Paul Blair brings strict fiscal conservative views to District 41 Senate race

Paul Blair, minister to a congregation in Edmond, is seeking the Republican nomination in state Senate District 41. The incumbent is state Sen. Clark Jolley. 

In an interview with CapitolBeatOK, Blair said he has “become frustrated with the political shenanigans that are being played down at the state Capitol. We’ve got politicians who seem to raise money for their campaigns from different lobbying groups, then spend their duration in office repaying the lobbyists; and then repeating that cycle time and time again.”

Blair asserts, “Nobody seems to be representing the everyday, average citizen in the community. We know that the federal government is broken. We’re $16 trillion in debt. We point our fingers at Washington, but we’re just as guilty. You know, in the state of Oklahoma, we have increased our state spending by over 72 percent in just the last 10 years.“

He is frustrated with many in his own political party, saying, “Last year alone, with wall-to-wall Republicans, we didn’t really balance the budget. We actually did some financial maneuvering, or finangling I should say, and took $100 million out of our transportation fund budget, and moved it over to the general revenue, and then issued bonds to make up the shortfall.

“Well, that’s not making hard decisions — that’s playing games, politically. 

“We talk about some of the needs down at the Capitol. In fact, they’re wanting now to pass a $200 million bond issue in order to fix the Capitol. 

“What’s sad is that just a couple of years ago, in 2006 and 2007, when things were going very well economically here, we actually had a surplus of almost $600 million. Well, why didn’t we fix the Capitol back then? Why didn’t we do something about the infrastructure needs back then?

“Instead of taking that $600 million and spending it on some of these needs that we are very well aware of now — or instead of returning that money to the taxpayers to whom it belonged — our Legislature took the money and frittered it away on such things as building a fence for the Spaceport in western Oklahoma, and funding for Centennial celebrations. 

“What would have been a great idea is to celebrate the Centennial by fixing our Capitol and paying for it with the cash that we had. Unfortunately, we have politicians playing political games, and they are very generous at spending the taxpayers’ money.”

Blair said he brings conservative constitutional perspectives to the race. He commented, “My philosophy as we go into this is I’m going to evaluate everything with four questions. 

Number one, is it constitutional?

Number two, does it grow the size and scope of government? We as Republicans campaign that we want to reduce the size of government, yet we never do.

 “Number three, can we afford it?

“And, number four, can the private sector do it better?

“With those four questions, I think we’ll make a lot of decisions that really make sense to the taxpayers of Oklahoma.” 

Asked to name specific programs or agencies he would seek to cut or eliminate from the state budget, Blair responded, “Well, they had a lot of questions and good ideas raised this year. One of the things that they talked about doing was addressing some of the funding for instance to the OETA, which is not a responsibility of government. Even though, as one of our legislators said, ‘Oh, that’s only a small amount of money, it’s only $4-5 million.’

“Well, it’s amazing. Why doesn’t he just write a check for the four or million dollars? It’s not a small amount of money. But again, that’s an example of how disconnected the legislators are. They’re very generous when they’re spending other people’s money.”