I just attended my first Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee Meeting in OKC. As an invited guest I was a bit guarded at first but after I notice we were sitting in a group with quite a few Liberty Republicans I began to relax a bit. The meeting was held at a local church and there was no charge to the Party for using the venue which is in the tradition of being thrifty with other people’s money, it’s a Republican thing. It was interesting that this church allowed handguns so those licensed by the state could carry while attending, including the Pastor who openly carried. All in all it was a good location to conduct a political event attended by well over 100 people.
The first part of the meeting was the typical business meeting with reports & remarks from the chair, vice chair, national committeewoman, national committeeman, treasures report, and then the chair again to discuss other topics; but more on that later.
I found the treasurers report and the discussion that followed to be one of the more interesting of the business meeting topics. It seems the OKGOP has been literally living off credit cards and accumulating lots and lots of unsecured debt over the past years. This is not a Republican thing; we are supposed to live within our means, balanced budget and all.
Commissioner Marven Goodman serves Logan County as a Republican on the County Commission. His family lives in the Guthrie area. He also leads the Oklahoma Republican Liberty Caucus.
In addition, they really don’t have a formal budget to balance, and haven’t had one for several years. No profit and loss summary, no balance sheet, or anything else to show specific sources of income or itemized expenses. The chairman explained that they don’t have the time or funds to develop an operational budget because they are primarily focused on meeting the FEC financial reporting requirements. This FEC reporting is very expensive for the party. To keep track of the FEC reportable transactions the party uses specialized software from a company called Red Curve Solutions at an annual cost of $24,000. There is also the overhead cost of a full time staff member who reportedly is 100% engaged with data entry into the Red Curve system, but the FTE salary was not disclosed.
After the business meeting was concluded the chairman kept the podium and continued discussions about precinct meetings and several other topics for another hour and a half. One topic of surprise was the abandonment of the party platform as a means of measuring prospective candidates and current political office holder’s adherence to our stated objectives. The national or local party platform will now be meaningless in the future as the chairman informed the group that the GOP does not intend to expect elected officials to adhere to the Republican platform and stated that it is “not their job” [the OKGOP] to enforce these platform requirements; yet they continue to sell the bound copies of the 2016 RNC platform for $100 each as if they had some value. Why then even have a platform at all if it has no purpose?
As it got much later into the afternoon the chairman recognized one of the grass roots committee members who had been waiting for over 3 hours to present a referendum and requesting an up or down vote on an important issue. This request was sent to the chairman several weeks in advance of the meeting yet it was not mentioned nor included with the read ahead information sent to all Committee members for consideration prior to the meeting. This was a most interesting political tactic, similar to a filibuster, to intentionally wait to present the referendum to the Committee for consideration until it was so late in the afternoon that there was no longer a quorum once they called for a delegate count. That referendum was a statement of support to help end abortion in Oklahoma and it could not be voted on due to lack of a quorum.
So, it certainly appears we have some work to do. This is especially true in the area of transparency. There were a few of the old guard who vehemently objected to smartphones recording that last session count of delegates and the discussions. Once the discussion started, they wanted all cameras turned off. Why in the world would a registered Republican and member of the State Committee have more fear of a camera recording their vote on this topic than fear of God when discussing how to end the indiscriminate killing of the weakest among us?
We encourage every registered Republican in our great state who wants to help the OKGOP become more of a grass roots & precinct focused organization to join us in making the OKGOP great again. We at the Oklahoma Republican Liberty Caucus are dedicated to restoring limited government politics to the Republican Party so it once again supports those principles of individual rights, limited government, free enterprise, and the adherence to the rule of law.
Oklahoma Republican Liberty Caucus