By the Watchman
We were asked about the validity of a statement made by the Republican candidate for House District 101 in a Facebook post she made last year regarding the protection of our second amendment rights. What raised these concerns among some Republican supporters and 2nd Amendment supporters was a posting made by the Republican Candidate Tess Teague on her Facebook page last year. To be honest it raises a concern in us as well. There are actually three postings of which we have screen shots of. We will not post the entire screen shots however we will quote them in part.
The first posting in part says "I like my second Amendment rights, I own a gun and I come from a military family that owns more than several firearms." Now this is common from members of military families. There is nothing unusual here. Where it takes a turn is in the following statement in part "I'm more than overwhelmed at the blood spilled in mass shootings."
Who isn't? She makes no direct mention of what she would do to get the situation under control. She has failed to identify the fact that where these mass shootings are occurring are in "Gun Free Zones" imposed by various laws throughout the country. She also fails to recognize that the states with the lowest murder rate by guns are those with the most freedom of use and carry of weapons for personal protection. She fails to recognize that more people are beat to death with hammers than shot to death with guns.
This first posting only goes from bad to worse. She goes on to say in part "I also believe gun control is a bit too strong for something that ought to be referred to as gun reform-something I would support." This clearly indicates a complete lack of understanding of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It clearly states that the right shall not be infringed. Does she have a problem with the word infringed? The simple answer is to make people follow the law. Instead of turning murderers and thieves back out on the streets due to overcrowding in our prisons, build on to our existing prisons and keep them in jail.
Those quotes are what raised concerns from voters in the District that she wants to represent. We can see why. It is here that we started our investigation. We started by going to her campaign web site and looking at what information we could find. We started with her Biography page here about |. Here we find that she is a member of the main stream media. She is also a member of the establishment Republican Party that is working so hard to end our freedoms in America. She has worked for Governor Mary Fallin and for the Republican National Committee. That's about as establishment as you can get.
We next looked at the Issues page of her web site here Issues |. We question her support of pro-business policies. We have found in the past that this is a good indicator that she has every intention to vote the way that the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce wants her to. We have more than enough of those occupying both chambers of the legislature as it is.
The second screen shoot of her comes into play here. In it she claims in part "that her opponent has used unethical conduct straight out of the Obama/Clinton playbook, my opponent has been suggesting that I don't live in the district." We have enclosed a map of her district here District Map |. Well from what we can tell she does indeed live inside the District area. We can lay that falsehood aside.
The next article of interest we found was this Tess Teague - Ballotpedia. What we see here is a combination of a new politician hitting all the hot spots that people want to hear. It would be nice if she could keep those promises however she has already begun to display the attributes of a vulnerable first term politician who will be overran by the chambercrats in the House and end up not being able to keep a single thing she is promising. She hasn't even taken into consideration that the state has been declared in a recession by the federal government and that we are in a technical depression having failed to make our budget in six consecutive quarters.
We next went to www.votesmart.org to see what information they had available on her. We started with the biography page here Tess Teague's Biography - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We found no additional information here that we were not already aware of. As she is just starting her political career, we do not find this to be unusual.
We next looked at the ratings and endorsements page here Tess Teague's Ratings and Endorsements - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We were surprised and at the same time disappointed at what we found. Surprised by the fact that she had a rating from anybody and disappointed by the rating the group gave her. It is listed below.
2016 NRA Candidates Position on Gun Rights 71%
That is not a very good rating for someone who is an NRA member and a gun owner herself.
We next went to the Campaign finance page to see if they had any information. Here is what we found
Tess Teague's Campaign Finances - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We reviewed this and saw enough that we knew that we had to dig deeper into her campaign finances.
It's at this point that the third posting made on her Facebook page that said in part "My opponent has already engaged in illegal and unethical conduct, refusing to identify the individuals or organizations paying for her campaign materials." Now this is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. Here we have the candidate for the House District 101, who fails to realize that the very campaign finance reports that she must file are public record. Not only that, she is hinting that her opponent is violating State Election Law by not filing their reports. We are going to do her a favor. If she is unable to locate the finance reports of her opponent herself just open this link Candidate Search and fill in the information. You should be able to obtain all the information you need.
We went to www.ok.gov/ethicscommittee to see what they had on her campaign finances. The first item we found was her statement of organization dated June 2, 2015. What we found unusual was that we failed to find any notices of an announcement of her campaign. We went through her entire filings and found only one incident of a single issue organization contributing to her campaign. There were only two incidents of special interest groups or lobbyist contributing to her campaign. With the exception of her personal loan to the campaign, the vast majority of her campaign finances have come from individual donors. In today's political environment that is somewhat of a miracle in itself.
As we are reporting on both candidates at the same time, we will make no recommendation on a candidate. We will leave that decision up to you.
As we indicated we are now looking into the Democratic Candidate for the House District 101 open seat. One of the first things we noticed was that she is one of the educators that have been recruited to run for political office. This raises a question that deals not only with the legislature but with the integrity of the educators and the unions they may belong to. We ask while the legislature is in session should they be allowed to draw pay from a School District for performing a job they aren't present to do? We think not. It is the opinion of this staff that any and all legislators who are members of any other organization that is funded by the state must make the decision to either forego their legislative pay or their salaried pay during the time that the legislature is in session. They should not be allowed to get rich off the back of tax payers.
The first article of interest we found was in her campaign web site here Meet Cheryl. The most interesting part of this page was when she mentioned that her dad ran for the U.S. House District 6 seat in 2000. For those of you familiar with Oklahoma Politics, you all know that we are now down to only five U.S. House Districts. That should tell you a little something about what is happening to our youth as they graduate. A little hint for you, they can't find a job here so they move out of state.
The next item of interest we found on the site was this On the Issues. At the very top is the funding of public education. She makes it clear that she is against any voucher system that would send children to a private school. She is a principal in a school district. It appears that she either ignores or is unaware that almost every school district in the state has enough in their savings accounts to have given their teachers pay raises. None should have had to lay off any teachers. Mismanagement of the districts by hiring administrators at four times the rate of teachers and student growth has had a lot to do with the problem also. Frankly we are getting very tired at hearing the lie being put out by the teachers unions and the U.S. Department of Education about where we rank in funding for the classroom. It's not the fault of the state. Why do the school districts need to maintain so much in their savings accounts? Why do they even need savings accounts?
The next article of interest we found was this Cheryl Mooneyham-Hessman - Ballotpedia. The one area here that she has identified that we can agree with is in the second paragraph. It states in part " Instead of finding not-so-clever ways of passing the burden onto the average Oklahoman, perhaps the legislature should rescind the many tax cuts and incentives it has given multi-billion dollar corporate entities." She is correct here. They didn't completely fill the $1.3 billion dollar budget gap last year and we are working on our seventh consecutive quarter of a depression, yet the legislature still gives out $2 billion dollars a year in tax credits. That is shameful.
We next went to www.votesmart.org to see what information they had available. We were surprised to find this Cheryl Mooneyham-Hessman's Political Summary - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. The one item on this report that bothered us was that it indicated that she failed the Political Courage Test. We went to the page of the report that covers that test and it appears that the reason she failed was that she failed to respond to the questionnaire submitted to her. We find this to be an unfounded rating. Most legislators in the state refuse to respond to this very same questionnaire.
We next went to the Biography page here Cheryl Mooneyham-Hessman's Biography - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. The only information that we found that was new here was that she is a member of the Oklahoma Education Association. That is a union.
We next went to the ratings and endorsements page here Cheryl Mooneyham-Hessman's Ratings and Endorsements - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We weren't sure what we would be found here, but were not surprised when we found this:
2016 National Rifle Association-Candidate Positions on Gun Rights 0%
We were not truly surprised to see this. When she was making her points on the issues she followed the current Democratic Party guideline by saying the simple phrase "Common Sense Gun Control." There is only one form of common sense gun control. It's called the 2nd Amendment.
We next went to the campaign finance page to see what information they could tell us here Cheryl Mooneyham-Hessman's Campaign Finances - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We did find several special interest groups but the names were not identified specifically. We knew we would have to dig a little deeper.
The next article of interest we found was this More Oklahoma House races to watch this November (Capitol Updates) . This is indicated as a race to watch. This just gives a brief history of each candidate.
We next went to www.ok.gov/ethicscommission to see what they had available on her campaign finances. We know that she last officially modified her Statement of Organization on May 5, 2016. We can't help but wonder if this is part of the reason her opponent was unable to locate any campaign finance records on her. Other than that the largest contributor to her campaign has been she. A vast majority of her campaign funds have been received from individual donations. We are surprised at the lack of support that the state and national party has shown towards their candidates.
In conclusion we will not make a recommendation on either candidate. You'll have our research in your hands on them both at the same time. The decision is in your hands.