Oklahoma Politics: September 2012 Archives

artur_davis_ocpa.jpgYou'll notice a new ad over in the sidebar announcing that former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis will headline this fall's Liberty Gala, a fundraiser for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at Tulsa's Downtown Doubletree Hotel. Click the ad to read all the details, to register, or to sponsor a table.

Davis served in the U. S. House as a Democrat and seconded Barack Obama's nomination for president at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. But like Ronald Reagan before him, Davis felt that the party had left him, and in May of this year he announced on his blog that, were he to run for office again, it would be as a Republican:

But parties change. As I told a reporter last week, this is not Bill Clinton's Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can't say it). ...

On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You've read that in my view, the law can't continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don't need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way--it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.

Taken together, these are hardly the enthusiasms of a Democrat circa 2012, and they wouldn't be defensible in a Democratic primary. But they are the thoughts and values of ten years of learning, and seeing things I once thought were true fall into disarray. ...

On his website, Davis summarizes his perspective on politics:

Politics is rife with orthodoxies and a lack of imagination. This website represents a different point of view that does not belong to the traditional left or right. My perspective is that upward mobility matters, a growing economy beats dividing a shrinking pie, reforming our schools requires radical effort, politics is too dominated by narrow elites and the way we approach race and culture is diminishing our nation by breaking it apart. Above all, I believe civil, informed discourse is the most powerful value in a society that believes it can do better. That is the voice I bring.

Another treat for those at the gala: Davis will be introduced by John Fund, senior editor at The American Spectator.

Oklahoma Council of Public AffairsFounded in 1993, OCPA is a state policy think-tank, Oklahoma's version of the Heritage Foundation, providing research and analysis in support of individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited government. OCPA is a counterweight against all the forces that pull in the direction of bigger government, more regulation, and less freedom.

OCPA's role has only become more crucial as professed free-market conservatives have won supermajorities in both houses of the legislature and every statewide office. All too often, and at every level of government, conservatives have been co-opted by the status quo when they finally attain power. Big Business and Big Labor both love Big Government. The boldness to cut wasteful spending fades when confronted with the passionate pleas of those who directly benefit from that spending. It's a classic example of public choice theory: the concentrated few who benefit immensely from a big government program have more of an incentive to lobby and spend more than to the diffuse taxpaying public, each of whom bears just a small portion of the cost of any one program. The diffuse mass of citizens and taxpayers needs someone to be our voice at the State Capitol. OCPA is there for us and deserves our support.

OCPA reminds conservative officials of their professed principles, gives them facts to counter the fearmongers, and, when necessary, calls them out when they fail to keep their free-market, small-government promises. OCPA has been relentless in pointing out that Oklahoma is #1 in the growth of state government spending over the first decade of the 21st century. When the governor and legislature were struggling (ultimately failing) to reduce personal income tax rates, OCPA was ready with a list of wasteful and duplicative state programs that could be cut.

OCPA is also leading the charge for school choice in Oklahoma. As school districts sue parents of children with disabilities to prevent them from taking advantage of the Lindsay Nicole Henry Scholarship program, OCPA is helping those parents tell their stories -- how school choice has made a profound difference in the lives of children with disabilities. (Here's OCPA's 24-minute documentary: Lindsay Nicole Henry Scholarship stories.)

OCPA has stepped up to fill the gap in State Capitol news coverage, funding CapitolBeatOK, which provides news and analysis that you can't find anywhere else.

OCPA does great work on behalf of the people of Oklahoma, but OCPA depends upon the support of Oklahomans to make it all happen. If you'll click that link and reserve a seat or sponsor a table you'll be supporting the cause of liberty and prosperity in Oklahoma while enjoying inspiring speakers and good company, right here in Tulsa on October 10.

Retiring State Sen. Judy Eason-McEntyre gave her fellow Democrats an earful at a delegation breakfast Thursday morning, according to a NewsOK story.

With four other black members of the Oklahoma Legislature standing silently behind her in a food tent at the state delegation's hotel, Eason-McIntyre said there was "an invisible ceiling for African-Americans who have been the backbone of the Democratic Party."

She said the Oklahoma Democratic Party "has always asked us to be the workhorses," but has not reciprocated in promoting blacks for leadership positions within the party or as candidates for higher office.

Don't miss this contrast at the end of the story:

A black state legislator said later that he agreed with Eason-McIntyre's remarks and pointed to the fact that Oklahoma Republicans had been willing to push J.C. Watts for statewide office and state Rep. T.W. Shannon for Speaker of the House.

When Watts went to the Democratic Party to get involved, the legislator said, Democrats wanted him to stuff envelopes. The Republican Party ran him for state Corporation Commission, he said. Watts went on to serve four terms in Congress.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma Politics category from September 2012.

Oklahoma Politics: August 2012 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma Politics: December 2012 is the next archive.

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