Shane Jett plans Wednesday filing for GOP nod in 5th Congressional District

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 08-Jun-2010

State Rep. Shane Jett plans to file Wednesday (June 9) for the Fifth District Congressional seat. The Tecumseh Republican told CapitolBeatOK:

“The time is right. I bring a lot to the table that is needed in the 5th District right now. I have practical business experience. I’ve had to meet payroll, and to hire and fire people. I’ve had to grapple with the workers comp system that needs reform in Oklahoma.”

In an interview after he hosted a fundraising event Monday evening in northwest Oklahoma City, Jett said, “I support real immigration reform. My stance has been mischaracterized, but it is a sound stance, a realistic and common sense position. To address the immigration issue will require good policies and a statesman’s approach. America needs a meaningful visa work program. All economic booms throughout our history have included meaningful immigration policy.”

More broadly, he continued, “The key issues are without a doubt jobs and the economy. What is needed is meaningful health care reform that includes medical malpractice or medical tort reform. Rather than the defensive medicine that doctors now feel compelled to practice, acting in a way that is protective of themselves from lawsuits, we need real reform. So many doctors respond to the bad incentives of our current system and prescribe more tests to patients so they avoid lawsuits.”

Jett continued, “In the area of economic development, we have to reenergize our rail and transportation infrastructure. This would provide great benefits and boosts to both manufacturing and agriculture in the state. We can make better use, in Oklahoma, of the Port of Catoosa, which will prove essential to freight and rail improvements. In a related matter, passenger rail is a way to build our economy, too.”

Sticking with economic development themes, Jett reflected, “Commercial liberation will require improvements in our telecommunications infrastructure. Rural access to the rest of the world is essential for us to sell products made and produced in the countryside.”

He admitted, “A runoff is likely before anyone has the Republican nomination. Because of my unique life experiences I believe I can appeal to groups that have felt disenfranchised in the past. People with no voice or a muted voice have come to my campaign.”

Jett asserted, “I am a conservative who has passed the real conservative litmus tests. I am pro-gun, pro-life and for God and country.  What has caused conflicts for me with some who call themselves conservative is that I refuse to check my brain at the door of a meeting. I grapple with real problems in governance. I bring an open mind to some political discussions. My extensive travels help me understand the need to respect differences of opinions in many discussions.

“As for my conservatism, I’ve been elected in my district with these percentages: 55, 60 and 72. I have been able to appeal to the conservative base of the Republican party while reaching out to others. I’ve supported education reforms, increases in teacher’s pay, been involved in lawsuit reform and tort reform.”

He concluded, “At the Capitol, what I’m proudest of is that I’ve been able to take care of the people who sent me here, and who have sent me back here to Oklahoma City. I have remembered who put me here. When I’ve had conflicts between an FFA $5 a plate function and a $50 a plate dinner, more often than not I’ve been at the FFA event.

“What I’m driving at is that I’m a conservative and also a bridge builder. I appeal to a broad spectrum of people and am representative of those people because of my life experiences.”