Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dan Fisher answers MuskogeePolitico Survey


Late last week, I sent out a survey to the top six Republican candidates for Governor. Each of them were asked ten questions, nine of which were identical and one which was uniquely tailored to each of them. I will be posting them in the order of the candidates' responses.

I tried to make the questionnaire interesting, wide-ranging, and tough for all, but I believe the questions are still fair to each. I am personally uncommitted still, and have attempted to use this survey for people like me who are still trying to decide how to vote on June 26th.

Dan Fisher was the second candidate to send in his survey, so he gets this second post.

2018 MuskogeePolitico.com GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire

Jamison Faught: How has your experience prepared you to serve as Governor?
Dan Fisher: OK needs strong leadership.  By serving as a senior pastor for 34 years, I have honed my leadership and speaking skills equipping me to be a strong leader.  Additionally, I was in leadership during my two terms in the OK House so I know how government works and what it will take to fix many of the problems we face.

JF: What needs to be done to fix Oklahoma’s budget process?
DF: Like many of our problems, the budgeting process is a systemic failure. At the beginning of each legislative session, three budgets are in the works:  one from the governor, one from the House, and one from the Senate – this is ludicrous!  I would propose that before session even begins, the governor, House leadership, and Senate leadership have already come together to hammer out a “general” outline for the budget.  Then, the first two months of the session should be dedicated only to getting the budget finished and passed.  Then the last two months of session can be dedicated to legislation.

JF: Tax revenue has increased dramatically over the past few months to nearly-record setting levels. There may be a surplus of over one billion dollars available for budgeting next year. What would you propose be done with any budget surplus during the next legislative session?
DF: This is why I am against the massive tax hike passed this past session and why I am for its repeal.  Anyone who visited with State Treasurer Miller knew that economic indicators had been trending upward for months.  The legislature simply caved to pressure from the teacher’s union.  In light of the increased revenues, and barring a vote of the people to repeal the tax increase, I would use the additional revenues now coming into the state coffers to offset the tax increase from the last session and thus, reduce the tax burden upon the people.

JF: Education has been a hot topic over the past few years. What is your plan to address the issues facing common and higher education in Oklahoma?
DF: We must reduce education bureaucracy and consolidate school district administration and redirect those funds to the classroom.  We must remove the funding “silos” and allow education dollars to be directed to where they are needed most.  But, I believe funding is only part of the problem.  We must also address how the system works and what is taught to our students.  OK colleges and universities tell us that 40% of high school graduates need remediation before they can take college level courses.  We must not only fund education, we must “fix” education.  I would work to decentralize control of education and return it to the parents and local districts – how children are educated should not be decided by bureaucrats in Washington D.C. or 23rd and Lincoln.

JF: Under Civil Asset Forfeiture, law enforcement can seize and keep property suspected of involvement in criminal activity, even if the property owner is not found guilty of or even charged with a crime. This has resulted in high-profile cases of innocent citizens having property or funds essentially stolen from them with no justification. What is your position on Civil Asset Forfeiture?
DF: The Fourth Amendment guarantees against illegal search and seizure of private property.  I would push for reform legislation that would require a conviction before property can be forfeited.  I would change the beneficiary to the state as opposed to local law enforcement agencies.  I would also want to see the state reimburse any legal fees to innocent citizens who are forced to litigate to recover their property.

JF: How do you plan to hold state government accountable for spending, in light of the scandals we’ve seen over the past year?
DF: I favor the recent reform proposals that would allow the governor to fire agency heads.  I am also campaigning on the importance of hiring outside auditing firms to perform performance and forensic audits to hold agencies financially and functionally accountable.

JF: The current Tribal-State Gaming Compact expires on January 1st, 2020. The next Governor will negotiate for the State of Oklahoma for the next 15-year tribal gaming agreement. What would you hope to achieve in your role?
DF: For starters, I would negotiate a more fair profit sharing balance and an agreement for outside auditing to verify that all parties are in compliance with the compacts.

JF: Republicans are often characterized as being for “big business”, “crony capitalism” or “corporate welfare”, sometimes deservedly and shamefully so. Oklahoma has a history of handing out sweetheart deals to large corporations in order to entice them to move to Oklahoma. Meanwhile, small businesses, the backbone of our economy who operate without high-paid lobbyists, often get overlooked. How do you intend to promote and incentivize entrepreneurship and small business growth in Oklahoma?
DF: I believe that the best incentive for investment and growth is to get the state out of the way.  If OK is not over-regulating and over-taxing businesses, then they will grow and thrive.  The state should not hurt our homegrown businesses by using their tax dollars against them to pick winners and losers.  I will veto unfair “economic development” schemes in favor of creating a truly free market that will entice investment from all over America.  Additionally, I will be an ambassador to herald the news that OK does not penalize businesses with burdensome taxes and regulations.

JF: Your most prominent - and unique - platform during this campaign has been Abortion Abolitionism (or, “Immediatism”). You have publicly renounced the term “pro-life”, and your campaign has attacked being “pro-life” as insufficient. In the past few months, the Governors of Mississippi and Louisiana have signed into law bills that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and Iowa’s Governor signed a measure that would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected (as early as 6 weeks). If the Oklahoma legislature sent either of those two measures to your desk, would you sign it, or would you veto it?
DF: Since I have been very clear about my position on abortion, if I am elected governor, I will have a mandate from the people to abolish abortion.  I believe “incrementalism” has produced over 60 million murdered pre-born babies.  It is time to call abortion what it is – murder, and treat it as such. We must criminalize murder by abortion rather than regulate it as healthcare.  I am the only candidate willing to criminalize abortion and enforce that law.  I would invite your readers to visit FisherforGovernor.com to view our six-minute abortion video for a full explanation of how we can and must abolish all murder by abortion.

JF: As the primary approaches, what one thing do you want voters to remember about you as they go into the voting booth?
DF: I want them to remember that I am the one candidate who is not beholding to any political group, that I am a statesman instead of a “politician,” and that I have a track record as a true conservative Republican.  I want them to remember that we need Dan Fisher ASAP – to Abolish Abortion, assert our State Sovereignty, Audit every facet of state government, and establish Proper Government that protects every life, our liberty, and our property.

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I'd like to thank Dan for his time and for filling out this survey. I hope you find the questions and answers informative and helpful as you make your decision for the upcoming primary election. Stay tuned for further posts with responses from the rest of the candidates.

You can learn more about Dan Fisher and his campaign for Governor by visiting FisherForGovernor.com.

ADDITIONAL SURVEY POSTS:

  • Gary Jones 
  • Dan Fisher
  • Gary Richardson (coming at 8pm Thursday)
  • Kevin Stitt (coming at 7am Friday)
  • Todd Lamb (coming at 11am Friday) 
  • Mick Cornett (coming at 4pm Friday)
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