October 23, 2013

Shelter campaign not political rhetoric

Guest Columnist


I want to start off this week by thanking all those who have contacted me about my future and what my plans will be following my final year in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.  At this time, I am focused only on legislative work and the additional project of collecting signatures for the Take Shelter Oklahoma petition drive.  My plan is to run for county commissioner in the southern part of Grady County.  I will not begin working on the campaign until we finalize the signature collections in the middle of December because I do not want any distractions from the pursuit of our goal.  I also do not want people to insinuate I am doing this only to build up my campaign for personal reasons. 

I am grateful for the encouragement to run for different elected offices, but I want to find the spot where I can do the most good and continue my work in public service.  The faith that many of you have placed in me, not only for the past eleven years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, but the encouragement to continue to serve is humbling beyond words for me.  I cannot thank each of you enough for the many kind notes regarding this.

The effort for our petition drive was kicked off on September 18, and it has been going very well!  We have been averaging about 10 packets a day going out in the mail to prospective volunteers.  These Oklahomans are taking them to different locations around the state to get registered Oklahoma voters to sign.  We also have several events coming up, including an effort to have volunteers collecting signatures at every one of the 173 high school football games on November 1.  There is also an effort coordinated by firefighters across the state of Oklahoma which will collect signatures following church services on Sunday, November 17.  I will provide more details about these two events as time draws closer.  I would greatly appreciate, if you are a registered voter in Oklahoma, your signature on the petition.  If you would like to help collect signatures, please email for a packet of sheets and information on how to best collect signatures.

Many of you might have seen the challenge on some of the language filed against the school shelter petition by Attorney General Scott Pruitt with his biased re-write of our ballot title.  This follows statements by Governor Mary Fallin in regard to not supporting our effort, along with criticism by the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party about the petition drive.  I am disappointed in their quick condemnation of our program without offering a single valid proposal in exchange.  The only other suggestion is to allow local funding for construction, which means additional bonds to be voted on by local districts which would raise property taxes.  Our plan does not raise any additional taxes and uses existing funds from the franchise tax.  I am confident the Oklahoma Supreme Court will recognize the ridiculous shenanigans proposed by these other officials and strike them down.

There are several important events coming up in our area in the very near future, so I hope will be able to make it to one or more.  This Thursday evening, the Cement FFA will hold their annual auction and fundraiser.  I donated two tickets for the OU Homecoming game this weekend for the auction, so be sure to stop by on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Cement Fairgrounds and bid up the items for a great cause! 

     Another event important to me is the Firefighter Chili Cook-off on Saturday, October 26, at the Grady County Fairgrounds at lunchtime.  They are still looking for people to enter, so contact Jimmy Blue with the Chickasha Fire Department at (405) 222-6030 for more details.  I will have an entry and will be collecting signatures.  Stop by to make a donation for the firefighters, eat some great chili, and sign our petitions, which all adds up to a fun day! 

It is an honor to represent your views at the State Capitol. If you wish to contact me to discuss one of these or other issues, I can be reached at my office in Oklahoma City toll-free at 1-800-522-8502, or directly at 1-405-557-7305. My email address is at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559, Rush Springs, OK 73082, and my website is on the Internet. Thank you for taking the time to read this column, and I look forward to seeing you soon.