Activist Group Forces a Tax Focus in Election

An activist group has taken credit for turning the election debate to taxes. The volunteers of Oklahoma Citizens for a Sound Economy asked all state candidates to sign a pledge promising not to raise taxes during the next legislative session. To date, 36 state House and Senate candidates (26 Republicans, five Democrats and four Independents) have signed the promise to keep taxes at their current levels.

“Too often, political candidates talk one way during the election but vote another way in office,” said Art Curtis, the volunteer leader of Oklahoma CSE. “We think it is important to get everyone on record before election day. The CSE pledge is a great way for Oklahoma voters to see where the candidates really stand.”

Lawmakers who signed the pledge include Sen. Stratton Taylor, D-Claremore, and Reps. Dennis Adkins, R-Tulsa; Lance Cargill, R-Harrah; Forrest Claunch, R-Midwest City; Bill Graves, Odilia Dank and Robert Worthen, all R-Oklahoma City; Carolyn Coleman, R-Moore; Ron Kirby, D-Lawton; Greg Piatt, R-Ardmore; and Susan Winchester, R-Chickasha.

Other legislative candidates who signed are: Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso; Ron Z. Dobbs, R-Sand Springs; Revanelle Earnest, R-Oklahoma City; Carol Hall, R-Adair; Chris Hand, D-Ponca City; Angela Hendrix, R-McAlester; Neil Jensen, R-Inola; Nathan Johnson, R-Lawton; Rick Koch, R-Weatherford; Ron Markum, R-Stillwater; Lou Martin, R-Sapulpa; Neil Mavis and Brigitte Harper, both R-Tulsa; Ray Merchant, R-Ninnekah; Pete Pendley, I-McLoud; Chris Powell, I-Bethany; Richard Prawdzienski, I-Edmond; Phil Richardson, R-Minco; Ryland Rivas, D-Chickasha; Tom Stephens, R-Caddo; Amy Stewart-Smith, R-Ardmore; Michelle Sutton, D-Broken Arrow; Dustin Toler, I-Broken Arrow, and John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow.

The pledge is part of an overall voter education campaign in Oklahoma. Using e-mail, phone calls and community walks, CSE will inform its 4,700 Oklahoma members of the pledge results. A complete list of signers is available online at