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Oklahoma Representative Lee Denney Files National Popular Vote Bill

LeeDenneyx175Apparently, there are some legislators who just don’t get the message.  During the 2014 session of the Oklahoma Legislature the Republican controlled Senate passed a bill that would have changed the way Oklahoma awards its electoral votes.  The bill would have added Oklahoma to the states that have already joined an interstate compact to award all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in a presidential election.  Several Oklahoma Senators accepted expenses-paid trips to Las Vegas and Miami before casting their votes.  The trips were paid for by a non-profit group called FairVote, which is pushing for the national popular vote to elect a president instead of the Electoral College.  After the passage of the Senate bill became public, the outrage and public response kept the Oklahoma House from even considering the bill.  Also, several House members who were scheduled to receive a free trip to St. Croix, funded by FairVote, cancelled their trips.  More detailed info on all this is in my blog post here.

And now, for the 2015 legislative session, we have another bill filed that will award Oklahoma’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.  House Bill 1686, filed by Rep. Lee Denney (R-33), was introduced on January 22nd and is currently scheduled for first reading on February 2nd.  Rep. Denney was in the legislature during the last session and should certainly be aware of the public furor over FairVote’s attempts to change the way Oklahoma awards electoral votes.  So why did she file this bill?  Does she not realize that in 2012, using the national popular vote method, Oklahoma’s seven electoral votes would have gone to Barack Obama, despite the fact that Mitt Romney won all 77 counties by a huge margin?

I called Rep. Denney’s office this morning to inquire if she has accepted any free trips or gifts from FairVote or any other organization interested in the electoral vote process.  As of the time I posed this, she has not returned my call.

Did Rep. Denney accept a free trip or other gift?  Perhaps since she is term-limited and cannot run for reelection in 2016 she figured she might as well file their bill and take a trip.  After all, what could the voters do to her?  Under Oklahoma ethics rules a trip from FairVote would not be funded by lobbyists or the companies that employ them and there is no requirement to disclose the travel and lodging.  A free trip from FairVote might be legal and acceptable under ethics rules, but morally, it is tantamount to bribery and Rep. Denney should be removed from her leadership position as Speaker Pro Tempore.

If I’m wrong about this and she filed this bill without accepting so much as a pencil from FairVote or any other organization, she is welcome to return my call and explain to me why she is set on destroying federalism and the electoral process as set in place by our country’s Founding Fathers.  Her assistant has my number.

2 comments to Oklahoma Representative Lee Denney Files National Popular Vote Bill

  • It seems the people who would like to circumvent our electoral process never give up the fight. I wonder, do people like Representative Denney really not understand what using the national popular vote to determine would do to state’s rights? States like Oklahoma would basically be folded in with the rest of the country. Thanks, but no thanks.

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