The publishers of the Oklahoma Constitution have been indexing the key votes of the 149 state legislators for about 30 years. But many long-time subscribers say that this year's legislature is probably the least conservative in well more a decade. The oddity is that Republicans have overwhelming majorities in both houses. This group of Democrats strangely voted in opposition to tax increases that the Republican leadership repeatedly attempted to push through.
This last winter we saw a massive number of freshmen elected to the House. After such promising campaign rhetoric and lofty platitudes, the reality hit in May. That's when nearly all of the freshmen ate the forbidden fruit en-masse and were drawn into the Lincoln boulevard swamp of believing what the agencies, governor, and house leadership had spent 3 months subliminally pressing into their consciousness.
The alternative camp for fiscal and social conservatives was the newly formed Platform Caucus. This group of at least a dozen are holding each other to accountability for fidelity to the Republican principles.
Some freshmen are making a move back away from the tax, tax, tax solution. Part of that could be that grassroots groups did single them out for condemnation....
OCPAC is another organization which endorses and contributes to campaigns. They were extremely disappointed in Tess Teague. This summer they announced some dubious awards.
OCPAC prides themselves in their thoroughness to vet the recipients. One legislator they really regret supporting is Scott McEachin. the south Tulsa Attorney really impressed them, but after his spring session they completely repudiated him.
Here's the post-session dubious title they bestowed upon him.
In September, the Tulsa Area Republican Assembly gave him an opportunity to address them about the spring session and the impending special session. McEachin gave no apologies for his votes, and even criticized the supreme court's process in overturning the "tobacco cessation fee". He said the court was wrong to review the floor debate of the house, to determine if they intended or expected to attain more revenue by adding $1.50 to each pack of cigarettes.
McEachin says he is a member of the Platform Caucus. Many found that claim to be odd, given his consistent votes to pass almost every tax opportunity given to him.
Freshmen Carol Bush, Tammy West, Greg Babinec, and several others were named by some Tea Party groups and in their publications, for replacement in the June primary.
Both Teague & McEachin made some changes in their adherence to tax increases. So far in the Special session they have been opposing the House leadership's tax hikes. Is it too little to late? We'll see what they say & do when the session's done. We haven't seen any apologies for their spring 'apostasy' and it'll likely take more from them to change the minds of fiscal conservative voters and donors.