The tone of the first session of the 52nd Oklahoma Legislature was set early on when Senate Republicans wrote into the Senate Rules special protections for insurance companies and the theme continued until the very last day in what Senate Democratic Leader Charlie Laster is describing as a “Special Interest Feeding Frenzy.”
“Senate Republicans let it be known early they would stop at nothing to protect those who spent millions of dollars helping them rise to power and they have continued their “my way or the highway” attitude continuously throughout this session,” Laster said. “They have been long on rhetoric and short on solutions this session and unfortunately the only people who will benefit from their good ole boy politics are the special interests that roam these halls looking for giveaways on the backs of hard-working Oklahomans.”
Laster said today’s vote creating a position that gives unchecked power and a blank checkbook to one person lacks the accountability piece Republicans promised Oklahomans during elections last fall.
“Republicans sold Oklahomans a bag of goods when they promised them accountability and responsibility,” Laster said. “Instead they have delivered protections and privileges to special interest groups who funded their political campaigns.”
Laster said he hopes next legislative session, Republicans will abandon their desire to protect special interest groups and instead turn their attention to the needs of every day Oklahomans who want us to deliver insurance reform, affordable health care and good paying jobs.
“If I were giving this legislative session a grade, I would have to give it an “I” for incomplete and inadequate, and insurance industry victories” Laster said. “It’s been nothing but a special interest feeding frenzy this session, and I fear it will not end any time soon.”