Tulsa County Republican Convention: Sullivan speaks against Broken Arrow casino plan
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Sunday, March 25, 2012
3/25/12 at 5:32 AM
U.S. Rep. John Sullivan said Saturday that Broken Arrow is at "ground zero" of a controversy that will have a nationwide impact.
Speaking at the Tulsa County Republican Convention, Sullivan said the Kialegee casino being built at the southwest corner of Olive Avenue (129th East Avenue) and Florence Street (111th Street) over the objections of many in the community is a "precedent-setting" issue whose outcome will be noticed far outside the borders of Broken Arrow.
"It effects all of us," Sullivan said. "It could happen in your backyard, too."
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has filed a pending federal lawsuit meant to halt the project. A May 2 hearing has been set in Tulsa federal court to consider Pruitt's request for a preliminary injunction to stop construction.
Sullivan said Saturday there are "a lot of eyeballs on this" because he said opening a casino in such an area could open the door in Oklahoma and elsewhere for other such gaming developments in residential areas.
He told the crowd in Union's Performing Arts Center that constructing a casino so close to homes, schools and churches is "ridiculous."
"It's absolutely wrong that this is happening," Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he is doing all he can to stop the construction and praised the grass-roots effort that has sprung up in Broken Arrow to stop the casino. He even brought the leaders of that movement to the stage as they used signs to form the number 10,000, the number of signatures on a petition opposing the project.
That drew loud applause from the crowd, as did many of his earlier comments critical of the Obama administration.
He said House Republicans are the "first line of defense against the Obama agenda."
Sullivan noted that the "Obamacare" health care program recently marked its second birthday and expressed hope that it will not survive to see a third one.
With the U.S. Supreme Court about to begin hearing three days of oral arguments on the topic, Sullivan said the worst thing about Obamacare is that it is unconstitutional because it requires people to purchase something they don't want.
"It has to be stopped," he said.
Sullivan also expressed his displeasure with the Obama administration's proposal to eliminate $17 million from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's 287(g) program, which allows local jail officials to place ICE detainers, or holds, on arrestees who are suspected of being illegal immigrants.
The Department of Homeland Security says that money would be shifted to a program called Secure Communities, which uses fingerprints to help identify potential illegal immigrants.
But Sullivan said Saturday the 287(g) program - which Tulsa County began participating in in 2007 - has been highly successful in getting those in the country illegally detained and deported. He said Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz has done an outstanding job with the program and set a national standard in the process.
Sullivan also reiterated the comments he made Friday to the Tulsa Republican Club in which he was critical of Obama's speech Thursday at the Oklahoma staging point for the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
On Saturday, Sullivan expressed his determination that America become energy self-sufficient by the year 2020. He said the Environmental Protection Agency has "gone rogue by instituting rules we don't need."
Sullivan commended the convention attendees as the "backbone" of the Republican party, although some on hand Saturday were wearing olive-green flightsuits to display their allegiance to District 1 Congressional candidate and Navy Reserve pilot Jim Bridenstine.
Original Print Headline: Sullivan speaks on issues
David Harper 918-581-8359
Conventioneers gather during the Tulsa County Republican Convention at Union High School on Saturday. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World
U.S. Rep. John Sullivan (left) watches as Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett signs a petition against a proposed casino in Broken Arrow during the Tulsa County Republican Convention at Union High School on Saturday. Bartlett's Chief of Staff Jarred Brejcha is at center. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World