I met Senator Mike Schulz while on an assignment to photograph him for the cover of Oklahoma Living Magazine. We met before daylight on his farm in far southwest Oklahoma. He was excited to meet with me and very cooperative. I enjoy meeting people and getting to know them through my camera. As I was setting up for our first shot, a neighboring farmer drove by Senator Schulz cotton field and stopped for a visit. Oftentimes we tend to think of politicians as wealthy individuals making money from getting elected their position, but in fact I have found that most are just like me and you and everyone else. There are wealthy politicians and there are some that are just normal folks with normal finances like the rest of us. They choose to serve so they can try and improve the place they love. Senator Schulz was like that. His home wasn’t a fancy mansion. Just a normal farm home you might see on any corner section line in southwest Oklahoma cotton country. No Ferrari parked in the garage. Instead he had a 15 year old John Deere tractor he used for farming. He worked every day on his farm except for the time he was away in Oklahoma City serving his constituents.
I am a strong believer that a person should never say or write anything on Facebook or anywhere else about a person that they would be embarrassed to say to that person over a friendly cup of coffee or beer. We can disagree on strategy and have sharp discussions on issues, but I try to never let things get personal and make personal attacks against people, especially politicians. Nearly all of the ones I have met are nice, decent folks trying to do a job to the best of their ability, just like Senator Mike Schulz. I believe we should treat them with respect even if we don’t agree with them on particular issues. I believe that is the way Mike Schulz would treat others.