The co-chairs of the House Platform Caucus are endeavoring to build an organization whereby it's selected members can promote the Republican values of the OKGOP.
Chuck Strohm (R-Jenks) & Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) came to a local cafe', to speak with the Tulsa Area Republican Assembly, on Tuesday night. They spoke of the events and conditions which fostered the organization's development.
Strohm explained that matters came to a head in early April, and Strohm says he took the initiative to speak with House Speaker, Charles McCall, to explain and coordinate the mission of the group.
"We do not wish to be obstructive. I believe in 'chain of command' ." - Strohm
Roberts said that initially, there were about 15-20 colleagues working together, in the house; depending on the issue. He said that it wasn't reasonable to expect 100% concurrence on every issue. But he also communicated specifically with the Speaker and his team, so that they could stand for Platform principles without malicious motivation.
"We made sure the Speaker knew about everything we were doing, all along." - Roberts
The group expects to finalize their structural details and unveil the charter members sometime later (perhaps this summer). They were very cautious to keep specific names from being confirmed. Previous names floated were Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow), Jason Murphey (R- Guthrie), and George Faught (R-Muskogee). But even those two names were not officially confirmed by the co-chairs. The two men specifically praised Jason Murphey for his intellectual and philosophical comprehension of the lawmaker's role. They said that a group of lawmakers is being mentored by Murphey while he serves his last year in office (Murphey terms out next year).
Group discipline is also being hinted, in a 2-page flyer that the leaders distributed at the TARA meeting. Legislation is going to be researched by a committee of this caucus and the group will vote internally on whether the proposal agrees with the platform, disagrees, or is neutral.
Membership is closed and candidates must request consideration. A vote of the current membership determines initial membership. Members retain their place by voting in solidarity with the group's determination at least 80% of the time.
Strohm explains that it is easier to find a social conservative who may not yet have a fiscally conservative view; than to try to get a fiscally conservative to adopt a socially conservative world view. He says that social conservatism is more deeply tied to the core of a person's personal convictions. He says it's far more plausible to explain to a social conservative about why fiscal conservatism is a more consistent policy with his social convictions.
Sen. Nathan Dahm stopped by and joined the Representatives for the last few minutes. He said there is a similar interest in the Senate, and he hopes to help foster greater fidelity with the expressed OKGOP values in the state platform.