GOP Chairman visits ‘Hot-Bed for Political Activity,’ Holmes forms USA

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 10-Mar-2010

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele visited Oklahoma City Tuesday (March 9) to launch the website and to kick-off a nationwide effort to recruit potential donors and supporters of the Republican Party.

“We launched this initiative in response to a rallying cry from the American people who want someone to listen to them.  Instead of the Obama Administration the American people should be a part of the conversation and telling us what they want for health care, what they want for small business and what they want for the direction of our country,” Steele said.

The website is accompanied by a “six-figure ad buy” in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and three other media markets, according to Steele and his advisors. The advertising campaign is meant to educate voters and motivate Americans to become engaged as donors and volunteers.

When asked why he came to Oklahoma, Chairman Steele had a simple answer, “It is a hot-bed of political activity.” Steele also addressed concern by local and state party leaders about a lack of coordination surrounding the trip and tapping into donors who might otherwise donate to the state GOP.

Steele said, “The reality is that we won in Virginia and New Jersey and Massachusetts and other places because we tapped resources in other states to support activities in those areas. Oklahoma resources went to those areas as can be expected with the upcoming elections here in 2010.”

During the press conference Steele complimented the Oklahoma Republican Party when asked about party organization: “States can learn just that from Oklahoma — organization. This is a very organized state with great party leadership.”

In other Oklahoma political news, Dr. Ivan Holmes, former chairman of the state Democratic party, announced this week he has started a firm called “Unified Strategies Associates.” (USA) Holmes said the new business is designed “to help get our statewide Democratic candidates elected in November. The company was organized not to make a profit, but win elections.”

Holmes, formerly a top official at the Oklahoma Department of Labor under incumbent Commissioner Lloyd Fields, said USA’s goal “is to coordinate and work together with every statewide candidate in the next eight months and establish a statewide coordinated 77 county organization. In order for us to reach this goal, we desperately need every county official on board working together.”

Holmes, a familiar face at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, recently leased office space at 3017 N. Stiles. In an email to friends, provided to CapitolBeatOK, Dr. Holmes said he “will coordinate our efforts from this location including making robo calls to your specific county so we can make the voters aware of our candidates when they visit your area.”

Holmes said state Democratic party chairman Todd Goodman has hired Dwight Clark as a community organizer. Holmes said, “I will be communicating with Dwight on a daily basis so we can achieve our goal of electing Democratic candidates.”

Note: CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.