Delaware County Republicans gathered over the weekend for meetings, highlighted by the annual Lincoln/Reagan Dinner which was to have featured U.S. Senator Tom Coburn as guest speaker.

Lincoln and Reagan were there in spirit and often quoted.

Coburn was in Washington debating the Omnibus Spending Bill containing more than 8,500 earmarks, or "pork" as some would call it.

Perhaps by design, the Friday night function also featured pork.  It was attended by nearly 100 persons.

Coburn sent two of his assistants to speak to the group and emailed a special message:  "We are at great risk of losing our freedoms," he said, referring to what Republicans perceive to be an increase in socialism in government.

The state's top republican, Gary Jones, told the group that Republicans have an opportunity to take the Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General offices, and another four to six statewide seats at the next election. He said Republicans need to cast out anyone that cannot follow the ideals and goals of the party and get back to the basics.

Jerry Morris, a Coburn aide from Oklahoma City, told the group that government is now "doing incomprehensible spending, accumulating mountains of debt."  He said that instead of Change and Hope, we have the Federal Government making problems worse.

"Reagan inspired optimism, and now we do not see that from our politicians in Washington," he added.  "We need to go back to his principles, smaller government, balanced budget, individual liberty.  Read his speeches, it will inspire you," he said.

He also chided Republicans for losing their way the past four years and doing what Democrats do.

"We can't even waste government money efficiently," he said. He called the Omnibus Spending bill a "pork laden monstrosity."

State Rep. Doug Cox of Grove told the group that Oklahoma's deficit is being carefully looked at and the state is trying to eliminate waste and cuts will be made, not across the board, but where excess spending can be found.

Cox said "if we are having this much trouble in the state legislature where we are in the majority, think about what Senator Coburn is dealing with in the U.S. Senate."

Also on hand was Brian Treot, a Coburn aide who recently moved back to Oklahoma from four years in Washington.  He said the Stimulus money will go to Federal officials who can spend it at will, with no controls and billions of taxpayer dollars will be wasted.