Saturday, May 17, 2003

We Don't Give a Flip?

As the Tulsa World points out in an editorial ("What a surprise" on A24) today, Senator Shurden continues his attempts to reverse the citizen's vote to outlaw cockfighting last November. In typical Shurden fashion he is using subterfuge to try to thwart the will of the people. He has introduced and changed his pro-cockfighting bills so often even close observers have a hard time figuring out what is going on. As the World points out Shurden has also changed his bill to call for a revote - but not during a general election as usual - but during a primary vote. Shurden is doing this because he knows Republican-dominated Oklahoma City and Tulsa don't participate big in Democrat-dominated primary elections. And the 2/3rds of the population of the state live in these two metro areas. Shurden wants to limit voters to rural Democrat-dominated primary elections.

This may be smart strategy but it is strategy that seeks to appease gambling (cockfighting) interests at the expense of straightforward democracy. That may be smart for Shurden and the cockfighters who don't give a flip about the principles of democracy but it is poor public policy. Comedian Joe Bob Briggs of Texas once called Oklahoma the "I Don't Give a Flip State" because we didn't seem to care about anything. When it comes to our state Legislature and voting, it is no wonder Oklahomans don't give a flip. They know their votes and their wishes mean nothing to the miscreants like Shurden that think they own Oklahoma and will do anything to keep it that way.

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