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Thursday, March 18, 2010
State Rep. Mike Shelton (D-OKC), who recently was in the news over the portrait flap in the State House, has made the news again - this time for attempting to hand out crack pipes to legislators at the Capitol.
Sources say that Shelton carried a sack of glass crack pipes into the Capitol, and tried to hand them to other legislators, while discussing legislation he is running to 'crack down' on the selling of such drug paraphernalia.
Shelton tried to hand one to State Rep. Rex Duncan (R-Sand Springs) who is running for District Attorney, in the private House lounge, but Duncan refused. Duncan told Shelton that "it's drug paraphernalia," that he would not take one, and that "it's a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in county jail just to have one in your possession." Our sources imply that Duncan felt the meeting had the air of a set-up.
Apparently, Shelton gave, or tried to give, pipes to other legislators, including House Speaker Chris Benge. One wound up on the House Floor, placed on a Republican representative's desk.
Rep. Terry Harrison (D-McAlester) was allegedly present when Shelton tried to give a pipe to Duncan. Harrison, who is also running for DA in his home district, told FOX 25 that "there's a certain amount of shock value with what Rep. Shelton did." Despite the questionable legality of the action, Harrison furthered stated that Shelton should be "commended" for bringing the issue to the attention of the legislature.
Shelton says he bought the pipes at a local convenience store. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor; Shelton said that he was aware of that, but doesn't believe that what he did qualifies as a criminal act.
Capitol security did not catch the crack pipes when Shelton came into the Capitol, but Shelton laughed it off when pressed by a KOKH FOX 25 interviewer. He said that he had to "make it real" for legislators, and would not hesitate to do it again.
Shelton was involved in controversy regarding official portraits on the House floor last week. Rep Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia) switched positions of President Obama's portrait and Governor Henry's portrait on the back wall of the House chamber, to which Shelton responded by taking former Republican House Speaker Lance Cargill's official portrait from the wall and placing it on the floor.
Shelton has made the rounds with the media, decrying Moore's "childish" action. Ironically, focus has been on Obama's portrait, while leaving the rest of the story, namely Cargill's portrait and Shelton's own childish actions, untold.