Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pick One: Schoolchildren or Indian Cultural Center

Members of the House of Representatives will be faced with a big decision in the coming weeks: Should the state sell bonds for the Indian Cultural Center?

On Monday, the Governor brought a lunch of Chick-Fil-A (bunnies and cows agree - eat more chicken) and spoke to the House Republican Caucus about the wonderful benefits of the Indian Cultural Center and the proposed $40 million bond.  It has been hailed as a tourist attraction, a way to honor our state's history, and a profitable enterprise that will make annual profits of $7 million in just a few short years.

Conservative members of the Republican Caucus are having problems supporting facist capitalism in an era of budget cuts.  In a year where Common Education is scheduled to be cut 4.1%, and Higher Education 5.8%, some will have a hard time voting to give $40 million to a potential public-private boondoogle.  If tourists have an extra day in Oklahoma City, they can choose from Frontier City (private), driving up to Old Town Guthrie (no extra government help), or the Indian Cultural Center (half-funded with tax money).  Why should our history be honored on the backs of private business?

All Republican members face a difficult choice since all of Oklahoma, the former Indian Territory, has tribal members who would like to see the state honor their heritage.  The members also know that the principled conservative position is opposition based on the fiscal impact.

Native American conservatives are in even more of a bind - to vote for their personal heritage, or vote for the conservative principles that got them elected?

- Flopsy

Four Candidates in Speaker's Race?

On Tuesday, my colleagues in the House of Representatives and I were told by Paul Wesselhoft that there are now four candidates to be the next Speaker of the House:

- T.W. Shannon,
- Jeff Hickman,
- George Faught, and
- Becky Faught.

This is not a good development for T.W. Shannon.  In early March, OCPAC announced he was only days away from wrapping up support from a majority of House Republicans.  Over two months later, additional people are running for the office.  If T.W. had strong support and a team of supporters who weren't too busy messing around with their staff, he would have been elected Speaker of the House for 2013 by now.

- Mopsy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are House Rules Still in Flux?

Five Republican members of the House of Representatives have started to vote with the Democrats on most issues to protest the treatment of Representative Charles Key and his bid to have every bill heard on committee.

The Democrats are circulating a petition to reopen the House Rules, hoping to make it easier to take bills directly to the floor and get them passed.  House Republicans are discovering they can get 30 votes that wouldn't otherwise be there on a bill by agreeing to sign the Democrats' petition.

- Flopsy