Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

June 25, 2012

Don’t forget to vote Tuesday

TAHLEQUAH — In the Wednesday edition, readers were able to glimpse some of the opinions and ideas of four candidates for Cherokee County sheriff who responded to a questionnaire.

Incumbent Norman Fisher, and challengers Charley Batt, Clint Johnson and John Parris addressed 10 issues pertinent to voters. All four are Democrats. Randy Osburn, also a Democrat, and independent V. Kevin McFarland, chose not to participate. (The responses can still be purchased in our e-edition at www.tahlequahdailypress.com.)

Voters have serious decisions to make at the polls Tuesday, June 26. In the case of the sheriff’s race, all five men on the Democratic primary ticket have friends and family here, and some are veteran law enforcement officers. A runoff could occur, and even if it doesn’t, one of the five will face McFarland in November. This will give Republicans and other independents a chance to weigh in.

But local folks have more to consider than the county’s top law enforcement officer. The composition of two or three races has been directly affected by the state Legislature’s exercise in what many students of political science consider to be blatant gerrymandering. A look at a map detailing the new makeup of Senate District 3, which resembles a giant “G” more than an orderly geographical block, offers a picture that’s difficult to deny, even for the most partisan voter.

For Cherokee County residents, the redistricting presents the possibility we may no longer have in the Senate one of our “own,” exclusively dedicated to our interests. This is a tough pill to swallow for a county that has always sent strong, active and well-respected politicians to the statehouse, where they quickly achieved seniority and plum committee posts. Political observers point to Mike Brown as a current example; the District 4 House representative didn’t draw an opponent this time around.

The District 3 Senate seat is now held by Jim Wilson, an outspoken advocate for working people, education, and health care reform who is term-limiting out – and whose seat is now the focus of a tug-o’-war among Tahlequah and other towns as far afield as Grove. The two cities have little in common other than recreational lakes and large retiree populations. Cherokee County has one man in the race: Jim Bynum of Tahlequah, a Democrat, who will face Brian Sitsler of Westville in the primary. On the Republican ticket, Cyndi McArtor and Wayne Shaw, both of Grove, will be duking it out.

Many people who were in Wilson’s district now belong to Senate District 9, a seat held by Earl Garrison of Muskogee. Barney S. Taylor, a Muskogee Republican, is challenging him in the general. Muskogee, too, has considerably different interests and populations from Tahlequah.

Two other House races will affect certain parts of Cherokee County. In District 14, three Democrats – Bobby Jefferson, Jack Reavis and Jerry Rains – will go head to head. All are of Muskogee, but Reavis has local ties. One of them will face Fort Gibson Republican Arthur Hulbert in November. In District 86, Republicans will choose Tuesday between Honesimo Garcia of Rose and Russell Turner of Stilwell, with the victor taking on incumbent Democrat Will Fourkiller, of Stilwell, in the general.

It’s not too late to ask of ourselves, and of the candidates, whether they intend to champion our little corner of the world, or put us on a back burner to simmer indefinitely. Especially in Senate District 3, with such a diverse constituency, the slot will require a talent for multi-tasking and an ability to balance priorities that most politicians don’t possess.

Do the research, ask the questions, and above all, vote Tuesday. Saying your vote doesn’t count is a lame excuse, and besides, it’s not accurate. Elections here have, indeed, been decided by a vote or two.

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Editorials
  • Ban on wage hikes by municipalities a mark of hypocrisy

    The words “God” and “governor” may share the same first two letters, but the two are hardly interchangeable.
    But let’s assume Gov. Mary Fallin really isn’t deluded enough to place her powers on the level of a deity. What rationale would a woman who has championed smaller government and local control use to explain her hypocrisy in banning individual Oklahoma cities from raising minimum wages in their jurisdictions?

    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
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