Editorial: Thursday night Republicans gathered in precinct meetings to form again Oklahoma’s GOP. From the precinct meetings; delegates are selected to the country, district and state conventions. Multiple reports from those meetings suggest the Oklahoma Republican Party is in full revolt against Governor Mary Fallin’s recent and stunningly anti-Republican tax proposal. Multiple Party Platform planks have been submitted demanding opposition to the proposal and likely candidates for governor have reacted with great public distain.
Most dramatically Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, an unannounced candidate for governor in 2018, resigned from Gov. Fallin’s cabinet.
A previously failed independent (now Republican) candidate for the office, Tulsa Attorney Gary Richardson, produced video ridicule of the proposal.
Oklahoma Democrats whined – pitifully.
Lamb served as the state’s Small Business Advocate in Fallin’s cabinet and he will remain lieutenant governor. His primary public focus has been economic development and business recruitment.
“(Lamb’s) decision to resign was made after yesterday’s cabinet meeting in which Gov. Fallin maintained her support for taxing 164 services affecting every Oklahoma small business and family,” Lamb’s Chief of Staff Keith Beall noted in a news release.
“This proposal will adversely harm Oklahoma’s small businesses and families, especially those in our service industry. While Gov. Fallin and I have disagreed on issues from time to time, our differences on this important topic are so significant they preclude me from continuing to serve on her cabinet,” Lamb wrote.
In an emailed statement to the Oklahoman, Gov. Fallin said she was disappointed and surprised by Lamb’s decision but praised his “independent voice,” saying there will always be a seat for him at the table.
Given Fallin’s betrayal of lower tax principles dear to all Republicans, maybe Gov. Fallin will set that table up in another state after burning the OK GOP. Democrats have hated Fallin her entire career so “maybe California is the place she ought to be” to utilize the line from the classic TV show, The Beverly Hillbillies.
House Minority Leader Scott Inman, (D-Del City) who is also considering a run for governor, said Oklahoma is in the midst of a leadership crisis.
“Today I guess the question needs to be posed to Lt. Gov. Lamb: If he’s going to abandon the governor and he’s not going to stand with the Speaker of the House or the (Senate leader), what’s his plan?” said Inman. “If he doesn’t want to raise taxes on middle-class families like the governor, then it’s time for him to step up and show leadership and demonstrate to all of us what he really wants to do.”
Inman said Democrats want to index the gross production tax to the price of oil, reverse the state’s recent income tax cuts, eliminate more tax incentives and accept $900 million in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
Gary Richardson’s video is posted to his Facebook Page and includes the line, “Yep, she’s wanting to tax Dora the Explorer!” Click here to reach Richardson’s video.
Common questions among those attending Tulsa GOP precinct meetings include, “What was Fallin thinking? Was she thinking? Who might be doing her thinking? Has she always been an elitist taxing fool in disguise? Did we ever know her?” Or, simply, “WTF?”
Some suggest this surprise divorce from foundational conservative principle may be the reason she was not selected for Donald J. Trump’s administration. Maybe President Trump drilled down beyond rhetoric to find a lack of conservative populist bedrock in OK Governor Mary Fallin.