Monday, June 9, 2008

What Does an Effective Leader Look Like?

By Jaci Greggs, Cleveland County Precinct 50 Republican Vice-Chairman

I’ve heard the word “effective” thrown around a lot this election cycle, from the national level all the way down. And rightly so. We have had our fill of seat-warmers in the Republican Party, doing nothing for the Conservative cause and being only interested in self-promotion. A discussion of an effective leader is definitely warranted. Here are some examples of an effective leader:

An effective leader is someone who will go to bat for taxpayers. In honor of the State’s Centennial celebration, the Centennial Commission decided to spend $15 million in various projects across the state. However, most of these projects were sponsored by venture capitalists that would have directly profited from this $15 million taxpayer expenditure, and were not required to account for the money they received. A leader would say that the taxpayers deserve to know exactly where and how their money was going to be spent. Someone did, and filed a lawsuit to that effect. Also, when the legislature got away from the constitutionally mandated process of bringing every new bond and tax issue to a vote of the people, someone took a stand to hold the legislature accountable so they would not pass bond issues without a vote of the people.

We want a leader who will stand up for our Christian beliefs in the public arena. Governor Brad Henry created an Ethnic Advisory Council, comprised entirely of Muslims, refusing to appoint a Middle-Eastern Christian Pastor. While this may not seem like a big deal, the real story is that this Council was able to distribute Qurans at taxpayer expense, supposedly in honor of Oklahoma’s Centennial. A leader would be brave enough to tell the Governor that the taxpayers are not obligated to fund Islamic proselytizing, and that Islam and the Quran have not played any significant role in the history of our state, while our country and subsequently our state have been guided throughout history by Judeo-Christian values. Someone did just that. Someone also co-authored a bill protecting Christian students’ rights to be able to pray openly and discuss their beliefs in schoolwork without fear of censorship or biased grading. The bill passed both the House and the Senate, but the Governor vetoed it on the last day of legislative session.

A leader is someone who should stand up for us in any arena, even when it means facing down the State Regents and a former Oklahoma governor. When Oklahoma seniors in 2005 were being abused by OUs Housing and Admittance policies, a leader would have thought that it was worth taking a public stand against a beloved Oklahoma institution when it was in the wrong. Someone did take a stand, and created a precedent so that Oklahoma universities couldn’t require students to live on campus, forcing them (or really, their taxpaying parents) to pay housing fees whether they really lived there or not.

A leader will work to maintain an open government that is accountable to the people. Oklahoma has to abide by the Open Records Act, making official documents available to the public. The City of Norman was infringing on the Open Records Act by charging exorbitant fees for access to public documents. Someone took the City of Norman to task, and authored a bill to keep them from profiting off of the openness of public documents.

Of course, there are also examples of those we don’t want in positions of political power. One of my favorites is Gene Stipe. Among other endeavors, Stipe created non-profits and then legislated government money into his non-profits, which were kept unaccountable to the state (thanks to Jeff McMahan, but that’s for another time). My favorite particular story involves a train engine. The city of Guthrie has a historic train depot that is one of the city’s landmarks. Gene Stipe thought it would be a great idea if Guthrie bought a train engine and cars to sit on the tracks next to the station. He legislated $300,000 to the company that owned the train and cars, Phipps Enterprises. Guess who owned the company? Businessman Steve Phipps – and Gene Stipes. A leader should be someone willing to make sure that crooks like Gene Stipe are punished for their crimes. Someone was, and investigated independently and consequently was able turn over evidence to the FBI that destroyed Gene Stipe’s false mental incapability claim to avoid jail time after being prosecuted for acts such as the one described above. Someone also fought to keep Stipe from collecting his legislator’s retirement – which equaled more than his legislator’s salary – while he is in prison as a result of the felonies he committed using his legislative power.

The “Someone” in every situation I described was State Representative Mike Reynolds. This is a small sampling of Mike’s legislative service on your behalf, protecting your Constitutional right to vote on new taxes, your rights to express your beliefs, and routing out corruption to prevent more waste of your hard-earned tax money (For more examples, you may refer to the recent legal troubles with Jeff McMahan, Drew Edmondson, and the exposure of Brad Henry’s illegal campaign donations).

So now that we have answered the first question - what an effective leader looks like - I’ll leave it to you to answer the next one:

What are you doing to help us keep this Conservative warrior fighting for you at the Capitol? This was not created with the knowledge, cooperation or approval of Mike Reynolds. Totally on my own. Please forward or repost.

Monday, June 2, 2008

And So It Begins

Yes, it has been a month. I'm sorry. Hopefully this month will be better. I'm sure there will be plenty to discuss as we head into primary season, which officially began today. This week is the week that anyone wishing to file as a candidate for political office in the state of Oklahoma is to do so. In fact, I already have a blog in the works detailing a local race. Right now we have a state race that is, in my opinion, decisive in the future of the Republican Party in the state of Oklahoma. I will get to that another time, though. As is stands, here is my official list of primary candidate endorsements for where I live. (I can't keep an eye on the whole state, sorry). Blogs explaining each one will be forthcoming (God willing). State Representative Dist. 91 - Mike Reynolds - incumbent State Senator Dist. 45 - LTC Steve Russell (Ret) US Senator - Jim Inhoffe - incumbent Corporation Commissioner - Dana Murphy Cleveland County Clerk - Kerrie Hudson Cleveland County Sheriff - David Williams Once the information is made available I'll link each of their websites to my list on the right. I have visited extensively with each candidate personally and am thoroughly convinced of their qualifications for their respective positions.