Monday, February 17, 2014


Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair

     Last week, the Oklahoma Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill by a vote of 28-18.  All eighteen (18) Senators who voted against the bill were Republican, but 16(sixteen) of their fellow Republican Senators voted for the bill.  That’s right- I said 16 Rs voted for the National Popular Vote.  If this proposal would have been law in 2000, Al Gore would have been elected.   
     I have written extensively about the dangers of moving to a popular vote to elect the President, so I will not repeat myself.  If you want to see those editorials, go to my blog- and search National Popular Vote. 
     What is so disappointing about last week’s vote is that none of the leadership of the State Republican Party was asked their opinion on NPV by Senate leadership.  Few, if any, local political activists in the state were asked their opinion on the NPV. The very folks that got these elected officials elected.  The engaged and informed were not consulted.  In a poll conducted last week by the OKGOP, over 75% of Republican primary voters oppose the National Popular Vote.  Why wasn’t the grassroots consulted?  Why did this bill get fast tracked in the Senate?
     I have some questions for those Republican Senators who voted for the bill.
     First, did you know the Republican platform- both state and national- have planks in them opposing the election of president by popular vote?  Did you bother to research and find out what the official Party position was on NPV?  If you did and disagree with the platform, why do you disagree?  Did you talk with the State Party Chair or the RNC members?  The reason the RNC and OKGOP oppose NPV is because how we elect the president defines what type of government we have- a Republic.  The NPV will move America to a European model.
     Second, what influenced you to vote for the bill?  Was it because you mistakenly believe Oklahoma is irrelevant in the presidential election process?  That is hogwash.  Every Republican candidate for President campaigned in Oklahoma in 2012.  If you think this proposal will give Oklahoma more influence, you’re wrong there as well.  It will dilute Oklahoma’s influence and move the decision making to ten (10) major metropolitan areas (which are predominately liberal) in the country.   
     Third, did you consider states rights?  The heart of this debate goes back to our system of government.  This proposal moves us closer to federalism- to reducing state’s rights and making the federal government larger and more powerful.   
     The bill- SB#906- authored by Senator Rob Johnson, (R-Kingfisher), and Representative Don Armes, (R-Faxon) now moves to the House.  Please call your state representative and tell them to oppose passage of this bill. To find your state representative, go to 
     Now I want to turn to another subject- one this vote revealed.  Oklahoma has a weakness in our system of government. 
     A number of the Senators who voted for the proposal are term-limited, meaning they are in their last term.  They will not face the voters in Oklahoma again-unless they run for another office.  Currently the only recourse Oklahoma citizens have to get wayward elected officials attention is at the ballot box.  I think it is perhaps time for Oklahoma initiative a Recall process.
     A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before their term has ended.  Nineteen states have recall in some form or fashion.  We do not have it in Oklahoma.  In Oklahoma, state legislators can serve twelve years and statewide elected officials eight years.  Without recall, a term limited lame duck elected official in Oklahoma- legislator or statewide- who does something their constituents are upset about has zero accountability to the citizens because they will never be on the ballot again.  But with recall, they could be called into account and have to face the voters.  To get Recall on the ballot in the state will likely require an initiative petition.  It’s highly unlikely the legislature will pass a JR and let the folks vote on it and to be honest it’s an uphill battle if citizens do it.  155,000 signatures are needed to get Recall on the ballot, but I think it’s time for Oklahoma to have recall!  When lobbyists and out of state special interest groups can come in and influence our elected officials more than the people who got them elected, we need to have the ability to call them into account.  Currently we are stuck with them until they complete their term.  Now we only need 154,999 more signatures to get it on the ballot.