Friday, November 04, 2016

Oklahoma delegation, top Republicans on state questions

With the election days away, some of Oklahoma's congressional delegation and top Republicans have weighed in on the various state questions on the ballot. Here's the list I've been able to find or obtain. If you are aware of a position that I have missed, let me know.

I reached out to the following officials (and others who did not respond) and specifically requested comments on SQ777 and SQ779, and received some additional input on SQ790. No one took a public position on the other state questions.

SQ777 - "Right to Farm"

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe: Supports, featured in ad for 'Yes' campaign
Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn: Supports, featured in ad for 'Yes' campaign
U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine: taking no position on SQ777, but sounded as if he leaned against it in a Nov. 1st KFAQ radio interview (starting at 34:50)
U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin: Supports SQ777 - Oct. 26th radio interview on KFAQ (starting at 10:55)
U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas: "Congressman Lucas intends to vote for SQ 777 (Right to Farm). While he doesn't believe that adoption of SQ 777 will have a radical impact on the agriculture industry in Oklahoma, he is concerned that if the question fails we will leave the door open for anti-ag and anti-farm groups to come in and push restrictive proposals to overregulate our industry, similar to what we’ve seen in other states."
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole: "Congressman Cole has a policy of not publicly commenting on state issues. He has cast his absentee ballot and voted on SQ777 like any Oklahoma voter, but he does not intend to release a public statement about any of the state questions."
U.S. Rep. Steve Russell: did not return my request for comments.
State House Speaker Jeff Hickman: Supports SQ777 - see response to our request.

SQ779 - sales tax increase for education

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine: Opposes SQ779 - Nov. 1st radio interview on KFAQ (starting around 16:45)
U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas: "Congressman Lucas usually doesn’t weigh in on state questions. SQ777 was an exception since he received so many requests due to his deep background in agriculture and his former role as chairman of the House Ag Committee."
Lieut. Gov. Todd Lamb: Opposes SQ779 - he spoke out against it as early as June, perhaps making him the first prominent opponent of the measure.

SQ790 - "Blaine Amendment" repeal

U.S. Sen. James Lankford: "Yes on SQ790 for religious liberty." Spoke in favor of the measure at a recent event with Oklahoma pastors, and co-wrote an op-ed with Lt. Gov. Lamb.
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb: Supports featured in TV ad, and co-wrote an op-ed with Sen. Lankford.


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