Editor’s Notebook: Fallin becomes chair, Pruitt testifies, Hamm helps
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Published: 31-Jul-2013


OKLAHOMA CITY – From an editor’s notebook: Gov. Mary Fallin assumes a top spot among America’s governors, Attorney General Scott Pruitt will detail Oklahoma’s technical litigation against the Affordable Care Act, and energy tycoon Harold Hamm assumes the chairmanship of Pruitt’s 2014 re-election campaign.

* * * 

Oklahoma Gov. Fallin is headed to the Badger State.

Sunday, in Milwaukee, Fallin will become chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), at the group’s 105th summer meeting. 

In a speech on her first day in that post, the Sooner State’s chief executive plans to unveil a national “platform” for the next 12 months.

She will likely focus on “flexible federalism” – calling on the U.S. government to treat states more like partners than mere administrative sub-sets of the national government in Washington, D.C. 

As vice-chair of NGA, Fallin has represented the group at meetings with President Barack Obama and members of his Cabinet over the past 12 months.  

* * * 

Speaking of Washington, D.C., Attorney General Scott Pruitt will testify Wednesday before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements.

James Lankford, Pruitt’s fellow Republican who represents Oklahoma’s fifth congressional district (Oklahoma City and surrounding areas) will chair the session. 

The hearing is deemed “Oversight of IRS’s Legal Basis for Expanding ObamaCare’s Taxes and Subsidies.”

Pruitt and state Solicitor Patrick Wyrick have crafted the state’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, an action filed in the eastern district of Oklahoma which argues ACA contradicts itself, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s analysis in allowing the law to take effect last year.

Oklahoma’s lawsuit has drawn favorable scrutiny in conservative and libertarian circles, including from the Cato Institute and National Review Online. 

The subcommittee session in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building begins at 10:15 a.m. Eastern Time (9:15 Central Time in Oklahoma) and will stream online.

* * * 

Turning to electoral politics, Pruitt has announced that Harold Hamm, founder and chief executive of Continental Resources, will serve as his re-election campaign chairman.

“It has been the experience of a lifetime to serve as Oklahoma’s Attorney General over these past three years. I am so pleased to be kicking off my 2014 re-election campaign with the announcement that Harold Hamm has graciously agreed to serve as our Chairman,” Pruitt said in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK.

“Harold Hamm is a dedicated businessman, visionary, and icon here in Oklahoma. Harold embodies the leadership, integrity and diligence that will define my re-election campaign. I am honored to have Harold Hamm as a part of my 2014 team.” 

A native Oklahoman, born in Lexington, Hamm is probably best known for predictions over the last decade that American energy independence was within reach.

With the dramatic growth in development of the Bakken shale oil formation  in North Dakota, Hamm’s vision is coming true. Last year, the energy firm moved its headquarters from the north-central Oklahoma city of Enid to Oklahoma City.

Hamm, in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, commented, “Oklahomans are exceptionally well served with Attorney General Scott Pruitt acting as their chief legal advisor and law enforcement protector. Time and time again, General Pruitt has stood up and bravely fought for the rights of Oklahomans in those instances when the federal government has over-extended its hand.

“From the Affordable Care Act to an over-zealous Environmental Protection Agency – we need Scott's continued leadership here in Oklahoma.

“That is why I proudly accepted the responsibility of serving as Chairman to the 2014 Scott Pruitt for Attorney General re-election campaign."

You may contact Patrick B. McGuigan at Patrick@capitolbeatok.com and follow us on Twitter: @capitolbeatok

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