Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Morrissette Responds to Partisan Attacks

Representative Morrissette, D- Oklahoma City, responded to a partisan press statement released by the House Republican Leadership today. “I’m very disappointed to see the House Republicans resort to such childish attacks. We’re here to debate and resolve important issues, not point fingers at each other,” said Morrissette.

“Yesterday I spoke fondly of the United States Constitution and the protection of all the freedoms which we hold dear. I debated and voted against this bill because it weakens the integrity of appellate issues. This bill creates a technicality that very well could allow a guilty murderer to go free. I will sleep quite well tonight knowing that I worked to stop the creation of a giant loophole that could very well allow the guilty to walk free.”

“Most victims I know would much prefer to have the perpetrator behind bars, rather than risk that conviction by wearing a button. If Republican leadership wants to classify this “get tough” approach to crime as a liberal position, I suppose that’s their right. But how seriously can you take their “liberal Democrat” rhetoric, when two of the most conservative Republican members of the House joined other Republicans as well as House Democrats in opposing this dangerous legislation.”

Republican Caucus Chairman, Rep. John Wright, R-Broken Arrow, and Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, are consistently ranked as the “most conservative” members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Both joined House Democrats in casting a vote that other members of Republican leadership classified as “liberal”.

“I simply cannot believe that Representative Rex Duncan, R- Sand Springs, the Chairman of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, is so ill-informed of criminal law that he did not help victims to write a clean bill. Representative Duncan, who has very little experience in any legal matter, is in no position to criticize the legal analysis of a bi-partisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats fighting to protect the Constitution and put the guilty where they belong.”

In the end, six Republican lawmakers joined several Democrats by casting “no” votes that Republican leadership classified as “liberal”: Republican Caucus Chairman, Rep John Wright, R-Broken Arrow; Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore; Rep. Weldon Watson, R-Tulsa; Rep. Steve Martin, R-Bartlesville; Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove; and Rep. John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow.

“These Republicans are hardly ‘flaming liberals’ and neither was their vote to join many House Democrats in standing up for victims by helping to ensure that criminals end up behind bars.”

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