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Yes On SQ 779

I urge everyone to join me in voting yes for State Question 779 in this election.

SQ 779 will raise the state sales tax by one cent and generate more than $600 million annually that will give Oklahoma public teachers a much needed $5,000 raise. Some of the money will also go to public colleges, early childhood education and career training.

It will protect education funding at the state constitutional level, ensure accountability through regular audits and absolutely none of the money will go to salary increases for school superintendents.

Here’s the breakdown on how SQ 779 will work. If you’re still unsure about this question take some time to go through the site. The SQ 779 site is the absolutely best and most thorough political website I’ve ever seen in Oklahoma, and that’s because it’s operated by highly educated people who care about the state’s children and want to see progress.

I know this is a generalization but most of the people opposed to SQ 779 are the ultra right-wing here, such as the creepy and bizarre Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), which advocates nonsensical “trickle down” economics, and my well-intentioned fellow liberals, who believe righteously and honestly that sales taxes are regressive and impact low-income people the most.

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Kevin McDonald For State Senate

Image of Kevin McDonald

There’s never been a clearer voting choice: Edmond voters need to send teacher Kevin McDonald to the Oklahoma Legislature as a state senator in District 41.

McDonald has been a teacher for 20 years and has taught in Edmond for 13 years. He embodies the entire philosophy behind the so-called “teacher caucus,” which is trying to get educators into the legislature to help secure education funding and standards for our children.

I say “so-called” because not all the candidates who have been or are getting endorsed by the teacher caucus are really that education oriented. I believe some people, like McDonald’s opponent and his supporters, are gaming a particular moment for petty personal gain. That’s just the opposite case for McDonald.

Here are the pertinent facts:

McDonald has taught in the Edmond School District for 13 years and has been a teacher of the year recipient. He taught in Guthrie before coming to Edmond.

His wife, Leah, is also a teacher.

Both their children go to school here in Edmond.

He is a rational and intellectual person, who understands the political reality in Oklahoma, and he will work to shift the emphasis in the Oklahoma Legislature from ideological theatrics to basic issues such as education funding and standards.

It’s the basic stuff. He’s the real deal.

Here’s McDonald’s site. Email him. Call him. Meet him. He’s the right choice for Edmond voters, who could send a huge message to the state by electing him. That message is simply that we’re sick of the bickering and ideological stunts in the Oklahoma Legislature, and we want pragmatic, educated and decent people to represent us and help improve our educational systems here.

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No On State Questions 776, 777 and 790

With the election only a week away, I thought I would give an overview of my voting recommendations.

As I wrote earlier on the state questions: Vote NO on SQ 776 “Death Penalty Enshrinement,” SQ 777 “Right to Farm” and SQ 790 “Repealing Separation of Church and State.” Vote YES on SQ 779 “One Cent for Teacher Raises and Education,” SQs 780 and 781 “Criminal Justice Reform” and SQ 792 “Modern Liquor Laws.”

Click here to read my post that provides more depth and information on the questions. Some people on the left have made arguments against SQs 779, 781 and 792, which I discuss in my earlier post and good people can agree to disagree, but the positives of what each question would accomplish, if passed, outweigh these concerns. SQs 776, 777 and 790 are simply right-wing ideological mush. There’s no question they should be rejected.

Even The Oklahoman editorial board has come out against SQs 776 and 777. There is a broad, bipartisan consensus these two measures don’t solve anything or do anything positive yet could have unintended consequences now or even years later.

It’s a no brainer that progressives here should vote for Democrat Mike Workman for U.S. Senator against James Lankford, a religious ideologue who is a Republican obstructionist whose only attribute so far as a serving senator is that he doesn’t embarrass the state as much as U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. The chances aren’t great that Workman will win the race, of course, but Democrats need to field candidates and try to grow their voter base. Don’t hesitate to vote for Workman.

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