From Representative Terrill:
It's a bit shameful that grass-roots supporters are forced to protest our caucus to get the House leadership to do the right thing. But let's be clear, it's only because of this protest that illegal immigration reform or gun rights bills even have a shot at getting heard.
We conservatives never asked for an "inordinate" amount of time for our agenda, nor did we suggest that jobs shouldn't be our first priority. But in the face of a leadership that agreed with the Chamber of Commerce's specious argument that "socially conservative legislation" was bad for job growth, and that wanted to pass NO "socially conservative legislation", we demanded that a few of the several hundred bills we hear this session be conservative oriented. After all, that is what we promised our constituents on the door step, and if we have time to hear bills that would ban smoking in private businesses, then surely we have time to hear bills on illegal immigration and gun rights.
Governor-elect Fallin's speech tonight made it plain that "she gets it", and is committed to governing like we campaigned. Tomorrow we will see if the House agenda for the coming session makes clear, specific and unambiguous commitments to hear the legislation we Republicans ran on. If so, the grass-roots folks who came out here to protest deserve all the credit.
From Representative Christian:
As House Republicans shared cheese and wine with their close friends from big business and the Chamber of Commerce, grass-root Republicans were shut out of the building and protesting in the cold winter air for the Republican Party to govern with the same agenda it campaigned on.
I was struck by what a perfect metaphor that was for Speaker-elect Steele’s leadership of the House of Representatives.
I hope someday we can have a Speaker that will bring the grass-roots people inside every now and then, and maybe just once let the Chamber stay out on the street.
Representative Mike Christian