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Outstanding Lawmakers and RINOs Named

By: Constitution Staff

On July 15, the members of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC) selected legislators to receive various awards for their performance in the 2015 session. The awards include "Legislator of the Year" and "Freshman of the Year," as well as the dreaded "RINO" (Republican In Name Only) award.

The nominations for the awards are based on the legislator's score on the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper's annual Conservative Index. OCPAC helps select the ten votes used in the Conservative Index to rate the legislators each year.

State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) was named "Senate Legislator of the Year." He scored a 100 percent conservative rating this year and his lifetime cumulative average is 97%. Senator Anthony Sykes (R-Moore) was runner-up. He scored 93 percent this year and his cumulative average is also 93 percent. Sen. Joe Silk (R-Broken Bow) scored 80 percent in this his first year in the Legislature and was named "Senate Freshman of the Year." The runner up was Stephanie Bice (R-Oklahoma City) who scored 90 percent. Sen. Bice possibly would have taken the top spot had she not joined liberal Democrats who criticized a state GOP post concerning food stamps.

State Representative David Brumbaugh (R-Broken Arrow) was voted "House Legislator of the year." He scored100 percent in the 2015 session, and has a cumulative average of 92 percent. Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) was runner up. Rep. Murphey had a 100 percent score this year and his cumulative average is also 100 percent. He has scored 100 percent every year and was given the top award for the past six years, but the group decided to let someone else receive the top recognition this time.

The "House Freshman of the Year" was Rep. Chuck Strohm (R- Jenks) who scored 100 percent in this his first year in the Legislature. Representative Travis Dunlap (R-Bartlesville) was the runner up, also scoring 100% in his first year.

Every legislator who has completed at least two years of service and has a lifetime average of 90 or better receives the "Charlie's Overall Conservative" award. This award recognizes the hard work it takes to be consistently conservative and is named in honor of OCPAC founder Charlie Meadows who always wears overalls. The recipients are: Senators Anthony Sykes (R-Moore) and Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow), and Representatives Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie), Dan Fisher (R-El Reno), Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City), David Brumbaugh (R-Broken Arrow), Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore), and Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City).

The group also selected the "RINO" (Republican In Name Only) award recipients. The most liberal Republicans in each house are nominated for this dubious honor.

Senator Ron Sharp (R-Shawnee) was named the "Senate RINO of theYear" with a score of 50 percent. His lifetime cumulative average is 63 percent. The runner up for this year's Senate RINO award Senator David Holt (R-Oklahoma City) with a 60 percent score this year and his cumulative average is also 60 percent.

The "House RINO of theYear" was Rep. Justin Wood (R-Shawnee) who scored 50 percent this year and has a cumulative average of 71 percent. The runner up for the "House RINO of theYear" was Rep. Mike Christian (R-Oklahoma City) with a session score of 50 percent and a cumulative score of 63 percent. The group was very disappointed in the downward trend of the scores of these two legislators.

The award recipients will be formally recognized and presented with their awards at the next annual OCPAC Awards Banquet which will be announced later this year.

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