Concerned citizens of Haskell,Latimer, LeFlore and Pittsburgh Counties: 02-15-18

Since the Oklahoma Lawmakers have decided that there are no real issues to consider, like our continuing failed budget crisis, the Legislature is considering several bills this session that would change voting laws. Bills that would require voters to show proof of U.S. Citizenship, which will prevent some from voting, and others that would make voter registration automatic.

House Bill 2912 by Rep Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City and House Bill 3029 by Rep Emily Virgin,D-Norman would both require the State Election Board to develop a system to allow the Department of Public Safety and driver’s license agencies to submit information about eligible voters to the state board which would send the info to the County Election board. The person would then be registered to vote. Both bills have been referred to House Committees.

House Bill 3285 by Rep John Ennis, R-Enid, would bar individuals who have been convicted of a drug related crime from voting.

They need to be of right mind when they go to the ballot box as much as possible. Then you’ve got elections that can be thrown one way or the other by people who really have no clue about what’s going on” John Ennis is the one who has no clue. The bill has been assigned to the House Ethics and Elections Committee.

In 2014, only about 30% of the state’s citizen who were of voting age cast a ballot, which means Oklahpoma ranks eighth-lowest in the nation. (U.S.Election Assistance Commission’s report. )It would seem that our problem in Oklahoma is not people trying to vote even if they are not “in their right mind,” but that few Oklahomans are invested in the political process. We should be making it easier, not harder, for everyone to vote and determine their own destiny.

House Bill 3341 by Rep Sean Roberts,R-Hominy, would require anyone registering to vote, updating their voter registration, or showing up at the polls to vote, provide a birth certificate, a passport, naturalization documents or other documents proving U.S. Citizenship.

Oklahoma voters are already required to show identification before voting, but the bill would require the voter to provide additional documents before registering to vote or casting a vote at the polling place. How many of us in SE Oklahoma have a passport or even know where our birth certificate is?

This bill, House Bill 3341, was written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group of lobbyists that craft legislation to be introduced in state legislatures around the country. Our legislators are incapable of writing their own bills and rely on legislation written by lobbyists.

Ryan Kissel, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Oklahoma said both House Bill 3285 and House Bill 3341 would restrict the ability of people to vote.

Kissel said House Bill 3341 is based on the false assumption that there is a large amount of fraudulent voting. Such laws restrict the ability of people who are low income, elderly, or persons of color to vote. People who are often Democrats.

Why any lawmaker feels compelled to continue to act upon these lies about fraud in our election is beyond me. Frankly, it’s delusional. Roberts is either doing this knowing that the narrative he is furthering with legislation like this is false or he has bought into the delusion himself. Either one is unacceptable.” Kiessel said. (A complete story is at The Frontier , Clifton Adcock)

Legislators are neglecting the duties of their office and that is exactly why this state falls behind in every positive category and leads the list of negatives. This Legislature has a Republican majority in the Governorship and both Houses, but they consistently prove that they are incapable of governing.

Many people are running for elected office this year and as voters it is our duty to hear everyone, from both parties, on the campaign trail and make wise decisions in November, 2018.

Join us the ‘Party of the Working Man and Woman’ Be active in shaping your future! Next Democrat Meeting-February 23-noon-Eastern Oklahoma State College-President’s Dining Hall-Wilburton-Democrat Committee: Roy Alford, Byron Bohanon, Les Brelsford.

Les and Ruth Brelsford
Berachah Farm
Red Oak, Oklahoma 74563

Concerned citizens of Haskell,Latimer, LeFlore and Pittsburgh Counties: 02-08-18

 Currently there are many people running for state office and that is a good thing for our democracy. However, candidate yard signs do not make for trusted employees committed to serving the people.

In past elections many people placed their trust and cast their vote for people they felt would dedicate their time and energies working to solve the overwhelming problems facing this state. Those same legislators trashed that trust and those votes and refused to dedicate their time and energies for the betterment of the people who elected them.

Republicans, the majority at the Capital, have spent this past year spending a lot of time doing nothing but ‘backing up’ to pick up their paychecks. In a nut shell, such actions constitute theft from the very taxpayers that elected them.

They completely ignore the needs of the people and bad-mouth the state employees who are expected to keep the state government running smoothly. Rep John Bennett R-Salisaw, called those same state employees, terrorists. (11-01-17 KOCO News)

Oklahoma’s Republican leadership has a long history of bad behavior. Early on, it was Governor Frank Keating calling teachers ”slugs,” then he claimed that Oklahoma college graduates could not properly fill out a job application. Later on, Frank Keating was asked by a media reporter, how he would deal with teachers and their organization, the OEA. Keating’s smart alec reply was “homicide.” Still later, Republican Labor Commissioner, Mark Costello called state employees “feral hogs,” but when confronted by a TV reporter, he said he didn’t mean state employees, he meant teachers. (Oklahoma Democrats Wallace Collins)

Many legislators play lip service to the importance of education, but out of the other side of their face, they demean school teachers by not funding education and not valuing the role education plays in our lives.

This year is an election year, so one more group needs to step up, and that is the candidates for governor. I was disappointed to read that some of the so-called leaders of Step Up are supporting gubernatorial candidates who are opposing the revenue plan. This certainly makes their “step up” support seem superficial. Instead of holding their candidates accountable, they are supporting them even as the candidates go around the state whipping up opposition to revenue increases by touting the nonsense that we have a “spending problem, not a revenue problem.” (Oklahoma Policy Institute Gene Perry)

When the Democratic minority brought forth their ideas to solve the budget crisis this past year, the Republican majority refused to allow debate.

The Step Up idea is only a first step in solving the funding problems for this state. Speaker of the House, Rep Charles McCall R-Dist 22, has said that he thinks he has the votes necessary to pass the Step-Up proposal. The Republcians have spent the past year neglecting their duties with their lack of governing and will now sign on to any proposal that lets them walk away from their responsibilites once again!

Because the Republicans are the majority, they dictate what is brought to the floor for debate and, therefore, hold the majority of the responsibilty for doing nothing. The Democrats are responsible for not forcing the Republicans to action. The people are responsible for only paying lip service to their concerns and voting too many Republicans into office. A balance of both parties keeps everyone in check.

Join us the ‘Party of the Working Man and Woman’ Be active in shaping your future! Next Democrat Meeing-February 23-noon-Eastern Oklahoma State College-President’s Dining Hall-Wilburton-Democrat Committee: Roy Alford, Byron Bohanon, Les Brelsford.

Les and Ruth Brelsford