Friday, May 29, 2009

Oklahoma Bill to Have Parties Pay for Presidential Primaries is Done for 2009

With the Oklahoma House calling it a year last Friday (May 22) and the Senate belatedly following suit this past Wednesday (May 27), legislative action in the Sooner state came to a close until 2010. [Both chambers closed up shop prior to the May 29 deadline for legislative adjournment.] The end of the session means that legislation stuck in committee remains in limbo to some extent. The legislature rules allow for such legislation to carry over from an odd-year session to an even-year session, but it is unclear as of now as to whether HB 1340 will be one of those bills.

As we've talked about since January, this bill would shifted the financial burden of the presidential primary system in Oklahoma from the state to the state parties. The parties would set the candidate filing fee at a certain level in order to fund the election. This isn't a first, but it does go against the trendline on this particular issue. The movement has been toward primaries; specifically primaries operated on the state's dime. South Carolina had been the only remaining party-run primary until 2008 when the state legislature over-rode Mark Sanford's veto. That bill allowed state funding of the contest but let the parties determine when they were to be held (a provision that allowed the Palmetto state to maintain its first in the South status) and is what continues to differentiate the South Carolina primary from other primaries. HB 1340 would have made Oklahoma similar to South Carolina pre-2008.

Again though, this bill could be resurrected during the 2010 session and may find more support if the economy continues to stagnate. Then again, if the economy was an issue in this decision, it is hard to fathom why action was not taken during the 2009 cycle.

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Jack said...

Will Tom Coburn give a speech decrying the primary as wasteful spending?

Josh Putnam said...

Nope. His wasteful spending work is confined to the CDC among others. He is, however, in supportive of the primary. After all, he did argue for it last month at the Oklahoma GOP convention.

Jack said...

Yeah, I guess he doesn't mind some spending, because he is a closet progressive.While that headline was effective and the article reasonable *mdash; though I might question a few points — I should have known then that 538 would quickly descend into madness.

Josh Putnam said...

Madness, eh? Overall or just that post?

Jack said...

Just the obnoxious tone of the site over the last few months has really turned me off, as does its occasional habit of insulting people with whom some of the authors disagree.

I still read FiveThirtyEight because I think there's a lot of interesting stuff there, but I think they would benefit from a little less childish name-calling and general air of superiority. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a bit of sarcasm or snarkiness, but FiveThirtyEight, like DailyKos, does it in a way that really turns me off.

Josh Putnam said...

I can agree with that. There are a couple of things I'd add. First, all political, and especially elections, blogs were/are trying to find their way to some extent, post-2008. I don't think that 538 is an exception there. Secondly, we're talking about a relatively new site here; one that is still dealing with some growing pains. And there is some combination of popularity and bigheadedness (ie: "Politics done right.") at work there.

Jack said...

I actually think both you and 538 have done very well content-wise post-election. Your blog was never really dependent on the elections anyway as it's about frontloading in primaries, but the non-frontloading posts have been every bit as good as before the election.

Josh Putnam said...

Kind words, Jack. Thanks.

I can call my January hiatus, burnout all I want to, but the truth is that it was basically (that and) a matter of me trying to figure out where I wanted to take things. Looking back to tie some loose ends I never got around to tackling before the election (primary calendars and maps, for example) only helped so much.

However, shifting the focus to 2012 has been helpful and enlightening. I'm covering the primary movement process for 2012 as I wish I had for the 2008 cycle. March 2007 was too late in MANY respects. What we're getting now, though, is successful AND unsuccessful attempts to move.

And I still hope to use the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia as a low key means of preparing for the 2012 electoral college maps series. We'll get part of that tomorrow, I suppose.