through the acceptance of God’s only begotten son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, acceptance of His sacrificial death as atonement for our sins, and acknowledgement of His resurrection.

Is there a movement out there working to replace this Truth with something else, something more globally acceptable?

Arising in America – A Multi-Religion, Pseudo-Christian Religious Movement on the Horizon  

By Bruce DeLay, Pastor, August 1, 2012

As an American, I can stand shoulder to shoulder with other Patriotic folks, regardless of their race, religious creed or background and work to rescue our Nation.   I have a track record of doing that very thing.  But as a Christian, I cannot sit silently, much less actively participate, when the Christian Faith is being misrepresented and even re-defined before my very eyes.  We are currently watching a Multi-Religion, Pseudo-Christian Movement arise rapidly in America.  

And since my Christianity has priority over my American Patriotism, I have to draw the line.  I love my Country, but I owe far more to Jesus Christ, my Lord.

Let me be clear:  I have met Glenn Beck a couple of times, and I like him.  What’s not to like?  He’s sincere, creative, funny, and shares many of my specific views regarding the problems in our Nation.  I admire his efforts in many areas:  Business, Media, Internet, Investigative Reporting, Historic Americana, and so on.  He gets things done.  But I do wish he would steer clear of Spiritual matters.  He is misrepresenting Christianity terribly.  And many spiritually-malnourished Christians, who have been starved for Biblical Truth in their own Churches, are falling for it.  

I predict that within a year we will have a whole new type of Mega-Church in America.  The problem is:  It will not actually be Christian (therefore neither Church), although it will present itself on the surface as Christian.

I’m not quibbling over non-essential doctrine here, this is serious.  In some ways it will re-define Christianity in the minds of well-meaning people.  It will be more “Giga-Church” than merely Mega-Church.  Mega-Church is so last millennium, isn’t it?  It will make the Mega-Churches of yesterday look like dinosaurs.

Now I’m sure that Glenn believes he is doing the right thing.  He already has his Associate Pastors and Helps Ministry (Pat and Stu) in place.  He has a whole new brand of “Praise and Worship” Music, complete with a large supply of up and coming artists.  And no one throws a big Event like Glenn, either.  He gets the big-named speakers in to Teach, Evangelize, and Prophesy.  Glenn’s wife even held a Women’s Conference in concert with the Restoring Love Event, just like every good Mega-Church Pastor’s wife does these days.  In truth, Glenn is beating the modern American Mega-Church at their own methodology game.  He seems to have already taken the title of “America’s Pastor” from Rick Warren.  Yet this indicates to me that American Christianity is in even greater danger than when Rick Warren was in the national limelight.  Wow – that’s saying a lot.

Just remember:  The Rolling Stones can fill a Stadium.  Oprah can build a successful TV network.  Being successful in these ways does not automatically equate to Biblical Christian faithfulness.

Bigger isn’t always better.

One of the first red flags I noticed was Glenn’s misrepresentation of the historic Black Robed Regiment a couple of years ago.  This was also about the same time he began to lean more toward Spirituality in his message.  For someone who wants to always get History right, Glenn was totally off base on this one.  At a national Rally in Washington DC, he introduced “The Black Robed Regiment”, including Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, and yes, Islamic clergy.  The true Black Robed Regiment following the Great Awakening were Christian, Protestant preachers, period.  And, oh yes, they were Male, also.   It’s not politically correct, but it certainly is historically accurate.  Mormonism wasn’t even invented until almost the mid 1800s.  There were a total of zero Mormons alive during America’s War for Independence.

You will notice that Glenn talks a lot about God.  Many say: “That’s nice”.  He seldom talks about Jesus, however – and when he does, he has made it clear that he’s not referring to the Jesus of the New Testament.  He lumps Jesus Christ in with figures like Gandhi and Mother Theresa.  To a Bible-believing Christian, Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us in the flesh.  He is the only begotten Son who died on a Cross for our sins and who Raised from the dead.  Without His blood, men are doomed to eternal hell.

Jesus is the only Name under heaven by which men must be saved.  He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and no man comes to the Father – unless they come through Jesus.

Yet, our pulpits stopped preaching the real Jesus long ago.  Now good folks are easily deceived.  Religious humanism is just as wrong as Secular Humanism.  Man cannot save himself.   To suggest that he can – is to marginalize the Cross and trample the blood of Christ under foot.

You will also notice that Glenn emphasizes Good Works.  It makes people feel good to do good works, and it makes the recipients of good works feel mighty thankful, even indebted to those who did the good works for them.  We all know that God wants us to help our fellow man, but any Christian should be able to recognize a Works-oriented theology when he sees one.  Orthodox, Biblical Christian teaching is clear: our good works are like filthy rags.  There is none righteous, no not one.  It does not make us good people or even better people if we do good works.  Our only goodness is in Christ.  Any Good Works we do – is only after we’ve been Born Again.  Our Good Works are a result of our Salvation, not something that we use to earn Salvation.  Only Jesus’ blood could buy our forgiveness.

I call all Christian leaders involved with Glenn Beck into account on this Biblical truth.  Please get Glenn’s attention, lead him to Christ, and turn this Movement from the direction it is headed.

Unfortunately, some Christian leaders are seduced by microphones, cameras, invitations to speak at prestigious events, and large crowds.  Those things can add up to: money and fame.  But, at what price?

America needs a Savior, alright.  But will we find Salvation in our Patriotism?  Will we find Salvation in any national Movement for Goodness?  No.  These things are quickly becoming subtle substitutes for Jesus Christ and His true Church.  And the well financed media-message is drowning out the real Gospel which declares: Jesus is the Only way.

How far down must America go before she humbles herself and cries out for mercy through Jesus Christ?  If we prop America up with patriotic pseudo-saviors, then God will allow more judgment to be poured out.  Let’s simply turn back to Almighty God through His Only Son: Jesus Christ.  Not through Moses, not through Mohammed, not through Mary, not through Joseph Smith, and not even through George Washington.  Until then, we are just going through the religious motions and prolonging the inevitable judgment we face due to our Sin.  (I actually think George Washington would be offended by his image being immortalized on Mount Rushmore).  Patriotic idolatry?  I submit that the apostles of the New Testament, and the American Founders would see it that way.  Abe Lincoln would blush in shame if he saw himself at the Lincoln Memorial.

I met Glenn Beck not long after he first got involved with Mormonism.  I prayed for him, and I figured he would discover the problems with the Mormon religion in due time, ultimately exposing it – as he does with other corrupt institutions.  But he has gone deeper into this religion, instead. I guess it’s hard to bite the hand that feeds you.  However, I do know that it is possible to strongly promote God and Country without going into spiritual La-La Land in the process.  Many organizations like the John Birch Society were doing it before it was cool.

But this Multi Religion Pseudo-Christian Movement is taking on a life of its own.  If it continues as is, I predict it will do far more harm to Christianity in the end, than any good it is currently doing for our American society.  It has the potential of leading many people astray.

To recap:  This Multi-Religion Movement, passing itself off as a Patriotic Christian thing, is poised to become franchised into Mega-Churches across America and even abroad (Global Tea Party).  This Movement does not honor Jesus Christ for who He truly is.  It is Works based, rather than Grace.  It stands to overtake and even absorb Mega-Churches which have been seeking direction for a while now.  While it may mention Scripture at times, it is not Bible-based.

While Christians may agree politically, we must not prioritize politics over Jesus.  The anemic state of the America Church has given way to such Movements.  The Bible must be taught and preached in our Churches again.

My prayer is that this Movement would either be turned back toward a Grassroots political Movement; or that Jesus Christ would reveal Himself to Glenn and redeem the whole thing.  I urge Christian Leaders to tell the Church the truth, and not be afraid of being a Political party-pooper.  Mark my words: there is danger here, and we must acknowledge it for what it truly is.  Jesus is the only Answer for America.

– Bruce DeLay

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