Law & Principles

Executive power—and the responsibility that comes with it

Brandon Dutcher | July 6, 2023

According to Oklahoma law, “The Governor is authorized to negotiate and enter into cooperative agreements on behalf of this state with federally recognized Indian tribal governments within this state to address issues of mutual interest.” Thus, in a recent news story (“Senate sustains Stitt veto on tribal compacts—for now”), state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) is quoted as saying, “We cannot just ignore the statute that grants the governor this authority.”

Indeed, as Trent England pointed out in a recent article, “Negotiating agreements with other governments is a core executive power. This is as basic, and common sense, as it gets. Presidents negotiate trade deals and treaties. They require the consent of the Senate after the fact, but the negotiation and initial agreement is done by the executive. Governors have the same kind of power. …

“Stitt was defending his rightful power when he vetoed the compact bills, and he was upholding the Oklahoma Constitution. The people of Oklahoma deserve a government that can act efficiently in negotiating deals—like tribal tax compacts—and that means keeping that power where it belongs. …

“Some people will remember the famous photograph of President Harry Truman with this sign on his desk: ‘The buck stops here.’ It was a statement about executive power—and the responsibility that comes with it.”

I encourage you to read England’s entire article here.

Brandon Dutcher Senior Vice President

Brandon Dutcher

Senior Vice President

Brandon Dutcher is OCPA’s senior vice president. Originally an OCPA board member, he joined the staff in 1995. Dutcher received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma. He received a master’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public policy from Regent University. Dutcher is listed in the Heritage Foundation Guide to Public Policy Experts, and is editor of the book Oklahoma Policy Blueprint, which was praised by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman as “thorough, well-informed, and highly sophisticated.” His award-winning articles have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, WORLD magazine,,, The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, and 200 newspapers throughout Oklahoma and the U.S. He and his wife, Susie, have six children and live in Edmond.

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