The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

July 11, 2013

Mr. Right

TULSA, Okla. — There is no better example of how far conservative politics have come — or gone — in Oklahoma than the recent town hall meeting conducted by Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas.

Lucas, who is chairman of the important House Agriculture Committee, was pounced upon by members of the tea party — some of whom were not residents of his Third District — at a recent meeting in Skiatook.

They were incensed that Lucas proposed that a mere $40 billion be cut from the Farm Bill, which eventually failed in the House.

Lucas, since his days in the Oklahoma Legislature, has been known as one of the most conservative politicians around. He has routinely received high marks from conservative organizations. To cast Lucas as not conservative enough is hard to believe.

The one difference might be that while a staunch conservative, Lucas also has the best interests of his district and state in mind. That often seems at odds with tea party politics.

Lucas has become a leading member of the House. That’s huge for any state the size of Oklahoma. Only through seniority can such small states have any kind of voice in Congress.

Those at the meeting were handed their political grenades by the Heritage Foundation. Heritage Action, an adjunct of the Heritage Foundation, has been airing radio ads threatening to recruit a “real conservative” to run against Lucas in 2014.

Lucas responded with: “I’m under attack by those people. They’re coming after me. They are all special interest groups that exist to sell subscriptions, to collect seminar fees and to perpetuate their goals.”

Any voter can take issue with Lucas over his handling of the Farm Bill or any other political issue. Running him out of the House for someone more conservative, however, would be committing political suicide for the Third District.

Lucas has been an excellent representative and hard worker for his Third District and for this state. Frank Lucas not conservative enough? They’ve got to be kidding.

 

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