Monday, March 31, 2014


Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair

     The second amendment in the U.S. Constitution guarantees a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.  Article II, Section 26 of the Oklahoma Constitution does much the same thing, but a proposal by two Republican legislators- House Joint Resolution #1026- would add language to make sure an individual Oklahoman’s right to defend themselves is protected.
     State Representative Dan Fisher, (R-Yukon), the author of HJR #1026, believes the added language is needed because of recent wayward rulings by the Oklahoma state Supreme Court.   “Unfortunately, Oklahoma courts have sometimes interpreted the state constitution in ways that go against that intent. Concerned citizens feel it is necessary to place new language into the state constitution to clarify the right, to correct past misinterpretations by Oklahoma courts and to prevent similar misinterpretations from occurring in the future,” Fisher says.  The bill passed the House 87-7 last week and now heads to the state Senate.
     If the JR passes the Senate and makes it to the ballot in November, Oklahoma voters will decide if they want to amend Section 26 to specify, “handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives, nonlethal defensive weapons and other arms in common use, as well as ammunition and the components of arms and ammunition” and add “self-defense” and “lawful hunting and recreation” in order to ensure that courts have less latitude in interpreting the language. The proposed constitutional amendment would also add two subsections to Section 26. The first would clarify that the state could prevent convicted felons and the mentally ill from the possession of arms. The second would prohibit registration or special taxation on arms and ammunition. 
     You wouldn’t think conservative, common sense Oklahoma would need to address something as clear cut and fundamental as the right to defend oneself, but recent rulings by the State Supreme Court have been anything but conservative- or for that matter consistent.  The state’s high court, loaded with liberal Democrat appointees, has ruled against the vote of the people and conservative legislation in several cases.  They threw out the tort reform laws and the tax cut bills because they claimed they violated the single subject provision in the state constitution.  Their inconsistency and judicial activism cost taxpayers money when a special session of the legislature had to be called to deal with tort reform.  Their judicial activism has revealed Oklahoma need for judicial term limits at the appellant and high court level.  Hopefully, that is also something that will be on the ballot in November.
     Critics of HJR #1026 say it is unnecessary and Oklahoma doesn’t need more gun laws, but the recent rulings by the state Supreme Court would refute that claim.   Those same critics say what is happening in other states- tax on ammo/gun registration- could never happen in Oklahoma, but don’t bet on it.  In addition to the two wacko rulings by the state Supreme Court referenced above, two federal judges in Oklahoma have overturned state constitutional amendments that voters overwhelmingly approved.  The ban on gay marriage in Oklahoma and the use of Sharia law in Oklahoma courts were approved 3-1 by the voters, but overturned by the federal courts.  There is no guarantee that once voters approve HJR #1026 that a liberal federal judge will not overturn it.    
     Welcome to the new America- a one where the President says he will advance measures to reduce gun violence "with or without Congress:" An America where the will of the people can be overturned by a liberal judge. If you don’t think your right to defend yourself is under attack, you are living in a dream world.   Please contact your state Senator and ask them to support HJR #1026 when it comes up for a vote.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I ran across this little 97 page book at a thrift store.  I had no idea who Foy Valentine was, so I picked it up and read it on a recent flight.  Valentine was founding editor of Christian Ethics Today and the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Christian Life Commission from 1960-1987.  He wrote this small book in 1965.  Foy Valentine died in 2006, but the principles in the book are still applicable, even if the pages are faded.  In the final chapter of the book, Valentine offers seven(7) suggestions to Christians concerning their citizenship and involvement in politics.  They are:

I highly recommend interested theologians read this small book.  The chapter on the history of political involvement by members of the Lord's church is very insightful and reveals that abstaining from political involvement by Christians is not rooted in the scripture.  I wasn't able to find the book online for free, however you can buy it on Amazon or download it to your electronic device for a small fee.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair    

     On Monday, the Oklahoma state Senate Education Committee voted 11-0 to pass HB #3399, which rejects the Common Core standards for Oklahoma public schools.  The bill now heads to the floor of the Senate for a vote, where it is expected to pass.  It remains to be seen if Governor Fallin will sign the bill, but in a statement last week Fallin said, “I have been clear that Oklahoma must take the lead in developing and implementing our own standards and assessments. To protect the principle of local control, and to resist federal overreach from Washington and the Obama administration, I signed last year an executive order outlining Oklahoma's independence in implementing higher standards and student assessments.”  That appears to mean Fallin will sign the bill if it reaches her desk.

      Common Core started off as what seemed like a noble idea- establishing a common nation wide standard for math and reading in public education.  It has become one of the most controversial issues in recent memory.  What exactly is common core?  According to their website,, The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live.”  Sounds pretty good, right?  I mean if you move from Oklahoma to California, you want your child to be reading and siphoning at about the same level as where they were living.   Everyone singing off the same sheet of music so to speak.  And after all it was an initiative by private industry and the NGA right?

     What is not widely known is the NGA was just a ‘front’ for the real proponents of Common Core.  The five ‘authors’ of the Common Core standards were President Obama donors- liberals.  David Axelrod, a liberal senior advisor to President Obama, said during a speech in Chicago last year, that common core was, “an initiative by the Obama administration.”  Rest assured, the goal of Common Core, from the beginning, has been a wholesale takeover by the federal government of common education in America.  That has been the objection since Ike was President- through both D and R Presidents. 

     Some misguided Republicans in the state legislature argue that federal imposed standards for common education are better than no standards.  Oklahoma public schools do have standards for math and reading and while those standards may vary district to district, they do exist

     Some have been puzzled as to why the Home school network has been opposed to Common Core.  The reason is because if CC were implemented, it would impact curriculum, testing and student data gathering for Homeschoolers. 

     The Oklahoma State Republican Party recognizes the threat of Common Core.  Because of that, the platform has a plank opposing implementation of Common Core.  The Republican National Committee, earlier this year, voted unanimously to oppose Common Core.  How is it conservative Red State Oklahoma is fighting this battle within our own ranks?  Why is it legislators with an ‘R’ beside their name are supporting an issue the Republican grassroots oppose?  Why aren’t they listening to their constituents?  Is it duplicity?  Are they misguided? 

     Duplicity is defined as, “contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action.”  An Oklahoman would call it being ‘two faced.’  Campaign one way- vote another.  Press release conservative- vote liberal.   I expect the majority of Republican state legislators are honest ethical people who say what they mean and mean what they say.  I don’t think the issue is duplicity.  I believe the real reason we are fighting this battle on Common Core is because lawmakers clearly didn’t do their homework.  State lawmakers accepted a serendipity broad brushed overview that was designed to deceive and mask the liberal overtones and true objectives of Common Core. 

     What is disappointing is hardworking Oklahomans shouldn’t have to hold the hand of our conservative elected officials and educate them when a bill is ‘dirty.’  We shouldn’t have to be telling them what is in our platform.  They should be aware of what the Republican Party stands for.  They should recognize when a liberal organization presents an idea, it is likely liberal.  They should have enough sense to know a pig pen is dirty without crawling into it. 
     Please contact your State Senator today and urge them to vote for HB# 3399 when it reaches the Senate Floor.   Local control of education is at stake.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     Thursday March 13th was the deadline for bills and Joint Resolutions to be out of their respective chambers and sent to the other chamber in the Oklahoma legislature.  Here are some of the notable bills that were passed by the legislature:

     House Bill 2508, authored by Rep. Earl Sears, (R-Bartlesville) proposes to cut the personal income-tax rate in Oklahoma from 5.25 to 5 percent beginning in 2016.  This is the same tax cut proposal that was struck down by the Supreme Court because last year’s version supposedly violated the ‘single subject’ rule in the state constitution.  It’s certain Sears’ bill will sail through the Senate and be signed into law. 

     House Bill 2630, authored by Rep. Randy McDaniel, (R-OKC) creates a defined-contribution system for new employees who are part of the Oklahoma Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS).  If signed into law, the system will phase out the state’s ‘defined benefit,’ plans.  This is a good start to fixing the pension crisis in Oklahoma; however this change fails to address the ‘unfunded’ 11 billion dollar deficit in the pension systems.  Pension reform is the number one issue lawmakers face this year. 

     House Bill 3293, authored by Rep. Leslie Osborn, (R-Mustang), would boost state employee salaries to 90 percent of private-sector pay over a four-year period.  The reasoning behind Osborne’s bill is Oklahoma state government is losing employees to the private sector because the state is not competitive in salary.  Oklahoma ranks dead last in the US in what we pay our state employees, but Oklahoma also has more state employees per capita than most states.  What should happen is a reduction in the number of state employees and better pay to those who survive the pruning. 

     House Joint Resolution 1092, by state Reps. Jon Echols, (R-Moore) and Mark McBride, (R- Moore) authorizes local school districts to submit questions to a vote of the people to approve issuing of bonds for the construction or improvement of school safety facilities such as safe rooms or underground storm shelters.  This is a much better solution than floating a statewide bond issue to provide storm shelters for every school in the state.  It gives each local school district the option to handle this locally.     
     Speaker Jeff Hickman, (R-Fairview), authored House Joint Resolution 1033.  The JR asks the people of Oklahoma to approve a $120 million bond to repair and renovate the Capitol building.  There is absolutely no reason to borrow money to fix the Capitol. Currently over $750 million dollars is sitting in Oklahoma state agencies’ ‘reserve accounts.’ If every agency would give back just 20% of their reserve money, no bond would be necessary.   Why is tapping the reserve funds to fix the Capitol not being discussed?  Call your legislator and ask them to use money we already have to fix the people’s house.    

     House Bill 3399, also authored by Hickman, places control over common education standards solely in the hands of Oklahomans. It basically says Oklahoma would opt out of Common Core for a period of two years.  This bill passed the House with a 78-12 margin and now heads to the Senate. 

     The Senate version of HB 3399 is SB 1734, authored by Senators Josh Brecheen, (R-Coalgate) and Anthony Sykes (R-Moore).  SB #1734 would (1) Order the State Board of Education to remove alignment with the K-12 Common Core State Standards, (2) Prohibit Oklahoma from entering into any agreement with any federal agency to establish academic content standards in the public school system, and (3) Establish the Local Curriculum Standards Pilot Program in Oklahoma.  The word is the Senate Education Committee Chairman Ford has stated HB 3399 will receive a hearing in the committee and a Senate floor vote if passed by the committee. 

     “It’s time that Oklahoma’s legislators respond to their constituents and address Common Core’s aim at our children,” said Sykes, R-Moore. “Let's answer the call by Oklahomans and well-studied conservatives across the nation who correctly point out that we have ceded state control to out-of-state interest groups.”  

     Sen. Kyle Loveless, (R-OKC), authored Senate Bill 1651, which would allow $40 million dollars to be taken out of the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund to complete the American Indian Cultural Center Museum.  The AICCM has been a money pit for Oklahoma taxpayers from the beginning.  The museum should solicit private donations and complete without taxpayer funding- period.

     These eight bills and many more now head to the other chamber to be considered.  You can AND SHOULD track their progress through the legislature at
     Remember, conservative Democrats who want to vote in the GOP Senate primary on June 24th must change Party affiliation by March 31st.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair
Two weeks ago a proposal to limit county elected officials in Oklahoma to four terms (16 years) failed to get a vote in the House Rules committee.  I asked Representative Dennis Johnson, (R-Duncan) to carry the bill as a ‘constituent bill.’  It was ran it as a statute bill- I preferred a Joint Resolution (JR).  The difference is that JR, if passed by both chambers, would have placed the issue on the ballot and allowed Oklahoma voters to decide if they want to term limit county elected officials.
The outrage from county elected officials across the state when the bill was introduced was unbelievable.  They put pressure on the Rules committee members to kill the bill in committee.  When the Rules Chair (Todd Russ) asked for a motion on the bill, all the members of the committee sat silently.  The room was full of county elected officials who opposed the bill and if the bill had passed would have been forced to eventually leave government.    There were few, if any, private citizens in the room.  The only people lobbying their legislators were folks drawing a taxpayer funded check.  I have several thoughts about this issue:
First, term limits have been good for Oklahoma.  Since legislative term limits have been enacted in Oklahoma, we have had better government.   It has allowed for better ideas and a more transparent government.  Legislators know they have only twelve (12) years max to accomplish something and they hit the ground running.  When term limits were first proposed critics said Oklahoma would suffer from a ‘loss of institutional knowledge.’  Legislative term limits hasn’t hurt our state one iota.  In fact, you could make the case that Oklahoma has more effective, efficient government because of term limits.  The ‘rotation’ of legislators and elected officials has given lawmakers fresh ideas and a ‘sense of urgency’ not present before. Just four years ago, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved term limits for statewide elected officials as well.  Statewide elected officials can now only serve eight (8) years- two terms.  The only level of government where Oklahoma doesn’t have term limits is at the county level. 
Second, because county government is more local than any other government, officials should be allowed to serve sixteen (16) years.  That is twice as long as statewides and four years longer than legislators.   That is also sufficient time for any elected official to accomplish what they want to do in office.  After the 16 years, they can get a private sector job like the rest of us.
Third, there are more than enough qualified people across Oklahoma to fill these offices.  One of the arguments by the Oklahoma Association of County Commissioners is that term limits would result in ‘unqualified’ people filling those offices.   The arrogance of believing that current county elected officials are irreplaceable is ridiculous.  That type of mindset is exactly how we get poor government.  As Senator Coburn has said, “no one is indispensable in government.”  Those claiming to be irreplaceable are exactly the ones that should be replaced. 
Gayle Ward, Executive Director of the Association of County Commissioners, said, “County government provides many jobs and services that keep local business open and communities thriving.”  What?  Government at any level doesn’t provide jobs- the private sector provides jobs.  Government consumes- the private sector produces.  Ward went on to say, “To upset the well working system by taking the right away from local level voters of retaining experienced officials could very well cause economic upset.”  Are you kidding me? County government is NOT an industry.  Term limiting county elected officials will not destroy the local economy.    The sky will not fall if your county commissioner has to find a private sector job after term limits.  The sun will still come up in the east.  Stores will still open and the mail will still run.  The only ‘system’ that will be disrupted if county officials are term limited are career politicians.  A career politician in Washington is no different than a career politician in county government.    We either believe in a ‘system’ of CITIZEN elected officials or CAREER elected officials.  Term limits for county officials in Oklahoma will not destroy the space/time continuum. 
Please contact your Oklahoma state legislator and tell them to vote to let the citizens of Oklahoma decide on whether they want to term limit their county elected officials.  If it gets to the ballot, it will pass 3-1 in favor.  That is exactly why county elected officials are trying to kill it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair

     2014 is proving to be an interesting year in Oklahoma politics.  With the resignation of Dr. Tom Coburn, the Sooner state will be one of only two states in the country with two U.S. Senate races on the ballot this year.  South Carolina is the other state.  There are at least five Republicans who have announced they are running.  To date, no big-name Democrat candidate has announced they are running for the seat.  Senator Jim Inhofe is up for re-election and has yet to draw a strong opponent from either Party.  Additonally, Governor Fallin and eight other state-wide elected officials face re-election in November.  All 101 State House seats and 24 of the State Senate seats are up for re-election.  We will know who the actual candidates are in about a month.  Filing for office closes April 11th.   Often those who claim they will run do not follow through and file for office, and it’s not official until they file.  The primary is June 24th, which makes the campaign window very short.  Many races will be decided in the primary- the Republican primary.
     For years in Oklahoma, county election board secretaries told potential voters they needed to register Democrat if they wanted a voice in the electoral process.  At that time, that was somewhat true, because Republicans didn’t always field candidates at the local/county level, so often the election was decided in the Democrat primary.  But times have changed.  In 2012, there were more Republican candidates for office in Oklahoma than Democrats.  Many races were decided in the Republican primary. 
     As of January 2014, Democrats still hold a slight 30,000 lead in voter affiliation statewide.  Voters in Oklahoma don’t vote Democrat.  Oklahoma has voted for the Republican nominee for president since 1964.  In the last two presidential elections, Oklahoma was the only state in the country where every county voted for the Republican nominee.  Republicans have controlled both chambers of the state legislature since 2006 and now have super majorities in both the House and Senate.  Every statewide office holder in Oklahoma is a Republican.  Oklahoma is the reddest state in the country. 
     The reason more Oklahomans are registered Democrat than Republican is somewhat puzzling, particularly since its obvious most Oklahomans don’t consider themselves Democrat and they don’t vote that way.  Most Oklahomans are conservative.  They believe in the Second Amendment (right to bear arms).  They are pro-life and fiscally conservative.  What the Democrats say they stand for is completely out of touch with the average Oklahoman.  It’s time for conservative Oklahoma Democrats to align with their values and register Republican.  Here are the reasons why:
     First, it is very likely the U.S. Senate, the Corporation Commission, and the five Congressional races will be decided in the Republican primary.  Oklahoma holds ‘closed’ primaries, which means that only those registered Republican can vote in the Republican primary.  In some states, they hold ‘open’ primaries and allow voters to vote in whichever Party’s primary they want regardless of Party affiliation (insanity).  That is the reason registering Independent in Oklahoma makes no sense.  Those registered Independent should study the platform of both major Partys and align themselves accordingly.
     Second, your great granddad would be proud of you if you aligned yourself with your values.  Many Democrats stay registered ‘D’ because their family was always registered Democrat.  Some say, “Great Granddad would roll over in his grave if he knew I registered Republican.”  The truth is Granddad would not recognize the Democrat Party of 2014.  It’s not the Party of your great granddad.  The D’s of today advocate gun control, same sex marriage, abortion on demand, and a weak national defense.  They believe increased government and spending is the answer to every problem.    
     Third, Democrat voters who wish to vote in the Republican primary on June 24th must change their voter affiliation by March 31st.  Voter registration cards are available at the local post office, at the tag agency or at the local election board.  The form can be downloaded at   Just complete the form and mail it in. 
     Join the Party of personal responsibility, traditional values and limited government.  The Republican Party stands for Oklahoma values.  Remember Party affiliation must be changed by March 31st in order to vote ‘R’ on June 24th.  The next junior U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, a new 5th district Congressman, and Corporation Commissioner will be determined in the Republican primary.  If you want your voice to be heard, you need to be a registered Republican.