Tahlequah 2015 Municipal Candidate Questions

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The Cherokee County Republican and Democratic Party Chairpersons have jointly prepared following questions for each of you.  If you would, please review the the questions and submit your answers to us within two weeks.  If you have questions or we may be of assistance, do not hesitate to contact either of us.
We would also like to ask for your permission to share your responses with the Tahlequah Daily Press, as well as posting the answers on our respective Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Most of you will have already received these questions via email though not having emails for all we will be hand delivering and/or mailing the questions to the rest.

Lastly, would you be interested in attending a jointly sponsored town hall meeting or open debate prior to the election?

Below are the questions.

Regards,

Shannon Grimes, Chair Cherokee County Republicans
Dana Rogers, Chair Cherokee County Democrats

Candidate Questions
  1. Why are you seeking to become a City Council Member/Mayor?
  2.  What are your community ties and involvement?
  3.  What do you see as the Council/Mayor’s role and responsibilities?
  4.  What are the current challenges and coming challenges you see the community facing?
  5. What do you like, not like, and want to see changed in the city and with the City Council/Mayor’s office?
  6. What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?
  7. With the city being the center of business affecting the whole county what do you think the city can or should do to involve rural and tribal collaborations?
  8. Given recent issues with City offices, Departments, and associated institutions do you have any concerns regarding transparency and accountability within the city government?
  9. Many have raised questions regarding inequitable application of city ordinances. Do you see this as an issue and if so what do you see as a solution?
  10. City offices can be demanding and require a lot of attention. Do you have the time to serve with proper diligence if you are elected?
  11. Do you think you can balance real oversight with productive relationships with city employees, office holders, and associated institutions such as Tahlequah Mainstreet and the Chamber of Commerce?
  12. What ideas or plans do you have regarding growth of the city of Tahlequah?
  13. What is your view on the relationship of the city of Tahlequah with NSU and Cherokee Nation?
  14. What impact to you think the coming new Casino development by Cherokee Nation will have on Tahlequah?
  15. Have you ever been in a position of trust? If so, how did you approach the responsibility?
  16. Is there anything else you would like to bring to the attention of Tahlequah’s voters?

January 2015 CCRP Newletter

No Meeting Jan. 12th

With the Governor’s inauguration and other events going we will not be having our normally scheduled meeting for the month of January.

Candidate Questions and Possible Forum

Over the past month or so we have been reaching out to voters for questions they would like to ask candidates for the local municipal and school board races.

Republican Chairman Shannon Grimes and Democrat Chairman Dana Rogers have produced a list of questions that are being sent to the candidates for a response and we hope to share the responses with you all via online media as well as the Tahlequah Daily Press.

In addition a Candidate Forum is in the process of being organized for the later part of January.  Stay tuned for more details.

These elections will be February 10th.
 
County Precinct Meetings and Convention Feb. 21st

The County Executive Committee with help and feedback from the County Committee have set Precinct Meetings and County Convention for the morning of February 21st at the Tahlequah Municipal Armory building.  More details for both will be forthcoming.

In the meantime we encourage everyone to attend and be involved and even consider running for Precinct or County party offices! For those not familiar with the process I have started blog series that I hope will help answer questions and pique your interest in participating.  You can read it here at Precinct Meetings Part 1 .  In the series I will try to explain the purpose and function of the party at the Precinct and County levels  as well as what holding the party offices entail.  My hope is to demystify the process and the offices in hopes that many of you will be interested in competing for and taking on those offices yourselves.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

What’s a Precinct Meeting and Why Have Them?

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Precinct meetings are where the rubber starts hitting the road with grassroots involvement in Republican Party politics and leadership.  It is the starting place of building relationships with and representing your community, particularly those registered as Republican.

Precinct Defined: The precinct 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 such 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.  At this time Cherokee County only has 4 organized precincts and they only organized in our last cycle.   This year we hope that many more of our precincts will meet and elect officers so that we can continue organizing and broadening the voice of Cherokee County Republicans both in local party business and electoral challenges.

Biennial Precinct Meetings:  Every two years Republicans from the precincts come together to handle several pieces of business and to participate first hand in grassroots politics and organization.

1) Elect Precinct Officers: These officers are a Precinct Chairman and a Precinct Vice Chairman, a Precinct Secretary, and a Precinct Treasurer, who may be the same person. These officers make up the Precinct Committee .

2) Elect Delegates to the County Convention:  Each precinct gets to elect delegates to the County Convention where County Officers and State Convention Delegates will be elected among other business.

3) Propose and vote on Resolutions and Republican platform changes.  Those passing advance to County Conventions for consideration.

What is the job of precinct officers?
The Precinct Committee is the supreme Republican
Party authority of each precinct and is charged with the duty of promoting the welfare and directing the affairs of the Republican Party in its precinct. The Precinct Chairman is the executive officer of the precinct delegates to any county convention and presides over precinct meetings throughout his or her term.  The Vice Chair assists the Chair and fills that role when the Chair is unable.

The Precinct Chair and Vice Chair also serve as part of the County Committee which is the governing body of the county party.  The County Committee makes decisions for the county party and gives direction to the county chairman.

The Bottom Line is that Precinct Meetings and Offices are the places where Republicans can start exerting their wishes and ideas on the Republican Party structure.  If you would like to have a place in determining what the Party officially “stands for” this is where to begin.

The Cherokee County Republican Party will be holding our Precinct Meetings the morning of February 21st in Tahlequah at the Municipal Armory building.  The meetings are expected to last 1-2 hours and will be followed by our County Convention at the same location.   More details will be forthcoming on the schedule for that day.

Please consider attending and accepting, or if there is competition, running for your Precinct offices.

It is important that the local party has many voices involved and participating in giving direction and reaching out to our communities.

When the Precinct Meetings are done the next step is the County Convention, which will be the topic of my next blog post.

Regards,
Dr. Shannon Grimes, Chairman
Cherokee County Republican Party

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Cherokee County GOP News Dec. Edition

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Dec. 8th Meeting

​Labor Commissioner Mark Costello will be joining us next Monday, Dec 8th, 6:30pm, at the Armory here in Tahlequah.  Mark is one of those rare few that has actually made real strides in cutting spending, shrinking government, all while increasing efficiency and quality of service.

You can read some about what he has done here in this News Article.
New County Officers Elected
On Nov. 20th our County Committee voted to confirm two new officers for out county party.

Tonya Teaney has taken on the job of Vice Chairwoman and Judy Gamble has taken on the responsibilities of being our State Committee Woman, in addition to being our Treasurer.

We want to extend a huge thank you to these ladies for being willing to step up and serve.

I would also like to thank those from the County Committee, Executive Committee, and guests that attended the meetings where this party business was done.  That you all take time to participate is greatly appreciated.

Precinct Meetings and County Conventions
Coming up the morning of February 21st we will be holding our Precinct meetings and County Convention for the Cherokee County Republican Party.

In the coming weeks we will be sharing more information as the details are worked out.

At this time the basic plan is to meet as precincts and handle precinct business then transition  into the county convention with a guest speaker to help with the transition.  We will also be looking into options for food and drink.

We’ll be forming a Convention Planning Committee to insure everything is set up and well organized.  If you would like to help by serving on the committee please let us know.

The upcoming meetings also means everyone needs to be considering if they would be interested in running for Precinct or County Party offices.

Precincts have Chair and Vice Chair elected at their meetings.  They serve on the County Committee which is the governing body for the County Party.

County officers are also up for election, Chair, Vice Chair, 2 State Committee persons, and 2 District Committee persons.

If any one has any questions please let us know.  I also hope to be writing up more detailed information on what these offices entail for those that may be interested.

Regards,
Dr. Shannon Grimes, Chairman

Government For And By The Few, Part 2 (Broken Oaths)

This is part II of the series of articles by Tim Gillespie that I think you all should read. We as a people have to start taking more of a stand on issues and giving more accountability to those we’ve elected. Tim and OK2A are doing that and so I want to share his words with you all.

Regards,
Dr. Shannon Grimes, Chairman

OK2A Hour

As I mentioned at the close of “Government For And By The Few, Part 1” we still had a chance to get HJR1026 out of the conference committee during the last week of the session.  Five Republican legislators stood in the way.  We told you we would name names, so here they are.  Senator Don Barrington (R-Lawton) and Representatives Dale DeWitt (R-Braman), Dustin Roberts (R-Bryan Co), Mike Christian (R-OKC), and Elise Hall (R-OKC) refused to sign the conference committee report (we will explain what a conference committee report is in a future article).  Representatives DeWitt’s and Dustin Roberts’ refusal to sign is bad enough, but I want to focus on Representatives Christian and Hall (we’ll deal with Senator Barrington in the next article).

Representative Christian had several excuses for why he would not sign. One of his excuses was that HJR1026 would allow illegal aliens to have firearms.  We reminded…

View original post 889 more words

Government For And By The Few, Part 1 (Special Interests)

I’m going to be sharing a series of articles by Tim Gillespie of OK2A. We as a people have to start taking more of a stand on issues and giving more accountability to those we’ve elected. Tim and OK2A are doing that and so I want to share his words with you all.

Regards,
Dr. Shannon Grimes, Chairman

OK2A Hour

Over the next few days we will breakdown the 2014 State Legislative Session and let you know what happened, both good and bad.  There were a few successes this year.  We got the K-12 School Parking lot bill passed, which has been a long time coming.  We saw Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary’s veto of the NFA bill overridden.  Several procedural bills were passed and signed into law.  Also, Rep. O’Donnell’s bill updating the language on the use of deadly force, another bill vetoed by the Governor, was placed into another bill by the Speaker and passed, though as of Friday, it was still waiting to be signed by the Governor.

That seems pretty good, so why is this article about to take a negative turn?  Were it not for a handful of elected legislators and a couple of unelected special interests, it could have been a much, much better year.

View original post 707 more words

Republicans Discontent with Politics As Usual (A OKGOP State Committee Recap)

This past weekend I had the mixed pleasure of participating in our Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee Meeting.  In the last 8 years since I’ve been more actively involved the OKGOP has been going through many changes, often painfully, and not without upset and turmoil.  This weekend’s meeting well illustrated the changes the Oklahoma Republican Party has went through as well as the changes it still needs to embrace.

I do not know how it is in other States but in my experience here in Oklahoma these State Committee meetings have always been cheer leading sessions with dog and pony shows to keep the Committee Members amused as they are asked to rubber stamp the plans produced by the State Party’s administrative structure.  Very rarely have I seen indication that the State Committee doing much in actively engaging its authority and giving direction and instructing action on the part of the OKGOP.  Oh, there have certainly been Resolutions passed voicing approval or disapproval on various issues but never before have I seen the Committee direct the State organization to action.

                                                The Good
Take Common Core, it has been denounced by both the State and National party structures in their respective Party Platforms and yet we in Oklahoma have both a Republican Governor and State Superintendent that have doubled down in their support of that educational program without much consequence or push back from the Party structure and leadership.  In fact, most probably have observed that while many in the Republican party  statewide are very vocal in their opposition to Common Core there is not so much as a peep coming from the State Party itself that would put Republicans like Gov. Fallin  supporting Common Core on notice.  In fact often we are told that we should not make waves by standing for our stated principles.  It is about our party winning you see.  But more and more people are waking up to see that if we win by supporting those who do not uphold our principles then it is not a win a all.

This weekend the State Committee began standing up for some of the principles claimed by the Oklahoma Republican Party.  There was an anti-Common Core Resolution passed overwhelmingly by the body but this time it was different.  This time the Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party is actually directed to act take action in support of our Party Platform though it may make some of our State Republican Politicians unhappy.

There was also more good when the  Federal Reserve was called out as needing to be audited which was followed by a great deal of audience cheer.

Moving on to the bad though we have…

                                                    The Bad
The State Party Budget also caused some noise as many in attendance were not happy with the lack of detail given in the report before the Committee was asked for it’ approval.  In the future I do not expect the State Party will be able to get away with presenting the proposed State Party Budget to the State Committee as a pie chart.  Yes, it was presented as a pie chart.

                                                  The Ugly
There was a joke delivered during the one of the reports that exemplifies why Republicans have such trouble with minorities across the country and why we are perceived as hate mongers.  It showed that many in the Republican Party still just do not “get it” despite all the studies that have been done by the party as to why it has trouble with minorities.   Hearing that joke turned my stomach because I fear too many attending would not mind Muslim women and children blowing up in landmines.  Such hate and misunderstanding needs to be called out and corrected.

Now, as horrible as that was and as much laughter as there was I hazard to say that not more than half the room laughed.  Looking about I saw plenty of faces that were disturbed and disgusted as those next them them laughed.  I say that to contrast where we were 4 years ago when I have no doubt that a great deal more of the audience would have been laughing.

There is a lot of work and educating yet to be done but we have people working together on issues that will enhance liberty in our state, we have the State GOP office holders speaking openly about problems with the Federal Reserve, and we have the State Committee actually standing up and starting to direct the Party.  Indeed there is a lot of work to do but in looking back at where we were when I first got involved I have to say that progress is being made, though perhaps not always as fast as I would like.Image

Republicans Discontent with Politics As Usual (A OKGOP State Committee Recap)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

This past weekend I had the mixed pleasure of participating in our Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee Meeting.  In the last 8 years since I’ve been more actively involved the OKGOP has been going through many changes, often painfully, and not without upset and turmoil.  This weekend’s meeting well illustrated the changes the Oklahoma Republican Party has went through as well as the changes it still needs to embrace.

I do not know how it is in other States but in my experience here in Oklahoma these State Committee meetings have always been cheer leading sessions with dog and pony shows to keep the Committee Members amused as they are asked to rubber stamp the plans produced by the State Party’s administrative structure.  Very rarely have I seen indication that the State Committee doing much in actively engaging its authority and giving direction and instructing action on the part of the OKGOP.  Oh, there have certainly been Resolutions passed voicing approval or disapproval on various issues but never before have I seen the Committee direct the State organization to action.

                                                The Good
Take Common Core, it has been denounced by both the State and National party structures in their respective Party Platforms and yet we in Oklahoma have both a Republican Governor and State Superintendent that have doubled down in their support of that educational program without much consequence or push back from the Party structure and leadership.  In fact, most probably have observed that while many in the Republican party  statewide are very vocal in their opposition to Common Core there is not so much as a peep coming from the State Party itself that would put Republicans like Gov. Fallin  supporting Common Core on notice.  In fact often we are told that we should not make waves by standing for our stated principles.  It is about our party winning you see.  But more and more people are waking up to see that if we win by supporting those who do not uphold our principles then it is not a win a all.

This weekend the State Committee began standing up for some of the principles claimed by the Oklahoma Republican Party.  There was an anti-Common Core Resolution passed overwhelmingly by the body but this time it was different.  This time the Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party is actually directed to act take action in support of our Party Platform though it may make some of our State Republican Politicians unhappy.

There was also more good when Federal Reserve was called out as needing to be audited followed by a great deal of audience cheer.

Moving on to the bad though we have…

                                                    The Bad
The State Party Budget also caused some noise as many in attendance were not happy with the lack of detail given in the report before the Committee was asked for it’ approval.  In the future I do not expect the State Party will be able to get away with presenting the proposed State Party Budget to the State Committee as a pie chart.  Yes, it was presented as a pie chart.

                                                  The Ugly
There was a joke delivered during the one of the reports that exemplifies why Republicans have such trouble with minorities across the country and why we are perceived as hate mongers.  It showed that many in the Republican Party still just do not “get it” despite all the studies that have been done by the party as to why it has trouble with minorities.   Hearing that joke turned my stomach because I fear too many attending would not mind Muslim women and children blowing up in landmines.  Such hate and misunderstanding needs to be called out and corrected.

Now, as horrible as that was and as much laughter as there was I hazard to say that not more than half the room laughed.  Looking about I saw plenty of faces that were disturbed and disgusted as those next them them laughed.  I say that to contrast where we were 4 years ago when I have no doubt that a great deal more of the audience would have been laughing.

There is a lot of work and educating yet to be done but we have people working together on issues that will enhance liberty in our state, we have the State GOP office holders speaking openly about problems with the Federal Reserve, and we have the State Committee actually standing up and starting to direct the Party.  Indeed there is a lot of work to do but in looking back at where we were when I first got involved I have to say that progress is being made, though perhaps not always as fast as I would like.

THE SHRINKING PIGGY BANK

 

BY RUSSELL TURNER

 

THE SHRINKING PIGGY BANK

 

None of us like the idea of getting older but I have found that having more birthday candles on a cake does have some benefits. I have often said that my grandparents experienced a lot of changes in their lives, they grew up in an environment where horses and mules were the main source of power to use on a farm, then later they saw men walking on the moon. They indeed saw a huge change in technology during their lives, but those of us in my age group have seen an equal change, not in technology but in the attitudes of the people of our nation.

 

I can remember picking strawberries and doing other work on my parent’s farm when I was a child, and I was taught to save my money and to always put a little of it back in an old fruit jar or a piggy bank. In those days it seemed that our entire system was much more stable. We were confident that the money we had today would probably have the same spending power next year as it did today. While our government tries to assure us that inflation is under control, I have a problem accepting their propaganda. I recently read an article that put our current system into perspective.

 

Recently Ben Bernanke announced that interest rates would remain at zero for the next 2 years; saving money in old fruit jars and piggy banks is not nearly as good as it once was. Based on the way that the government used to calculate inflation (a much more realistic approach than today), you’d be losing 7% annually in buying power. On small items that we buy it is easy to not notice it, but when you purchase a major appliance or a big-ticket item the effect can be noticed.

 

I have witnessed older people sell a business and their hope was to use the money to live off of in their retirement years. On one occasion Ben Bernanke make the comment that keeping the interest low would entice people to buy cars, but that car buying is coming at a high price. Either the retirees can invest into more risky things such as the stock market or watch their savings shrink day by day.

 

In my youth I was taught that savings was a good thing, but today the younger generations are taught that working hard and saving money is bad and debt is wealth. We have developed the idea that everything is going to be OK simply because the government says so and if you have a problem, the government will bail you out. We all need to realize that the policies that our government inflicts upon us do have consequences. If we want to keep our piggy banks from shrinking any farther we must get involved and demand better accountability from our elected officials.