By: Constitution Staff
The Oklahoma Constitution presents the 41st annual Oklahoma Conservative Index, rating our state legislators. Members of each house of the Oklahoma Legislature were rated on ten key votes. A favorable vote on these issues represents a belief in conservative principles.
After taking suggestions from conservative leaders, the staff of the Oklahoma Constitution submitted proposed bills to a vote of the membership of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC) to determine the ten key votes. The legislators were rated based on their votes on bills which included such issues as protecting free speech, protecting the right to keep and bear arms, protecting life, obstructing overbearing government regulations, against subsidizing businesses, and in opposition to revisionist history.
The average score this year was 48% in the House and 61% in the Senate. The Top Conservative and Top Liberal legislators were selected by their scores on the Index. Making the Top Conservatives list were 29 lawmakers who scored 80% or more. On the Top Liberals list were 31 lawmakers scoring 20% or less.
Four legislators, two in the House and two in the Senate, scored a perfect 100% conservative rating this year. House members scoring 100% were Tom Gann of Inola, and Jim Olsen of Roland. Senators scoring 100% were Mark Allen of Spiro, and Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow.
The next highest score was 93%, made by Representative Kevin West of Moore. Also scoring 93% were Senators Marty Quinn of Claremore, and Gary Stanislawski of Tulsa. Scoring 90% were House members Denise Crosswhite of Yukon, Tommy Hardin of Madill, Mark Lepak of Claremore, and Sean Roberts of Hominy.
One legislator, Sen. Joe Newhouse of Broken Arrow, score 86 percent. Two House members, Chad Caldwell of Enid, and Rande Worthen of Lawton, scored 83 percent. Also scoring 83% were Senators Larry Boggs of Red Oak, Julie Daniels of Bartlesville, and Casey Murdock of Felt.
Completing the list of Top Conservatives were 13 legislators who scored 80 percent. House members scoring 80% were Rhonda Baker of Yukon, Justin Humphrey of Lane, Mike Sanders of Kingfisher, Jay Steagall of Yukon, and Zack Taylor of Seminole. Senate members scoring 80% were Michael Bergstrom of Adair, David Bullard of Durant, John Haste of Broken Arrow, John Montgomery of Lawton, Roland Pederson of Burlington, Dewayne Pemberton of Muskogee, Wayne Shaw of Grove, and Darrell Weaver of Moore.
A large number of legislators scored zero conservative this year, including the Minority (Democrat) Leaders in both chambers. Thirteen representatives and three senators took the liberal position on all ten bills included on this year’s Oklahoma Conservative Index. Members of the House scoring zero were Kelly Albright of Midwest City, Merleyn Bell of Norman, Forrest Bennett of Oklahoma City, Chelsey Branham of Edmond, Mickey Dollens of Oklahoma City, Monroe Nichols of Tulsa, Melissa Provenzano of Tulsa, Trish Ranson of Stillwater, Jacob Rosecrants of Norman, Shane Stone of Oklahoma City, Emily Virgin of Norman (House Minority Leader), John Waldron of Tulsa, and Collin Walke of Oklahoma City. Members of the Senate scoring zero were Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City (Senate Minority Leader), Julia Kirt of Oklahoma City, and Kevin Matthews of Tulsa.
The next lowest score was 3% made by four representatives: Denise Brewer of Tulsa, Regina Goodwin of Tulsa, Jason Lowe of Oklahoma City, and Cyndi Munson of Oklahoma City. Two other representatives, Meloyde Blancett of Tulsa and Jason Dunnington of Oklahoma City, scored 6 percent. Three members of the House scored 10 percent, including Andy Fugate of Oklahoma City, Ben Loring of Miami, and David Perryman of Chickasha. Also scoring 10% were Senators Mary Boren of Norman, Michael Brooks of Oklahoma City, Carri Hicks of Oklahoma City, and George Young of Oklahoma City. One legislator, Rep. Ajay Pittman of Oklahoma City, received a 15% score. It is worthy of note that she missed five of the ten votes and voted liberal on the other five. Completing the Top Liberals list was one legislator, Rep. John Talley of Stillwater, who scored 20 percent.
A description of the bills used for this year’s ratings, a list of all the legislators with their vote on each of the ten bills, their score for this year, and their Cumulative Average which includes scores from any previous years served, is found in the center section of our print edition. It is also available by clicking the box labeled “How Conservative is your legislator?” in the upper right corner of our home page at: www.oklahomaconstitution.com
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