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Initial thoughts of Western Oklahoma legislators differ from the official narrative.Sen. Casey Murdock noted he was at the Oklahoma State Capitol during the Jan. 6 events."My initial thoughts were that there were people unhappy with the theft of our Presidential election," he said.
Rep. Carl Newton said he thought some innocent people were drawn in by a few radical troublemakers.“That is not a typical conservative move,” Newton said. “I don't think the group there as a whole was there to try to make trouble.”Newton doesn’t believe those were the actions of the majority of those the incident has been blamed on.“We've seen those that incited riots in communities and tore down and destroyed businesses and homes,” Newton said. “But it didn't get near the publicity because it was on the other side.”Murdock stressed the American’s right to respectfully protest the government.“We should always respect law enforcement officers,” Murdock said. “There's a fine line between a lawful protest against the government and a riot.”There were people that crossed the line, according to Murdock.“I do not agree with the rhetoric being thrown around that it was an insurrection. It was far from that,” Murdock said. “With that being said there were also good people there voicing their concerns with the fraudulent election results.”Both Murdock and Newton had similar concerns over the 2021 year, including vaccine mandates.“My biggest concern over the past year has been federal overreach with vaccine mandates,” Murdock said. “We have been losing our freedoms little by little.”
Murdock also has numerous concerns with the direction the country is going under the current administration and their economic policies.“Those policies have caused inflation and shortage in the workforce and backups in our supply chains in almost every industry,” Murdock said. Newton added critical race theory as one of the biggest challenges last year as well.“Schools shouldn’t treat one people group better or any different than they treat other people,” Newton said. “And I think that's the way God intended us to live. We all be equal, all created equal, all be treated equal, and God loves us all equally.”Newton did say he has received some push-back on voting against a bill to block vaccine mandates, having some qualms about the wording of the bill introduced at the time.“I just didn't know, what does the future hold? I didn't want to make all inclusive statements on that part,” Newton said. “I don't feel like you'll see it from your state government. I don't think the federal government should mandate what you should do to your body.”As far as focus this coming session, Murdock and Newton both have a lot they’re hoping to accomplish.“The medical marijuana industry is way out of hand. It needs to be controlled,” Newton said. “If we came back and had that initiative petition after people saw what is going on right now, that would not have passed.”Knowing of no other medicine that is treated like this industry, Newton said there need to be a lot more guidelines.“My biggest focus this year will be protecting state’s and individual’s rights,” Murdock said. “With the ongoing federal overreach it is going to be a big battle over the 10th amendment.”On a state level, Murdock will be focusing on strengthening bail laws and cutting taxes.“With our budget is as good as it's ever been here at the capitol, I will also be focusing on cutting the taxes that were raised during the years with budget deficits,” Murdock stated.
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