Senator Patrick Anderson responded today to accusations that he has undertaken a “petty political attack” against the State Medical Examiner’s office. Senator Clark Jolley was quoted in the Monday, May 14, 2012 Daily Oklahoman stating that the project was “under a petty political attack” and that “there are people who are trying to politicize the question on whether or not we should construct the Medical Examiner's office.”
“Senator Jolley’s comments are clearly aimed at me since I’m the one who has questioned the proposed funding for the project through the Master Lease Program,” said Anderson, R-Enid. “My response is that this is a legal issue – not a political one. Furthermore, I don’t believe there is anything ‘petty’ about requiring the legislature to follow the Constitution.”
“My only political interest is to protect the taxpayers of Oklahoma from what I believe is an unconstitutional issuance of debt,” said Anderson. “I have challenged the Master Lease Program because it is used to issue millions of dollars of debt without a vote of the people or a vote of the Legislature – that clearly violates our state Constitution.”
“I agree with Senator Jolley that we need to address the Medical Examiner’s building,” said Anderson. “However, I believe that that discussion and that debate should occur in the Legislature.”
Anderson went on to say that his opposition to the funding of the Medical Examiner’s office through the Master Lease Program should not come as any surprise since he had previously stopped an attempt in 2011 that sought to do the same thing. Anderson has also been a leader in the fight against the issuance of additional bond indebtedness for the Native American Cultural Center in Oklahoma City and has also sought an Attorney General’s opinion regarding the constitutionality of using $25 million in state bond funds to restore a dam in Tulsa that the State does not even own.