Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 31, 2013

Meeting with Mullin

TAHLEQUAH — Newly elected Dist. 2 Congressman Markwayne Mullin believes to be effective, you focus on a few issues and fight to resolve them, otherwise it’s easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged.

Mullin held a Town Hall meeting at Go Ye Village’s Richardson Hall Tuesday morning, and fielded questions about immigration, clean water, the country’s debt and how the Republicans can effectively get their party’s message across.

Mullin emphasized his plan to remain connected with his constituency and to not get bitten by the “D.C. bug.”

“Call me an idiot now and then if I deserve it,” said Mullin. “Let me know if I make a mistake. If I can’t admit failure, there’s no room for growth. Don’t be shy about asking your questions; it’s what keeps me from getting bit by the [Washington] D.C. bug.”

Mullin said he rarely leaves “campus,” choosing to sleep in his office.

“I don’t play golf, I don’t drink,” he said. “I sleep in my office on a cot and wander the halls at night. I’m there to work. Party is our issue now, and it’s time to put the country first. I won’t vote based solely on my party or with an eye on re-election. It’s not about us now. We dug this ditch and it’s time to cover it up.”

One member of the audience asked Mullin when Congress plans to actually get something done.

Mullin said to resolve the federal debt issue, uncomfortable decisions need to be made to secure the future for the next generation.

“We will see change if people stand up and say they’ve had enough,” said Mullin. “It’s been disappointing to see how slowly things move. I understand it takes three years to get a bill pushed through.”

Another audience member reminded Mullin and his colleagues the voters elected them and can easily fire them. He asked Mullin why Congress opted to approve the bailout for Hurricane Sandy relief.

“Didn’t they have insurance?” the man asked. “I have insurance.”

Mullin said he took the same position as the man asking the question. He explained FEMA holds the flood insurance policies for the victims.

“FEMA needed a $9.7 billion loan [from the federal government] to pay the claims on Sandy,” said Mullin.

“The problem is FEMA never repaid the $18 billion they borrowed to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Now, I couldn’t understand why we’d make a loan when the other wasn’t paid, but it wasn’t the people’s fault. They paid their premiums and the money was mismanaged by FEMA. To me, that’s an issue for the courts, which is why I voted against aid for Sandy.”

Hurricane Katrina decimated coastal areas of Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005, when George Bush was in the White House.

An attendee said he believes President Barack Obama’s latest plan for immigration reform runs counter to the Constitution and is illegal, and asked Mullin his thoughts on the matter.

“That’s why Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Obama haven’t presented a budget yet,” said Mullin. “[They’re operating] on an open resolution. In a way, they’re bypassing the Constitution. But in November, they had a chance to get rid of [Obama] and didn’t.”

Mullin said there’s no perfect solution for immigration reform.

“Right now, immigration has become the front for both parties,” said Mullin.

“What they’re not saying is it’s a national security issue. We talk about our southern border all the time, but the northern border is wide open. It’s easier to get into Canada than the U.S., and you can literally walk across the border. Now, there are elected officials on both borders who are going to answer to their constituents, so I think we have a real chance at addressing reform.”

Denise Deason-Toyne, president of Save The Illinois River Inc., asked Mullin what support the organization can count on in Washington for preserving Lake Tenkiller and the Illinois River for future generations.

“I don’t want to work with the EPA,” said Mullin. “They get involved and make things worse. I think it’s important we work within the state and with other states. The federal government treats us all like criminals, and the state should take care of it.”

Mullin, who was raised on a dairy farm in Adair County, said he hauled chicken litter and used it as fertilizer on his farm.

“After the Clean Water Act, the feds came in and told us we had to follow all kinds of rules,” said Mullin. “They told us we couldn’t spread litter near a waterway. We never spread it near a creek. They defined a waterway as a ditch. A ditch! They told us we couldn’t do that on our own dairy [farm]. Show me anyplace around here you can walk 1,000 feet without hitting a ditch. I want clean water, but I’m fighting to get the EPA out of our way.”

One woman said she’s tired of people receiving handouts.

“The people who put [Obama] in office are all on freebies,” she said. “I go out to eat once a month to a buffet in Muskogee. Every time I go, I see a single mother with four or five children eating there at $10 a plate. I’m not prejudiced, but we can’t keep giving. And why did we give them credit cards?”

Mullin said the problem wasn’t relegated to just single mothers, that he has a brother-in-law who has mastered ways of receiving government handouts. He believes the citizenry is becoming dependent on subsidies.

“And we gave them credit cards because they were embarrassed they were on aid, and it was considered demeaning,” said Mullin. “Well, they should be embarrassed. If we get fed up enough, we’re going to cry louder than they do. Look at what the president said in his inaugural address. It would make [a man] throw up in his mouth. What if 10 percent of the church population stood up and cried as loud as they do? We’re the majority, we just have to find a way to fight for it. Don’t give up.”

Andy Ewing, former owner of Andy Ewing Toyota in Muskogee, asked Mullin how he plans to get people working and if there is a way to balance the budget.

Mullin said sequestration – automatically cutting federal programs across the board to deal with the federal deficit - will happen most likely by March 1, and only then will spending cuts be renegotiated.

“Forty percent of our economy is government-driven,” said Mullin. “I’m all for going in and saying ‘boom! get rid of [the spending],’ but the ripple effect is unknown and could take up to 10 years to make us free from federal spending. So, we can either take 10 years to bring the budget back into balance, or we can take 10 years to wean us off the federal government. I’m one of those guys who wants to get it over with. If we take the 10-year approach to balancing the budget, we’ll cut 5 to 10 percent from services every year.”

Another participant asked how the Republicans can do a better job of getting their message across.

Mullin said it’s important to reach out to friends and family in other states.

“What’s our outlet? Fox News?” asked Mullin. “That’s preaching to the choir. What else can we do? If the rest of the states would follow [Oklahoma’s] lead, we’d be fine. We have some of the lowest unemployment in the country. Talk to your friends and family in other states. Tell them why Republicans are good, not why Democrats are bad. Democrats aren’t bad, they just have bad leadership. They have good ideas. We all have good ideas.”

Mullin thanked the audience for attending, saying he knows everyone has a lot of questions and concerns, but it’s important to remain focused.

“I’m a glass half-full guy,” said Mullin.

“It’s not about me. It’s about the generation behind us. I choose to focus on a few issues and I’m going to fight for them and not get overwhelmed by trying to fix everything. I recommend you do the same. Fix the problems you’re passionate about and don’t be silent about them. This country is worth saving. Don’t give up on us, our kids and our grandkids.”

Text Only
Local News
  • svw-Marijuana-guy.jpg Grassroots efforts

    Group seeks area support to put medical marijuana on November ballot

    Legalized medical marijuana will be on the ballots in November if Oklahomans for Health, the organization putting forward the proposed amendment, can get 155,216 signatures by Aug. 16.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • washington-marshal.jpg Man charged following June pursuit

    Prosecutors have filed formal charges against a Hulbert man accused of leading authorities on a pursuit and running a roadblock last month.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-3rd-Thurs-group.jpg Third Thursday downtown event gaining momentum

    Most new events take time to build a following and Third Thursday Art Walk is still gaining momentum.
    The cloudy weather may have kept some shoppers home, but those out were enjoying the evening and buying gifts.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Council to mull TMSA contract

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday are set to discuss and possibly act on a request to renew a contract with the local main street program worth $25,000 per year.
    If the contract is approved for the Tahlequah Main Street Association, it would automatically renew each year unless otherwise terminated or canceled.

    July 21, 2014

  • Motorcycle crash sends driver to Tulsa hospital

    A 55-year-old Welling man was in stable condition Friday after crashing a 2001 Kawasaki southeast of Tahlequah.

    July 21, 2014

  • sg-TKD-air-kick.jpg Little Dragons

    This Little Dragon program started at Ramos School of Taekwondo three years ago when the business opened. It is geared for 3-5 year olds. It teaches them motor skills, balance, left and right recognition, and to be aware of their surroundings.
    “It’s really basic and fun,” said Denisse Ramos, instructor. “They don’t even realize that they are learning.”

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • shriver-jennifer.jpg Woman arrested on murder charge

    A Cherokee County woman accused of crashing into and killing an 8-year-old Tulsa child last October while driving under the influence of synthetic cannabinoids and marijuana is being held on a bond of more than $300,000.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • proctor-and-kid.jpg Proctor a finalist for Teacher of the Year

    Jason Proctor believes connecting with his students builds trust and sets the stage for academic success.
    Proctor, teacher at Tahlequah High School, has been named one of 12 finalists for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • jn-file-canine-cop.jpg Tahlequah Police Dept. may add to canine program

    Tahlequah canine Officer Bo could soon have a four-legged colleague to help keep an eye on local drug problems.
    Police Chief Nate King has plans to expand the Tahlequah Police Department’s canine program.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • sg-Big-Jims.jpg Rally to bring over 3,000 motorcycles to Tahlequah

    The chance to win a 2014 883 Iron Harley-Davidson, enjoy live music, scheduled rides, and more comes to downtown Tahlequah in August.
    Big Jim’s Motorcycle Rally will take place in the North End Entertainment District Wednesday through Saturday, Aug. 20–23.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe marijuana should be legalized in Oklahoma?

Absolutely not.
No, but it should be decriminalized.
Yes, but only for medicinal purposes.
Yes, both for medicinal and recreational purposes.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success