Here are some endorsements for the Nov. 2 election along with some political developments that have surfaced in recent days.
It was recently reported that James Lankford, the GOP candidate running for the U.S. House District 5 seat, had paid himself with his campaign money, which is legal. It does raise questions, however. This is a candidate running on “fiscal-responsibility” and “Washington-is-out-of-control” rhetoric. Here’s part of a statement released by Coyle’s campaign manager Ivan Holmes:
When our opponent [James Lankford] finally got around to filing the report, I noticed a few things I think are important to share. Both campaigns have bought Television Commercials at this point, but we still had almost $33,000 in our campaign account to make our final push. Our opponent only had a little over $11,000. He even took $5,000 out of his campaign account for his own personal use. Does this sound like someone who will bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington? It doesn’t to me.
Voters should choose Coyle, pictured right.
Can someone who has never tried a legal case before a jury become the attorney general in Oklahoma? I guess so. Scott Pruitt, the GOP candidate for attorney general, according to NewsOK.com has never “spoke to a jury.” It’s not necessarily mind-boggling that any given attorney hasn’t appeared before a jury-there are various types of attorneys, true-but what about one who wants the state’s top legal job?
This is from NewsOK.com:
Attorney general candidate Scott Pruitt never spoke to the jury at a 1994 civil trial his campaign cited last week as proof the candidate has jury trial experience.
Pruitt, a Republican, was in the courtroom to assist another attorney in the case, which saw jurors rule against their client. A transcript of the trial shows Pruitt never presented arguments or evidence to the jury.
His Democratic opponent, Jim Priest, an Oklahoma City trial lawyer, said last week he is “stunned” Pruitt hasn’t argued a case before a jury.
Priest, the Democratic candidate, “has argued dozens of cases before juries,” according to NewsOK.com, and he has rightfully made Pruitt’s lack of jury trial experience a campaign issue.
Even if attorneys general don’t personally appear in court often, how can you give advice to trial lawyers when you don’t have the experience yourself?
Priest is the obvious choice here.
SQ 744, if passed, would raise common education funding to a regional average. Those who oppose it have employed a scare-tactics campaign that argues other government programs would come to a halt and taxes would increase astronomically if the measure passes. Those who support SQ 744 argue cuts to the state’s increasing tax credits would pay for the increase.
Walton Robinson, the communications director for Yes on 744, circulated a recent Tulsa World article by Randy Krehbiel that contains this information:
The total value of just the 166 expenditures for which the Tax Commission said it could provide an estimate increased $470.9 million, to $5.87 billion – or about $1 billion more than was certified for general fund appropriations this budget year. Expenditures are the commission’s somewhat Orwellian name for revenue not collected because of tax exemptions and other breaks.
Do the No on 744 supporters dispute this information?
In essence, the Yes on 744 supporters are right on this issue. If lawmakers can stand up to corporate interests, and that’s the focus of the Yes on SQ 744 argument, then the funding for the measure is there. The state currently funds education at a per-pupil rate that is 49th in the nation and last in our seven-state region.
Don’t listen to the fear mongers or their petulant, baby-like “no” rhetoric. Vote yes on SQ 744 and give Oklahoma children a chance.
State Sen. Susan Paddack (D-Ada), a former teacher, is facing retired dentist and charter school founder Janet Barresi for schools superintendent. This is one of those races that doesn’t get as much attention as, say, the governor’s race or even the attorney general’s race. However, schools superintendent is an important position, and the race deserves special consideration.
Barresi has been endorsed by the editorial page of The Oklahoman as someone who can stand up against teacher unions. Meanwhile, the newspaper has attacked Paddock for her neutral position on SQ 744. What this means is that Barresi could bring a right-wing, anti-union militancy to the position-following orders from the corporate media here-when we need someone who can work with all of the state’s education’s stakeholders. Can you imagine what Mary Fallin as governor and Barresi as schools superintendent would do to Oklahoma’s underfunded educational system?
Paddack is the clear choice.
After the debate Tuesday, the Askins campaign released a statement from former OU football coach Barry Switzer. Here’s part of the statement:
When you think about a football team that fights dirty, a lot of times your fans want you to fight dirty back. Well, I can tell you as a coach that’s not always the best strategy. Our team will always be honest and we’ll always play by the rules. That’s just the way Jari is! That’s why we need her in that governor’s office. Last night Jari was respectful, but she told Oklahoma the truth and she stood up for us.
Coach Barry Switzer
If Askins is elected, we can retain a balance in a state government now dominated by Republican legislative majorities in the House and Senate. Let’s hope she gets the Barry Bump and wins on Nov. 2.