McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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December 9, 2012

Mullin wants McAlester-area constituents to tell him what they feel

McALESTER — Congressman-elect Markwayne Mullin say he means it when he says he wants his constituents to communicate with him and say exactly what they feel.

“You have to be able to come up and tell me I’m an idiot, because people in D.C. won’t,” he said.

Mullin, R-Westville, is set to be sworn into office as the new District 2 U.S. Rep. on Jan. 3 in Washington D.C. He traveled to McAlester on Friday for a town hall meeting at the McAlester Public Library.

“You hear everybody say you take a drink out of the Potomac and become ‘high and mighty,’” Mullin said, referring to how some feel Congressman change once they are sworn into office.

Mullin, who carried all 26 counties in the district in the Nov. 6 election, said the problem is “People start treating you different” after you win election to Congress.

The Congressman-elect, dressed in blue jeans and a blue shirt, indicated he planned to stay true to his small-town Oklahoma roots after he takes office.

He said he wants those he serves to feel free to ask him any question, but to respect his answer.

“I’m going to always give you my opinion; you may not like what I have to say,” Mullin said, telling those present he wanted them to feel free to tell him what they think.

“I want you to hold me accountable,” Mullin said.

After he won election on Nov. 6, Mullin said “I got phone calls from everybody but President Obama and Nancy Pelosi — and I didn’t really expect calls from them.”

Mullin spoke of how, during his two week orientation session in Washington, party leaders had separated the Democrats and Republicans almost immediately for the orientation sessions.

“We didn’t do anything together,” Mullin said. “ “We didn’t eat together. We didn’t go to meetings together.” Mullin said he never even saw a Democrat in the same rest room as a Republican.

Mullin said when the members of the two parties went outside for a bus trip, members of each party gravitated toward different buses.

Mullin said he couldn’t resist getting on the bus with the members of the Democratic party. When he climbed on board, he said the looks on the Democratic passengers’ faces looked as if “I’d gone into the girls’ bathroom.”

Nevertheless, Mullin said he visited with the others during the ride and that some progress had been made in reaching across the aisle.

When he began his presentation, Mullin told those attending the town hall meeting that some of those in Washington D.C. had discouraged him from trying to hold town meetings in all 26 counties in the district.

“They said there’s been members here for years who haven’t done 26 town hall meetings,” he said.

Contatc James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

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