Over the past few years, we’ve somehow become Oklahoma’s unofficial news source for shenanigans at the Governor’s Mansion. We covered Christina Fallin’s fashion magazine photo shoot, our Governor’s obsession with hot tub temperatures, and totally wicked frat boy rush parties.
Well, I guess it’s time to add another item to our list of excellence in Governor’s Mansion reporting. Hipsters invaded the mansion grounds over the weekend, and fortunately for us, they have Instagram accounts!
Here are a few of the pics we found. Unless you consider posing at the Governor Mansion’s podium with a glass of wine to be risque, they photos are not very controversial. In fact, they don’t have a thing on Governor Keating’s forehead waxing pics from the 1990s. They’re just kind of funny, weird and totally hipstery.
Today is the day when you finally get to cast your ballot. Exciting, huh? You’ve probably done your research about who you want to be the next Commander-in-Chief, but I doubt you know a thing about the judges who you’ll be asked to retain or dismiss. Because of that, Patrick and I are here to provide you with a few details about the justices, along with our personal endorsements.
Supreme Court District 3: Noma D. Gurich
SPENCER — Vote Yes: Norma Gurich deserves your vote. She’s smart and only the third woman to be appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. We need MORE women on the Supreme Court, because you don’t have to pay them as much as a man.
PATRICK — Vote No: I don’t know about this lady. I want my judge to look like a judge and not a retired cast member of Cirque Du Soleil. I’m pretty sure she swallows swords and rides unicycles on the weekend.
Supreme Court District 4: Yvonne Kauger
SPENCER — Vote Yes: I like Justice Kauger. She’s fair, balanced and impartial. Basically, she’s the opposite of Fox News. Plus, her colorful doilies are made by the same blind refugee that makes Mike Morgan’s bedazzled ties.
PATRICK — Vote No: I’m basing this decision entirely on Kauger’s taste in art. She likes strange African and Native American masks made by white men from Ada. One time I went to an art show at her mansion near the capitol and ended up coming home with something called a beaver stick. And I’m being serious.
This Tuesday, Oklahoman’s will flock to the polls to vote for their favorite Republican leaders. In addition to that, they’ll be asked to cast their votes either for or against six state questions. Here are they are:
State Question 758: This initiative would lower the annual cap on future property tax increases from 5% to 3%. If you vote against this, you’re a jackass…or concerned it will hurt education funding.
State Question 759: This amendment would limit affirmative action programs in Oklahoma. This SQ is enthusiastically support by 98% of all angry white uncles who watch Fox News and send political chain emails. The other 2% are prisoners and can’t vote.
State Question 762: This one doesn’t seem that bad. It would remove the governor from the parole process for some nonviolent prisoners and save the state about $3.3-million a year. Naturally, our governor is against the measure.
State Question 765: By far, this is the most interesting issue on the ballot. It would allow the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds to provide a reserve fund for that board. The fund would be reserved for water resource and sewage treatment programs. This would be different than the way things usually work, which is who the hell cares.
State Question 765: This measure would abolish the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Commission of Human Services and the position of Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. According to the measure, instead of having this department, commission and position be responsible for adopting rules and regulations regarding the state’s elderly, that power would fall to the Oklahoma Legislature and also if a citizen-initiative is placed on the ballot proposing a law regarding the elderly. Also I just copied and pasted all that info from Ballotpedia.
State Question 766: This is the measure that Fake Barry Switzer endorsed. It will lower taxes on utilities, and as a result, raise taxes on individual property owners! Sounds like a good deal! Large businesses never catch a break.
I’m not sure if you read all that, but our state questions are pretty boring this year. I nearly fell asleep while writing about them. My favorite state question ever was the one back in 2004 that allowed poker and black jack in casinos. That’s back when everyone thought they were the next Chris Moneymaker. I was so excited when it passed! Since then, I’ve played poker about five or six times in an Oklahoma casino.
Anyway, because this year’s state questions suck, Spencer and I came up with a list of 10 others that should be on the Oklahoma ballot. Lets get a petition drive going and make some of these happen!
1. Force someone to take and pass a drug test before receiving a high-interest Pay Day loan.
Makes sense, right? If we’re going to force poor people to pass a drug test before they can get food stamps, we might as do the same thing before they take out a high interest loan will ruin their credit and make them get on food stamps.
2. Make “English at a 5th Grade Comprehension Level” be the official language of Oklahoma.
That may be setting the bar a little high, but I think we can do it.
Yesterday, the Norman Transcript published a “Letter to the Editor” by Barry and Becky Switzer. The letter enthusiastically supported SQ 766, which would stop intangible property taxes (whatever that is). Here it is:
I write to express my support for State Question 766 and to urge your readers to vote yes on SQ 766 this November.
SQ 766 is a statewide ballot question that would correct a 2009 decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that opened the door to all kinds of new taxes on Oklahoma citizens and small businesses. Put simply, it means that local governments can tax things that are intangible — literally, things that they cannot touch or cannot see. This includes things like your pension, a lease to hunt on someone else’s land, and your insurance policies.
It also means small businesses could be taxed on things like intellectual property or patents — the type of innovations that we need to keep Oklahoma moving forward. Those jobs and job creators won’t come to Oklahoma, they’ll go to where the environment is more favorable.
In my time at OU, it was never OK to lose a football game to Texas. But now we are talking about jobs, and without passage of SQ 766, businesses looking to expand or move to Oklahoma will take those jobs across the border. That’s unacceptable.
So, I ask your readers to join me in voting yes on SQ 766.
Barry and Becky Switzer
Yeah, I’m not so sure Barry and Becky Switzer actually wrote that.
For one, Barry is a big time supporter of Democrats, and SQ 766 is Chamber of Commerce backed legislation. It will (possibly) lower taxes for businesses and utilities, and (possibly) hurt education funding for rural school districts. It doesn’t seem like something Barry Switzer would endorse, much less enthusiastically support by sending a poorly written campaign chain letter to the Norman Transcript.
Plus, Becky Switzer denies that she or her husband wrote the thing. From her Facebook Wall:
If I had to rank all 50 states based on how much they value diversity, Oklahoma would probably be near the bottom of the list. The only thing that would keep us from being last would be that we do seem to value our Native American culture and history. Seriously, find me an Oklahoma kid who isn’t a fan of Sequoyah. But outside of that, things are pretty bad. It seems like the only type of diversity that is welcomed in our state is Chesapeake Energy’s complicated accounting practices.
In Monday’s Oklahoman, business writer Don Mecoy examined the issue when he wrote about a recent diversity survey. The results were shocking:
Ongoing online survey finds many Oklahoma believe state doesn’t welcome diversity
A more open-minded Oklahoma would produce a more prosperous state, according an unscientific survey of more than 600 state residents.
The online survey, which is not a scientific poll, shows that the state has some perception problems when it comes to dealing with people of different races, cultures and lifestyles.
Wait a second. This is just some random online survey? Doesn’t that mean it can be inaccurate and misleading? If that’s the case, why waste 800 words writing about it? Oh, here’s why:
The OUR Oklahoma Survey is the brainchild of Risha Grant, head of a Tulsa PR firm, who wants to present the survey’s results to policymakers and business leaders to develop a plan to address diversity after the survey closes at year’s end…
More than 600 people have responded to the survey, with most being white (66 percent), women (64 percent) and college-educated (98 percent).
Imagine that, a shaky news story pitched by a narcissistic PR hack looking for some self-promotion made its way into the Oklahoman. You got to love it. Maybe I should issue a press release about the results of The Worst of OKC and or Ogle Madness? Also, how did a random survey that no one’s heard of make get 600 respondents. Knowing what I know about the Internet, that’s a lot. Are they giving away iPads or TVs or something? Oh, they are! That explains it. I wonder why the Oklahoman didn’t mention it?
Putting the Oklahoman’s new “Seriously guys, we’ll write a story about almost anything” journalistic standards aside, the results of the poll are not surprising. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or the guy who brings you chips and salsa at Chelino’s to see that our state doesn’t welcome diversity. And you don’t need an Internet survey answered by college educated women and minorities looking for a free iPad to tell you that. Just look at recent history. Our state’s voters and lawmakers have gone out of their way to let minorities, women and other know that they are not welcomed in the Sooner state.
Here are six examples:
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