Dear Speaker-elect Kris Steele,
I want to thank you for giving the Republican caucus advanced notice of your proposed newspaper editorial and for inviting us to contact you with any questions we have regarding your vision for the next legislative session.
I couldn’t help but notice that your editorial didn’t address the issue of Arizona style illegal immigration reform or commit to supporting open-carry gun rights legislation. As you are aware, these two issues are of great importance not only to conservative members of our caucus but also to a vast majority of the citizens of Oklahoma. As you may know over 80 percent of Oklahomans support Arizona style immigration reform and many of us have made specific promises to advance that measure as well as open-carry legislation.
Republicans must govern like we campaigned. We are obligated to make a good-faith effort to ensure our votes are consistent with our rhetoric. Conservative grass-roots organizations expect our agenda to reflect the promises we made to gain their support.
Your recent comments have generated a great deal of outrage and confusion. Members of our caucus have privately questioned whether you are too liberal to lead our House. Members of the state’s largest conservative grass-roots organization (OCPAC) are considering picketing our caucus retreat. Constituents from my own party have promised to field a primary opponent against me if I should give you my vote.
The caucus, the public, and our grass-roots supporters deserve an honest, direct, and unambiguous explanation of your legislative agenda. We need to be assured that your priorities reflect the priorities of the rest of the House Republicans.
Therefore, I respectfully request that you specifically, publicly, and unambiguously answer the following questions:
1. Do you support and will you help advance Arizona style illegal immigration reform?
2. Do you support and will you help advance open-carry gun rights legislation?
Hopefully your response will ease the tensions that have existed since your previous comments were made.
Thank you and I look forward to your response,
Representative Mike Christian