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UPDATE: Republicans say leading Democrats misused state resources in petition drive


OKLAHOMA CITY – State Republican leaders are calling for a petition drive, meant to fund storm shelters in Oklahoma schools, to be put on hold before it even begins.

The chairman of the Oklahoma Republican party says two leading Democrats pushing for the petition have misused state resources to promote the idea.

Back in August, Democrats Joe Dorman and Richard Morrissette first proposed a $500 million bond issue to fund shelters in schools.

Dorman admits he used his state email system to promote the petition.

“I feel bad.  I didn’t realize that was a problem,” said Dorman. “When I found out I did something wrong, I apologized for it.”

Dave Weston, Oklahoma GOP party chair, said, “In my opinion, it looks like Representatives Dorman and Morrissette are trying to make this about themselves more than shelters for kids.”

Weston appreciates Dorman’s apology but still believes the petition drive should cease and desist until a nonpartisan steering committee can be formed.

“I think it’s a valid cause but it needs to be properly vetted,” said Weston.  “It needs to involve people more interested in the cause than promoting themselves.”

Dorman said, “There is no way the petition is going to stop.”

The Democrat from Rush Springs says the goal is simply to protect our kids by building more shelters in schools.

“It should not be partisan. I’m sad the state party chair feels the need to attack two Democrats because they’re involved in this,” said Dorman.

Click here for more information on the petition drive.

Organizers need to collect more than a 150,000 signatures in the next 90 days.

Then, it will be up to a vote of the people.

The petition drive will kick off Wednesday at the Oklahoma State Capitol.