By Holt, Kelly Taylor
The New American , Vol. 26, No. 6
The price of freedom is ...
If you know the ending of the above phrase, and you know that it means more than watching the nightly news or voting once every four years, you might be from Oklahoma. What in the Sooner State is going on? You should be mighty encouraged about some recent victories there in the cause of freedom.
Three organizations have made great headway by working to bring responsible government back to Oklahoma. Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC), Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise (OK-SAFE), and Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ are indeed making the influence of regular Oklahomans felt in the State House.
The effects in state government have been remarkable. Positive changes heavily influenced, if not caused, by these organizations have made many Oklahomans sit up and take notice. People in other states are noticing as well. Evidence of core values is showing up again in campaigns and in the offices of state government, and it is typically a more conservative individual who is an office holder. In the past three years, these groups have influenced the expansion of pro-life legislation in Oklahoma. In the past two, they've easily killed all attempts to control home schooling or further restrict rights to own or use firearms. There's a better quality lawmaker in the state. Better quality lawmakers like Randy Brogdon, State Senator and gubernatorial candidate; State Representatives Mike Ritze and Charles Key; and Senators Anthony Sykes and Bill Brown, just to name a few.
What have these conservative lawmakers done? The most remarkable accomplishment has been to stop enabling legislation for the NAFTA Superhighway. While it seems the No-Build decision in Texas has KO'd the road that would have run north and south from deep-water ports in Mexico throughout the United States and Canada, remember Charlie Brown's yearly battle with Lucy and the football. If Texas proceeds with the highway at a future date, Oklahoma is ready, and the road can't cross the Red River (the river forms a boundary between Texas and Oklahoma)! Last year, after 15 years of trying, Oklahoma was also able to rescind all previous calls for a constitutional convention (a constitutional convention would possess the power to rewrite our Constitution, regardless of the stated purpose for calling the convention in the first place)! Legislation was also passed to allow voting on a constitutional amendment establishing English as the language of Oklahoma, and tax cuts have been implemented.
But it doesn't end there. Two years ago, the state passed what were considered the toughest laws on illegal immigrants of any state in the Union. HB 1804, among other things, made it more difficult for illegal immigrants to work and receive services in Oklahoma, and made it easier for law enforcement to partner with ICE in deporting them. Currently, the law has passed, but parts of it are still unenforceable, tied up in lawsuits. The Sheriff of Tulsa County has cross-trained 30 deputies to work with ICE, and has now caught and deported 5,000 illegal immigrants. Charlie Meadows, chairman and founding member of OCPAC, thinks the number of these workers has stopped growing and stabilized in the state, but in Tulsa County, it has dropped!
Let's Do Lunch
How did they do it? Meadows, activist of the first degree, explained how the groups got started. "OCPAC began very spontaneously. The oldest of the three, OCPAC, began in 1991, as just a meeting of two men, me and one other, and has met every Wednesday but one for over 19 years. That was the year Christmas fell on a Wednesday! As others joined us, the group grew, essentially becoming a debating society. We began to develop a solid ideology and became more than could meet around one table, and then we moved toward a speaker format. We closed out 2009 with 217 dues-paying members and over 3,000 on the e-mail list. …