This week was the final week of committee work. We finished hearing the Senate bills in the House committees and the Senate heard the House bills. The bills that have survived the process thus far are now eligible to heard on the floor. The final step will be to send the bills to the governor’s desk for his signature.
Governor Stitt signed an important bill on Tuesday. SB612 by Senator Nathan Dahm and Representative Jim Olsen was signed into law. It prohibits the performance of abortions in Oklahoma except to save the life of the mother. Although there are many abortion restricting laws already in statute, we do not know what decision to expect from SCOTUS in June. If they recognize the authority of states in this matter but decide that all previous abortion-restricting bills are void, it may be necessary to have a current law in statute.
Senator Dahm is the Senate author of HB4327 which passed committee Monday and is now eligible to be heard on the Senate floor. This bill allows for civil action against the provider in the event that an abortion is performed. It is similar to the Texas Heartbeat bill but this version begins at fertilization.
This was a busy week with many groups meeting at the Capitol for events. 4H clubs from across Oklahoma spent the day Tuesday meeting legislators and touring the Capitol. I was invited to lunch by two 4H students from Collinsville. It was a nice change of pace and I enjoyed heard about their participation in the 4H program.
Finally, this week was filing week for state elected offices. Over 500 people filed for office. The primary election will be held June 28th.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call or email. I appreciate hearing from the people of HD11.
We just finished one of the deadline weeks at the Oklahoma State Capitol. This deadline required passing all bills to be heard this session out of the chamber of origin. Each chamber sent more than 300 bills to the other chamber and now the process will begin again.
With so many bills to consider, I would like to draw your attention to some of the topics that were heavily discussed and debated in the House.
Medical Marijuana Business Regulation
In 2018, Oklahoma voters passed State Question 788 which was an initiative to legalize medical marijuana in state statute(not a Constitutional change). We have all seen the aftermath of that decision with grow houses and dispensaries on every corner. This unregulated industry has flourished under a system of free enterprise. I don’t know about you, but I long to see what Oklahomans could do with other industries absent government regulation.
It is always the impulse of government to restrict and tax economic activity of any sort, but that impulse usually is counterproductive. The law of supply and demand has already been at work and the free market is working as it should. Demand is what drives the market and the demand cannot keep up with the abundant supply. The price of marijuana has dropped significantly over the last couple of years and this naturally reduces the number of businesses which supply this product. The free market is a wonderful concept when lawmakers will step back and trust it to work. But that was not the case this week. The Oklahoma Legislature did it’s best to regulate every aspect of the marijuana business. Here are just a few of the regulatory bills heard and passed this week.
HB2025– The Sign Bill; It will be necessary for all marijuana businesses to post a sign in a conspicuous location announcing their presence. This is said to help legitimate businesses avoid suspicion from local law enforcement. I have heard from constituents who are worried because they have been quietly growing their plants and now they worry the signs will attract thieves.
HB2179– increased application fee; When SQ788 was passed, the people voted to set the application fee at $2500. This bill will raise the fee on larger facilities. The author of this bill suggested this will do nothing to address the illegal marijuana business. It will simply increase the cost to do business legally and, in fact, increase the more affordable, uninhibited, illegal business.
HB3208– moratorium on licensing; Again, demand drives the market. If we continue to limit the supply side of the business through more regulation of the legal businesses, it does not change the demand. The demand is determined by the will of the people and is demonstrated by the willingness to pay for a product. They will naturally choose the least expensive product and with artificial limits on legal businesses, the illegal operations will offer greater supply at the price the people are willing to pay.
HB3971– OMMA Secret Shoppers; This method has been used for many years to catch businesses selling alcohol to minors. I have always disagreed with this practice. It should be illegal for law enforcement officers to lie to citizens. It is most certainly illegal for citizens to lie to law enforcement.
HB4287– packaging requirements; This bill requires growers to pre-package product before selling to dispensaries. The cost of this new requirement has many business owners worried. Once again, the added cost on the legal side of the business will hurt the good guy and help the bad guy(the illegal operations). Initially, this bill was voted down as a result of questions being asked by concerned legal business owners. But the legislators desperately want to do something to reduce illegal business and so it eventually passed the House.
The medical marijuana debacle leads me into the next topic that has been heavily discussed by Oklahoma representatives. The method by which our State Constitution can be changed with relatively little effort.
Initiative Petition and Referendum
Article 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution reserves the power to the people to propose laws and amendments to the State Constitution, as well as the ability reject laws. Rather than a representative republican system, it sets up a direct democracy where Constitutional changes are concerned. The Legislature cannot change the Constitution and the governor cannot veto a Constitutional change decided by the people.
An initiative petition is needed to add to Oklahoma Statute or to amend the Oklahoma Constitution. A referendum is needed to repeal or reject a law. Constitutionally, the total number of signatures needed to add a question to the ballot is based on the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. For a referendum, 5% of the signatures of voters; a statutory initiative requires 8%; a Constitutional initiative requires 15%.
While this appears to leave more authority in the hands of the people, we have seen that it allows only the most populated areas to have input. The rural communities are left without a voice. Seeing this flawed method in our state effectively demonstrates the need for the brilliant electoral college in determining presidential elections.
For example, in 2020 State Question 802 was an initiative that added an article to the Oklahoma Constitution. This was heavily lobbied by groups from outside Oklahoma and would reportedly bring needed help to rural hospitals. However, rural counties voted it down. Only heavily populated counties voted in support of this measure. It passed by 50.49% clearing the simple majority needed to change our Constitution.
Several solutions have been presented this session and we have narrowed them down to a couple of good ideas. (There is no perfect solution.)
HJR1002– This measure would require each county to meet the necessary number of signatures to create the state question and get it on the ballot. Currently, the requirement is a simple statewide percentage.
HJR1058– This measure would increase from 50% to 55% the number of votes to pass a Constitutional initiative.
A Bill Addressing Abortions in Oklahoma
HB4327 passed the House on Tuesday after two hours of questions and debate. If passed into law will be the most restrictive abortion law in the nation. The bill is patterned after the Texas Heartbeat bill which has reportedly cut abortions performed in Texas by 60%. This restriction has driven many of these women seeking abortions to Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma bill was drafted by the former Texas Solicitor General who drafted the Texas bill. It allows anyone who can prove harm as a result of the abortion to sue the abortion provider in civil court. This bill will be necessary even if Roe v Wade is overturned. Many states are following the example of Texas and presenting similar bills.
The Oklahoma House will now begin the process of hearing Senate bills in committee before bringing them to the floor for final approval or rejection. We are about halfway through the process this legislative session. If you have any questions or concerns about bills being heard, I want to hear from you. The perspective of constituents is always appreciated.
This week was the annual OYE (Oklahoma Youth Expo) at the State Fairgrounds in OKC. Students who participate in FFA and 4H across the state attend this weeklong event to exhibit their livestock. The OYE Legislative Showmanship event is held annually and gives legislators an opportunity to learn from local students how to show livestock. This has been my favorite OKC event since joining the Oklahoma Legislature!
This year, I was paired with Blake (5th grade) and his young goat, Scooter. To say Scooter was a handful is an understatement! I was exhausted by the end of the evening. Blake was very skilled in leading and presenting his goat for inspection. On the other hand, I needed lots of instruction! I appreciated Blake’s assistance and enjoyed meeting his mom, Megan, who was there supporting him.
As mentioned in the weekly legislative radio interview this morning, there are some bills to be watching that have just passed through the House and are on their way to the Senate. Several bills this session which are moving through both chambers seek to increase state-guided economic development and improve state efficiency in data management. All are being presented as beneficial to Oklahoma citizens.
HB3419(755 pages) creates Service Oklahoma. This is a new agency intended to collect, store and disseminate all information currently collected by the State of Oklahoma. The program will initially create a centralized location for motor vehicle information, drivers’ licenses, and voter registration (most information collected by DPS currently). However, the purpose of Service Oklahoma is eventually to provide a clearing house for all information and services needed by citizens and/or various state officers and agencies.
HB3279 creates a virtual currency banking system to be managed by the State of Oklahoma. The proposal is eventually to include much more than just banking transactions.
keeping customers’ and any government citizens’ or licensees’ data secure and confidential, but available to ecosystem participants, stakeholders, regulators, and law enforcement communities on a transparent and need-to-know basis
automating notifications of a child attempting to purchase contraband
integrating smart packaging (RFID) to be placed on all products with payments and tracking throughout the supply chain
making cashless purchasing easier with biometric identification and database matching
using the cashless, electronic fund transfer of digital assets for all transactions between all parties within the specified community
generating statistical data for decision-making by: a. allowing designated agency personnel to create surveys and order data sets; b. establishing and collecting Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliant, self-reported, voluntary patient reviews, and correlating and tracking specific products for their physiological and psychological efficacy, thus enabling patients, health care providers, labs, processors, and producers to better calibrate and correlate their related choices; c. giving policymakers empirically based and broad statistical samples based on surveys.
This system is designed ultimately to track and record all transactions of businesses and individuals from manufacturing to distribution to consuming. This system will be monitoring any exchange of goods and services. This has the potential to be more sinister than George Orwell’s most fevered nightmares.
In other areas:
Governor Stitt has moved forward with negotiations to bring several out-of-state corporations, including an unsuccessful electric car manufacturer, to the Mid America Industrial Park in Pryor absent the approval of local citizens. This is state-guided economic development which uses the money of taxpayers to encourage out-of-state companies and even international companies to move here. It potentially removes the opportunity of industrious Oklahomans to fill a need based on the demand in their area for a desired product or service without the aid of the state. It eliminates the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
It is the responsibility of the People to hold our government accountable and to limit government regulation in all areas of our lives. Pay attention to these new programs coming out of our State Legislature. They are being lobbied as necessities to make life easier. I ask for any evidence that increased government involvement has ever helped the individual, taxpaying citizen.
In the Oklahoma Legislature we are increasingly hearing bills promoting public-private business partnerships. Through legislation and executive negotiations, these partnerships are infiltrating many industries such as healthcare, mental health, tourism, agriculture, education, and energy.
Ours is properly designed as a system of free and voluntary exchange. A free market is always the most efficient allocation of resources. The fundamental principle involved is that millions of individual human beings making tens of millions of individual choices each day in their own best interests will always be more efficient than any top-down, directed system of exchange. The reason is obvious: the one person most directly familiar with your own competing needs – is you. Nobody else understands your own subtle, competing requirements better than you.
You can be wrong, of course. Human beings are fallible and often are wrong. If you are wrong in deciding your own best interests, then you bear the consequences of your error. Suffering the consequences of being wrong is an essential disciplining factor in your future decisions. But even more is someone ELSE likely to be wrong in deciding for you, as previously noted. The difference is that someone else deciding wrongly for you does NOT himself suffer the consequences of being wrong, and does not benefit from the essential discipline of suffering the consequences. Your deciding and your bearing the consequences, right or wrong, will always in the aggregate be more efficient than someone else deciding for you and NOT bearing the consequences.
There is, however, a more pressing reason than even efficiency to reject government-private partnerships: morality. When government is the party directing other people’s decisions, the funding of those decisions is accomplished through stolen wealth. This compounds the inefficiency of the wrong choices.
As an example, consider the case of a public-private partnership. Let us say you want to build a rural broadband internet service. You believe the rural community will benefit from this service. In a free market system, you try to attract investors to build the necessary infrastructure. To do so you will need to collect market data, analyze costs, predict numbers and locations of interested customers, develop price structures, and so on. If you are successful in securing enough investment, then you proceed with the project. Only then do you discover whether your analysis was accurate. If reality matches or exceeds your expectation, then your business succeeds. If, on the other hand, people in the rural community are not interested in paying the price you demand for your service, then your business will fail irrespective of how much YOU thought the community would need and want your service.
In the public-private partnership, however, the essential discipline of fear of failure is considerably blunted. Rather than having to convince investors of the probable success of your business idea, now you have to convince a much smaller subset: legislators. The legislators, unlike investors, have no personal risk in the decision. The funds they will invest are not their own; they are yours. They are yours taken from you involuntarily.
In the case of the public-private partnership YOU bear the risk of a project WITHOUT any prospect of return on investment. Furthermore, the wealth risked in the project has been stolen from you without your consent! You underwrite the rural broadband internet project whether or not you think it is a good idea, whether or not you intend to use the service, and without any prospect of return on your investment. If the project fails, you have lost your investment. If the project succeeds, you still have lost your investment. But whether the project fails OR succeeds, the government will always risk more of your wealth in yet more and ever-increasing similar undertakings. But because the essential discipline of fear of failure is missing, those successive projects will always be more inefficient and failure-prone than the last, in a never-ending downward spiral.
And it is still worse than that. If a project fails, government will merely send more of your stolen wealth down the hole in an attempt to prop up the failing business (think of Amtrak). Or government will attempt to mandate by fiat that the people of the rural community MUST purchase the service whether or not they want it (think of COVID “vaccines”). The inefficiency and immorality compound and multiply as an inseparable consequence of government intervention in the marketplace skewing opportunity for the success of voluntary exchange.
If the marketplace seems unlikely to support the introduction of a new business, then the addition of government’s stolen resources (YOUR involuntarily confiscated resources) cannot alter that reality – but can and does expose you to loss of wealth, increased risk, and lost autonomy.
LEGISLATION– a few examples of Public-Private Partnership in current legislation
HB4354– The measure allows Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) to award matching funds to eligible businesses which operate in aerospace and autonomous systems, life sciences, or energy diversification to offset a portion of expenses incurred through project engagement with an Oklahoma institution of higher education or nonprofit research institution. (Available to be heard in the House)
HB3647– Develop interagency, intra-agency, and public-private collaborations to help advance the awareness and mission of the Oklahoma Golf Trail. The mission of the Commission is to increase rounds of golf played at the Oklahoma Golf Trail Member Courses to stimulate economic development, enhance tourism, attract new residents and retirees to the state, and to elevate the quality of life and experience in Oklahoma. (Passed the House 87-3)
HB4106– Each public school district shall maintain a protocol for responding to students in mental health crisis with the goal of preventing student suicide, self-harm, and harm to others. Any organization certified by the state as a community mental health center or a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic(a CMS initiative) shall serve as a school partner if requested by a school district. (Passed the House 88-1)
SB1647– Enables the Oklahoma Tax Commissionto contract with a private financial management firm to administer the empowerment of parents. (Available to be heard in the Senate)
Should we consider these proposed bills as opportunities for small businesses and citizens to benefit from state resources, or should we consider public-private partnerships as a socialist agenda to be rejected by freedom-loving, independent individuals? We must always reject the siren call of public-private partnerships.
(Due to icy roads, little happened in the Oklahoma House during Week 3 of the session.)
Attorney General John O’Conner visited Bartlesville this week for a reception in his honor. As attorney general, he and his staff have made themselves readily available to members of the legislature and individual citizens. His office has been quick to answer questions and to hear complaints from people in House District 11.
He mentioned his support for HB3903 as an important measure this session. This bill is necessary because it will clearly define the role of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board when considering clemency. The board will only be able to consider clemency for reason of mercy or lenience. The board will be forbidden to consider innocence or guilt in a decision. It is important for all citizens that decisions of guilt or innocence be left in the court system to be determined by a jury of peers rather than by members of a board appointed by the executive branch. This will ensure the proper separation of branches which will benefit all Oklahomans.
This week was committee deadline week at the State Capitol. All bills to be heard this session were expected to clear the committee process in the chamber of origin. Last week, many committees were cancelled due to icy roads across the state causing some committee meetings this week to be lengthy.
Last year, Governor Stitt signed the No Patient Left Alone Act which was intended to protect the right of hospital patients to have visitors. As many families soon discovered, there were numerous exceptions to the hospital visitation requirement and patients continued to spend days and weeks alone in most hospitals. HB3313 successfully passed the Public Health committee this week. This bill will prohibit a diagnosis of Covid-19 alone to be a reason for denied visitation. If a hospital does not comply with this act, citizens may bring civil action against the hospital.
Some other bills of interest heard in Public Health were attempting to address nursing shortages:
HB3311– will require the State Regents and CareerTech to annually report the types of health care degrees offered and the number of students enrolled in, and graduating from, each degree type each year. The reports will also include the possible healthcare degrees that could be offered with more resources.
HB3892– will allow a Certified Nurse Practitioner to delegate tasks to nurse aids and other nursing home staff. Currently, CNPs do not have this authority.
HB4330– will create a diploma nurse program to be offered at technology centers and colleges. This program will remove some of the general education requirements from the current RN program and can be completed in 18 months. The proposed LPN to diploma RN will require only 6 months to complete.
Many federal dollars in the form of ARPA(American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) funds have been designated to address nursing education in colleges and technology schools. Schools have presented applications for millions of dollars to upgrade laboratory and classroom space in order to allow more nursing students to be accepted.
It is time, however, to look at broader changes to address medical care in our state. These additional programs slated to receive millions in taxpayer dollars to produce a few additional nurses each year will do little to change our current predicament. Currently, under federal oversight, we are effectively unable to make a decision in Oklahoma concerning healthcare without consulting CMS rules. The communist agency known as CMS believes their rules supersede state law. We all know that with federal funding comes federal regulation. The people of Oklahoma and those who represent them must determine to reject assistance in the form of stimulus, inflation relief, or other welfare programs. An actual reduction in tax rate or removal of fees are the only acceptable monetary help we should ever accept from state and federal government.
This week began with a crowd at the Capitol! Oklahomans for Health and Parental Rights assembled to rally and meet legislators. This organization is known for supporting LIBERTY bills and focuses on parental authority in the lives of children. Several folks from the Bartlesville, Collinsville, and Owasso areas stopped by my office to visit. OKHPR is supporting nearly 50 bill in both chambers this session and many are seeking to protect Oklahomans from vaccine tyranny.
The annual Rose Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol is an opportunity to visit with Senators and Representatives about the sanctity of life. On Wednesday, the House Chamber was filled with citizens and legislators who support protecting life. As we near 50 years since the Supreme Court decided that the murder of unborn babies was a fundamental right, pro-life Oklahomans are realizing that we must do more if we are to protect the innocent from legalized murder.
Last session, Governor Stitt signed Oklahoma’s pro-life “Trigger Bill”. SB918 will become effective if the United States Supreme Court returns the authority to prohibit abortion to the states.
Senator Warren Hamilton has filed a bill this session which will make abortion illegal in Oklahoma. It has not yet been assigned to a Senate committee, but SB1372 is definitely worth reading. I am grateful to Senator Hamilton for his steadfast defense of the unborn.
I agree with Thomas Jefferson when he wrote, “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.”
The chairman of Public Health has stated that only ONE bill addressing vaccines(vaccine tyranny) will be heard this session. Any bill prohibiting vaccine mandates will not be given a hearing in this committee. Thankfully, the Senate committee on Business, Commerce and Tourism heard two vaccine related bills this week. Senator Blake Stephens presented SB1128 in an attempt prohibit vaccination requirements by employers. Unfortunately, after multiple questions from Republican senators, Senator Stephens agreed to lay the bill over which means it will available to be heard at a later time but will not move any further for now. Senator Nathan Dahm was successful in passing SB1157 through this committee. If approved, this bill will allow people who have lost jobs due to noncompliance with vaccination requirements the opportunity to receive unemployment benefits.
Many Oklahomans continue to face threats to employment over vaccination status. It was disappointing as Senator Blake was defending his bill in committee, a fellow Republican stated that this bill must not pass because Oklahoma’s noncompliance with CMS rules would cause rural hospitals to lose billions in federal dollars. Apparently, Oklahomans must not be allowed medical freedom because of federal funding. A possible loss of federal funding is commonly used to threaten individual liberty. We must continue to push back against the federal government and to protect the individuals of Oklahoma.
It’s been a busy week in the Oklahoma Legislature as we have returned to the Capitol to begin the 2022 Legislative Session. The House Majority Caucus began the week by electing a new Speaker Pro Tempore. Representative Kyle Hilbert was selected by our members to replace Rep O’Donnell who resigned his position in January.
Governor Stitt and the Oklahoma Senate joined the House for the State of the State address. The Governor laid out his priorities for this session including further regulating the marijuana industry, making citizen interaction with government service providers easier, more education reform including Education Savings Accounts and training students to join the Oklahoma workforce. He stated, “No new taxes, just more taxpayers”. As a proponent of limited government and a representative of the individual Oklahoman, some of his priorities raise concerns. Governor Stitt certainly has been one of the best governors in the country by stating government should let citizens have the freedom to make their own medical decisions. On the other hand, most governors in our country have set the bar very low.
Based on the governor’s priorities, the questions I will be asking pertain to individual liberty and economic freedom:
Marijuana Industry- The explosion of this industry has caused challenges in many areas across the state including around my neighborhood. Employers have been unable to compete with jobs in the marijuana industry. We certainly have many questions about property rights and about foreigners owning Oklahoma property and about the effects of grow houses on surrounding property. As for restricting the number of state-issued grower licenses, history and an understanding of basic economics suggests this will only exacerbate the problem. Will limiting licenses be a successful solution if the demand for the product shows no signs of slowing? More importantly, would deregulating other industries allow for similar economic explosion in Oklahoma?
Government Services- If interacting with government services is burdensome for Oklahoma citizens, is the answer to expand government services to “help” the citizen; or should it be to reduce the licensure and fee requirements so fewer citizens are in “need” of the government?
Education Reform- Governor Stitt would like to reform education in order to train students for the Oklahoma workforce. He said, “No new taxes; just more taxpayers.” I agree wholeheartedly with “no new taxes”; but should we look to students as providers for the state?
If the disruptions before, during and after Governor Stitt’s State of the State address are any indication, this legislative session is going to be wrought with conflict as the struggle between individual liberty and the administrative state comes to a head. The People of this state are demanding a voice in the decisions being made by their Representatives.
A few House committees began hearing bills this week. I am vice chairman of State Powers. (Last session, this committee was named States Rights. Chairman Steagall requested the name change to better reflect a Constitutional understanding. After all, States have no rights. People have rights.) This committee typically hears important bills seeking to protect Oklahomans from federal overreach. I will mention a couple.
HB3280 by Rep Humphreys will restrict state and federal governments from owning more than 10% of the property in Oklahoma. As the federal government is collecting more land across the country, it is important to keep Oklahoma land available for private development. According to Rep Humphreys, 7% of land in Oklahoma is currently owned by state and federal government.
HB2973 by Rep Olsen will protect the practice known as “conversion therapy”. This bill makes a distinction between conversion therapy and aversion therapy. Conversion therapy is defined as “change efforts” and aversion therapy is defined as therapy causing pain, such as electroshock or other torture to achieve results. This bill protects “conversion therapy” from being banned. Pastors and counselors have been banned from offering conversion therapy to clients in Norman, OK. This bill will supersede that city ordinance and will protect pastors and counselors across the state who are simply offering requested help.
It is truly a blessing that the legislative process is more deliberative than productive. It may slow a few good bills from making it through the process, but it prevents even more bad bills from becoming law.
I was asked recently by a reporter who called himself a “Democracy/Misinformation Reporter” if I had altered my position from December 2020 when I signed a letter insisting Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation challenge the certification of the electoral votes from states that changed election laws illegally. I remain unchanged. We must all understand and remember what happened if we are to stop fraudulent behavior in future elections.
Today, January 6th, we will no doubt hear somber references to an “Insurrection” perpetrated one year ago. It is worth reflecting that the supposed “insurrection” was by people insisting upon strict adherence to the Constitutional provisions for electing a president!
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution defines expressly the manner of electing a president. “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors”. The state legislatures appoint electors, who then convene in their respective states to cast ballots for the President and Vice President, as further defined in the Twelfth Amendment. The electors in each state shall sign and certify the number of votes for President and Vice President, and send such lists sealed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted (as on January 6th last.) This is fairly straightforward.
The Constitutional objection last January 6th is that a few Secretaries of State, NOT the state legislatures, altered the manner of choosing electors in these few states, and therefore that altered manner of choosing electors did not satisfy clear Constitutional requirements. The corrective action demanded was that the President of the Senate (Vice President Pence) on January 6th should remand the constested electoral counts BACK to the state legislatures for confirmation.
This, ladies and gentlemen, far from an “insurrection”, is an insistence upon strict Constitutional adherence! An insurrection against the United States is defined, as in Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, as insurrection or rebellion AGAINST the Constitution of the United States. A group insisting on ADHERENCE to the Constitution of the United States is the opposite of insurrection.
For further thought, consider that one can always discern what the Left is up to by listening to what they accuse others of doing. The Left is notably unsubtle that way.
Amendment 14, Sec 3- No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
I insist on placing truth and transparency in governance above the mere appearance of unity. If House Republicans go into a special session being told that the appearance of a unified front is of utmost importance, we have set the stage for a week of compromise at the expense of the people we are elected to represent. I was not elected to compromise. I was elected to represent the individual Oklahoman and to stand firm on principle.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Democrats would claim gerrymandering in the redistricting process last week. Of course, we can use the map drawn in crayon by preschoolers and the Dems will claim gerrymandering so long as the Republicans are in the majority. I have no evidence to suggest staff was anything but honest and transparent in drawing the new lines.
However, it is troubling for the State of Oklahoma to redraw district lines based on data sent from the United States Census Bureau, without question! For us to do so suggests either an undeserved faith in a federal agency or an unwillingness to press for truth. It should be of primary concern, as is no secret, that the Census did not even require citizenship in its questionnaire and derived data. President Trump was in the attempt to change that when the political coup occurred. How can I approve a map based on counting illegal aliens for the purpose of apportioning representation?
Of further concern is that we can see with our own eyes that a significant population shift is underway in Oklahoma from urban to rural areas. Yet according to the federal census numbers, the urban areas have grown significantly! When I have questioned population changes based on my observations, I have been told that the low rural Census numbers are the fault of rural Oklahomans. Supposedly, rural Oklahomans in D2 gave 50% participation while urban D1 gave 67% participation.
Yet the US Census Bureau reports 99.9% counted in EVERY SINGLE STATE! First, as the purpose of the decennial census is to COUNT numbers of the population, how can the Census Bureau determine when 99.9% have been counted? Something smells fishy! The actual self-participation is much lower. In Oklahoma, it’s 61% participation. So how is nearly half of the data which determines our representation at every level being collected? By talking to neighbors and making assumptions!
If these participation numbers are accurate, then we have a serious problem in our state. Oklahomans are independent-minded supporters of government limited within its proper bounds. Independent-minded Oklahomans likely refuse to answer a census questionnaire that steps outside of its Consititutional responsibility of mere enumeration. Would the Census have higher participation rates among rural Oklahomans if it only collected numbers of people? And would urban population numbers be lower if illegal aliens were not counted along with citizens?
I question Census data for the same reason I question election data. I have a pretty good idea who is involved and what their objective is. I want Oklahoma to get relentlessly to the bottom of it to ensure accurate representation. Thus my NO vote.
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!