Nathan Dahm embraces ‘Tea Party’ concerns in race to unseat Rep. Sullivan

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 02-Jul-2010

Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow is one of five Republicans enthusiastically trying to knock off incumbent U.S. Rep. John Sullivan in Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. When he filed to contest for the nomination last month, Dahm was interviewed by CapitolBeatOK for News9 in Oklahoma City.

Dahm says he honors the late President Ronald Reagan’s “Golden Rule” which admonishes candidates “to speak no evil of your fellow Republicans.” He said he agrees with that, but “I don’t believe that you can call yourself a Republican and vote for expansion of government.”

He continued, “Republicans are for limited government. Sullivan voted for a $700 billion banker bailout, and that is not limited government. I feel that somebody needs to be able to stand up for the people and truly represent their will in Congress and in the First District.”

Dahm has put a strict emphasis on preservation of liberty and protection of states against federal government intrusion. He is an advocate of the Second Amendment’s provision of an individual right to keep and bear arms.

He believes the American economy is the top issue in the 2010 campaign. He explained, “The economy is facing everyone. … Sullivan voted for the bailout. He also, in 2009, which was one of the most desperate times in our recent history with the economy, increased his staff budgeting by $130,000.”

Dahm asserted, “Everybody else was cutting back, and there was 10% unemployment, and here he is, again, growing government. The economy affects every other area of government, whether you’re pro-life, pro-military or for state’s rights, whatever issue is most important to you, the economy affects every other one of those issues. So, we have to fix our economy first and foremost.”

Dahm gained the editorial endorsement of The Tulsa Beacon more than a year ago. He has embraced the Tea Party movement, and considers himself part of it. He reflected, “We have huge grass roots support. I have spoken at quite a few of the Tulsa Tea Parties, all the tea parties in the Tulsa area. I’ve been actively involved, I’ve been a grass roots activist for several years now.”

Referring to experiences gained when his family lived and worked in the former communist (“and currently socialist”) national of Romania, Dahm said, “What first got me involved is that I was overseas. I saw socialism. I saw communism. I saw, especially, inflation, especially, really rampantly. When I returned here to Oklahoma, I saw our government going in that direction. So, I tried to get people awake, tried to get people involved. But they just weren’t seeing it. They thought it could not happen here.”

Eventually, however, he believes more Oklahomans have awakened and come to share the concerns he and other “Tea Party” activists have identified. He believes, “people are finally starting to wake up, finally starting to see what could happen here in America, and we do not want that.”

Video from the interview with Dahm accompanies this story.