Updated Analysis: Multiple candidates in the primary election Tuesday August 28 do not want Tulsa Today Readers to know anything of substance about their races. That secrecy is offensive and appears to be an organized effort by the fringe wing of local political activists.
What makes it funny is that Tulsa Today has posted many interviews with Democrat candidates, raving Liberals and others with which our editorial writers may disagree. That is the point of media – interview everyone and let the readers decide.
Unfortunately the Tulsa County Republican Party is deeply divided between traditional conservatives and the embittered fringe followers of Ron Paul, the John Birch Society and some angry Libertarians. The following candidates appear to be members of that fringe.
State House District 70
Ken Walker holds no experience of significance for office. He is passive in personal conversation and often appears dumbstruck. When he does speak, he agrees with his opponent on matters of substance facing the Oklahoma Legislature.
From campaign materials, Walker has an Associate Degree in “professional cooking,” is a 2004 Graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center, and he touts unspecific studies at Oral Roberts University. He is a salesman for a religious phone book franchise and has been endorsed by the Tulsa Beacon Publisher for whom he has written restaurant reviews. Walker claims membership at Victory Christian Center. His web site does not address specific issues of substance anticipated to come before the Oklahoma Legislature.
In debate, Walker says he is “defined” by “taking on the establishment” in a church experience when he was sixteen years old and of going to church “riding a bicycle in spandex.” He shows the walking stick used when he walked across the country, apparently depending on charity by staying in private homes and visiting churches. Walker speaks; in glittering generalities of religious nature, of the city trash debate (not a state question), and national issues important to all conservatives, but of no specific Oklahoma policy positions.
Also, as Tulsa Today wrote during the previous primary, “Walker fabricated endorsements in this race … The subjects in the photos never met Ken Walker. How does Walker reconcile this issue? He avoids the press.” Click here to read that previous story.
State Senate District 33
In this primary race, one of the most visible vocal Libertarian activists in the area, Nathan Dahm, is trying to win his first public office. Dahm has been instrumental in fighting with other Republicans at State and Tulsa County Conventions.
Dahm failed to unseat Rep. John Sullivan two years ago. He draws the younger Libertarian and John Birch Society followers. As Tulsa Today first wrote in analysis, “He is intelligent, appears earnest and hardworking, but he is self-employed so who knows.”
In more detail, Dahm’s web site says: “Nathan currently manages the daily operations of their family-owned cleaning company, as well as being self-employed with an app development company; and has worked in the past as an engineering technician for a local municipality, and as a producer for a local production company.” Does that sound a little vague to you?
Tulsa County Clerk
The Clerk’s race provides the most striking choice between an idiot and an excellent public servant. We recently wrote in “Assessing the assessor’s debate” that “Dean Martin is, from all indications, a [Ken] Yazel devotee running against Pat Key for Tulsa County Clerk. Martin knows nothing about the function of the Clerk’s office. Martin thinks he can be the figurehead and “find someone like Pat Key to run things,” as a supporter who spoke on Martin’s behalf said at a Republican Club meeting last month.
Further, Martin recently sent out an endorsement by former-State Senator Randy Brogdon saying, “Dean Martin is the kind of conservative Republican I can get behind.” The email was a misrepresentation as it did not identify Brogdon as a FORMER Senator, but we can understand why. Brogdon spent his entire elected career ranting about career politicians, then when term-limited in the Legislature he ran for governor and he now works for the State Insurance Commissioner. That’s right; Randy Brogdon became what he so often damned.
By email, David Tackett, Martin’s campaign manager, wrote: “I have advised Dean not to interview…” Tackett assured it was not personal. We suspect he either thinks Tulsa Today readers have no minds of their own or Martin fears difficult questions.
Does he go by Dean Martin as a grasp at movie star fame? Inquiring minds would ask. Floyd Dean Martin is listed in abundant court documents. We wonder why there have been so many liens and judgements against him – specifically IRS number 5372 0532 92 000606 documenting a $5,904.20 dispute. There is another issue with the Oklahoma Tax Commission regarding documentary stamps that we suspect can be explained away as a minor detail of omission, but the Tulsa County Clerk’s Office is an office of detail. If he can’t get the paperwork right in his own life, how does Martin expect to manage a busy public office of commanded compliance to law?
We found one divorce record 29 pages long – a lot of that activity appeared highly contentious and financially irresponsible. Problem is, Martin doesn’t want to talk about it and, if he does, what he says is often vague, but it is clear from the record, he failed to pay child support as ordered and judgement was rendered. There is also a “Sole Ownership Certificate of Fictitious Name” that is very odd.
Martin’s campaign also lies in published campaign mailers. It is dirty politics. In one received today, Martin asserts “millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been wasted and state laws have been broken.” That is false.
Software at the County Clerk’s office was purchased prior to any other office and it did not cost millions. That software was specifically land record software for the land record office and therefore compatibility with other County software was not required or expected.
The County Clerk’s office has never denied an open record request. Some media and individuals want all records for free, but there is a small charge or subscription allowed by law. There is never been a legal allegation of malfeasance in regard to the Open Records Act in the County Clerk’s Office.
If you like Ken Yazel, Randy Brogdon, the John Birch Society, and radical Libertarians in frequent dispute then you are going to love Dean Martin, Nathan Dahm, and Ken Walker. In total, this group talks high and works low by referencing national disputes (attempted Marxist takeover of America) and trying to superimpose it on the state and county level. It is not the same. Oklahoma and Tulsa are Conservative – we are just not crazy.
Tulsa Today would rather write about the many positive reasons we believe voters have to support the other candidates in this primary Tuesday August 28 and, in the next few days, we will write those stories. Regardless, please do not forget to vote. Americans get the government we deserve by our attention or lack thereof in each and every election.