Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: November 8, 2013
Sen. Brian Crain
Sen. Crain plans legislation aimed at political stalking in neighborhoods
Sending individuals to track and record a political
opponent’s comments and actions has become a routine part
of many campaigns. But State Sen. Brian
Crain said Friday when that kind of surveillance moves into
a candidate’s neighborhood and causes anxiety and fear for
others living there, it’s gone too far. Crain said he was
drafting legislation in an attempt to stop such harassment.
Crain’s comments came after a recent incident in Tulsa. Mayor
Dewey Bartlett’s neighbors became concerned after noticing
an unknown person had been parking on their street for several days,
prompting a call to police.
“Anyone who has run for public office knows they will be put
under the microscope. It isn’t unusual for the opposition
to send people to events in the hopes of recording something that
can be used to attack that individual. That’s fair game,”
said Crain, R-Tulsa. “But when you have someone stalking a
candidate in their own neighborhood, I think that’s completely
different. In this case, neighbors had no idea who this person was.
They didn’t know if he was a burglar casing their neighborhood
or something even worse. It caused tremendous anxiety and fear for
some families and individuals, and that’s just crossing a
line as far as I’m concerned.”
Crain said he planned to file legislation addressing this kind of
neighborhood surveillance by making it a misdemeanor with a fine
of up to $1000 and/or up to 90 days in jail.
“It’s a pity that in order to pursue public office,
an individual simply has to be prepared to deal with being followed
by political operatives looking for dirt, but the candidate’s
neighbors didn’t sign on for any of that,” Crain said.
“I understand there was at least one parent in that neighborhood
who was terrified to let their children play outside because they
didn’t know what the stranger’s intentions were. This
is where we have to say you’ve gone too far—this is
not okay and we as a society are not going to tolerate it.”
Once filed, Crain’s legislation will be considered when the
2014 legislative session begins next February.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Crain: (405) 521-5620