Category: ‘General Election’

2018 Oklahoma Midterm Election Endorsements

October 22, 2018 Posted by zachary

First things first, DO NOT VOTE STRAIGHT PARTY! I cannot stress this enough. Voting straight party means that many races you could be voting in and have a big impact in will be skipped. If you are voting straight party, and there is not a candidate of that party in some race on the ballot, then you are not casting a vote in that race. There are many qualified candidates who are independent, or are of a party you are ambivalent to that you could be supporting. Do you really want a candidate of a party you hate to win a high profile race simply because you decided to vote straight party and not to vote for their opponent?

Secondly, No one owns your vote but you. No candidate owns it. No other voters own it. It is yours and yours alone to freely give to whomever you wish. You are also absolutely free to withhold your vote in any race. You are not required to vote in any way. So in a sense, this second point counters my first point. So feel free to ignore me telling you not to vote straight party. But if that is your wish, I do ask you to at least look at your sample ballot and decide for yourself if those races that do not have a candidate of the party you support do have a candidate you could get behind.

Now for the simple task of putting forward my endorsements for all statewide and congressional races.

Statewide Races

For Governor, I am endorsing Libertarian Chris Powell. Of the three candidates, he actually supports full criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational use. Stitt says he supports the will of the people on medical, but he has expressed interest in blocking its growth. Edmondson was the state AG and used his position to expand the over-criminalization in Oklahoma leading to the problems we are facing right now. We cannot trust him to fix the mess he had a hand in creating. Neither Stitt nor Edmondson will reduce the size and scope of government in Oklahoma. Powell will. Powell has also stated clearly that he support ballot access reform, easing of the initiative process, and other changes to election laws to make it easier for you to vote, or run for office.

For Lt. Governor, we are not given a lot to go on here. In general, I think the office of Lt. Governor is a pointless office and should be gotten rid of. But since we have a race for it, here we go. I checked out the Independent Candidate, Ivan Holmes, but he has no real information to share. One wonders why he is even in the race. As for the Republican candidate, Matt Pinnell, and the Democratic candidate Anastasia Pittman I really have no opinion. Since the Lt Governor in Oklahoma has so little power and basically nothing to do (seriously, when was the last time the Lt Governor had to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate?), I am simply inclined to cast an endorsement for Anastasia Pittman for no other reason than having a woman of color in that office is preferable.

Libertarian candidate John Yeutter is the only choice for State Auditor and Inspector. His only opponent is Cindy Byrd, Republican. Both are licensed CPAs. But John is also a professor of accounting and is a member of the only political party that will actually do something about the rising cost of government services and tackle wasteful spending throughout the state.

Attorney General is actually pretty easy. After carefully reading and considering their positions, Democrat Mark Myles wins out over Republican Mike Hunter. Unfortunately, both are pro-death penalty, but that is about where their similarities end. I don’t like everything about Myles’ platform, but he at least recognizes the issues that our over-criminalization has had on the State and plans to do something about it. He recognizes that our criminal “justice” system disproportionately harms people of color and the poor among us and wants to fix that. Hunter on the other hand is simply dumb on crime and wants to keep on forcing Oklahoma down the exact same path it has been on.

Who knows what is happening with the State Treasurer‘s race. Republican Randy McDaniel doesn’t even have a website I can find. He is a sitting legislator and seems to be using this to advance his political career. Independent Charles de Coune does have a website but doesn’t have a whole lot of information there. What little I can find, he seems to be the better choice over the establishment Republican looking to advance his political career.

For Superintendent, it is easy to rule out Joy Hoffmeister. She really hasn’t done anything of note during her current tenure. Both Democrat John Cox and Independent Larry Huff have teaching experience and a background in education. I am inclined to support Larry Huff in this race for no other reason than I want to see the duopoly party stranglehold in Oklahoma broken.

The Commissioner of Labor race is something of a mystery. Only Democratic candidate Fred Dorrell has anything resembling an idea of what they want to do in the office. For that reason, I am inclined to support him in the coming election.

In the Insurance Commissioner race, we have a Republican career politician and a small business owning Democrat. Republican Glen Mulready has been in the legislature for over a decade and was part of the insurance committee. He says he has written many laws that impacted insurance in the state but I haven’t seen any indication that those laws have improved anything. I am not inclined to trust anyone making a career out of politics, especially someone who clearly telegraphed his intentions so early. So I will endorse Democrat Kimberly Fobbs.

In the race for Corporation Commissioner, Incumbent Republican Bob Anthony doesn’t tell us much about what he plans to do, instead relying on his long history in that office. He has effectively made a career in this position. His Democratic opponent Ashley Nicole McCray has a plan that includes providing services such as high speed internet to rural Oklahoma, something that it is in desperate need of. She also wants to make sure that the citizens of Oklahoma are protected from the long history of carelessness on the part of major companies in the state. Ashley Nicole McCray has my recommendation.

Congressional Races

In the First Congressional race, we have Republican Kevin Hern and Democrat Tim Gilpin. I honestly don’t see a lot to like about either one. They are both pretty awful on a foreign policy perspective, but Hern’s terrible stance on immigration, one founded on many falsehoods about the Obama Presidency, makes him even worse. I don’t live in the district and if I did, I would likely hold my nose and vote for Tim Gilpin.

In the Second Congressional race, we have a four way race. Incumbent Republican Markwayne Mullin is not right for Oklahoma. He needs to go. His Democratic Challenger, Jason Nichols actually seems to be pretty good on many issues. For example, I love that he supports Net Neutrality. I do not support the Libertarian in this race. He is not a good person in general and has made personal attacks and lies about many of my friends. The Independent in this race doesn’t have any plan to speak of. So vote for Jason Nichols.

In the Third Congressional Race, I endorse Democrat Frankie Robbins. Republican Frank Lucas is a big government conservative and does everything he can to increase government spending. I don’t believe that Robbins will be much better in that regard, but he will at least push back on some of the worst Republican impulses in congress.

In the Fourth Congressional Race, I never liked Republican Tom Cole. He is a war hawk and just loves to increase spending in government. The Independent in the race actually advertises himself as a MAGA Republican, ugh. Democrat Mary Brannon gets my endorsement for her stated goal to retire Tom Cole, Inhofe and Lankford.

In the Fifth Congressional race, I highly recommend Democrat Kendra Horn. She is a solid choice and if any Democrat in Oklahoma has a shot, it is her. The 5th district has been trending Democrat for years and it is high time it flipped. Republican Steve Russell is a major spender in Congress, never seeing a spending increase he didn’t love despite his initial campaign against government spending increases. That needs to end.

Down Ballot

For all down ballot races, I won’t get into any specifics. There are too many to go through. So I will post my formula here. I have not met a single Libertarian running for Oklahoma Senate or House that I don’t like. So if there is a Libertarian running in your district, I highly suggest voting for them. After that, I tend to vote against incumbents. But I prioritize Democrats in races where there is no incumbent.

For my local district, OK House District 81, I endorse Jackie Phillips. She has a good plan in place to represent Edmond in the capital.

State Questions

There are 5 state questions on the ballot this year. Here is how I am voting and how I recommend that you vote.

Vote Yes on SQ 793, allowing optometrists to open up shop inside of a retail establishment. This will be good for competition. They only people against this proposal are those benefiting from the lack of cheap competition.

Vote No on SQ 794. The Oklahoma Constitution already has a provision protecting victims’ rights. This question would put victim rights at odds with the right of the accused doing damage to due process in the state.

Vote No on SQ 798. The office of Lt Governor needs to go. Combining its race with the Governor race makes no sense and opens up the potential for the legislature to use this change to harm new political parties.

Vote No on SQ 800. The state does not need another rainy day fund, and they especially don’t need to create a new tax for a new one.

Vote No on SQ 801. Pushing more of the funding for public schools onto property tax payers is a no go. It would create a very uneven funding mechanism for Oklahoma schools, punishing schools in low income areas and propping up high income schools.

My ISideWith Experiment

June 2, 2016 Posted by zachary

This past week, Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for President, was criticized for saying that he agreed with Bernie Sanders on “73% of the issues”. In these reports, Governor Johnson cites the popular political quiz site ISideWith.com. This site asks you a series of questions and then uses your responses to tell you how your answers compare to popular Presidential candidates.

I decided to take a look at the site and do a little experiment of my own. ISideWith can tell you multiple things, depending on how you answer your questions. ISideWith asks a series of questions, but not all of the questions are viewable without clicking a link. The same is true with the answers. Each question has two default answers “Yes” or “No” or some variant of that. However, most of the questions have multiple expanded answers.

With all this in mind, I decided to take the test four times. Here are the results of each of those tests.

My first time through, I answered only the default questions using only the default answers.

iside_with1As you can see, based on these results I side with Governor Johnson  on 91% of the issues. I also side with Clinton on 79% of the issues, Stein on 78%, Sanders on 77%, and Trump on 63%.

My second time through, I answered all the expanded questions using only the default answers.

iside_with2This time through, my score with Johnson improves while every other candidate drops with the most dramatic drop being Clinton by 11 percentage points.

My third time through, I answered only the default questions but I used the expanded answers where they applied.

iside_with3My overlap with Governor Johnson actually falls a bit, but he is still my #1 guy. Trump drops considerably. Hillary improves a bit, but her placement remains the same.

My final time through, I answered all the expanded questions using expanded responses when applicable.

iside_with4Governor Johnson springs back up to his second highest overlap with me. Everyone else stays stays about the same.

Update: I took the Quiz a 5th time and actually weighted my responses. This changed things considerably.

isidewith5Here my alignment with Trump falls considerably and Bernie jumps up a percentage point above Stein.

If we average all four five scores of each candidate, these are the results. I side with Governor Johnson 91.25% 91.2% of the time. I side with Stein 77.25% 75.8% of the time. I side with Sanders 75.25% 74.6% of the time. I side with Clinton 70.5% 68.4% of the time. Finally, I side with Trump 57.75% 54% of the time. What all this tells me is that my political views are more liberal than they are conservative.

What is the point of all this? Nothing much. I think that ISideWith is a fun exercise in political science, but it is not an exact science. Part of the problem is that the quiz doesn’t include a lot of questions that many of these candidates find important. Additionally, some questions don’t have answers that reflect all possible positions of these candidates. So while this quiz is fun, I wouldn’t recommend using it as your only guide in the election. Nor would I recommend using these results to attack or insult any candidates or voters.

If you are interested in taking fun political quizzes, I also recommend taking the World’s Smallest Political Quiz to find out where you fall on the political spectrum.