Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: December 14, 2011

Sen. Ralph Shortey
Sen. Ralph Shortey

South Oklahoma City lawmakers concerned Savage could be charged by District Attorney

As a result of radio talk show host Michael Savage's offer of $1 million to Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, two south Oklahoma City lawmakers are expressing concern over when the Oklahoma County District Attorney might suddenly choose to file charges against Savage for offering a bribe.

A post on Savage's website (michaelsavage.wnd.com) yesterday offered Gingrich 48 hours to accept $1 million in exchange for withdrawing his candidacy. Sen. Ralph Shortey said the offer appears to satisfy the District Attorney's definition of bribing a candidate who already filed for office in Oklahoma County to withdraw from that contest. Gingrich filed for Oklahoma's Presidential Preferential Primary last week.

"There is a clear difference between this case and the proceedings against Senator Leftwich and Representative Terrill - this situation is an obvious and public attempt to bribe a candidate who has already filed in Oklahoma County," said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City. "In the Leftwich - Terrill case, Senator Leftwich never filed for office and there appears to be very little evidence to support the charges. Our concern is that no one knows what meets the District Attorney's selective definition of bribery and his selective criteria for enforcing the law."

"Savage's offer appears to satisfy all of the requirements the case currently being tried by the District Attorney does not. If he doesn't file charges against Savage, then why not?"

Rep. Mike Reynolds said it would, of course, be ridiculous to file charges against Savage, but considering the District Attorney’s current arbitrary actions it is certainly a real possibility. He also suggested a closer examination of a recent change of leadership at the Grand River Dam Authority may be needed.

"It is not the role of the District Attorney to tell legislators the intent and purpose of legislation,” said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. “The District Attorney's misconception and inconsistency creates a dangerous situation where it is impossible to tell whether he is enforcing the law or engaging in selective political persecution."

"Under the current circumstances, the District Attorney should consider whether the appointment of Sullivan might be a bribe since he accepted the post with the certainty that he would not seek reelection as a candidate for office. We are concerned that this selectivity makes it difficult to determine the District Attorney's threshold for what can and what cannot be considered a bribe.”

For more information, contact:
Sen. Shortey: (405) 521-5557

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