Oklahoma Republicans stand by state rep who threatened to have business rival jailed forever
An Oklahoma Republican called a former employee from the Capitol and left a threatening voicemail laced with profanity. His statehouse colleagues appear unconcerned by the lawmaker’s behavior, Fox 25 reports.
On May 12, State Representative Mark McBride (R-Moore) left an inflammatory phone message for an unnamed man, who used to work for McBride’s construction firm and who the representative accuses of “badmouthing” him and costing him business. McBride told the man he would use his leverage from the statehouse to get his one-time employee pulled over by police and arrested, trailed by the Bureau of Narcotics, and thrown in jail, preferably for an extended period or at least repeatedly.
“Hey…after all that me and my sons have done for you and for you to do what you did you got me pretty pissed off,” the lawmaker began angrily, according to a transcript and recording published by Fox 25. “I’m just going to explain one thing to you that you don’t want to come to Moore or Norman ever again because I’m going to go today, personally, and give them the description of your truck and your tag number and I’m going to have you arrested. I am going to give your information to the highway patrol because you are driving illegally. I’m going to give them a description of your vehicle and your tag number. You screwed with the wrong guy when you called and run…when you met with the Schroeders and ran my business down.”
“Do not show…I’m telling you,” the elected official continued. “You might outta go back to Texas, because you screwed with the wrong guy. I’ll have the Bureau of Narcotics after you; I’m going to have everybody up your ass. I have done so much for you. I’ve given you jobs, I’ve given you stuff, I’ve helped you out. We paid you so much money last year. We did everything…and more than we ever told you that we would do. But buddy, you screw with me and I am going to get even, I’m getting even. You ran my company down, my sons down, me down so now you get ready because you’re going to jail.”
McBride signed off with the following words: “And I’m going to keep you there. Every time you get out, I’m going to find out and I’m going to get you put back in. So you need to get a new address because you made an enemy out of a guy…I’ve got more f***ing stroke than you have…you have no idea, you have no idea. I am going to make personally, make your life miserable just because you have bad mouthed my name around and you’ve preyed on our customer base. So you need to pack your sh** and get out of Oklahoma, just just advice. Bye.”
Oklahoma House Speaker Jeff Hickman tells Fox 25 he has no plans to reprimand McBride or address his threatening behavior.
In a statement, Hickman writes: “While the approach Mark used to address a personal matter with a former employee of his private business is not how I would have handled it, he is responsible to his constituents, not to me.” Fox 25 points out the Oklahoma House could pursue an investigation into McBride or formally reprimand the lawmaker for using his office to threaten a business rival with arrest. The legislative body has chosen to do neither.
Fox 25 reports that Hickman and McBride were, until recently, business partners in the construction business. According to the news outlet, “Hickman and McBride teamed up to form ‘M & H Capitol Builders’ to build homes in northwestern Oklahoma, Hickman’s political district… The partnership started just a month after McBride’s first term in the house began in 2013. The company’s annual business license terminated this past April.”
On the “issues” page of his website, McBride lists the policy priorities of restricting reproductive healthcare access for women, expanding the availability of firearms, and “eliminating unnecessary government mandates on business.”
On Tuesday, McBride lamented on his Facebook page that the American citizenry is not sufficiently deferential to Christian theocracy. Here’s a screenshot: