Tag: Democratic Party

Photos and report from the 2011 Oklahoma Democratic Party State Convention

May 15, 2011

So yeah, I went to the convention yesterday and I lived to tell the tale!


The Oklahoman story Former state lawmaker to head Oklahoma Democrats describes how a credentialing problem led to a long delay and ultimate redo of the vote for party chair (while taking every opportunity possible to mention the past unsuccessful campaigns of the various candidates.

As my first major party state convention, I thought it was pretty good, except for the excruciating three hour gap of confusion and intrigue (and drinking and other diversions) in the middle. But if the Oklahoman is correct, in 1999 a similar discrepancy was just glossed over and allowed to stand, so with that info, I withdraw all my griping of yesterday, since I don’t think anyone can say the vote wasn’t fair, and I’m quite happy with the outcome, since the Wallace/Orwig team consists of my #1 and #2 picks for chair. I think the party machinery moved significantly to the left, putting it more in line with its grassroots activists, which will hopefully lead to even more contributions from them in time and money, which are needed.

OK County’s original vote count (all these counts are 5th District only since I didn’t realize till later that parts of OK County were being counted in 4th CD):

Troy Green 0
Leroy D Downs 3
Dana Orwig 39
Wallace Collins 38
Mannix Barnes 19
Jed Green 6

On the revote, and after Troy and Jed dropped out and endorsed Collins:

Leroy D Downs 1
Dana Orwig 40
Wallace Collins 47
Mannix Barnes 18

Runoff (voting began at 5:35):

Dana Orwig 44
Wallace Collins 57

Final statewide count (5:50)

Dana Orwig 213
Wallace Collins 326

Wallace gave a simple and blessedly short acceptance speech, we moved on to the election of Vice Chair, but I had already stayed two hours longer than I really could, so I left at that point.

From other online sources, I learned that in addition to Dana Orwig at Vice Chair, David Ratcliffe was elected Secretary and Donna Russel Treasurer. Since I believe this is an all-caucasion slate, the Affirmative Action postitions are all the more important. They are:

Male: Carl Downing and George Young
Female: Denay Burris and Nicole Kirkpatrick

Still haven’t heard about the resolutions.

Update [5/15/2011 8:35pm]:

I have been informed by a member of the Young Democrats that “Resolutions will be heard by Central Comm b/c we lost quorum before they could be considered.”

Going to the Oklahoma Democratic Party State Convention this Saturday

May 11, 2011

I am going to the Oklahoma Democratic Party convention this Saturday as an alternate delegate with a proxy, and thus a vote in the statewide party elections for officers. I am in the Change Oklahoma caucus.

Those who have known me for a while may know that I chose to work within the party here in Oklahoma two years ago, because I see it as currently the only viable way to even minimally advance progressive causes via the electoral process in this state during what remains of my lifetime. You don’t have to provide me with all the ways the duopolistic major party system in this country is problematic; I’m aware, but I am also aware of the need for change here and the political realities in terms of process. So here I am, a Democratic Party “operative.”

So this will be my first major party state convention, believe it or not — I’m a longtime political junkie, but not a partisan. So I’ve tried to observe, talk to people and learn what I can and I have decided to support Wallace Collins for state party chair. The other candidates all have very positive things going for them, but I think Wallace has the background, electoral experience and political connections statewide to build the party in both rural and urban areas. All the other candidates talk about their plan, but hell, I could write a plan. But I couldn’t go out to rural OK and try to sell it to people. I couldn’t get them to give me some money to help implement my plan. I sure couldn’t convince them to stick their necks out in their community. I think that’s what the party chair needs to be able to do. I hope everyone will support the candidate who they think can do that all over the state, not just in urban centers with people like themselves.

That’s my endorsement and my two cents.

Eureka, I’ve got it! Obama should switch parties

December 6, 2010

So it hit me last night, while watching The Universe on DVD (as I usually do on weekends) — seeing the (really) big picture has a way of calming the mind and inducing sleep — the solution to a number of serious problems, primarily the governance of this nation, its economic viability going forward, the survival of the middle class, and, not unrelated, the health of the progressive movement and, yes, even the Democratic Party.

Barack Obama should become a Republican. Right away. The sooner the better.

I’m serious! It would certainly solve some of his political problems, the most obvious being the objectionist nature of the GOP — they are repeatedly opposing their own policies of the past, for instance the health care reform bill that passed and ‘cap and trade‘ that hasn’t, for the sole reason that they are being picked up and promoted by a Democrat. Plus, through this pattern of behavior, President Obama is losing the Democratic base in droves with his GOP policies and constant appeasement. Even prominent African Americans are now saying he should be primaried.

If Obama simply changed his party affiliation, several magical things would occur:

  • He would instantly stop being a Muslim, a Marxist, a socialist and Hitler, rolled into one. It’s possible he would also stop being black, but I’m not sure about that, I’ll have to check with Colin Powell and Condi Rice.
  • His legitimate birth certificate would be found, probably in a safe deposit box in the downtown branch of BOA in Des Moines.
  • Sarah Palin would finally have a black friend.

But more importantly, the nation could immediately get out of government gridlock and start getting some halfway decent legislation passed, and Democrats could start seriously looking for a candidate that actually believed in their platform to run for president against the current occupant of the WH. Since the half-ass domestic economic policies — not to mention the war on civil liberties and the endless corporatist/imperialist foreign adventures — of President Obama and his GOP friends and colleagues won’t really help the deficit or the joblessness rate, the chances of the Democrats regaining the White House are pretty good.

I’m telling you, it’s the ideal solution to everything that’s wrong with this country.

Bonus result: Sarah Palin will lose the Vice Presidency yet again.

Need a pep talk?

January 19, 2010

Tristero echos Digby: “Don’t give up.”

This country’s politics are clearly in a state of rapid, dramatic transition. A transition to exactly what is far from clear. The way I see it, we may resume our rapid descent into the abyss of fascism so ruthlessly engineered by Nixon, Reagan and the two Bushes.To be sure, that is a very likely future for America, post-Obama. However, instead, we may build upon and “professionalize” the liberal, widely popular movements that rallied behind Obama in ’08 and restore the messy, far from perfect, but nonetheless liberal democracy that was America before the modern rightwing proceeded to wreck the country and discard our values.

Really, we don’t have a choice. Many of us have already forgotten what it was like under Bush, when an American government hellbent on establishing fascism by any means necessary was in power. But I haven’t. Murders, torture, a country left permanently undefended from perils both manmade and natural, arbitrary imprisonment, censorship, stolen elections, joblessness, thievery, greed, hypocrisy and lawlessness enshrined as moral values, increased poverty and ill health.

Party realignment now finalized in DC

February 11, 2009

Democratic Party = party of governing, or occasional stabs at it during moments of crisis, with good and not so good members and policy positions.

Republican Party = party of obstruction to efforts at actual governance, with varying levels of skill and shamelessness. But all are, to borrow an observation from Garrison Keillor,  “above average” at it. Something about brain chemistry, I suspect.

The Senate’s passage Tuesday of the economic recovery package followed a now-familiar 30 year pattern. The Democratic President Barack Obama, like Bill Clinton before him in 1993, faced a monolithic wall of GOP opposition to his economic program. But Republicans Ronald Reagan in 1981 and George W. Bush 20 years later enjoyed substantial Democratic support for their dangerously irresponsible and regressive tax cuts that as predicted drained the federal treasury. Now as then, for Republicans the road to economic stimulus is a one-way street.

This is why two is not enough. To borrow from another good writer: “We can do better.”

Call for Oklahoma Democrats to make change HERE

November 29, 2008

Candace Richardson was one of the hardest workers for Obama in Oklahoma. Like many of us progressives, she’s a little concerned about what caused Oklahoma to buck the trend and move to the Right instead of the Left in the election.

She’s put out a call for others to join her in making some changes in the base of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

On December 11, 2008, at 5:30pm, we will have a brief meeting in Oklahoma City at the upstairs conference room of Java Daves, 10 NE 10th (just west of the Broadway Extension on 10th St). It is time to stand up for our Democratic values. It is time to move this party in a new direction.

We invite you to join us and continue to work for change. Channel your hope, because WE KNOW what can be accomplished when people come together united by a common goal! Email me at crich1254 -at- yahoo -dot- com [altered for privacy] for more information and to RSVP for Dec. 11th.

And, yes, I know that if you are a conservative Republican, you are just cool about Oklahoma not voting for Obama and being the regressive joke of an America that is moving on and upward with or without us. We get it, really; you don’t have to explain it to us again here.

Oklahoma Political News Roundup

November 27, 2008

Grassroots power. The Oklahoma Democratic Party is trying to keep funding the staff people that were part of Howard Dean’s 50-state grassroots party-building strategy. That program is being laid down, apparently — despite its demonstrable success for the past two campaign cycles. I could go off on that tangent for a rant, but back to Oklahoma — Oklahoma Dems would like to keep this now experienced staff around to help the party continue to build and, I dunno, do better next time. So if you’re inclined, donate here

Inhofe back to business. The Oklahoma Gazette reports that Inhofe is going to focus his time and energy on dismantling the 527s that he thinks did him dirty in his recent reelection campaign. He won by a considerable margin, but no matter, he’s on the warpath. I’m sure this new mission he’s taken on will do lots of good things for the people of Oklahoma.

Little Axe Case remembered. In 1981, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State came to the aid of two Little Axe, OK, families who were being attacked for their objections to denominational prayers in the local school. Oklahoma City minister, and blogger at Mainstream Baptists, Dr. Bruce Prescott, interviewed one of the victims on his radio program, and AU picked it up on their site, and prominent science blogger and atheist PZ Myers noted it at Pharyngula as well. Both posts generated lots of comments.

And therein I learned that Joann Bell, the longtime director of the Oklahoma ACLU was one of those Little Axe women who fought the school board and the whole town. I’d heard about the Little Axe story, even saw it detailed in a documentary, but never realized that it was that Joann Bell that was involved.

Keeping it wild. In the Gazette I also see news that The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma is initiating a new project in OKC and Tulsa to get more young professionals and families involved in their work to save wilderness areas.

Waiting for justice. A documentary has been made about the survivors of the Tulsa Race Riot (thought to be the worst racist massacre in U.S. history in which a successful black community was destroyed) and their desire for reparations Before They Die. I’m not sure when this film was released, but it’s been shown in Tulsa, and recently in New York City. If it hasn’t been shown publicly in OKC, it should be.

What’s the matter with Democrats in DC?

November 18, 2008

Well, as suspected, the capitulation continues unabated. The Netroots is sick about it, but not really surprised. Hunter at Daily Kos pretty much sums it up in Why it Matters.

As Jane Hamsher states, the real message of today’s vote, from the 32 Democratic Senators who gave Lieberman a pass, and, yes, President-elect Obama, who whipped the vote:

This is about telling you that you mean nothing. That democracy is a nice word, but it should never threaten the entitlement of the most exclusive club in the world.

No matter what Joe Lieberman does, the people who are protecting him hate you much more than they hate him.

We just continue to fight for accountability and progressive values to make their way to the top.