BY Michelle Garcia
March 26 2010 11:20 AM ET
When I told our staff that we would be interviewing you today, someone said, "Those are going to be some interesting debates." What are the issues concerning your district, and how will you two shape the debate among those issues?
Right now I've been particularly concerned with legislation that she's been pushing that would basically have Oklahoma opt out of Environmental Protection Agency regulation and take that on ourselves. We're not at a time in the state budget where we can take on that kind of responsibility by ourselves. Environmental regulation is going to take a lot of time and money, and nowhere in her bill does she account for budgeting and responsibilities that our department of environmental quality would have to take on. I believe in fiscal responsibility. You can't just push legislation because it plays into the fears of our federal government. You have to look at how this actually impacts our budget. You have to ask yourself, "What is this actually going to do for the lives of everyday Oklahomans?"
Oklahomans deserve to hear that debate. She's continued to push a lot of these states' rights legislations. They're going to cost us a lot of money in lawsuits. It will cost us money if we actually did have to start carrying this stuff on our own, and people need to know that and not just fall for rhetoric of "the federal government is taking away Oklahoma's rights. "
Do you feel that Oklahomans are ready to elect a transgender person to represent them?
You know, I do get that feeling. In fact, I've even received e-mails and messages from folks who identify as conservative Republicans who support me. They say, "I may not agree with you on everything, but I agree with your approach to this. This is the kind of approach we expect from our leaders, so we support you." I've been open about my past as a trans woman. There was a two-part segment about me on our local Fox affiliate, and an article ran in our main alternative weekly newspaper. The only negative feedback I've really received was based on a policy issue.
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