“Messaging” Matters, So Do Facts
As chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, Rep. Leslie Osborn was one of the legislature’s budget negotiators earlier this year. She used that position to make the case for a litany of tax increases, claiming that Oklahomans are “tired of us doing things the way we’ve always done them.” This begs the question: what has the state been doing?
As one of the most conservative states when it comes to election results, some might assume that the Oklahoma legislature continually cuts taxes. In fact, the state ranks 36th in per capita tax collections. A study shows that Oklahoma historically has had an above average tax burden compared to the rest of the nation. While there have been some state tax cuts, Jonathan Small has shown that the legislature has also increased revenue.
Despite changes in tax laws and fluctuations in revenue, what has remained constant year after year has been the increase in state government spending. According to the data from Oklahoma’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), state government has increased spending in 22 of the last 23 years. Despite recessions in 2008 and 2015, when many Oklahoma families had to make tough choices, Oklahoma government continued to spend.
During the same interview Leslie Osborn said that “more than ever the message and the meaning is going to matter more.” Message matters, but it is imperative they be not only sincere, but also based on facts. Oklahoma government has been growing, not shrinking. People might question the priorities in the budget or in how agencies spend money, but the total burden on Oklahomans is higher than ever.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court opinion striking down SB 845 states “by strictly limiting the Legislature’s ability to enact laws that generate additional revenue—the people’s preference that when revenues shrink, so too does their government.” This is the people’s will as expressed in the Oklahoma Constitution. Maybe the state should try doing things this way?
Denise Crosswhite Hader Seeks Oklahoma House District 41 Seat
Denise Crosswhite Hader, Republican, officially announced her candidacy for Oklahoma House District 41 for the 2018 election cycle. District 41 is currently represented by John Enns. District 41 includes all of Piedmont, Surrey Hills, Waukomis, Drummond, Lahoma, Carrier, Hillsdale, Bison, and portions of Enid, Cashion, Deer Creek, and Oklahoma City.
Crosswhite Hader has had a passion for impacting public policy her entire life. Having learned governmental and legislative processes as a Congressional Field Representative, a Legislative Liaison to Former Labor Commissioner, Mark Costello, and as a House staff member at the Oklahoma State Capitol; Denise will hit the ground running to rein in out of control government programs and focus on the core functions that state government should provide. Crosswhite Hader served on the Tinker Bond oversight committee which provided enhancements to the base to protect our state’s largest employer against BRAC closure. Her legislative priorities are transportation infrastructure, military, public safety, corrections, and giving more freedom and local control to public education.
Congressman Jim Bridenstine Nominated to Lead NASA
Washington, DC, September 5, 2017 — Congressman Jim Bridenstine: “It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as NASA Administrator. I am humbled by this opportunity, and I thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. Should I be confirmed by the United States Senate, I will work with all diligence to achieve the President’s vision for America’s leadership in space.”
Jim Bridenstine served as a U.S. Navy pilot on active duty for nine years, followed by four years in the Navy Reserve where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In 2015 he transitioned to the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He was elected to Congress in 2012 and serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. In 2016 he introduced the American Space Renaissance Act. Bridenstine lives in Tulsa, OK with his wife Michelle and their three children. For a full bio, please click here.
Following the Trump administration’s announcement that the President was nominating Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine as NASA Administrator, Oklahoma politicians are beginning to comment.
Sen. Jim Inhofe: “I am pleased President Trump has announced his intent to name Jim Bridenstine as NASA Administrator today. As the former administrator of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium, Jim Bridenstine’s lifelong passion for space, combined with his work in Congress on modernizing our nation’s space program will serve him well at NASA. I look forward to working with my fellow Oklahoman in this new capacity.”
Sen. James Lankford: “Rep. Jim Bridenstine has served his nation as a Navy Pilot and as a US Representative specializing in satellite innovation. His background in aviation and space, coupled with his commitment to fiscal responsibility make him an excellent choice for NASA Administrator.”
State Sen. Nathan Dahm (one of the several Republicans running to succeed Bridenstine):
Senator Nathan Dahm Comments on Bridenstine NASA Appointment
Broken Arrow—Senator Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) congratulated Congressman Jim Bridenstine Friday on his presidential appointment to NASA administrator. Bridenstine previously served as executive director of the Tulsa Air & Space Museum & Planetarium before being elected to Congress.
Dahm says Bridenstine’s new role at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will not only positively impact the nation, but also be beneficial to the city of Tulsa with its large aerospace industry.
“Congressman Bridenstine has served Oklahoma well the past five years,” said Dahm. “He has set the bar high for whomever follows him in the First Congressional District seat, but I know he will continue to serve this state and nation with integrity in his new position.”
Upon Bridenstine’s promotion, the First Congressional District seat becomes vacant. Dahm, a constitutional conservative, is running for Bridenstine’s seat.
For five years Dahm has served in the Oklahoma State Senate. His district encompasses Broken Arrow, Bixby, and Tulsa. During his time in the Senate, Dahm has been a champion for individual rights, including the right to life and the Second Amendment right to self-defense. He has fought for openness, transparency, and accountability in government.
If elected to serve as Oklahoma’s First District Congressman, Dahm promises to serve the people just as he has consistently done during his time in the Senate.
“I will continually fight to uphold the oath I have sworn to defend the Constitution, to protect our God-given rights, and to restore the balance of powers between the states and the federal government for limited government operating under Republican principles,” says Dahm.
President Trump has announced his nomination of Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine to serve as the new NASA Administrator. From the announcement this evening:James Bridensine of Oklahoma to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space …
Richardson Lays Blame of Car Sales Tax Increase on Lt. Governor Lamb
Tulsa, OK, August 31, 2017 – Gary Richardson today expressed his disappointment in the 5-4 decision upholding the Oklahoma Car Sales Tax. However, Richardson laid the responsibility of the tax increase squarely at the Lt. Governor, Todd Lamb for not doing his job as the President of the State Senate.
“I’m surprised that our State Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote can look at a law which brings millions more into the state coffers and say it doesn’t increase revenue,” said Richardson. “But what shouldn’t be lost with today’s decision is that our Lt. Governor, Todd Lamb, could have stopped this tax from becoming law in the first place.”
Governor Mary Fallin Statement on the Oklahoma Supreme Court Upholding Vehicle Sales Tax
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today issued the following statement after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the vehicle sales tax implemented this year is constitutional:
“I appreciate the Supreme Court ruling on this matter in an expeditious manner. This ruling provides us with clarity in dealing with this fiscal year’s budget. While pleased with today’s ruling, it’s important to keep in mind we must still deal with the immediate problem of the loss of $215 million from the earlier high court ruling that struck down the proposed smoking cessation fee. The $215 million represents just state funds, but with the loss of matching federal funds state agencies estimate the total is nearly $500 million.”
Congressman Jim Bridenstine with Jason and Jessica CariniRogers County Treasurer Jason Carini announced today that he has received the endorsement of Congressman Jim Bridenstine.”I am proud to endorse Jason Carini for re-election as Rogers County Treas…