OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

December 8, 2011

Blackwell: The GOP Caucus Was A Sham, Steele Abused Power of Speaker’s Office – The McCarville Report Online

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — oksafeinc @ 10:13 pm

This from The McCarville Report Online, dated December 8, 2012.

Thursday, December 8, 2012:

Blackwell: GOP Caucus Was A Sham, Steele Abused Power Of Speaker’s Office

Blackwell

Rep. Gus Blackwell says this week’s caucus of House Republicans was a sham and Speaker Kris Steele abused his power.

Blackwell’s allegations, in an email sent and obtained by The McCarville Report Online, are the latest in an on-going series of attacks from some House members dissatisfied with Steele’s leadership.

Steele, in a statement to TMRO, said, “I’ve never been one to dive down in the mud, so I’m certainly not going to start now. What I will say is the vast majority of us know we’re sent here to do a job, so we’re focused on doing that job and doing it well. I’m proud we spent time on policy at our retreat and I’m confident Oklahomans will be glad we did, as well. Beyond that, internal Caucus issues are handled in the Caucus and personnel issues must be handled in accordance to law, so I cannot comment further.”

Here’s Blackwell’s email:

From: Gus Blackwell
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 3:26 PM
To: Republican Legislators
Subject: 2011 OHOR Republican Caucus Retreat

Dear Fellow Republican Legislator,

I do not use the term “caucus member” because, after Tuesday’s meeting, it is apparent our dysfunctional group is anything but a meeting of members of a political party tasked to decide policy.  Obviously, our caucus retreat was not intended to be an opportunity for our caucus to discuss, debate, or decide policy. Instead, our caucus meetings have become carefully orchestrated and planned events, with little or no time for the actual discussion of caucus business.

The 2011 Republican Caucus Retreat in Shawnee stands as an outstanding example of what I am writing in this email. After a first day of tours and dinner, no caucus business was transacted. The second day had time for a breakfast with a political presentation, a 30-minute museum tour and five and one-half hours of other presentations, before staff was asked to leave and we actually began “caucus business.”  Our discussions as a caucus lasted less than 45 minutes out of the over 15 hours of scheduled activity.

Although I had requested to be put on the Caucus agenda over a month earlier, my topic, discussing Speaker Steele’s removal of people from positions of authority, was relegated to the last item on the agenda.  Realizing the lateness of the hour, I requested from Chairman Watson the topic be tabled until the next caucus meeting, so it could be fully vetted.  He informed me, “No, the Speaker wants to address it now.”

What followed was the one of the most absolutely abominable displays of caucus politics I have witnessed in the legislature. After just 10 minutes, while I had the floor and was responding to the Speaker, a motion was entertained to adjourn and quickly half-voted on.”

Read the rest of The McCarville Report Online post here.

January 8, 2011

The Precinct: The Most Powerful Office. Get Involved – Elections 2/1/2011!

OK-SAFE, Inc. – By request we are re-posting a blog item from early in 2011.  We have updated the dates from 2011 to those for 2013.

It is still true – the precinct in the most powerful office in the party – will you be there?

Oklahoma – Tuesday, February 1, 2011 Thursday, February 7, 2013 is the date set for the upcoming Republican party precinct elections, aka “caucuses”.  [Note: If you live in Tulsa County, precinct meetings can be scheduled for Feb. 7th, 8th, or 9th.]

These meetings, by state party rules, are to take place in the precinct on the date designated by the state Republican party chairman.

Tulsa County GOP information: http://www.tulsagop.org/gop-files. For more State of Oklahoma GOP County List information click here.  Registered Democrats need to check here for that party’s information.

Precinct Defined

The precinct, for those who may not know, is the geographical area assigned to vote at a particular voting location;  “a subdivision of a county, town, city, or ward for election purposes.”  Each precinct is to have a committee, made up of citizens elected by other members of that precinct, to conduct the administrative affairs of the party to which they belong (Republican or Democrat, unless and until a third party gets moving in OK.)

The precinct committee is the supreme authority within the political parties.  From the OKRPRules Amended Aug. 2011, pp 4-5:

“Rule 5- Precinct Committees

(a)   Composition and Election: There shall be a Precinct Committee in each election precinct of the state. The Precinct Committee shall consist of a Precinct Chairman and a Precinct Vice Chairman, not of the same gender, a Precinct Secretary, and a Precinct Treasurer, who may be the same person, and who shall have equal right to vote at Precinct Meetings. They shall be elected at the regular biennial Precinct Meeting of the qualified Republican voters of each precinct called by the County Chairman, or as provided in these rules. The same procedure shall be followed at a regular or special meeting, in the event new precincts are created anywhere in any county of the state.

(b ) Authority and Duties: The Precinct Committee is the supreme Republican Party authority of each precinct, subject to these rules, and the direction and control of official precinct meetings. The Precinct Committee of each precinct is charged with the duty of promoting the welfare and directing the affairs of the Republican Party in its precinct. The Precinct Chairman shall be the executive officer of the precinct delegates to any county convention. The Precinct Chairman is not disqualified to be elected or appointed as a delegate pursuant to these rules. Only the Precinct Committee has the authority to remove any duly elected qualified delegate to the county convention.”

Being the most powerful committee within the political parties, the precinct is the starting place for the election of party officials, delegates to party conventions, both county and state, and the committee that will ultimately decide who the delegates are to the National Convention where the participants vote for President. (Presidential election -every four years; party elections – every two years.)

It all starts by being involved in your local precinct election/meeting on February 1, 2011.  February 7, 2013. [Known exception:Tulsa County GOP precinct meetings may be held on 2/7 , 2/8/ or 2/9, per the discretion of the precinct officers.]

Some of the articles below may help in understanding the power of the precinct and why you should participate.

  1. The Most Powerful Office in the World is NOT the President of the United States Eagle Forum article: http://www.eagleforum.org/misc/brochures/precinct-committman.shtml
  2. Other sources: http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com/

Excerpt below from The Precinct Project blog – a good place to start:

“Do You Know Who Elects The Party Leaders? Did You Elect Them?
Who elects the leadership of the parties? Do you know? Are you a registered Republican? Guess what? As a “mere” registered Republican voter, without more, you DID NOT have a vote in the election of the present leadership of the Republican Party. Sorry, but those are the facts.
ONLY elected precinct committeemen get to vote for the leadership of the Party. Do I yet have your attention? Ponder the fact that ONLY elected precinct committeemen get to elect the Party leadership. Don’t you want to have a vote in those elections?
About 3,141 counties exist in the United States. Each has a county party organization. And, those county organizations almost always endorse candidates in the party primaries. And, usually, those party-endorsed candidates win. Tired of the kind of Repubican In Name Only Republicans who are winning the primaries? Then DO SOMETHING REAL and become a Republican Party precinct committeeman! Guess what? About half of the Republican Party precinct committeeman slots, nationwide, are unfilled!
Do I yet have your attention? Has the light bulb above your head clicked on yet? In some counties, like the one where I reside, Maricopa County, Arizona, within which Phoenix sits, TWO-THIRDS of the precinct committeeman slots in the Republican Party sat unfilled on Election Day, 2008. Well, it’s now January, 2010, and we’re now at 53 per cent strength instead of where we were a year ago, 31 per cent.
Spend a few moments and picture this in your mind’s eye: thousands of conservatives flock to the Republican Party and join it as precinct committeemen. And, in the next internal party elections, these conservatives (you, me and others) elect NEW, CONSERVATIVE leadership. (Or, instead, these same conservatives (me, excepted) sit behind their computer screens and put first on their priority list, instead of second, writing that next, great blog post that is going to, somehow, save the republic.)”

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