Time to vote fast approaching


October 23, 2016

I watched the debate Wednesday evening. and Chris Wallace did nearly as good a job as I thought I could moderating. For the most part he kept the nuts on the trees. Both came off as idiots for not having the common courtesy to shake hands at the outset. The only thing I thought was Hillary may have been afraid of Donald getting a quick feel, so didn't want to get too close! I thought both answered the questions to the best of their abilities, and that is scary. The Donald screwed the pooch when he said he wouldn't accept the results of the election. He ultimately will have to anyhow, so why look childish after holding his own with a professional politician in the debate?

There are seven state questions on the ballot this time. I am going to go through them the next few weeks. These are my views and you need to read the questions before going to vote to draw your own opinions. First is SQ776 dealing with the state having more control over the DOC's death penalty cases. This bill appears to clarify some gray areas. My biggest concern is whatever means that is decided for the execution shall not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Isn't any way you put someone to death kind of cruel and unusual? I believe that they should get the same consideration as their victims that they tortured, raped and beat up before they killed them. If the legislators will get off their butts and determine a way to execute death row inmates and get started, I will vote yes.

SQ777 is still murky to me, so it is next week.

SQ779 has to do with a one-cent sales tax increase to fund education. On the surface it looks great, but gets a no vote from me. We have a top heavy, overloaded, overpaid administration that if revamped would put major dollars back into education. $150,000 activity buses are nice but classroom supplies and daily necessities would be better. (I rode an old yellow school bus to activities and lived through it.) When we voted in casinos and lotteries, the money was to go to education. It did, but we didn't seem to gain anything. I believe the legislature slowly cut out education funds while putting in the casino monies, and basically education didn't gain anything. Let's see where the money went and put it back, before throwing more money at the problem.

There is a provision that none of the one cent goes to pay increases for superintendents. Good plan, but funds will be made available somewhere else for raises and new hires in administration. The bill also shows how the monies are to be divided up. No problem until the last two items. Technology centers will get 3.25 percent and the Department of Education gets 8 percent. Technology centers educate people to find jobs. The Department of Education is a bunch of pencil-pushing bureaucrats that produce nothing. Looks like they leaned on their legislative friends to get the gravy. It also states there will be an annual audit of the schools' use of monies. Does this mean they have been turned loose all this time?

In closing on SQ779, I do realize the future of our children is in the hands of overworked, underpaid and mostly very good educators. I want them brought into the 21st century's pay scale, but I believe it can be done without putting another tax burden on the citizens of Oklahoma.


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