Local Corporations, Chamber Joined To Defeat SQ 779

It comes as no surprise that local corporations and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber led the fight against State Question 779, which would have increased the state sales tax by one cent and given public school teachers $5,000 annual raises.

They were joined by some progressives, who considered the one cent sales tax hike regressive, and thus approximately 59 percent of voters defeated the measure in the Nov. 8 election. Our teachers were jilted once again.

What’s somewhat surprising, however, are some of the dollar amounts from the “no” side that have been reported. For example, according to a media report, Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores donated $40,000 to help defeat the measure. Many if not most people who work at Love’s stores in Oklahoma were most likely educated in the public school system in the state.

Other companies that donated thousands of dollars to Oklahoma Deserves Better, the group organized to oppose SQ 779, included the local oil and gas companies Continental Resources ($20,000) Chesapeake ($20,000), Devon ($20,000) and SandRidge ($10,000), which, again, obviously draw many of their employees from a pool of job candidates educated in Oklahoma’s public schools.

Clayton Bennett, the chairman of the group that owns the Oklahoma City Thunder, kicked in $20,000 as well.

Here’s a list of contributors published on the insightful blog okeducationtruths.

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There are new political rules created by Republicans over how U.S. Supreme Court nominees get their seats, and those rules dictate that every single Democrat in the Senate vote against the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, a right-wing extremist in what the media is calling the mold of the late Antonin Scalia.

Now is not a time for Democratic appeasement. If another deeply conservative judge joins the Supreme Court, then much falls into jeopardy, from Roe v. Wade to same-sex marriage to racial equality. Every act taken by Trump and his surrogates will be sanctioned by the nation’s highest court.

In essence, if Gorsuch makes it onto the court, Trump will conceivably own all three branches of government, and, believe me, I use the word “own” quite intentionally.

This is absolute: If any Democratic U.S. Senator so much as even considers voting for this radical judge nominated by an unhinged, authoritarian and lying president, then they need to face protests and then a vote out of office when the time comes if we still have a real vote at that time.

The nominee needs 60 votes to get his position. There are 52 Republican, 46 Democratic and two independent Senators. Obviously, the Republicans can change the 60-vote rule because of their majority, but that doesn’t mean Democrats shouldn’t stand up for the sake of their country.

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The Oklahoman Does Not Seize The Day

Democracy and freedom of speech in this country are on the line because of an autocratic and unhinged newly-elected president, but The Oklahoman editorial board, for now, can only see the issue as a lack of his personal discipline.

Of course, Oklahoma is Donald Trump country, helped along to be so through the years by the right-wing newspaper and a consistently low college graduation rate. So any real criticism of Trump isn’t to be expected or maybe even sought after from the newspaper’s editorial writers. Still, one wonders at what point does the newspaper on its editorial page tell the truth about Trump? Never? Most likely.

In an Sunday editorial titled “Trump's stream-of-consciousness approach appears to be here to stay,” the newspaper is somewhat critical of the new president’s “approach” but fails to address just what that approach portends for our country’s democratic structures. The editorial lauded Trump for speaking to CIA employees for some reason and for approving the controversial Dakota Access pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline least week for obvious reasons, but then also mentioned Trump’s fixation with himself and his unsubstantiated statements that 3 to 5 million illegal immigrants voted in the election and that’s why he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

The newspaper doesn’t even mention the Trump administration’s order to clamp down on freedom of speech among federal employees or a Trump surrogate’s interview in The New York Times, suggesting the newspaper and other media outlets critical of Trump should just “shut up.” One might reasonably think even The Oklahoman, which purports to be a news organization, would be concerned about this issue in particular. The editorial doesn’t address Trump’s draconian and most likely illegal order to stop people from a handful of Muslim countries from coming to the U.S.

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