Jackson Says He'll 'Stomp into' Governor's Office
That's how gubernatorial candidate Roger L. Jackson introduced himself last week at the Oklahoma Press Association's summer workshop at Sequoyah State Park.
He raised a few eyebrows with the statement that he would immediately invoke emergency powers. This, in part, was his answer to a panel question in reference to how he would handle Oklahoma's budget crisis.
"I may be a long-shot for governor, but if elected I will stomp into the governor's office in January, invoke emergency powers, roll-up my sleeves and begin to try to fix this fiscal emergency," Jackson said on a website, okc.about.com, introducing all six Oklahoma 2010 gubernatorial candidates.
"Free rides and lavish lifestyles at taxpayers' expense have got to stop. My administration would begin to reorganize Oklahoma state government from top to bottom," he said.
OK. Who is Roger L. Jackson?
For starters, he is a retired Oklahoma City businessman. He spent 24 years in the office equipment business. He was also an account executive for Southwestern Bell Yellow pages for several years.
"I'm one of the best managers in the state of Oklahoma," Jackson said this week in a telephone interview. "Look, Oklahoma doesn't need a politician or lawyer in the governor's seat. We need a manager."
He said he's running for the gubernatorial slot, because the "governor is the only one that can fix this mess. If I could do it as a senator or in the legislature, I would do it that way. But, it can't be done that way. Only the governor can do this."
In part, what Jackson is saying, is that under the Oklahoma Emergency Management Act of 2003, the Governor of Oklahoma gains vast and comprehensive emergency powers.
Detailed information about the act, which was signed into law by Gov. Brad Henry on May 29, 2003, is available at many websites, including en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_Emergency_Management_Act_of_2003.
• Emergency powers provided to the governor are operative only during the existence of a natural or man-made emergency.
• The existence of such an emergency must be proclaimed by the governor through executive declaration.
• Upon an emergency being declared, the governor must activate the Emergency Operations Plan. This allows the governor to assume direct regulatory control over all essential resources of the state.
• It is then the responsibility of the governor to determine the priorities of such resources and allocate them as he deems necessary.
• The Emergency Management Act defines "resources" as "all economic resources within [Oklahoma] including but not limited to food, manpower, health and health manpower, water, transportation, economic stabilization, electric power, petroleum, gas, and solid fuel, industrial production, construction and housing."
And, that, in a nutshell is what Jackson plans to do.
"The other candidates are not recognizing that we are even in an emergency distress," Jackson said. "Someone has to be a leader. No one has the guts to do something about it."
He believes he can get the job done.
"I'll just need to be careful that the legislature doesn't impeach me the next day," Jackson said at the OPA workshop.
Here's the main thing the "man that nobody knows" wants everyone to know about him: he's mad and he wants to do something about it.