Each Tuesday from here to election day, we’re going to break down some of the June 25th primary races. We start with House District 88.
The Democratic race for House District 88 is probably the most exciting Oklahoma City primary in the upcoming election. This is for a couple of reasons.
The first is that the winner will run unopposed in the general election. Yes, a state so red it drips blood into Texas couldn’t find one rich lawyer or doctor from Crown Heights to run for a seat in one of Oklahoma City’s few liberal house districts. Come on, Republicans! I know you already dominate the state and that the outcome of this race really doesn’t matter, but at least act like you care and give us another spoiled eye booger eater.
Second, we have four candidates with diverse backgrounds who have all probably partied with Ed Shadid in a hot tub vying for the seat. They include a:
• Transgendered former Oklahoma City police officer
• Self-proclaimed political activist and pothead
• Gay nightclub owner
• Nazarene church minister / oil and gas executive
That’s a pretty diverse field. In fact, it’s so diverse that you can put their images in a lineup like I did above and not really tell who’s the transgendered ex street cop.
Since we have a lot of readers who are upper middle class homeowners with disposable incomes who live in HD 88 and vote and pay attention to internet ads, I thought it would
make fun breakdown the candidates and give our endorsement after the jump.
The candidates are…
Stephen Colbert must have a thing for Oklahoma deities.
As we all know, he brought Lord England to the show back in September to discuss tornado precautions and weather nicknames. Now he’s talking to Satan, Lord of Hell, about the Baphomet statue the Satanic Temple wants to install at the capitol.
Check it out:
A little over year ago, Uncle Fester impersonator Al Gerhardt was charged with blackmail after firing off this crazy email to State Senator Cliff Branan:
“Branan, Get that bill heard or I will make sure you regret not doing it. I will make you the laughing stock of the Senate if I don’t hear that this bill will be heard and passed. We will dig into your past, yoru family, your associates and once we start on you there will be no end to it. This is a promise.”
That was pretty stupid. For one, Fetus Flakes creator Ralph Shortey is still in office so it’s virtually impossible for anyone else to be “the laughing stock of Oklahoma senate.” Don’t make a threat you can’t enforce.
Two, blackmail is illegal. You can’t threaten to damage someone’s reputation just because the don’t meet some sort of demand. Unfortunately, I know this first hand. For several years now, Joleen Chaney and Emily Sutton have blackmailed me by threatening to expose our secret relationship if I stopped writing haikus about weather and watermelons:
Clouds grow in the sky
watermelons piling high
waiting for sunshine
is sweet and very divine
Look out a squall line!
Let’s be honest. Can you blame them?
Anyway, an Oklahoma jury found Gerhart guilty of blackmail late last night. Here are the details from The Oklahoman’s Nolan “Droopy” Clay:
Last night, I was the judge for a talent show at Oklahoma City Community College.
No, that’s not the headline to the world’s coolest and/or loneliest Match.com profile. It’s actually a very surreal thing that happened to me last night from 7pm – 9pm.
Outside of the drunk emcee, the event was fun. They had about 20 performers, and none of them involved soccer moms or commuting. My favorites were a one-man band, a Christian a cappella act, and a girl who learned yoyo tricks by watching a YouTube clip. So who won the competition? The girl with yoyo tricks. Can you get any more community college than that?
The answer is “yes.” Look who’s giving the commencement speech at the school’s May 16th graduation.
May 16 will mark a milestone for many Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) students as they receive their degrees and certificates during the 41st commencement ceremonies.
More than 1,500 degrees and certificates will be awarded to graduates, and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin will serve as this year’s keynote speaker. Commencement ceremonies will be held at the Cox Convention Center beginning at 7:30 p.m.
“It is always an honor to have the Governor of our state address the graduates,” said Dr. Paul Sechrist, OCCC President. “Having the Governor at commencement adds to the significance of this milestone event for our students.”
So…. they have graduations at OCCC? I spent three years at the place and graduated and even I didn’t know that. Maybe I accidentally got a GED instead.
In response to Governor Fallin’s speech, some OCCC students have announced they will protest. Check out this email from an Ogle Mole:
Over the weekend, the mega-wealthy CEOs of our big three energy companies – Harold Hamm (Continental Resources), Larry Nichols (Devon Energy), and Doug Lawler (Chesapeake Energy) – partnered with the The Oklahoman to pitch a new, totally reasonable tax plan on horizontal drilling production.
Executives from three of Oklahoma’s largest oil and natural gas companies have proposed a new plan for the state’s tax on oil and natural gas production.
The proposal is the latest offering in the ongoing struggle at the Capitol to address the current tax plan, which is set to expire next year.
The newest proposal would change the gross production tax rate to 2 percent for both horizontal and vertical wells for the first four years of production. The rate would then rise to 7 percent. The proposal has earned the backing of Larry Nichols, executive chairman at Devon Energy Corp.; Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources Inc.; and Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Doug Lawler.
“We’ve come up with a proposal that makes the tax simpler, makes it permanent, treats everyone in the industry the same way so it’s totally fair for everyone in the industry,” Nichols said. “It has a modest tax increase to it and continues the economic activity, which benefits everybody.”
Boy, we sure are lucky to have a trio of nice businessman available to come up with a “simpler,” “permanent” and “totally fair” taxation plan for their own industry. Obviously, these guys and their for-profit companies that have earned billions of dollars in revenue by draining Oklahoma resources know the best way they should be taxed. It’s why we let car dealers determine motor vehicle excise taxes, give bars the power to set liquor taxes, and let rich Republicans lower the top income tax rate.
Of course, I have to ask. Why do we need this new reasonable plan?
The state historically has assessed a 7 percent tax on most oil and natural gas production. In 1994, the Legislature created an incentive for horizontal drilling. The incentive initially lowered the tax rate to 1 percent for the first two years or until costs were recovered. In 2002, the incentive was extended to up to four years.
The incentive program is set to expire next year in a move that would return the tax rate to 7 percent. Industry leaders have said the tax credit should be extended because it has been successful in boosting drilling throughout the state, and that higher taxes would leave less money available for drilling.
Critics, however, say the tax credit has served its purpose and is no longer necessary. They point out that the lower rate was put in place when horizontal drilling was new and risky, but that it now represents about 90 percent of the drilling activity in the state.
Oh, well that’s interesting. Let’s see what George Kaiser, one of the richest men in the world, and the owner of Tulsa-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. thinks about the fair deal these energy execs and their well-compensated lobbyists have worked out for us:
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