Thus far in 2017, Oklahoma GOP politicians have worked hard to bring embarrassment to the GOP.

How have Oklahoma Republicans messed up? Let me count the ways.

1) State Rep. Dan Kirby resigned after the Oklahoma House of Representatives’ Special Investigation Committee recommended that he be expelled from the House of Representatives for sexually harassing two legislative employees.

2) State Rep. John Bennett insisted that Oklahoma Muslims fill out a questionnaire before he would let them meet with him. That questionnaire asked Muslims, “Do you beat your wife?”

3) State Sen. Ralph Shortey resigned after being charged with three felonies related to child prostitution.

4) State Sen. Kyle Loveless resigned after the Oklahoma County district attorney began investigating Loveless over possible embezzlement of campaign funds.

5) Then along came state Rep. Mike Ritze, who has made national news by promoting an outrageous idea.

A Tulsa World editorial explains the issue:

“Rep. Mike Ritze, long known as one of the most conservative Republicans in a very conservative, very Republican state House, has topped himself for dreadful ideas.

The Broken Arrow Republican suggested to KWTV in Oklahoma City last week that the state could save money by asking federal immigration authorities to consider deporting Oklahoma public school students who don’t speak English.

No, really. That’s what he said.”

Here is more from an AP story published by the Tulsa World:

“State Rep. Mike Ritze of Broken Arrow told News9 in an interview Wednesday that the newly created Republican Platform Caucus believes the state could save $60 million if it would identify what the caucus believes is 82,000 non-English-speaking students “and then turn them over to ICE” (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to determine if they are citizens.

. . . several Republican legislators, including members of the Republican Platform Caucus, quickly distanced themselves from Ritze’s comments.

“On this subject of deporting students, that is not a position that we support,” said Rep. Chuck Strohm, a Republican from Jenks and the co-chairman of the caucus, which he says has 15 to 20 members.

Strohm said the caucus discussed the additional financial burden that students who require additional English instruction create, but never the idea of reporting students to ICE.

“This caught many of us by surprise, because that’s not the direction that we talked about,” he said.

Oklahoma schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, a Republican, said Ritze’s suggestion is “utterly shameful.””

With seven more months left in 2017, there is still time for another Oklahoma Republican to embarrass the GOP.

Currently, the Oklahoma Bar Association is investigating EPA administrator Scott Pruitt in order to determine if he lied to Congress.

From the Tulsa World:

“An environmental organization and a University of Oklahoma law professor have filed a complaint with the Oklahoma Bar Association against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The complaint alleges Pruitt violated bar association rules by lying to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during his January confirmation hearing. Pruitt was Oklahoma attorney general at the time.

The Center for Biological Diversity and OU Professor Kristen van de Biezenbos say emails obtained by another organization through the Oklahoma Open Records Act show that Pruitt used a private email address to conduct business while Oklahoma attorney general.

Pruitt denied doing so while testifying to Congress.”

Sure, the expression honest politician is somewhat of an oxymoron, but must the Oklahoma GOP have so many morons?

David Robertson
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