Democratic nominee for state labor commissioner signs Open Government Pledge

A former union official has pledged that if he is elected state labor commissioner, the office will comply with the letter and spirit of Oklahoma’s Open Records Act.

In signing FOI Oklahoma’s Open Government Pledge for statewide candidates, Democrat Fred Dorrell also promised “to support at every opportunity” the state’s public policy that “the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power.”

Dorrell faces state Rep. Leslie Osborn, the GOP nominee, and independent Brandt Dismukes in the Nov. 6 general election. Incumbent Melissa McLawhorn Houston is not seeking election. She was appointed in 2015 after Labor Commissioner Mark Costello was slain by his son.

The labor commissioner and state Department of Labor enforce statutes regarding workplace safety and health, as well as wage and hour disputes and child labor laws.

Dorrell served as president/chairman of UAW Local 1895 in Tulsa, according to his campaign website. He’s worked as a human resources labor specialist for Spirit AeroSystems in Tulsa for six years. He’s taught business and human resources classes at Tulsa Community College for 21 years.

FOI Oklahoma invites all candidates for state, local and legislative seats to sign the pledge on FOI Oklahoma’s website, where a list of signers also can be found.

Since FOI Oklahoma began the pledge in 2008, 186 candidates have signed — with 95, or 51 percent —being elected at least once. FOI Oklahoma began the Open Government Pledge as part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to city council contests.


Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications
Mass Communication Law in Oklahoma

 The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, its board of directors or the commentator’s employer. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.