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Tuesday, February 21st, 2017Last Update: Friday, February 3rd, 2017 01:39:14 PM

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Constitution Staff

The Oklahoma Constitution thanks you for your interest. We publish four issues per year. Each issue of The Constitution is filled with articles concerning the political happenings that have an effect on all of our lives. In addition to these articles, The Constitution contains columns from many of Oklahoma's elected officials and exciting editorials from our staff of writers. Each summer The Constitution releases its conservative index, grading state legislators on their performance in the previous session. If you would like to receive this valuable resource in your mail please mail the following address. ($15.00 per year)

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HISTORY OF THE NEWSPAPER

On a November night during the dark days of Jimmy Carter, four young conservatives met at an all-night restaurant in Oklahoma City and plotted a revolution. A peaceful transformation of the Oklahoma political landscape was the goal.

The 1978 elections had not gone well. The Republican candidate for governor had lost, the Oklahoma Legislature had barely more than twenty Republican members in the House of Representatives. Senator Dewey Bartlett had not sought reelection, battling the lung cancer that would soon kill him. Oklahoma's other U.S. Senator was Henry Bellmon, the Republican who had voted for forced bussing and had sided with President Carter's shameful giveaway of the Panama Canal.

Conservative political philosophy was looked upon with disdain even by the Republican Establishment. The state chairman of the Republican Party had supported Gerald Ford over Ronald Reagan. Mickey Edwards was the lone Republican representing our state in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As grim as things looked, the four decided to fight. They vowed to launch a conservative newspaper, which they chose to entitle The Oklahoma Constitution.

Alas, of the four, only one (Ron McWhirter) is still with the newspaper. Your present editor (Steve Byas) joined within the first year of publication.

But the idea conceived in the dark of night did not die. An Oklahoma Conservative Index was the planned cornerstone of the effort to change the direction of Oklahoma politics through a conservative newspaper.

One of the first legislators ever rated by the Index was state Sen. Don Nickles, who won a U.S. Senate seat in the first election after the paper's creation. In our first year, Nickles boldly wrote an article favoring nuclear power. As the Index began to expose the liberal voting records of many state legislators, the Republicans trended more conservative and have now taken control of the State Senate for the first time in state history. Republicans won the House of Representatives only recently, for the second time in state history, having controlled the lower house only two years following the 1920 Harding landslide. Republican gubernatorial candidates have won three of the past six election contests since the paper was created.

Some have not liked our efforts, including some Republicans with suspect conservative credentials. We sincerely believe that our presence in Oklahoma has made a positive difference, thanks to a dedicated and loyal readership. Others have tried, in vain, to imitate us as "Oklahoma's Conservative Voice," but they now live in the ash heap of history.

If you would like to help extend the reach and influence of the Oklahoma Constitution, please subcribe and buy some gift subscriptions for all those who could benefit from our unique political perspective.

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