Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Constitution's Editor Responds To Gerhart

Steve Byas
 Earlier this week. we reported on Al Gerhart's attacks on the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee's leader, Charlie Meadows, and The Oklahoma Constitution newspaper, which annually publishes a rating of all members of the House and Senate.

Gerhart, using his Sooner Tea Party newsletter, criticized Meadows and The Constitution, leading some to conclude there's a rift in the ultra-conservative ranks.

Today, The Consitution's respected editor, Steve Byas, responded to Gerhart's criticism: "I think that Gerhart is consumed by his own self-importance. One of the frustrating things for me the past few years is the tendency of some folks to call the Conservative Index the OCPAC Conservative Index. Of course, it is not. We use them as judges, and they no more own the Index than Perez Hilton owns the Miss USA pageant. Charlie Meadows certainly does not pick the issues used. He can make suggestions, as do others, including legislators. However, Ron (McWhirter) and I decide which issues to submit to the group for a vote, to narrow it down to 10. We also reserve the right to modify things, or take it back from OCPAC's input altogether. For example, we strive to have a broad range of issues, and not let the Index be overloaded with one type of issue. Generally, the final ten votes are the top ten of the OCPAC vote, but we might put #11 into the Index, if #10 is an issue that has already been covered by another issue in the Index.

"We try very hard to have an accurate Index, an Index that truly represents the broad range of conservative principles. Obviously, we don't have anything on foreign policy or national defense, because these are STATE issues on our Index."

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