Friday, June 22, 2018

Todd Lamb 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.

Todd Lamb was the fifth candidate to send in his survey, so he gets this fifth post.

2018 MuskogeePolitico.com GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire

Jamison Faught: How has your experience prepared you to serve as Governor?
Todd Lamb: My entire professional life has prepared me to serve as governor. From my tenure as a U.S. Secret Service Special Agent to my private sector experience as a petroleum landman and telecommunications’ industry professional to my public service as a state senator and Lt. Governor. I have an in-depth understanding of policy issues. I have real world experience in detailed planning and preparation. Oklahoma is in much of the mire we are because our state has no plan. My background as a proven conservative leader is documented and is not rhetoric. I am the only leading proven conservative candidate in the primary. See my RENEW Oklahoma plan at VoteToddLamb.com.

JF: What needs to be done to fix Oklahoma’s budget process?
TL: As governor, I have a detailed plan to restructure the antiquated legislative budget process. The four month legislative session should be divided into one month of policy and the last three months budget. This change will bring the budget process out in the open and hold unelected bureaucrats accountable for how they spend taxpayer money. This reform also includes zero-based budgeting. Zero-based budgeting is long overdue at the state Capitol. This is detailed reform that will save taxpayers millions, and ultimately, billions of dollars.

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?
TL: Oklahoma’s economy is showing signs of a healthy rebound across the private sector, yet the legislature still passed and the governor signed the largest tax increase (HB 1010XX) in the history of Oklahoma this spring. I would not have signed the bill if I was governor. I would have found the funds to provide a teacher pay raise and additional classroom funding by aggressively reducing the billions of dollars in tax credits, incentives and exemptions Oklahoma pushes out the door every year. As for surpluses they should first and foremost be deposited into the Rainy Day fund in order to replenish it for when true emergencies occur.

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?
TL: The second component of my RENEW plan is education reform. As a husband of a public school teacher, no candidate is more supportive of common education than I am. I have advocated for a teacher pay raise and more classroom funding far more than any of my opponents. Oklahoma must provide more money into the classroom where the two most important people are; students and teachers. This past session, after a pay raise was passed and signed, I was interviewed on FOX News and stated the tax package gets an ‘F’ in reform, both academically and fiscally. Last year, 46% of high school graduates that went to college had to be remediated. We must increase academic rigor such as requiring third graders read, and do math, at grade level before advancing to fourth grade, and we must address administrative bloat statewide within common education. I support proper funding for higher education. For Oklahoma to advance economically, we must produce more college graduates, especially in STEM disciplines. It has been reported there are 9,000 STEM jobs currently vacant because the work force is not prepared. Increasing classroom funding and rigor will address this issue. Oklahoma must ensure a quality education is accessible to all Oklahoma students, including those interested in higher education, and like any large public entity, higher education must have accountability and continually look for savings so that our universities and colleges are always striving to advance the mission of advancing students toward graduation.

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?
TL: The 5th Amendment protects American citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. As governor, I will make certain our constitutional rights are protected.

JF: How do you plan to hold state government accountable for spending, in light of the scandals we’ve seen over the past year?
TL: More transparency must occur with regards to state spending. As I stated in my answer to question #2, I have a detailed plan to hold unelected bureaucrats accountable. If my legislative budget reform plan had been in place the State Department of Health scandal could have been prevented or at least discovered much earlier.

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?
TL: As governor I will have a fiduciary duty as I represent the state in compact negotiations, and I will take that duty seriously. The state of Oklahoma and our Native American tribal partners have worked together for many years for the betterment of Oklahoma. A component of our partnership returns a portion of Native American gaming revenues to the state which I support, and as governor I will work with tribal leaders to also ensure our citizens are protected from social ills that can stem from excessive gambling. I will work to keep our partnership strong in the many other areas the tribes and state work together such as health care, economic development, education, public safety and transportation to name a few.

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?
TL: For seven years I served as Oklahoma’s Small Business Advocate. No candidate comes close to my record in recruiting, cultivating and supporting small businesses across Oklahoma. One opportunity Oklahoma must take advantage of is increasing exports of goods manufactured here to global markets. When elected governor, I will appoint the state’s first Secretary of International Trade whose sole responsibility will be to advance and advocate for the exportation of Oklahoma made products overseas. I am a proven leader on small business issues, and will continue to be as governor.

JF: One common concern I hear from people is a perception that you are timid and unwilling to take difficult stances on issues, or that you wait until it is “safe” before voicing your opinions on controversial measures. Specific examples are the pro-life and open-carry bills that Gov. Fallin vetoed, and the tax-hike fight of 2018 where legislative conservatives were virtually unassisted in their efforts to stand up for taxpayers. What do you say to those who have doubts about your political courage?
TL: I could not disagree more. Nobody in this race is as proven as I am, and nobody is as willing to take tough stances as I am. It is not rhetoric. It is fact. In 2017, I led the charge against Governor Fallin’s call for millions of dollars annually in new service taxes, and I publicly resigned from her cabinet due to my opposition. Secondly, I oppose all tax increases, and I adamantly and publicly opposed tax increases that were passed this past session. When constitutional carry legislation, SB 1212, was being debated, I publicly urged Oklahomans to contact the governor and request that she sign the bill. As Lt. Governor, I cast the tie-breaking vote to prevent the gross production tax from increasing from 1% to 7%. This is a fact. As a state senator, I led the override of former Governor Henry’s veto of pro-life legislation. This is a fact. I am a proven conservative with a record to back it up, and I will lead Oklahoma from day one as governor.

JF: As the primary approaches, what one thing do you want voters to remember about you as they go into the voting booth?
TL: I am a man of integrity with a deep faith who has a plan and is prepared to lead Oklahoma. I was born and raised in Enid. My wife, Monica, a public school teacher, and I have been married nearly 23 years and we have two wonderful children. I am a proven conservative who is ready to advance Oklahoma across many vital issues from my first day in office. I will not require on-the-job-training and I have the vital experience to lead Oklahoma as its next chief executive officer. Oklahoma must not gamble on hiring a CEO with no experience. A vote for Todd Lamb is a vote for true conservative leadership.

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I'd like to thank Todd 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 Todd Lamb and his campaign for Governor by visiting VoteToddLamb.com.

ADDITIONAL SURVEY POSTS:



  • Gary Jones 
  • Dan Fisher
  • Gary Richardson
  • Kevin Stitt
  • Todd Lamb 
  • Mick Cornett (coming at 4pm Friday)
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