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The Payne County Democratic Party will hold its organizational Precinct Meetings on Thursday, March 12, 2015, at 7:00 PM. This year, local regional meetings are being held in Cushing, Perkins and Stillwater at the following locations based on the precinct where you are registered to vote:
Perkins, Coyle and Ripley | D’Mario’s Pizza, 503 E Hwy 33, Perkins, OK, (405) 547-2456
Precincts: 600301, 600405 & 600409
Cushing, Drumright, Agra, Maramec and Yale | Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, 211 N Cleveland Ave, Cushing, OK, (918) 225-2299
Precincts: 600101, 600102, 600103, 600104 & 600201
Stillwater, Glencoe, Lone Chimney, Orlando, Perry & Mulhal | Payne County Democratic Headquarters, 302 N Main St, Stillwater, OK, (405) 533-5310
Precincts: 600001, 600002, 600003, 600004, 600005, 600006, 600007, 600008, 600009, 600010, 600011, 600012, 600013, 600014, 600015, 600016, 600401, 600402, 600403, 600404, 600406, 600407, 600408
You must attend the meeting location that includes your precinct. To determine your precinct, you can look on your voter registration card above your polling place for the number of your precinct.
Your current registration information can also be confirmed online using the Oklahoma Election Board’s Online Voter Tool (http://www.ok.gov/elections/). If you have your voter registration card, bring it as it’s helpful in determining your meeting space.
If you use Facebook, we have events for each of the three meetings linked on our page. Depending on your location, please note your intention to attend and invite like-minded Democrats who live in our county to their precinct meeting in Cushing, Perkins or Stillwater. It will help us expand the party and reach potential new officers, delegates, voters and candidates.
Through the election of precinct officers, these meetings determine delegates to the Payne County Democratic Convention in Stillwater on April 11 and who will be delegates to the 3rd District, Oklahoma and National Democratic conventions in 2015 and 2016. All registered Democrats in Payne County are encouraged to attend and bring friends and neighbors who are registered Democrats.
If you plan to submit resolutions to your precinct committee, please try and write them out in advance. It will save time and provide you to be more accurate and concise with what your resolution proposes.
If you have any questions, you can contact me personally at (405) 372-7308 or via e-mail.
Dennis Whiteman, Chair
Payne County Democrats
It’s a new year, but I don’t have any good feelings or new insights. An earthquake woke me up this morning, but that’s not what this is about.
I just completed our financial reports for 2014. We are alive, but just barely. Somehow, we have to get from here to November of 2016. More importantly, we have to get past this coming April when we elect new people to represent us in the party and decide again whether it’s worth having a Democratic Party headquarters in Payne County.
On April 11, we will hold our county convention and elect new county officers — chair, vice-chair, secretary. But before that, on March 12, we will hold precinct meetings at our headquarters and throughout Payne County to choose the people who will choose the new county officers.
We have to get some new DNA injected into our party if we ever want to make a difference. You can’t create change without changing. Our next two meetings are designed to be both informative and aspirational.
On Thursday, January 22, we will host Rep. Lee Denney, who represents House District 33, including the the parts of Payne County outside and some fringe areas of Stillwater. Rep. Denney is the incoming speaker pro tem and second-in-command of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She has served in the house for 10 years and was unopposed in 2014.
This meeting will be held at Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, 211 N. Cleveland, in Cushing at the intersection of Cleveland and Moses downtown. If you plan to eat, please arrive by 5:30 p.m. so you can order. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and we hope to finished by around 7 p.m.
On Thursday, February 19, we will host Sen. Jim Halligan, Senate District 21 at the Old Church Center in Perkins at the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza starting at 7 p.m. Sen. Halligan as served in the Senate for six years and was unopposed in 2012.
We will also have materials at these meetings about becoming precinct officers and we currently plan to support precinct meetings in Stillwater, Cushing and Perkins in March. We’ll have more details about that later, but we are inviting people of all political persuasions to attend these meetings.
We don’t have to get voters to change their registration, but we must find Democrats that people of all political parties are willing to vote for.
The holidays have become so commercial that it’s hard to get excited about almost anything other than the flood of e-mails and advertising being over. Still, the gift of giving is just that — a gift to ourselves reminding us that being selfish doesn’t accomplish anything.
Instead of just buying products made in other countries and sold by companies in other states who, instead of paying a living wage, rely on the government to provide healthcare and food for their employees, why not spend a few dollars this year in Payne County and Oklahoma to help your neighbors pay their bills in an honest, American way.
There’s a long list of local stores and businesses, but let’s start with just a few of the people who supported the Payne County Democrats this year:
The Red Dirt Rangers headlined Diamond Donkey in April providing a much-needed voice to our party this year just as the campaigns were getting started. Residents of Payne County much of their adult lives, they have Music, Shirts, Koozies, Bandanas, Stickers and other merchandise for sale. If you don’t know anyone who would enjoy that stuff (and who wouldn’t), then make a donation to the Red Dirt Relief Fund or go to the 19th Annual Red Dirt Christmas Show in Tulsa. Better yet, book the Red Dirt Rangers for an event in the coming year.
At our picnic in August, Marina Staubus allowed us to use her art to draw attention to our building so that we could maximize turnout. She’s selling a print that would make a great gift while supporting her as an emerging artist. You can contact Marina at the e-mail address above to find out how to buy her art. She has created a lot of art; most of it is for sale and would make great gifts.
We had our best event ever at Brayfest in October and were supported by three great Oklahomans. Our candidates did better here than statewide thanks in large part to the support of these people.
Arnold Hamilton challenged us at Brayfest to get just one additional person each from Payne County to sign up as a subscriber for The Oklahoma Observer and put this important voice for our state on firmer footing. That’s actually pretty easy if every one who reads this gave a gift subscription to the Observer in the name of someone else. You can argue that journalism isn’t art, but opinion is a much needed art form.
In his song, “The People’s Plea,” Chuck Dunlap hit the nail on the head when he sang “spend a little bit more at your mom and pop store.” Corporations aren’t people, but Chuck is a human being with a family to feed. You can buy Chuck’s songs (half of sales go to charity: water) or you can see him live; either way, you are shopping local. And Chuck needs gigs in the coming year too.
When Lauren Zuniga said, “Progress is a series of small bold moves. Don’t leave. Here is where we need you.” at her performance at Brayfest, she defined our mission going forward. What people don’t know is that to come here and perform for us, Lauren had to pay for child care and gasoline, to and from Oklahoma City. You can show a little love and thanks by buying Lauren’s Books, Chapbooks, Albums, Cards, and Posters as gifts — especially for people who just don’t get it.
These artists supported us, our candidates and our message this year. They put their art on the line for us. They pay taxes in Payne County and Oklahoma — not Arkansas, New York or some other state not named Oklahoma. Their taxes help sustain our schools, maintain our roads and support the arts. Show these local people that you support them supporting us by buying their goods and services.
If you don’t have anyone that you want to give a gift to, we feel sorry for you, but find a local charity that supports the poor, the good, the needy and the righteous. Find something you believe in and and make a difference in the lives of others. Give back.
Dennis Whiteman, Chair
Payne County Democrats
This message goes out to all our volunteers and their families who patiently and devotedly helped promote our candidates and our values during this election. In particular, I want to point out one woman who died last week in a tragic accident here in Stillwater.
Rhon Schroeder was a #TrueBlue Democrat. I first remember meeting her on an afternoon in mid-October when she delivered a stack of completed calling sheets for Joe Dorman to our headquarters on Main Street.
We were putting together four large front window posters featuring our Democratic candidates before the election and she could tell it was going to take a while. A joke was made about the Beach Boys song, “Help Me, Rhonda.” With that, Rhon pointed out what her preferred name was and offered to stay for a couple of hours to help.
During that time, I got to know Rhon just slightly better and we discussed how we hoped that the work we were doing then would make a difference for any of our candidates on election day.
It’s hard being a Democrat in Oklahoma, even when you still have some hope before people have actually voted.
Later, I saw her on the Joe Dorman float in the Homecoming parade where she took a picture that she shared on our Facebook page, which we used on our website and everywhere because it was a picture of solidarity for our candidates.
A few days later, Rhon dropped off her remaining 11 Joe Dorman call sheets at our headquarters and sent me a message to tell me she had just early voted — for all the Democratic candidates. After I’d thanked her for her letting us use that photo and for all the work she’d done, this was the last thing she told me:
I’m sure I’ll be back to help at some point & time. I’ll be an empty nester one day & have nothing but time. 🙂 #TrueBlue
I’m sad that won’t happen now. Would she have chosen to volunteer had she known that she was in the last month of her life? I don’t know and no one can, really. But I do believe that she must have cared right up to the end — people who don’t care, don’t participate.
Our thoughts and prayers go to her husband and three children because everything she did was for them and we should believe they were why Rhon supported us and our values over the other guys. Her family has suffered a great loss, but they should know we appreciated her while she was with us if only briefly.
Go hug your friends and family, tell them you love them, and that you want to spend time with them because tomorrow may never come. If you have any time left after that, then consider volunteering with us for them.
In case you haven’t noticed, I still really suck at saying thank you. We appreciate the hard work all our volunteers and supporters did this year, in past elections and going forward. We know they care or they wouldn’t do it.
Our candidates did better this year in Payne County than they did statewide, much better in some cases. We gave all of them a chance to win with our efforts, but just came up short. We are growing in numbers. It will not always be like this.
WE are all in this together.
Dennis Whiteman, Chair
Payne County Democrats
If you haven’t already voted, today is your last chance.
It’s cold, it’s wet and it’s raining. But if you’re not going to vote, you might as well just stay home and watch the election results on FOX News.
They’ve begged for your dollars, but now our candidates really need your votes — every last one of them. It’s not hard; Democrats are first on the ballot in every race.
We can’t go to people as a credible political party in the future without winning at least one office statewide this year. I will be personally disappointed if every one of our candidates doesn’t win Payne County.
If you don’t know where to go vote, you can find your polling place at the state election board. If you have a neighbor who needs a ride, carpooling is both environmentally responsible and a good way to get out the vote.
Hell, if you need a ride, send me e-mail and I’ll either find you a ride or come get you and drive you to your precinct polling place. The polls are open until 7 p.m.
Don’t wait until the last minute as life has a way of intervening in our plans.
A few programming notes:
First, Ted Smith, our candidate for Payne County assessor, is hosting a Watch Party tonight starting at 6:30 p.m. at Mexico Joe’s, 311 E. Hall of Fame in Stillwater. Soft drinks and appetizers will be provided.
We need people to help pick up election signs starting tomorrow. Once the election is over, our signs are litter no matter what the outcome. If you can help collect signs, let me know, or, if you have signs, bring them to our headquarters at 302 N. Main in Stillwater and we’ll take care of getting them properly disposed.
Cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Dennis Whiteman, Chair
Other Upcoming Events
- General Election, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., November 4 — VOTE at your Polling Place!
- Social, November 7, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- 2014 Election Review and 2016 Preview, November 13, 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m. Trav Robertson, executive director of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, will offer a post-mortem on the 2014 elections and a look forward at what Payne County Democrats can do to prepare for 2016.
- Social, November 21, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
I receive on average about four messages a day now saying if I’ll just contribute $3 we can win this thing. In exchange, they offer me a chance to go have dinner with President Obama. As much as I would like to have dinner with President Obama — especially if Michelle were there — I will not insult your intelligence by telling you that your contribution of $3 can win any election.
Looking through that list of e-mail messages, not one of them came from an Oklahoma candidate. Why? most Oklahoma candidates’ online contribution amounts start at $100 because we’re being out spent by private prisons, oil and gas companies, and others who benefit from our elected officials tax cuts for the wealthy that trickle down to citizens in other states. The national party mostly sees us as a lost cause, but as George Bailey said, those are the ones worth fighting for.
Next Thursday, October 16, Steve and Patty Armbruster, Carolyn Gang, Jack and Billie Hesser, Jim and Kathy Huston, and Leanita Shelby are hosting a fundraiser here in Payne County for Joe Dorman to help him get the support he needs to win this election.
Help Raise a Cash Crop to Support
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Starr Valley Stables at the Ranch of Jack and Billie Hesser, located at 4101 East Lakeview Rd. Stillwater, OK 74075 right after Brush Creek Road on the south side of Lakeview.
Minimum donation requested at the door: $100.00
As of the last reporting period in August, Mary Fallin had outspent Joe 4-1 and she still had more than a million dollars in the bank provided by her rich friends and special interests. That doesn’t even count what the Republican Governor’s Association and other outside groups are dropping in our state to try and save Mary’s job through false TV advertising campaigns.
One campaign sign of the kind we’re distributing at our headquarters costs around $2. One mailing, by the time you factor in production costs, is about $1 per mailbox. A respectable social media campaign will cost our candidate more than $1000/week from here forward. TV spots on the major networks cost more than $100 per spot every time you see one. In the last weeks of the campaign, Mary Fallin is likely to be dropping at least $10,000 per day each in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Again that doesn’t include the dark money that’s finding its way into our state because they see Joe as a threat.
So, if you can go to Joe’s fundraiser next week at Jack and Billie Hesser’s place, you have to go and bring your checkbook. If you can’t go to the fundraiser, then go make an online contribution to Joe Dorman. We can win this thing, but only with your help.
The more people who vote for Joe the more it helps our other candidates down the ballot. They are all starved for cash against overwhelming odds from both inside and outside the state. Republicans have out raised Democrats in this election cycle 5-1 in the federal races and you can bet it’s similar in the state and local races.
If you can afford it, all our candidates need your help:
John Cox – DONATE HERE
Connie Johnson – DONATE HERE
Matt Silverstein – DONATE HERE
If you don’t have money, then volunteer for Joe Dorman, Cathy Cummings, Connie Johnson, Matt Silverstein, John Cox, Mike Workman and Ted Smith. Volunteer at our headquarters so that people can come in to pick up signs, find out why we’re Democrats and learn how they can get involved. Walk neighborhoods, make phone calls, and, as our Brayfest guest Chuck Dunlap, sang, “Stand and Let Your Voice Be Heard.”
In July, I was fortunate to go see a concert featuring Tim Easton and friends down at the Old Church Center in Perkins. He and several other musicians were returning from Woodyfest, the annual event that celebrates the life of Woody Guthrie and the music he inspired here and around the world. In that spirit, Tim played his song, Don’t Spectate: Participate, and we should all be inspired by its message:
‘This election won’t affect me either way.’
Well, my selfish friend, that may be true,
but there’s a few more people in this world besides you.
Don’t spectate; participate.
If you don’t give a damn and you’ve nothing to say,
If you won’t give a damn then get out of the way.”
— Tim Easton, Don’t Spectate: Participate
If all you do this year is sit back in your lazy chair and watch the election results on TV, schools will not get better, earthquakes will continue to disrupt your day, our neighbors will continue to go without affordable healthcare, and our state will still be the laughingstock of the nation.
Don’t Spectate: Participate
Dennis Whiteman, Chair
Payne County Democrats
The Payne County Democrats will host its second annual community picnic at its headquarters, 302 N. Main, next to Hastings in Stillwater, on August 8 starting at 6 p.m.
Food will be grilled in the parking lot and tables will be set up outside. Food will be free, but if people want to contribute they can bring dish or make a financial contribution. This is a chance for people to get out, hang out and pig out with some fellow Democrats.
“It’ll be too late to register to vote in the August runoff, but we’ll have the forms needed so that people can get registered for the November general election,” Whiteman said.
“This will be the last chance people have to sign the petition getting medical marijuana on the ballot in November,” he said. “We also have petitions promoting storm shelters in schools and repealing a fee on solar panel installations that was passed by the legislature this past session.”
We are also going to be featuring art from a young local artist so bring your checkbook if you think you need something for that hole in the wall in your living room. Bring your checkbook either way because as usual the Democratic Party needs money even if you’re not buying art.
We look forward to seeing you all this Friday for what should be a rockin’ good time.
“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” — Hillary Rodham Clinton
We have elections coming up and the hopes of our state and nation ride on the planning we do this summer and fall. Although our calendar here and on Facebook is always up to date, this is a summary of everything we have going on between now and the election.
Unless noted, events other than elections and OSU home football games will be held at our headquarters at 302 N. Main in Stillwater, just south of Hastings on Main Street across from Strickland Park.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Democratic Community Picnic
We had a community picnic last year and had a good turnout. We’ll have free dogs and burgers on the grill at our building and spill tables and chairs out into the parking lot. If you can come up with a few bucks, bring some dogs, burgers, buns, salads or just cash if none of that suits you.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Lights on Stillwater, Boone Pickens Stadium
Derek Wietelman is trying to rebuild the OSU Young Democrats and will be handling the planning for Lights on Stillwater this year. If you can help, please email Derek Wietelman at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, August 22, 2014, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Social
This will be our only Social in August, but the picnic is kind of like a Social.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Runoff Election
Sen. Connie Johnson is on the ballot for U.S. Senator and John Cox and Freda Deskin are vying for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Early voting will take place at the election board from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 21, and on Friday, August 22, and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 23.
August 27-30, 2014, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day — Payne County Fair
This is one of our most visible events of the year. We will need about 30 people willing to work at least a couple of hours on some of the four days of the county fair.
Friday, September 5, 2014, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Social
This will be the first of two Socials in September.
Saturday, September 6, 2014 — OSU vs. Missouri State
First OSU home game of the year. Expect our candidates to be out in full force for every OSU home game.
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Rep. Cory Williams
Rep. Cory Williams will offer some insights into how the legislative session turned out and what to expect in 2015, depending on the outcome of Novembers elections. Cory is always honest and can provide insights that nobody else can specific to our little world.
Saturday, September 13, 2014 — OSU vs. University of Texas – San Antonio
Final OSU non-conference home game of the year.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 7 a.m. — United Way Day of Caring, TBA
We need at least a dozen volunteers to help with this worthwhile event in our community. Last year, our participation netted us a front page photo and story in the Stillwater News Press. Before that few people even knew we still exist. If you can help out, contact me. You get a free UWDOC t-shirt and the thanks of a grateful party.
Friday, September 19, 2014, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Social
This will be the second of two Socials in September.
Saturday, September 25, 2014 — OSU vs. Texas Tech
First OSU Big 12 home game of the year.
Friday, October 3, 2014, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Brayfest, Payne County Expo Center
Joe Dorman and Cathy Cummings have both agreed to attend. We hope to have one or both of the U.S. Senate candidates and I’m also looking to add some entertainment. I’d also like to find a sponsor who could cover the cost of catering along with any incidental expenses so that potentially we could offer free admission to maximize turnout and not have to kill ourselves making food. If you want to help out, contact me soon as we’ll begin having planning meetings later this month.
Saturday, October 4, 2014 — OSU vs. Iowa State
Since this is the day after Brayfest, we expect some of our candidates will stay over and tailgate with our fellow Cowboys and Cowgirls.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Joe Dorman Fundraiser, Jack and Billie Hesser’s Barn
A fundraiser for Joe Dorman will be held at 4101 East Lakeview Road just outside of Stillwater to give Joe that last, vital push for success! Politics on a perfect October evening — food, Hesser hospitality, Democratic friends, and a future Democratic Governor!
Friday, October 17, 2014, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Social
This will be only Social in October.
Saturday, October 25, 2014, 7 a.m. — “Sea of Orange” Homecoming Parade
Because our headquarters is on Main Street at the end of the Homecoming Parade, it’s one of the best places in town to watch the festivities. We’ll have free coffee and maybe someone will bring donuts. Hint, Hint.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 — OSU vs. West Virginia
Homecoming and the last OSU home game before the November election.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — General Election
This is why we exist: to elect candidates who will advance our ideas and make this world a better place. Early voting will take place at the election board from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, and on Friday, October 31, and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 1.
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 7 a.m. — Monthly Meeting
Speaker: TBA This meeting will undoubtedly be focused on the final results of the general election. We’ll also have a few planning meetings over the course of the summer and fall for things like Brayfest and other events. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to our e-mail list to stay up with any changes or additions.
Voting in the 2014 county, state and congressional elections officially started this morning.
Beginning at 8 a.m. this morning, registered voters began casting ballots in our county at the Payne County Election Board, 315 West 6th in Stillwater. In truth, voting began weeks ago for those who vote absentee by mail, but this is the first time you can walk in and cast a ballot in person.
Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. you can walk into the Election Board on the second floor of the county building on the southeast corner of Duck and Sixth, get a ballot that’s appropriate for where you live and make decisions about our future. If you procrastinate, you’ll have to go to your precinct to vote next Tuesday, June 24th, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
You can use the Oklahoma State Election Board’s Online Voter Tool to confirm your registration, find your polling place, track your absentee ballot, or view a sample ballot. If you’re a Democrat, your choices are pretty simple.
We’ve included all the links we could find to the U.S. Senate and Superintendent of Public Instruction primary candidates pages on our candidates page. We don’t tell you who to vote for, but we do want you to have the ability to make informed decisions.
I have already voted, but I probably wouldn’t tell you how I voted because it’s your choice. I’ve already made mine.
Dennis Whiteman, Chair
Payne County Democrats