The announcement by Republican U.S. Senator Tom Coburn that he will be resigning at the end of the 113th Congress, on January 3, 2015, started a scramble to fill the remaining two years of his second term. Former Oklahoma State Senator Randy Brogdon (shown) is one of three main candidates vying for Coburn’s Senate seat in Oklahoma’s upcoming June 24 Republican primary election.
According to various polls, Brogdon trails behind U.S. Representative James Lankford and former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, both of whom have received endorsements and generous campaign funding from the Republican establishment that has been very vocal about its war against genuine conservatives, constitutionalists, and independent-minded Republicans associated with Tea Party groups. However, Randy Brogdon’s impressive record in the state legislature as a tough, liberty-minded legislator who fights for fiscal responsibility, free enterprise, and limited, constitutional government, and as a committed Christian who takes uncompromising stands for the right to life, traditional marriage, parental rights, property rights and gun rights, has made him the favorite of many grassroots conservatives. Politically savvy Oklahomans tell The New American that Brogdon has a very good shot at the contested seat, which could turn out to be a very pivotal one in the next Congress.
On April 16, Brogdon, Lankford, and Shannon appeared together at a forum sponsored by the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC), an influential organization that has helped shape Oklahoma’s conservative political culture. OCPAC voted to endorse Brogdon.
OCPAC President Charlie Meadows explained on his blog why OCPAC members overwhelmingly endorsed Brogdan:
When it comes to Randy Brogdon, the bio is conservative, consistent and reliable. He finished 8 years in the legislature with a lifetime Conservative Index Score of 93, a remarkable feat. He was the first Republican SENATOR to score a perfect 100 on the Index in modern times and he did that in his second year in the legislature and in a few more years following.
On more than one occasion Brogdon used his reasoning skills to persuade his fellow Republican Senators to at least consider the moral arguments on issues. He was an effective lawmaker and earned the trust of the grassroots activists across the state. In the 3 years he served Insurance Commissioner Doak, he worked hard to make the agency lean and efficient. It is in his bones, Brogdon has always been about reducing the size of government and liberty....
Bottom line, I believe Brogdon got the OCPAC nod because the people TRUST him, his whole time in government has been about limiting government and liberty. The grassroots people know he will not be beholden to what I lovingly call the “Oklahoma Mafia”, the rich and powerful who happen to be more into fascist capitalism and central planning rather than free market capitalism.
Many of the Oklahoma grassroots activists and organizations that support Brogdon are angry over neoconservative celebrities and “foreign” Republicans that have jumped into the Coburn replacement race to endorse Shannon and Lankford, whom they view as “more of the same” Republican politicians who follow the bankrupt “leadership” of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Dozens of these grassroots activists and leaders have signed a petition chastising Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Ted Cruz, and others who have endorsed T.W. Shannon. According to the petition, these endorsements are undeserved:
As conservative grassroots leaders and activists from across the state of Oklahoma we are dismayed that you have endorsed T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate without having fully researched and vetted the candidate. Each of the top three contenders to replace Senator Tom Coburn has a voting record that is easy to research.
Boots on the ground, grassroots leaders and activists were never consulted regarding who the true conservative candidate was before endorsements were made. Claiming the conservative mantle and deeming yourself as the “grassroots candidate” without the authentic conservative record and actions to support it, instead, makes you a poser.
According to the Oklahoma Constitution Newspaper’s Conservative Index T.W. Shannon has a lifetime (7 years) average score of 74%.
“Before announcing his candidacy to replace Senator Tom Coburn,” the petition continues, “T.W. Shannon had never stepped foot inside a Tea Party, Liberty, 9/12 Project meeting, rally or event; once he made his announcement he began showing up at meetings with little or no notice. After receiving the endorsements of Governor Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Senate Conservatives Fund, U.S. Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, Shannon no longer attends grassroots meetings nor does he seek the grassroots support — he doesn’t need us. Your endorsements have given him the appearance of a grassroots, conservative, liberty-loving candidate. While we hold his feet to the fire, you embrace him.”
While in Oklahoma City recently to interview Drs. Keith Smith and Steven Lantier, founders of the amazing Free market Surgery Center of Oklahoma (see video here), I also interviewed a number of other Oklahomans, including Sen. Randy Brogdon.
In the video interviews below, Sen. Brogdon addresses, particularly, ObamaCare and the devastating impact of runaway regulation by federal agencies. Regarding ObamaCare, he says: “I’m a free market guy. I spent 30 years building my businesses.” And he doesn’t see any role for the federal government in healthcare that makes economic or constitutional sense.
“I believe in free market principles where the doctor and patient make decisions about their healthcare,” Brogdon says, “not a 3rd party, and certainly not the federal government — or, in this case, Barack Obama.”
It is easy to see why the Republican establishment fears him; he is unsparing in his disdain for those he believes have repeatedly betrayed the principles the GOP leadership pretends to stand for. The Republican leaders in Congress, he says, “have really let down their guard. They have quit fighting, whether its ObamaCare, EPA, NSA, just pick a subject.” Like many other Republicans, he says he is absolutely sick and tired of politicians who campaign as conservatives and then go to Washington, D.C. and govern as liberals, progressives, and socialists.
“The Republicans have quit fighting on our core principles that made the Republican Party attractive to me as a young man,” charges Brogdon. “I registered as a Republican when I was 18 years old because I believed in the principles of free enterprise, limited government, efficient government, constitutional government.”
“The Republican Party leadership is complicit in taking away our liberty,” Brogdon said in his interview with The New American. He has thrown down the gauntlet. “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been complicit in growing the scope of government and creating trillions of dollars in new debt,” Brogdon says on his campaign website.
“He should resign immediately for the sake of our country’s future, and for the good of the Republican Party. But if we’re both elected, I will do everything in my power to support a true leader to replace him. Unless and until we have a Republican leader willing to stand on our principles, we’ll have no chance of doing what’s needed to save our country from financial ruin.”
Note: The New American also conducted a face-to-face interview with State Rep. T.W. Shannon, although he was not available for a video interview. We will be publishing a report on that interview online in the near future. We attempted several times to schedule an interview with Rep. James Lankford, but he was unavailable; we will keep trying.
Photo at top of Randy Brogdon: AP Images