Monday, November 29, 2010

Murphey: Steele Remarks Started 'A firestorm'

Republican Rep. Jason Murphey of Guthrie says House Speaker-elect Kris Steele started "a firestorm within the House Republican caucus" with an interview in which he outlined his agenda for the 2011 session.

Steele was quoted as saying he wants to place emphasis on economic and business issues rather than "frivolous distractions," which apparently includes social issues.

That brought an immediate broadside from Rep. Randy Terrill of Moore, who called last week on Steele to repudiate the remarks. Terrill said the issues Steele apparently wants to deemphasize are the very issues that helped elect a full slate of statewide GOP officials as well as more GOP legislators.

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Murphey joined the criticism with remarks on his blog, "The article indicated that Steele and other Republican leaders want to place an emphasis on economic issues while reducing focus from frivolous distractions such as the defense of traditional values, immigration reform, second amendment issues, and presumably the related states’ rights legislation," Murphey wrote.

"Since when have Republicans considered traditional values issues to be frivolous?" he asked. "Until now, this type of rhetoric has been used by the Democrats to demonize traditional values legislation and the courageous legislators who advanced it. To have this attitude now being seemingly being endorsed by our own Speaker of the House is devastating.

"A follow-up article indicated that one of the issues on which Steele does want us to focus is his proposal to allow government entities to regulate smoking within privately owned businesses. Very few voters voted for the Republicans in order to empower Republicans to allow government to get bigger. It was a shock to realize that our leadership would seem to suggest that we should not focus on the issues which have defined our party but instead should consider allowing government regulation to expand.

"Republicans were elected to head up both the legislative and executive branches of state government for first time in state history because the people of Oklahoma desperately want state government to stand up to the federal government," Murphey added. "Oklahomans want us to assert our rights under the tenth amendment, stop the insanity being propagated in Washington DC, roll back mountains of government waste and inefficiencies which generations of Democrat office holders allowed to become institutions of state government and which are costing Oklahoma taxpayers so much money in waste, shrink the state tax code so that Oklahoma can compete with states who do not have an income tax for economic growth, defend against the assault on the traditional values which have made our nation great, and remove the government regulations which have built up over the years against our important freedoms such as our second amendment rights.

"Along with Oklahomans, I maintain that these issues are not frivolous distractions. Rather, they are the core principles which resulted in Republicans being elected to office.

"It appears these principles are now under an all-out assault and in the next few months it will be our responsibility as officer holders to stand up and defend them despite efforts by our leadership to do otherwise.

"This will be a fight to preserve honestly and integrity. Nearly every Republican campaigned for office on these principles (especially those who represent rural areas where traditional values are extremely important).

"It is shocking to think that once elected, Republican office holders would break their word and abandon the principles espoused in their campaign materials simply because the powerful special interests in Oklahoma City view them as embarrassing frivolous distractions," Murphey wrote.

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