Editorial: For Olson
BY David Averill
Sunday, October 14, 2012
10/14/12 at 3:07 AM
The race for Congress in Oklahoma's 1st District is between two personable, articulate young men who share the experience of service in the U.S. military reserves. Republican Jim Bridenstine is a Navy flier and Democrat John Olson is an Army military policeman and former drill instructor. There also is an independent, Craig Allen, in the race.
Based on his experience, his thoughtful positions on important issues and the fact that for one with no political experience he is among the sharpest, most ready-to-serve candidates for public office that we at the Tulsa World have met, we believe Olson is the best choice.
Olson's 15 years of military service includes deployments in the Afghanistan War and in South Korea. Following his tour in Afghanistan, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Military Police Corps. He currently is the company commander for a drill sergeant company headquartered in Tulsa.
He holds a master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology and a law degree, both from the University of Tulsa. He operates his own business, a small human resources consulting firm. He and his wife Zsa, who is a therapist, have six children.
While Olson and Bridenstine share some similarities as candidates, there is a sharp distinction between the two on important issues.
Olson favors improved educational and other benefits for veterans, to reward them for years of service to their country and to help them "catch up" in their civilian careers. He was motivated to run for office in part because of the high number of suicides among his comrades and what he perceived as a lack of services to help them deal with mental health issues that resulted from repeated, lengthy deployments to very dangerous war zones.
He believes the current health-care system is "far from perfect" but believes some elements of it, such as allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance longer, are beneficial and should be preserved. He believes the Affordable Care Act should be fixed, not repealed in its entirety.
The immigration process, Olson, says, is broken and needs to be fixed by Congress. He favors a path to citizenship for immigrants who are willing to serve in the U.S. military or pursue higher education.
He wants an energy policy that recognizes natural gas as an efficient and affordable bridge fuel while alternative sources of energy are being developed.
He strongly supports the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Olson opposes replacing the income tax with a national sales tax, an idea pushed by his opponent. Olson understands that replacing the fairest tax with a regressive sales tax that falls disproportionately on middle- and lower-income wage earners would wreak economic havoc on the working classes.
Voting history in the 1st District, essentially Tulsa and Washington counties, works against Olson. The district has elected only one Democrat since 1948. That was James R. Jones, who last served 25 years ago. In a year that is shaping up to be another banner one for Oklahoma Republicans, Olson faces an uphill battle.
But if voters on Nov. 6 will lay aside their partisanship for awhile and take a good look at the candidates, they will see that John Olson is the best man for the job.
Original Print Headline: For Olson