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January 6, 2013

You may hope, wish and want, or you can strive for a first-rate County and progressive State that does not continually rank in the bottom third of the nation in social, education and health and safety issues.

The state of Oklahoma is rich in natural resources. If these resources were under a more open government, a major portion of these low percentages could be solved – not immediately – but with thoughtful choices. Openness would include everyone. “Big business” and so-called “small business” (those who don’t expand their businesses such as sports stars, entertainers and Wall Street investors) would pay the same percentage of income taxes that the 97% pay. To hide excess profits and deferred income for a lesser tax rate is unsound and strangles the economy.

The citizens of Oklahoma need to quit complaining about the number of low-wage and part-time jobs available. Instead of complaining, become active. Join other groups who are, either through social media like Face Book, or the Internet, actively fighting the same thing. Write letters to your editors of the local newspapers. The subjects of your protest do pay attention. Your voices can be heard!

We have to become more attuned to the candidates running for office to ensure that those best qualified are not overlooked. Lately we have observed some excellent examples of “skewed” election results that do not bode well for Stevens County and Oklahoma.

Example 1: the Stevens County Sheriff’s office has been “DONATED” a helicopter for the Sheriff to oversee the County. So far, the donor(s) is a close-held secret. What is not is the cost of operation for the UH – 1H. We now know why the incumbent was so upset when his 2013 budget proposal was cut. It costs $644 per hour to operate, and pilot and crew are required to fly so many proficiency hours per month to maintain a current flight status. IF that requirement was five hours per month, it will cost $3220.00 for one month and $38,540.00 per year. Next the engine must be torn down and inspected every two years along with an inspection for cracks in the Blades at an authorized repair center. If the pilot should make a hard landing, the structure of the aircraft must be inspected before flown again. Cost for insurance is an ongoing obligation even if the craft is in the hangar. The list of expenditures to maintain this folly is long. To top this list a strong rumor is that the current Sheriff may not be licensed to fly UH 1H and may not be allowed to fly due to physical conditions. And then there is the purchase of fuel for this helicopter without proper authorization.

Example 2: the 2010 election, a dentist was elected as state superintendent of education. If you talk to school administrators, they will tell you what the superintendent is doing to an education system that, nation-wide, was not in the top tier anyway. Your public school system is being systematically disassembled!

We need to understand each item on a ballot, discuss the pros and cons with others, and not just “mark the box at the top.” The rich only drive the economy when you do nothing.

The Supreme Court decision (Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission stating that “corporations and money are persons and protected by the Constitution to spend their money in any campaign, in any amount, should warn all of us of the dangers when ANY elected government officials become responsible and hugely committed to campaign donors, i.e., individuals, corporations or political action committees (P A C). Will they really be looking out for their constituents?

Please pay close attention. Massive amounts of money can come in to Oklahoma to support those pushing for “personhood“, “private schools via public schools funding“, “zero taxes for corporations“, “disbanding Medicaid“, “reducing availability of Oklahoma public health services” and the list goes on.


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