Clem McSpadden, whose career ranged from public service to rodeo announcing, was praised by former and present political leaders Tuesday as a committed public servant who loved Oklahoma.
Tributes to the late state senator and congressman came from members of both political parties in Congress and the Oklahoma Legislature.
U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, scheduled a moment of silence Tuesday evening on the U.S. House of Representatives floor to honor and remember McSpadden's life.
McSpadden, 82, was a lobbyist who could discuss problems created by the Legislature such as the use of "shell bills” that have no substantive language in them until they and many other similar bills are dumped on legislators' desks when there's little time to read them.
Former state Sen. Stratton Taylor of Claremore probably best described how well known McSpadden was in Oklahoma.
"He was one of those people who only needed one name. Anywhere you went in Oklahoma, if someone said, ‘Clem,' they knew who you were talking about. He was a great mentor to me. I got to page for him as an 11-year-old when he was Pro Tem, and he made me feel like the most important person in the Capitol. Later when I had the privilege of having that same office he had, I realized how busy he must have been that day, but he took time to make an 11-year-old boy from Alluwe (a former school district) feel important,” said Taylor, a Democrat who represented the same district McSpadden had represented years before.
Slideshow: Collected Wisdom of Clem McSpadden
Slideshow: Clem McSpadden, 1925 - 2008
Sign/view the guest book for Clem McSpadden