Thursday, November 02, 2023

OKGOP infighting over Vice Chair's legislative scorecard


As a former county GOP officer and state executive committee member, I used to be pretty plugged in to the goings-on in OKGOP activist circles (I've taken a step back in recent years for family and committment reasons). The last several election cycles have seen a lot of turmoil inside the OKGOP, with a revolving door of chairmen leaving the party is rather fragile state, financial-wise and in effectiveness.

Ultra-conservative (I mean that in the most positive of ways) State Sen. Nathan Dahm won a hotly contested state chair race earlier this year, and there was some thought that his surprise election could see something of a reuniting of various divisions among the grassroots activists. Apparently not. New Vice Chairman Wayne Hill seems to be the point man for one of the factions, and sent out a legislative scorecard last week that some got the impression was officially from the Oklahoma Republican Party.

Dahm and the chairs of the Tulsa and Oklahoma county parties have each issued statements slamming the scorecard as "fraudulent" and "unauthorized". Read on:


A Message from Our OKGOP Chairman

A few days ago Vice Chairman, Wayne Hill, released an alleged “scorecard” proposing to rank Oklahoma’s Legislators based on the party platform. Much detail will be provided in this email, however I feel it incumbent to start by making it abundantly clear: this “scorecard” is in no way associated with the OKGOP, it was not authorized by the OKGOP, & the Vice Chairman has absolutely no authority from the OKGOP to create any such scoring system. 

To reiterate: the OKGOP condemns this “scorecard” & especially the fraudulent attempts by Vice Chairman Hill to present this as being in any way associated with the OKGOP. 

For additional context, there has been a shadow faction within the Oklahoma Republican Party consistently working to undermine the proper role & functions of our OKGOP. It began immediately after the May convention, in which you all resoundingly elected me to serve as your Chairman, when this shadow faction failed to elect their figurehead as Chairman in the hopes that their candidate for Vice Chair would become the de facto Chairman. 

The role of the Vice Chair is clear in the OKGOP rules: “The Vice Chairman shall aid and assist the Chairman”. Nowhere do the rules provide that the role of the Vice Chair is to create a “scorecard”. The role is similar to being Vice President, where you serve the leader, in furtherance of the party, and only step in when the Chair has vacated or is unable otherwise to fulfill the position. Clearly, this, under my stead, has never occurred. Additionally the Vice Chair doesn’t get to create its own roles such as claiming the solitary goal of holding elected officials accountable. While this is a worthy and important goal, it is a role belonging to you, the voter. The role of the Republican Party is to register Republicans, drive Republican turnout, & to elect Republicans over Democrats. Those that don’t like, understand, or can’t comprehend that goal, are more than welcome to, and can, participate in any number of other organizations serving other purposes meeting their needs. 

While this shadow faction seems intent on causing disruptions, distractions, & constant negativity, the OKGOP continues to focus on the mission of electing Republicans, defeating Democrats, & bettering the State of Oklahoma. While the disruptions & distractions from this group indeed cost available time, money, donations, resources, & efforts by requiring the OKGOP to deal with their attempts to destroy the party from within, we have made the conscious choice to deal with the matters internally, until now, choosing not to grant them any credence or allow them to garner unnecessary red-herring attention from the public. 

Unfortunately, this newest destructive attempt was conducted in such an extremely public manner that it now requires a public response. Thus, we once again unequivocally state that this attempt to present such a “scorecard” as anything connected to the OKGOP is entirely false. The OKGOP condemns the scorecard, those involved in its creation (especially since they have done so anonymously while at the same time hypocritically condemning others for sending anonymous emails), and those who would continue working with this group in support of their attempts to divide the party when we have greater common enemies to confront. 

The OKGOP will continue choosing to focus on the role & priorities of the Republican Party. All Republicans are welcome to join us in those goals to build the Party & save our Republic. To those who have been participating with this shadow faction, we encourage you to realize that building something together is a greater way forward rather than constantly focusing on negativity and attempts to destroy as has consistently resulted from the “efforts” of this shadow faction. 

We understand there are those who are bitter after having lost their own campaigns. We understand people are upset, frustrated, & passionate, but emotion alone is no substitute for actually being informed when making decisions. We are a party of rules & principles. And the OKGOP will continue to follow those rules & principles while working to serve the over 1 million Republicans in Oklahoma. When we work together, we’re unstoppable, yet a house divided against itself cannot stand.

We invite you to join us. The Presidential Election is barely over 1 year away. We CAN unite behind our common cause, or the shadow faction can continue to attempt to cause division & destruction in their attempts to try to burn everything down. They can continue using Democrat tactics in their echo chamber where they accuse others of being RINOs & puppets simply for disagreeing with them (while they ironically suggest that others are the ones employing those tactics in an echo chamber). Either way the OKGOP will focus on the priorities before us, putting out the fires caused by others like this shadow faction will be done in the time, place, & manner of our choosing in order to ensure that it doesn’t take us away from the actual important work before us. 

For the People,

Nathan Dahm
OKGOP Chairman


Statement from TCGOP Regarding Bogus Legislative Scorecard

The voice of the People, the vote we each cast, is the result of a formed bond or relationship, a mutual vested interest in the respective representation we seek in our elected representatives; rarely do we ever get it wrong. To that end, your Tulsa County Republican Party stands with each of our elected Conservative Republicans as we work together on behalf of the great people of Oklahoma.

This is in response to a Legislative scorecard published by Wayne Hill, under the title of OKGOP Vice Chairman. Wayne is also a leader of OK Grassroots (shadow faction within the Oklahoma Republican Party), OKGOP Action Team (shadow faction within the Oklahoma Republican Party), and Chapter Co-Ordinator for OK2A. This Legislative Scorecard was not authorized or approved by anyone within the OKGOP or Republican Party of Tulsa County leadership. This was a rogue action. Let us be abundantly clear; neither the Oklahoma Republican Party nor the Tulsa County Republican Party had any advanced knowledge, gave any consent or expressed any interest in the creation of such a scorecard. We condemn this action, the subsequent damages associated with such malicious conduct and hope they will, in good faith, retract their baseless claims against our elected officials. 

Our objectives are clear, help get good Conservative Republicans elected to office and defeat the left-wing agenda. The creation of a “legislative scorecard” based on criteria that supposedly mirrors the OKGOP platform is not the job of any one special interest group. We, in general, get very exhausted of such special interest groups believing they have a claim or right to railroad our Legislators to vote or act in any way that only serves their interest. The voice of their constituency is the barometer by which they should all be measured and whom they should follow. If the constituency doesn’t feel represented, they will use their ballot to make a different decision.

Some of you have reached out, inquiring about this “shadow party” and other entities usurping the OKGOP title. Know this, all our conservative clubs and organizations can be located on our Tulsa GOP website. Anyone using OKGOP or Tulsa GOP in their name or part of any action network may not be officially affiliated with your respective Republican Party. Furthermore, the majority of your Tulsa Republican Party leadership team frequents the meetings/events held by the legitimate organizations. If you aren’t certain about an organization, please don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification. Our goal in growing the party and expanding our reach cannot be achieved if we’re working against one another.

The 2024 election season is rapidly approaching. The task at hand is enormous and one that requires us to be laser focused and unified in our efforts and messaging. The timing of this “scorecard” could not have been worse, however, we truly hope and believe the majority of the people, the voters of these elected officials, will see through this malicious fa├žade created by Wayne Hill and associates. We must rebuke and condemn this outrageous act. As Legislators “cancel” their association from organizations and endorsement lists, surely, these groups will realize the importance placed on relationships and how precious they truly are. Our elected officials can certainly handle many arrows, but when you grade them, and rank them (unwarranted) with the most liberal of Democratic representatives, you have done the unthinkable!

Your Tulsa County Republican Party is here to serve you, propel forward the conservative agenda and help get great Conservative Republicans elected to office. Please know there is a place for you here in our ever-growing conservative community and we welcome you. We stand with our elected representatives and will fight against anyone seeking to destroy our democratic republic.

Ronda Vuillemont-Smith
Tulsa County Republican Party Chair

IMPORTANT NEWS

You may have seen a new Republican platform scorecard for Oklahoma Legislators.  This ‘scorecard’ was produced by State GOP Vice-Chair Wayne Hill in conjunction with a group called, “Oklahoma Grassroots”.  You may search the name of this group via the internet to gather your own intelligence.  I’m going to neglect to link it here because this scorecard was NOT AUTHORIZED OR ENDORSED BY THE STATE GOP yet it’s prominently posted on their home page.

Oklahoma County neither requested nor participated in the generation of this Scorecard.  In fact, OK County prepares our own Scorecard for our own OK county legislators, and it tells a completely different story.  You can reference ours here. If you haven't already, please read what Chairman Nathan Dahm said in response to this 'scorecard' here [also posted above].

The public is told that the Oklahoma Grassroots ‘scorecard’ was created using the 2023 Oklahoma Republican Platform, however, it produced extremely low scores for many of our best conservative legislators.  So low that it almost appears as though it was intended to make Oklahoma conservatives look bad. Here are a couple examples to illustrate my point:

  • State House Representative Denise Crosswhite Hader:  OK County’s scorecard shows her with a 91% conservative voting record.  In contrast, the Oklahoma Grassroots ‘scorecard’ provides Hader a 53% conservative voting record.
  • State House Representative Eric Roberts:  OK County’s scorecard shows him with a 100% conservative voting record, while Oklahoma Grassroots scores Roberts at 32% - and here’s the kicker – the Oklahoma Grassroots scorecard gives George Young (a very liberal Oklahoma Senate Democrat) a 37% rating.
  • Oklahoma Senator and elected State GOP Chair, Nathan Dahm, received an 84%, yet this ‘scorecard’ was neither authorized, nor endorsed by Oklahoma’s highest GOP office. The elected leadership and grassroots Republicans in OK County have spent our years of service working closely with our elected legislators to build confidence and trust through our relationships.  While every Conservative in the Republican grassroots wants our elected legislators to follow our grassroots-created county (and state) platform, we know that the relationship we build with our legislators will always produce more fruitful results than a number on a scorecard – which in the case of the Oklahoma Grassroots ‘scorecard’ particularly – can be used by nefarious groups wanting to undermine conservative legislators and send them packing as they did in 2018.

[...]

Finally, we are encouraging all of our legislators in Oklahoma County to support Chairman Nathan Dahm. We want to all work together for the sake of the GOP and our upcoming elections. This may just be the most critical time in the history of our nation.  A house divided cannot stand. 

Ken Warner
Chairman OK COUNTY GOP 

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