It’s a story that never seems to end: well-intentioned Republican runs for Congress in a conservative district, wins, goes to Washington and promptly moves to the Left. Rep. Markwayne Mullin represents Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District and is in his second term, and while he may have started with the best of intentions the voting record he’s amassed during his time in Congress has been less than stellar – especially for someone who represents a deeply Republican district.
Fortunately, conservative voters in OK-2 have a choice on Tuesday, June 28. They can either keep Mullin, who voted to resurrect the Export-Import Bank, a crony capitalist institution that substitutes politically motivated subsidies for market-driven loans, or they can vote for Jarrin Jackson, a proven conservative fighter who wants to shake things up in Washington.
That part about Jackson being a proven fighter is literally true. An Oklahoma native endorsed by former Sen. Tom Coburn (R), Jackson joined the U.S. Army after 9/11 and graduated West Point as an Infantry officer. He spent seven years in the Army serving as a company level officer during two combat deployments to Afghanistan.
The Madison Project, which works to elect members of Congress who are just as conservative as their districts, has endorsed Jackson in his bid to unseat the status quo.
When incumbent Rep. Mullin began to walk-back his previous commitment to serve only three terms, Sen. Coburn, who held himself to self-imposed term limits in both the House and Senate, blasted the move and endorsed Jackson. “My biggest issue is he is not keeping his pledge and his honor,” Coburn told an Oklahoma radio station recently. “When you make a commitment to somebody you are going to do something, and then you start wavering on that commitment, you have no standing with me at all after that. My opinion is, he drank the kool-aid, he loves the position.”
Loving that position has come at a cost for Mullin and not just in terms of his voting record or the integrity of his term-limits pledge. In early 2014, Mullin was investigated by the House Ethics Committee for continuing to appear in advertising for a family owned plumbing company (free media time for a sitting member of Congress) and misidentifying $600,000 in outside income he and his wife earned from the businesses.
That’s not the only time Mullin’s ethics and his plumbing businesses have been scrutinized. In 2012 the Associated Press noted that while Mullin bashed the so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the government spending “stimulus” package passed by Congressional Democrats at the request of President Barack Obama, his companies made hundreds of thousands of dollars from contracts funded by the ARRA.
Whether or not Mullin’s antics catch up to him is in the hands of Oklahoma voters, who have in Jarrin Jackson a serious, conservative alternative.