Remember back in 2009 when “Do You Realize???” became Oklahoma’s official state rock song? I sure do. To me, it was a symbolic event that showed the world that not all Oklahomans are self-righteous, fun-hating, socially conservative nut jobs dressed in Wranglers and cowboy hats; that some of us enjoy thought-provoking experimental pop songs about life, death and the earth’s rotation.
Well, screw all that. It looks like the conservative fun haters win again. Thanks to Mary Fallin, “Do You Realize” is no longer our state’s official rock song. Via something called eCapitolNews:
An early term decision by Governor Fallin means a song by The Flaming Lips no longer holds the title of Oklahoma’s official state rock song. Some critics are calling the move political, but according to Gov. Mary Fallin’s Media Director Alex Weintz, “Do You Realize??” was only officially the state’s rock song for a couple of years. Fallin decided not to renew former Gov. Brad Henry’s executive order recognizing the song when she took office in 2011.
The Oklahoma Historical Society offered Oklahoma voters the chance to choose the state’s official rock song in 2009. Voters overwhelming chose “Do You Realize??” by Oklahoma City band The Flaming Lips, a hit single off of their 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
The establishment of a state rock song was first proposed through in a 2009 Senate joint resolution, by Sen. Mike Schulz, R-Altus, and Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs. The resolution (SJR 24) failed in the House after Lips bassist Michael Ivins wore a red and yellow t-shirt emblazoned with the hammer and sickle images found on the Chinese and former Soviet Union flag to a photo op at the Capitol. Just days after taking the opportunity to have their pictures taken with the band, several conservative lawmakers voted against the measure, many expressing offense to Ivin’s shirt.
After the resolution failed to pass the House, then Governor Brad Henry stepped in and made “Do You Realize??” the official rock song of the state through an executive order.
Every time a new governor is elected, the executive orders issued by their predecessors must be approved within the first 90 days of any new governor’s term. Weintz told eCapitol that in Fallin’s first three months her administration was trying to focus on their priorities, and the state rock song simply wasn’t one of them.
I like how Alex Weintz chalks this up to a “two year thing.” Did he not live here in 2009. Is he saying that we nominated all those songs, chose a special panel, and cast our votes for something that wasn’t intended to be permanent? Doesn’t that defeat the point of having something like a state rock song?
Also, are we really supposed to buy the bag of B.S. that she was just too busy with “other priorities” to sign extend Governor Henry’s proclamation? She obviously had time to complain about the temperature in her hot tub and travel to Ireland for a wedding. Even if you’re Mary Fallin, it still only takes five seconds to sign a sheet of paper. Instead of lying to us about “two year things” and “other priorities,” just tell us the truth.
Actually, we already kind of know the truth. During the 2010 Governor’s race, we had special Q&A’s with Mary Fallin, Jari Askins and Drew Edmondson. We asked each candidate the same 15 questions. Question 11 was:
What do you think of “Do You Realize??” being Oklahoma’s official rock song?
You know how Oklahoma City and Tulsa always seem to make those cheesy “Top 10 Cities in America to Start a Business” or “21 Best Places in America to Raise a Family as You Waste Your Life Away?” magazine lists?
Well, Detroit is the opposite of that. The Auto Capital of the World makes them, too, but generally only the bad ones. You know, things like Despair Magazine’s “12 American Cities That Will Make You Sad In A Heartbeat,” Cold Sore Monthly’s “The Best Places to Catch Herpes,” and Debt Weekly’s “Top 10 Destinations for Bankruptcy Attorneys.”
Because of all that, this new campaign ad released by Tulsa mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor is kind of strange. It’s a blatant rip-off the classic Chrysler 200 “Detroit” ad that ran in the Super Bowl a few years ago. It was the one that featured Eminem driving around looking all angry while some guy with a deep, raspy, blue-collar voice talks about everything Detroit has been through or something.
If you need your memory refreshed, here it is. It’s actually a pretty cool ad, but it still can’t hide the fact that Detroit sucks:
Here’s Kathy Taylor’s mayoral ad. I think it was produced by “We Ran Out of Original Ideas Years Ago” ad agency:
Famed bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman was honored by lawmakers at the State Capitol yesterday. Apparently, he was in town to promote regulation of the bounty hunting industry.
Via CBS News:
TV’s most famous bounty hunting couple is making a push for stricter regulations on themselves and their peers in Oklahoma.
Reality stars Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife Beth of A&E’s now-defunct “Dog the Bounty Hunter” series met with lawmakers at the state capitol in Oklahoma City on Tuesday to discuss tougher bounty hunting guidelines in the Sooner State.
The couple say they want to make sure that the laws are fair for all parties involved.
“We want to make sure that the citizens of Oklahoma know that we are for regulation, we are for licensing, we are for certification, but we have to keep this in a realm we can deal with,” Beth Chapman told KWTV’s Rusty Surette [watch video above] at the capitol.
The Chapmans have been working with Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey on tweaking language in a proposed regulation bill for Okla. bounty hunters.
“We’ve seen several instances over the last few weeks…over the last couple of years really, where bounty hunters have really gotten out of control in Oklahoma,” Shortey said.
“Now is the time to get laws in Oklahoma so these things can not happen again. Someone’s pet can’t be destroyed. Someone can’t be held against their will,” Dog said.
The Chapmans plan to soon open an office in Oklahoma City.
Couple of thoughts:
• Can someone check Ralph Shortey’s temperature? Was he attacked by another turkey? Not only did he introduce anti-free market legislation that expands the reach of the government by adding extra layers of paperwork, bureaucracy and regulation, but the law actually makes sense! The only thing bounty hunters in Oklahoma are good at is killing innocent dogs. Seriously, is something wrong with Ralph Shortey? Did he eat some human embryos for breakfast and suddenly have a philosophical awakening?
• Screw Dog the Bounty Hunter. Why can’t Boba Fett get any love? Even though George Lucas tried to ruin some of his mystique by introducing that terrible origin story in the prequels, Boba Fett is still the coolest bounty hunter to ever not exist. Maybe we can get Jedi OKC to lobby for an Oklahoma Boba Fett day? As a tribute, we can have an artist create a life-size bronze sculpture of Sally Kern frozen in Carbonite.
Anyway, you would think that with a guy like Dog roaming the capitol grounds that we’d get some good pics. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The best one I could find was this pic of Dog posing with State Senator David Holt. I thought it would be fun to have a photo caption contest for it.
Here’s the pic:
Yesterday, our friends at the ACLU filed a lawsuit on our behalf against Governor Mary Fallin and the Governor’s Office. In it, we demand that Governor Fallin release all emails related to our open records request from December of 2012. Here’s a snippet from a press release issued by the ACLU:
The Governor’s Office released a large number of documents on March 29, but it withheld thirty-one records at the direction of Steve Mullins, the Governor’s General Counsel. Mullins has cited “executive privilege,” a doctrine that has never been part of Oklahoma law, to argue that the Governor can legally conceal public records at her choosing. His assertion has received nearly universal condemnation from freedom of information experts and advocates for government transparency.
“Mr. Mullins has repeatedly told the press and the people of Oklahoma that Fallin’s privileged position entitles her to disregard parts of the Oklahoma Open Records Act,” said Brady Henderson, Legal Director of ACLU of Oklahoma, “in other words, that as Governor, she is above the law.”
Oklahoma’s current Open Records Act was enacted in 1985. It requires records created or maintained at public expense to be open to public inspection so that citizens may obtain free information about their government. In the law’s nearly thirty-year history, no prior governor or other executive official has claimed any type of executive privilege against complying with its requirement of free access. “Mary Fallin is the first Governor of Oklahoma to challenge the people’s right to be fully informed about their government,” Henderson said, “we filed this lawsuit to make sure she also will be the last.”
I would tell you a little more about why we’re doing this, but since litigation is pending, the ACLU Legal Team has advised that I not discuss or write about the situation. Just kidding. I’ve always wanted to write a statement like that. It makes this thing seem extra-serious.
Anyway, the ACLU news release was picked up by several news organizations, including the AP, Fox 25 and, get this, the Oklahoman. Check out the intro to Zeke Campfield’s article in the Joke. According to Steve Lackmeyer, Zeke ignited this Open Records Request House Party while rescuing puppies from a house fire started by sexual predators.
The guy pictured above is State Representative Joe Dorman. We like Joe, but occasionally have to make fun of him because he does things like hit on Joleen Chaney, listen to Jimmy Buffett and wear mandles. The first two things we can live with, but even my grandpa wouldn’t be caught in footwear like that. Wearing mandles is worse than drinking Bud Light Lime, which now that I think about it, is probably something else that Joe Dorman does.
Anyway, Joe tried to pull a Constance Johnson and filed some semi-satirical legislation that points out how much our state spends defending unconstitutional laws, like the ones that attempt to ban certain religions or abortion. The only problem is that Joe’s plan backfired. It looks like the Republicans are taking Joe’s proposal seriously and want to make it law.
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