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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Andrew Rice
Democratic Floor Leader Elect
Senate District 46
Oklahoma County

For Immediate Release: April 15, 2010

Sen. Andrew Rice
Sen. Andrew Rice

Senator Rice: “GOP Leadership Must Rebuke Incendiary Rhetoric”

Senator Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma City) said today, the anti-government rhetoric among some Republican state legislators has reached disturbing levels. Rice pointed to comments by a Republican legislator running for statewide office who said on Wednesday the federal government is "tyrannical" and said he is willing to take his challenge of the federal government "to the max."

Rice said these comments are particularly disturbing given the fact the remarks come just days after the Republican state legislator and others said the state of Oklahoma should create a citizen's militia to protect Oklahoma's sovereignty from an "overreaching" United State's government.

"All elected officials have a tremendous responsibility to be careful with the words we choose to use in public," Senator Andrew Rice said. "At a time when more and more people are using words that carry violent connotations to express what may be legitimate frustrations with government policies, you would hope that elected officials would refrain from feeding into that frenzy."

Rice said that non-partisan experts of anti-government violence and terrorism have recently expressed concerns about the rhetoric. Rice pointed to comments by David Cid, executive director of Oklahoma City-based Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, who was quoted in the Oklahoma Gazette saying: "People are angry and frustrated. And among those who are angry and frustrated, there is a small number, but there are a number who will pick up a gun.”

Rice said examples of evidence of anti-government violence occurred both in Austin, Texas and Michigan as one group threatened violence against the government, and another person act out on his anger in an act of domestic terrorism against the IRS, killing one innocent citizen and himself.

"I call on the Republican leaders of the Legislature to rebuke this inflammatory language of some of their members coming just days before the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing," Rice said. "All Oklahomans should be offended to hear any elected official use language that is reminiscent to the anti-government language used by Timothy McVeigh, especially leading up to this painful time of year for our state."

Rice explained while McVeigh was on death row awaiting his execution for the murder of 168 innocent Oklahomans, he sent a letter to a London, England newspaper titled: "Why I bombed the Murrah building." In it, McVeigh explains: "I reached the decision to go on the offensive - to put a check on government abuse of power, where others had failed in stopping the federal juggernaut running amok," he said.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Rice: (405) 521-5610

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