Government For And By The Few, Part 2 (Broken Oaths)

As I mentioned at the close of “Government For And By The Few, Part 1” we still had a chance to get HJR1026 out of the conference committee during the last week of the session.  Five Republican legislators stood in the way.  We told you we would name names, so here they are.  Senator Don Barrington (R-Lawton) and Representatives Dale DeWitt (R-Braman), Dustin Roberts (R-Bryan Co), Mike Christian (R-OKC), and Elise Hall (R-OKC) refused to sign the conference committee report (we will explain what a conference committee report is in a future article).  Representatives DeWitt’s and Dustin Roberts’ refusal to sign is bad enough, but I want to focus on Representatives Christian and Hall (we’ll deal with Senator Barrington in the next article).

Representative Christian had several excuses for why he would not sign. One of his excuses was that HJR1026 would allow illegal aliens to have firearms.  We reminded him that the resolution specified that it was a right of citizens and therefore would not be extended to illegal aliens.  As we discussed the matter, we quickly began to see what the real problem was.  He was receiving pressure from some in law enforcement (Highway Patrol and the Fraternal Order of Police) because they claimed this would make “cop killer” bullets legal.  I understand why this was a problem for him, Rep. Christian was in law enforcement so these were his friends and fellow officers that were pressuring him.  However, it was a fabricated problem.  Federal law trumps state law.  “Cop killer” bullets are illegal under federal law.  So, no problem, right?  Wrong.  Rep. Christian was also receiving pressure from another “friend.”  That friend turned out to be Chad Alexander, one of King Boren’s minions (see Part 1).  He had promised Chad Alexander that he wouldn’t sign the conference committee report.

Representative Christian had plenty of excuses, but what it all boiled down to was he had made promises to friends that he wouldn’t sign.  That’s okay, right?  After all, when you make a promise you are supposed to keep it, right?  That’s what I was taught as a child: you make a promise you keep the promise.  The problem is Rep. Christian made a bigger, more important, and more binding promise just over a year ago when he took his oath of office.  What is more important: a promise made to a lobbyist or your oath of office?  His oath to the people of Oklahoma, and specifically to the people of House District 93, to protect those basic and fundamental rights that we enjoy as a free people should mean something, shouldn’t it?  These are questions that I believe Rep. Christian’s constituents need to ask him.

Representative Hall, too, had made a promise to a lobbyist.  She had promised some “friends” from the University of Central Oklahoma that she also would not sign the conference committee report.  Even worse, she then told one of her constituents that there was nothing she could do to get the bill out of the conference committee.  Really?  Again, what about her oath of office?  What is more important: a promise made to a friend or her oath of office?  Her constituents should also ask this of Rep. Hall.  OK2A had actually endorsed Rep. Hall earlier in May because of what was a stellar pro-gun record up to that time.  We have since rescinded that endorsement.

HB2617 was another bill that almost made it.  HB2617 was our bill that would have removed state and local government buildings without metal detectors from the list of prohibited places in the Self Defense Act.  This bill died because of one Senator – Senator David Holt (R-OKC).  Sen. Holt also fell prey to a special interest group.  No, it wasn’t King Boren, it was the city of Oklahoma City.

Again, let’s be clear about who we are talking about.  The lobbyists for the city of Oklahoma City are not lobbying on behalf of the citizens of Oklahoma City.  They lobby on behalf of city government.  But why would the city need to stand between the citizens and their elected state representative and senator unless they had concerns and interests that are in opposition to the concerns and interests of the citizens?  Good question.

What was the City’s concerns?  They were afraid that a private organization leasing city owned property would have to allow weapons in the facility they were leasing.  State law already accounts for this.  Whomever is in legal control of the property sets that policy regardless of who owns the property.  If the private organization doesn’t want to allow weapons, they don’t have to.  So, why didn’t it pass?  The truth is the city doesn’t care about those leasing their properties.  They just don’t want you to be able to carry a weapon in the property you own – remember, it’s public property.  The public owns it.  We, the people, own it, not the mayor and not his lobbyists.  Again, the city’s concerns and interests must be in opposition to the citizen’s for them to have a need to lobby the citizen’s elected representatives.  Oh’ by the way, they also had a problem with HJR1026 and wanted to remove the phrase “shall not be infringed” from it.

The city of Oklahoma City and Sen. Holt were both unwilling to make any reasonable compromise.  In fact, the only compromise Sen. Holt was willing to make would have violated the state’s firearms preemption law.  Without a doubt, the most startling thing about our conversations with Sen. Holt was his statement to our Vice President indicating that he didn’t care how many of his constituents called wanting him to sign the conference committee report for HB2617, he would not change his mind.  I hope Sen. Holt’s constituents remember that next time he asks for their vote.

This happens all too often.  Legislators make promises to special interests and lobbyists, forgetting their oath of office – forgetting the promise they made to their constituents – and expect to get away with it.  Unfortunately, they do get away with it.  We the people need to develop longer memories or we the people will continue to be governed by the few.  More names and details to come.  Stay tuned!

 

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Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Cherokee County Republican Party and commented:
    This is part II of the series of articles by Tim Gillespie that I think you all should read. We as a people have to start taking more of a stand on issues and giving more accountability to those we’ve elected. Tim and OK2A are doing that and so I want to share his words with you all.

    Regards,
    Dr. Shannon Grimes, Chairman

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