(OK-Sen) Rice to Inhofe: Talk is cheap, gas is expensive

Yesterday, Jim Inhofe called on his supporters to send their gas receipts into his campaign office so that he can send them to Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader.  Apparently, Inhofe is trying to show his frustrations that Congress adjourned without bringing any relief on energy prices.

Oklahomans, though, should be more frustrated with Jim Inhofe’s decades of doing nothing to avert an energy crisis.

State Sen. Andrew Rice is fed up with opponent’s lack of leadership on this issue.  He’s not going to send Jim Inhofe his gas receipts.  Instead, he’s going to send Jim Inhofe an invoice for $1,076,573 – the amount of money he’s received in campaign contributions from big oil.

(more below the fold)

It’s nothing new for Oklahoma’s senior senator to try to distract from our energy problems by pointing fingers and shifting blame.  Rather than taking responsibility for his own inaction on gas prices and energy independence during his 22 years in Congress, Inhofe chooses to accuse those who disagree with him of “an attempt to misinform and frighten the public” (Inhofe in a July 9, 2002 floor speech) and “fear-mongering” (Inhofe in a January 4, 2005 floor speech).  He used two hours of the Senate’s time last October to discuss Leonardo DiCaprio, the Weather Channel, and his climate change denial, when he could have used that time to put forward solutions to the growing energy crisis.

During the 14 years Inhofe has been in the Senate, gas prices have nearly quadrupled.  Yet he seems content to blame others and takes no responsibility for his own failures.  It’s time Oklahoma’s voters held Jim Inhofe accountable, and it’s time we sent him a message that pointing fingers is no way to lead.

The message Sen. Rice would like to send Sen. Inhofe?  Talk is cheap, but gas is expensive.  It’s time for real leadership in the U.S. Senate.  To add your name to the invoice that Sen. Rice is sending to Jim Inhofe, click here.

In the state senate, Andrew Rice has fought for common-sense solutions to our energy problems that are both fiscally and environmentally responsible.  This week, he endorsed the “Gang of Ten” Plan, a bipartisan energy proposal to diversify our resources to pave the way for a more secure, independent, and responsible energy future.  He will continue this fight in the U.S. Senate, working toward solutions that will help everyday Oklahomans.

With over $1 million dollars in campaign contributions from big oil, Jim Inhofe won’t change his mind on energy.  In the U.S. Senate, Andrew Rice will show real leadership to pave the way for a new energy future.

– Karina Henderson

Rice for U.S. Senate


OK-SEN: Oklahoma Heat

July in Oklahoma heats up, especially in election years.

With the primary election four days away, Andrew Rice’s campaign is getting more intense.  We took it to the next level on Monday by launching our first TV ad, called “Leader.”  This 30-second ad has received great feedback from all corners of Oklahoma.

Here’s the ad; more on the heat below the fold.

The ad demonstrates one thing clearly: Sen. Rice is a unique candidate in a unique election year.  He is gaining ground on Jim Inhofe by fighting the insurance industry to improve patients’ rights, opposing the War in Iraq, promoting ways to break America’s addiction to oil, and guaranteeing that he will not trample on the privacy rights of American citizens.

Though his background and message are catching on among voters, the biggest obstacle in our race right now is name ID.  From Kos’ baseline poll in mid-June:

So what is keeping Rice down? Name ID.

 Do you have a favorable or un favorable opinion of Andrew Rice?

 Not sure: 52

Less than half of Oklahoma voters know who Rice is, but over 50 percent will consider voting for someone not named Inhoffe.

Goal ThermometerFrom the feedback we’ve gotten, the ad is effectively introducing voters to Sen. Rice – and they’re buying into the campaign.

Right now is a critical moment in our campaign to defeat Jim Inhofe and to send Andrew Rice to the Senate. We’re building name ID and building excitement for our race by going up on TV.  We’re going to have a tremendous showing at the polls on Tuesday, and we’re going to build from that victory to a great win in November.

We’re trying to raise $35,000 to stay on the air a week longer than planned.  Can you help us out?  A few dollars toward TV now can make this race competetive in fall.  Our internal polls show that once people know Andrew and his message, he beats Inhofe by a wide margin.

So please help us raise $35K to raise Andrew’s name ID.  July’s hot, but the next few months will only get hotter in this campaign.  We’re building toward victory on November 4th, but we need resources now to keep it up.


Karina Henderson

Rice for US Senate

[UPDATE] OK-Sen: Liveblog with Andrew Rice: 4:30pm Central

Andrew Rice, state senator from Oklahoma and Jim Inhofe’s sole opponent for U.S. Senate this year, will be on Daily Kos today at 4:30 pm Central (5:30 Eastern/2:30 Pacific) to liveblog about his US Senate race.  He’ll focus on the problems created by a combination of record gas prices and record oil company profits, but all questions will be welcome!

Check here at 4:30 Central today to speak with Sen. Rice:


Thanks –

Karina Henderson

Rice for US Senate

PS – If you want to find out more about Andrew, go to http://www.andrewforoklahoma.com.  And if you’d like to make a contribution now (so you’re not having to nav away from the liveblog later), how about donating to our “Turn Oklahoma Green” page on ActBlue?  Click here – http://www.actblue.com/page/tu…

UPDATE [4/30 @ 5:00pm Central]: Sen. Rice is liveblogging now – go to http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

OK-Sen: What can you do for Andrew Rice’s birthday?

In his 35 years, Andrew Rice has accomplished a lot.

He represents a diverse Oklahoma City district in the state senate, where he has established himself as a consensus-builder and a strong advocate for children and families.  As a freshman senator, he has already built an impressive legislative record that includes cosponsoring and helping pass the “All Kids Act” – legislation similar to SCHIP – and forming a bipartisan coalition to create the Hunger Task Force, in order to find solutions to Oklahoma’s hunger crisis.

Before his election to the state senate, he received a master’s degree in theology, worked with the Texas Freedom Network, founded the Progressive Alliance Foundation, and performed other humanitarian work abroad.  After his brother, David, was killed on 9/11 in the World Trade Center, Andrew became heavily involved in the push for the creation of the 9/11 Commission and worked with victims’ family groups in opposing the Iraq War, citing it as a distraction from the fight to destroy the terrorist networks that killed his brother.

Not bad for someone turning 35 today.

(more below)

By contrast, Rice’s U.S. Senate opponent, Jim Inhofe, has been in politics for 40 years and has best served the special interests that back him.

His voting record has earned him the label of a “hard-core conservative” in an analysis by ontheissues.org, which also states that Inhofe, among other things, “Opposes” federal efforts to expand health care access, and “Strongly Opposes” finding alternatives to coal and oil for our energy needs.

His campaign contributors are described in his own words (from a 2006 Senate floor speech):

“I am reminded of a question the media often asks me about how much I have received in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry. My unapologetic answer is ‘Not Enough'[.]”

Meanwhile, Andrew Rice keeps working toward our future.  But Andrew sees more that he can do in his lifetime of service.  He’s running for U.S. Senate to continue his life’s work of fighting for everyday people, of listening to their hopes and concerns, and taking action to address the issues that affect them most.

Will you wish Andrew a happy birthday by buying a piece of his campaign?  It seems fitting to ask that you send him $35 today.  Give him the gift that keeps on giving, and the gift that gives back to all of us – because if Andrew Rice is elected to the U.S. Senate, we’ll all be better off.


Karina Henderson

Rice for US Senate



OK-Sen: DFA Endorses Andrew Rice to “Beat a Republican Extremist”

Democracy for America today announced their endorsement of Oklahoma State Sen. Andrew Rice in his campaign for U.S. Senate.

From DFA’s website:

We can make this Sen. Inhofe’s last year in office.

Andrew Rice has a proven record in the Oklahoma Legislature having worked on issues like health care, veteran’s rights, and the environment.  Andrew will bring his experience to Washington to fight to end the War in Iraq, provide access to health care for all Americans, and solve the crisis of global warming.

(more below)

The DFA understands that it’s not just that Jim Inhofe is so bad for Oklahoma and the rest of the nation, but that Andrew Rice would be an incredible addition to the U.S. Senate.

For some examples, take a look at Andrew’s piece posted last night on Huffington Post:

Life is precious. The families of those 4,000 brave soldiers who died in combat should always know that their loved ones represent the best our nation has to offer and did everything that was asked of them. The American soldiers who have served in Iraq are heroes. However, their orders should have remained to find and eliminate Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We have taken our eye off the ball for the last five years, allowing the terrorists who attacked us to regenerate after American troops routed the Taliban in Afghanistan. As a result, we are no safer today than prior to 9/11, when my older brother, David, was killed in the World Trade Center.

Thank the DFA for this endorsement by answering their call to give $25 to Andrew Rice’s campaign via their ActBlue page, http://www.actblue.com/page/su… .


Karina Henderson

Rice for U.S. Senate



– or – http://www.actblue.com/page/5k…

OK-Sen: Sierra, AFL-CIO, and Progressive Patriots for Andrew Rice

(Reposted from MyDD)

Ever since the New York Times suggested earlier this month that Oklahoma could be the critical 60th Democratic seat in the U.S. Senate, evidence backing up that statement has been pouring in.

First, Andrew Rice – an Oklahoma state Senator and the only challenger to incumbent/entrenched Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe – became the first U.S. Senate candidate to pick up the endorsement of the Sierra Club.

Earlier this week, we added Oklahoma’s AFL-CIO to Andew’s endorsement list. And Andrew was picked as one of seven top U.S. Senate challengers in Sen. Russ Feingold’s “Pick a Progressive Patriot” vote.

(more below)

Not surprisingly, even though things are changing around him, Jim Inhofe isn’t changing his ways. He’s continuing to vote with a small minority of his party against things like health care funding for pregnant women, better enforcement of product safety regulations (such as lead paint levels in toys), and a budget that would help middle-class families and veterans.

But conventional wisdom is changing, and this week, you can keep the momentum going. Voting for Andrew Rice as the next Progressive Patriot would chip away at the naysayers.  It would put Jim Inhofe on notice that it’s time to retire. And it would help replace Inhofe with someone who listens to the people of Oklahoma and puts the good of the nation ahead of moneyed special interests.

This race is moving into a small set of key races for 2008.  Inhofe is vulnerable – his polling numbers look like those of Conrad Burns and George Allen in 2006.  Andrew Rice is gaining momentum – his recent endorsements and other high-profile groups highlighting this as a key race are starting to break this race open.

Help Andrew this week by voting for him to be the next Progressive Patriot.  We have an excellent opportunity to raise Andrew’s profile on a national level, convince more people that we have a great chance to win this seat, and raise $5,000 from the Progressive Patriots fund – but, between now and Monday, we need your help to do it.


Karina Henderson

Rice for U.S. Senate

OK-SEN: Rice challenges Inhofe and the status quo

Andrew Rice, Democratic State Senator from Oklahoma and candidate for U.S. Senate, already has incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican Party, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) worried.  He also has Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and thousands of local and national supporters convinced that Andrew Rice is “going to surprise people” with his Senate campaign.

Rice followed a unique path to politics, winning a state senate seat after graduating from Harvard Divinity School, doing humanitarian work in Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand, and working with nonprofits such as the Texas Faith Network and the Red River Democracy Project.  After losing his brother David, who worked in the South Tower of the World Trade Center, on 9/11, Andrew became an advocate for open government and policy reform.  Along with other 9/11 victims’ families, he helped push for the formation of the 9/11 Commission and opposed the Iraq War from the beginning.

(more below)

After his advocacy work in Washington, Rice decided to become more involved in policy, and he wanted to start in his home state.  He returned to Oklahoma and founded the Progressive Alliance Foundation, a non-profit that advocates fairness and equity in public policy.

Rice ran for Oklahoma State Senate in 2006 with a dedicated door-to-door campaign.  After knocking on nearly every door in the district, he won his seat with almost 70% of the vote.  While in the Senate, he has championed legislation to expand children’s health care, established a Hunger Task Force, and authored legislation to aid caregivers for the elderly.

Now, Andrew Rice is taking on one of the most partisan and out-of-touch members of the U.S. Senate.  Rather than taking action on issues such as climate change, energy policy, children’s health care, and veterans’ benefits, incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe prefers to block progress toward solutions.  A clear symbol of the status quo, Inhofe needs to know that the rest of us want to move forward, and that it’s time for him to retire.

Andrew needs your help now to continue building momentum in his efforts to unseat Jim Inhofe.  He issued a challenge that reflects the kind of campaign he’s running: to achieve 2008 donors by the end of 2008.  We’re counting the donors, not the dollars, and focusing on getting support from real people, not special interests.

Read more about Andrew at our campaign website, andrewforoklahoma.com, and note yesterday’s post at myDD from oriole223.  Andrew’s campaign presents a great opportunity to replace a partisan and out-of-touch Republican with a progressive Democrat in the Senate, but we need your help now to do it.

– Team Rice