When I asked to serve as your State Representative, I stated that I wanted to incorporate a platform of representing Logan and Oklahoma county residents as opposed to capitol lobbyists and the groups that hire them. I have sought to implement this goal by setting in place a policy of refusing personal gifts and political contributions from lobbyists and the groups that hire them while aggressively building an open line of communication with the citizens I serve.
In order to accomplish this goal, I resolved to write an original update every week during my time in office. This article represents the 150th consecutive weekly update which I have written since I started serving as State Representative. I originally developed the idea of writing the column based on my observation of state Representative Frank Davis' policy of updating citizens about what was occurring in the Legislature with his weekly column entitled "Frankly Speaking".
I feel that by writing about issues on a regular basis, elected officials demonstrate that they are not afraid to take a stand and let citizens know how they will be voting on those issues. One of the tricks used by career politicians to stay in office for many years is to tell one group of people one thing while telling another group another thing entirely. Putting your position down on paper each and every week pretty much takes that deceptive method of telling the audience what they want to hear off the table.
The weekly process of writing a column and participating in the ensuing dialog allows me to feel that I am truly representing my constituency. The instant communication functionality provided by the Internet has made it possible for an immediate two-way communication process to take place following the publication of each update. Each week I spend a significant amount of time communicating with constituents who respond to the latest update. This communication has enabled me to understand how issues are having an effect on the lives of local constituents and I believed it has greatly enhanced my ability to represent them.
This process has also been very beneficial for me because I have enjoyed making so many new acquaintances which I would not otherwise have had to opportunity to make.
I am very grateful to the hundreds of people who have taken the time to communicate with me over the past 150 weeks and I especially appreciate Mark Radford and The Crescent Courier, Belinda Ramsey and The Guthrie News Leader, and Lisa Shearer and The Edmond Sun for printing the updates on a regular basis. I look forward to continuing this dialog during the upcoming legislative session.