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Oklahoma sovereignty measure draws interest

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT, CHRIS CASTEEL and JULIE BISBEE Modified: May 7, 2009 at 8:23 am •  Published: May 7, 2009
State Rep. Charles Key says his resolution seeking to declare Oklahoma’s sovereignty is touching a nerve with people across the country.

"I’m getting flooded with e-mails, phone calls, requests for interviews,” Key said Wednesday after an article in The Oklahoman about his efforts to reign in federal spending and mandates was picked up on a national Web site.

Key, R-Oklahoma City, said he is scheduled to appear on three radio talk shows today, and he’s booked to be interviewed Saturday on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s cable TV program.

"It tells me that there’s a strong feeling about how far we’ve gone over a long period of time,” Key said. "I don’t think it really has to do with our current president or the Democrats taking over in Congress. That probably has caused a lot of people to feel more concerned about how big the federal government has gotten and how much it has intruded.”

The frustration has been growing since the early months of the George W. Bush administration in 2001, Key said. Republicans and others have expressed concerns over the growth of the federal government, increased federal spending and programs easing government access to personal information.

Key’s proposal, House Concurrent Resolution 1028, passed the House on Monday, just 10 days after Gov. Brad Henry vetoed a similar bill. It passed the House 73-22 and now goes to the Senate.

Henry vetoed Key’s earlier measure, House Joint Resolution 1003, because he said it suggested, among other things, that Oklahoma should return federal tax dollars. Unlike the earlier measure, HCR 1028 does not need the governor’s signature.

Key said HCR 1028, if passed, would be sent to President Barack Obama and Congress.

"I can appreciate the intent of the authors of this resolution to ensure that the federal government does not overrun our local governments.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa

"I’m glad to see the Oklahoma state Legislature stepping up to the plate to demand a change of course in Washington. This is a fight I am waging every single day.”

Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa

"I applaud the Oklahoma state Legislature for demanding the federal government halt their continued interference in the private markets at the expense of American taxpayers. Since convening this session, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama have overstepped their constitutional authority and wasted hundreds of billions of dollars bailing out one failed company after another with almost nothing to show.”

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne

"The resolution passed by the state Legislature is an extension of the frustration felt by many Oklahomans over unwanted federal intrusion. In the first few months of this year, the Obama administration and the leaders of this Congress have presided over an unprecedented growth in the power and scope of the federal government.” Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Oklahoma City


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