Each year, the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper issues a “conservative index” that rates state legislators based on 10 votes. The rating is then used by other groups.
The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee declares any Republican getting a score of 63 or less to be a “Republican in Name Only” nominee, or RINO. The challenge of accurately gauging conservatism based on just 10 votes out of hundreds cast is obvious. It’s not surprising the results sometimes raise eyebrows.
For instance, this year’s RINO nominees include Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City. That’s the same Ralph Shortey who once wanted schools to determine students’ residency status to identify the cost of educating illegal immigrants, who filed a bill allowing school personnel to carry a firearm and who sought judicial term limits.
Some might look at that record and conclude that Shortey is fairly conservative. But OCPAC says he’s a RINO. Who knew?