Editor’s Notebook: Pruitt goes national, city goes Foursquare, governor goes for western art … and Ohioans go to the polls

From an editor’s notebook: Oklahoma’s attorney general assumes a national leadership post, the state Tourism and Recreation Department touts another boost for Oklahoma City, Governor Mary Fallin gives western art a boost – and Ohio might be the other “O” state Rick Santorum wins in the Republican presidential sweepstakes on “Super Tuesday.”

* * * 

Today (Monday, March 5), Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was elected chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) during the group’s annual meeting in the nation’s capital. 

In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Pruitt said, “We are at a pivotal time in our nation’s history when the role of attorneys general has become the front line of protecting our nation’s First Principles. The Republican Attorneys General Association is a large part of how my fellow attorneys general and I hone our collective position on issues facing our states.  I am excited about what we will do as an organization in 2012 to advance conservative candidates, ideas and to protect the interests of our states.” 

The president of the Republican state Leadership Committee (parent group to RAGA), Chris Jankowski, commented, “For the first time in our country’s history there are 24 Republican attorneys general holding office.  This is a testament to the strength of RAGA’s efforts to elect conservative AGs and literally marshal the authority of state AGs to check Washington’s overreaching posture. RAGA has momentum in the 2012 election cycle and with Attorney General Pruitt’s leadership we will pick up more seats across the country.”
* * * 

Deby Snodgrass, executive director at the state Tourism and Recreation Department, is bragging because Oklahoma City has received one of the five most recently announced “city badges” from Foursquare, the location-based social networking “app” (application) on mobile devices. Snodgrass’ agency led the nomination and promotion effort that led to the selection. 

Snodgrass said, “Our interactive team had the vision to use this social media contest to promote Oklahoma at no cost to a global audience. As travelers rely more on their mobile devices to plan trips and choose attractions, this is exactly the exposure Oklahoma’s tourism industry needs to grow. A Foursquare badge for Oklahoma City will encourage people to explore the area and visit new attractions which results in more tourism revenue for our state. Snodgrass said the agency’s Oklahoma Tourism Foursquare page now has over  29,000 followers.
* * * 
The Governor’s Gallery (the area adjacent to the Blue Room on the Second Floor at the state Capitol) will exhibit the drawings and paintings of Mikel Donahue through April 29. 

According to the Oklahoma Arts Council, a government-funded agency sponsoring the exhibit, Donahue’s works are sometimes mistaken for photographs, but a closer look “reveals Donahue’s technical proficiency with colored pencils, watercolor, and pastels, with which he gives life to his creations.”

The works depicting ranch life and environment will be available for viewing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
* * *
Back in the political arena, former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum may be close to victory in the Ohio Republican presidential primary, although his edge is just within the margin of error of the respected Suffolk University (Boston) poll.

The study of likely Republican voters in the Buckeye State incorporated tracking data through Sunday night (March 4), giving Santorum 37 percent to 33 percent for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in a distant third (16 percent), while U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas had 8 percent, with only six percent undecided. 

In other findings, Santorum had an edge among early voters, but only a 3 percent edge among those who had not voted by the weekend. 

Echoing findings in other states (including Oklahoma), the Suffolk poll found a plurality of Ohio’s Republican voters thought Santorum’s views were closest to their own; on the other hand, Romney had a near-majority (44 percent) in being seen as the candidate best positioned to beat incumbent Democrat Barack Obama.

As for the number two spot on the Republican ticket, a release from the Suffolk poll to CapitolBeatOK summarized Ohio data this way: 

“Likely voters showed a preference for a vice presidential choice of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida over Ohio Gov. John Kasich when presented with 10 possible VP choices.  Rubio (23 percent) was followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (16 percent), Kasich (13 percent), U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and U.S Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (6 percent each), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (5 percent), Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (3 percent each), and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (1 percent each).”