Politics will again take center stage in 2018.
On the national front, President Trump will continue to push his agenda in the face of irrational opposition from the Democrats and moderate Republicans. And every move Trump makes will be criticized by the liberal media (and reinforced by the local liberal newspaper, TV stations and some radio stations).
In Oklahoma, the tumult begins in earnest in February when the Oklahoma Legislature reconvenes. Gov. Mary Fallin is not a lame duck but she essentially is. A lame duck by definition is an officeholder who whose replacement has been elected but who hasn’t assumed office yet.
Fallin campaigned over and over again against tax increase but in the past year, she has pushed for billions in new taxes. She tried to force lawmakers into tax hikes by calling two worthless special sessions that accomplished nothing.
Fallin will be replaced in 2018.
So far, several Republicans and a handful of Democrats have raised more than $10 million for campaigns to be the next governor.
In Tulsa, there will be no special election to replace U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma. Trump nominated Bridenstine to be the new chief administrator for NASA. His nomination cleared the Senate committee but had not made it to a floor vote in the Senate before January 1. Therefore, when Bridenstine is confirmed, the office will be vacant until the November general election.
Several Republicans have been running hard already because they thought Bridenstine would be confirmed in 2017. By in large, this is a good group and almost any of them would have the potential to do a good job. We will start more coverage because most folks aren’t familiar with some of these congressional hopefuls.
Statewide, there will be races for governor lieutenant governor, insurance commissioner, treasurer, corporation commissioner, auditor, labor commissioner, school superintendent and attorney general.
In 2018, all of the State Representative Districts are up for grabs and half of the Oklahoma Senate Districts (24). The Republicans have a 41-7 edge in the Oklahoma Senate but if you number the moderate Republicans with the Democrats, it’s closer to 50-50.
Similarly, in 2016 the GOP had a 75-26 majority in the House. But the Republicans in the House act more like true Republicans and they generally believe in the GOP platform. That number has slipped and it will probably decline in 2018.
Several lawmakers have been in office for almost 12 years and will have to leave due to terms limits. That is true for statewide offices now, too. Conservative lawmakers are already being targeted by the teachers’ union, Democrats and liberal Republicans.
Filing for most offices will be April 11-13. The general election is November 6 while the primary is June 26 and the runoff date is August 28.
In Tulsa, Democrats usually only run one candidate. This way they can consolidate financial support. Then they get a liberal to switch parties to the GOP and run them against any conservatives that file as Republicans. This siphons away funds for conservatives and waters down support in the general election.
There will be retention votes for judges from the liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in 2018. We plan to do extensive coverage on these judges because the voting public has no idea who is good and who is rotten.
And there will be judicial races in Tulsa County for district court judges. These are not retention votes but instead will have two or more candidates file for the office. Again, we hope to provide detailed information on the status of these candidates.
And voters need to be on the alert for upcoming statewide questions. One will be a vote to legalize medicinal marijuana. This would be a disaster but it probably will pass. Another would be the repeal of State Question 640, which requires a 75 percent margin to pass new taxes. That’s another no vote as far as I’m concerned.
As far as politics in the City of Tulsa, it’s a lost cause. Voters have no idea of the philosophical leanings of city council candidates because it is a “nonpartisan” election. Ultra-liberals like Anna America can easily fool the conservative voters in District 7 into thinking that she has their best interest at heart. No one knows about her background working for Kathy Taylor.
In order to improve the council, the public would have to elect five conservatives and a conservative mayor. Even though Tulsa is a conservative city, that would be hard because of the liberal news coverage in this city.
Politics is a blood sport and it is going to get nasty in 2018. The Tulsa Beacon will try to help readers make informed decisions by arming you with truth.