In the waning days of last session, the late Rep. David Brumbaugh gathered several fellow lawmakers together to discuss OKGOP guiding principles, as they relate to the work of the legislature. The group only met casually, and no organization was set up.
After the elections of November, the group continued to dialogue on philosophical matters about the proper role of state government and how to protect individual freedoms, among other things.
In mid February, Gov. Mary Fallin publicly insisted on massive new taxes and further growth in state agencies. This brought on some open objections from other state leaders, and one House member, George Faught; drafted a Thursday afternoon press release which caught on with a couple dozen of his colleagues.
Following that, several other statewide political voices were heard, providing resolve and clarity to the principle of state budget austerity.
He sent it out over the lunch hour and before the 2pm release, over a dozen had seen it in time to add their signature to the cause.
Muskogee Politico published the statement. You can view that article at: https://goo.gl/WSMPKS
By the next session date, over 2 dozen were signatory to a 2nd and broader statement of fiscal austerity. You can view that statement here:
Signators to the Feb 17th George Faught Press Release
Signators to the Feb. 21st Legislative Press Release
State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw)
State Rep. David Brumbaugh (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-Oklahoma City)
State Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville)
State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee)
State Rep. Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Edmond)
State Rep. Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Chuck Strohm (R-Jenks)
NEW: State Rep. Rande Worthen (R-Lawton)
NEW: State Rep. Dustin Roberts (R-Durant)
NEW: State Rep. Scott McEachin (R-Tulsa)
NEW: State Rep. John Enns (R-Enid)
NEW: State Rep. Dale Derby (R- Owasso)
NEW: State Rep. Casey Murdock (R-Felt)
NEW: State Rep. Scooter Park (R-Devol)
NEW: State Rep. Jeff Coody (R-Grandfield)
State Sen. Mark Allen (R-Spiro)
State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow)
State Sen. James Leewright (R-Bristow)
State Sen. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore)
State Sen. Anthony Sykes (R-Moore)
NEW: State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom (R-Adair)
NEW: State Sen. Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville)
NEW: State Sen. Bill Brown (R-Broken Arrow)
NEW: State Sen. Ralph Shortey (R-Okla City)
NEW: State Sen. Joseph Silk (R-Broken Bow)
The group seems to be meeting regularly, now. The press release said;
“We will continue meeting from now until the end of session
to address policy and budgetary issues that arise.”
The currently-stated platform of the OKGOP has a page of core principles. It's about 10 clear statements pertaining to:
There is still no clear communication channel we can look to, for real news from the Platform Caucus. They sent out just one press release last week. Without a clear system of messaging, the entire effort could become derailed by individual lawmakers making individual claims to speak on behalf of the group. Rep. Mike Ritze seems to be advancing his personal agenda using the Platform Caucus' name to add weight to his own budget and social initiatives.
News9's Aaron Brilbeck took the bait and made several unsubstantiated claims in his report: https://goo.gl/ycrADq
That led to other reporters, including Sean Murphy of the AP sending the story to national newspapers.
We expect to hear more very soon.