Mullin, town hall audience share gripes of all stripes
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
1/30/13 at 8:40 AM
CLAREMORE - Someone who disagreed with U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin on gun control threatened to shoot Mullin and his three children at their school, the first-term Republican said Tuesday during a town hall meeting at Northeast Technology Center.
Mullin's chief of staff, Karl Ahlgren, said Jan. 19 that death threats had been made against Mullin and his family, but no details were revealed.
"Some lunatic ... didn't like my stance on guns, and his solution was to threaten to shoot me," Mullin said. "How ironic is that?"
His children were taken in through the back door of their school under the protection of federal and local law enforcement officers "because the threat was directed toward that," he said.
The situation, which occurred while Mullin was in Washington, caused him to have a "pity party" and question his decision to seek office, Mullin said Tuesday.
"I was praying a little bit, but I was doing more griping," he said.
In the end, Mullin said, he decided not to "look at this country as one big mess but to focus on a few (problems)." He suggested that those in the crowd of about 130 do the same.
Mullin's audience had just finished not so much questioning him as venting on all sorts of subjects, from illegal immigration to F-16s for Egypt. There were complaints about lobbyists, executive orders, Mitt Romney, the cost of living and employers who cheat on withholding taxes.
At least one person tried to lead Mullin into criticism of Republican leaders, but he refused to go there.
Asked why no one has really challenged Speaker John Boehner for the House's top spot, Mullin said, "I think what people are afraid of is fracturing whatever cohesiveness the Republican Party has right now."
Mullin disagreed with the suggestion that the party is already fractured.
"I don't see that," he replied. "There are about 12 or 13 that, no matter what, they're going to vote no. I don't care what - and this is coming from a guy who to this point has voted no on darn near everything - there are 12 or 13 people who are going to oppose whatever direction people are trying to go, and sometimes they fly under the flag of conservatives."
Mullin said there is a good chance of immigration reform and said he expects Congress to "chip away" at national health reform.
Although he did not vote for the "No Budget, No Pay" bill, which was approved by the House and was intended to pressure Congress - especially the Senate - to pass a budget, he said it "had a lot of good stuff in it" and might have the desired effect.
"Since it's passed the Senate, it's going to be really hard for the Senate to come and defend why they can't pass a budget," Mullin said. "What the budget looks like, I don't know, but I think they'll come out with a budget."
Original Print Headline: Mullin, audience share gripes of all stripes
Randy Krehbiel 918-581-8365
Rep. Markwayne Mullin speaks during a town hall meeting Tuesday in Claremore. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World