Archive for the ‘jeff cloud’ Category

Aspen Institute’s “Ghost Commissioner” Says He’s Running. Is It a Negotiating Ploy?

May 31, 2008
As OKPNS predicted, the intrigue regarding the corporation commission races is exploding as Monday’s three-day filing period approaches.

The Aspen Institute’s candidate, incumbent Jeff Cloud, is upping the ante today with an announcement that he is going to file for re-election for the full six-year seat. That has left Chesapeake’s favorite, Jim Roth, scrambling for a deal.

It is common knowledge that Cloud is squatting on the seat in which Chesapeake wants to place Roth. The lethargic Cloud is being wooed by “interested parties” in the private sector so that Roth, who is perceived to be a much brighter and energetic commissioner, can move to the full six-year term.

Today’s announcement gives Cloud leverage to negotiate a better salary, but at least one corporation commission insider says all the scenarios floated by pundits and even OKPNS have got it all wrong for one reason: Cloud’s penchant for slothfulness. “This man has the worst work ethic imaginable. Cloud arrives late, leaves early, have long breakfasts at Classen Grill, and jogs with his dog in the early afternoon. He consistently embarrasses his assistants with his ability to disappear when work beckons and he’s not real quick on the uptake even on the rare occasions when he actually is in the office. The fact is, Cloud wants Denise Bode pay for ghost commissioner work, and nobody wants to pay for that.”

So Cloud may have decided that short hours with little accountability are more important than big bucks with responsibility. But issuing a press release on Friday is a telltale sign that something fishy is going on: it is standard political operating procedure to issue bad news on Friday, and put good news out early in the week. Or perhaps in keeping in character, Cloud was just running behind schedule for his release.

If Cloud is running for real, what becomes of Roth? We know the Roth folks didn’t anticipate Cloud staying in, and reports are they’re freaked out. But this we know: if Roth files against Cloud, it means Cloud has cut a deal, with Cloud dropping out AFTER filing is over. Cloud would remain in the race until after filing to keep Dana Murphy and/or Rob Johnson from following Roth to the six year seat. But if Roth files for the two-year seat, it means Cloud really is staying, unless someone new emerges to take him on.


Cong. Edwards Responds to OKPNS

May 30, 2008

By Hon. Mickey Edwards

I suppose if one is going to screw up, it’s best to make it a real doozy. As OKPNS did with its really strange blog about Jeff Cloud — a blog that somehow managed to get absolutely nothing right.

According to OKPNS, Jeff Cloud is a member of an ultra-liberal Aspen Institute, which, also according to OKPNS, is a front for left-wing financier George Soros.

Actually, not to let facts get in the way, but George Soros is not connected in any way, directly or indirectly, or even remotely, to the Aspen Institute. The Institute is not only not liberal but is studiously, and carefully, non-partisan and non-ideological. that is, in fact, its essence.

Jeff (just a minor mistake)is not a member of the institute. That’s because the Institute has no members. Rather he was selected to be a part of a program for outstanding young elected officials which is run by Aspen Institute Vice President Mickey Edwards, a former member of the Republican leadership in Congress, a former national chairman of the American Conservative Union, Chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference, a founder of the Heritage Foundation, and Director of Policy Task Forces for Ronald Reagan’s Presidential campaign. Participants in the program are evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, including, by the way, some very conservative Republicans. Among the people whose works they study when they come together are Milton Friedman, John Locke, and James Madison. Oh, and Ronald Reagan. Now that would be a strange thing for George Soros to be supporting, don’t you think?

Walter Isaacson, who by the way is not a liberal (OKPNS got that wrong, too), is president of the Institute (that was right), and its board members include people like Newt Gingrich’s close friend and ally Vin Weber, a former conservative congressman who is one of George W. Bush’s closest advisers (and helped manage Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign), and Robert Steel, one of the top officials in George W. Bush’s Labor Department. At least 25 prominent Republicans are members of the advisory committee for the program in which Jeff participates, including Ralph Reed, former director of the Christian Coalition, and former conservative congressman and Reagan ally Jack Kemp.

I haven’t checked to see whether the date at the top of the blog was accurate; if it was, it was the only thing in the blog that was.

Mickey Edwards

Mickey Edwards, a lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, was a Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma for 16 years (1977-92). He was a member of the House Republican leadership and served on the House Budget and Appropriations committees. Since leaving the Congress he has taught at Harvard, Georgetown, and Princeton universities and has chaired various task forces for the Constitution Project, the Brookings Institution, and the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, he is currently an advisor to the US Department of State and a member of the Princeton Project on National Security. His book, Reclaiming Conservatism (Oxford University Press), comes out in March 2008.

So Why Is Commissioner Jeff Cloud Smiling?

May 28, 2008
“Aspen (Institute) is one vehicle whereby left-wing billionaires like George Soros work to influence politicians on Capitol Hill by bringing them to luxurious places, hotels and resorts, and listening to mostly liberal and left-wing speakers.” – Accuracy in Media 4/7/08

It could be that he’s thinking of just how much money he’s going to make after he successfully concludes his job negotiations with a company he’s currently regulating. Or it could be that he’s thinking that the indolent Oklahoma press hasn’t bothered to check out the political leanings of the ultra-left liberal think-tank that sent him around the world and gave him a chance to pose for this picture in front of the pyramids.

Seriously folks, what in the world could Cloud have been thinking when he joined up with the liberal Aspen Institute, headed by former Clinton News Network President Walter Isaacson? Even a simple search of the internet reveals the effete and haughty notions behind the organization, whose major contributors include left-wing crazy and billionaire George Soros, who used the Aspen Institute from which to stage his effort to defeat President Bush in 2004. The Aspen Institute housed and “re-educated” (against capitalism no doubt) little Elian Gonzalez after former Attorney General Janet Reno kidnapped the little Cuban shipwreck survivor from his uncle. What so-called conservative would join an organization that helped force a little six-year old boy to leave the United States and go back into a brutal communist dictator’s regime? And why would Cloud, as rumors persist, be headed to Beijing in August with Aspen to observe the Olympics in another brutal communist country?

Some political insiders, when contacted by OKPNS, expressed dismay when informed of Cloud’s participation in the organization. “Obviously Cloud didn’t do his homework. I can’t believe he would knowingly join if he knew. It’s just not the type of thing you do if you really are running for re-election,” one expert told us. “You just know that somebody is going to figure it out, so he’s not running or he’s incredibly imprudent.

The speculation running rampant is that Cloud is close to making a deal to leave to work for what insiders say is a ‘natural gas company’ but that Cloud’s opinion of his worth differ greatly from his potential employer. There is no confirmation as to which company he is negotiating with, but stories from Cloud’s last election indicate Chesapeake Energy was the primary financial driver in his 2002 campaign, an arrangement that fellow Corporation Commission Bob Anthony found at the time to be questionable and possibly illegal.

Regardless, Jeff Cloud’s opponents now have a potent campaign issue if he abandons his rumored job search, and now it is too late to resign his membership in the Aspen Institute, which would be a tacit admission he was wrong to join.

OKPNS will continue to follow this story.

Ghost Commissioner, Gay Commissioner: What You See Is NOT What You Get!

May 27, 2008

Judging by the information we at OKPNS are receiving, it’s the two corporation commissioner races that will present the most drama this summer and fall, especially when considering the intrigue surrounding the two incumbents: Democrat Jim Roth and Republican Jeff Cloud.

While we know the U.S. Senate race between incumbent U.S Sen. Jim Inhofe and State Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, will be entertaining, the musical chairs theater that is developing over at the commission promises multiple story lines.

Roth became the first openly Gay person to hold a state-wide elected office when he was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry in May of 2007, replacing Commissioner Denise Bode. Per the Oklahoma Constitution, Roth is running for the last two years of Bode’s term.

Cloud was elected to a six-year term by the voters in 2002, and according to reports is running for another six years.

The only problem is, what you’re hearing about these races is just not true.

Electing Roth is the number 1 priority for Chesapeake Energy. Chesapeake championed Roth’s appointment in the first place, and their officials have made it clear that they want Roth in the six-year seat that Cloud now holds. Cloud, like Roth, supported Chesapeake’s successful campaign that stopped construction a coal-fired power plant and is seen as such a good friend to Chesapeake and the petroleum companies that he has a standing job offer from an unnamed natural gas company. According to sources, the sticking point has been the salary: Cloud wants in the neighborhood of what Bode took to become CEO of the Clean Skies Foundation, but his potential suitor believes Cloud is nowhere near as valuable as former Commissioner Bode, a national energy policy expert who headed the Independent Petroleum Association of America prior to her ten-year run at the corporation commission. Further, Cloud has gained a reputation as being so uninspiring and lethargic that insiders tell OKPNS that Republican Commissioner Bob Anthony’s pet name for Cloud is the “ghost commissioner.”

It’s a good bet that the puppeteers over at Chesapeake do not want two of their favorites running against each other, so based upon what Chesapeake officials are repeating, their expressed desire to have Roth in the six-year seat would indicate Cloud is in the way. Some are suggesting to OKPNS that Cloud knows he is leaving, but using time as leverage to increase the value of his compensation package. “Chesapeake would much rather have Roth than Cloud: he’s sharper, harder working and has become an extraordinary ally for them, and besides, they have a much more energetic person than Cloud ready to put into the two-year term,” one corporation commission insider tells OKPNS, “so while Cloud is a friend, Chesapeake has others they want on the commission that simply will work harder than Jeff.”

So where does that leave the other announced candidates? Until Cloud divulges his intentions, or is forced by his potential employer to make finally make a move, the others are forced to wait. “It’s not even out of the realm of possibility that Cloud and Roth will eventually reach an accommodation, and that Roth will file against Cloud, who would then drop out AFTER filing to thwart others,” says another political observer familiar with Chesapeake’s concerns.

So while Roth and Cloud are different in every conceivable way except their allegiance to Chesapeake, it appears that the two are very dependent on each other to get what they want. So even after filing is over next Wednesday, we may still have no clue how this drama is going to play out. OKPNS will keep following this developing story.