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Political roundup: Dorman mum on gay marriage, Cockroft reacts to plagiarism claim

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Joe Dorman (Mark Hancock)
  • Mark Hancock
  • Joe Dorman

Where does Rep. Joe Dorman stand on the issue of marriage equality?

It’s a question some in the LGBT community feel the Democratic candidate for governor has been silent on in an effort to not alienate himself from conservative voters he will need in November.

Dorman has not offered an official comment on last week’s legalization of same-sex marriage in Oklahoma, but in previous interviews has indicated the court’s decision would be one he would go along with as governor.

“We are just going to have to wait and see what the Supreme Court decides on that issue and we will have to go from there and make sure the policies [are followed],” Dorman said as a guest on Oklahoma Gazette’s Capital City podcast in August. “I’m just waiting to see what the law says. I have my own personal feelings on that and just waiting to see what laws will be dictated down. As chief executive I would have to follow the laws.”

Dorman did call Gov. Mary Fallin’s attempt last year to withhold benefits to same-sex members of the national guard “despicable.”

“There is no way I would have done something like that,” Dorman said.

Dorman also said he was in support of same-sex marriage being an issue that is voted on by citizens, which happened in 2004 when 75 percent of voters backed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Troy Stevenson of The Equality Network, a local LGBT advocacy group, said he has reached out to Dorman on the issue and wished he would be more outspoken on the topic.

“I think he should be more outspoken on this, but it’s important to remember that the LGBT population doesn’t identify just as Democrats,” Stevenson said. “There are many layers to our community.”

While Stevenson would like to hear Dorman publically support the legalization of same-sex marriage, he doesn’t view it as a huge campaign issue because the governor has no say on marriage rights.

“I would say that it’s possible that Mr. Dorman doesn’t see this as a political issue in the last month of a campaign cycle,” Stevenson said. “It’s a decision by the Supreme Court and is not something that is going to be decided on by governor.”

Cockroft claims mistake following plagiarism accusation

In between posting embarrassing photos of state fair guests and making fun of local television news anchors, The Lost Ogle blog offered a hard-hitting story last week accusing a state lawmaker of plagiarism.

A blog post published by Rep. Josh Cockroft on his website appeared to contain identical language from a column previously written by Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation. Cockroft’s post did not credit Anderson.

After TLO posted excerpts comparing Cockroft’s post with Anderon’s column, Cockroft addressed the issue on Facebook and said he mistakenly posted the wrong version of a speech he was scheduled to give.

“After being made aware I had posted an errant column, I have removed it and replaced it with the correct version,” Cockroft wrote on his Facebook page. “The previous version was never meant to be published, but was for my records alone, were personal notes for an upcoming speech, and were published through an honest mistake. That version had many direct quotes without proper credit given to the author. I have fixed the problem and promise to be more aware in the future.”

You can read TLO’s story here.

Number of the week

22. That’s how many days are left until the Nov. 4 elections.

Further reading

Chris Casteel, the Oklahoman’s Washington DC correspondent, wrote a piece Sunday on Rep. James Lankford’s connection to the Falls Creek christian camp.

“If you got your picture taken with James Lankford, it made your day,'' said one former Falls Creek camper now involved in Oklahoma politics.

Lankford is depicted as a sort of Christian rockstar and the story offers an interesting take on how to win elections in Oklahoma.

You can find the story here.

Coming up on OKG...

Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi is on the homestretch of her time in office following her primary defeat earlier this summer. However, Barresi hasn’t decided to just sit quietly until her successor is picked by voters next month.

“I found out that the education establishment had one thing to do over the past four years and that was to get me out of office,” Barresi said in an interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “Congratulations, you were successful. But here’s the deal, the covers have come off and you can’t close them back.”

You can read more about Barresi’s thoughts on her time in office in next week’s Oklahoma Gazette.

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