Veto overrides are common these days in the Legislature and our inept governor can’t tell you why.
For example, he’s mystified that conservative Republicans would vote to keep public television available to any of his four million constituents. He says he’s against the LGBTQ “stuff,” that he doesn’t believe “social issues” should be heard, that maybe OETA was relevant in 1950 but not now. He further opines, with no basis in fact, that public television doesn’t “create any content;” it just repeats shows from CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, etc., and, worst of all, “public television doesn’t prioritize Oklahoma values.”
Well, let’s talk Oklahoma values. First, his kid gets nabbed in Guthrie with guns and booze and the Old Man can’t be bothered to deal with the situation. A state trooper, at your expense, is sent to bring Junior home.
Second, while wrapping himself in Oklahoma values, he reveals that he has never voted in any tribal election although he endlessly reminds us he is a Cherokee.
Third, while claiming vast knowledge about what goes on in public schools, he never sent any of his six kids to one, using first home schooling and then a myriad of private schools. No wonder he loves the concept of spending public dollars in those settings.
Fourth, his administration is replete with numerous, on-going scandals related to the School Land Commission, federal education dollars, the Tourism Department, the Turnpike Authority [now under audit], the Transportation Department, Epic Charter Schools [three officials are facing numerous felonies] and other embarrassments too numerous to list here.
And perhaps Stitt’s goofiest public policy position is that he worships at the altar of free enterprise.
That is complete horse hockey.
Just ask any number of private sector companies who have been led to the watering hole filled with your tax money, then doled out to them by the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Start with the all-but bankrupt California company Canoo, now headquartered in Arkansas but drawing down $300 million of Okie money to keep it afloat as it promises to someday produce an electric battery vehicle.
Or how about Panasonic, already banking on $698 million of your cash should they ever decide to locate here? But that’s not enough. Another $145 million will soon be spent on “site prep” for a location at Pryor including day-care centers, fire stations, housing, not to mention the usual sewer, water and power improvements. Oh, and dozer, road and stream re-location is also on your dime. For that nearly $1 billion of your investment Panasonic promises maybe 3,500 jobs.
Also, down the road at Inola, an Italian company has or will pocket nearly $500 million more of our money to build a plant to produce solar panels and employ, it says, 1,400 workers. Do the math. We are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per worker to attract manufacturing jobs whose executives have to be bribed to come here because other detrimental factors, such as education, health care, public safety, infrastructure and especially abusive laws passed by legislators, turn them off.
Bill after bill is gleefully signed by Stitt that make our state a wasteland of ignorance and abuse. A woman’s right to choose ignored, parents losing the proper role in deciding what health care their children need, special education kids still subject to corporal punishment, all contained in new statutes courtesy of the dumbbells who have the titles of representative and/or senator in front of their names. And, sadly, there are dozens of similar new laws since Stitt was sworn into office in January 2019.
As I have written in other locales a handful of lawmakers performed admirably this session and are sincerely trying to make up for the decade of damage done by others in core government responsibilities and services. But one year cannot repair the purposeful destruction done in years past.
And worse, Oklahoma will have to endure three more years of the leader of Oklahoma’s Know Nothing Party of One – Kevin Stitt. He has all the ingredients that make a person in power so dangerous. He is arrogant, a terrible listener, and knows almost nothing about the history and culture of our 46th state. And if he did, he wouldn’t characterize our 39 tribes as our biggest liability, but rather what they really are … our greatest asset.
On another damaging front, Stitt has never seen a lawsuit he didn’t love, and he’s also lost most of them at your expense. His relationships with lawmakers of both parties are as poisonous and counterproductive as a hungry shark’s toward and an unknowing surfer.
Nothing good ever comes from such a confrontation and, sadly, Stitt is in the water again, preparing more vetoes, more vacuous press releases, holding time wasting press conferences that are laughable by their emptiness.
And worst of all, because straight party voting in our state gave Stitt a 700,000 ballot head start last November, he actually thinks Oklahomans – all four million of them – like him, agree with him, and want more of his version of governing.
Now that is truly a rigged election that delivered upon our state a plague of five years going on to eight.