Thanks to term limits and retirement, Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa; Sen. Jim Halligan, R-Stillwater; and Sen. John Ford, R-Bartlesville, will no longer be in office after November.
These three are Republicans who claim to be conservative but have been some of the quickest to compromise on core principles and the Republican platform.
Not having done enough damage to the state, these three plan to start a “think tank” to promote “conservative fiscal policies.”
Halligan, the former president of Oklahoma State University, chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee and helped engineered enormous borrowing ($245,000,000.00 for State Capitol renovation, $50,000,000.00 for museums in Tulsa and Oklahoma City plus $200,000,000.00 for roads) to prevent budget cuts in light of a $1.3 billion budget shortfall.
How can Halligan give advice on conservative fiscal policies when he is devoted to growing government?
Ford, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, has killed a host of bills aimed at rescuing financing of public education through administrative consolidation.
Mazzei thinks his new group is needed because other grassroots groups that are genuinely conservative “lack the expertise” to handle these issues. (Translation: No one is as smart as these three and their buddies or as capable in making policies behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms).
Their “conservative fiscal policies” include stopping tax cuts and giving enormous raises to teachers (without cutting administration costs).
They want to re-educate those “ignorant” conservatives who think that lower taxes and a smaller, more efficient government are the way to prosperity.
The Chamber of Commerce, which loves liberal Democrats who register as Republicans and win elections, will undoubtedly support this pseudo-conservative “think tank.”
Maybe they will do less damage outside the Legislature.