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:
Wow, what a joke. If you’re going to do something that cheesy and low to drum up support for your anti-education, pro-Chamber of Commerce legislation, at least make it look legitimate. Whoever wrote that thing was way too sober to be Barry Switzer. At least throw in a reference about the wishbone, recruiting black athletes or wanting to whistle Boomer Sooner under Earl Campbell’s bed.
Also, does the Norman Transcript even have editors? Based on this snafu and the few other times I’ve read it, I don’t think so. Hell, they make us look like we’re on top of things. How can they publish a letter to the editor from a prominent public figure and not even check to see if the person wrote it? At least we could have some fun with this. We should write erotic letters to the paper posing as Mary Fallin. That would be fun.
Update: The Norman Transcript has removed the letter from their website and replaced it with halfhearted retraction. They basically throw the State Chamber under the bus.