So said businessman and multi-millionaire gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt in 2018. Voters bought the bogus baloney, put him in the governor’s mansion where his decisions and policies have been as clear as mud, including that seen often in Lake Thunderbird east of Norman.
Well, get ready for the old red pond to be muddier, and more often, because Mr. Transparency has proposed a massive turnpike, with exits as long as a mile, just to the west, north and south of the lake which happens to be not just a fun place for boating, skiing and fishing but also the university city’s primary water source.
The turnpike will also require several water wells to be shut in and thus deprive citizens of ground water from the Garber-Wellington Aquifer which is Norman’s second main source of drinkable, safe and clear aqua.
But until Feb. 22, who knew about the turnpike? Answer: A couple of highway commissioners, the engineering firm of Poe and Associates from Stitt’s hometown of Tulsa and maybe Clueless Kevin’s wife Sarah if indeed he talks in his sleep.
Actually I knew before that date because of a conversation with a prominent mayor in our area [not Mayor Clark of Norman] who had been smart enough to dig out the truth from the Stitt insiders because his town will also be impacted by the ribbons of steel, concrete, billboards, cafes, service stations, truck stops and do-dad shops guaranteed to proliferate like ragweed along the hundreds of miles of this $5 billion, 15-year turnpike boondoggle that will more than double the existing pay-to-drive millage.
Then our state will actually be No. 2 in something, second only to New Jersey in roads you directly pay to drive on.
The bottom line is this: The thousand or more folks who attended the dog-and-pony show Thursday night at Crosspointe Church heard from Poe engineers, their local Norman councilman and mostly each other during the multi-hour complaint session. Of course, the transparent Stitt Administration couldn’t send anybody because they were all in Tulsa with a prior engagement. Bet that Stitt fundraiser up north was a doozy.
So, if you folks who did attend the Norman shout-show aren’t mad enough today about how you’ve been ignored, let me add some salt to your wounds. Most of you know, or should, that Oklahoma will receive around $1.6 billion of new federal money, much of it for infrastructure, and the same bunch of Stitt’s stewards are currently carving up those bucks but you can’t find out about that because the contracts to be awarded to private companies are classified and won’t be revealed until the money is already doled out.
No, I’m not making that up.
The reason? Stitt’s mouthpiece said revealing the winners of the money – your tax dollars – would somehow be tainted if you, the taxpayers, were in on the deal or had anything to say about the deal before it went down.
Yes, that’s right. Your money. Their deal.
So how do you like Stitt’s transparency with your money, your private property, your homes and literally your futures and that of your families?
But, hey, Stitt knows half of you don’t vote, many of the rest of you don’t pay any attention to politics and politicians until they do something that impacts your own street or front yard, and then many of the last of you go vote against your own best interests because the candidates you choose have an R behind their names.
Mark my words here: You east Norman residents and Thunderbird Lake area citizens will still cast the majority of your ballots in November 2022 to re-elect Stitt because you like it that he is “conservative” or a “businessman” or he is an “outsider” or he isn’t a “socialist” or any number of other “reasons” but especially he isn’t a “Democrat” that wants to raise your taxes and regulate your life.
No, he doesn’t want to do that. He’s just going to take your land and/or house; and multiple clean water sources; and places for you to swim, relax, fish, cook hotdogs; play with your kids or even drink a cold beer in the summertime; not to mention disrupt the flora and fauna because, By God, there are a ton of highway contractors who are also maximum campaign donors that need work.
For a guy with no government experience when he got elected four years ago, he’s damn sure a quick study in the process because it’s really not that complicated: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours and both of us will do the scrachin’ with packets of $100 bills to relieve the itch.
And that promise about transparency?