Regan Is The Clear Choice
If you want to counter the Republicans’ ideological agenda here in Oklahoma, then voting for Pete Regan in the lieutenant governor’s Democratic runoff race on Tuesday is an absolute necessity.
Unlike his opponent, the wealthy Jari Askins, Regan actually has a decent chance to beat either House Speaker Todd Hiett or state Senator Scott Pruitt in the general election. He has support from former Governor George Nigh and University of Oklahoma football legend Barry Switzer. Political veteran Cal Hobson, who was defeated in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, also supports Regan.
Regan possesses poise and intelligence. He handles the media well. He has great ideas about alternative energy programs. He favors raising the minimum wage. He is approachable.
Some people argue the lieutenant governor does a little bit of nothing. They even argue the position should be eliminated. But Democrats should keep this in mind: The lieutenant governor casts the deciding vote on any tie votes in the Oklahoma Senate. That could be especially important next legislative session because Republicans could pick up more seats in the senate. There could be tie votes.
Askins has made contributions to Oklahoma in the past, and she will continue to do. (Speaking of contributions, she also recently gave $500,000 of her own money to her campaign. It must be nice to be able to outright buy a position in government. We will see if it works.) But now is the time for decisive change, for something new.
Regan represents the new and growing progressive movement in the state. The Republicans find themselves down this year because of President George Bush’s dismal approval ratings, the Iraq debacle, and the party’s complete breakdown over the illegal immigrant issue. Regan can beat the Republicans this year. Askins has less of a chance to do so.
I also believe Regan can unite Democrats in a way that Askins cannot do. A Regan/Henry team at the Capitol could go a long way in stemming the conservative juggernaut here in the state.
Where’s The Evidence?
Where’s the evidence from the British government that people were getting ready to blow up planes bound for America?
So far, the Brits have not offered one shred of convincing evidence that anyone was in imminent danger. Some of the suspects do not even have passports. No one had even bought an airline ticket.
It has become increasingly clear in the past few days that the British government has used this foiled “plot” (if there really was as a plot) for political gain to help the Blair government rescue some credibility in terms of his botched foreign policy. The Bush administration has obviously jumped on the bandwagon as well in an attempt to instill fear in people so they can manipulate them.
Today, the British government announced it was charging 11 people in the plot, yet the only real evidence it offered was that those accused possessed hyrdogen peroxide and chemical components. (Hydrogen peroxide? Regular household hydrogen peroxide?) Is that even true? You are a fool if do not question each and every statement either the American or British government makes about terrorism.
The ironic thing is this: Everyone should be afraid. We should be afraid of how the American and British governments lie and lie to their people. The lies of the Bush administration, in particular, have created a new immoral framework for the American presidency.
Randy Terrill Leads Hate Frenzy
Oklahoma faces a myriad of challenges as it tries to bolster its economic base and improve its educational systems.
The state’s average household income, for example, is $35,129, ranking it 44th in the nation, and the state needs more college graduates if it wants to attract new jobs. Oklahoma has high rates of mental illness, teenage pregnancies, and children without health insurance. It has high rates of hunger and poverty.
You might think these issues, though daunting and omnipresent, would be the focus for any state legislator who really wanted to make a difference in our state. But not for state Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore), the archconservative legislator who is on a personal jihad against undocumented workers and the general Hispanic community in Oklahoma.
Terrill, using the politics of hate and anger perfected by presidential advisor Karl Rove and the Bush administration, is trying to win votes for the conservative cause by making the illegal immigration issue something that it is not. The issue is a federal issue, not a local issue. Terrill does not care. The bottom line is that his party on the federal level has failed to come up with any type of immigration reform because the country’s rich people—a Republican base group—want a cheap labor pool. He can pull as many publicity stunts as he wants, of course, but it is all hot air and hucksterism and freaky.
Terrill’s latest gambit is to decry the number of illegal immigrants in our state prison system. Before that, he wanted to deny the children of illegal immigrants in-state college tuition rates. Last legislative session, he failed to pass a bill eliminating state benefits for illegal immigrants. Again, every hateful gesture he makes is pointless on any real level.
All of Terrill’s initiatives are aimed at Hispanic people, and he is echoed by the Republican leadership up and down the political food chain, including its leader U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook, the religious extremist who is running for governor this year. What these hate mongers want you to do is join them in an orgiastic angry frenzy so they can subtly shift all the wealth in this country to a small group of elite, rich people, the same people who do NOT want immigration reform. Meanwhile, the Christian right stands idly by and allows this immoral shift of wealth.
Terrill and other Republicans attack Hispanic people relentlessly for political gain. Rove’s political playbook teaches Republican candidates to create anger against fictional scapegoats and then to instill fear in people. This is how the Republicans are winning votes these days, and especially in Oklahoma. Forget the real issues, they say, hate, hate, hate, and then hate some more. Last election season, it was gay people. This year, it is Hispanic people.
Meanwhile, energy prices skyrocket, wages remain stagnant, and our health insurance premiums and copays go up almost monthly. (I know someone who was paying more than a $1,000 a month at a state job to insure his family. He left Oklahoma for greener pastures.) Many people do not even seek medical help until it is an emergency because they do not have insurance. The state’s Republicans do not want you to think about these issues. If Oklahomans did focus on these issues, rather than fictional scapegoats in a failed Republican federal policy on illegal immigration, then there would be a Democratic sweep here in November.
The rest of the nation, according to recent polls, have realized what a mess the liar Bush and the Republicans have made of this country and their individual states. Let us hope Oklahoma wakes up soon, so we no longer have to endure the hate, anger and racism that now defines the Republican Party in this state. But the ultra-conservative media here, led by The Daily Oklahoman, will make sure people do not hear the truth.
Not all Republicans are immoral, of course, and many are now bailing on Bush and extreme right-wing platforms, but the foundation of the Republican Party in this state and in this nation right now is vile and disgusting.
Blair Government Lies Again
You are a rube if you do not question the news coming out of England about terrorists blowing up planes bound for America.
The British government, led by feckless Prime Minister Tony Blair, has not offered one fact that proves people and places were in imminent danger. What we have here could simply be a generic plot already described in an older documents dealing with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. People should demand the British authorities provide convincing evidence about the so-called plot. Already skeptics are writing about their concerns, but, of course, the first legal hearing on the plot was closed to public scrutiny. It sounds like yet another ploy to give the Bush administration some political leverage for its botched war on terror.
What is so disconcerting about this is that people can no longer count on the American and British governments to tell their people anything even closely resembling the truth. In addition, the United States has its lost war in Iraq and its surrogate war in Lebanon. Does that make you feel safe?
The heat in Oklahoma this summer has been oppressive and depressive and repressive and excessive, and it serves as one reminder as to why our population growth continues to lag behind national averages. Who wants to live in a scalding hot place more than eight hours away from the ocean?
Landlocked Oklahoma needs help. State and city leaders need to come up with ideas for new lakes and pools, and especially in the Oklahoma City area. How about a new, huge park and swimming area—no motor boating allowed--in downtown Oklahoma City near Bricktown?
Could it be done? Okie Funk hereby decrees that, yes, it could be done. But it will take visionary leadership.
Pete Regan is the clear choice for lieutenant governor in Oklahoma this year.
Regan will bring youth, energy, and intelligence to state government as lieutenant governor, and he represents the fresh face of the Democratic Party in a state that is increasingly voting Republican. If progressives want to do something to stop the conservative tidal wave in Oklahoma, then voting for Regan is absolutely essential.
Regan faces political veteran Jari Askins in the Democratic runoff August 22. Askins has contributed to Oklahoma government in the past, and she will continue to contribute, but Regan is the clear choice for at least three reasons:
(1) Regan represents something new for the Democratic Party in Oklahoma, much like Andrew Rice, a rising political star who recently won his Democratic primary for the Oklahoma Senate in District 46. At 36, Regan will bring energy and fresh ideas to government. For example, he will push for new alternative energy programs in the state, according to his campaign platform. He is a good-looking, charismatic man who handles the media well and can endear himself to not only Democrats but moderate Republicans as well. He possesses poise and intelligence. He has a lovely family, and his life story—he was one of eleven children in his family and he worked his way through college—is compelling and courageous.
(2) He has a better chance of winning the general election against Republicans House Speaker Todd Hiett or State Senator Scott Pruitt because he brings with him strong support from former Governor George Nigh and University of Oklahoma football legend Barry Switzer. Both Nigh and Switzer have been actively involved in his campaign. There is no doubt they will continue to be involved with his campaign through the general election if he beats Askins next Tuesday. Regan is also picking up support from other veteran Democrat politicians as well.
(3) If elected, Regan and his supporters will present a powerful message to the Republicans and all Oklahomans in a way that Askins cannot emulate. It tells them Oklahoma Democrats can and will field intelligent, powerful candidates for office. It will show them Democrats are not going to sit idly by and watch the Republicans take over control of all facets of state government and turn this state into their freaky ideological battlefield. The Republicans obviously want Askins to win the runoff. They know Regan could have a much larger career in Oklahoma politics if he wants it, and they want to stop him now.
Democrats need to set aside petty differences and get behind Regan’s candidacy on August 22. He can help revitalize and unify the state Democratic Party in a way that Askins simply cannot do.