While it's commendable for a reservist to avoid ducking out of a 'call-up', The senator has an additional constitutional duty to provide representative democracy to the citizens of Oklahoma. A meaningful dialogue with District 25 might be a healthy step to make, so that Bixby and south Tulsa's concerns are given a full hearing. This problem is exacerbated by Mazzei's determination to keep taking a senate paycheck from the state for the last 10 years while knowing he cannot regularly show up.
Unlike the rest of us, the legislature has no such thing as 'unpaid leave'. But that is what any other employer would assign to a reservist who gets shipped to the battlefields. Most employers now make a commitment to re-employ a returning soldier, but they don't keep signing a full paycheck to an employee who's also getting a full active duty paycheck from his military employer.
There's a strong case to make for what Senator Newhouse has decided to do. Yet Senate District 25's constituents have not gotten a fair deal in the past 10 years. That's not been Joe's fault , but it's still a concern he needs to address. It would also be good for everyone to know just when Newhouse first suspected that his Reserve unit would be activated?
Lieutenant Commander Newhouse has been selected by his fellow Oklahomans in District 25. They were aware of his current service for our nation's military. The potential for deployment is always an issue to consider when selecting a legislator who serves in the military. It would be wise for the rest of the Tulsa senatorial delegation to also work with Newhouse & his constituents, to make sure this sacrifice is easier for everyone to endure.
Let me clarify that everyone highly respects Newhouse for being a fine officer in the Navy.
I'm disgusted with the cheap argument from some on social media, that 'if you believe in senators showing up at the capitol, then you hate the military & you're not patriotic'.
My position is fully supportive of Joe Newhouse in his participation with the US military if, in fact; the US deems that Joe needs to be on active duty.
I also believe that a dedicated legislator is also being patriotic by participating in the duties of the office.
My contextual coverage of this "leave of absence" is VERY important, because the district's previous senator of the last 12 years has missed more days of session than any other senator in several decades.
It seems that the district is largely unconcerned about their lack of representation. So if they're okay with this, then I'll leave it be.
I mean, hey! One less vote for a revenue bill!
My question is whether it's better to go the Mike Mazzei route (keep the title and paycheck), or the Kevin Calvey route (step down for a season so someone else can be present, but come back later). I happen to respect the Calvey route.
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...