The McCall Blitz is underway. Speaker Charles McCall has met behind closed doors with the Governor and the Senate Pro Temp. He has been rolled to their plan and it is now costing him the loss of many in his own House Republican Caucus.
Here is just one freshman Republican response. There are so many more. This comes from Roger Ford, a Republican in an increasingly Democrat area of Oklahoma City metro.
We were told that the Senate will NOT hear a GPT increase. If that is true, they are making the House members take all the hits. My suggestion was let the House vote on it and make Senate be the ones to kill it. I was even called down because I lost my cool, which if you know me, that is out of character. I went to the press conference this morning. I walked away absolutely disgusted. We have been told there are enough D votes to pass this plan. I find that very hard to believe. Democrats have made it perfectly clear they will not vote for any plan that does not include a GPT increase. It's not in this plan, so there is no way we will have the votes to reach the magical number. It's not rocket science!
I have been a Republican my entire life, but I refuse to stand here and pat leadership and my party on the back, when they are clearly not handling business. The party I have known and supported is better than this! I'm better than this! The plan presented by the Governor this morning does NOT represent the platforms of either the Republican or Democrat party, so I'm not sure who or what it represents. This has been the most childish process I have ever witnessed and I'm ashamed to be a part of it.
All I can do is shake my head. I'm literally stuck in a lose-lose situation. I have to walk in Wednesday morning and vote on a plan that I'm confident will go down in flames.
"That's not leadership - it's petty politics."
I wanted to take a minute to respond to the many comments, calls and emails regarding the ongoing cuts for Mental Health, the Healthcare Authority and the Department of Human Services.
I understand the concerns of the citizens regarding these proposed cuts since they adversely impact Oklahomans who never asked to be a pawn in the politicians' game. Currently these agencies are being held hostage in demands to raise the cigarette tax. We are also being asked to increase the cost of gasoline by approximately 6 cents per gallon.
You are being told that if we do not ‘raise revenue’, our healthcare infrastructure will fail. This is simply not true. There are a variety of options available to the legislature to address the current issue, but the only topics that are being discussed as serious solutions involve reaching into your pockets to fill a short term need. The tax increases we will be voting on will include significant spending increases which will simply make matters worse when we return in February.
While there are areas of bloated state government that need to be cut, it is irresponsible to put these departments on a public chopping block to threaten opposition into raising taxes. That's not leadership-it's petty politics.
Strohm has been an early and ardent supporter of McCall. But this sounds like 'buyer's remorse'
Democrats are caucusing tonight. Republican leaders claim they rolled about 12 Democrats over to support the Fallin Tax & Spend proposal. It appears that the Democrats are going to stay united.
Eric Proctor, a member of the House Democrat Leadership, had his own way of describing the nonsense ruling the day...
McCall may know that his days are numbered and that his only option is to declare war on his own caucus.
Tonight, Sooner Tea Party reports...
" The plan is to use scorched earth on the recalcitrant legislators this time around. House leadership is planning on threatening the removal Legislative Assistants or secretaries, don't expect to have a committee post or leadership post much less any Chairman posts, and they are going to tell any holdouts not to expect to survive the primary challenge in 2018, that they will work to throw them out of office. House leadership has forgotten who these legislators work for."
Last December, Democrat Eric Proctor held high hopes for the McCall leadership era. He said on conservative Tulsa radio; "Charles McCall has the potential to be a very good speaker.". Proctor also said; " The state has all the money it needs. the problem is it's priorities."
We doubt Proctor is hanging on to those hopes any longer.