Sen. president says Boggs aligned with GOP on campaign issue

JAMES BEATY | Staff photo

District 7 State Sen. Larry Boggs, R-Red Oak, at right, makes a point during a visit to the McAlester Regional Health Center, where he was joined by Oklahoma State Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, left, and District 43 State Rep. Jay Steagall, center, 

Oklahoma State Sen. President Pro Tempore Greg Treat maintains that District 7 State Sen. Larry Boggs’ position on a major campaign issue has been mischaracterized during the campaign.

Boggs, R-Red Oak, agrees.

Boggs will be on the ballot Tuesday during the June 29 Primary Election which includes a race for the GOP nomination to determine who will face the Democrat’s candidate in the Nov. 3 General Election. Boggs faces challenges Tuesday from fellow GOP candidates Warren Hamilton, of McCurtain, and Kevin Woody, of Massey Road, McAlester.

Treat, the District 47 Republican State Senator, of Edmond who also serves as the state Senate president, felt so strongly about the matter regarding Boggs that he stopped by the News-Capital during a visit to McAlester, where Boggs soon joined him.

Treat said an abortion bill Boggs did not support was not supported by the Republican party leadership in Oklahoma City. It also never made it out of the committee where it was being heard and never came up for a vote before the full Senate, Treat said.

Treat noted the bill calls for the abolition of abortion in Oklahoma.

“It’s a goal I support and so does Boggs,” Treat said.

However, Treat said Senate Bill 13, the bill in question, allows zero exceptions for physicians nor for the woman who receives an abortion. Treat said SB 13 was so restrictive, it would not stand up when challenged in court.

“It provided for no exceptions for the life of the mother,” Treat said.

 He said it went so far that the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office informed him it would be indefensible when it received a courtroom challenge.

“I have not allowed that to advance,” Treat said of SB 13. “I am pro-life. I am refusing to give Planed Parenthood a win.” Treat said he could not convince SB 13’s author, State Sen. Joseph Silk, to amend the measure to make it more defensible when it received a courtroom challenge.

Despite some stories circulated to the contrary, “There was never an amended version filed,” Treat said. He said it never came up for a vote by the full Senate.

Treat said both he and Sen. Boggs did support and vote for a pro-life abortion bill, Senate Bill 1728. Boggs was listed as the second Senate author of the measure, according to his campaign.

“It was worked on by pro-life organizations,” Treat said of SB 1728. He said it’s not a matter of choosing between the life of the mother or the child.

“I believe in the dignity and value of life at all stages,” said Treat.

Boggs said several in the Senate had offered language they felt would have improved SB 13, but it was never adopted.

“We talked to the attorney general about it and he said it won’t pass the courts,” Boggs said. As a result, Boggs said he became a supporter of the pro-life SB 1728.

Boggs also said he is 100% on voting to do away with abortion.

Regarding the Second Amendment, Boggs said the National Rifle Association has endorsed him. He said that should show where his values are and where he stands on guns.

“I’m a lifetime member of the NRA,” Boggs said.

Boggs also addressed his stance on the Talihina Veterans Center, which has been ordered to be closed by a majority vote of the state legislature. Plans are to eventually build a new Veterans Center in Sallisaw. In the meantime, the Veterans Center in Talihina is continuing to operate.

Boggs said he fought for four years against the effort to close the Veterans Center in Talihina. He said after the effort to prevent the center at Talihina from closing failed by a 3-to-1 margin, he agreed to support a bill calling for the veterans to be transferred to another facility. Boggs, who is a veteran himself, said he did so to ensure he continued to have “a seat at the table” to make sure the veterans will continue to receive the care they need.

“The bill did not say ‘closing Talihina,’” he said. It was about transferring to another facility, he maintained.

Boggs said the politically correct thing for him to do would have been to continue to say “no” even if it meant losing his seat at the table as the matter continues.

“How do I do that? I have a seat at the table. We’re going to restore everything they’ve taken away from veterans,” said Boggs.

“That’s why I voted with the rest of them,” Boggs said. “We are getting them the things they need until they transfer my brothers.” 

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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