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Mr. Popular

Gazette staff August 13th, 2013

If Chicken-Fried News were to hazard a guess as to the least popular legislator at the state Capitol, our money would be on state Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. The guy has been a consistent thorn in the side — or perhaps a fleshier body part — of House speakers, and the current one, Lawton Republican T.W. Shannon, is no exception.

Credit: Brad Gregg

On Reynolds’ newly launched website, shannonforcongress.com, he appears to accuse Shannon of everything short of stealing candy from a baby.

The Oklahoma City Republican suggests Shannon took a pair of illegal corporate campaign contributions, has a sorry legislative track record and even has played fast and loose with his claim of being Oklahoma’s first African-American and American Indian to serve as speaker of the House.

“Should we promote someone as a leader in the GOP because of their race/ ethnicity/gender?” someone (Reynolds?)

writes on the website. “Do you believe an individual can represent the people properly when their largest source of campaign contributions are from special interest groups (tribes and the State Chamber of Commerce)?”

A spokesman for Shannon shrugged off the site, telling the Tulsa World, “These are tired allegations by a representative who just continuously attacks people.”

That’s a mild way of describing Reynolds’ tactics. His more dubious feats have included:

—interrupting a pastor speaking to the House because Reynolds felt the clergyman was lobbying about health and wellness;

—almost getting into a fist fight with a fellow House Republican after Reynolds interrupted a college professor who was addressing the chamber; and

—throwing a flat-out fit on the House floor in an effort to push through a controversial “personhood” bill.

Reynolds’ birthday isn’t until March, but CFN already has the perfect gift in mind: a copy of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People.

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