By Ronda Vuillemont-Smith
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017
The Oklahoma Republican State Committee meeting was held in Oklahoma City. The State GOP Committee is the governing body of the Republican Party in Oklahoma.
In a bold move, participants in the Oklahoma Republican State Committee meeting overwhelmingly passed a Resolution in the support of the 22 courageous state representatives that voted “NO” on raising taxes, demanding accountability through performance audits so we can find waste, fraud and abuse.
I was a participant. I carried the proxies of my state representatives (State Senator Nathan Dahm and State Representative Mike Ritze), which allowed me to participate in the committee meeting. At the end of the meeting I presented a Resolution for consideration, commending the 22 state representatives that held strong and voted “NO” on HB1054, the largest tax increase in Oklahoma history.
Here is a copy of the resolution.
After much discussion and compromise the Resolution passed overwhelmingly in favor of recognizing and commending the 22 who chose to stand for party principles of lower taxes, transparency and accountability, holding fast against fierce pressure to raise taxes. Thank goodness for this budget debacle or we would be none the wiser, still funding the shell games of many of these agencies.
I am proud of the members of the State GOP Committee for choosing to stand up for our platform as we work to strengthen party relevance through support and accountability of our party platform.
REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING LEGISLATORS WHO VOTED AGAINST THE LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN STATE HISTORY.
As detailed in the Rules of the Oklahoma Republican Party, “The State Committee is the supreme Republican Party authority of the State Republican Party...It is charged with the duty of promoting the welfare and direction, controlling the affairs of the Oklahoma Republican Party…”
Increasing concerns have been voiced that tax increases were sought as a first resort to fill budget gaps, without following the Republican Party’s clear platform guidelines to audit agencies’ performance and financial conditions.. With several news headlines detailing mismanagement and monies unaccounted for in state agencies, and agencies requesting more and more monies without fully accounting their expenses, it is apparent that government practices need immediate scrutiny.
The vast majority of media coverage highlighted the narrative of those who prefer to tax and spend versus representing the people by safeguarding their tax dollars for use only in legitimate government functions with maximum efficiencies. This Resolution thanked those that stood committed to transparency and to the principles that they were elected to follow. The governing body of the State Committee supported their efforts to be the voice of the citizens of Oklahoma.
Quorum was achieved, and remained compliant throughout the meeting by Rule 19(b) Rules of the Republican Party. Upon the vote, the Resolution passed handily.
While the 22 Republican House members who voted were specifically highlighted in the Resolution, it should be noted that State Rep. John Bennett was also a firm advocate of defending Oklahoma taxpayers, but missed the vote due to a family emergency.
Five State Senators also voted previously in their Chamber against the tax increase. Those State Senators are: Josh Brecheen, Nathan Dahm, Julie Daniels, Dan Newberry, and Anthony Sykes. They should also be commended as having done the right thing in spite of extensive pressure to raise taxes.