Today I am announcing my candidacy for the 4th District Congressional seat. This decision was made with much thought and consideration. To some extent, an editorial in The Tahlequah Daily Press and reprinted in the Norman Transcript encouraging people to run for public office influenced my decision. Why answer this call for people to run for office? I want to make Oklahoma a better place for my grandchildren. I don’t want them to have to go elsewhere for better jobs, better schools and a better quality of life. They deserve better!
Only 2% of the money raised by Congressman Cole in the current reporting cycle comes from the citizens of the 4th District – $56,734.47 from the 4th District and $813,141.03 from outside the 4th. PACS, lobbyists in DC, gaming money, Indian Tribes outside the 4th, the gun lobby along with people outside the 4th provided $813,144.03.
I am proposing a Constitutional Amendment that would limit the amount of money a Congressional candidate could spend to $1.00 per person in the district. In the 4th there are approximately 771,000 people and the limit on spending would be $771,000.
In my campaign I will not accept campaign contributions from PACs, and lobbyists in DC. I will limit the campaign contributions I receive to $500 per individual and contributions outside the 4th, while appreciated, will not be accepted.
Approximately 80% of the citizens of this country favor additional gun control measures. As a former U.S. Army Officer and a hunter, I believe weapons of war – AK-47s and AR-15s, etc. – should be banned. I believe reasonable gun restrictions can be enacted and still maintain the protections of the 2nd Amendment. I have a 20 gauge shotgun under the bed and a 12 gauge shotgun in the closet that I hunt with and see no reason for individuals, other than the police and the military, to have weapons of war.
Congressman Cole has received money from the gun lobby and has an “A” rating with the NRA.
Public education in Oklahoma and throughout the nation has been devalued. The current Administration, including Congressman Cole, has entrusted this vital concern to those who seek to weaken public schools like Secretary DeVos. Relying on unfunded tax cuts has led to the education crisis in Oklahoma resulting in four-day school weeks, lack of educational materials and the elimination of many programs that benefit students. We need to strengthen our support for teachers and public education in general so that teachers are not faced with the decision to leave our great State.
The Administration’s use of tariffs, and the threat of more to come, place the agricultural interests of the 4th District in peril. Thus far, Congressman Cole has praised the Administration and has not spoken out against the tariffs.
Likewise, Congressman Cole has remained silent when the ethical behavior of some of our officials in Washington has been called into question. The acceptance of questionable gifts from lobbyists and unnecessary travel expenditures are contrary to the basic ethical values of most Oklahomans.
As a lifelong Oklahoman with a diverse background – OU grad, law clerk, U.S. Army Officer, legislative assistant to Senator Fred R. Harris, Mayor of Seminole, Chief Legal Counsel at OU, teacher of political science and higher education law – I believe I can provide the representation the good people of the 4th deserve.
My wife, Lynda, a former East Central University and OU faculty member, and I, along with our five children and ten grandchildren, seek your support.