From the article: “It is irresponsible and wrong to compare an effective vaccine — developed by President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed — to the horrors of the Holocaust,” the Republicans said. “People should have the liberty to choose if they take the vaccine, but we should never compare the unvaccinated to the victims of the Holocaust.”
Good grief that’s a lie! The FB post by John Bennett does not compare “an effective vaccine” to the Nazi star of David! It compares a mandated vaccine PASSPORT to the Nazi star of David!
When you have to alter your opponent’s fundamental argument to oppose it, you are a liar!
I strongly objected to the past year of perpetual Executive Orders infringing upon the liberty of Oklahomans and restricting private businesses. If those elected to government office need only declare an emergency to violate our inalienable rights, then we have no rights recognized by our government. Currently, legislation in the form of orders from the executive branch seems to be an acceptable tool for making law. If we are to use this method of lawmaking, let’s use it to promote rather than to destroy individual liberty.
It is a legitimate function of government to prevent oppression of the human being. As a representative of the citizens of Oklahoma, my primary duty is to defend individual rights against the state. If the rights of private businesses are in conflict with the rights of individual citizens, the citizens come first. If government is not used to protect individual rights, then what is the use of government? I have no problem with government telling businesses they cannot oppress human beings. The rights of individuals must TRUMP ALL.
A friend texted me this weekend happy to see all of the good things coming out of the state legislature. I asked her to explain as I am frustrated to see so many bills stalled for one reason or another. She said, “They made Oklahoma a 2nd Amendment sanctuary state, rid our schools of critical race theory, made it so patients can have a person in the hospital with them at all times, and eliminated the outdated 8th grade reading test requirement.” Wow! This has been a busy session!
It was helpful to hear her encouraging perspective as we face the last few days of this session. Many good bills have made it through the process and to the governor’s desk but there are a few more waiting to be heard.
A budget agreement has been reached between the Governor, the Senate, and the House pending the passage of several measures through both chambers over the next few days.
Once again, it is so good to be an Oklahoman. Governor Kevin Stitt has signed HB1775. It is now time for the people of this state to be vigilant in order to rid Oklahoma of this evil indoctrination.
This doctrine of race and sex is being taught in schools across the United States and it has infiltrated many areas. We the People have allowed this to happen because we have become lazy and dependent on our state to protect us from all that we feel is wrong.
We are beginning to push back against this indoctrination and there are some courageous people in the state legislature who are diligently working to remove this training from schools across Oklahoma. However, some media outlets have misrepresented this bill.
Here is the meat of the bill:
The provisions of this subsection shall not prohibit the teaching of concepts that align to the Oklahoma Academic Standards. (History must be taught)
1. No teacher, administrator or other employee of a school district, charter school or virtual charter school shall require or make part of a course the following concepts:
a.one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,
b.an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,
c.an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex,
d.members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex,
e.an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex,
f.an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex,
g.any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex, or
h.meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.
“The policy of American government is to leave its citizens free, neither restraining them nor aiding them in their pursuits.” -Thomas Jefferson to M. L’Hommande, 1787
An understanding of the proper role of our unique American government is necessary when considering proposed legislation. Often while sitting on the House floor, I find myself agreeing that a piece of legislation is a “good idea” while deciding that it must be opposed because it is outside our government’s purview.
Of the 897 votes listed in my most recent “Member Voting Statistics” record, I voted against 204 measures. Most measures pass the House in spite of my Nays. Below are my reasons for voting against a few of the measures this week.
HB2365– This bill is described by many as a good idea. It helps disadvantaged, veteran, minority and woman owned businesses by allowing them to be automatically notified of opportunities to do business with the state for specific commodities. We should all want to help those among us who are disadvantaged. On a personal level, I agree with this sentiment. However, I disagree with our government dividing Oklahoma businesses into select groups for preferential treatment. If a private business would like to provide this information to customers, that’s fine. If the government gives special treatment to these businesses, it is discriminatory.
HB1882– This bill failed earlier in the week and was brought back today to be reconsidered at which time it passed. The Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCA programs are successful and appreciated by many across the state. This would create a task force to bring these organizations and others together with state agencies such as the DHS and the Department of Mental Health, common ed, higher ed, a tribal representative, and other non-profits. The purpose of the task force would be to review existing after-school programs and highlight gaps in access and equity and to identify and evaluate a set of evidence-based, evidence-informed and promising best practices to improve and increase the number of quality, affordable out-of-school programs in the state. As a general rule, I vote against all task forces. Committees and meetings have a tendency to accomplish little. The idea behind this task force would have a better chance of success if a passionate individual spearheaded the campaign.
HB2236– This bill clarifies in statute how failing to report income to an employer while receiving workers’ compensation is a felony. I do not support adding felonies to Oklahoma’s criminal statutes. There is no deficit of felonies generally! I do not support making felonies where there is no violent crime against a person. In the particular case of this bill, merely failing to report something (1) should never be a felony, and (2) should never be punishable by prison. The sole consequence for obtaining workers’ compensation to which one is not entitled must be limited to repayment of the excess. I understand that false workers’ compensation claims are felonies already; I disagree, and do not support making it easier to prosecute felonies. A felony charge should be reserved for violent crimes against another person, not a crime against the state.
HB1569– This bill is known as the “Play to Learn” bill. I believe this type of instruction is absolutely critical in the development of children, especially boys. I have seen the benefits of this over the years in my own children. Definitely a great idea but I voted against this measure. Teachers are currently using this method in classrooms across the state so why put it in statute? Supporting deregulation of teachers in classrooms is necessary. I do not support adding more regulation into the classroom that teachers must follow, even if it is a good idea. Remove regulation and most teachers, given the freedom to choose, will incorporate this method because they see its educational value.
Finally, I will end this Week 14 update with a YES vote from this week.
HB1772 known as the Snow Cone bill(a very sweet bill!) adds a provision in statute to allow snow cone stands to remain open year-round. While I dislike adding to law rather than removing law to make this possible, I voted in support of this bill because it removes the prohibition on year-round snow cones.
HB1236 passed the House 79 to 18 (breaking largely along party lines). The purpose of HB1236 was to assert the authority of the Oklahoma Legislature, under the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, to reserve to itself those powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States. This assertion is and of a right ought to be completely uncontroversial, as such reservation is explicitly codified in the 10th Amendment. This assertion furthermore has become imperative given the recent usurpation of legislative power by the executive at the federal level, and by the unprecedented proliferation of “orders” and “mandates” arrogated completely outside proper government authority by every federal, state, and local agency with an obscure office. It is vital to the preservation of our constitutional republic that the state legislatures bring this lawless practice to heel by reasserting their proper, sole legislative powers; and your Oklahoma House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HB1236 to do just that.
Once in the Senate, a series of amendments substantially removed all the relevant language, removed the codification of new law, removed the essential role of the state legislature, and merely added a slight additional duty to the office of the attorney general, with no oversight at all by the legislature. In other words, the Oklahoma Senate removed the central purpose and effect of the House bill.
The reasoning stated by the Senate leadership is wholly unsatisfactory. The basic premise given is that a state legislature asserting the 10th Amendment is itself “unconstitutional.” This manifestly is absurd, as the 10th Amendment explicitly reserves all powers not delegated to the United States! It reserves such undelegated powers to the States respectively, or to the people; NOT to the judiciary, federal or otherwise! This is neither difficult nor obscure. This is central to the idea of a constitutionally limited republic of states.
It is my observation that such protests of unconstitutionality proceed from a specious reliance on case law as effectively superior to the Constitution itself. This view can be summarily disproved by a merely cursory examination of Article V of the Constitution. The power to amend the Constitution rests exclusively with the legislative branch of the United States, and with the legislative branches of the several states. No mention of the judiciary appears in any capacity whatsoever in Article V. The practical effect of this is that case law may never ALTER the United States Constitution.
The philosophy that case law can modify statute law proceeds from the common-law doctrine of stare decesis (“let the decision stand”): the doctrine that a court is bound by previous decisions in similar circumstances; the doctrine of precedent. The object is to provide consistent application of laws from case to case, and as such is a sound legal principle. The problem in Constitutional law arises from a misapplication of stare decisis to ALTER the actual text by court decision. Under the United States Constitution this is impermissible, for several essential reasons.
The Constitution of the United States is that which forms and defines and, most importantly, limits the federal government. It is the sine qua non of the United States Government: without which the United States government does not exist. Article IV is explicit that “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; . . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” Judges thereby are explicitly SUBJECT to, INFERIOR to, SUBSERVIENT to, the actual text of the Constitution. Article III defines the very narrow powers assigned to the Supreme Court and any inferior courts established by Congress. Nowhere in Article III is power given to the Supreme Court to ALTER the Constitution. The power to ALTER the Constitution, as discussed previously, in Article V rests exclusively with the LEGISLATIVE branch, and the legislatures of the several states. Not in any capacity whatsoever does the Judicial branch have any role whatsoever in amending the Constitution.
Thus the doctrine of stare decisis CANNOT be used to ALTER the Constitution! Thus any decision by any court, including the Supreme Court, CANNOT be cited to, in this discussion, reduce or limit the protections given in the Bill of Rights. Thus any previous decision that purports to do so CANNOT be binding on subsequent decisions, as the court, inferior to the Constitution, simply has not the power to alter the Constitution. A subsequent court manifestly cannot be bound by a previous or superior decision that falls outside the power of the court as granted by the Constitution. This is not difficult nor obscure. Leftist courts and “progressive” politicians merely WISH that it should be so, and therefore proceed as though it is so, so long as we the people of the United States do not prevent them.
And that brings us full circle to the matter at hand. Your Oklahoma House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HB1236 expressly to assert the power of the state legislature (and therefore of the Oklahoma people they represent) to reserve those powers NOT granted by the Constitution to the States respectively, and to the people. It is that simple. Your Oklahoma Senate, meanwhile, refuses to do just that! I urge you to contact your Oklahoma senators to urge them to do what the state legislature ought to do: represent the interests of Oklahoma citizens with respect to the United States government; to insist that the United States government remain within its Constitutional limits with respect to the people of Oklahoma; to insist on the reservation of all other powers to the State of Oklahoma as required by the Tenth Amendment. The very survival of our constitutional republic is at stake.
House Announces Redistricting Plan 4/21/2021 1:54:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives today announced its legislative redistricting plan.
By law, the Legislature must redraw its legislative district boundaries to reflect changes in population every ten years.
“These districts are based on unprecedented public input gathered through the most town halls ever held, several committee meetings involving every House district, and public map submissions,” said Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, chair of the House Redistricting Committee. “By putting the public in the driver’s seat, the House was able to produce a very strong map providing fair and proper representation for all Oklahomans for another ten years.”
Rep. Daniel Pae, R-Lawton, is co-chair of the House Redistricting Committee.
“Redistricting is a key aspect of maintaining the integrity of our democracy,” Pae said. “The House’s transparent, inclusive and accessible process produced a plan ensuring every citizen’s voice has equal weight and representation at the Capitol.”
The House, in collaboration with the Senate, from December to March held 22 town hall meetings – 18 in person and four virtual – to solicit input from the public. All Oklahomans were invited to attend, ask questions, submit testimony and talk to lawmakers and staff about what makes the most sense for their community.
For the first time in state history, all House members served on one of eight Regional Redistricting Subcommittees to ensure representation of all House districts in the process. The full State and Federal Redistricting Committee set policy for the redistricting process.
The House redistricting plan is based on Oklahoma’s population per the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015-2019 American Community Survey, which was more than 3.9 million. The ideal population for each of the 101 House districts is 38,939. All 101 House districts were redrawn to be within the 5% (+/-2.5%) population deviation standard set by the House Redistricting Committee.
As required by law, all districts also were drawn to be contiguous, and the overall geographic size of districts was a consideration. Forty-seven districts grew in geographic size; 53 shrank. Only House district, House District 25 in Pontotoc County, did not change.
The largest district is still House District 61 in the Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma, which grew from 7,981 square miles to 8,296 square miles. The smallest district is House District 93 in south Oklahoma City, which covers 6.21 square miles.
Where possible, consideration was given to keeping small towns whole by following municipal boundaries. Consideration also was given to organizing districts in regard to rural, urban and suburban areas. In addition, where possible, the plan takes into consideration school district boundaries and uses main roads, rivers, highways and other physical features for district boundaries.
Extensive public input also was considered. Requests from public input incorporated into the map include:
· A request from Elk City residents to no longer be split between districts. Elk City and Beckham County are now whole and within House District 55, which remains a rural southwestern Oklahoma district.
· A request for Pontotoc County to not be split and remain within one House district. House District 25, which currently includes all of Pontotoc County, remains unchanged. Most of the publically submitted maps also kept Pontotoc County whole.
· A request from community leaders to not split up small towns in eastern Oklahoma County. Nicoma Park and Jones are no longer split between two House districts. Further, the plan moves House District 36 to Oklahoma County and is comprised of the cities of Luther, Jones, Harrah, Choctaw and the northwestern corner of Cleveland County. This gives eastern Oklahoma County more cohesive representation in response to comments made at the very first town hall in Oklahoma City in December.
· A request from residents of Osage County to not split the cities of Pawhuska and Fairfax. Those cities are now wholly in House District 37.
· A request for all of Hughes County to be in one House district. Hughes County is now wholly in House District 18.
· A request for the Brookwood neighborhood in South Oklahoma City to be within the same district. Brookwood is now wholly in House District 91.
House Bill 1198, the bill containing the proposed House districts, begins the normal legislative process next week in the House State and Federal Redistricting Committee. It must be passed by the House and Senate and signed by the governor.
“Public input is not finished. The House released this plan in advance of next week’s committee meeting so the public can continue to weigh in,” Martinez said. “The House will continue encouraging and considering public input throughout the legislative process.”
Under the Oklahoma Constitution, redistricting plans for state legislative districts must be completed by the end of this year’s regular session.
Congressional redistricting has no deadline. The Legislature plans to reconvene in a special session in the fall to complete congressional redistricting and make any necessary adjustments to legislative districts upon the release of final Census data, which was delayed by the federal government until Sept. 30 due to the pandemic.
It was a pleasure to attend two OKGOP events with good friends and a great speaker. Candace Owens was superb as she challenged everyone listening to simply speak up. Bravery in our current society requires only the willingness to speak the truth.
More than 1,200 delegates from across the state attended the GOP convention Saturday where we elected the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the party. The arduous process resulted in a team that will continue to energize the party in Oklahoma. Congratulations to John Bennett and Shane Jemison!