As we find ourselves with a new look to the blog and in the summer run up to an election, I thought we'd look at the different offices up for bid in Oklahoma.
To start: Senate
Our Current Senators are James Inhofe and Tom Coburn.
Tom Coburn is in office until the 2010 election, so it is Inhofe's seat up for grabs.
Let's look at the playing field:
First, the Democrats.
Andrew Rice is fairly young by Senator standards, but has indeed done quite a bit. He has studied here and overseas, received a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, spent time in Shri Lanka and Thailand helping out in the poor villages. He lost his brother in the 9/11/2001 attacks in New York City.
He stood with other 9/11 survivors and opposed the War in Iraq, demanding that a 9/11 Commission be created to find out what led to the attacks. He wants to have our troops pull out of Iraq in an 'orderly fashion' so we can focus on threats elsewhere.
His is an advocate for reducing carbon emissions and using switchgrass for fuel. He believes that our quality of life is threatened by Global Warming.
From a telephone call poll I was a part of, it seems that Rice also favors some form of government paid "Universal Healthcare"
The other Democrat is John Rogers. If Public information decides an election, this one is over. There is no Website for Jim Rogers, nor is there much information about any Jim Rogers running for Senate. He is listed on a few websites, but there is no real information available that I have been able to find except that he is running for the Democrat nomination for the 08 Election bid for Senator.
From those two, it appears as though Andrew Rice will be running on the D side of the ticket. I've seen worse records than Rice's, but his fond look at Socialized Medicine and his position on the war in Iraq make him, like most Dems, off my list of who I'd vote for.
Now to the Republican side:
Dennis Lopez is the first of the Republicans we'll look at. He currently serves as a bivocational pastor at the Southern Baptist's Jimtown Baptist Church.
His website for senate is rather basic, not even including a donations section, or a way to contact him. He appears to be running against abortion and the homosexual lifestyle on a moral basis. While I agree with his morality, I don't know that he has much of a leg to stand on in the Senate Race as a Republican. There is nothing about foreign policy, taxes, war or the economy, all of which are much more likely to be issues faced by the Senate.
Evelyn L. Rogers is a woman running for the Republican ticket. She is pro-life, and a Christian from her site. I am a bit vague as to her stances on immigration. Parts of her site are randomly in Spanish and she has the following quote on one page:
Securing our borders requires all 4 to be secured, not South only. Are you ready for the price to Americans in both taxes and liberties? Think about it.
She has an AA in Nursing/psychology, a BS in Health Care Management, a MA in Practical Theology and a MLIS from the University of Oklahoma.
She seems to like giving more freedom to businesses, but also wants to push buses and rail systems as alternatives to normal car traffic.
Again, there is not much to go on as for why one should vote for her in terms of issues, and she seems to have a weak spot for border security/illegal immigration.
Ted Ryals is a lawyer who has served on a few different groups as delegate in Oklahoma. He believes that first trimester abortions ought to be ok, and that partial birth abortion ought to be prohibited.
He supports the death penalty, increasing of state funds for prison staff hiring, supports low interest loans for people starting businesses and (perhaps an odd one for a lawyer) supports limits on cash damages in lawsuits against businesses for liability or malpractice.
He wants to increase all aspects of the state budget except for Health Care and Welfare. He believes the greatest increases should be on Law Enforcement. To pay for this, he wants to increase alcohol and corporate taxes, but maintain the status of the rest.
Without a reduction of taxes, I don't see how he as strong support in the Senate.
All of these folks are up for the seat that is currently held by Jim Inhofe, who is my personal pick for Senate. He has been a good Senator and has served Oklahoma well, in my opinion.
Inhofe supports paying down our federal debt and rating programs as to their actual effectiveness (unheard of in the Senate... ACTUALLY requiring programs be effective to earn money). He supports reduced federal spending.
He voted for the ban on flag desecrations.
The ACLU and NAACP don't much like him, which scores extra points.
He has been a strong voice against cap and trade legislation.
Inhofe supports a photo ID in order to vote in federal elections and voter registration.
My personal favorite issue, Inhofe is strong against gun control, voting against letting the UN have any say on US Gun ownership (Yes, for those who don't know, the UN is against guns and has, for a few years, been trying to use its influence to get gun control passed here under UN control.) He supports a prohibition on suing gun manufacturers (which a former candidate for President happened to engage in). He opposes extra background checks at gun shows and believes that we ought to loosen the gun control regulations regarding gun shows, and in general. He also supports the removal of DC's gun ban.
On illegal immigration, he is a winner again, wanting to secure the borders and cut off funding for 'sanctuary cities' as well as supporting English as the official language of the US Government. He opposes allowing illegal immigrants to use Social Security and allowing them to have access to Welfare programs.
Of the list, Inhofe is my pick and will have my vote in November.