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Oklahoma State Senate
President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-5636

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For Immediate Release: March 5, 2009

Majority Floor Leader Confused About Dem Priorities

Democrats in the State Senate spend a great deal of time and energy debating against one of their own legislative agenda items on the floor of the Senate, causing Majority Floor Leader Todd Lamb to scratch his head in dismay.

“I like to think I have a solid grasp on politics and the rhetoric that accompanies it, but if a political party places a legislative priority on a particular issue, you can usually count on members of that party debating in favor of it when it comes to the floor,” Lamb said. “But when Senator Mazzei brought up his legislation to phase out the sales tax on groceries, several members of the Democrat caucus debated vociferously against it.

In a news release entitled Senate Democratic Caucus Unveils Legislative Agenda, dated January 30, 2009, the Democrats made a point that one of their priorities was “Strengthening Oklahoma’s middle class.” (page 1)

Under Agenda Item 2 – Strengthen our Middle Class, with a subheading of Middle class tax cuts, (page 3), the Democrat news release reads as follows:
*If there are serious discussions about tax cuts we believe they should be limited to tax cuts that benefit the majority of Oklahoma’s population which fall in the middle class.
*Tax cuts like an increase in the standard deduction, an earned income tax credit or eliminating the sales tax on groceries are all tax cuts that help Oklahoma’s middle class the most and should be at the forefront of any discussion about the tax system in our state.

“Imagine my surprise yesterday when I heard respected members of the Democrat Senate debating against one of their own legislative agenda items,” Lamb said. “Now they’re debating against themselves on their own agenda bills. We’re all about letting our members vote their consciences, but when a leader of a caucus stands up in a news conference promoting an agenda, then debates and votes against it on the floor, they’re now venturing into hypocrisy.

“The minority party needs to decide what they stand for,” Lamb continued. It’s one thing to press release your support for the middle class, and quite another to actually do something that benefits the middle class. The minority party is trying to have it both ways.

“After 101 years of almost unfettered Democrat control, Republicans finally have a voice, and will not send mixed messages to those who elected us. We will offer real reform that will benefit all Oklahomans, regardless of party, race, or economic status,” Lamb concluded.

For more information contact:
Sen. Lamb's Office: 405-521-5632

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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