Tahlequah Daily Press


March 17, 2014

Palin endorsement won’t do too much for T.W. Shannon

TAHLEQUAH — So Sarah Palin has endorsed former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Tom Coburn. We’re not impressed, and we doubt too many other folks in Cherokee County will be, either.

This is the Sarah Palin who cost U.S. Sen. John McCain the presidency after a dim-bulb staffer closed his eyes, opened a book listing ultra-conservative female politicians, and dropped a finger on a name from Alaska. It’s the same Sarah Palin who has been written off by many embarrassed Republicans as having the same intellectual acumen as a barrel of hair.

Does Shannon really want to hitch his wagon to this particular mule? He already has some solid conservative credentials – a bit too conservative in some ways, according to a Press poll Folks around here would sure like to see someone in that seat who can cross party lines, as Coburn was known to do. And they’d like to see someone who is just as quick to denounce “corporate welfare” as the other kind, when it’s fraudulently and unnecessarily obtained. Coburn may not have been as popular here as he was in other parts of Oklahoma, but he was respected for his tendency to consider issues one at a time, rather than toeing the line on Republican Party politics. Corporate interests and wealthy donors couldn’t always count on him to be their friend.

Two other GOP politicians from Oklahoma who can work both sides of the aisle say they won’t seek Coburn’s seat: 4th District U.S. Congressman Tom Cole, and State Sen. Doug Cox, of Grove. That’s too bad, because both of these men could command considerable support even among this county’s 16,000-plus Democrats. Both are moderate to conservative, and are known for their no-nonsense approach to volatile issues.

On the Democratic side, a few local Republicans have indicated they might support Dan Boren, who was one of the leading “blue dog” Democrats when he served this district. Prominent businessmen in the area – like Kirk Boatright – got along very well with Boren. Drew Edmondson would also make a strong showing here, with his long-time advocacy of the Illinois River and its related issues. At this point, it seems doubtful either will run.

Several other politicians have tossed their hats into the ring, and therein lies the problem. Cynical voters – and practically all of us are in that group – are beginning to turn up their noses at “career politicians,” or those who aspire to the label. We wonder why we can’t get a good “citizen legislator” to represent us anymore – perhaps a savvy businessman who will look out for the “little guy” just as zealously as he does the corporate giants, or someone with years in the medical field, or higher education, who has a good handle on Oklahoma’s particular issues.

Getting a senator we can all stand to look at and listen to is probably a pipe dream, but we can still research and educate ourselves, and vote the best way we can. It’s a sure bet Sarah Palin’s stamp of approval isn’t going to convince anyone with at least as much sense as God gave a goat.

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  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014

  • New chamber head needs to be free from scandal’s taint

    Every time another layer is peeled off the unfolding saga of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce embezzlement case, those going through the records hope they might see a light at the end of the tunnel. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    June 30, 2014


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