Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has been named Senate Legislator of the Year by the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC) in Oklahoma City.
Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, was named the House Legislator of the Year.
Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, was in second behind Dahm.
“Both of these men continually vote and lead based on principle and the rule of law, not what the majority wants or what is expedient at the time,” OCPAC President John Michener said in an e-mail to supporters.
OCPAC will formally present the awards at its annual banquet on February 16.
“Rep. Brumbaugh showed exemplary leadership and character this year by voting against the Popular Culture Museum which would have poured the pork into his own back yard,” Michener wrote. “Even so, he stuck to principle and did the right thing.”
Rep. Chuck Strohm, R-Tulsa, was named House Freshman of the Year. The runner-up was Rep. Travis Dunlap, R-Bartlesville.
“These two freshmen also showed great intestinal fortitude by voting against the pop-culture museum under immense pressure,” Michener said.
Sen. Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow, was named Senate Freshman of the Year, with Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Edmond, coming in second.
“Our members were very pleased with Senator Bice’s performance as a freshman legislator,” Michener wrote. “Many of us made the case that she should receive the Freshman of the Year award for voting against the Pop Culture Museum and for many other good votes last session. However, conservative leadership means more than right votes. I believe she would have won this award based on her voting record had she not come out on the same day as our vote to publically criticize the state GOP for its pithy and cogent comments on the debacle of federal welfare. Sen. Bice called the GOP commentary crass and offensive. She went on to say in a personal post that ‘we as a community must stand up to help those less fortunate.’ Yes, Senator Bice, but what do you mean by ‘we as a community?’
“Conservatives believe that family, churches, private individuals and nonprofit organizations should voluntarily care for the poor. It is the most efficient, the most effective and it is moral. Liberals, on the other hand, believe that government should force individuals to contribute to government programs through the threat of fines, financial ruin, jail time and violence.
“This is the model of humanistic communism which terrorizes and tyrannizes its people. It is inefficient because of bureaucracy. It is ineffective because it is impersonal and creates dependency. It is immoral because government must steal from other needy families in order to redistribute the plunder. It troubles me that so many Republicans like Senator Bice do not understand these basic tenets of Godly charity and the proper role of government.
“Sen. Bice’s comments demonstrated a lack of understanding of a core conservative principle and perhaps a temporary lack of character by attacking her own party. Her behavior in this episode cost her one of our top awards. Again, we were genuinely impressed by Sen. Bice’s good voting record. We hope she will become a team player, and we look forward to another year of good votes from her next year.”
Charlie’s Overall Conservative Award, named in honor of OCPAC founder and former president Charlie Meadows, goes to legislators who have served at least two years and have a lifetime average score of 90 or better.
Those honorees are Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore; Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow; Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie; Rep. Dan Fisher, R-El Reno; Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City; Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow; Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore; and Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City.
Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, was awarded Senate RINO (Republican In Name Only) of the Year.
“Sen. Sharp’s lifetime average on the Conservative Index is 63, but he managed to be looking up at that level this year with a paltry, or should I say poultry, score of 50,” Michener wrote. “This is what happens when you feed pork to chicken farmers.”
Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, was the RINO runnerup in the Senate. Holt recently came out in favor of eliminating primary run-offs.
Rep. Justin Wood, R-Shawnee, was House RINO of the Year and Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, came in second.