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DORMAN TO TAKE TOWN COUNCIL POSITION
TO SERVE HIS HOMETOWN AFTER COUNCIL RESIGNATIONS
“Public service is about stepping up, not climbing some political ladder.”

Joe Dorman announced Monday that after two council members in his hometown resigned for personal reasons, he will complete a one-year unexpired term for one of them. Mayor Linda Nichols asked Dorman, a Rush Springs native, to serve in this capacity until the next election, when someone can be elected to a full term. The unexpired term will be open for election in 2017; Dorman said he will not run for the seat.

“I’m very happy to answer this call of service for my hometown,” he said. “Any time there is a vacuum of leadership, good people need to step up and answer the call. I am honored to have been asked to fill this role for my hometown and hope to help Rush Springs move forward with some important issues on the horizon.”

Rush Springs council members are paid $50 per month. Dorman pledged that he would donate his monthly paycheck to the local food bank/ clothes pantry.

Dorman recently assisted several communities with storm-related recovery efforts after devastating ice storms struck parts of Oklahoma.

"This opportunity to work with several towns during the recovery from the recent storms reminded me how much I missed helping others through the knowledge and connections I made as a legislator," Dorman said. "When Mayor Nichols asked if I would be interested in serving on the council, this seemed like perfect timing to get re-involved in public service after terming out of the state Legislature."

Dorman is employed by Heart Mobile, where he serves as the Community Outreach Director. He is a member of the Rush Springs Lions Club and is chairman of the annual Rush Springs Watermelon Festival held in August. Dorman also leads an effort to deliver Christmas cards to veterans through the “Holiday for Heroes” program he founded. This has operated since 2010 and has grown in popularity each year, delivering more than 8,000 cards to veterans and soldiers this past December.

Dorman worked closely with municipal officials and the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) during his terms as a legislator. He authored legislation that established a training course for newly elected town council members, which later became law with Dorman as a co-author. He also has served as parliamentarian for the Congress of Mayors, a meeting which shapes legislative suggestions for the OML agenda annually; Dorman has served in this role in all six years of the Congress.

Dorman was the 2014 Democratic nominee for Governor of Oklahoma, and said taking the Rush Springs council position has not changed his thinking about the future. He said he will strongly consider running for office again in 2018.

"Public service is about stepping up, not climbing some political ladder,” he said. “Our billion-dollar budget deficit sadly proves that we have had a lack of leadership on this issue. This will impact every community in Oklahoma. Whether it’s my hometown or the entire state, I’m committed to stronger, better leadership for the people of Oklahoma. I look forward to working with the council and the Rush Springs community to help the town where I was raised.”

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Open Door Policy - January 25, 2016

It seems far too many voters suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. This was made famous in the 1970’s when Patty Hearst went from a kidnapping victim to sympathizing with her captors, even helping them accomplish their goals.

Citizens often grow angry with policy decisions by elected officials, but when it comes to Election Day, they cast a vote for that person or simply do not vote.  The reason for this is because elected officials often convince voters that even though they voted against a sound policy which might drastically improve their lives, they are the better choice because of a popular stance taken over ideological policies.

Politicians are often times masters of misdirection. We see legislation filed with the intent to distract from real problems, such as a $1 billion shortfall in the budget.  Some legislators even file bills with no goal of seeing them become law. Instead, these are intended to create good will with social agenda items or “trap” the other side with an unpopular vote.  They know this is something which will not hold up to legal scrutiny, but the passion to keep their perceived power and position overcomes the logic to not promote bills which will cost millions in wasteful lawsuits.

Politicians also give false hope through legislation. They encourage people to believe some significant change will happen, despite the track record pointing otherwise.  I have seen thousands come from across Oklahoma to lobby elected officials for needed changes. As soon as the visit is over, the solutions are quietly shelved for another year and the finger-pointing begins. Blame is given to “the other side” or “because the budget will not allow” for a solution. If that were the case, then why give false hope by dangling an unlikely policy out there?

The answer is so those officials can keep their jobs.

The problem is too many voters help them by re-electing them.

March 1 is the upcoming Presidential Primary.  Republicans will vote for their filed Presidential candidates. Democrats and Independents will vote for their favorite Democratic Presidential candidate. The deadline for registering for this vote is Feb. 5. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Feb. 24 by 5 PM. Early voting is at your county election board on Thursday, February 25 from 8 AM - 6 PM, Friday, February 26 from 8 AM - 6 PM, and Saturday, February 27 from 9 AM - 2 PM.

If you are reading this, you are probably not a part of the problem.  You can help though by taking an infrequent voter with you to the polls. You can also find friends not registered and sign them up. Encourage them to make educated decisions for leaders who will work for solutions, not rhetoric which simply sounds good. Otherwise, we will continue to experience the old adage defining insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Patty Hearst eventually recovered. I have faith these voters will also - hopefully by Election Day.

Joe Dorman served House District 65 as a State Representative for twelve years and was the 2014 Democratic Nominee for Governor of Oklahoma.  Dorman is currently the Community Development Director for Heart Mobile.