Thursday, July 1, 2021

Who is in Control of the Oklahoma GOP?


Who is in Control of the Oklahoma GOP?

Survey Attacked,

Lies Were Told,

Leadership Knew Who Ran the Polling Group,

Some Were Part of Forming the Polling Group

David Van with Sooner Politics put outa good article about the Oklahoma State GOP effort to throttle research efforts put on by a group of journalists who were advised by a few former lawmakers, consultants, and Party leaders.

In the story he recounted how many inside GOP Chairman John Bennett's leadership team knew of the existence of the group Unite With Trump, in fact the idea for the organization came about through the effort to recruit Bennett to run for the Chairman position and  nearly everyone on that ad hoc group that paved the way for Bennett knew of the group.

The group that recruited Bennett was united by one goal; gain the GOP leadership and find a way to enforce the Party principles on those candidates that called themselves Republican and ran as Republicans and to push the Trump agenda in Oklahoma.

Originally the idea was used to recruit new activists to join the precinct meetings efforts, to get delegates to the State Convention for the sole purpose of electing a solid GOP Chairman to office that would continue the Trump agenda. Many of the emails that were sent to delegates and to email lists came from the email system and were labeled as such. In fact, an email dated November the 8th 2020 was sent to John Bennett, Leslie Nessmith, Bob Dani, and others and in that email the website was discussed including how Leslie Nessmith had requested a landing page specifically aimed at the Epic Charter Schools parents so that she could reach out to the charter school parents to recruit them to come to the precinct meetings. The email also discussed the need to spread the word on the unitewithtrump Facebook page and the need to post items relating to Trump to generate some content. This email was responded to by Bob Dani asking for a link to the page and the email record shows he received that link.

The website was subsequently discussed at the next meeting with nearly everyone attending.   To claim that Bennett's leadership had never heard of the group or the website is simply ludicrous.   The text, email, and phone records would prove otherwise if anyone is foolish enough to claim otherwise.

And as David Van said in his story, Bob Dani did sit down with me on May 28th for lunch at the small Mexican diner across the street from the GOP a ways. We went over the projects that had been approved and I updated him on the alarm system donation, the flag donation, the sprinkler system and landscaping donation, and the survey. On the survey I was clear in my message to Bob Dani, so much so that Bob Dani wouldn't have forgotten the conversation.

I laid out what the group wanted to do with the survey: to find out the will of the delegates which included the State Committee people and the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the County GOP. Find out if they support a cheap summer convention to clean up old business that had piled up over the last three years that kept being shuffled forward, whether people supported the effort to censure Inhofe and Lankford, and most importantly what role religion should have in the GOP. I made it clear to Bob Dani that we weren't asking permission; we were telling him that we were going to do some independent polling and that the results would be shared with Bennett with the privacy protected of course.

One thing that would stand out was that I told Bob Dani that I was going to use his words to me the day he told me he was going to be the Executive Director and that all communication to Bennett had to come through him. While doing so Bob said “And that is the way it is going to be.” His point was it wasn't up for discussion, something that most of us at the time supported, trying to insulate Bennett from the day to day B.S. of running a Party. So I used his words to emphasis that we weren't asking permission, that was not for him or anyone else to give permission, we were letting them know we were doing the surveys. Bob Dani thought it was a grand idea and said he would mention it to Bennett.

With the leadership of the Party notified so they weren't surprised when the survey came out, the effort to draw up the survey went forward. The project took awhile, crafting the best survey questions without leading the answers, one person educated us on the importance of randomizing the multiple choice answers options instead of a graduated column of yes at the top and no at the bottom, but at the end of June the survey was ready and it started going out on June 24th around 6 pm in batches of 250 at a time to comply with the email account restrictions on the website email system.

By 10:34 pm GOP Communications Director Miles Rahimi had put out an email attacking the survey, claiming falsely that the GOP doesn't give out the delegate list when in fact it is given out to candidates running for GOP. In fact, former GOP Chairman David Mclain was responsible for giving out the delegate lists before the convention in April. Just as David Mclain gave us the delegate list in 2019 through his campaign manager Tom Demont specifically for an attack email against a candidate he was running against.

Then there is the simple fact that the delegate info is not private at all. The GOP rules state that ANY Registered Republican has a right to the delegate list and the contact information for all delegates.

Bennett did call David Van last Sunday after he and I had talked about this issue and many other ticking time bombs Bennett is facing. If we are being honest, his administration is in deep trouble and poorly served by some very toxic staffers with agendas that are not anything remotely to do with enforcing the Party branding and principles. In his defense it took weeks to get hold of the keys to the building, was left with debt and very little money. The amount of recycled David Mclain staff and volunteers has some of us thinking this is the David Mclain 2.0 administration, with Bennett being led astray and given horrible political advice.

At the end of his article David Van asked some questions and wondered about the conclusions he might be avoiding.

First was the fact that the staff at the GOP want to control all communication with delegates or the State Committee. It makes you wonder why. What is being hidden?

Second was why they felt so threatened by the survey. There were four groups that might fear the results of that survey. First the RINOs that don't want to follow the GOP principles. Second, Inhofe and Lankford supporters fearing the poll results being publicized. Third the same two Senators wouldn't want it known how many people support an inexpensive summer convention to deal with the old business and the censure resolutions. Fourth the radical religious extremists like the abolitionists and the City Elder bunch do not want the delegates to state how much religious control they are willing to put up with.

The third question David Van asked was why GOP Communications Director Miles Rahimi would falsely claim that a Google server would be a malicious website that might harm anyone that took the survey? Google Docs is incredibly secure as is most of the Google network. The raw link was provided in that survey cover letter, Rahimi is tech savvy enough to know this without a doubt, so why would he lie about a non existing threat? The answer might be that he is protecting David Mclain, remember Rahimi is a hold over from Mclain's administration.

Another matter is that it is widely known and has been for weeks that there is a massive scandal brewing down at the GOP concerning financial matters connected with both the Mclain administration and some of the previous administration. Massive, I mean approaching six figures, and not only has this not been exposed, there seems to be a lot of resistance to even calling a Central Committee meeting which would be the Chair, Vice Chair, and the two national committee people and the secretary and legal counsel. Mile Rahimi and others on staff might well be working overtime on protecting Mclain from being exposed.  And I want to go on record that David Van and I have been advocating for a Central Committee meeting for six weeks or more.

We wouldn't be surprised if the Mclain administration holdovers next move is to announce the financial scandal just to drive attention to something other than this survey being sabotaged and the ineptitude and incompetency that the upcoming articles are going to expose.

There is another part of this story coming up in a few days. It concerns Miles Rahimi and Jonathan Krems and how they came up with the falsehood that delegate lists are somehow private and proprietary information and how they suppressed the campaign of a well known and well liked candidate.

We kept the survey open due to the sabotage by the Mclain administration holdovers so you can take the survey IF you were a delegate or just view the survey to see what the fuss is all about. Click on this link to view the survey.   And here is the raw link so that you can tell that it is an actual Google Docs url.

Pop a big bowl of popcorn and stay tuned. It is going to be an interesting July.